Getting Rowdy by Lori FosterGetting Rowdy by Lori Foster

Getting Rowdy

byLori Foster

Mass Market Paperback | September 24, 2013

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An alpha hero's attraction to the one woman he can't have could draw him into a killer's snare in the sizzling new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster 

Charismatic bar owner Rowdy Yates isn't the kind of man women say no to. So when he approaches waitress Avery Mullins, he fully expects to get her number. However, the elusive beauty has her reasons for keeping her distance—including a past that might come back to haunt them both. 

Avery spends her nights working for tipsand trying to forget the secret Rowdy is determined to unearth. But when history threatens to repeat itself, Avery grows to rely on Rowdy's protective presence. As the sparks between them ignite, she will be forced to choose between the security she's finally foundand the passion she's always wanted.
Lori Foster is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin and Silhouette. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. She’s had ...
Title:Getting RowdyFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 6.66 × 4.15 × 1.17 inPublished:September 24, 2013Publisher:HQN BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0373777795

ISBN - 13:9780373777792

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Read from the Book

Avery Mullins hesitated outside the entrance of the newly renovated bar. This early in the day, only a dim interior showed beyond the locked, glass-and-oak double entry doors—new doors that had just been installed two weeks ago.Doors she'd helped to pick out.Freshly painted signs crowded the big front window, advertising food, two pool tables, dancing and drinks. Overhead neon lights showcased the name of the bar: Getting Rowdy. It made her smile, remembering how she'd suggested the name, and how he'd followed through.In such a short time, so much had changed. The business had gone from a failing, run-down dump of a place known mostly for its cheap drinks and availability of illicit drugs to a promising, fresh new bar with a fast-growing crowd. Even more notable was her switch of positions, from struggling waitress to head bartender.Satisfaction had her smiling through most of her days. Thanks to the tips she made along with the raise she'd gotten, she no longer had the grind of two jobs just to make ends meet.She'd kept the same apartment that could only be called modest if someone felt generous. And for the sake of anonymity, she still took the bus to and from work, rather than drive. But.. She had changed.Before meeting Rowdy Yates—bar owner, boss and scalding-hot temptation—before being swept up in his enthusiasm for turning around a broke-dick bar, she'dsurvived. No more, no less. She hadn't been unhappy, really. Or rather, there'd been no time to dwell on ideas like happiness.But she hadn't enjoyed her life, either. Not like she did now.She loved how Rowdy so often included her in decisions concerning the bar, almost as an equal partner instead of simply an employee. He had final say in all things, but he welcomed her input. He was proud, but not too stubborn to listen. Strong, but never a bully. He made her feel important again.And of course, every woman who laid eyes on him noticed his appeal—her included.They got along great, working to make the bar as successful as it could be. Associates, and she liked to think friends, as well.Rowdy wanted more. God knew he hadn't been shy in sharing his interest.And though he didn't know it, she returned those sentiments. Butdid she dare to get intimately involved with a heartbreaker like Rowdy? He was honest with her; she didn't worry about what he wanted because he spelled it out. His honesty could sometimes be so brutal that it took her breath away.He wanted sex.Preferably with her, but every time she refused—and she'd refused every time—he easily found "company" elsewhere. With the way the female patrons came on to him, she doubted he ever had to spend a night alone.Yet he always asked her first before moving on to second choice—his words, not hers.Who did that?Why did he do that?If she really mattered to him, wouldn't he wait until he got her agreement?But, being honest with herself, Avery had to admit that went both ways. If he mattered to her, why make him wait? After the year she'd had, she deserved some fun.Bad boy Rowdy Yates, with his scrumptious bod, brazen attitude and overactive libido, would be so much fun.A brisk October wind cut through Avery's jacket and sent shivers up her spine, bringing her back to the here and now. Daydreaming about Rowdy had become her prime preoccupation. Seldom did a minute pass that he didn't plague her mind.Maybe tonight, before he hooked up with someone else, she'd clue him in to how she felt.With that decision made, Avery unlocked the door. Only she and Rowdy had keys. It still amazed and pleased her that he trusted her so much. She would never do anything to make him regret that.Without turning on lights, she made her way through the dim interior of the bar. The early-morning sunshine barely penetrated the shadows. Usually she arrived around two o'clock, an hour or so before her shift so she could get set up. But she had errands to run today, as well as an important phone call to make, and she'd forgotten her phone near the register. She figured she may as well combine the trips.After locating her cell phone behind the bar—right where she'd left it—she started to leave. She'd taken only a few steps when she heard the first noise.Heart going heavy, alarm prickling, Avery stopped to listen.There! She heard it again. A slight rustling, a lowgroan?She swallowed hard. Had someone gotten in through the back door? A drunk? A vagrant? A robber? Or worse?No. She shook her head, denying that possibility. No one from her past would ever think to look for her here. There were times when she still couldn't believe the differences in her life. Differences that, since meeting Rowdy, she no longer regretted.Besides, Rowdy's ongoing renovations to the bar had started with updating all the security, installing sturdy new locks to both the front and back door and all the windows that opened. No one could easily break in.Before her transformation, she'd been an utter coward. Oh, sure, some might have called it circumspect, but she knew the truth. For far too long she'd relied on others.for everything.A year ago, when faced with an unknown noise, she would have slunk back out the front door and called the police to investigate. If it turned out to be nothing, well, she didn't mind the possible inconvenience to others.But a year in hiding had taught her to be more self-reliant, to handle her own problems. Independence had freed her, so she wouldn't backslide now.Trying to be utterly silent, Avery crept toward the sound, her ears straining. She heard another groan that appeared to come from Rowdy's office. Maybe a radio? The creak of the wind outside?Rowdy's door stood ajar, when he usually kept it closed. Daring took her only so far, but never beyond common sense. Just in case someone had found a way in, Avery pushed 9-1-1 on her cell and put her thumb on the call button. Inching along the wall, she held her breath until she stood right beside the door."Yeah, that's it."Recognizing Rowdy's rough, whispered voice, Avery relaxed. Thinking he spoke on the phone, probably to one of his lady friends, she rolled her eyes, stepped around the door frame.And her stomach did a free fall.Slouched in the big padded chair behind his desk, his hands gripping the armrests, his blond head tipped back, Rowdy released another low groan, this one deeper, more gravelly. Avery saw him in profile, the large desk hiding most of his lower body—but not the top of the woman's head moving over him, precisely in the general area of his lap.Good God, she knew what they were doing; even an idiot wouldn't misunderstand. Jealousy, hurt, resentment rose up to choke her. Avery wanted to move, she really did, but her feet stayed glued to the spot.She wanted to look away, too, butshe didn't.Rowdy's body went taut, straining, his expression bordering on acute pleasure. Then, with a final sound of repletion, he released a breath and eased again, his every muscle going lax. With a deep exhalation, he stroked the woman's hair and said, "Ease up, honey, I'm spent."Oh. My. God.Avery tried to swallow, but she couldn't find any spit. She tried to close her eyes, but couldn't even manage a blink.On her knees before him, the redhead gave her own sound of satisfaction and slowly rose up over Rowdy's thighs. "My turn."Whoa. No way did she want to hang around to witness that. Horrified, Avery shifted to sneak off—and the floor squeaked.Rowdy's gaze swung around to pinpoint her there in the doorway. His light brown eyes went from mellow satisfaction to razor-sharp focus. He didn't straighten, didn't take his big hand from the woman's hair.Maybe he didn't even breathe.Their gazes clashed for two heavy heartbeats before Avery got it together and lurched away. Heat scalded her face. Her heart punched against her ribs. Please don't let him follow me. Please don't.From behind her, she heard Rowdy's low curse, and then the high-pitched laughter of the woman.No, no, no. Humiliation chased Avery to the front door. Once there, breathless in a confusing mix of emotions, she paused and glanced back over her shoulder.No one followed. In fact, she could now hear the quiet conversation between Rowdy and the woman.Fury tightened her chest and burned her eyes. Damn you, Rowdy Yates.Forcing her chin up, Avery pushed through the door, out of the bar and away from the first man who'd interested her in over a year.Rowdy fought the urge to call Avery back, to chase after her and saywhat? Sorry you busted me getting a blow job. Hardly. She'd annihilate him if he even tried.He could tell her the truth. I wish it had been you on your knees instead. He snorted at the idiocy of that thought.Avery already knew he wanted her. Hell, he'd been so open and up-front with her that his pursuit bordered on infatuation, as asinine as that seemed.Growing uneasiness obliterated the pleasure from release. Damn it, he didn't owe Avery any explanations. She was his employee. Period.That's how she wanted it.But what if she didn't come back?No, he wouldn't think that way. In the short time he'd known her, Avery had proved to have a backbone of iron, an overload of pride and possibly a chip on her shoulder bigger than the one he carried.She'd be back, if for no other reason than to fry him with her disapproval.Besides, she loved her job, and she was good at it. He checked his watch. Why was she here so early?Whatever her reason, it didn't matter. She had seen him, and that destroyed all the ground he'd gained with her. For a little while there, she'd been softening to him. Sort of.Maybe not.With Avery Mullins, it was hard to tell.From the first time he'd spotted her in the bar, he'd wanted her. She had amazing red hair, a killer attitude and tons of energy contained in a petite and enticing body. Smart, savvy, observant.And sexy as hell, though she denied that truth, just as she denied wanting him.The contrast of her personal pride and work ethic, compared to where she chose to work—with him—intrigued Rowdy. He'd met her before buying the bar, back when it was no more than a dump filled with creeps and criminals. He still wasn't sure if she'd factored into his desire to have the bar.Eventually he'd win her over. He refused to accept any other outcome. But even to him, this current transgression looked bad.The long, lonely night had ended, so he had no reason to continue lingering with.shit. What was her name?Feeling the sting of Avery's censure, even though she hadn't stuck around to share it with him, Rowdy caught the woman's arms and tugged her to her feet. "C'mon, honey. Fun's over.""For you," she complained, and tried to crawl into his lap."As I recall, you had your turn at least twice already.""At least." She gave him a sultry, satisfied smile and rubbed up against him.Her hair, red but not the rich, natural red of Avery's, trailed over his arm. She was a small woman also, but without the same proud stature as Avery.And when it came to outlook, the two women were worlds apart.Had he really imagined a similarity of any kind? Dumb. Maybe even desperate, but he didn't like that idea, so he snuffed it from his mind.Holding the woman away, Rowdy stood and then turned from her so he could refasten his jeans. "It's later than I realized. Time for you to go.""Because of her?"On the nose. "No."Snuggling up to his back, she rubbed her breasts against him. "I had an incredible time."Now, after seeing Avery, the purring tone and brush of body on body left him cold. "Glad to hear it." Though he felt like a bastard, he skirted around his desk and went to the door to wait, his impatience plain.She pouted before accepting the inevitable. With a slow lick to her lips, she sauntered toward him, tried to kiss him—but he dodged that—and started to head through the bar.Rowdy caught her arm and redirected her. "Back door is closer." On the off chance that Avery lingered out front, best not to push his luck."Did you have fun?""Yeah, sure." He'd tried to win Avery over last night but as usual, she'd turned him down in her no-nonsense way.He hadn't wanted to, but he'd accepted an alternate. "I need cab fare.""Not a problem." The lady was from out of town and staying with her family, which meant going to her place hadn't been an option. Rowdy hadn't wanted her in his new apartment, eitherso he'd taken her to his office instead.Not good. He should have just rented a room for the night. Next time he would.Because the nightmares never went away for long, he knew there would be a next time, and a time after that.He was a twenty-nine-year-old man, and he'd been on his own for most of his life. But sometimes the ugliness of long ago closed in around him with the suffocating discomfort of a boy's desperation.Damn it, he hated his own weakness.Disgusted, Rowdy dug out his wallet and retrieved two twenty-dollar bills. Now, with a new day ahead, he craved a few hours' sleep. "Will that do it?""Thanks." She curled her manicured fingers around the money and said with suggestion, "I get into town every couple of weeks."Rowdy unlocked the back door while saying, "Sorry, honey, but I already told you this was a onetime deal.""It doesn't have to be.""Yeah." His thoughts already moving ahead to what had to be done before he opened the bar, he held the door wide open for her. "It does.""If you change your mind"As gently as he could, he nudged her along. "I won't." She'd been a nice distraction, but nothing more. At the moment, he wanted to concentrate on the bar.and on Avery.The woman left reluctantly—but she did leave. Just as they all did.And that's the way he wanted it. Usually. But odd as it seemed, even though they hadn't yet hit the sheets, he enjoyed Avery's company.Hell, he liked it so much that he'd made her the bartender as soon as he'd bought the bar. If he wanted her to stick around—and he did—there'd have to be no more sex in the office.Unless it was sex with Avery.And wasn't that one hell of a nice idea?

Editorial Reviews

"A red-hot page-turner." --#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole on When You Dare"Bestseller Foster...has an amazing ability to capture a man's emotions and lust with sizzling sex scenes and meld it with a strong woman's point of view." -Publishers Weekly on A Perfect Storm"A sexy, believable roller coaster of action and romance." -Kirkus Reviews on Run the Risk"Foster rounds out her searing trilogy with a story that tilts toward the sizzling and sexy side of the genre." -RT Book Reviews on Savor the Danger"The fast-paced thriller keeps these well-developed characters moving...Foster's series will continue to garner fans with this exciting installment." -Publishers Weekly on Trace of Fever"Steamy, edgy, and taut." -Library Journal on When You Dare"Intense, edgy and hot. Lori Foster delivers everything you're looking for in a romance." -New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz on Hard to Handle"Lori Foster delivers the goods." -Publishers Weekly"Tension, temptation, hot action and hotter romance-Lori Foster has it all! Hard to Handle is a knockout!" -New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell"Foster hits every note (or power chord) of the true alpha male hero...a compelling read from start to finish." --Publishers Weekly on Bare It All