Title: THE PAIRING
Author: KATIE ASHLEY
Published: Feb. 18, 2014
A Companion Novel to The Proposition and The Proposal
After her former boyfriend left her pregnant and alone, Megan McKenzie swore off men. She spent the last eighteen months focused solely on her son, Mason, along with finishing nursing school at the top of her class. Although she’s not ready to complicate her life with a long-term relationship, a nice no-strings attached hook-up is just what she needs. At her godson, Noah’s, baptism, she finds the perfect candidate in the soft-spoken godfather, Pesh Nadeen. After all, the widower could use a good time too. But after drinking too much, the night doesn’t end the way she thought it would. Forced to leave Pesh’s house through a walk of shame, Megan hopes to never, ever see him again.
For Pesh Nadeen, the very sight of Megan sends him into an emotional tailspin. Since she reminds him too much of what he has lost, he wants to be out of her sight…at first. But the more he gets to know her, there's something about the diminutive blonde that causes his protective side to go into overdrive, and he finds himself wanting more. When Megan is assigned to work in his ER to complete her nursing clinicals, he sees it as fate, but she’s having no part of it. She only wants a physical relationship while he wants far more.
What happens next is a sexy game of cat and mouse to see who will break first or if both of them will eventually get more than they ever bargained for.
After swiping his key card, he entered the room. When he closed the door behind him, Megan turned around, gazing expectantly at him. Now that he was in front of her, he didn’t know exactly what to say. He had been on an emotional overload on the roof, and things had escalated far too quickly. “Look, I just want to say how very sorry I am about kissing you.”
“Well I’m not,” she replied matter-of-factly.Pesh’s neck snapped back in shock. Her response wasn’t what he was expecting at all. He had imagined she might be relieved or even embarrassed, but he hadn’t imagined that she would be unregretful. He cleared his throat. “Regardless, I shouldn’t have done it. I was in an emotionally vulnerable position, and you were merely trying to comfort me. Nothing more.” His words were more for his own good than hers.
She shook her head. “Just because I was comforting you, doesn’t mean I didn’t want you to kiss me. That I still don’t want to kiss you again.”
His brows furrowed in confusion. “But you—”
“Pesh, I’ve wanted you since the night of Noah’s baptism. But you shot me down then, and you still do.”
Although his heart wanted to soar at her admission of wanting him, the reality of her words caused his chest to clench instead. “Sexually. You only want me sexually.”
He should have been flattered that a young, sexy woman like Megan desired him. But he wasn’t. Half of the women in the hospital would be willing for him to drag them to an empty patient’s room for a quick and dirty screw. But that’s not who he was. He had never been that way with women, and he didn’t see how it could be possible to change. All he wanted was for her to really see him and how good he could be for her. How good they would be for each other. He thought that was what she was feeling in the moments before and after he kissed her. But now it seemed it was once again only lust.
Although it was probably pointless, he couldn’t help putting everything out there once again. “But when we were up on the roof, there wasn’t a moment where you wanted more from me than just sex?” He licked his lips and took a step toward her. “Just a second where you could imagine your life with me in it?”
Megan stared at him, her expression contemplative. For a brief moment, Pesh thought by her hesitation that she had changed her mind about him. But then she shook her head. “How many times are you going to make me hurt you with this? You’re too good for me, Pesh. We both know that. I’ll remind you again of some of the reasons I’m not the one for you. I’m twenty-five, and you’re thirty-seven. You want a wife, and I’m not ready to be married.”
Her words cut into his chest the same as if she had taken a sharp blade to him. She may have had to repeat herself this time, but he realized the finality of her words. And then an idea hit him so hard that he shuddered—a true light bulb moment and epiphany. There was only one way he was going to get to have his sweet Megan, and that was if he gave in to her. He would have to become someone else for her, even if it was just for a little while. He could distract her with sex that she both desired and demanded, but at the same time, he would make her fall in love with him. It could work. It had to.
Cocking his head at her, he questioned, “So let me get this straight once and for all. You would let me…”
He paused, fighting the conflict within himself to say what he needed to. He drew in a ragged breath. “You would let me fuck you but not love you?”
Her eyes widened at his word choice. “What’s gotten into you?”
He shrugged nonchalantly, feeling slightly empowered in the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde moment. “I merely asked a simple question.”
She snorted exasperatedly. “Yeah, about…” She swallowed hard. “Fucking, of all things.”
Megan shook her head wildly back and forth. “I can barely acknowledge hearing you say the word, least of all you doing that.”
“You can’t imagine me—”
She held up her hand. “You’re not the type of man to fuck,” she countered.
Crossing his arms over his chest, he countered, “Oh really? I’m too nice of a guy?”
“Something like that.”
“I am a man, Megan. We all have needs. Isn’t fucking one of them?”
Her body trembled slightly at his words. She licked her lips before replying, “S-Stop saying that word—it isn’t you.”
“So, fucking isn’t me? Don’t tell me you think I’m totally asexual—that you can’t imagine me fucking a woman…fucking you.” He eased in closer to her. “We both know for a fact that you wanted nothing more than to fuck me the night of Noah’s baptism. Given the chance right now, you’d let me strip off your scrubs and fuck you up against the medicine cabinet.”
As her chest heaved up and down, she took a step back from him, bumping against the counter. “But you don’t say things like that. You’re refined. You’re a gentleman,” she whispered.
“It may have been a while, but even a gentleman like me enjoys fucking.” He closed the gap between them.
“What are you doing?” she whispered.
“I’m giving you what you want.”
“You’re giving in?”
The Pairing – Katie Ashley ARC
~5 Sexy Fan Girling Stars~
I received an ARC as part of the official blog tour.
“I’d be anything and everything you wanted me to be, if you would give me a chance.” – Pesh
I always enjoy Katie Ashley’s work, the first book I had ever read of hers was, The Proposition, it was then that I fell in love with her work and I’ve been reading her books ever since. So when I learned we were getting another story from this series I was more than a little bit excited.
The Pairing follows Dr. Pesh Nadeen and Megan McKenzie. We met Pesh first in The Proposal. I loved him then, even though he was causing a rift between Emma and Aidan back then. Megan, is Aidan’s niece, a struggling single mom, to a very cute boy, named Mason. Pesh is a widower he has lost the love of life, and wife just about two years ago, in a tragic car crash. Megan has been abandoned by Mason’s father and is living at home with her parents and siblings, while trying to complete her nursing training and raise her son. Megan is strong, smart, feisty, and a wonderful mother. Pesh is sexy, sensitive, a brilliant doctor and has a truly beautiful heart.
The two seem an unlikely pair, yet from the moment they first lay eyes on each other, there are sparks. Sparks threatening to set the room ablaze.
“And while she may have been in a church about to stand up as a godmother, she couldn’t help the nipples tightening and panties moistening reaction of seeing him. He was all the way across the room, but he had the same effect as if he were standing beside her.”
However it becomes evident fairly quickly that while the attraction and connection between Pesh and Megan is very real, they are both looking for something completely from each other. Pesh is looking for love, a relationship, leading to marriage, and a family. All of the things he’s already had and yearned for earlier in life, but lost far too soon. Megan is still harbouring feelings of rejection and abandonment from Mason’s douchebag of a father, so she’s looking for a hookup. Pesh is dumbfounded by the notion of a woman wanting to use him solely for sex. He’s also perfectly content with the fact that Megan is a single mother; he’s a complete natural with Mason. Both are very honest with each other from the very beginning, but neither is willing to concede. After a drunken, embarrassing encounter, following Noah’s baptism, Megan decides to forget the whole thing. She tries to forget the sensations and emotions this man has made her feel for the first time, in a very long time, if ever.
Fast forward, Megan is now starting her placement to complete her nursing training, and we can all guess which hospital she lands in. Dr. Nadeen is to oversee her performance, and training. Day one, neither Megan nor Pesh have forgotten each other or the feelings they evoke in each other. Pesh is now even more determined to show Megan how wonderful they can be together, if she only allows him the chance. Megan is determined to get into the sexy, sensitive Doctor’s pants. Does this not strike you as funny and awesome? A complete sexual standard reversal here, Katie Ashley has given us a female character that is completely honest with how she feels and what she wants.
The Pairing is truly fun, refreshing, sexy, sweet, oh and did I mention sexy?
“If I take you, I’ll be making love to you. I’ll have you begging and pleading, but you’ll be coming so many times you’ll lose count. You’ll understand the difference between a quick tumble and the all-consuming power of a physical connection fueled by an emotional one.” - Pesh
“When she finally did catch sight of him, her traitorous heart skipped a beat. She didn’t mind if her body gave a reaction, but it pissed her off that her heart was affected by him as well.” -Megan
This book is everything we have all come to expect from Katie Ashley. She has a true talent for creating wonderful characters that are not only realistic, but endearing and quirky. The Pairing gives us a story of second chances, of loves lost, new loves made and moving on. Healing and patience, persistence, understanding, and respect. I fell totally in love with Pesh, Megan and their story. Megan and Pesh’s love story is all kinds of wonderful, I highly recommend picking up The Pairing, you will not be disappointed I promise. In fact I truly hope we get another book for Pesh and Megan, I would love to see more of them.
“I’m afraid if I look away, you won’t be real.” His hand cupped her cheek. “I’ve wanted this for so long – I’ve wanted you for so long. It’s hard to believe that you’re really here.” - Pesh
Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.
She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.
She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.