Ripe for Trouble
“Not your typical set up to say the least, and that’s part of what makes this single-sitting novella so genius. Autumn’s writing is an honest, humorous blend that keeps me entertained from beginning to end. Ivy was relatable. Ridley was sympathetic.”—You Gotta Read, Jessi
"Awesome story... wish it was longer!!! Great characters... fun cheesy pick up lines. Hope everyone finds a Ridley in their life."
"This novella provides an excellent introduction to Autumn's deep and funny writing style and to her Trouble series set in Rifle, CO. It's a must read for anyone who loves witty dialog and plots that have as much heart as they do heat."
“Get me some fries to go with that shake, right?” Ridley Tucker elbowed his buddy Miguel and indicated the hot specimen helping some little kid load a big pumpkin into a wagon.
Miguel whistled. “Damn. All those curves, and me with no brakes.”
No kidding. The last time he’d seen a chick rock denim overalls must’ve been Daisy Duke. The long, long braid almost down to her waist should’ve been boring, but he’d like to undo it and run his fingers through that hair.
“Hey bro, go over and introduce yourself. Put an end to the dry spell, huh?” Miguel gave him a shove in her direction.
Speaking of dry spells… “Where’d RJ go?” Ridley scanned the area and found his tow-headed three-year-old squatting in front of a tiny pumpkin, running his little hand over it the same way he petted the kittens in back of the shop at home.
“I’ll keep him company. Go make your move.”
“Right. Like, what am I supposed to say?” He was a little rusty. Make that a lot rusty. Single dad-dom had a way of slowing down even the smoothest players.
Miguel shrugged. “How ’bout, What are you doing tonight? Besides me.”
“Too crude, unless I’m looking to get slapped.” He lowered his voice to its deepest. “Hey baby, you got something on your butt. My eyes.”
Miguel cracked up, but then immediately went sober. “Ah…” He pointed over Ridley’s shoulder.
“She’s behind me, isn’t she?” Of course she was.
“Think lil RJ needs me.” Miguel turned tail and hurried over to help with the midget pumpkin.
So this was what life looked like from under the bus.
Ridley cleared his throat and turned to face the pumpkin patch goddess.
Her hands were on her hips, her eyes narrowed. “You!”
He felt like a fool, standing in the hallway just past the ladies’ room, but this was one of those desperate times.
She came out right between the songs he’d played. Perfect.
She whirled and faced him. And sighed at him like he was a piece of junk mail. “Yes, Ridley?”
He pushed off the wall and moved close to her as Complicated began playing. “Remember this song? When we danced to it?”
She squeezed her eyes shut like her head hurt. A lot. “Yes.”
He moved close enough he could smell her, a bit of melon coming off her hair, and something vanilla. “I remember it too. It was…it was a good dance, right?”
She tried to step back, but he put his arms around her and looked down into those blue, blue eyes. “If you say stop, I will. I promise.” He moved a little with the music and she stiffened. He kept swaying, and pressed closer, the music’s rhythm pulsing in his chest. Like last time, she curved into him, soft and perfect. Jesus, was it possible she felt better in his arms now than she had that night at prom?
He wanted to bury his hands in that big twisty bun, free that miles-long hair, but she’d probably get mad. He moved his hands down and clasped her ass. Damn.
She groaned. “Ridley.” She pulled back and looked up at him. “This is a bad—”
No time to waste. He laid one on her. Hot, hard, and hungry, to let her know how crazy she made him. She tasted like beer, felt like the Fourth of July, all hot and explosive.
She broke the kiss and turned her head to the side, pushing out of his arms. “Stop. God. You taste like straight tequila. You’re drunk, aren’t you?”
He shook his head. No way was he drunk. Completely capable of consent. “No.”
“Gotta appreciate that irony, right?” She stepped back. “Sorry, but ‘I can’t take advantage of you when you’re under the influence.’ Turnabout’s fair play.”
She rushed off as the final strains of their song wound down.