ONCE UPON A TIME IN BLISS by Lexi Blake writing as Sophie Oak

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Go back in time to Bliss’s first happily ever after…

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Author: Lexi Blake writing as Sophie Oak
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Nights in Bliss #8


CIA operative John Bishop arrived in Bliss, Colorado, seeking a respite from the high-stakes game of blood and lies that sent him to the worst corners of the world. A week playing the role of vacationing professor Henry Flanders would recharge his batteries, especially if he found a gorgeous woman to occupy his time.

Nell Finn has spent her life focused on helping others, but when she meets the tall and mysterious Henry Flanders, she can’t stop imagining what he might do for her. When Nell and her mother are threatened, Henry comes to her, offering his protection and comfort.

But as the threats escalate out of control, Henry discovers that the beautiful and innocent Nell is much more than a plaything. Can he save the woman he loves without exposing the secrets that would drive her away?


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“Is there any way you could drop me off in town?”
He felt his eyes narrow because she had plans. That was obvious. He was fairly
sure that he wouldn’t like her plans. “Why?”
“Because I need to start scheduling the repairs.”
That wasn’t all she was planning on doing. She was hiding something. It was
right there in the way she wouldn’t look him in the eyes. And why had she talked about
her mom staying with Pam Sheppard and not herself? It was time to start herding Nell in
the proper direction. He crowded her. It wasn’t hard in the small bedroom.
The minute she realized how close he was, she backed up, ceding the space
until her back hit the door. “Henry?”
“How do you intend to pay for those repairs?” This cabin would require extensive
repairs. Everything would have to be replaced. The door alone would cost hundreds of
dollars, not to mention fixing the windows. He would bet a lot that Nell didn’t have that
Her face flushed the closer he got. Yes, she was aware of him, finally. That was
what he wanted. “I don’t know that’s your business.”
“So it’s my business to take care of this for you, but not to know how you’ll take
care of yourself? Is that how you work when you help someone out? You do one piece
of the job and send them on their way?” He was playing on her sympathetic soul. And
her body. He leaned in. She smelled sweet, like milk and honey. Damn, but he could eat
her up. And there was no way to miss the way her nipples peaked under her sweater
because she wasn’t wearing a bra.
Her voice was slightly breathless. “I think it’s nice that you want to help, but I
don’t need it. I can fix everything.”
He loomed over her, well aware that he was using his height to intimidate her.
“How, Nell? Do you have a job you haven’t told me about?”
“I have a computer I can pawn,” she said quietly.

He’d wondered what she’d intended to do, and still his freaking cold-as-fuck heart
softened a fraction. All she’d talked about on the way over here was her writing. “I
thought you wrote books.”
Her back was against the wall. She had nowhere to go, and that was just what he
wanted. Her eyes had dilated. They roamed from his face to his neck to his chest,
taking him in even as she spoke. “I do, but I have to admit, I don’t think I’m very good at
it. I keep getting rejected, so I might as well get rid of the computer. Do you have to
stand so close?”
There wasn’t a trace of irritation in that question. It had been asked with a
delicious breathiness that let him know she was interested.
“If you didn’t want me to stand so close, you should have gotten a bigger
bedroom,” he said, well aware his voice had gone low. He stared down at her, unwilling
to let her off the hook for a second. Now that he was close to her, he was damn sure he
couldn’t let her go. Oh, eventually he would. He would go back to his life and she would
move on with hers, but for a week or so, he was going to be in her bed. He was going to
be in her body. And he was going to solve a few of her problems. “You can’t pawn your
computer. How will you keep up with your protests? How will you know what to protest
in the first place?”
It didn’t make any sense, but he couldn’t stand the thought of her walking into
some crummy shop and giving up her computer for half of what it was worth.
“I’ll figure it out,” she replied, her eyes round.
And selling the thing wouldn’t do any good. It would be a drop in the bucket of
what she would need. “It won’t work, Nell.” He backed her against the wall. “Let
someone help you. I can loan you the money.”
It wouldn’t be a loan, but she didn’t have to know that until he was long gone and
she couldn’t find him.
“That’s not a good idea.” Her head tilted up. “None of this is a good idea.”
But her lips, those fuck-me, take-me lips, were trembling. Her hands were
moving to his waist like she couldn’t help herself, and he didn’t even want to try to help
himself. Everything about his life was plotted and planned and decided on for the best of
whatever fucking mission he happened to be on.
He didn’t want to think. He wanted her. That was all that mattered.

“It’s the best idea I’ve had in a long time.”

About Lexi Blake

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

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