Irresistible (Buchanans Series #2)

Irresistible (Buchanans Series #2)

by Susan Mallery

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It wasn't just her homemade brownies that made Walker find Elissa irresistible... When ex-Marine Walker Buchanan stops to help Elissa Towers change a tire, he tells himself it's just the neighborly thing to do. And when Elissa finds herself baking him a thank-you pie, she's just returning the favor...right?

Both of them have sworn off dating — Elissa's determined to protect her little girl, and that means ditching her taste for dangerous men...especially former Marines with dark secrets. Walker knows that he's not cut out for hearth and home...his own crazy family made sure of that. But the sparks won't stop flying between them.

Now the two are struggling to keep their relationship "just friends," but with every kiss, their rules fly out the window...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459247710
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 06/15/2012
Series: Buchanans Series , #2
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 593
File size: 830 KB

About the Author

With more than 30 million books sold worldwide, #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as familiar as the folks next door. Her books have made Booklist's Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. With her popular Mischief Bay and Fool's Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestseller lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans. Booklist says, "Novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humour and superb storytelling." Susan lives outside of Seattle, Washington.

Read an Excerpt

The great unwelcome truth is that there are times when a woman needs a man… or at the very least, an unnatural level of upper body strength. Unfortunately for Elissa Towers, this was one of those times.

"Something tells me you won't be impressed by my to-do list, or the fact that Zoe has a birthday party at noon. Birthday parties are very important for the five-year-old set. I don't want her to miss this one," Elissa muttered as she leaned all of her weight into the lug wrench.

She'd been lamenting the extra ten pounds she carried for at least three years. One would think they'd come in handy now, say for leverage. But one would be wrong.

"Move!" she yelled at the lug nut on her very flat tire. Nothing. Not even a whisper of budging.

She dropped the lug wrench onto the damp driveway and swore.

This was completely her fault. The last time she'd noticed the tire getting low, she'd driven to Randy's Brake and Tire Center, where Randy himself had patched the nail hole. She'd sat in his surprisingly tidy waiting room indulging herself in gossip magazines—a rare treat in her world—not even giving a thought to the fact that he was using some stupid machine to tighten the lug nuts. She always asked him to tighten by hand, so she could take off the flat herself.

"Need some help?"

The question came from nowhere and startled her so much, she wobbled and sat down right in a puddle. She felt the wet seeping through her jeans and panties. Great. Now when she stood up, she would look as if she'd wet herself. Why couldn't her Saturday start with an unexpected tax refund and an anonymous chocolate delivery?

She glanced at the man now standing next to her. She hadn't heard stealth guy approach, but as she looked up and up farther still, until their eyes met, she recognized her semirecent upstairs neighbor. He was a few years older than her, tanned, good-looking and at a casual glance, physically perfect. Not exactly the type who tended to rent an apartment in her slightly shabby neighborhood.

She scrambled to her feet and brushed off her butt, groaning as she felt the wet spot.

"Hi," she said, smiling as she carefully took a step back. "You're, um…"

Damn. Mrs. Ford, her other neighbor, had told her the guy's name. Also that he had recently left the military, kept to himself and apparently had no job. It wasn't a combination that made Elissa comfy.

"Walker Buchanan. I live upstairs."

Alone. No visitors and he didn't go out much. Oh, yeah. Good times. Still, she'd been raised to be polite, so she smiled and said, "Hi. I'm Elissa Towers."

Under any other circumstances, she would have found another way out of her dilemma, but there was no way she could loosen the lug nuts herself and she couldn't just sit here praying to the tire gods.

She pointed. "If you could be burly for a second, that would be fabulous."

"Burly?" The corner of his mouth twitched.

"You're a guy, this is a guy thing. It's a natural fit."

He folded his impressive arms over a rather impressive chest. "What happened to women wanting to be independent and equal in the world?"

Hmm, so there was a brain behind those dark eyes and maybe the potential for humor. That was good. Neighbors of serial killers always said the guy was so nice. Elissa wasn't sure Walker qualified as nice, which was, in a twisted way, a bit of a relief.

"We should have worked on our upper body strength first. Besides, you offered."

"Yes, I did."

He picked up the wrench, squatted down and in one quick movement that left her feeling both inadequate and bitter, loosened the first nut. The other three followed just as fast.

"Thanks," she said with a smile. "I'll take it from here."

"I'm already involved," he told her. "I can put on the spare in a couple of seconds."

Or so he thought. "Yes, well, that's a funny story," she said. "I don't have a spare. It's big and bulky and really weighs down the car."

He straightened. "You need a spare."

His statement of the obvious irritated her. "Thanks for the advice, but as I don't have one, it's not very helpful."

"So what do you do now?"

"I say thank you." She glanced pointedly at the stairs leading to his apartment. When he didn't move, she added, "I don't want to keep you."

His gaze dipped from her face to the large nylon bag on wheels, lying next to her on the driveway. His mouth tightened in disapproval.

"There is no way you're going to carry that tire somewhere yourself," he said flatly.

Definitely not nice, she thought. "I don't carry, I drag. I've done it before. The tire place I go to is less than a mile from here. I walk there, Randy patches it for me and I walk back. It's easy. Good exercise, even. So thank you for your help and have a nice day."

She reached for the tire in question. He stepped between her and it.

"I'll take it," he told her.

"No, thank you. I'm fine."

He topped her by at least seven or eight inches and he had to outweigh her by a good sixty pounds… every ounce of them muscle. As he narrowed his gaze and glared at her, she had the feeling he was trying to intimidate her. He was doing a good job of it, too, but she couldn't let him know that. She was tough. She was determined. She was…

"Mommy, can I have toast?"

Why was life always about timing?

She turned to her daughter standing at the entrance to their apartment. "Sure, Zoe. But let me help. I'll be right in."

Zoe smiled. "Okay, Mommy." The screen door slammed shut.

Elissa glanced back at Walker, only to find that stealth guy had used her moment of inattention to pick up her tire and walk toward his very expensive, very out-of-place-for-this-neighborhood SUV.

"You can't take that tire," she said as she hurried after him. "It's mine."

"I'm not stealing it," he said in a bored tone. "I'm taking it to be fixed. Where do you usually go?"

"I'm not going to tell you." Ha! That should stop him.

"Fine. I'll go where I want." He tossed the tire into the SUV and slammed the back shut.

"Wait! Stop." When, exactly, had she lost control?

He turned to her. "Are you really worried I'm going to disappear with your tire?"

"No. Of course not. It's just… I don't…"

He waited patiently.

"I don't know you," she snapped. "I keep to myself. I don't want to owe you."

He surprised her by nodding. "I can respect that. Where do you want me to take the tire?"

So he wasn't giving up. "Randy's Brake and Tire Center." She gave him directions. "But you have to wait a second. I need to get a pair of earrings."

"For Randy?" He raised his eyebrows.

"For Randy's sister. It's her birthday." She drew in a breath, hating to explain. "It's how I pay for the work."

She waited for the judgment, or at the very least, a smart-ass comment. Instead Walker shrugged.

"Go get them."

The trip to Randy's Brake and Tire Center took three minutes and when Walker parked, he found a short, beer-bellied older man waiting for him.

Randy himself, Walker would guess as he opened the car door.

"You got Elissa's tire?" the man asked.

"In back."

Randy eyed Walker's BMW X5. "Bet you take that to the dealer," he said.

"I haven't had to yet, but I will."

"Nice wheels." Randy walked around to the rear of the SUV and opened the back. When he saw the tire in question, he groaned. "What is it with Elissa? They're doing construction across from where she works. I swear, she finds every loose nail hanging around on the road. Always in this tire, too. There's more patch on it than rubber."

More patch than tread, Walker thought as he stared at the worn tire. "She should replace it."

Randy looked at him. "You think? Thing is, you can't get blood from a rock. Hey, times are tight with everyone, right? Got my earrings?"

Walker took the small envelope out of his shirt pocket and handed it over. Randy looked inside and whistled. "Very nice. Janice is gonna love them. Okay, give me ten minutes and I'll have this ready to go."

Walker hadn't wanted to help his neighbor in the first place. He'd taken a short-term lease on the apartment to give himself time to figure out what to do with the rest of his life in quiet and solitude. He didn't know anyone in the neighborhood and he didn't want anyone to know him.

Except for a brief but surprisingly effective interrogation from the old lady living downstairs, he'd kept to himself for nearly six weeks. Until he'd seen Elissa struggling with the lug nuts.

He'd wanted to ignore her. That had been his plan. But he couldn't—which was a character flaw he needed to work on. Now, faced with a crappy tire that was likely to blow the second she hit sixty on the 405, he found himself unable to walk away again.

"Give me a new one," he muttered.

Randy raised his bushy eyebrows. "You're buying Elissa a tire?"

Walker nodded. Best-case scenario, he would replace both rear tires. But he only had the one wheel with him.

The older man puffed out his chest. "How, exactly, do you know Elissa and Zoe?"

Zoe? Walker blanked for a second, then remembered the kid he'd seen around. Elissa's daughter.

He owed this guy nothing in the way of explanations. Still, he found himself saying, "I live upstairs."

Randy narrowed his gaze. "Elissa's a friend of mine. Don't you go messing with her."

Walker knew that even after an all-night bender, he could take the old guy and have enough left over to run a four-minute mile. Randy's posturing would have been almost funny—except it was sincere. He cared about Elissa.

"I'm just doing her a favor," Walker said easily. "We're neighbors, nothing more."

"Okay, then. Because Elissa's been through a lot and she doesn't deserve to be messed with."

"I agree."

Walker had no idea what they were talking about, but anything to move the conversation along. Randy picked up the flat and carried it toward the garage.

"I've got a couple of good tires that'll be a whole lot safer than this one. Because it's for Elissa, I'll give you a good deal."

"I appreciate it."

Randy glanced at him. "I'll even throw a little dirt on it so maybe she won't notice what you did."

Walker remembered her defensiveness about not having a spare. "Probably a good idea," he told the other man.

You' re pounding, dear, Mrs. Ford said calmly as she sipped coffee. "It's not good for the crust."

Elissa slapped the rolling pin onto the dough and knew her neighbor was right. "I can't help it. I'm annoyed. Does he really think I'm so stupid I wouldn't notice he replaced my old tire with a new one? Is it a guy thing? Do all men think women are stupid about tires? Is it specific? Does he just think I'm stupid?"

"I'm sure he thought he was helping."

"Who is he to help me? I don't know him from a rock. He's lived here, what, a month? We've never even spoken. Now suddenly he's buying me tires? I don't like it."

"I think it's romantic."

Elissa did her best not to roll her eyes. She loved the old woman but jeez, Mrs. Ford would think grass growing was romantic.

"He took control. He made decisions without speaking to me. God knows what he's going to expect for it." Whatever he was expecting, he wasn't going to get it, Elissa told herself.

Mrs. Ford shook her head. "It's not like that, Elissa. Walker is a very nice man. An ex-Marine. He saw you were in need and helped out."

That's what got Elissa most of all. The "being in need" part. Just once she'd like a little extra put by for a rainy day or a flat tire.

"I don't like owing him."

"Or anybody. You're very independent. But he's a man, dear. Men like to do things for women."

Mrs. Ford was nearly ninety, tiny and the kind of woman who still used lace-edged handkerchiefs. She'd been born in a time when men took care of life's hardships and the most important job for a woman was to cook well and look pretty while doing it. The fact that living like that drove many women to alcohol or madness was just an unhappy by-product not to be discussed in polite society.

"I called Randy," Elissa said as she slid the piecrust into the pan and pressed it into place. "He told me the tire cost forty dollars, but he'd lie in a heartbeat if he thought it would protect me, so I'm thinking it had to be closer to fifty."

She had exactly sixty-two dollars in her wallet and she needed most of them for grocery shopping that afternoon. Her checking account balance hovered right around zero, but she got paid in two days, so that was something.

"If I could afford a new tire, I would have bought it myself," she muttered.

"It's more practical than flowers," Mrs. Ford offered. "Or chocolates."

Elissa smiled. "Trust me, Walker isn't courting me."

"You don't know that."

She was fairly confident. He'd helped because… Because… She frowned. Actually, she didn't know why he'd come to her aid. Probably because she'd looked pathetic as she'd wrestled with uncooperative lug nuts.

She rolled out the second crust. Flats of blueberries had been ridiculously cheap at the Yakima Fruit Stand. She'd pulled in after dropping Zoe off at her party. She had just enough time to make three piecrusts before she had to be back to pick up her daughter.

"I'll finish up the pies after I come back from the grocery store," Elissa said, more to herself than her neighbor. "Maybe if I take him one…"

Mrs. Ford smiled. "An excellent idea. Imagine what he'll think when he gets a taste of your cooking."

Elissa groaned. "You're matchmaking, aren't you?"

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Irresistible (Buchanans Series #2) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 102 reviews.
Jenafyre21 More than 1 year ago
Book 2 in the Buchanan series is approprately named "Irresistible" because once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down until I reached the end. This is Walker's story. Walker is an ex-marine who is just home from the war. He take a little apartment and some time to figure out his next move. He did not anticipate the lovely neighbor downstairs, Elissa, or her cute little girl Zoe. Elissa has had a hard past, and is use to doing things on her own, she is not looking for a romance and neither is Walker, but can remember the rules when their kisses are so hot they would melt a polar ice cap? Loved this book and loved this series. Would highly recommend this book to anyone that loves Susan Mallery.
trishalynn0708 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't know that this was book 2. I had no clue that it was part of a series. But even though I didn't know this, I loved this book. To me I wouldn't think that you would have to read the books in order to understand them or love them. This book was funny and a fast read for me. When I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it, and to me, those are the best books you can get. I have to say that Walker is my dream guy, I want one of him delivered to my door step.. :) He is an ex-marine and when he moves into the building above Elissa's, she knows nothing about him. Then they meet when he offers to help her with her tire. I love the chemistry between Elissa and Walker. And you really feel their love for each other as you are reading it.If you love romances this is a a definite read for you!!!
reneebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Walker Buchanan returns to Seattle after 15 years as a Marine and he has a number of secrets. He is on a mission to find the girlfriend of his buddy who took a bullet for him leaving him with guilt and nightmares. Walker has sworn off women partly because he is still feeling guilt over the way he treated his first love after learning she had breast cancer many years before. Elissa Towers has sworn off men and also has a number of secrets laced with some guilt. She is a single mom raising a 5 year old named Zoe and is barely scraping by. When Elissa's car develops a flat tire her reclusive neighbor, Walker, buys her a new tire. In exchange Elissa offers to fix meals for him and they both fight their growing attraction.Both Walker and Elissa were solid characters and their problems were realistically portrayed. There were some emotional moments when Elissa is reunited with her estranged family and I was pleased to see that there was no quick convenient solution. Elissa and her parents had hurt each other and they worked through those hurts in the course of the book in a realistic way. Walker's grandma, Gloria Buchanan who is the matriarch of the family and runs the family restaurant business with an iron fist, has a heart attack and when she falls, breaks her hip. Gloria is one mean old lady hated by her family (except Reid) and a bit over the top.This is a character driven story and I enjoyed reading how both Walker and Elissa deal with a mass of problems which kept me turning the pages. Walker and Elissa fight their attraction for a bit longer than I like and Elissa does something to distract Walker when he gets too close that I found rather distasteful. The dialogue was quick but rather emotionless at times and Walker would have been a better character if he had shown more emotion. Children can be rather distracting for me but Zoe was not overplayed and added a nice touch. (Grade: B)
MarilynS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Susan Mallery has done it again as far as writing an incredible series about the Seattle Buchanan family. Her second in the series (Delicious being the first), IRRESISTIBLE is just that. It's full of family issues, love, some danger, betrayal and includes short snippets about the Buchanan siblings. However, IRRESISTIBLE is Walker Buchanan's story. Walker decides he must retire early from the Marine Corp. He's seen and been through way to much and he has a mission. His friend took a bullet for him and died with no family, no one to mourn with the exception of a young woman who he mentioned many times to Walker. Walker returns to Seattle and his family the the main purpose..... to find his friend's girlfriend and to deliver a letter to her. He is immediately thrust into two situations......the first being family duties to sit at the helm of the family corporation because his grandmother has to be hospitalized due to a heart attack and fall. The second; he moves into a neighborhood and meets three incredible people.....the beautiful Elissa, her daughter Zoe and Mrs. Ford who all reside in his building. Neither Walker nor Elissa are looking for love but the forces of nature bring them, their families and a horrible ex-boyfriend into the mix. Lots of emotion with a lots of intensity in this love story. This story is one I could not put down. Once I began Walker's journey, I read it immediately from cover to cover. Susan Mallery is a master storyteller and this series is such an entertaining one, one that will top the charts for the year and next year as well with additional books in the
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
StarryEyedHeart More than 1 year ago
What better way to drown yourself in a romantic mood, then to read a Susan Mallery book? The title says it all, irresistible – a few pages in and you’ll be hooked! Let us see you try to put the book down before reaching the last page. Impossible.  Elissa Towers sworn off men, her daughter Zoe is too young, and she doesn’t need complications. That is, until her handsome neighbor steps in to help her change a spare tire, one day, and she feels the need to repay him. Every rule demolished as their relationship blossoms from mere friends to something more intimate.  Irresistible may have its fun and sexy moments, but it is far from being light; not your typical fairytale. Oh yeah, there is an imitation of a common girl catching the eyes of Prince Charming and falling in love,  but the raw emotions – the emotional rollercoaster ride the characters will put you through, will have you sympathizing for them.  I rarely read adult contemporary romances, but I have to admit there is a certain charm to it, that sort of draws you in. One being how realistic the characters are; the situations each and every character were placed in can happen in the real world, to about anyone.  The circumstances allow readers to better relate to the book, and even easier for them to get sucked into it. Rather than to say it is the charm of a contemporary romance read, I should say it is the charm of a Susan Mallery book. This maybe the first book I have read of hers, but from reading the blurbs of her other books, it seems she likes to give her characters something to fight for; something dark and taboo. What I mean by taboo is the dark past that her characters lived – the protagonists are far from being the “Perfect-Little-Misses”. As Elissa here, she did things in her teens in order to live; in order to keep her and her child alive. These things may be looked down by many, but she did what she had to do and the important message, is that she fought and is thriving for something better. Heck, even Prince Charming himself – Walker – has his own dark secret and is fighting his own demons. As much as I hate to admit it, I believe I got quite sentimental with this read.  I will be checking out Susan Mallery’s Sizzling! I just adore Reid and Lori’s bickering. ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walker is great. Elissa starts out great: feisty and independent and funny. As soon as the first lie about Zoe's father comes out of her mouth she becomes much less likeable. She takes responsibility for her past, except about Zoe's father, which I respect. However, she considers herself above reproach, and above Walker, in her current life - despite her own continuous lies. I can't abide that.
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Walker is great....
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Absolutely beautifully written book.
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scrappinwiz More than 1 year ago
I love this book.....LOVE WALKER.....Must read the whole series its great !!
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