Amanda Jackman’s love life is the stuff dreams are made of…which is fitting, because it’s all in her head. Thanks to six oversized, overbearing brothers who treat her like the family jewel, she’s lived in a padded little box. Determined to get a life before she needs a padded little cell, she’s moved out on her own and is determined to stand on her own two feet. Except she’s seriously underestimated the lengths her brothers are willing to go to keep her safe and sound…
Cole Engstrom’s life might just be at an end. Cornered by all six of the massive Jackmans—men he normally considers his best friends—he learns he’s their first choice to marry their sister…or else. But not the last. Rather than watch the brothers club their way through potential mates, Cole figures it’s best to just play along for a while and buy her some time to talk sense into her family. It’s a good plan.
Until Amanda figures it out and decides he’s the one to relieve her of her ‘sheltered little virgin’ status, one seduction at a time…
Originally Published as “The Virgin’s Revenge”
“The Virgin’s Revenge is a feel good, romantic comedy story that also has plenty of character growth. With reading this story, it’s my first time being introduced to the author’s work, and I very much enjoyed this. There’s plenty of situations that made me laugh and smile, and I wanted a victorious, happy ending for Amanda and Cole!“
“Overall, The Virgin’s Revenge captured my heart. I was left with a smile on my face after I finished it. This is the type of story I can turn to again and again in times of needing a comforting laugh. If you like a contemporary fun story, hurry and grab The Virgin’s Revenge for your own.”
—Sunflower, Long Short Of It Reviews
“For me, Dee Tenorio’s books are like decadent chocolate. I always start out intending to savor them… Then I promptly devour the entire thing. Such was the case with The Virgin’s Revenge… Individually, Cole and Amanda are great characters. As a pair, they set the pages of The Virgin’s Revenge to smoldering with the amount of sexual tension between them.”
“Combined with the great characters, Ms. Tenorio’s signature sense of humor and talent for penning sizzling love scenes make The Virgin’s Revenge a must read. I loved Amanda and Cole’s story and I can’t wait to see what Ms. Tenorio writes next! “
—Shayna, Joyfully Reviewed
“If you have never read a Dee Tenorio book I highly recommend that you correct this immediately. Her books are fun, quirky and full of great characters. This one is no exception. From the moment I read the excerpt of this book I knew I was going to love it, and I did. There is just something about Amanda and Cole that make you love them.
“The Virgin’s Revenge is quite simply one of the funnest, quirkiest, sexy books I’ve read. Perfect for laying at the beach or poolside. It has everything I look for in a contemporary romance. I highly recommend getting this book.”
—Heather, The Book Reading Gals
“I LOVED this read! It’s a sexy small town read, with some SMOKING HOT scenes in it…this was actually my first A Rancho del Cielo read, but I’m so hoping for more from the Jackman family! They were a RIOT, and it was pure pleasure seeing Amanda bloom into the woman she truly was!”
—Melissa, Mimi’s Musings
“I give this book 4 Moons and recommend it to any and all Contemporary Romance lovers. I guarantee you’ll love it like I did. Can’t wait for the next book!!!”
—Anna, Book Lovin’ Mamas
“The Virgin’s Revenge might have been my first Dee Tenorio book but it will not be my last! I thoroughly loved reading this friends to lovers story complete with big brothers LOL. Although I have to say I think I am glad I never had any older brothers.
“I give The Virgin’s Revenge an A “
“This is a contemporary with angst, humour and sexual tension throughout. With a Hero that made me swoon and a side character that made me cry, I don’t think I could ask for anything more.”
—Nix, Scorching Book Reviews
Rating: 4 Stars
“This story is heavy on the romance, passion and playfulness, but it isn’t until later in the book before things really heat up, making this an all around delightfully romantic, sexy story that had me grinning from ear to ear one minute, sighing deeply the next, and fanning myself yet another.
“The bottom line – If you enjoy stories with lots of humor, meddling but loving and devoted friends and family, check this one out. If you need your romances to be sweet, the trials and triumphs heartwarming and inspiring, give this book a try! If you like all of those things and some sexy goodness, then stop wasting time thinking about it and just do it. Just read this book! With their quirky personalities and zest for life, the people of Rancho del Cielo are an absolute joy to spend time with.”
Rating: 4 Stars
“The Virgin’s Revenge is a quick, entertaining read, and one I really enjoyed! This might have been my first novel by Dee Tenorio, but it will not be my last! 🙂 The characters are all great, and I look forward to learning more about many of them.
“A sweet, funny contemporary romance, The Virgin’s Revenge is a wonderful choice if you are looking for a quick weekend read. I highly suggest you try Dee’s books if you haven’t already—I think I am now a fan for life! “
“This is a great addition to the Rancho Del Cielo series, but it can honestly be read as a stand alone. Dee did such a great job with the characters. They have so much depth, they are fun to be around, and they have devious minds which I appreciate. This is a true romance; they’ve known each other as friends, learned more about each other as they date, and finally discover each other as lovers. This is a sweet, fun, and lovely romance. One I hope you take the time to read, I have no doubt you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.“
—Slick, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
“I love Dee Tenorio’s writing. She uses that mix of humor & emotion as so many of my favorite authors do. I was a little worried at the beginning, when it all seemed a little slapstick, but I don’t know why I worried. Tenorio never fails to deliver the goods.
“All in all, a fun, emotional, satisfying read.”
—Lori, I Just Finished Reading
Copyright © 2012, 2018 Dee Tenorio
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
“Can’t we eat?” It was Andrew’s turn to ask. Cole stifled a sigh. The other brothers had all taken at least one turn asking in the forty minutes since Cole had arrived. “She’s not coming, and the chicken is starting to congeal.”
“No. She’ll be here,” Locke said from the head of the table in the massive Jackman residence. He looked stoically ahead, not even glancing at a single starving Jackman brother or Cole. He simply stared forward and willed it to happen. Willed Amanda to walk into the house full of apologies and curtseys, notice Cole at the dinner table and fall magically in love with him.
It was probably the first time Locke’s will had failed.
Cole glanced from brother to brother, each one of them glumly eyeing the feast growing frigid before them, unable to touch it until their sister arrived.
The loud exploding sound outside suddenly interrupted the stomach rumbling and faint whimpers of the starving men. Cole was first on his feet— followed quickly by Locke—out to the living room where he was unsurprised to find Amanda straggling into the house, grumbling to herself.
“Are you all right?” Cole asked, taking in the streaks of hair that fell from her braid into her face. She closed the door, shutting out the orange rays of sunset and stepping into the direct overhead light, smiling brilliantly despite the smudges of black across her cheek and forehead.
“What happened? Why didn’t you call us?” Locke immediately took hold of his sister’s chin, tipping it up as he inspected her for any damage, revealing more smudges on her neck. She swatted his hand away, a scowl forming on her face. Locke was determined to make sure she was all right, though, so the swatting took a few attempts before he was satisfied she would live.
It was like watching a lion inspect a kitten—utterly careless, the kitten all but fighting for her life while the lion clubbed it half to death. Cole hid his smile, since neither of them would appreciate his amusement.
“I had a flat,” Amanda explained, her soft voice always such a welcome difference from Locke’s sometimes eardrum-splitting boom.
“You have a cell phone. Wasn’t it charged?”
Amanda rolled her eyes, her exasperation starting to pull the corners of her mouth down. “I can take care of myself, Locke. It was a flat, not an assassination attempt.”
His eyes narrowed, but Locke kept his comments to himself. He slid a glance to Cole, but Cole couldn’t tell if it was to see if he was taking offense to Amanda’s independence or if it was Locke’s way of saying, “You see what I have to put up with?”
Whatever it was, Amanda didn’t appreciate it.
“What about the backfire?” Locke asked, interrupting her just before she put voice to her aggravation.
“What backfire?” she asked, all innocence.
“The one that sounded like the back of your car blew up.” Locke indicated the outside with a sweep of his hand to the front door just past her shoulder. “I keep telling you I’ll get you a new one—”
Cole glanced out the nearby window. He could see directly to the little yellow hatchback Pacer Amanda had been driving since her senior year in high school. When it was already a well overused car. He had to squint through the lace curtains to see it hunched at the end of the walk. Looked like she’d just got it there by the grace of God and maybe a little dragging. He silently had to agree with Locke on this one—some forty-year-old cars deserved to be put down.
“I don’t want a new one. It just does that sometimes. It doesn’t mean anything.”
Cole snapped his attention back to Amanda, who was watching her brother grow an inch all around in pure frustration.
“Doesn’t. Mean. Anything,” Locke repeated, his head twitching to the side. It would be comical, if it wasn’t Locke. He didn’t do comical. Or funny. Or dramatic. About the only two modes the man could operate on were even or explosion.
It didn’t take a genius to figure out what was coming.
“Hey, Amanda, why don’t I take a look at it? I’m sure it’s just your muffler needing some attention.” Cole took her arm and pulled her back outside, leaving Locke to stand sentinel in the doorway. His hand curled around her elbow, which was firm beneath the soft white chenille sweater. That and a pair of jeans were classic Amanda. If he took a deeper inhalation of that lilac scent that was also classic Amanda, no one knew but him.
The braid was a nice change though, her corn-silk hair making the fading sun glint off in various shades of pale, palest and gleaming. Usually, even in the summer months, she let it hang loose down her back. The wind liked to catch the straight strands and blow them in a fan around her shoulders, a sight that never failed to remind him she’d make someone a really great catch someday. But he liked this style too. Honestly, he liked most things about Amanda. She always seemed to fit right into any situation like she’d been made for it, and she’d probably looked great before all the smudging.
“You shouldn’t let him get to you like that. He’ll think you’re afraid of him,” she chided gently.
“He’d be right.” Cole laughed. Fearing Locke was no bruise on his manhood. Only an idiot would think himself up to challenging a man over fifty pounds heavier and five inches taller.
“And here I thought you were above the terror everyone else has of him.”
“First, no one is above terror, least of all when it comes to your brother. Second, didn’t I just step into the path of sure destruction to save you from him?”
She gave him another of those rare smiles that always made some string in his body twang. Eyes bright and happy, she dipped her head down, never aware of the stutter she put in his step. “Thanks, but I can handle Locke.”
“Sure.” Cole laughed, hoping the sound wasn’t as strained as his throat, while they came to a stop at the nose of her yellow gremlin of a car. Overall, he’d seen worse. She kept it clean, and if there was a ding here, there and everywhere else, at least it was lovingly polished. He frowned down at the front wheel, a flurry of images coming to mind, most of which had Amanda mangled or in the hospital. Maybe Locke had a tiny point about his sister’s need for a keeper.
Cole shook that idea off. If Locke was right, he was going to be married in no time. Cole had zero intentions of letting that happen. So, Locke couldn’t be right. Amanda just needed someone to show her how to do things for herself instead of someone insisting on doing everything for her. Not that Locke was going to accept that recommendation, either. He wanted his sister protected at all costs, particularly from herself. To that end, Cole reminded himself that protecting either of them might mean getting Amanda to agree to a little fake dating.
A quick glance to the front door found Locke still framed by the threshold, only now the windows were full of other curious Jackmans too, no doubt thinking they were about to see a proposal. Good loyal friends. Well meaning, even. But dumb as posts if they thought this plan of theirs was going to work.
No way to immediately present the truth to Amanda. She’d explode and they’d kill him. Or she’d explode and kill him herself. Jackman tempers were not to be trifled with.
“Do you have any plans for tomorrow night?” he asked, reaching under the hood to release the hook and at least give the car the look he’d promised.
“Why?” she asked, sounding vaguely suspicious.
“I thought we could…hang out.” That sounded reasonable. Not like a date at all. His conscience wouldn’t let him ask her out on a date only to later slam her with the fact that he’d only meant to get her alone to tell her what was happening.
“We’ve never hung out alone before,” she reminded, making him wince.
“Sure we have. You’re the only one capable of putting up a fight in the house when we play Risk or Trivial Pursuit. You beat the crap out of me in every fighting game we dig up, and I’ve lost count of all the sci-fi marathons we’ve watched together.”
“You were visiting my brothers. I was just there.”
She wasn’t going to make this easy, was she? Another quick glance over to the house showed the Jackmans hadn’t moved an inch. Better to look in the car’s engine.
“I didn’t know you knew anything about cars.”
He didn’t. He had a motorcycle and he liked it that way. “Not much,” he admitted. It was all the same, wasn’t it? Just bigger…and arranged differently, apparently. What the hell kind of engine was this?
“Still trying to save me from my brother?” She dipped her head, a soft grin tilting the corners of her mouth again.
He didn’t twang like before, but he had to clamp his lips tight not to lick them in response. “You have no idea.”
She frowned suddenly. “Whatever.” She put her hand on the hood and pushed it out of his grip and back into place with a bang. Before he finished checking for all his digits, she was already spinning away from him.
“You never said if you were going with me tomorrow,” he called after her.
She froze midstep, her shoulders up near her ears for a whole second before she turned around, all playfulness gone, leaving her looking somewhat pale. “What?”
“Tomorrow. I was thinking we could talk.”
“This is a joke, right? Which one of them put you up to this? Dean? Andrew?”
All of them? “Why would any of them make me ask you to hang out?” It’d be interesting to see if she guessed.
“Because they’re morons,” she answered, her eyes narrowing.
Hey, look at that, she guessed!
“They’d do anything if they thought it was funny enough. No thanks, don’t feel like being a joke this week.” She stomped past him and opened the car door.
A joke? Damn it, he never thought she’d see the invitation that way. God, didn’t her brothers notice what they’d been doing to her self-esteem with all their overprotection? Given the way Locke was already striding onto the porch, Cole guessed not.
“If you say you’ll go with me, I’ll save you from Locke again.” He crossed his arms over his chest, leaning down to the window when she slammed the door between them.
She was mad now, he could tell by the roses in her cheeks. She rolled down her window with a few jerks of her shoulder and hand. “Oh yeah, how’s that?”
“My car’s just fine, Cole. Thanks for looking.”
“Mandy?” Locke was on the other side of the car, but his frigid eyes were on Cole, promising sure death for screwing this up. “Aren’t you staying for dinner?”
“Yes,” Locke corrected.
Amanda was glaring now.
Cole tried again. “You can’t drive it this way—”
“I told you it’s fine. It’s just loud.”
Cole’s temper tingled. If she’d just let him finish a sentence. “I’m only looking out for you.”
“I’ve got enough people looking out for me. I don’t need you doing it too. I told you, I can take care of myself.”
“So you’re determined to leave?”
“Yes,” she snapped.
“Okay,” he said calmly, took a step closer to the front tire and with a solid whack of his boot, sent the spare tire off the unnutted bolts to the ground, where the weight of the car ka-chunking to the pavement flattened the metal corner with a loud pop.
“I’ll just let you take care of that, then.” He nodded at Locke and stalked back into the house.
Dinner sounded pretty damn good all of a sudden.