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Never Say Never - Book #3 of 6 in Wicked Seduction Series
“This kind of feels like old times, doesn’t it?”
“Somewhat, Serafina, but there is a small difference.”
Her eyes furrowed together in puzzlement. “What would that be?”
“The fact we would be in the living room finishing our drinks with me distracting you with my kisses until we retired upstairs for the night.”
Her nipples began to harden under the sundress in response. His eyes lowered briefly. She tried to force her body to relax, regretting that she hadn’t worn a bra. Unfortunately, she hadn’t seen any need to—until now. It was one of the things Renato had always loved about her. She closed her eyes, trying to fight the memories of some of the things he’d done with easy access.
Her eyes jerked open when Renato cleared his throat. His expression made it hard for her to meet his eyes, and she began to fidget full of nerves.
“Um…it’s getting late, and I need to get ready for tomorrow.”
He stood up, his brows bunched together. She knew that his puzzlement stemmed from the fact that it was still early. Serafina’s eyes widened as he came toward her, instead of heading out of the kitchen. She saw him struggling to contain a smile as she moved away from him. Every step he took forward, she took one backward, until he had her tucked neatly into a corner.
“Why are you running away from me, tesoro mio?”
She closed her eyes briefly before answering. “I’m not running.”
The only reason she was able to say it with a straight face was because she wasn’t running, at least not technically. She was retreating in a very organized fashion.
The smile he gave her could only be described as wicked. “No? Then tell me what it’s called.”
She answered with a straight face. “Strategic maneuvering.”
He laughed. “So I guess I need to do a little strategic maneuvering of my own.”
Before she could ask him what it would be, he lowered his mouth to hers. Serafina moaned. It was all the invitation he needed. He slid his tongue inside of her hot yet sweet mouth. Her hands came up, grasping at his chest as she swayed toward him. As reluctant as she stated she was about his touch, she didn’t move away from it. She never had. She never would. Her body became so aroused it ached. He ran his hands up her body slowly, not stopping until they came to rest beneath her breasts. She whimpered with need against his mouth. His fingertips rubbed her erect nipples, turning her whimper into a moan of pleasure. He seemed intent on torturing her, and she could only hope she survived.
* * * *
Renato pulled away from Serafina, wanting to see her face—needing to see it. The passion he read on her face kicked his desire for her up another notch. He had to have her. “You’re so beautiful.”
She blinked slowly, and he wondered if she’d comprehended what he just said. If she hadn’t, he planned to show her. Moving his hand around to her back, he reached for the zipper on her dress. The motion seemed to pull her from her passion-filled haze for a moment, and she pulled away from him slightly.
“We aren’t going to. Trust me we aren’t, but I need to do something for you.”
She didn’t respond verbally, but when she relaxed against him, he knew he had his answer. Renato slipped the thin straps over her shoulders, getting his first glimpse of her perfect breasts. She moaned as he arched her backward over his arm and ran his tongue across one hardened tip. The sound was cut off by her own gasp as he began to suckle her. He lifted his mouth briefly.
“You taste so sweet.”
Instead of replying, she grasped his head and brought it back to her breast. He lavished attention on her until she was writhing uncontrollably. Serafina needed him just as badly as he needed her. Only she wasn’t ready to admit it yet. He lifted his head again, and she groaned in protest.
“Do you want me, Serafina?”
She bit her lower lip before nodding. “Yes.”
“Do you want my touch?”
She closed her eyes. “You’re already touching me, or at least you were until you stopped to talk.”
He held back a smile at the sound of her irritation. “Yes, I am, but do you want my touch?”
She hesitated slightly, finally understanding the importance of his question. “Yes, I do.”
He smiled. “Good. Then you will have it.”
She looked perplexed when he pulled the straps of her dress back up on her shoulders.
“It just won’t be tonight.”
Her Heart's Desire - Book #2 of 6 in Wicked Seduction Series
Marcella growled with frustration. Serious annoyance rose at whomever it was pounding on her hotel door at this awful hour in the morning. Groaning in aggravation, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed and half walked, half stumbled to the door. She didn’t bother with the peephole because her eyes were so bleary she wouldn’t be able to see out of it anyway. Opening the door a crack she saw a cheerful Quinton standing on the other side.
Her eyes widened at his attempt at Italian. Profanity poured from her mouth, but Quinton only smiled.
“I assume that wasn’t hello or good morning in return was it?”
She scowled at his cheerful disposition.
“Do you have any idea what time it is?” she asked crossly.
“It's a few minutes before seven.”
Hearing the time aloud made her feel even worse. She was up two hours before she had to be, two whole hours. Closing her eyes, she spoke to Quinton as calmly as she could. “Is the electricity out again?”
She paused. “Is the hotel on fire?”
He chuckled. “No.”
She sighed. “Flooded?”
Marcella felt her teeth clench as her eyes reopened. “Then why the hell are you standing here at my room so early?
Quinton smiled at her. “Because I want to have breakfast with you, and Tiziano told me you need at least an hour to get ready.”
Her eyes closed again and counted to ten before she said something else inhospitable.
“Did my brother also happen to tell you I’m not a morning person?”
“Yes, he did, but he didn’t say you were this bad.”
Her eyes flew open in outrage. “This bad!”
The only thing keeping her from saying more was the fact he stood there looking at her with open curiosity, making her wonder how bad she was. His expression also told her he wasn’t going anywhere. Sighing heavily, she opened the door to let him in.
“Come on in.”
She turned and walked back into her room, not waiting to see if he followed her or not. A whimper fought its way up from her throat, but she held it back as she walked past the bed. It was calling her name. It took everything she had not to crawl back into it. Instead she went over to a chair and collapsed into it, closing her eyes. After a long moment of silence she reopened them to find Quinton nearing her. The expression on his face was indescribable. She could only imagine why he was staring at her the way he way.
“What is it?”
He remained silent for another moment before speaking. “Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?”
She rolled her eyes. “Trust me, I have seen what I look like in the morning when I first wake up. You don’t have to sweet talk me.”
He reached out and touched a loose tendril of her hair. “If it is one thing I don’t do it’s lie. You are beautiful, whether you see it or not. You don’t need any make-up and fancy stuff to impress me.”
She gave him an exasperated look. “Who says I’m trying to impress you?”
His self-assured expression reminded her so much of Tiziano’s she shook her head.
“Your body does. Your eyes do.”
Denial lay upon her lips, but it would be a lie and both of them knew it. He reached out and pulled her upward until she was standing. She knew he had to be delusional. If he’d been Desi, she wouldn’t have allowed him into the hotel room until she was presentable. That would include make-up and fancy stuff as Quinton put it. It was somewhat of an unspoken rule that she always looked her best around Desi. If she didn’t, Desi hadn’t hesitated to tell her so.
There had been so many times when she'd taken extra care with her appearance only for him to wrinkle up his nose in disapproval. Desi was a self-centered bastard. How she'd managed to stay with him as long as she had was beyond her. Had she truly been so desperate? Evidently, she had or she wouldn’t have nursed a broken heart for two years. Quinton touched the sided of her face, bringing her out of her thoughts.
She shivered at the way he enunciated her name. He said it like no one else ever had, like no one else ever could.
“Yes?” she whispered.
“I want to know if you taste as sweet as you look,” he stated softly.
“Can I kiss you, Marcella,” he asked as he drew her nearer.
She knew she should say no. Instead she found herself stretching up to meet him halfway. The first touch of their lips was feathery, but it was enough. In the next instant his mouth covered hers, hot and demanding. His kiss commanded everything of her, forcing aside the docile and compliant Marcella that Desi would have expected. The thought spurred her on, and she pressed her body closer to his, wanting the contact, craving it. Quinton feasted on her lips as if he needed nourishment. She was more than happy to provide it. She needed to feel more of his touch. Feel her skin against his.
As if he heard her request, he slid his hand under her cotton pajama top, encountering smooth skin. She moaned, pushing her body closer to his, needing the contact. His hand slid higher until it found one of her breasts. She knew she wasn’t a large woman, but she fit into the cup of his palm perfectly.
It only made her want him more, just as badly as he seemed to want her, yet, she found the strength to pull away from his hand and mouth simultaneously. He groaned at the loss, reaching for her again but she evaded his hands.
“No, Quinton. We have to stop. My family is expecting us at breakfast. Thanks to you, no less.”
He exhaled heavily. She studied him, taking all of him in, knowing she probably appeared just as sexually frustrated as he did. She could feel her nipples straining against her night top in arousal. Not to mention she stood there breathing just as hard as he did from his kiss.
“We could call and say we changed our minds.”
“Only if you want your limbs separated from your body. Trust me, it wouldn’t take long for them to figure out what we are doing, then they would show up to dismember you.”
Just a Little Fling - Book #1 of 6 in Wicked Seduction Series
Luciano smiled as he watched Nia nervously lick her lips. He wondered if she had any idea how beautiful she looked.
“Tell me your plan, Nia.”
"Um…I’m just…just going to take a…a bath.”
He smiled as she stammered horribly. Stepping closer to her, he aligned his body with hers. His legs touched hers, and the strong image of those legs being wrapped tightly around his waist as he gave her pleasure roared through his brain. Groaning inwardly, he tried to kick his level of arousal down a notch. As much as he wanted her, he needed to make sure she knew it was more than a physical attraction.
“And what did you plan to do during your bath?”
She didn’t respond immediately, averting her gaze, but not before he saw the embarrassment in her expression. What did she have to uncomfortable about? Desire surged through him when he realized just what she probably planned to do once in the bathtub. To know she wasn’t afraid to pleasure herself turned him on in a way he never imagined. The idea that she probably had to do so because of her thoughts about him made him wanting to throw all caution to the wind and pull her a few feet toward the bed. Instead, he decided to give her the next best thing.
“Have you been told how stunning you are tonight?”
She blinked before swallowing deeply, and he was pleased by how much she struggled with her desire as much as he did. Clearly, she hadn’t expected the question. Shaking her head, she cleared her throat.
“Yes, you did...earlier...but you can tell me again if you like.”
The corner of his mouth tilted up in amusement, and he leaned closer to her. “I would rather show you just beautiful you are.”
Before she could respond, his lips found hers. Once again, his mouth found hers in a delicious yet dangerous kiss. She whimpered against his mouth, and her hips tilted toward his, letting him know what she needed. One of his hands slid from the wall and came to rest on her hip—a nice, curvy hip. Her shape appealed to him on many levels. She had a fuller figure than most of the women he dated in the past. He looked forward to seeing all of it, even though it wouldn’t be tonight. His hand slid lower until it found the smooth skin of her thigh. She shuddered at his touch, and he lifted the hem of the dress until he found the elastic of her panties.
His touch told him they were made of lace and silk. As bad as he wanted to see them, he didn’t risk taking his mouth away from hers.
He wanted her with him all the way. The way her arms came up and encircled his neck said she was. He slipped his hands inside of her panties and found what he was looking for. He encountered her wetness and he moaned, the sound quickly swallowed up by her gasp. Damp did not begin to describe how she felt. She definitely wanted him as much as he desired her. He moved his hand back a little until his finger found her ready for the pleasure he offered. She whimpered low in her throat at his touch, but it wasn’t good enough for him. Earlier, she stated she kept a tight rein on her control all of her life, and this was her opportunity to let loose. He pulled his mouth away from hers a little, his lips not leaving hers entirely.
“You don’t have to hold back with me, Nia.”
She didn’t respond as he lowered his lips back to hers, but he felt as if she struggled to keep herself check, and for a moment, he wondered if she heard him. Just as he started to interrupt their kiss again, she made her first real sound. Her moan of pleasure filled the room in spite of his mouth being sealed to hers, and she trembled against him. The sounds that followed nearly drove him insane with need.
He gathered her close when her felt her legs tremble, knowing she reached the point where she would need his assistance to remain standing. It made him want to lay her on the bed, but nothing would make him interrupt her pleasure. Shifting his hand again, he changed tempo, and a moment later, she ripped her mouth from his. Her cry of release reached his ears.
He watched her as she experienced the throes of passion, and he kept stroking her, pushing her higher. She shrieked, and her eyes flew open as her body came off the wall. Her mouth fell open as she began to pant, and he never stopped moving his fingers. He wanted to make sure she was completely satisfied. Suddenly, she bucked against him, and his name fell from her lips on a loud moan. He kept stroking until her body collapsed against him and he heard her sigh in his ear.
Some Like it Hot - Book #2 of 2 in The One Hot Summer Anthology
Sterling was grateful he’d held off on taking a sip of water. No way would he have gotten it down without practically choking to death. He had to be dreaming. His imagination was running wild and he would wake up any moment.
He blinked slowly. “Yes?”
“Do you want to go?”
His hand trembled slightly as he sat the bottle down before turning his attention to the breathtaking woman sitting across from him. “Do you remind repeating yourself?”
Naja laughed. “I know you’re not hard of hearing.”
“You’re right. But I’m pretty positive I’m still in my bed asleep so I’m just trying to draw it out a little longer.”
Her head tilted to the side as her grin widened. “Dreaming, huh? Well, I definitely want you to have the experience of waking up with a smile on your face, so let me make sure it’s worth your while.”
Before he could say anything else, she stood and stepped closer to him. She cupped his face between her soft palms. “Now,” she whispered, lowering her head toward his. “Let’s make this real good.”
She brushed her lips over his in a soft kiss that sent shivers racing down his spine. In the next instant, she captured his mouth in a nerve tingling kiss that seemed to steal the very breath from him. He let his arms drift upward to wrap around her lower back as he drew her between the vee of his legs.
The kiss was pure bliss. It was passion thrumming, then coiling, low and hot, deep within him. The kiss tasted of sugar and strawberries. Her thighs were crushed with an enticing, sensual pain to his solid erection as she returned the angry kiss in total abandon.
This kiss should never end. He definitely didn’t want it to. Neither did Naja for she raised her head a fraction of an inch to draw in a quick breath, then slanted her mouth over his again in the opposite direction, sweeping him under the spell of another passionate kiss.
His mind ceased to function. This kiss was spectacular, surreal, so sincere and real. She constantly surprised and delighted him in a way that somewhat frightened him. She was a unique individual, special, rare, like no woman he had met before. And he wanted her with an intensity that had him on the verge of combustion. Along with the insistent need was another emotion he couldn’t name. Even as her kiss consumed him, he felt revived.
Finally, Naja ended the kiss unhurriedly. Her heavily lidded eyes told him she was just as affected by the kiss as he was. Unhurriedly she retook her seat. “Are you still hoping this is a dream you will wake up from?”
He shook his head. “No, now I’m wondering if things could get any hotter between us.”
“Well, I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to take a chance to find out.”
He interlaced his finger and leaned forward. “Are you sure about that?”
“One hundred percent positive.”
“What changed your mind?”
“I’m not saying I have,” she murmured. “I’m simply stating I find you intriguing. I want to hang out with you, just as casual acquaintances. If it leads to more, great. If not we’ve still had an enjoyable time and can return home with those memories.”
“Yes. Thanks to my sister I realize I’m making this more complicated than it has to be.”
“So, you no longer have any desire to get me into bed.”
The expression on her face became downright sultry. “Oh no, I still have every aspiration to get you into my bed, in the shower, on the couch, kitchen table and possibly even on the beach at night, but for now I’m going to play by your rules and see what comes of it.”
Sterling reached for his water and took a huge gulp before he burst into flames. Wicked images of the words she’d just whispered raced through his mind. It was everything he could do keep from taking her hand and dragging her onto the wood of the porch beachgoers be damned. The woman across from him tested his self-restraint and frankly, he didn’t have much more left.
Closing his eyes, he took a few settling breaths. He had to get himself under control or he would crash and burn. When he felt that he had, he reopened his eyes and found Naja watching him intently. He should say no, but he just couldn’t get his mouth to form the words. Yep, he was in deep trouble.
“What time does the party start?”
Slow Burn - Book #1 of 2 in The One Hot Summer Anthology
“It’s nice to see you again, Ms. Westbrook. Did you enjoy your meal?”
Carson bit back a chuckle of amusement as Imani’s spine stiffened. His sister, Kallie, had informed him the instant Imani stepped into his restaurant. After their first encounter he wasn’t certain he’d ever see her again. Within moments of seeing her, his attraction to her went through the roof.
Her dark hair was pulled back in a ponytail. Her lovely milk-chocolate face had high cheekbones, a pert nose, full lips that caught his gaze in a mesmerizing hold. He studied her, taking in the outfit she wore. He wondered if the shorts she wore clung to her curvy waist and hips like the pair she’d worn yesterday. There was a mature lushness about her body that made him hard.
While he wanted to eventually hit the sheets with her, he needed to get to know her as well. There seemed to be a permanent frown of concentration on her face and he ached to know why. If there was a chance she did smile, he yearned to be the one to make her do it.
For some reason she was also extremely skittish. Something definitely troubled her deeply and he wanted to distract her from it. She appeared to be too lovely of a person to be so sad.
But the bottom line was he knew she was attracted to him as well. She wouldn’t have come back to the restaurant otherwise. While the food he served tasted great, it wasn’t that good.
Imani glanced up at him out of the corner of her eye. “It was good. Thank you for asking. I’m just waiting on my check so I can pay.”
“It’s on the house.”
Her mouth fell open briefly before she collected herself. “Oh no, that’s not necessary.”
“It’s no trouble at all. It’s not often I have the opportunity to buy a beautiful lady lunch.”
Her eyebrows bunched together. “Do you really expect me to fall for that line?”
One corner of his mouth curved upward. “If it were a line, no I wouldn’t. Do you mind if I join you?”
She opened her mouth, but he sat down across from her before she could say anything. Her mouth snapped shut.
“I guess it didn’t matter I was going to say no since I’m leaving.”
“Do you have pressing plans?”
She put her tote bag aside. “Actually, I do.”
“Then I won’t keep you long. I just saw you come in for lunch today and wanted to say hello.”
“Well, I appreciate your desire to acknowledge my presence. Is that all?” she asked, gathering up her bag.
He reached across the table and placed his hand on top of the one she still had on the table. She quivered and he celebrated silently. Imani wasn’t as immune to him as she would have him believe.
The thought thrilled him. In the five years since he’d moved to Myrtle Beach and opened Baxter’s, he’d casually dated his fair share of women, but none excited him the way Imani did. Something told him she had a lot of passion simmering underneath the surface. She just needed someone to help her tap into it.
He’d moved to Myrtle Beach to start over. After divorcing the woman who’d put him through the ringer, he’d needed to get away. Life had been serene ever since. Peaceful was okay, but it could also be boring. The woman he sat across the table from could definitely spice things up.
“No, that’s not all. Do you have plans for dinner tonight?”
She gaped at him. “Excuse me?”
“I’m asking you if you would like to go to dinner.”
He chuckled. “Because that’s usually what two people who are attracted to each other do.”
“Who says I’m attracted to you?”
He inclined his head toward their hands on the table. She gasped then snatched her hand from underneath his.
“Look, Carson, I know life is all fun and games for you, but I’m actually here in Myrtle for a reason. A very important reason, so I don’t have time to waste. I have a lot to figure out in a short amount of time.”
He leaned back in his chair. “If I insinuated your time is not valuable that definitely wasn’t my intention. I assure you, my schedule is pretty tight as well so I’d never show a lack of appreciation for another person’s.”
She sighed, her shoulders drooping. “I know this may sound cliché, but this just isn’t a good time for me. I’m going through a lot right now. I would love to say more, but it’s personal and I don’t feel comfortable sharing it.”
“I respect your feelings on the subject. However, I have to admit I’m sorely disappointed I won’t have the opportunity to get to know you better. I hope you get your problem worked out. Just know if you ever need an ear to bend, I’m here. Or you ever want to stop in for lunch, you’re welcome to do so anytime and it’s on me.”
The corner of her mouth twitched, the closest he’d ever come to seeing her smile.
“That’s kind of you. I appreciate the offer. Now, I really must be going. Thank you again for lunch.”
Carson winked at her and stood as she gathered her tote bag. “Anytime.”
Imani rushed from the restaurant as if hell hounds were chasing her, but her brisk pace still didn’t tone down the natural sway of her lush hips. She was a walking wet dream and he didn’t think she had the slightest idea.
“Wow, big brother, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman in such a rush to get out of your presence.”
He frowned at his sister as she came strolling up. “You aren’t funny, Kallie.”
“Wasn’t trying to be. What’s the deal with her?”
“I don’t know. I asked, but she didn’t want to tell. I didn’t push.”
His younger sister’s brows rose high on her forehead. “Really?”
“Believe me, after what I went through with Misty, I know what it feels like to not want to talk about something. I gave her an open invite to the restaurant for lunch and to talk. So any time she comes in her meal is always on the house, in the event I’m not here.”
“Do you think she’s going through a bad divorce or breakup?”
“Divorce? No. She doesn’t have a line on her finger indicating she’s ever worn a ring. I can’t be too certain of a breakup, but I don’t think that’s it either.”
“That sucks because she seems really nice.”
“Do you think she’s going to take you up on your offer?”
“Who knows? What matters is I put it out there. The ball’s in her court now.”
One Reckless Night - Book #1 of 4 in The It Happened One Night series
Dane Holden lay in his bed, pretending to be asleep, wondering if he just made the biggest mistake of his life. Instead of spending the evening working on the project for the company he worked for, he had sex with Bayleigh Bishop. He’d love to say he was too intoxicated to know better, but they had only shared a single bottle of wine. One they didn’t even finish. Dane was sober enough to know that sleeping with a co-worker was a bad idea. She was also his best friend, which made this situation even worse.
Inhaling quietly, he caught a whiff her soft scent. It was a fragrance unique to her, an aroma that teased him every time she was near. A loud thump followed by a soft curse brought him out of his internal musings, and he stifled a chuckle. He’d known Bayleigh for five years and never heard her curse before now. Still, she was moving stealthily around the room in complete darkness. Assuming she was looking for her clothes, it bothered him that she felt she had to leave under cloak of darkness.
He was also troubled by the reality of his life not going the way he planned. Right after his thirtieth birthday, he’d felt ready to settle down. Yet, at thirty-five, he still didn’t have the wife and children he’d planned for. Until tonight he was happy to have this project as a distraction.
Due to the time constraints, he invited Bayleigh over to work on the project. He ordered takeout and everything had been fine. How they ended up in bed together was beyond him. One minute they were talking about her research results. The next he was kissing her. The kiss wasn’t one he expected from Bayleigh. It was no secret that she was quiet and reserved. Yet, her kiss had been anything but.
It was hot with no hint of shyness. There wasn’t any other way he could put it other than to say the sex had been extraordinary. He hadn’t expected her to be so responsive. She was the only woman he never had to ask what she liked. Her body told him.
Dane swallowed a groan. Had he really had sex with Bayleigh? It wasn’t that he’d never thought about her in a sexual way. She was a beautiful woman and he would never deny that he was attracted to her. Bayleigh never seemed interested, so he kept his thoughts private. After tonight, he no longer had that option.
What he hadn’t known about was the body she had been hiding underneath her clothes. Bayleigh was stacked and had curves that she somehow managed to keep well hidden. His body reacted to just the thoughts of her body. His desire was quelled when it dawned on him that he just took a step across a line he had no business even going near. He didn’t want to ruin his friendship with Bayleigh, but the way she moved around in the darkness, he felt like he had.
There was another hard thump and Bayleigh stifled a cry of pain. He opened his eyes. It was difficult to pretend he was asleep while she fumbled around in the dark. Besides, he needed to face what they had done head on. Taking a deep breath, he reached over and turned the lamp on. The bright glare made him regret the action, until he looked up. A bare and shapely rear end was in his face.
Package Deal - Book #3 of 3 in The Hennings Sisters Trilogy
“Good morning, ladies. If you don’t mind me asking, what brings you to my home?”
Meghan was the first to speak, and she was straight to the point. “We are here to ask you to go out on a date with our dad.”
If the looks on their faces hadn’t been so serious, she would have laughed at the nine-year-olds statement. Instead, she shook her head. She couldn’t entertain this horrible matchmaking scheme. “No.”
Melissa spoke next. “Ms. Hennings, our father is a good man.”
Chante held her hands up in a non-threatening manner. “I don’t doubt that at all, but we have to be reasonable here. My dating your father would put all of us in an uncomfortable situation.”
“No more than we already are.” Melanie replied.
She was speechless for just a moment. How in the world did Maxwell survive these three?
“Does your father know that you are here?”
Melissa nodded in the direction of her front door. “He’s outside waiting for us.”
Chante went to the window and pulled the curtains aside. Her eyes met Max’s head on. The man had the nerve to wink at her, and the simple gesture sent her heart rate soaring.
Letting the curtain fall back in place, she shook her head again. She’d been so shocked by the three of them being on her porch that she hadn’t noticed the SUV sitting in the driveway next to hers.
“Excuse me, ladies.”
She crossed to the front door and walked out to the vehicle that Maxwell was sitting comfortably in. His eyes followed her all the way to the SUV. The window was rolled down, and she leaned into the car with more confidence than she really felt.
“Now you didn’t really think that I was going to let you sit out here and relax while your daughters have me in the hot seat did you?”
He grinned, and time stood still. His smile was lethal. “Well, they seemed so determined I didn’t think that it would take long, so I wasn’t sure that I needed to come in.”
She tried to keep a straight face at his lousy excuse as she stepped back and opened the driver’s side door. “Well, let me make it clear.”
He chuckled as he slid out of the vehicle. She tilted her head back to look at him. Lord, he was tall. Unfortunately, the man was gorgeous as well, and that was going to make this situation tough.
She led the way back up to the house. When they returned to the living room, Melissa, Melanie, and Meghan hadn’t moved. Maxwell walked over to the recliner and took a seat while Chante continued standing, facing the girls. “Now you were saying?”
“That you should go out with our dad,” Melissa responded quickly, picking up right where she’d left off.
Chante sighed. If she didn’t know any better she would say that the three sisters had taken lessons from Chantel, Cheree, and herself.
“We trust you.”
Chante looked over at Melanie. These three had put their heads together. Either they loved their dad a lot and wanted to see him happy or they needed someone to distract him so that they could pull more antics like this. Although, it looked like they had too much time on their hands already if they had come up with a plan as insane as the one that they were trying to sell. Based on what she knew about Melissa, she was going to go with the first idea. As flattering as it was that she was the chosen one, it was also an impossible situation.
“So what do you think that people will say about me dating my student’s father?”
Melanie grinned. “From the way that Melissa talks about you, I have a feeling that you don’t care what other people say about you.”
Chante looked over at Maxwell who was sitting with a smug look on his face. If she didn’t know any better, she would say that he was enjoying this, especially since he was not on the receiving end of it for a change.
“Are you going to say anything?” Chante asked, arching a dark brow in his direction.
Max smiled and shook his head. “I already lost this battle earlier. I don’t plan on losing another. Besides, I agree with them and would love to take you out.”
His statement confirmed her earlier thought and floored her at the same time. Chante’s mouth dropped open and almost dragged on the ground. She could see that it was four against one at this point.
“See, there you go. Dad is a good man, and you are a good woman. This is a perfect combination.”
In Over Her Head - Book #2 of 3 in The Hennings Sisters Trilogy
He nodded but remained seated and continued to stare at her. The woman was beautiful. She was tall and curvy in every spot that she should be. Her brown eyes were intense and full of desire in his opinion. He was tempted to ask her what she was thinking, but she wouldn’t tell him if he did so he wouldn’t. He smiled when she gave him a look of irritation and impatience.
“Are you going to stop staring at me?”
He shook his head slowly. “No.”
She tilted her head to the side. “It isn’t polite to stare.”
He laughed. “Oh, so you do know the meaning of the word?”
Her eyes widened at his sharp remark. “You—oh!”
She jumped up from the table, knocking her chair over in the process. He knew he caught her off guard when he touched her leg.
Her look became even more irritated. “Why are you touching me?”
He stood and stalked around the table to her, like she was the prey and he was the predator. She backed up as he continued toward her.
“Why not? You didn’t seem to mind a few weeks ago.”
He didn’t stop until her back hit the fridge. There wasn’t any fear in her eyes, only anxiety. She licked her lips before she spoke, and he followed the movement with his eyes. “That was different.”
He stepped closer to her. “How?”
She shrugged, and he liked that she seemed to be so affected by his nearness. He couldn’t ever recall her being speechless around him.
“Are you afraid of me, Cheree, or is it the uniform?”
Her eyes widened as if he hit her conflicts dead-on. He leaned closer to her, and she shrank back before she seemed to catch herself. He watched her stiffen her shoulders.
She tried to step away, but he wouldn’t let her. He brought his hands up and bracketed her body in between them.
“I think it may be both.”
She shook her head in denial, but he continued speaking. “I think you believe that I am too much of a man for you. That I will get inside your castle you’ve built and give you a little taste of everything you’ve ever wanted before breaking your heart by walking away.”
A gasp escaped her, but he kept talking. “I bet that the men that you’ve dated have been weak minded and didn’t give you anywhere near the challenge that you need.”
As if it were possible, Alejandro stepped closer to her.
“I should tell you that I plan to challenge you. Challenge you beyond your wildest dreams.”
Instead of giving her time to answer, he stepped even closer to her. He couldn’t recall ever wanting a woman so badly. When he stood directly in front of her, he reached out and cupped the back of her neck to guide her mouth to meet his.
The moment their lips touched he felt it. Passion so thick you could cut it. And when he went past her moist lips and inserted his tongue inside her mouth, he knew he had been anticipating this very moment ever since the night they met.
He was surprised when her response was immediate, absolute and totally appetizing. The reason they were here might be orchestrated, predestined so to speak, but the sexual chemistry between them was as instantaneous and unprompted as it could get. The depth of her sensuality was enough to make him want to jump into Lake Mayers to cool off. A cold shower just wouldn’t work off the heat.
Ultimate Gamble - Book #1 of 3 in The Hennings Sisters Trilogy
Shocked, Chantel stared at the man in front of her. She fought the instant reaction of wanting to rub her eyes to make sure they weren’t deceiving her. It had been six years since she’d last seen him. Six years that she tried to forget him, and now, she realized it had all been in vain. She was more in love with him now than she had been when she was a teenager. He seemed to have become more handsome than she recalled. His brown eyes still held the mystery they used to, and his light blond hair was cut short, yet still long enough to show his hand had been raked through it several times despite the early hour. He looked taller. His shoulders were broader, and he it looked as though he exercised to stay in shape judging by the way his uniform fit.
Chantel gave herself a mental shake. What was she doing? Drooling over a man whom she shouldn’t be. Looking down at the paperwork in her hands, she used the distraction to collect her thoughts and herself. If she had read it before entering the room, she wouldn’t have been unprepared. It was too late to think about that now. She stepped farther into the room and closed the door behind her. Walking over to Garrett, she held her hand out to him and hoped he would shake it.
“It is a pleasure to see you again, Mr. Brody.”
Before he could react to her formal attitude, Chantel continued. “Tristan is more than welcome to enroll at the day care center. I would like to explain some things to you about the operations of my center, and then you make your final decision.”
Her gaze drifted over to Tristan, and another pang traveled through her chest. He was a carbon copy of Garrett, and he should be their son but wasn’t. What made it even worse was that there was no reason why he wasn’t.
Garrett had walked away from her with no explanation at all. After walking over to the little boy, she knelt beside him.
“Hi, Tristan. My name is Ms. Hennings.”
He gave her a brief look then looked to his father for approval. When Garrett gave it, Tristan grinned broadly before speaking. “Hi, Ms. Hennings.”
“How old are you, Tristan?”
Chantel smiled. He was such a sweetheart. “Do you see the box over there?”
He nodded eagerly, and she chuckled. She explained to him that it was full of toys he could play with while she talked to his dad. “It’s full of toys that you are more than welcome to play with while I speak with your dad, but you must put the toys up when you are finished playing with them.”
He agreed to the bargain, and she stood. Once she was out of his way, he headed to the toy box. She walked over to where Garrett was sitting and took the empty chair next to him.
“You are good with kids.”
“Thank you. Now to discuss the business of . . .” Her voice trailed off when Garrett’s hand touched hers.
“How have you been?”
“Fine, now if we could get—”
“Talk to me, Chantel.”
She shook her head and tried to pull her hand back, but he wouldn’t let her. “There is nothing to talk about, Mr. Brody.”
He refused to let her distract him with her formality. Instead, he leaned forward. “Yes, there is.”
“What? What could we possibly have to talk about?”
“You can tell me how you have been.”
“I already have.”
“Chantel, I know we didn’t end on a good note, but the past is the past.”
Her eyebrows rose in disbelief. “It may be easy for you to forget, but it isn’t easy for me. You know me well enough to know that I don’t make the same mistake twice.”
The doorbell rang and she made her way downstairs. Looking through the peephole, she saw it was the movers. After giving them a few general instructions she stepped back and let them get to work. She propped the front doors open and stepped outside. The movers began with the boxes. They had just gone inside with the first when Troy’s SUV pulled up followed by another. Troy didn’t have the vehicle shut off before Kevin, Michael, and Zander hopped out of the vehicle.
“Aunt Cassie,” they cried out in unison.
A smile spread across her mouth. She knelt and extended her arms, laughing as they almost knocked her over. Her nephews had definitely grown since she last saw them. It was amazing how things changed from one month to another.
“Okay boys let your aunt breathe.”
The three rascals snuck in another squeeze before moving back. She and Lora embraced before Troy swept her up into arms. Her grip on her brother was just as tight as his was on her. He swung her around and she laughed. When he stood her on her feet she placed a sisterly kiss on his cheek.
“It is good to see you.”
When he pulled back she saw five tall and strong men standing behind her brother. “Are these the guys that are here to help?”
Troy nodded and began introducing the guys that he had brought along. There was Falcon who wasn’t really her type. The fact he wore a wedding ring only confirmed it for her. Chandler was introduced to her next. He looked to be more of her typed than Falcon, but a wedding ring surrounded his finger as well. Introduction to Chad came after that and even though there wasn’t a ring on his finger physically he didn’t attract her. Tyson followed and he was more her type than Chandler but his wedding band dashed her hopes. She might be going the right route by finding an anonymous donor. The first three men she met where either not her type or attached. Not a good start.
It made her wonder if all of the decent men in California were taken. Tyson stepped aside and her breath caught in her throat. The man standing before her was breathtakingly attractive.
“This is Mark.”
He held out his hand. Luckily it was the left. What was even better was the lack of a wedding ring. It gave her hope. The instant the words left her mouth she realized what she was saying. She wasn’t looking for a man…just a baby.
“It is a pleasure to meet you,” she murmured.
Mark smiled and she was certain that her heart stopped in mid beat. “The pleasure is mine.”
It took everything that she had to force herself to remove her hand from his and turned her attention to Troy before she got herself in trouble. She wanted to strip off her clothes and jump him, from a mere handshake. Clearing her throat she smiled at her brother.
“The movers have started unloading the truck. I requested that they put the boxes and furniture into the incorrect room. It should make things a lot easier.”
Troy nodded. “Okay then, we can hang back until they finish unloading the truck. After that you can tell us what you would like done.”
She gasped in a mocking fashion. “You are going to let me tell you what to do willingly?”
Troy chuckled. “Enjoy it while you can.”
Lora shook her head before stepping forward. ”Do you have your grocery list ready?”
Cassandra gave her sister-in-law a puzzled look. “I finished it last night.”
Troy groaned and pulled out his wallet. He handed at least a hundred dollars if not more to Lora who pocketed the money.
“If you give it to me. I will go grocery shopping for you courtesy of your brother.”
She finally caught on and laughed. “Made another bet against me Troy?”
“Yes I did. I’m sure I will learn one day.”
She shook her head. “Everyone come on in. I don’t have anywhere for you guys to sit yet, but feel free to check out the house while the movers finish unloading.”
She led the way into the house. Once every one was situated, she headed for her car in the garage. Her purse was still in the glove compartment, a bad habit she was trying to break. She reached in and pulled out her grocery list. When she handed it to Lora, she told her to add beer and a few more snack items to the list for the guys.
After that Lora was out the door with the list. Several minutes later, the movers finished unloading the truck. With a sincere thank you she tipped the movers before sending them off. Turning around, she faced the six guys and three boys that were going to be working for her the next several hours. She convinced Troy and Falcon to put her bed together. Mark and Chad were assigned to rearranging any furniture that needed to be moved. She asked Chandler to assemble the equipment in the office. Tyson was responsible for setting up the bed and furniture in the downstairs guest bedroom. She gave her nephews towels to dust and clean with. It kept them preoccupied while she went upstairs.
She directed Troy and Falcon in setting up her room. Once they had it together, she sent them to organize the other guest room, then went to her office. Mark and Chandler were there. She showed them where she wanted her desk set up, as well as her bookshelves, once she had the room arranged like she wanted it she left the men to arrange the items and assemble everything that needed to be assembled.
She went back downstairs and checked on the boys. She smiled as she watched her nephews. It was so hard to believe that the boys were growing up. She could still remember holding each of them for the first time. It felt like yesterday, but looking at them now she knew that it wasn’t. Her nephews reminded her of Troy and herself growing up. Three years separated her and her brother. There were only two years separating the boys. Michael was the oldest at the age of eight. Lora and Troy were getting ready to celebrate their eleventh year of marriage.
Troy married Lora in his early twenties yet neither one of them had regretted the decision. She had always held out hope to find a man that was as good to her as Troy was to Lora. Her experience with Spencer made her hope dwindle.
Exhaling deeply, she tried to push aside the hurtful memories of the disastrous relationship she’d shared with Spencer. A connection, that in the beginning she thought might lead to something similar to what her brother and his wife, along with their parents had. Unfortunately her relationship with Spencer had fizzled out, or rather imploded, the reason why she decided to focus on her second dream instead—children.
After making sure the boys were okay and didn’t need anything she went back upstairs to her office. She began to unpack her books. Half an hour later she was finished. Just as she was getting ready to start hooking up the computer the doorbell rang. Looking out of the window she saw it was Lora. Running down the stairs she answered the door, calling to the men to come and help with the groceries in the house. Relationship
Lora helped Cassandra put away the groceries before going to help her sons dust and clean. Cassandra rubbed her hands together in anticipation because she was going to have the chance to break her new stove in. Cooking was one of her favorite hobbies. She was always trying out or coming up with a new recipe. First she had to locate the pots and pans she needed to cook with. Not to mention the dishes she would need to serve her guests.
Once she had all of the dishes out of the box and put away, she broke down the boxes. Twenty minutes later she started pasta and broccoli boiling and chicken browning. She began cutting up Parmesan for her Alfredo sauce. Smiling to herself she began to hum. She was glad for all of the help that she received today. Things went a lot smoother because of it. Now all she had to do was get the blue-eyed stranger she met today out of her mind. She didn’t come all this way to be distracted by an attractive man…unless he was willing to father her child.
She paused before speaking, giving herself some time to think. This had to be a hallucination. She was going to wake up any moment now. Although she didn’t want to if it meant Steve was going to disappear. Biting her bottom lip, she was tempted to reach down to pinch herself. But if she wasn’t dreaming it was going to hurt, and she did bruise easily. Then again she didn’t want to pinch herself if it meant Steve was going to disappear. But figment of the imagination or not, if there was one thing she needed right now it was money.
Wanting to find out more about what he was offering before she agreed to anything, she spoke hesitantly. “I’m very good at cleaning and cooking. I did it for my father for years, but I’m not good with animals especially the scaly kind.”
Steve laughed out loud, causing a few people turned to look at them. She noticed it was a nice laugh and she would like to hear it more. Still she couldn’t believe she was entertaining this idea. They were strangers. But she needed a job.
He leaned closer to her. “Well I promise that cleaning my house will be a lot easier, since I’m a neat person, I also don’t have any pets.”
She looked at him with raised eyebrows. “I think you are a little old to need a nanny.”
He chuckled. “You are right, but my four-year-old daughter isn’t.”
Lauryn’s mouth dropped open. She couldn’t hide her shock. She had to force herself to close her mouth. “Daughter?”
He nodded. “Yes, I have a little girl. Her name is Hannah and she is a angel.”
Lauryn remained quiet, not sure what to say. She looked at his hand, didn’t see a ring, and he hadn’t mentioned, a wife, but that didn’t mean anything in today’s world. A lot of men walked around without wedding rings on. But she would find out what was going on in his life relationship wise before she walked into the situation. She’d had enough surprises to last her a lifetime. “Your wife won’t mind will she?”
He smiled. “I’m not married. Never have been.”
He shook his head. “No.”
“What about Hannah’s mother?”
He sighed. “She isn’t in the picture. Hasn’t been for a while.”
Relief flowed through her veins, to find Steve wasn’t involved with another woman. Even though she might not stand a chance with him, she could see herself being jealous when it came to Steve. He was a very attractive man. Any other woman in her right mind that was dating him would probably feel the same way.