by: Anna J. Stewart
Series: Tremayne Family
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2015
The troublesome Tremayne family is back in the next captivating romance from the author of Asking for Trouble.
Former beauty queen Sheila Tremayne looks dainty, but she’s tougher than she seems. The hard-as-nails business woman is determined to bring down corruption among Lantano Valley’s rich and powerful. Her latest scheme to get technology tycoon Chadwick Oliver is going perfectly until a distraction arrives in the form of Malcolm—the man who broke her heart and who happens to be Chadwick’s son…
Malcolm spent five long years away after his father publicly blamed him for some shady business dealings. Now he’s back to exact some revenge. Reconnecting with Sheila was never part of the plan, but the second he sees her, there’s no way he can resist…
Sheila and Malcolm quickly fall into the sizzling passion between them, but Malcolm has no intention of staying once he’s finished with his father—even if leaving Sheila again might be more than he can bear...
“Dammit, Malcolm.” Sheila resisted the urge to press trembling fingers against her fluttering chest. He leaned against the wall, hands in his pockets, a knowing gleam in his eyes. He’d thrown off her plans twice in one night. Two times too many. “I thought you’d gone downstairs.” Nope.”
Nothing more, just one word. Nothing on his face, just passivity. Once upon a time she’d have been able to read his expression, identify his moods, but not now. Not when it mattered.
“So, did you?”
“Did I what?” Sheila kicked out a leg and tapped restless fingers against her hip.
“Find what you were looking for?”
Find what she was—“Oh, my bracelet you mean?” Shit. “No, actually. I guess I was wrong—”
“You mean it wasn’t in the vault?”
“The vault?” She blinked, scrambling for an escape route out of the conversation. A distraction. Anything . . .
His hand whipped up and caught her chin, turning her face to his as he stepped closer, amber eyes hot as he stared into her surprised gaze. His breath caressed her skin, hot, intense. “No lies, Sheila. I’ve had enough to last me a lifetime.”
Sheila swallowed and attempted to ignore the heat moving through her body where he touched her, trying not to remember how it felt to be locked in his arms, to be the center of his attention, his world. Beneath his piercing gaze, the insistence she couldn’t avoid, there was also the shadow of the man she’d known, but it was the man who had walked away from her as easily as if she’d been a one-night stand.
“Then don’t ask,” she whispered as she reached up and wrapped her hand around his wrist, willing him to pretend he hadn’t seen, that he didn’t know where she’d been.
“Will it hurt him?”
His question caught her off guard but she managed to quell the unease roiling inside her as she found her way out. Mutual hatred and distrust of his father could very well forge a bond she’d be unable to break. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t use it. Or him. “Yes.”
He seemed about to say something, but instead he tugged her closer and dipped his head, catching her mouth with his. Malcolm had always known how to kiss, the kind of kiss that emptied a woman’s mind and left her reeling, flying, grasping onto him as if he were air in an oxygen-deprived room. Sheila might have thought her cells were exploding were it not for the fact that her bones felt like they were melting, and all she could do was cling to him, a soft whimper of longing escaping her throat as she gripped his shoulders.
“Sheila,” he whispered against her lips, as he drew away enough to press his forehead to hers. His fingers stroked her cheeks, down the side of her throat. “I’ve missed you.”
She wanted to say the same, had dreamed of saying the same, of convincing him to come back to her, to see how things could be with them. But their chance was gone. Neither of them were who they had been and Sheila wasn’t about to go backward. She couldn’t. Not with so much pain there.
“I—” She lifted fingers to his lips to silence him, pulling herself free of what she’d wanted once upon a time, shoving down the feelings she’d held for him all those years ago. Feelings she couldn’t let herself surrender to ever again. “Let’s consider that the good-bye we never had.” The good-bye he’d never allowed her. She pressed her lips together, feeling the warmth of his kiss, the taste of his lips on hers. “I have to get to work.”
She stepped away and surprised herself when her knees didn’t shake. When he caught her arm, she had to count to five before she could look at him, afraid of what she might see. Or feel.
“Be careful.” The steel in his eyes made her insides quake. “Whatever you’re up to with my father, please be careful.”
“You, too.” And there it was, surprise mingling with shock. “As much as you love your grandmother, Alcina isn’t the reason you’ve come back, is she?”
“No. She isn’t.”
She nodded. “I’ll be seeing you.” But she hoped she wouldn’t. She’d lost him once. She wouldn’t put herself in the position of losing him again.
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Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family rich stories with happy endings for her independent heroines. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her).
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