by: Noelle Adams
Series: Rothman Royals
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Holiday
Releases: November 29, 2017
Publisher: Self Published
I might be a former party girl and the over-indulged daughter of a multi-millionaire, but for the last few years I've been trying to work hard and be good. I have enough right now to deal with--graduate school, my community literacy program, preparations for Christmas, and my dad's constant attempts to find me a husband. I definitely don't want to put up with Henry always hanging around, acting obnoxious and looking far too sexy.
My boss forced me to take on Henry as a literacy volunteer for the month of December. I don't know anything about him except he's from somewhere in Europe, and he's spoiled, entitled, arrogant, stubborn... and incredibly hot. He's the kind of guy I've been trying to stay away from. Plus he's got a secret--something he's hiding from me.
Now I can't think of anything but him, and I'm stuck with him until Christmas is over.
“Are you still lonely now?” His voice was low and warm and slightly husky—comforting but not exactly sexy.
I shook my head. “No. I’ve got my dad now and some real friends, and I’ve got my volunteer work and graduate school. I’ve got a full life. It’s not perfect, of course, but it’s a good one. I’m not lonely like I used to be.”
“Good. I’m glad.”
I felt my cheeks warming as I realized I was spilling my guts to this guy I barely knew. I had no idea why I was doing it. I didn’t think I even liked him, but I still felt compelled to answer his questions, to open up in a way I almost never did with anyone.
“Anyway,” I said lamely, fidgeting with my napkin. “That’s me. What about you?”
“What about me?”
“I’ve told you about me, so now you tell me about you. Where are you from?”
For the first time since I’d sat down at the table, his eyes took on that flirtatious, teasing glint. “Where do you think I’m from?”
I gave him a little eye-roll. “Somewhere in Europe. But I can’t exactly place your accent.”
“Well, keep working on it.”
My soft feelings of closeness to him were vanishing quickly with a wave of familiar annoyance. “You mean you really aren’t going to tell me where you’re from?”
“It’s more fun for you to guess.”
I gave an exasperated sigh and straightened up in my chair. “Just when I thought you might actually be a decent guy, you turn obnoxious again.”
“You must bring it out in me.”
God, he was cute. And sexy. And nearly impossible to resist.
I almost—almost—let myself smile back.
Instead, I summoned all my strength and fortitude and gave him a lofty frown. “Well then, thank you for the hot chocolate. I better get home.”
He reached into the backpack next to his chair and pulled out a billfold. He left a twenty on the table and stood up at the same time I did. “So you’re annoyed with me again?”
“Don’t put it on me. You got obnoxious again. That’s what happened.”
He chuckled, his eyes resting on my face with that amused fondness that made my heart race in a truly ridiculous way. “Ah. I see. I am corrected.”
“You stand corrected.”
“Why do I stand?”
“That’s the expression. I stand corrected. Not that I am corrected.”
“Got it.” He gave me another little grin.
I tried not to smile back. I really did. And I kept trying as he walked me down the block to where I’d parked my car in the private lot behind the community center.
As I opened the driver’s door, he seemed to be standing too close to me. I could feel the heat from his body. I really wanted to touch his chest, his shoulders, the bristles on his jaw that seemed to glint with gold.
I cleared my throat. “Okay,” I said briskly. “See you tomorrow.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow.” The way he said the words was very different from the way I’d said them. Mine had been a casual dismissal. His was more like a husky promise.
I did my best not to shiver as I gave him a little push back so I could open the door all the way and get in behind the wheel. “Bye.”
I slammed the door and tried not to keep looking at him as I backed out of the parking space, exited the lot, and pulled onto the road.
I might have glanced back a few times, but I really couldn’t help it.
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Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.
She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.
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