Ophelia Broulliard’s life has always been linked to the wealthy and powerful DuChamps family. The granddaughter of the family’s housekeeper, she’s worshipped Vincent DuChamps from afar--the ever unattainable prince in her fairy tale dreams. Little does she know that Vincent harbors his own secret feelings for her, but other darker secrets that he sees as an insurmountable obstacle to ever being the man she deserves, have prompted him to avoid her altogether.
When Thomas, the family patriarch dies, his will bears some unpleasant surprises for them both. Thomas wants nothing more than for Vincent and his siblings to be happy, and in his final act as the only father figure they’ve ever had, engineers a series of contingencies in his will that require them each to face their demons. Only too aware of what Vincent really feels for Ophelia, Thomas creates a situation that will force Vincent to confront his feelings. Unless, Vincent and Ophelia marry, Vincent and his siblings will lose everything, including the family business.
Forced into such close proximity, denying their attraction for one another becomes impossible. But even as they grow closer, other threats to the future of DuChamps Hotels and all that Vincent holds dear threaten to destroy their burgeoning relationship. Ophelia has played it safe her whole life. Taking a risk on Vincent is a frightening prospect. Will it be worth it, or will his secrets break both their hearts?
The girlhood crush had never quite vanished, but this almost painful need was too much to bear. She could smell his cologne, the scent light and subtle, but wholly masculine. It made her want to rub against him like a cat, just so she could smell his scent on her.
While he stared down at her hand, applying the small bandage, she stared at his face, noting the dark shadows beneath his eyes. They told the truth of how difficult it was for him. It wasn’t just that he and Thomas were family. Thomas had been his mentor, his friend, and the only father he’d ever known. Vincent respected and admired him, but more than that, he needed him.
“You look tired, Vincent.”
He quirked an eyebrow, his expression sardonic. “So I hear.”
It had slipped out, an admission that she shouldn’t have made. Acknowledging to anyone how frequently Vincent crossed her mind or how often she studied his face was dangerous.
When he looked up at her, their gazes locked and Ophelia’s breath simply froze. Her lungs seized and she could do nothing but stare into his coal-black eyes and pray that everything she felt for him wasn’t written all over her face.
It was only when he drew her hand up and placed it against his chest, directly over his racing heart that she realized he’d even still been holding it. The firmness of muscle and the springy mat of chest hair beneath the cotton of his shirt was too much temptation to resist. She caressed that muscle lightly and watched as his eyes blazed with lust.
His expression changed to something she could only describe as carnal, predatory even. He stepped closer to her, backing her against the island.
She let out a sigh, savoring the sensation of his closeness, of the heat from his body scorching her.
His mouth was only inches from her and the anticipation of waiting for the kiss that seemed so inevitable was agonizing. “Tell me to stop,” he demanded.
“You shouldn’t,” she whispered, unable to find her voice.
“I shouldn’t stop or I shouldn’t kiss you, Ophelia? Which is it?”
She knew the right answer, the answer she ought to give. Instead, she sank against him, savoring the heat, the hard planes of his body against hers. Her eyes closed softly as she raised her lips to his.
The heat between them sparked, flared, then raged out of control. She might have initiated that first tentative touch of their lips, but he quickly seized the reins.
His lips were firm as they settled over hers, demanding. When his teeth scraped her bottom lip, nipping roughly and then soothing with his tongue, she couldn’t hold back the low moan. Each gentle tug and pull as he sucked at her lips, the sensual glide of his tongue against hers as he swept it into her mouth was overwhelmingly intense.
It was as if he’d peered inside her and knew what she wanted even before he she did. Heat suffused her, spreading throughout her body. He tasted of bourbon and the spice that was simply him. Sliding her hands up and over the breadth of his shoulders, she clasped her hands behind his neck, bringing them even closer.
His hands moved over her back, down to her hips, pressing against her.
Release Date 6-11-13, only at Amazon. Priced at 2.99. Next book in the series will be out in August!
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