by Isobelle Cate
a Contemporary Romance
from Beau Coup Publlishing
Gracie Sinclair just wants life to return to normal.
Now a widow and picking up the pieces after the death of her husband, she delves into her work, seeking a new normal, until she bumps into a handsome stranger who derails her orderly life, completely.
Luke can’t wait for the week to be over. Having built an engineering company into a multi-million pound enterprise in record time, he feels...empty. Nothing satisfies him anymore, not even having weekenders in his bed. But when he bumps into a woman—literally—on his way out of a bar, realizing she is his last meeting before he goes on holiday, his plan of staying away from relationships takes a nose dive. He wants Gracie Sinclair.
Gracie learned a long time ago how insincere love can be, so when Luke decides to become part of her life, she tosses up every obstacle to dissuade him until he breaks down her walls and makes her realize that her life can only be complete with Luke by her side.
However, something sinister from Luke’s past threatens the happiness they have struggled to find. If he concedes, he will become criminally liable and lose everything.
If he refuses, he loses Gracie’s heart…
As they walked away from the bar, Gracie allowed the air she didn't know she was holding to whoosh out of her lungs. She shook her head as if in a daze. Good God, she was definitely needy all right! No surprise there. It was mostly work and home for her with the occasional drinks after work with Matt. She hardly took notice of men's interest in her, if any. But this man, in his impeccably cut suit with eyes that looked at her as though she was the only woman in the room, was causing her body to react in ways that made her want to be fucked underneath the lamplight, out in the cold, knowing the heat of sex would adequately warm her.
Gracie gave out a ragged sigh. This was getting too dangerous. And for God's sake, he was younger than she was, she castigated herself silently.
"This way." She had to clear her throat when her voice came out raspy.
They walked in silence with Gracie leading the way to where she parked her car. She didn't even know his name, which was probably better. What if he was a rapist? Or a serial killer?
She balked at the thought. She didn't need to add to her problems by daydreaming about a stranger, whose name could just get stuck in her mind, affecting her with the last song syndrome. Even if he was a potential threat.
She fished her car keys from her bag as they neared her car. The keys spoke protruded in between her third and forefingers in case he did something stupid. She beeped the locks open before turning to him to get the folders out of his arms.
"Fold the seat so that I can put these in the back."
The way he ordered her should have grated on her nerves. It didn't. It should have scared her. The effect was the opposite. She couldn't understand why suddenly she wanted him to take the lead. To let go of her control to him.
Damn, where did that come from?
Reluctantly, she pressed the release button to bring the driver's seat forward. She readjusted the seat after he deposited the folders inside.
"Thank you." A short smile graced her mouth. "I really appreciate it."
"It's not a problem." He extended his hand. His long tapered fingers were sexy, making Gracie wonder what it would be like to have those fingers trail against her skin, her body. Would her skin ripple underneath his touch? Or was this her imagination blowing it all out of proportion? Oh God, this was so not right! Was she so sex-starved that she even considered having sex with a possible threat? He must have noticed her hesitation because the next thing he said brought a flush of embarrassment to her cheeks.
"I'm not going to bite." The side of his mouth curved upward, amusement in his voice. "I'm not a rapist either."
"I didn't say you were." Gracie retorted, feeling herself redden more.
"You didn't have to."
She stopped to look at him. The deep timbre of his voice oozed like dark honey across her skin. Holy crap. He was sex personified. The subject of her fantasies during the lonely nights that had become so much a part of her life. Underneath the street lamps, his hair was thick and dark. A dark brown, maybe? His chiseled face with those deep blue eyes, complimented by a firm mouth with a slightly fuller bottom lip had Gracie wanting to suck on it.
With a sigh, she extended her hand. What was the harm in putting her hand on his? It was just a handshake. But the moment his hand enveloped hers, something warm and sensual gave a low buzz through her. The sparks that started from her fingertips, to her palm and into her nerves gave her a jolt. His handshake was firm, no problem with that. But why, oh why, did she think it was also erotic? She looked down at their hands. Her hand encased in his, his fingers curled around her mound of Venus, her imagination going wild. She shivered. How could a simple handshake tease the carnal gland buried in her neurons, coaxing it to the surface when it was already past its 'use by' date?
Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks. Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist. Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations: the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins. Her vision and passion are fuelled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend.
Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.
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