Safe With Me is available on audio!

Hey Reading Family!

The Rose men are making their way to audio and Jonas Alexander Rose is up first! Safe With Me is now available for your listening pleasure by clicking this LINK.

ABOUT SAFE WITH ME:

Small-business owner and financial advisor Samiyah Manhattan is mourning the death of her six-year marriage when she vows never to trust men again. Alone at a local bar, Samiyah attempts to put her situation in perspective when she is drawn inexorably to the presence of a nearby patron. 

Celebrity ex-boxer and heavyweight champion turned business mogul Jonas Alexander Rose never takes women too seriously. They only attach themselves to him because of his star-studded status. However, when he meets the beautiful Samiyah Manhattan mulling over a mimosa at his favorite bar and grill, Jonas is overwhelmed by the heart-throbbing, heated attraction, and now he is on a mission to explore this thing called love. But can Jonas break the barrier that Samiyah’s put up, and is he even ready? 

Find out if Jonas and Samiyah are a match made in heaven or if they will miss out on their happily ever after in Safe with Me.

Contains mature themes.

Once you’re done reading, be sure to leave a review and let me know what you think!

Move Your Body is Available Now!

Kickstart Dance Studio owner Tatiana Anderson is excited about her squad’s upcoming competition at the Afro Caribbean Carnivale. Practicing day and night has her team in tip-top shape, and she’s confident they will take home the win. That is, until she discovers the rival dance studio across the street is who they’ll be facing off against.

And not only will they compete for the victory, but getting to know the leader, Messiah West, has Tatiana wondering if they’re battling for something a little more. Determined to ward off any sentiments of desire, Tatiana’s guard remains elevated. But Messiah’s perseverance is just as strong in his ambition to break down her walls.

Click HERE to download a copy of Move Your Body now and be sure to leave a review!

Sunday Sample – In Pursuit of You

Hey reading family! I hope your holidays have been great so far. We’re three days away from Christmas so surely you’re done shopping. Right?

I did all my shopping online from the same store so thankfully I was done last month. 🙂

Today however, here’s a little sample of our upcoming release, In Pursuit of You. It is currently available for pre-order and will hit your kindles in TWO days!

Enjoy!

Chapter One

Club Sangria

December 1st

“Are you sure this looks okay?” Avery asked.

Tina Braddon took an eye over her best friend’s body-hugging knee-length turtleneck dress.

“Are you kidding?”

Avery fidgeted with the hem of her garb. “You wouldn’t lie to me, would you?”

“Girl, after I just stood in that long line in freezing temperatures with you, you think I’d lie?” Tina’s cheeks rose as she squinted. “Why didn’t we have VIP access if you were invited to this thing, anyway?”

Tina glanced around Club Sangria, already feeling the heat from the bodies gyrating inside as they sauntered deeper into the party.  

“Because I told him I was busy.”

Tina placed her hands on her waist, then paused her stroll, halting Avery’s progress as she leaned into a hip. “Why’d you tell him that? It’s obvious you like him.”

“How is it obvious?” Avery fidgeted with her turtleneck.

“Would you stop doing that?” Tina tugged Avery’s fingers, and Avery dropped her hands and took in a deep breath. “Why are you so nervous? I’ve seen you stand in front of a crowd of thousands with a microphone in your hands having more poise than this—what’s going on?”

As the owner of WTZB Chicago news station, Avery Michele had found herself in positions most owners normally wouldn’t. Because her station was still filling open positions for the last two years—Avery occasionally found herself in front of the camera acting as a reporter, and behind the anchor desk as well. She was also engaged in meetings with top executives in ongoing efforts to expand the network.

As the sole heir to her grandfather’s legacy, she’d inherited the business upon his passing. Now, after five years as the station’s owner, Avery wanted to do what her grandfather always wanted—to see WTZB flourish.

But even with her master’s degree in journalism and being the most extroverted person in the room on most occasions, Avery couldn’t shake the butterflies that fluttered in spirited animation, knowing the man she spent restless nights dreaming about was near.

Bringing her focus back to Tina’s squinting leer, Avery sighed.

“I just want to make sure I look my best. I…” She cleared her throat. “For some reason, spending time with this man makes me feel…” She pursed her lips and moved her eyes around the gallery of partygoers.

“Makes you feel…” Tina leaned in, her shoulder-length hair brushing her shoulders as if to rush Avery to her conclusion.

“Like, I want to get to know him better. In a way that I could possibly learn to…love him.” Tina’s eyes lurched, and Avery was hasty with her follow-up explanation. “I’m not saying I love him because…” she stuttered, “God, I don’t. I mean. I don’t know him well enough to, you know.” She linked her hands to give them a place to rest because of the nerves that bounced through her entire body.

“See, that’s what I meant when I said it’s obvious you like him. The few times I’ve seen you guys in the same room you get all doe-eyed and you stop listening to me.”

“What do you mean, I stop listening to you?

“You can’t focus on anything but him. And vice versa. Y’all are cute together, by the way.”

“But we are not together. We’re just friends.”

“How many times have I heard that before?”

Avery frowned and cocked her head to the side. “I haven’t—”

“I mean, in your lifetime. Most of the time, when a woman is hiding the true nature of her relationship, she hides it behind the guise of ‘just friends.’ Which is total bullshit, by the way.”

The DJ came through the speakers. “Come on in, beautiful ladies. And fellas, make sure you keep our guests comfortable tonight. We want to have a great time as we celebrate the collaboration of Valentine Innova-Corp and NASA.”

The crowd cheered, with patrons throwing their hands up and some shouting in merriment.

“Congratulations, DeAndre Valentine.” The DJ pointed toward the railing that wrapped around the inside of the third floor, and all eyes traveled to find DeAndre Valentine move to the edge of the clearing, a broad smile brightening his handsome, bearded face. “We’re here to party with you all night, brother. Much love and respect for your growing business endeavors!”

The crowd cheered again as DeAndre tilted his head and held up a hand in salute.

“I think it’s time that you make yourself known,” Tina said.

Avery nodded. “Let’s go.” She turned to leave, but Tina’s resting palm on her shoulder gave her pause.

“I think I just saw Malik Anthony Clark,” Tina said. “Sooo I’mma head to the dance floor.”

She was no longer looking in Avery’s direction as she was all but zeroed in on Malik’s supremely rich chocolate skin. Malik and his brothers Derek James Clark, Tristian Neil Clark, and Langston Jamal Clark were the infamous Clarks of Northshire Bend—a high-class African-American family who were famous for their philanthropy efforts.

“So, knowing I’m nervous, you’re going to leave me?”

Tina turned back to Avery. “You won’t want me there once you get caught up in his attention. You’ll probably forget I’m there. But hey, look on the bright side, I’m still in the club, and if ever there’s a moment you need me, text me. My phone is on vibrate, so it’ll make my titties jiggle.

Avery laughed out loud, letting her head fall back.

Tina nodded, knowing her jokes would calm Avery.

“Feel better?” Tina asked.

“You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” Avery squinted, and her face reflected her happiness.

“You know how I do. Wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t try to attempt to calm you and send you off with confidence.”

“Or maybe you just want to get me out of your hair so you can go take Malik from that girl he’s dancing with.”

“That, too.”

Avery laughed as Tina spun around and sashayed to the dance floor. She couldn’t—and wouldn’t—blame her friend, but still, as she watched her tap Malik on his shoulder and lured him to her with the collar of his shirt, Avery snapped out of her nervousness—instead, drawing on Tina’s confidence, she headed to the staircase that led to the third floor.

Meandering around people coming down, then shaking one guy off who decided to grab her to get her attention, Avery continued up her path to get to him.

At the rope that separated the club from the VIP, she stood behind five other women who were trying to impress the security guard with their looks in order to gain entrance into the area. He gave them the attention they were looking for, smiling, and winking while he admired their racy looks. But still, he sent them away after finding their names weren’t on the list.

Avery bit down on her lip. She should’ve never told DeAndre she wasn’t coming. The thought of being turned away like the other women gave her pause.

“What’s your name, pretty lady?”

Avery’s brows rose. “Huh?” She snapped from her thoughts to look at the guard. “Oh, um, I’m probably not on that list, either.” He gave her a look that said too bad. “But Mr. Valentine and I are close friends, so if you let him know I’m here, I’m sure he’ll let me in.”

“Unfortunately, miss, I can’t leave my post.”

“Oh.”

He saw her eyes dim.

“Okay, then, don’t worry about it. I’ll catch Mr. Valentine when he comes out.”

“Why don’t you give me your name, and we can check to see if you’re on the list.”

She started to decline. “I don’t know.”

He shrugged. “It can’t hurt. You’re either on the list, or you’re not.”

She smiled. “Avery Michele.”

The guard lifted an iPad and scrolled through the list of names.

“Avery Michele,” he said with a smile. “You’re on the list.”

Avery’s eyes lit up, and the guard winked, then removed the rope and stepped to the side.

“Wow, okay, thank you.”

“It’s not my business, and usually I don’t get in other’s business, but I feel the need to tell you to just chill. Be yourself. I can tell this is your first time at one of Mr. Valentine’s parties. He’s a pretty upstanding guy. No need to be worried or unsure of yourself.”

“Damn,” Avery said, “Am I that transparent?”

The guard smiled. “Yeah. But remember my advice, and you’ll be fine.”

“Thanks.”

“Enjoy your night.”

“You, too.”

Avery turned to take an eye over the interior of the VIP room. It was decorated with maroon and navy blue furniture, accent chairs, plush sofas, and drapery to match. A never-ending bar wrapped the length of the wall, disappearing into another room that Avery couldn’t see.

But she didn’t need to because when her eyes landed on a muscular, stocky build, accentuated behind a white button-down that stretched over intricate biceps, her belly clenched at the same time her heart jigged behind her breasts.

He was talking in a circle of family and friends, people Avery recognized instantly.

Brothers—Hunter, Xavier, Lance, Raphael, and Kyle Valentine. Beautifully designed men in chocolate skin that spanned them from head to toe. Goatees, beards, freshly cut and groomed, their personal styles perpetuated by the taste of their unique swagger.

DeAndre’s mouth spread into a broad smile, and a burly guffaw drummed into the air, making Avery’s ovaries shift with excitement.

Then it happened. DeAndre scanned the room, his gaze landing on her quietly watching him from the entrance. His highlighted smile eased to a subtle grin, his lids dipping as his lustful eyes traveled over her form.

Stepping out of the circle, DeAndre made no mention to the others about his departure, only strolled on the strength of his iron masculinity in her direction.

“Avery Michele…” his thick voice stroked. “What a beautiful surprise.”

A tiny smile made her cheeks rise into a blush.

“Hey.”

“Hello,” he responded, his gaze a dark twinkle of excitement.

“I was surprised to find my name on the list.”

“Why?”

“Well, I knew you didn’t think I was coming, so…”

“Yeah, but I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to get you next to me should you change your mind.” His gaze traveled her again. “Like now.”

Avery’s cheeks burned with heat. “If I had known that, we wouldn’t have stood in that line outside so long…” she chuckled, trying to make some of those butterflies settle down by being comical.

DeAndre’s brows dipped. “Sweetheart. You will always be on the list now.”

She shook off a shiver, and DeAndre stepped closer, his arm sliding around her waist to pull her into the heat of his aura.

“You’re cold,” he surmised.

“I’m thawing now.”

They chuckled, and he nodded. “Good.”

The music changed, and “Tonight” by Summer Walker replaced the previous upbeat tempo.

“Do you dance, Ms. Michele?”

“Only if you call me Avery.”

His ginger-and-coffee brown skin was highlighted by the appreciation in his lifting mouth.

“You have a gorgeous smile,” she added.

DeAndre’s mouth dropped slightly, and he chuckled. “Girl, don’t be stealing my lines.”

Avery laughed, and he enjoyed her merriment, clearing his throat in an attempt to calm the stirring in his gut.

“Nah, I’m kidding, Avery.”

They stepped into a grinding dance. Avery accepting his pull as her arms slid up his chest to wrap around the thick column of his throat. Heat trapped them in a blanket of warmth, and the spicy scent of his cologne tingled her nose.

“So tell me, Avery, what made you change your mind about attending tonight’s gathering?”

Her lashes fluttered. “I wanted to celebrate you.” She shrugged. “Tonight’s the best time for that. So, here I am.”

“You mean you wanted to celebrate with me?”

Her smile was flattering. “No, I meant celebrate you. It’s not every day a handsome, educated, successful black man snags a deal with NASA. You should be celebrated.”

DeAndre eased out of her space, taking a step back and twirling before reentering her space to reclaim her body once again.

Avery laughed as her body tingled all over at his shenanigans, ignited by his wide-spreading smile, grinding hips, heated touch, and penetrating gaze.

“So you think you can call me handsome, and I wouldn’t notice it?”

Avery held on to a closed-mouth smirk before responding. “What I said is the truth. I’m not telling you anything you’re probably not used to hearing.”

“On the contrary. The same words spoken still make a difference when experienced with such a coiling warmth of animation, sweetheart.”

Avery’s heart sprang in an upbeat of invigoration.

“Same,” she managed to whisper.

Somehow, without any effort of their own, their bodies compressed as if melting into one another, charging their loins with potency neither of them could dismiss. DeAndre lost his reserve for a second, slipping masculine fingers into her hair and drawing her mouth so close their breaths bounced between their lips.

Static charged their center, and his dick grew up her belly where it pressed into her navel, formidable, and unwavering.

“Oh…” She blinked as a gasp left her mouth, and her eyes widened.

DeAndre snapped out of his lustful haze just then, alarmed and taking a full step back.

He cursed. “Avery, I apologize, I…”

“Uh, no!” She reached out to him, clasping his forearm to stop his retreat. “You’re okay. I promise.” Her smile calmed him, and he dropped his head a bit and smirked.

“Come back,” she said, tugging on him.

DeAndre reclaimed her eye, then glanced around before settling back on her.

“Walk with me.”He slipped his hand into hers and led Avery to the bar.

Give Me A Reason A Preview

“There’s someone I want you to meet.”

Her mom’s brow rose, and her eyes held a twinkle of excitement. 

“Someone like a man?”

Allison smirked. “Yes.”

“When do I get to meet this man?” In the distance, Mrs. Sullivan’s gaze captured the stride of a tall, confident specimen headed in their direction. She noticed him immediately as Lance Valentine. Knowing he was someone her daughter crushed on from afar, Margaret snapped a finger and whispered as she leaned in again, “Hot tamale, two o’clock.”

Allison’s brows dipped. “Huh?”

Mrs. Sullivan cleared her throat and went to speak again. “I think he’s coming to our table.”

Allison was slow in moving. By the time she realized what was going on, Lance was upon her.

“Good afternoon.”

The dark drum of his soothing voice filled Allison with an array of warmth. Her pussy thumped, and her body shifted as she worked to calm a quiver. Looking over her shoulder, Allison’s eyes connected with the piercing stare of Lance Valentine, and with another step, he stood beside their table with a bouquet of roses in both hands. 

“Beauty…” he said, giving Allison an improper once over. Lance’s gaze shifted to Mrs. Sullivan, “Twins,” he said. Lance glanced between Allison and her mother. “You didn’t tell me you had a twin.”

Mrs. Sullivan smiled from ear to ear, her cat-like eyes dipping and fluttering with appreciation. Allison smirked and chuckled a bit, catching Lance’s wink as he glanced at her again.

“For you,” he said, offering the roses to each of them.

“Thank you,” they sang. 

“Mother, this is Lance Valentine; Lance, this is my mother, Mrs. Margaret Sullivan.”

Mrs. Sullivan held out her hand gracefully, taking a close eye over his well-built stock shoulders, tailored Brioni suit that fit him so immaculately each edge of his physique was accommodated by the material. 

“I know who Lance Valentine is. So, does everyone who’s got their camera phones out recording right now.” Mrs. Sullivan beamed and lifted her chin. “Have a seat, Lance. My daughter didn’t tell me we would be on the evening news.”

A smooth rising laugh seeped from his throat.

“Let me be the one to apologize,” he said. “I didn’t give Allison much of a choice.”

New Release!

GMaR ebook

The Lunch Break Series

Hola! I’ve got some exciting news to share with you today.

In 2013 I started a short story series in which I titled, “The Lunch Break Series.” What I wanted to do was create a series of short story standalones that could be read on your lunch break hour. It was purely for the reader who didn’t have the time to read a full book but wanted the same experience when reading a full. Well, I got two books into that short story series when I abandoned it.

Fast forward to 2018. I’ve completely revamped my “Lunch Break Series.” This series will be a novella size series which is a little longer than a short story (because I’m longwinded lol) and will be the contemporary romance you’ve fallen in love with when reading from me. It is for your enjoyment while waiting on one of my full novels to release.

The first book in my Lunch Break Series comes to you next week! I haven’t decided whether to put up a preorder, but the likelihood of me doing so is greater than not. If you’d like to be notified when the pre-order goes live, and get inside scoop on this story, join my Facebook group or follow me on Instagram.

COVER REVEAL

If I Could Stay

He has never loved another since she left, but now, for 24 hours, they’ll reunite, again.

Fever

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I woke up to warm soft kisses against my cheek and thin prickly hair tickling my chin. I smiled and moaned softly as the kisses trailed down my neck, chest, then swirled around my breasts. Instantly, my eyes shot open and gradually I glanced down. The sight of Josiah’s sexy, muscular physique and tempting mouth sent a flame burning through me within seconds. I wore only a bikini top and bottoms. It was then that I noticed my surroundings.

“Oh my God,” I said.

Josiah continued to kiss down my body as I took it all in. We were laying in a hammock that hung from the entrance of what appeared to be a cave. A waterfall fell over us, and interestingly enough, we weren’t wet, nor were we cold. I moaned when his lips touched my sex, even threw the lacy material.

“Where are we?”

Josiah paused and peered up at me.

“The blue hole,” his baritone voice rumbled.

Then I remembered last night’s activities. Once I’d agreed to go with him, Josiah had taken me by the hand, and we’d driven for about an hour before coming to Ocho Rios. We stopped at a local nightclub for a few drinks and talked about our time in Jamaica, neither of us wanting to see it come to an end with the two days remaining on our trip.

“We’ll come back, just you and I,” Josiah had promised.

That started it. We left the bar and strolled to the entrance of a creek and found access to a river raft. As we sailed downstream, we kissed. It began moderate but gradually intensified into a passionate dance between our tongues that melted my bones and scorched my skin. I was not the type of woman to hold back. I still wasn’t sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I hadn’t had any complaints, so I took it in stride. However, in that moment, I second-guessed myself. It lasted all of two seconds before I found my way on top of his lap, grinding through our clothes. They disappeared, piece by piece, and the raft rocked as it traveled to somewhere I didn’t give a damn about. My only focus was on Josiah.

It was apparent that we’d ventured off to the blue hole, and the sex I wanted to believe we had was absent from my memory. I wanted to ask him as he laid a trail of kisses back up my thighs, but I was afraid if we had and I’d forgotten, it would ruin his ego.

“Didn’t get enough?” I asked, trying to pick his brain without being obvious.

He paused again and cocked his head, amused.

“Didn’t get any,” his deep voice barked. “We fell off the raft, remember?”

My mind roamed for the memory.

“You probably don’t,” he continued. “We shouldn’t have had anything to drink before our excursion.”

“What happened?”

“When we fell overboard, I had to find you and bring you back to the surface. You weren’t breathing.” His eyes darkened. “So, I gave you mouth to mouth resuscitation. You came to, choking up water and laughing.” He pierced a look at me. “I wanted to head back, but you refused, running into the water like you’d lost your mind. That’s how we ended up here.”

I looked over at the waterfall. It hid us from anyone or anything. Watching it from behind was surreal. I then turned to the open cave. Rigid edges hung from the ceiling, and the claylike structure darkened the deeper it went.

“This is nuts,” I said.

“You’re adventurous,” he said. “I like it, albeit a bit out of control at times.”

“Free-spirited,” I defended. “Besides, I remember someone asking me if I was feeling reckless.”

“Mmm, I’ll take that.”

“Sure you will.” I smiled and bit my lip. “So what time is it?”

“I’m not sure,” he mused.

My eyes widened. “What do you mean you’re not sure? Oh my God, we have a wedding to attend. Desiree is going to kill me if I’m late!”

“That’s true,” he said more calmly than I liked.

“How the hell do we get down from here?”

That wicked smile crept along his mouth. “We get wet.”

My body heated at the same time I blubbered, “Wha-what?”

His deep laughed echoed through the open cave, then he tilted his head toward the water below.

“We jump, beloved.”

My eyes rose in surprise. Without warning, Josiah grabbed me, wrapping his arms around my waist, sealing us together.

“On the third kiss, hold your breath,” he said.

“What!?”

He jumped, and I couldn’t believe it. His wet mouth found my face and neck, and by the third kiss, my feet hit the water, and we were underneath the aqua blue lake. His hold remained strong as he swam with me clutching him for dear life to the surface. When we pulled up, I took in a massive breath.

“You’re crazy!” I yelled.

Josiah splashed me with water.

“Yeah, and you love it.”

cover

Grab this new release that’s available now on Amazon!

 

New Release!

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God this is the last place I needed to be. I glanced around the large Hilton Hotel suite admiring the elegance of its interior. Sitting in a luxurious leather Barcelona chair, I pulled my leg up crossing it over my thigh and settled into the comfort of the soft material. Bringing my focus back to Julian, my limb bounced as I waited for him to answer my question.

His dark gray eyes stilled as he followed the spring of my leg, and I hoped I was making him as uncomfortable as he made me. I had many talks with myself on the drive over, once I found out lunch would be in his suite, my belly tossed. Suddenly, I was as warm as an oven. But, I managed not to stare at his smooth-shaven face no matter how bad his enticing mouth beckoned me to.

Straightening a bit in my seat, I reverted to my question. “I’ll take that as a no.”

Finally, his gaze left my legs and came back to my face; but not without riding the swell of my thighs, breasts, and lips first. I made it a point not to squirm at the ripple of chills crawling up my skin.

“No, it’s not a coincidence that I’m in Houston. Mr. Walls has been on my radar for a few years now, wanting to get first dibs on a spread.”

Mr. Walls being my boss, Fredrick Walls the third. “So, what made you finally give in?”

His fingers coiled together and sat in a fist on top of the table as he leaned in. “Let’s just say, I’ve been given a little motivation to help Mr. Walls out.”

I wanted to question him further but didn’t want to push the bounds of the professional space we were working in. He offered no more explanation, so I didn’t press him about his sudden appearance in my city.

“Is there a problem, Ms. Stevens?”

“Not at all,” I adjusted myself in the seat. “It’s just the last time I saw you was at Jaden and Claudia’s engagement dinner in Chicago. It seems,” I hesitated wondering if I should move forward with my thought.

“You’re free to speak, Ms. Stevens. Tell me, what does my appearance here in Houston seem to you?”

Exhaling lightly, I reached over to my briefcase and pulled out a note pad and ink pen.

“I’m good,” I said. “How about you tell me where the idea of shooting a spread in Dubai resonated from.”

His eyes fell to my notepad then back to my face. “Are you sure that’s what you want to know, Ms. Stevens?”

“Julian…” I said. He quirked an eyebrow. “It’s okay if I call you Julian, right?”

“I would prefer it.”

“You don’t have to call me Ms. Stevens. We’ve been on a casual name basis since I saw you sitting next to my mother in her hospital room.”

A wide grin trudged across his lips. “I wasn’t sure if it would be apropos in this particular situation. However, if you’re fine with it, so am I.”

“I’m fine with it,” I quipped. I’m fine with whatever you want, I thought. When Julian pulled his lip in with his teeth, I wondered if it was for the same reason that I did – to hold back the urge to jump his bones right here and now.

“Are you seeing someone, Desiree?”

The question caught me off guard. “I, um, no. You do mean as in am I dating someone?” I couldn’t believe I was stuttering like a buffoon. To make matters worse, my unease amused him as his lips held a shadow of a smile.

“Yes, that’s what I mean.”

“I’m dating, but nothing serious at the moment.”

So I told a small fib. I didn’t want Julian to think I had no takers. The gentle smile left, and his face became expressionless. I wondered where his mind went, then decided to play it safe and get back to business. Any more of his invasive stare and we’d use this room to do what it was meant for. I know I sound like a horny teenager, but I’d never been affected by another human being the way Julian affected me.

It felt dangerous and roguish like I could marry him now and live happily ever after. Some people might call that love at first sight, but I thought it was downright looney. I wouldn’t try and explain the temerarious emotions that assaulted me. I’d just do what I do best. Ignore them. My only concern was if I could withstand a trip to Dubai with him and not give in to those carnal inhibitions. One thing was for sure; I needed a drink.

“So, about my earlier question. What gave you the idea of shooting a spread in Dubai?”

“Dubai is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the Prime Minister. He’s invited A Few Good Men to model a catalog for their top modeling agency and when the Prime Minister calls, you answer.”

“I see.” My cell phone rang, and we both pulled out our phones to check the screen. I silenced it then placed it back in my briefcase.

“Is that one of your dates?” Julian asked abruptly.

Again, he took me by surprise with his query. “Why do you want to know?”

“The same reason I want to know why you moved to Houston and what’s keeping you here.” I raised a questionable brow. “You intrigue me, Desiree. Do you know why that is?”

I honestly had no idea. I was just about as interesting as a singing frog. The doorbell rang, saving me momentarily. Julian rose to his feet and strolled to the door. I couldn’t help myself from undressing him with my eyes, and I wondered if he did the same to me. Julian allowed what I assumed was room service to enter with silver trays adorned with food.

“Desiree, this is Lawrence, my personal chef. He’s endured long days and nights of me shuffling him around from city to city, and I wouldn’t give him up for the world.”

“Oh sir, you’re too kind. I don’t mind being shuffled at all. Seeing the world while cooking your favorite dishes, who could have a problem with that, eh?”

I smiled and shook my head in agreement. “I’m with you there. What do you have for us, Lawrence? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Oh no, no, not at all.” Lawrence removed one of the silver tray tops and steam fled from the dish.

“Mmmm, that smells delightful.”

Lawrence smiled brightly. “It’s shrimp fettuccini and crab cake with a side of fresh Caesar salad. Would you mind if I made you a plate?”

“I would feel exiled if you didn’t. I didn’t realize how hungry I was until you mentioned it.”

Julian and Lawrence chuckled. He fixed our plates, poured glasses of wine, then saw himself out.

“I don’t know if I should be drinking in the middle of the day,” I said. I was being modest. I favored white wine, probably more than I should have.

“You’re more than welcome to have something else. Water, lemonade, sweet tea?”

“No it’s fine, I’m beginning to feel bossy.”

“It would be my pleasure to serve you, Desiree.”

A spark of heat crawled up the middle of my back and spread over my shoulders. If the hungry gaze in his eyes was an indication that Julian wanted me and not the food, I wasn’t sure how long being able to hold out would work. Then I had a thought. Why was I holding out? I hadn’t had sex in years; since that last mistake, I dated. But deep inside, I knew what it was. I didn’t want to seem easy with him. For whatever reason, I wanted to make a good impression on Julian. I was still trying to figure out why I cared.

“I’ll take sweet tea,” I said.

He made his way to the connecting kitchen giving me an extensive look at his broad back. I picked up my wine glass and took a sip anyway, but quickly put it down when the sweet alcohol raced down my throat causing more heat to stream inside me. Wrong move, I thought pushing the glass to the side. The last thing I needed was heat.

When Julian returned, he noticed the purple lip stain on the glass and smirked but did not comment.

“You know what, on second thought…” I lifted the glass and took a bigger sip then chased my lips. “Tell me, Julian, why’d you want to know if I’m dating anyone?”

He sat down getting comfortable at the table in front of me.

“Because Desiree,” he said. “I have plans for you.”

 

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