GENRE: women’s fiction with romantic elements, contemporary romance
BLURB: Life has a way of going awry when you least expect it, and Khalila Skyers learns this lesson the hard way. In one devastating blow after another, she loses her cosy existence. Then Douglas Blythe overtakes her life like a flood, and she’s not equipped to deal with an attraction that seems forbidden and overwhelming. But her body and heart want what they want, and leave her wondering if she ever knew herself at all.
Douglas is determined to help Khalila move beyond her obsession with the past and reach for love a second time. No matter how long it takes. No matter the distance. He’s going to prove he’s worth the risk.
Excerpt – The Thick of Things
As the people around me settled into groups, I wondered if it wouldn’t be a good idea to disappear before Douglas returned. The more I considered it, the better I liked the idea. I had wrapped my scarf around my arms and was on my feet, a few steps from where Douglas left me, when he intercepted me.
“Um, I was going to the ladies’ room.”
He held out the glass as if he hadn’t heard me. “One day, I suppose you’ll tell me.”
“Tell you what?”
“Why you’re trying to avoid me.”
“I am not really—“
He moved his head slowly from side to side. “Don’t lie about it. You’ve been trying to escape from me the whole evening.”
“You can believe whatever you like.”
He pulled his head back in a gesture I found funny. “Is that all you’ve got?”
My lips twitched and my smile broke free. “Yes, and I’m sticking to it.”
Douglas laughed, a low, husky sound that sent shivers chasing through my stomach. I folded one arm around my waist and held on to my glass as if it were a lifeline. He had a smile that made me want to reciprocate, but I was so dazzled all I could do was swallow hard and blink as if I were a teenager who had come into the orbit of a movie star.
I drank some of the punch, taking in too much in one mouthful. As I swallowed, I hoped the rum would act fast so I’d mellow out quickly. It warmed my throat and settled in my belly, making me feel heavy and full.
“So…” He slid a hand into his pants pocket and cocked his head. “What is it about me that gives you the urge to run in the opposite direction?”
“I have to give you points for persistence.”
He shrugged. “I make my money by studying different markets, so I’m patient…and persistent, like you said.”
I got the impression he was giving me a message, but I ignored that since I wasn’t in the market for romance in any form. Not even a fling, which wasn’t my style anyway.
“That’s good to know,” I said, deliberately sounding casual. I didn’t want Douglas thinking I was interested in him, no matter what my body felt about the matter. Being with him in my mind was all kinds of erotic and exciting, but now that we were together, I didn’t have a clue how to navigate through what I sensed would be a dangerous minefield. One I had no business contemplating.
“Anything else?” he asked, tipping one eyebrow.
I narrowed my eyes, wondering what I’d missed. Then, what he asked came to mind. With a smile, I said, “By nature I’m cautious, so when a man like you is taking interest it makes me wonder what that’s all about.”
“A man like me?” His eyebrow climbed again. “Should I be offended?”
“Not at all. I just mean you look like you’ve been around the block a few times.”
“And that makes me unsuitable for a lady such as you?”
“I never said that.”
When he smiled, I realized he’d neatly trapped me with my words.