Realtor Marcy Gelland is hired by Lucas’ soon-to-be ex-wife to liquidate all their real estate holdings and help her orchestrate a speedy departure from Lucas’ life. Based on what the hot-headed SEAL wife has told her, Marcy understands Lucas deserves every ounce of pain coming his way.
But when Marcy and Lucas are left alone together in the remote Northern California woods, they ignite a personal bonfire that threatens to burn down the whole forest. Marcy is forced to see she is wrong about Lucas.
Amidst the backdrop of hardened bachelor SEALs with their unsolicited, anti-long-term relationship advice, and a terrorist training camp operating nearby, Lucas must do what he’s always done: be the hero and save the day. But will it be in time to save Marcy?
He was going to make some coffee when he heard a car drive up. Quickly stowing his gun in the back waistband of his pants, covered by the sweater, he looked through the window to the driveway outside. Next to his burgundy Hummer, a white sedan was parking. Out stepped Marcy Gelland.
He opened the front door and leaned into the frame, arms crossed, until she looked up and saw him.
“Oh. It’s you!”
“Yes, Miss Gelland. I do own this cabin—at least for a little while longer, anyway.”
Her oversized satchel was slung over her shoulder. She had on a pair of forest green recycled ankle gardening boots, and a big white, silk shirt with a pocket stitched over one breast, covering long, tan slacks that were going to be way too warm in a couple of hours. She’d done her hair up in a clip, and she wore no makeup. He liked her better that way.
“You following me now?” he asked, not moving from the spot, daring her to try to gain entry into his private domain. “I told you I wasn’t going to sell this place.”
She turned around, glancing at the tree line before her eyes at last landed on the thatched roof of the cabin. Then she tilted her head and spoke to him. “Beautiful here. I don’t blame you a bit.”
“So, you’ve seen it. Now, you can go, Miss Gelland—or is it Mrs. Gelland?”
Her lips parted slightly, one side turned up, amused. “Marcy. You can call me Marcy. Unlike you, I’ve never been married.”
“Touché.” The sting in her comment hurt like a pinprick, but it sucked him back into his impending court battle with Connie. He dropped his arms at the sides, suddenly not knowing what to do with them. “Well, that’s it. Show’s over. I have nothing else left to offer, unless you like strong coffee and scrambled eggs.”
“I love strong coffee and scrambled eggs. I’m afraid I can’t make either one successfully.”
He didn’t know why he said it, but before he could take it back, found himself whispering, “Well, perhaps you’re better at other things.”
“I should hope so,” she said timidly. “I guess, according to you, I rob people for a living.”
“Ah, an honest woman who admits her vices. How refreshing. Do you ask for forgiveness before or after you fleece them?”
At first, she didn’t smile, just stared back at him. She wasn’t afraid, which was such a turn-on. “I solve problems. Most of my day is spent solving other people’s mistakes and problems. And I’m damn good at it.” She narrowed her eyes, as if taunting him to say something nasty.
Lucas was struck with the inability to fight with her. Whatever was going on, he couldn’t dislike her, and he wanted to, perhaps needed to.
Marcy still didn’t move an inch. There she was in the middle of the fuckin’ forest, way far away from anyone who could hear her scream. He was trying to stand up to her, trying to hate her and everything she stood for. He wanted to blame her for what his life was going to become. She was a willing accomplice to his wife’s selfish attitude.
She remained standing, as if waiting for instructions. Defiant, almost petulant, daring him to cave in and show his ungentlemanly side. She hugged her file folder and oversized purse , looking way more desirable than she probably knew. But when she broke a smile and stepped closer to his perch, she finally dropped the hand with the folder, catching it at the side of her hip, and giving him the view of her chest he’d wanted to see. Although he wasn’t going to let her catch him at it, his peripheral vision took in the whole lovely sight of her.
She glanced up, recognizing something, and gave him a playful, narrowed look. “I think we got off to a bad start. I’m not here to cause you any pain, or to rob you. Mr.—”
“Lucas. If I’m calling you Marcy, you’re calling me Lucas.”
“Yessir,” she said as she straightened her spine, her pert little lips doing that pouty thing.
What a blessing she was. What a fresh piece of something he’d never had and wanted desperately.
“Like I was saying, Lucas...”
Her large brown eyes smiled up at him, and his heart melted. He hadn’t realized he was so starved for mature female attention, the kind that wasn’t tipped or bought and paid for.
“I think you misunderstand my intentions. I’m not here to sell your cabin. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure I can, or that Connie has the right to order either of them sold. That will have to be worked out in a settlement agreement between the two of you.”
He could see that the longer he watched her speak and focused on her lips, the more talkative she became. Words were nervously stringing together, and all he could think of was her light pink tongue darting out behind her white teeth, and the way she licked her lips and nervously bit her bottom one.
“You haven’t taken my suggestion and gotten an attorney yet, have you?” she finished and took in a deep breath.
“That was only a little over a day ago, Marcy.” He was thinking to himself that his perspective was changing by the minute. “But I’m all ears. Perhaps you can recommend someone for me.”
The double meaning seemed to make her blink very slowly, considering what he’d said. She quickly looked downward toward her ridiculous boots.
“Where’d you get those?” he asked with a chuckle.
“No socks. Can’t go into the woods without socks. You’ll get ticks on your ankles, or worse, traveling up your pant legs.”
Marcy cocked her head and frowned then gave him that full gaze that did him in. She forged her response. “You going to continue to defend the perimeter, or am I invited in for those scrambled eggs and strong coffee? Or have I said something to cause you to change your mind?”
There was an exchange between them without words. It fell to him to speak up first, perhaps acknowledge what was going on inside him, hopefully inside her, too. He knew when a woman liked what she saw, and she was definitely transmitting it. “On the contrary. But enter at your own risk.”
He let his words linger there until she dropped her gaze again. Stepping aside, he turned and opened the door for her to walk into his life.
Her Golden Vampires of Tuscany are not like any vamps you’ve read before, since they don’t have to go to ground, and can walk around in the full light of the sun. Honeymoon Bite, Book 1 of the Golden Vampires of Tuscany Series, has earned the Amazon designation of #1 Gothic Romance. It and Book 2 in the series, Mortal Bite are both available on audio as well.
Her Guardian Angels struggle with the human charges they are sent to save, often escaping their vanilla world of Heaven for the brief human one. You won’t find any of these beings in any Sunday school class. All three books in this popular series are also in print and audio formats.
A lifelong organic gardener, Sharon lives with her husband in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place. When she’s not writing, she’s getting verra verra dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.
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