One thing I’ve never lacked in life is money. I was born to it. I’ve made it hand over fist. I have more than I know what to do with.
But all that money couldn’t give me Faith Mortimer, a damaged heiress with secrets of her own. I found her irresistible two years ago, and would’ve laid my empire at her feet…until she betrayed me.
Now she barges into my office, offering marriage, ostensibly to help me fulfill the conditions of my father’s hateful deal. Although I toss her out, I’m curious. Once I realize how desperate she is, I make a counteroffer that leaves her vulnerable and defenseless.
However, I never counted on my own machinations leaving me exposed in return…and both our hearts are going to break before this is over…
“How about chocolate then? I recall you saying it’s the most perfect food that has everything a woman needs to get through a bad day, a good day and an ‘everything in-between’ day.” He magically produces a flat black box that says “Royce.”
I stare at him. “You remember…”
“I told you I remember everything about you.”
He did, but I didn’t realize he meant literally every silly thing. I said that on a Valentine’s Day when he faux-complained about my desire to have chocolate fondue for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We ended up having chocolate-themed meals all day long, even though we held off on the fondue until dinner.
“Here.” He opens the box and uses a small silver spoon to lift a square of chocolate sprinkled with cocoa powder. I eye it dubiously—I’ve never seen chocolate served like this—but open my mouth and let him feed it to me.
The soft, buttery piece melts on my tongue, and I moan softly as the decadent flavor absolutely takes over my senses. “This is amazing.”
He samples a piece. “Pretty good.”
“I’m not really into it the way you are.”
Apparently not. I place a bent arm on the edge of the tub and rest my chin in the crook. “Don’t be nice to me.”
Incongruously, he offers another square and I take it. “Why not?”
“I don’t want to like you.” I can’t afford to fall in love with you again.
“I’m not doing this to make you like me,” he says softly.
I shift. “Then why?”
He runs a finger along my lower lip. It no longer throbs with pain…just longing. “I don’t like seeing you doing your best to appear strong and firm when you’re really stretched thin.”
The sigh I let out is long and painful. “Am I that obvious?”
He shrugs. “I know what to look for.”
It’s true. He’s always known what to look for. Back in Vegas, he knew before I could sort out my feelings for him that I liked him…really, really liked him—maybe even borderline loved him.
My heartbeat is erratic, my skin flushed and warm. Neither has anything to do with the hot water, the wine or the chocolate. Over the soft scent of roses, I can smell his cologne. His breath fans over my cheek, and his finger is still on my lip.
“Don’t,” I whisper.
He arches an eyebrow. “Me or you?”
About the Author
NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Nadia Lee writes sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Born with a love for excellent food, travel and adventure, she has lived in four different countries, kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.
Currently, she shares a condo overlooking a small river and sakura trees in Japan with her husband and son. When she's not writing, she can be found reading books by her favorite authors or planning another trip.
Stay in touch with her via her website http://www.nadialee.net/ or her blog http://www.nadialee.net/blog/