Avery Clark loves her life. She travels the world doing a job that keeps her so busy she can’t think about how lonely she is or the fact that she hasn’t had day off in two years. This trip to paradise is a chance for her to get some sun and have a Mai Tai or three. That is until she runs into billionaire hotel mogul Hayden Wexton, who is absolutely one hundred percent off limits.
Hayden Wexton is a man who knows what he wants. As soon as he sees Avery, he can’t get her out of his head. He’s determined to show her life can be fun and she can still get her work done. Only, the more time he spends with her, the more she gets under his skin. That was definitely not a part of his plan.
Avery never makes mistakes, but with Hayden, well, hell, he might just be the best mistake she’s ever made.
A warm hand cupped her elbow, sliding along her arm as she felt a solid chest at her back.
She should move. The touch was too familiar. Too reminiscent of the way he’d touched her at the gala.
Time to pull away.
She meant to. Really she did. But the spell of the light and the presence of so many other tourists calmed her instincts. Instead she let herself enjoy his presence, just for a moment.
“I thought I was imagining things when I saw you over here.” The whispered words tickled her ear. “The professional Avery Clarke, caught without her suits? I didn’t think such a thing was possible.”
“The professional Avery Clarke knows multiple layers and tropical temperatures are a hard mix.”
“I’m all for shedding one’s clothes,” he said into her ear. “More shedding, I say.”
A finger traced the thin strap of her dress, edging it closer to falling from her shoulder.
“You’re hopeless,” she sighed.
“Not necessarily.” His lips brushed the naked skin of her shoulder. “There are a number of things I’m hoping for right this very instant. Most of them require less of an audience, though.”
“Only most?” She shook her head, catching herself. “Stop that, or I’m finding a new palm tree to stand under.”
With a sigh, he straightened. “We could have such fun if you’d let us.”
He’s not wrong.
But nothing good could come from falling into bed with this man. One night had haunted her for weeks. How much worse would a full-blown affair be on her psyche?
“Hush and enjoy the view,” she said.
Surprisingly, he did as she commanded. Together they watched the sun sink toward the horizon as the orange in the sky darkened into purple streaks. She shouldn’t feel such contentment standing in his arms, but if she closed her eyes, she could pretend for a moment that they were like all the other couples on the beach, merely enjoying each other’s presence at the end of a long day.
Of course, unlike the other couples, they wouldn’t be returning to the same room, ready to fall into bed together.
The last sliver of sun dipped below the horizon, and the crowd around them began to stir.
“It’s over,” she said, stepping from his light hold. She thought she heard him sigh, but when she turned to face him, he appeared as unflappable as ever.
“Time for our drink, then,” he said.
“I could point out it’s a five-minute conversation we could have right here.”
His eyes were warm as he studied her. “You could,” he agreed. “But then I’d be obliged to agree, and we’d both be alone in no time flat. Is that really how you want to spend your evening?”
No, I’d love to spend it climbing you like a tree.
Mentally, she shook her head. Bad thoughts. Unhelpful thoughts.
Did she really want to head back to her silent room alone? Not particularly. And where was the danger in a quick drink? She needed to make it clear to him he couldn’t seduce her. What better way to do that than appear unruffled by his attempts?
Grasping at straws, I see. I’m sure this is healthy.
“One drink,” she said.
Victoria Davies’s passion for writing started young. Luckily she had a family who encouraged believing in magic and embracing imagination. From stories quickly scribbled in diaries, her love of storytelling developed. Since then her characters may have evolved and her plots may have grown decidedly more steamy but she never lost her love of the written word. Writing is not only a way to silence the wonderful voices in her head, but it also allows her to share her passions with her readers.
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