The Wild Rose Press
Tessa Caldwell’s carefully structured world is thrown into chaos when the handsome stranger she had an uncharacteristic fling with reappears in her life. Ben not only gets the promotion she thought was hers, but is also intent on resuming their physical relationship. Although Tessa’s rational mind insists on a professional association, both her heart and her traitorous body have other ideas. Can her sensible nature possibly win against such temptation?
Memories of the petite blonde with large, blue eyes have haunted Ben Dunham for months. When he transfers to her branch, he anticipates picking up where they left off. Reality doesn’t match memory when the cool and collected lady wants no part of him. If he intends to pursue Tessa, he has to earn her trust. The problem is, Ben carries a dark and dangerous secret. How does he get Tessa to trust him when he can’t trust himself?
Can a forever kind of girl and a for-the-moment kind of guy take a risk on love? BUY LINK
Ben halted a few feet from Tessa’s chair and she rose to her feet, sliding nervous hands down the front of her skirt. For an instant, they stood frozen face-to-face, outside of time together, cut off from the others, the air between them tangible and electric.
He took a step toward her. Instinctively she stepped back and stared with disbelief into the face that had haunted her for months. Those same iridescent sea-green eyes with flecks of gold and swirls of gray, surrounded by long, thick, dreamy lashes. The slight jog to his nose, as if it had been broken, a trivial flaw that saved his features from absolute perfection.
Neither of them smiled as they continued to watch each other. She could see memories of their one night together reflected in those extraordinary eyes.
Memories of his hands roaming her body, of his mouth searing her mouth, of the two of them reaching peak after shattering peak together while thunder crashed and white-hot lightning forked its way across the storm-tossed night sky outside.
She tried to push the images from her mind and keep her manner professional, but then he offered her his hand and her heart fluttered. A treacherous excitement began rising in her system as reality sank in—this was Ben, standing right in front of her. And this time they didn’t have to say goodbye after three days.
She had an irresistible urge to reach out and touch his face. Her fingers itched to lose themselves in that crisp sandy hair, to wander across his chest, slide over the wide breadth of his shoulders and...
Stop thinking like that!
She forced herself to shake hands with him, uttering polite noises as though he were a complete stranger. Try as she might, she couldn’t get her lips to form the smile of welcome she knew would be the courteous thing to do.
“We’ve already met,” he said, still holding their handshake. His eyes were playful, with green turbulence just beneath. “Remember me?”
She realized with a start that she hadn’t replied. The intoxicating scent of his cologne robbed her of breath and his huskily seductive voice reverberated inside her, leaving her shaken and vulnerable. He was leaning in too close and she had to shake her hand lightly to free it from his grip.
“Of course, I do. We met on the cruise last fall,” she replied, hiding behind an ultra-professional tone.
“That is correct.” Morris’s loud voice startled Tessa. She’d forgotten anyone else was in the room. “The Vancouver branch awarded Benjamin the cruise as well, last year, so the two of you have already had the opportunity to become acquainted. That should facilitate your working relationship.”
Not bloody likely, Tessa thought with a sinking feeling of despair. How could she possibly maintain a businesslike relationship with Ben after the intimacy they’d shared?
ABOUT Joyce M. Holmes
Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. An empty-nest mom, she treasures family time, especially with her two precious little grandsons. Hiking, biking, boating and photography are pursuits she enjoys when she's not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure.