Take a river cruise with dishy Dominic Carr, but be careful to look over your shoulder because danger is following.
Curiosity and appreciation of the man’s looks had Michelle twisting around to check him out as he stopped in front of a huge seascape. The T-shirt stopped high enough to give her a good view of a hard, muscled ass in his jeans. His dark hair was well cut, but just long enough to curl at the nape of his neck. Michelle eyed the breadth of his shoulders appreciatively. She was still staring when he turned around and looked right at her. A jolt of attraction sped through her body. His eyes were the most gorgeous shade of green. She rapidly took in the shape of his mouth. Her stomach clenched as she experienced a powerful urge to taste those perfectly kissable lips. Crap, he’s gorgeous, she thought, and looked away as a smile appeared on the man’s handsome face. A flush of embarrassment warmed her throat at being caught ogling him. She wished she wasn’t there to spy on the meeting. It had been a long time since a man had captured her interest so intensely.
Irritation brought her to stand. She grasped the burner phone, but as she considered messaging Connor, the man spoke.
“This is a great gallery, isn’t it? Did you see the Monets?”
Stunned by the fact he’d approached her, Michelle gazed up into his handsome face. He was at least a head taller than she was even in her four-inch heels. For a few moments, Michelle hesitated under the spell of attraction that wound around her.
He smiled and it charmed her into smiling, too. “I haven’t seen them yet.” Spurred on by the obvious interest in his eyes, she continued, “I must. Have you … seen them … yet?” Usually confident, Michelle practically stuttered.
“I have, but I’d happily look again. They’re beautiful and I doubt the tour will be back this way for a number of years, if ever. Dominic Carr, and I’d love to have your company.” He held out his hand in a business-like way as he introduced himself.
Michelle stared at his hand and then coming to her senses, shook it. She told him her name as his strong hand enclosed hers. The contact with his skin spiked tingles up her arm. She knew she shouldn’t go to see the Monet exhibit with him, but somehow the words escaped.
“Michelle Vega, and I’d like that.” In fact, I’d like to do anything with you. The thought flew through her mind before she berated herself. What am I doing? I have to find out about Brad and Connor. This is so unfair. I’d like to spend time with this guy. She backpedaled. “The thing is I have to meet some friends, but maybe another time?” Michelle said the words with a heavy heart. Never had she wanted to be with anyone the way she wanted to take up Dominic’s offer of seeing the paintings with him. Fate had finally seen fit to let her meet a man she felt incredibly drawn to, and she couldn’t take the opportunity. Sadness drifted over her. She saw disappointment cloud Dominic’s green eyes. He likes me, too. I should do something … say something to let him know I’m interested.
“You know what, I’ll call them. There’s heaps of time to catch up with them, and it’s a loose arrangement to meet. Let’s go to the Monet exhibit.” Instead of feeling guilty that she was flaking off the job of spying on the meeting, elation swept through her at the decision to spend time with Dominic Carr.
Pleasure glowed in Dominic’s eyes as he smiled at her. “I’ll let you call your friends, if you’re sure?” He moved away to stand in front of the seascape again.
Michelle stared at the screen of the cell phone for a few seconds. What am I going to say? Hey, guys. I’d rather spend time with a stranger than … The cell phone rang. Startled, Michelle almost dropped it as shock spread dull warmth through her. She answered. “Yes.”
Connor’s voice came back cryptically. “Yeah, it’s over. At the car … long story. Where are you?”
Michelle kept her voice low. “Take the bro with you. I need the car. Will catch up later. Want to shop.”
She heard Connor sigh heavily and it brought a smile to her face.
Then there was amusement in his voice as he said, “Shop. Sure. Later then.” He ended the call.
Relief that she was free to be with Dominic raised her spirits. She smiled as she approached him. “All fixed.”
Dominic’s answering smile sent melting sensations through her. Michelle followed him along to the stairs as he talked happily about the exhibit.
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2015 Evernight Publishing
I originally expected this story to be a short, but as the plot developed and the characters took over, the story grew and grew, and still there’s more to tell, because one of the supporting characters, Connor, is going to have his own story.
Dominic Carr, my hero and Michelle Vega, my heroine, couldn’t be more different, but they are instantly drawn to each other and the resulting passion between them is intense. Dominic’s hopes are high, making him vulnerable. Michelle is involved in a dangerous lifestyle far removed from Dominic’s, but she’s lonely. This opens her up to taking chances when she meets Dominic.
I love water, rivers, and the ocean. They have their own very special atmosphere, and I wanted to flavor the story setting with the sounds, and smells of sun drenched harbor towns, wide rivers and boats, to provide contrast with the suspense element of the story.
When you read the story and Dominic sails away on vacation. Think Monterrey or the marinas in the Caribbean or the Florida keys. The sky is Grecian blue, the air and water sparkles. There’s the smell of salt and sea, and wheel of seagulls as the couple walk on the quay together.