They have a history. A future may be more than she’s willing to give.
Haven Reynolds is stunned when her ex-lover Eric Viera turns up at their mutual friends’ wedding. Her sources told her he was safely a continent away, doing his anthropology thing. Instead she’s scrambling to figure out how to fend off his particularly potent brand of charm.
At least, that’s what she tells herself.
Several months in a Costa Rican jungle hasn’t dulled Eric’s memory of the two weeks he spent with the sexy spitfire. He’d even enjoyed the challenge of breaking through her walls—the warm, passionate woman he’d uncovered had been worth the effort. He’d like nothing better than to pick up where they left off, except those walls are back in place, stronger than ever.
Much to Haven’s dismay, Eric takes her in his arms for a rehearsal-dinner dance. In a split second, it all comes back—the memories, the lust and laughter, the intimacy and control she’s never allowed any other man. Falling for him again is out of the question, but a weekend of hot sex is an indulgence she can’t resist.
Except Eric hasn’t come back to Texas just for the wedding. He’s come for her.
Product WarningsContains a sassy heroine, sizzlin’ hero, toe-stomping two-stepping and secret encounters.
Copyright © 2011 Emma Jay
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Haven Reynolds came to a complete stop at the bottom of the stone stairs of the Texas Hill Country Inn the wedding party had reserved for the weekend. Her blood froze. Oh, hell no. Eric Viera stood at the check-in desk across the limestone-walled lobby from her, his pose casual, his black leather duffel at his feet, charming the clerk as she handed him a room card with a coy smile.
No one had thought he’d make it, though he was still listed as a groomsman. She’d checked a dozen times, as discreetly as she could. Every one of her sources was certain that he would miss the wedding because he was out of town, in a faraway jungle studying some culture or another.
If she’d thought there was a sliver of a possibility he’d be here, she’d never have come downstairs like this, just out of bed in yoga pants and a hoodie, hair pinned up, no makeup, and desperate for coffee. No, the first time he saw her again, she was supposed to be wearing an incredible red dress and heels, be ten pounds slimmer. He’d drool in his soup.
Just like the first time they’d met, at Jared and Christine’s engagement party.
Sex on legs, that was Eric Viera. The night of the celebration, she had been captivated by him—long, lean, close-cropped brown hair, sexy little goatee, blue bedroom eyes. Her heart had pounded when he’d focused on her and asked her to dance. That had led to the most delicious night of sex in her life, the first night of a two-week-long affair that had spoiled her for other men for eight months.
Eight long months.
She’d thought she’d been worldly enough to accept a no-strings affair, and if it had only been that night, maybe she could have. But one night had morphed into a week, and a week into two before he left for Costa Rica. He’d slipped past all her carefully erected guards, without knowing it—because she hadn’t allowed him to know it—and she’d spent the next few months nursing a broken heart and rebuilding the walls.
Shaking off the memory of his body against hers, his magical mouth, his clever fingers, she pivoted to head up the stairs before he could see her. His oh-my-God sexy voice rumbled across the limestone foyer as he thanked the clerk.
Please don’t see me. Please don’t see me. If she had to deal with him at this wedding, she’d do it on her terms, dressed to advantage, made-up, caffeinated, all her shields in place. Not surprised by him in the foyer.
Oh, hell. The option was to continue upstairs and not acknowledge him, at least until later when she was in a position of control. But running away was cowardly. So she stopped, curling her fingers around the banister as she gathered her nerve, pasted on a smile and turned. God help her, he looked even better than he had last summer. Her knees—and resolve—weakened a little.
“Hey, Eric. I didn’t think you were going to make it.” Thank goodness her voice was perfectly modulated, unlike her body, which was ready to go all traitor on her.
He hoisted his garment bag over his shoulder as he approached the stairs to stand below her. Okay, this kind of gave her the upper hand. She willed herself not to grip the banister so tightly that her knuckles whitened. Still, she couldn’t ignore how good he looked, his brown hair cut close to his scalp, eyes slightly shadowed with weariness, travel-rumpled cotton shirt and jeans that fit just right, low on his hips. She bit the inside of her lip to snap her attention away.
“I couldn’t miss Jared’s wedding. I flew in from Costa Rica this morning.”
She nodded at his mud-spattered boots. “I thought you were out of the country.”
He hooked the finger holding the bag in acknowledgement. “It took some juggling to get here, but I couldn’t miss it.”
A knot of anxiety formed just below her heart. Avoiding him wouldn’t be easy since he was part of the wedding party, not with all the activities Christine had planned. She forced a rueful smile. “Bridesmaid.”
His gaze traveled down the length of her body, and once again she fretted that she was dressed so casually.
But when his eyes returned to hers, they shone with appreciation. “You look great.”
She waved dismissively, wishing his approval didn’t send a wave of warmth through her. She’d accepted that what they had was over. At least, her head had. Her heart and body were having other ideas. “I was just…in search of coffee.”
“I’ll put my gear in my room and join you.”
“Eric, wait.” She touched his arm as he started up the stairs past her. His arm was warm and the hair beneath the rolled-up sleeve rasped her skin, sending pulses of heat along her nerves, scattering her thoughts. Looking into his eyes didn’t help. “No one knows about what happened last year.”
His eyebrows flicked upward. “Okay.” He dragged the word out as if waiting to see what she’d say next.
“This is Christine and Jared’s weekend and they’ve worked hard for it. I don’t want to take anything away from that.” She could get him to go along with that, she was sure.
“I don’t intend to.” He stroked his finger down her cheek. “So. Coffee?”
She grasped the out he gave her, though she wanted to lean into his caress. “Tons to do. I’m going to grab my coffee and go back upstairs. I guess I’ll see you later. Christine and Jared are taking us for a picnic along the river today.” The whole wedding party and Christine’s family would be along. She would have an easier time keeping her distance. She needed to be in control or risk her heart again.