Thursday, February 28, 2008
Thoroughly Tempted
Who knew that a little Florida R&R could be so thoroughly tempting!

Wounded cop Wesley Duncan is sent on a forced vacation to spend a week at Tempted, the perfect place for him to relax and recover. But recovery becomes the last thing on his mind when he discovers sexy spa owner Sierra is the only other person around.

After a hectic year and half making Tempted a success, Sierra Morgan is looking forward to having her Florida spa all to herself for a whole week. The last thing she needs is someone messing up her plans to be blissfully alone.

But when a seriously hot stranger shows up, Sierra is thoroughly tempted to make a serious change of plan.

Sierra Morgan adjusted the robe she'd wound around her body and sighed with satisfaction as she walked toward the pool. Pride swelled beneath her breast. It was hers, all hers. Well, hers and Jennifer's. Her gaze strayed toward the window where a custom-made oak deck and white sandy beach spread out all the way down to the Atlantic.

Their very own spa.

She could hardly believe it. She and Jennifer had worked hard the last year to turn their dream into a success. Tempted was a luxury spa that catered to the man or woman who needed a place to unwind and relax, or the couple who wanted to get away from the kids for a long weekend. It was still hard to wrap her mind around the fact that their first year had been so successful.
Quite honestly, no one in her family believed that she could do it. When she'd quit her dead-end job at a medical insurance company and moved to Florida a year and a half ago after much prodding from her best friend, they all thought she was crazy. But it was the right thing to do. Since she didn't have a medical degree, that job would have gone nowhere.

Now, look at her.

She was the owner of her own business that earned a very nice profit and provided her with a place to live.

Being the only one of her siblings who didn't earn a college degree had made her the black sheep of the family, so to speak, the one who was never able to compete with her sister's success as an attorney, or her brother’s famous career as a pro football player.

Here was where she found refuge from all of that. A place to belong. A place she'd help build from the ground up with the money she'd saved and Jennifer, the friend who was more like a sibling to her than her real ones.

Now it was time for a much needed break. Jennifer was off to spend a week with her sister and celebrate the arrival of her brand new nephew. For this one week, they'd closed the spa to enjoy a vacation of their own.

Truth be told, though each and every day the spa opened brought a piece of heaven to her life, she was looking forward to this little reprieve from the constant needs and wants of their customers.

Though it was small compared to others in the area, Tempted was a topnotch spa and resort that offered first-class accommodations and services including a full-service salon that offered manicures, pedicures and a specialty spa that offered massages, facials and make-up consultations. It had a small golf course, an indoor pool, a five-star restaurant, and to top it all off, it sat right on the beach. Since all the staff was gone for the week, Sierra looked forward to having the place to herself. Sometimes, the spa got so busy, all she wanted was a little peace and quiet.

Since she was all alone she decided to go for a swim sans swimming suit. Sierra strolled over to the radio that was on the bar, checked to see what CD was inside, pushed play and turned the sound up sky-high. A hip-hip beat had her sashaying her hips toward the edge. She sat her cell phone down, dropped the robe, did a few stretches to warm her body up and dove in.

The cool refreshing water felt wonderful. An expert swimmer since the age of five, she decided a few freestyle laps would do her body good. But the enjoyment was short-lived when she began to turn a flip into her third lap and glimpsed a pair of tennis shoes at the edge of the pool. Her gaze moved up to muscled tan calves, a pair of khaki shorts and a white shirt that sat on incredibly wide shoulders. She looked up into a very handsome face with forest green eyes and hair the color of midnight and choked back a scream.


"I should have just stayed at home," Wesley Duncan grumbled under his breath as he reached into his pocket for the key his cousin sent him. He tugged the front of his shirt in a futile attempt to get some air since he was unused to the Florida heat. His cousin, Jennifer, had told him that other than her partner, the resort/spa would be deserted and a perfect place for him to recover from the gunshot wound he’d received eleven weeks ago stopping a bank robbery.

Though he would much rather be sitting at home on his couch watching all the summer re-runs he’d missed because of work, he had to admit the place was awesome. His cousin had really outdone herself. And he really did look forward to being alone and away from his smothering mother. A wry smile curled his lips. He did appreciate the fact that she’d taken care of him the past few months, but enough was enough.

Besides, he really did need to get away and decide if being a cop was something he still wanted to do. While lying in the hospital he'd done some soul searching and wondered if it was time for him to hang up his gun and get that law degree he'd always wanted.

At home, he was constantly reminded of the cop heritage he was supposed to live up to. His grandfather had been a cop, as was his father, both his brothers and his sister. Even though he'd initially gone to college and gotten his degree in criminal justice with the express intent to go to law school, he'd followed in the footsteps of everyone else in his family.

At any rate, he was sure this week-long excursion would give him some perspective and help him make up his mind once and for all.

He heard the music as soon as he walked in. He dropped his bag on the floor and admired the space. A cherry wood circular reception desk sat in the middle of the room. Large floor planters with tall trees sat on either side of huge, welcoming chairs and couches to lounge in. The marble floor gleamed and the place smelled like the ocean.

Jennifer had insisted he come here and told him that Sierra would take good care of him. She'd worn an odd little smile when she said it, as if she were privy to some hidden secret he knew nothing about. There were hallways to the left and right so he decided to follow the music.
He passed several rooms with massage tables all decorated differently until he came to a huge glass room with a pool. Inside he saw caramel-colored arms fly expertly through the water. He walked to the edge and waited for her to finish her lap. He saw a white robe on the floor, and as she got closer, he realized the woman did not have on a bathing suit.

She stopped, gripped the edge, and her gaze slowly rose to meet his. Fear lit her eyes before she said, "Who the hell are you and how did you get in here?"

The woman who hovered in the water below him had short dark hair, eyes the color of rich chocolate and a mouth that had "kiss me" written all over it. Two simple, diamond studs winked at him from each ear and a gold chain disappeared between magnificent breasts. He blinked and searched his mind for the correct answer. However, the minute he looked into her face, any rational thought he might have had left his mind.

Damn, he couldn’t even remember his own name.

Available NOW from Samhain Publishing
posted by Lyric James @ 8:01 PM  
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