by Kate Hill
Heat Level: Spicy
Genre/Themes: Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Cover Art: Jenny Dixon
Will Antonio’s romantic confession win Orlanda’s heart, or destroy their partnership? A partnership made in heaven/hell–they secretly lust after each other, but … business first! How can they build a successful business together if their focus is on the bedroom instead of the bakery?
The following excerpt from EVERYTHING NICE is for readers 18 and over.
Shaking her head, Orlanda slipped past her mother and grandmother and stepped into the foyer just as her father opened the door.
On the porch stood the gorgeous mountain of muscle. He looked comically uncomfortable as he glanced from her father to her other relatives who had crowded into the foyer.
Finally his gaze settled on her and Orlanda pulled her satin robe more tightly around her to hide her excited nipples that poked against her flimsy nightgown.
“I’m sorry to bother you, but I need to talk to Orlanda.”
“You couldn’t pick up the phone and call?” Alfonso growled.
“Keep quiet and leave them alone,” Camilla said, slapping her husband on the shoulder. “Let’s go upstairs.”
“I’m going. I’m going.” Alfonso winced when she tugged his ear. “Let me go! Quit that, old woman.”
“Call me old woman again and you’ll be making your own meals for a week.”
Still arguing, her grandparents climbed the stairs.
“I’m sorry,” Antonio said again.
“Don’t worry about it.” Nicky yawned and scratched his slight pot belly. “Come in. Make yourself at home. I’m going back to bed.”
“Do you want me to make some coffee?” Frances asked.
“No thanks, Ma,” Orlanda told her.
Frances held her gaze. “You all right with this?”
Frances nodded and also climbed the stairs, leaving Antonio and Orlanda alone.
She closed the door and they stood in the foyer. He stared at her with those big brown eyes and she felt like melting through the floor. Damn she both loved and hated how he could do that to her with a look.
Her robe had fallen open again and she nearly adjusted it, then decided not to. This wasn’t work. In her own house, on her own time. With her family out of sight, she had a right to wear anything she wanted to. Not to mention part of her wanted to know how he’d react to seeing her dressed in something other than work clothes.
“What’s up?” she asked.
He swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his gorgeous throat, then he moistened his full lips but didn’t speak.
“Antonio, what’s wrong with you?” she demanded, placing a hand on her hip and narrowing her eyes at him. “Are you worried about the wedding?”
“Wedding?” he murmured, staring at her like he’d never seen a woman before. “Orlanda, you look…wow. I’ve never seen you like this.”
The man didn’t merely devour her with his eyes, he worshiped and caressed her with a look so tender yet passionate that Orlanda actually blushed. Lord, since the day they’d met she’d dreamed about him gazing at her like this. He had once before, but she’d put a quick stop to it. Of course that’s how she’d wanted it–at least that’s what she’d told herself.
What she really wanted was Antonio’s big, hard body on top of her. She wanted to wrap her legs around him and press her soft breasts against his sculpted chest. Most of all, she wanted his cock deep inside her, rubbing her in all the right places, making her scream with pleasure.
“That’s because I don’t go to work in my negligee,” she said. “And you still haven’t answered my question. What are you doing here?”
“I needed to see you. Can we talk?”
She hesitated. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust him. At the moment she didn’t trust herself. The man looked fucking gorgeous in a tank top that showed off all his well-cut muscles and jeans that molded to every rock-hard inch of his long legs. Flashbacks of riding his steely thigh made her temperature rise and her pulse race.
“Sure.” She stepped aside and he walked in, closing the door behind him.
“Orlanda, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking tonight.”
“Huh?” His brown eyes fixed on her and widened in surprise. It amazed her that a tough former Marine with a body like a modern day gladiator still managed to pull off wide-eyed innocence.
“Have you been thinking about expanding the business in the future?” she asked.
“Oh the business. Uh, yeah,” he said. Was that a hint of a blush on his face? What kind of expansion did he think she meant? He continued, “I think we should do it. The business, that is.”
She folded her arms beneath her breasts and stared at him hard. “You could have told me that in the morning.”
“Yeah but there’s something else that couldn’t wait.”
“We’ve known each other a long time.”
“Nearly two and a half years.”
“You know I respect you, right? Are you finally convinced of that?”
“Orlanda.” The seriousness of his expression took her aback. A quiver of anticipation rolled through her and she waited for him to continue. “This might wreck everything between us, but I can’t live like this anymore. I can’t pretend you’re just a business partner, not when I–”
“Yeah?” she said, her voice just above a whisper.