STORMBOUND WITH A TYCOON Silhouette Desire by Shawna Delacorte reissued by Harlequin in ebook
G-EXCERPT #2 (Jessica Wants-Dylan’s Vulnerability)
(Jessica wants answers)
She watched him a moment longer as he stared out at the rain, not acknowledging her comments. She carefully measured her words, wanting to know yet not wanting to antagonize him with her prying. “I still don’t understand why you insisted on staying here rather than going to the lodge.”
He turned his gaze on her, sending a little shiver of anxiety through her body. She wasn’t sure what to make of his expression. It was as if he had chosen to no longer accommodate anything other than his own thoughts and concerns. A new level of uncertainty rose inside her, but she refused to allow it to deter her from her goal of finding out why Dylan Russell had shown up out of the clear blue to invade her personal sanctuary.
“There isn’t anything here that wouldn’t have been more comfortable and convenient for you if you were at the lodge.” She looked at him questioningly, waiting for a reply.
Something flashed through his eyes, but it disappeared before she could read it. Could it have been anger? She shifted her weight uncomfortably under the security of his unrelenting stare. Had she pushed him too far? A hint of trepidation shivered through her body.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t believe my reasons are really any of your business.” Dylan turned his gaze away from her, once again seemingly staring out at nothing in particular. “Besides, with the creek flooding over the bridge neither of us can leave so it’s a moot point.”
Jessica bristled at his attitude. “Quite the contrary…I believe your having climbed into my bed makes it very much my business.”
The second the words were out of her mouth Jessica wished she hadn’t said them. She vividly recalled the moment Dylan’s arm slipped around her waist and the way his body nestled against hers. The sensual heat produced by the memory quickly spread through her body until it touched every part of her existence.
She hated not having any better control over her thoughts and feelings than what had been happening to her since the moment she opened her eyes that morning. She gathered her resolve. Absurd, that’s what it was. She was not about to allow her hormones to dictate to her, regardless of how sexy and desirable she found this man.
“The bed was empty when I climbed into it.” He forced a lightness to his voice, attempting to take the edge off the tenuous situation. “So technically you crawled into bed with me.” The memory of those early-morning minutes spent snuggled together in a warm bed washed over him. There had been no intentional intimacy between them. It was all very natural and comfortable. It felt very right, not at all the same as with other women over the years.
“Justin is my friend…my best friend.” A lump formed in his throat. A rush of sadness filled him as the remaining words escaped in a quiet hush, so low that they were almost inaudible. “Perhaps my only true friend.” He chased the moment of melancholy away before it overwhelmed him.
He leaned forward until he was within inches of her face. He wanted so much to kiss her, to taste the delicious-looking mouth that had been driving him crazy all day. The uncertainty that had earlier invaded his consciousness once again returned to plague him.
“How about you, Jessica?” He succumbed to the urge as he brushed his lips lightly against hers. He didn’t dare allow the gesture to linger in the form of a true kiss, even though it was what he wanted to do. “Are you my friend, too?”
He saw the same bewilderment mirrored in her eyes that clouded his own senses. Had he just made a colossal mistake? He had never experienced quite that reaction to a woman. She was the type with which he had no experience—honest, self-reliant, capable and down-to-earth—qualities he found very appealing. It was more than merely wanting to get a beautiful woman into bed. It was so much more. What was happening was as frightening to him as it was intriguing.
And lurking in the middle of his physical attraction to her was a growing awareness of how easy it would be for the physical desires to turn into an emotional involvement…something he knew all too well had to eventually lead to some sort of a commitment. He had been down that road before. He led with his heart and it had taken him all the way to the altar, then kicked him in the teeth and left him a member of the walking wounded. It had been a painful lesson, and one he had carried with him all these years. It was an experience he didn’t want to repeat.
Then, as if one cue, that vacant spot in his life he wanted to fill jabbed at his awareness, quickly followed by an invisible shiver of panic. Another roadblock flew in his face in the form of a nagging reminder that she was more than just another woman. Even though she was no longer an underage teenager, she was still Justin’s sister. He already had enough guilt to wrestle with over what had happened to Stanley and Rose Clarkson because of him. He didn’t need to further compound his self-created upheaval. But all those good intentions didn’t shake his thoughts about her or lessen the possibilities that he knew would present themselves as the evening unfolded.
For the first time in his adult life he didn’t know what to do or how to proceed where a woman was concerned. Perhaps he had already done too much. He tentatively reached out and framed her face with his hands. Her slightly parted lips seemed to be beckoning him forward in spite of the wariness in her eyes and the caution blanketing her features. He closed his eyes for a moment, took a calming breath, then backed off.
STORMBOUND WITH A TYCOON, a Harlequin Desire by Shawna Delacorte, is an ebook reissue available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do search for author name Shawna Delacorte). Also available at Barnes and Noble in NookBooks www.bn.com and Amazon for Kindle www.amazon.com Information is available on my website www.shawnadelacorte.com
Wealthy, jaded playboy Dylan Russell had sought an isolated cabin in the woods to escape his fast-paced life and reconsider his future. He wanted solitude…but awoke to a woman in his bed! Nothing had prepared Dylan for the sight of his best friend’s sister…or the sensual spark that embracing her ignited.
After a canceled project, publicist Jessica McGuire looked forward to days of relaxation. She never expected to encounter the man who had stirred feelings deep in her soul years ago. Stranded with her in a storm, Dylan beckoned her closer with his bedroom eyes. But would Jessica have to be content with only a few nights of passion when she yearned for his love for a lifetime?