I am thrilled to be guesting a dear friend of mine! She has a brand, spanking new release from Siren Publishing. May I present to you, Ms. Lillian Grant.
Stranded in Rio and desperate for cash, Australian backpacker Charlene Paige accepts a minor movie role. When her costar, Hollywood hunk and serial womanizer Jonathon Deveraux, is abducted from the set, she turns to his older brother for help.
Jacob Deveraux is an Oscar winner and Hollywood good guy, but his past has made him a recluse. However, when his brother goes missing, he agrees to help the hapless Aussie who was deceived into taking a movie role so Jonathon could woo her into his bed. Despite being determined to keep his distance, Jacob is increasingly drawn to her.
When it becomes obvious Jonathon’s kidnapping is designed to punish him, Jacob worries his feelings for Charlene make her a target. Despite his efforts to keep her safe, she is grabbed off the street. Can he rescue Jonathon and Charlene, or will he lose not only his brother but another woman he loves?
Lost in thought, Charlene jumped when a hand squeezed her shoulder. She turned to find Jacob behind her.
He removed his hand and turned to lean his butt against the side of the boat. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.” He leaned closer and tipped her face up to look at him. “Are you okay? I heard you creep past my door.”
She stared into his eyes as lightning lit up his face. It was like a dream, standing in the rain thinking about Jacob, and then he appeared. “I thought you were asleep.”
Jacob shook his head. “Nope, the storm woke me. “
“Me, too. Then I couldn’t stop thinking.”
He paused for a moment, his eyes drilling into hers. “About?”
She turned her face away and shrugged. There was no way she was about to tell him she had been fantasizing about how it would feel to kiss him. Although if she did, he might let her find out. She shoved the idea aside, even though being so close to him was torture, being pushed away would be even worse. She concentrated on keeping her voice steady. “Nothing important.”
The rain changed from a slow soaking drizzle to huge drops, bouncing off everything they hit. Jacob leaned in closer to her ear, brushing the wet strands of hair from her face with his fingertips.
“You’re getting soaked. Come out of the rain.” His voice was soft and warm with concern, and when he put his arm around her shoulder, she let him lead her inside. Water dripped from the bottom of her T-shirt and the ends of her hair as she shivered in the cool air-conditioned room. Lost in thought, and basking in the beauty of the storm, she had been oblivious to everything, but as her teeth started to chatter, she became aware of just how cold and wet she was.
Jacob reached over and turned on a table lamp that looked like an old ship’s lantern, bathing the room in a warm orange glow. He nodded toward the sofa.
“Sit down, and I’ll get some towels.”
Charlene did as he said and watched Jacob disappear through the door. He returned moments later with two fluffy white towels. He handed her one and began to rub his hair dry with the other. Charlene wrapped the warm towel around her shoulders and pulled it tight as she sat and watched Jacob, who had now turned his attention from his damp hair to his wet clothes.
Unable to tear her eyes away, she held her breath as he peeled off his wet T-shirt and tossed it on the floor. Drops of water caught the light and glistened as they made a slow trail over his well-defined chest muscles, flat stomach, and disappeared into the damp fabric of his shorts. The white body-hugging material was translucent everywhere except the very front, where a double layer of fabric kept the most interesting part of him hidden. The tantalizing glimpse of the top of his thighs and the front of his hips bones made her squirm. She desperately wanted him to continue the show. When he wrapped the towel around his hips, she had to fight the urge to tell him he shouldn’t be standing around in wet underpants.
He nodded at her. “You should take that wet top off while I go and grab you another T-shirt.”
Charlene glanced down at herself. The T-shirt clung to her body, and her nipples protruding through the soaked material had as much to do with seeing Jacob wet and semi-naked as it did with the temperature of the room. She didn’t want him to find her another T-shirt. She wanted to pull off the sopping garment and wrap her arms around him, warming her cool breasts on his damp chest. When he made no effort to move, she smiled shyly at him. Perhaps he wanted a show of his own.
“It’s okay. I can just wrap the towel around myself.”
Her heart pounded, and she took a deep breath as she wondered how he would react to her obviously flirtatious behavior. Would she get the kiss she had been dreaming about?
She got to her feet and started to lift the T-shirt, wondering if Jacob would turn around. He didn’t. He stood and watched. Her eyes met his, and a smile flickered at the corners of his mouth, almost like he was daring her to continue.
He maintained eye contact as she dragged the shirt over her head, but when she pulled her face free, she caught him admiring what had been hidden underneath.
Jacob’s focus traveled up to her face. Her cheeks flushed as his face lit up with a slow, sensual smile that started with his mouth and ended with his eyes. He ran his tongue slowly over his lips, his gaze roaming her exposed body, and Charlene shivered.
The look of desire in Jacob’s face as he stepped towards her made her pulse race with anticipation. Would he pull her into his arms and kiss her? Would she get to press her naked breasts against his chest?
Her stomach lurched with disappointment when he broke eye contact and wrapped the towel around her shoulders. Once she had covered up, he looked back into her eyes and chewed on his bottom lip.
Charlene met his gaze, goose pimples covered her skin. A pain started to throb deep in her gut, and she breathed more deeply.
Jacob’s damp hair fell in front of his eyes, and she lifted a hand to push it out of the way. The towel slid off her shoulder exposing her left breast. His gaze dropped from her face to her chest, and he reached out and brushed his fingertips lightly over her nipple. Charlene closed her eyes as her nipple hardened and a pulse of desire flowed through her. She fought back a moan, desperate for him to explore further.