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Her life had never been a fairy tale. Adopted at birth, Isabella never felt like she fit in. All she ever wanted was a happy family and a love of her own. When she suddenly became a single mother of two, her life changed for the worst until she ran into a handsome stranger.
A billionaire playboy, Gabriel had lived a charmed life. Never one to settle down, he didn’t understand why he was drawn to this woman he knew his father would never accept. Still, one date leads to another and suddenly he had the life he never knew he always wanted.
Together, their life was perfect, until the lies were exposed. Then, their happily ever after couldn’t be further away.
While coming out of her hazy sleep, Isabella stretched slightly and felt an arm tighten around her mid section. She happily reached down to touch him and slowly opened her eyes to find Gabriel staring at her, propped on his side. “How long have you been awake?” She rubbed at her eyes.
“I don’t know. I’ve just been lying here studying you.” His lazy smile caused her to blush. Then Gabriel leaned down to graze her cheek with his lips, sending a ripple down her spine. Isabella looked away, giving him the perfect opportunity to run his fingers down her neck. She shivered again.
“Stop! I can’t even think with you touching me.” She grinned and covered herself with the sheet. “So, what shall we do today?” She tried to change the subject in order to pull herself back together. It had been so long since she had been caressed and cherished.
“You don’t like me touching you?”
“Au contraire. I love your touch. I’m ridiculously attracted to you, but…” She frowned as she tried to figure out how to explain the emotions she battled.
“There’s always a but.” He chuckled.
“It’s scary getting intimate with someone new.” Isabella sat up and shrugged. “And once we start, there’s no going back. I’m afraid of going too fast, not savoring, missing out on all those glorious stages before the big show.”
Gabriel tugged at his goatee. “Impressive analogy. We’ll take our time, my Bella. I want to savor every moment with you. Does that help?”
“It does. It’s just that…it’s different for me. When we do this, I’m not simply sharing my body, I’m sharing my heart.”
When Isabella exited the bathroom wearing a robe over her bedclothes, carrying a bottle of lotion, she could see Gabriel was intrigued.
“Aren’t you going to be too warm tonight?” He yanked on her bathrobe tie. “What do you have on under there anyway?” He jokingly tried to peek under the bathrobe.
Feeling daring and sexy, Isabella flashed him, exposing for the briefest of moments her camisole top and matching French cut bikini. “The bathrobe is just until bed,” she explained, wandering over to sit at his side.
“I think I need a longer look,” he murmured lazily against her neck. “I could help you lotion your back.” He slid the bathrobe down until it exposed her shoulder, then he kissed her there, lingering long enough for her to feel his warm breath against her skin. Her stomach fluttered in response.
Isabella’s head tilted to give him further access. Her eyes closed as she savored his kisses and his gentle touch. She barely noticed as he took the lotion bottle from her hands and began to pour some into his hands. Gradually, he pulled the robe further until it had pooled around her bottom on the lounger.
“Wow,” he whispered, as if afraid to break the spell. The warm breath upon her neck made Isabella shiver. “I’m going to lift your top so I can lotion your back.” Slowly, he pulled it up with one hand.
As she listened to Gabriel rub his hands together, she tried to relax. Never before had she ever craved a man’s touch like she did his. Never before had she been so afraid to give in to her desires. Finally, his hands were on her skin, smoothing the lotion into her back. He rubbed up to her shoulders and down her arms. Somehow along the way, he managed to remove her camisole altogether. For some reason, she didn’t object. Every bit of her body ached with need. How would she ever maintain her resolve to wait? Not forever, but a little bit longer. Remember, she reminded herself, he lost interest in all the others once they gave in. I’m not ready to let him go.
“Hey. What’s wrong?”
Gabriel was lying on the bed, an arm covering his face, still wearing the towel he’d left the bathroom in. “Nothing.”
“Liar.” She hopped on the bed and straddled him, the little minx.
“If you’re trying to get my attention, you’ve got it.” He moved his arm and his eyes widened. “You’re naked.” He tried not to stare, but it took everything in him to not drink in the beauty who had settled on his groin.
She giggled. “No, I’m not. I’m wearing a towel.”
“Yes, but it’s in your hair.” Gabriel smiled now and rolled her onto the bed, smoothly landing on top of her. “How do you do it?” He shook his head as he gazed upon her, this woman who had won his heart.
“Do what? That thing in the shower? Oh, so Jessie bought Jenna Jamison’s memoir and there were some tips in it. I finally had someone to practice on. How’d I do?” She winked at him.
“You could definitely use more practice. Any time you’d like, I’d be willing to offer myself as human guinea pig.” He removed his towel from around his waist. “You’re still a little wet.” He began to pat at the water droplets on her skin.
“How do I do what?” Isabella asked quietly. Her nipples had hardened and he was confident she was growing aroused.
“I’m a fool for you, Bella Parker.” He leaned down and planted a kiss on her sternum. “I puked on you…”
“And you just came on my face because you respect me too much to come in my mouth.” She interrupted with a grin. “I’m still trying to figure out the soundness of your reasoning, but hey…at least we were in the shower. And you didn’t blind me, so there’s that.” Her eyes sparkled as she spoke.
“I didn’t say respect.” She opened her mouth, but he silenced her with a finger over her lips. “I said ‘love.’” He took a breath. “It surprised me, too, but I mean it.” Gabriel leaned his head against her chest. “Your heart is absolutely racing.” He gazed at her sweet face. “I honestly didn’t think myself capable of it. My mother broke my heart long ago. I never really healed…until you.” Slowly, he moved his finger from her lips.
This time, Isabella rolled him over with a thrust of her hips. Then she landed on top of him, slowly rearranging herself so she was sitting on his pelvis and his erection was behind her. Gabriel smiled up at her, his face pink from embarrassment. “You’ve changed me, too, you know.” She spoke almost begrudgingly. “I’m falling hard for you, Gabriel.” Her eyes turned glassy. “I didn’t want to. I’m still getting out of my last hopeless relationship.”
He shook his head. “Wait. You think this is hopeless?”
Isabella chewed on the side of her lip. “Sometimes I do. When we’re apart, you seem so far away. When we’re together, I don’t feel good enough for you.”
“My love,” Gabriel moaned. “How can you think these thoughts? I call and text all the time when we’re apart. And when we’re together, I lavish you with attention.”
Her face softened. “This is true.”
“How can you think you’re not good enough for me?” He struggled to sit up and take her in his arms. “You’re the best woman I know. You’re an amazing mom, incredibly talented photographer, and for some reason, you like me.”
“I didn’t say ‘like.’ In fact, I distinctly recall saying I was falling in love with you.” Isabella stared down at him. “You’re going to break my heart, aren’t you?”
“Never,” he vowed, and sealed his promise with a kiss.
“I’m holding you to it.” She sighed and wrapped her arms around his neck.
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What made her decide to be a romance author?
How else was she going to parlay her two favorite past times into a career?
Emma is single and loving it. Like her first character, Alysin, Sin for short, she doesn’t believe in settling or in settling down. She loves to indulge in her passions whenever the mood strikes and enjoys keeping all of life’s cliche moments spicy.
Known for her sense of humor, Emma surrounds herself with friends whose antics often become the source of book fodder. Her ideal situation would be to explore the Caribbean while writing. She pursues that dream daily.
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