She’s a wealthy socialite who survived an abusive marriage.
He’s a hardworking guy raising his son and caring for his widowed father.
They come from different worlds, but it’s said…opposites attract.
Can they find the balance between their two lifestyles to make their love work?
Or will their differences tear them apart?
Life and love are a balancing act.
Joe enveloped me in a full-body hug, told me he enjoyed meeting and chatting with me, then made me promise I wouldn’t be “a stranger.” I assured him I wouldn’t.
Once we were outside the building, Derek said, “He liked you.”
Cockily, I replied, “Of course he did. What’s not to like?”
He grinned, said, “Not a damn thing,” then swooped me into his arms and pulled me against him. “I wanted to do this in the kitchen but…David.” He shook his head.
I had a pretty good idea what he meant, but asked anyway, “Do what?” while I leaned into his hard body and wrapped my hands around his waist.
With the half grin that made me lose the will to stand upright, he nuzzled the side of my nose with his own. “This.”
Soft and sweet, a simple swipe of his mouth against mine, the kiss was as chaste as could be.
Why I went numb from my knees downward was inexplicable, then. My grip around his waist tightened as I fell into his body for support to keep upright.
A deep moan welled up from him, a soul-tugging sigh with it, and he deepened the kiss as he dipped me backward over his arm.
I held on for dear life.
Okay, that, and because he felt so damn good. I’d have been a fool not to enjoy all the hard, lean muscle pressing against me now, wouldn’t I?
Mr. and Mrs. Doubletree of the Manhattan Doubletrees didn’t raise a fool.
“I’ve wanted to do this,” he whispered against my cheek, “ever since that day at the women’s center.”
I shifted until his lips were against my temple. “Why?”
“You mean aside from the way my heart rate kicks up whenever I look at you?”
Pleasure rippled through me.
“When you told me about being recently divorced you looked so…lost and fragile.”
A caustic laugh barked from me. “Two words no one has ever used to describe me are lost and fragile.”
He pulled back and cupped my cheeks. Kindness filled his eyes and I got lost in them. “I think you do a good job of hiding it, but you’ve been hurt. Deeply hurt.”
I rolled a shoulder. “No divorce is ever really amicable.”
Especially when your testimony puts your ex behind bars.
“Some hurt is expected,” I added.
He nodded. “All I wanted to do was pull you into my arms and kiss all the bad stuff away.”
For some reason I didn’t want him to know how his words touched me. My experience with my ex-husband had made me hyper-cautious and unwilling to share any weakness for fear it would be exploited. So, I fell back on past behavior and gave him an old, snarky Phil response to mask the emotions running rampant through me.
“I think that’s your medical brain talking. You see someone you think is hurting and you want to heal them, kiss it and make it all better.”
His grin grew slowly from one cheek to the other and I swear on Grannie Charlotte’s forty-inch string pearls I never wanted to look away.
“Well, the kissing part is true,” he said, bussing the tip of my nose. “But the reason behind it has nothing to do with the medical part of my brain. It has nothing to do with any part of my…brain.”
Proof of that was pressing against my abdomen.
Universal Link: BALANCE