Fortune's Forbidden Woman [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Heidi Betts
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Creed Fortune had hungered for Maya Blackstone for nearly a decade, but he'd held back to protect his family's reputation. After all, the press would have a field day if they uncovered a clandestine affair between a Fortune heir and his very own stepsister! Then a heated argument between Creed and Maya turned into a feverish night of lovemaking. Even though the raven-haired schoolteacher melted his heart in ways he'd never dreamed possible, Creed had to find a way to douse their dangerous attraction. Otherwise, the sordid truth could topple the Fortune empire!
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Desire
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2007
30 Reader Ratings:
"Thank you for dinner," Maya Blackstone said as she fitted her key into the lock of her downtown Sioux Falls town house. She twisted the key and then the knob, opening the door a crack before turning back to Brad McKenzie.
It was dark outside, but the yellow glow of the porch light reflected his tall frame, chestnut hair and handsome face.
"You're welcome," he said, offering a small smile as his hand stroked down her arm, left bare by the sleeveless knit top she was wearing. "Aren't you going to invite me in?"
Gooseflesh broke out along her skin, making her shiver. She shouldn't have been surprised by his suggestion. They'd been dating for almost a year now, and Brad was one of the nicest guys she'd ever met. It was only natural that their relationship would begin to move in a more physical, intimate direction. Lord knew he'd been pushing for it for months now.
Not aggressively, and not in any way that would make her feel pressured, but she wasn't stupid. She knew what all the little touches and caresses meant. She also knew that most couples who'd been seeing each other as long as she and Brad had would already be sleeping together.
And there was no reason she shouldn't go to bed with him. He was kind, good-looking, successful and treated her like a princess. She was even attracted to him.
So what was her problem? What was she waiting for?
Taking a deep breath, she steeled her nerves and made her decision.
"Of course." Pushing open the front door, she stepped inside and flipped on the light that illuminated the small entryway. She set her purse on the decorative bench she kept against the wall and headed for the kitchen, leaving Brad to close the door and follow along. He'd been inside her house often enough to know his way around and make himself at home.
"Would you like something to drink?" she asked, going to the refrigerator to see what she had to offer. "Iced tea or a glass of wine. I could make some coffee."
He came up behind her, standing so close she could feel the heat of his body at her back.
"Wine would be good," he murmured in a low voice, taking the opportunity to rub her shoulders.
Fighting the urge to shrug away from his hold, she grabbed the open bottle of chardonnay from the top shelf of the refrigerator, then opened a nearby cupboard to retrieve two glasses. She walked around the corner into the living room, breaking Brad's hold on her but knowing he was close on her heels.
They lowered themselves onto the overstuffed, floral-patterned sofa. Maya sat forward, setting the glasses on the coffee table while she popped the cork and poured a generous amount of the fragrant liquid for each of them.
She turned to hand one of the glasses to Brad, taking a deep breath to keep from shifting farther away. He was sitting close, his thigh pressing along hers, his shoulder brushing her own as he took the wine.
This was ridiculous, she chastised herself. What was she afraid of? What was she waiting for?
Brad sipped his wine while she drank hers a bit more forcefully, then set her empty glass on the table in front of them. Turning, she smiled and settled against his side, both of them leaning into the soft back of the sofa.
His brows lifted, and it took a second for his arm to tighten around her.
She didn't blame him for being surprised, since she wasn't usually the one to make the first move.
Usually? Try never. She had never made the first move with Brad. A part of her couldn't believe she was doing it now.
But a year was long enough. She wanted to be with Brad. She wanted to be normal, have a normal relationship. And if things were ever going to move forward with them, become more serious, she needed to get over these intimacy issues she seemed to have.
Tipping her head back, she silently invited him to kiss her. An invitation he wasted no time accepting.
Despite her reservations, she had to admit he was a good kisser. Even she had no trouble recognizing that aspect of his personality.
His mouth moved over hers smoothly, his lips warm and firm. He caressed her shoulders, then her arms, his hands sliding around to her back.
It felt good, enjoyable, and she thought they really might make it this time.
With a moan he pulled her closer, deepening the kiss and pressing their bodies together so that she could feel the clear sign of his arousal.
Her stomach clenched, but not with desire. Nerves flared to life in her bloodstream, her muscles growing tense, her breathing growing labored as panic set in.
Dammit. She stiffened, whimpering partly in fear and partly in aggravation as she put out her arms and shoved away.
Brad blinked, his chest heaving, stunned by her sudden retreat.
"I'm sorry," she said, shaking her head and shifting back as far as she could against the arm of the couch.
Why, why did she keep doing this? Why couldn't she act like a regular twenty-five-year-old woman and sleep with her boyfriend without being plagued by so many doubts? Without seeing his face when she closed her eyes, and hearing his voice thundering in her ears.
Damn, damn, damn.
Brad blew out a breath and ran his fingers through his hair, frustration rolling off of him in waves. "I know. You're sorry, but you can't."
Copyright © 2007 by Harlequin Books S.A.