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At Last in Laguna

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: STEAMY
Word Count: 49,731
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Alyssa Morgan has secretly been in love with her older brother Nick’s best friend, Brandt Dempsey, since she was an awkward, lonely teenager. When she catches the bouquet at Nick’s wedding, she throws caution to the wind and propositions Brandt to a two-week fling. He’s tried to ignore how Alyssa has blossomed into a strong, talented, gorgeous woman because as his best friend’s baby sister, she’s off limits.

After they share a mind-blowing kiss, Brandt struggles to fight their undeniable chemistry. His tragic childhood scarred him, but he pushes it deep inside, only allowing the world to see a wealthy, carefree entrepreneur. Forced to work together on Brandt’s latest charitable venture, Brandt and Alyssa’s passion cannot be denied. Alyssa knows he’s the one. Can she convince him they belong together?


Alyssa struggled to focus on Scott’s commentary. Damn Brandt. His eyes bored holes into her back. What was his deal this morning? She’d give him the cold shoulder if it killed her.

And it just might.

He’d rejected her, so why was he opening doors, hovering, and acting like a pest? Practically breathing down her neck. She could swear he’d sniffed her. Sniffed her. He couldn’t conceal his awareness. If he were so attracted to her, he would’ve agreed to her proposition, right? Since he’d shot her down in flames, he could at least have the decency to ignore her today. Rude, infuriating man.

Inhaling a deep cleansing breath, she forced herself to concentrate on the center. Sunlight streamed through the abundance of windows and along with the high ceilings imparted a feeling of freedom and space, perfect for the planned occupants. Because they’d decided to wait to obtain her input for the more specific room layout, the building’s interior remained a shell. She’d add to her brother’s amazing design and ensure Tearmann House’s beauty and serenity.

Serenity. What a concept. Ha.

As she looked around, new ideas flooded her brain and anticipation to begin creating filled her. Confidence in her artistic abilities wasn’t an issue. She’d graduated top of her class from the Savannah College of Art and Design. If only Brandt’s presence didn’t distract her so much. Ignoring him and listening to Scott took a herculean effort.

“Let’s head into the office,” Brandt said from behind them.

If she wasn’t mistaken, he sounded annoyed. Serves him right.

Without bothering to acknowledge him, she allowed his project manager to lead her into the spacious conference room. Although the floors were unfinished and the walls were still only drywall, the huge open space held great potential. A massive mahogany table and a few chairs dominated the room. Otherwise, the room was empty.

“Can I get you a drink, Alyssa?” Scott headed over to a small refrigerator she hadn’t noticed against the far wall. “Water? Soda?”

Brandt thumped his computer and notebook onto the table, without a word. None needed. The tic in his jaw and his grip on the notebook shouted his irritation.

“Water would be great. Thanks.” She bit her lip to refrain from snickering.

“I’ll have water too. Thanks for asking.” Sarcasm tinged Brandt’s reply.

Scott shrugged sheepishly as he pulled three bottles of water out of the refrigerator and returned to the table to join them.

She accepted the water and sat across from Brandt. Still silent, he flipped open his laptop and powered it on, looking too handsome with his carved-from-marble features and his firm lips pressed together. How could simply looking at him make every nerve ending tingle?

He lifted his turquoise eyes from the computer and pinned her with his inscrutable gaze. Please don’t let him be able to read my mind, or I’m in bigger trouble than I anticipated.

She straightened in her chair, smoothed her hair back, and opened her binder. Get it together, girl. God, she hoped she hadn’t looked like a lovestruck teenager mooning over her favorite bad-boy rock star. Brandt’s expression remained impassive.