Love Over Lattes
Single mom Valentina wants to provide a good life for her son, starting with the perfect home. When the deal on her dream house falls through, rather than move back in with her parents and disappoint them and her son once again, she accepts the help of the intimidating-as-hell stranger she’s admired from her coffee shop seat for the last six months. She's afraid to fall for the wrong guy again, so she makes Cole promise to keep their relationship strictly professional.
Following his failed marriage, Cole can’t find a reason to care about anything or anyone. Saving his company from his ex-wife is the only thing that has kept him afloat for the past six months. As loneliness sets in and he begins to lose the fight over his company, Valentina becomes his lifeline. Cole wants to be more than her landlord, and he has a plan to get her to release him from his promise.
The VIP of the VIP room in yet another section in the ginormous warehouse was smaller and more intimate than the last two. At the far end of the room, a violinist played an old tango I knew well, “Mano a Mano.” The sensual and melancholic melody added to the decadent setting of the place. Probably the reason Cole didn’t want to bring me here.
His tent was cozy, all done in white leather furnishings and infused with a faint scent of vanilla. Under the shimmer of the small chandelier overhead, my dress looked scarlet red. I swallowed and smoothed out the fabric around my waist. This was the worst place to tell him about his ex’s plans. I plumped myself on the sofa, and a few pillows dropped to the floor.
“Oh, sorry.” I bent to pick them up.
“Leave it.” Cole caught my hand. He unbuttoned his tuxedo jacket and sat.
Out of habit, or cowardice, I inched over to my left to make room. He gave me a bright smile that said nice try. “Make up your mind, Valentina. I can’t take this any longer.”
A hot puddle of unrealized desire, I melted a little every time he said my name. I squeezed my legs together and scooted some more. This sofa wasn’t big enough for the two of us. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“Do you want to kiss me or not?” He slid across the cushion, closing the space between us. “Ask me.”
I adjusted my weight on the seat. He tightened his hold on my fingers. God, even if I had wanted to flee, I didn’t think my legs would respond. Cocking his head, he rubbed his thumb across the inside of my wrist where my pulse was visible.
“I want you.” The words left my lips of their own accord. I had meant to say something else, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember what.
“Close enough, sweetheart.” Cupping the nape of my neck, he took my mouth with a longing that sent a wave of adrenaline from my core to my toes. Heat pulsed between my thighs as the tip of his tongue teased mine. I leaned in and sucked gently. I might not get another chance to taste him.
He eased me back on the sofa, and I landed on a bed of soft and silky decorative pillows. A groan escaped his lips, making my nerves dissolve. Did he want me as much as I wanted him? The knowledge that he might fueled the daring side of me. My hand trembled as I slipped it inside his jacket and kneaded the hard muscles under his shirt. I pulled on it, my fingers itching to touch his skin.