Master carpenter, Martina “MJ” Jenkins, has built plenty of structures in her day, but none as sturdy as the walls she’s built around her heart. After crossing paths with a sexy U.S. Senator, with gorgeous brown eyes and a seductive smile, her resolve to stay unattached, crumbles. Martina is determined to steer clear, but the Senator’s kisses are too delicious to resist.
Third generation U.S. Senator, Paul Kendricks, faithfully represents his state and is loyal to the family’s political legacy. Still he yearns for a wife, children, and a new career far away from the political arena. Too bad the object of his desire is the one woman who wants nothing to do with commitment. But the sparks that fly between them can’t be ignored.
As Paul chips away at the wall Martina has built, can he convince her to put her fears aside and open her heart to love?
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Martina moved toward a pair of chairs and a small round table less than five feet away. She hated attending events where she had to get dressed up and sit quietly through a program. And when one of the speakers happened to be an enemy, it was like having to endure a root canal.
She froze. Her breath lodged in her throat and hands fisted at her sides. That deep, baritone voice had always had an effect on her, even when she didn’t want it to and today was no different. Her pulse pounded an erratic cadence in her ears as a war raged within her on whether or not to turn around.
“You were brazen enough to spout out that nonsense in there, yet you’re not brave enough to look at me.”
The annoyance that consumed her only moments ago returned and she spun in the direction of the voice. But the smart retort dangling on the end of her tongue, dropped off. Instead, all she could do was stand cemented in place and stare at the man who stirred so many emotions within her.
Senator Paul Kendricks. Part of her wanted to pick up the small table near her leg and fling it at him. Whereas the other part of her was taken back to every one of her erotic dreams he had starred in.
She wanted to hate him. God, she wanted to hate him. She couldn’t. For reasons she didn’t want to revisit at the moment, she knew she would never hate him.
Martina took in his appearance, assessing his smooth dark skin, intense brown eyes, and those luscious lips that were tempting whether smiling or tilted down in a frown the way they were now.
Fury and sexual tension battled within her. On one hand, she wanted to wrap her hands around his thick neck and shake him. But on the other hand, she wanted to fall into him, feel his powerful arms wrapped around her while she tasted his sweet lips. She knew they were delicious because she’d tasted them before, on more than one occasion in fact.
Her gaze took in his perfectly groomed mustache. Normally he was clean-shaven, a preference for those in the Senate, but not a requirement. Though not today. Today the light sprinkle of scruff shadowing his cheek and chin, made him look even sexier than usual.
His broad shoulders and fit body were sheathed in a tailored suit that she knew cost more than she made in a week, made her remember. Made her remember how good-looking he was. Made her remember how being anywhere near him sent tingles through her body. And made her remember why seeing Paul up close and personal again wasn’t a good idea.
“Hi Senator Kendricks, I’m Peyton Jenkins. I’m so sorry for my cousin’s behavior. I assure you, she will not be returning to the event. She tends to speak before thinking sometimes and—”
“I’m well aware of Martina’s penchant for speaking her mind, even at the most inopportune times,” Paul said, his gaze never leaving Martina. “It’s good to see you again, Martina.”
The way her name slid out of his mouth sent a sweet thrill up her spine, licking her skin like a gentle breeze. She loathed that his voice still had the power to stop her in her tracks. What she hated, even more, was the desire radiating in his eyes. The same desire was coursing through her veins.
Ughhh, she growled silently, pissed that she was still attracted to the man.
“Too bad I can’t say the same about you.” Her throat tightened at the words that opposed what she truly felt inside. Her voice no longer carried the same annoyance from earlier. Instead, she sounded more breathy than she intended.
Damn him for looking so good.
“Hold up. Wait.” Peyton stood with her mouth hanging open, her gaze bouncing between them. “You two know each other?”
Copyright © 2016 by Sharon C. Cooper