Nathaniel Jenkins-Moore never allows romantic entanglements to get in the way of running Jenkins & Sons Construction. That is until the woman who ripped out his heart crashes back into his life. She wants to leave the past in the past, and though Nate knows a thing or two about rebuilding strong foundations, her betrayal still haunts him. He can’t forget. He won’t forgive. She can’t be trusted. But why does his heart still beat double-time whenever she’s near?
Liberty Stewart has been living a lie. Masking her shredded self-esteem and trying to overcome the emotional torment inflicted by her abusive ex-husband, she’s ready to rebuild her life. But just when she thinks she’s on track, her current assignment brings her face to face with the only man she’s ever truly loved—Nate. Too bad he hates her. Liberty knows she did Nate wrong, and getting him to trust her again might be impossible, but neither of them can deny the attraction that still runs deep.
Is the burning passion they share enough to get their troubled hearts to finally beat as one? Or is the hurt too deep for a happily ever after?
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Nate almost smiled at her fake bravado. She wasn’t fooling anyone. His words hit the mark. He wasn’t trying to make her uncomfortable but... Okay, maybe he was trying to get under her skin. He wanted her to experience a little of the hurt he still felt from the way she’d ended things between them. If that made him a jerk, oh well. Yes, he was sorry for the way he’d treated her the other day, but he meant what he said. He didn’t trust her.
“We can discuss next steps in my office,” Nate said.
They walked up the stairs in silence, but Nate was very much aware of Liberty’s long, sexy strides and the hypnotic sway of her hips. He wanted to maintain some emotional and physical distance from her, but she wasn’t making it easy. How the hell was he supposed to ignore the way the low-cut blouse revealed just enough cleavage to capture his attention. And those damn pants. She had the perfect, curvaceous body for snug fitting pants and these highlighted her firm thighs and round ass. But it was the arousing scent of lavender radiating off her that had him tempted to do something stupid. Like press his nose against her long, graceful neck to get a better whiff.
Dammit. Why’d he have to still be attracted to her? Why couldn’t everything about her disgust him?
Temperature rising along with his frustration, he pushed open his office door, ready to hurry this along. “We can work at the table in the corner.”
Nate growled internally as she strolled across his office, adding more hip action to her walk. Suggesting they work in his personal space was turning into a bad idea, but it was more convenient. He wasn’t totally sure what information he’d need access to, but anything they could possibly need was in reach.
After closing the door, Nate took a seat at the table and studied her while she organized the paperwork. The shadows under her eyes were more pronounced than they were during her last visit. Had she lost sleep the last couple of days the way he had?
“So tell me,” he started, “why the name change? I didn’t really know Isaac Culpepper, but I would assume someone like him would want you to carry his name.”
Lips thinned in annoyance, she met his gaze. “Nate, I think it best we stay away from personal questions and focus on the job at hand. My name has no bearing on us getting this project done.”
“Why so secretive about the name?” Seeing her the other day had totally caught him off guard, but it was the new identity that had him puzzled. Not knowing why she didn’t go by Kayla Jackson any longer was driving him crazy.
“Why do you want to know? You’ve made it clear that this is a working relationship. Nothing else.” She went back to paper shuffling.
“I don’t know if I can stop calling you Kayla,” he admitted.
“That’s too bad because I’ll only be answering to Liberty.”
Copyright © October 2017 by Sharon C. Cooper