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Christina Jenkins (CJ), a free-spirited painter by trade is juggling her obligation to the family construction business, with the demands of her secret passion. A life that she has successfully hidden until recently. When sexy, bad-boy attorney, Luke Hayden, enters the picture, he steals her heart. But the truth of Christina’s double life buried under lies, threatens to destroy them both.

Luke is leaving New York to escape the drama, which is his life. Starting over in Cincinnati with Christina appeals to him more than he will admit. Although her secret jeopardizes their steamy affair, it’s not until someone threatens to destroy the Jenkins family empire, and uses Luke to carry out their plan, that their relationship is truly tested. Luke will do what he can to help the Jenkins family, but he will stop at nothing to tempt the woman who has captured his heart.

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Excerpt:

Christina lowered her head and shut her eyes. Everything would be all right. She was overthinking the situation. Their relationship was tight and built on trust. Besides, Luke was the sweetest man she had ever met, and he wouldn’t have a problem with her change in plans. It wasn’t like she wasn’t ever going back to Cincinnati. She was only staying in New York another day, two tops.

“You’ve been on edge all night.”

Christina’s head jerked up startled at the sound of Luke’s voice. Her heart pounded erratically in her chest. She wasn’t sure if it was because of the conversation she knew they had to have or because she hadn’t heard him enter the room. After an amazing round of sex, she had left him sleeping in the bedroom while she hung out in the living room weighing her options.

Luke stepped out of the shadows of the semi-dark room and into a small stream of moonlight shining through one of the windows. After three months of dating, the sight of him still made her heart stutter.
Absolute perfection.

She had always been attracted to dark skinned men, a stark contrast to her lighter skin. And this man was the epitome of sexy. He stood before her in nothing but a pair of striped pajama bottoms hanging low on his hips, his thick package pressed behind the flimsy material. Her gaze moved up to his face. An artist would be in heaven if they had him as a model. Sharp accessing eyes, an average-size nose and a chiseled jaw line made up his handsome face. And those lips. God, the things he could do with those full, tempting lips.

Lust throbbed through Christina’s veins as Luke watched her with the intensity of a hawk circling its target calculating the perfect time to pounce. The dress shirt she wore of his, with nothing underneath, did nothing to hide her erect nipples from his heated gaze. All it took was a look from him, and she was ready to let him have his way with her. Again.

“Wha … what are you doing up?” she finally asked.

“I don’t sleep well without you in my bed.” His slumber-filled voice was deep and intoxicating. She had no doubt that he meant what he said. When she wasn’t in New York visiting him, he rarely slept in the bed, preferring the sofa in his home office. He’d often stay at work until nine or ten at night, only to arrive home and work for another few hours. She had no idea how he functioned with only three or four hours of sleep each night.

Luke moved across the room with the stealth of a lion, closing in on its prey. With a lean body, his sculpted chest and muscular biceps stood out. That quiet control swimming in his eyes, with a twinge of fearlessness, rooted her in place and had her heart pounding double-time. She was sure that look played well into him being one of the top defense attorneys at his New York law firm.

“What’s wrong? You’ve been distracted since we returned from the art show.” The richness of his baritone voice washed over her like a smooth, satiny caress. And he smelled so good. The fresh scent of soap permeated the air as if he had just stepped out of the shower. His voice, his scent, and all that made him the man he was, weakened her defenses and sent her senses spiraling out of control.

He pulled her effortlessly against his hard body and her arms slid easily around his neck. What she felt for him was unlike anything she had ever experienced. There was just something about him. Something about the way his welcoming embrace evoked a sense of peace that settled over her like a goose down jacket all snuggly and warm. And there was something about the way his self-assuredness gave her the desire to experience the world through his eyes, making her want to try new things and live life on the edge.

Christina moaned as his body molded against hers, chest to chest and thigh to thigh. He felt too good. It wasn’t helping that the feathery kisses he placed along the length of her neck were reigniting the smoldering heat from hours earlier. She couldn’t think straight. Couldn’t think straight when he looked at her, or when he kissed her, or when he touched her. An experienced lover, his caress had her body bending to his will.

“Maybe you should come back to bed so that I can make you forget your troubles.”

“Or maybe you can make me forget my troubles right here … right now.”

“That can be arranged.”
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Copyright © March 2015 by Sharon C. Cooper
Tempting the Artist