Jordan Robinson knows firsthand that when a woman marries a rich older man, people are going to talk. But now, with her husband gone, Jordan lives a quiet life of seclusion, managing her charities and staying away from the limelight. Then everything changes after an unexpected kiss leads to the best sex of her life—and a secret affair Jordan never wants to end.
A sexy young mogul who’s used to getting what he wants, Clay has wanted Jordan Robinson ever since he was seventeen and saw her emerge dripping from a swimming pool in a white bikini. But now he’s all grown up . . . and now she’s his. But when their relationship is exposed, the fallout is devastating. Yet Clay’s a man in his prime—and Jordan’s a woman worth fighting for. They may have started as a fling, but Jordan Robinson belongs in his bed, in his life . . . and forever in his heart.
Don’t miss any of Lavinia Kent’s Bound and Determined series MASTERING THE MARQUESS | BOUND BY BLISS | REVEALING RUBY | SARAH’S SURRENDER | RAVISHING RUBY | ANGEL IN SCARLET | A VERY RUBY CHRISTMAS | TANGLED IN SIN
This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
May 28, 2019
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Jordan turned at the question, taking a steadying breath. Her mood was foul after her conversation with Ms. Simpson—for some reason the young woman always left her feeling insecure—and she did not need to blister some poor man. Trying to find equilibrium, she let her eyes linger. As she scanned the man beside her, her mind ran a quick check. No, she didn’t know him. Or, at least, she didn’t think she did. Sometimes it was hard to be sure. Tall. Fit. Well muscled, but lean. Mid-thirties, close enough to her age. Dark hair, short, but curly. Clear brown eyes. Quite attractive—hot even. He was completely her type, only her body didn’t seem to agree. Despite the steady ache that had taken hold of her girly parts these last weeks, there was not a single tingle.
“No,” she answered.
He blinked, liquid eyes staring straight at her. Her reply was unexpected.
She checked her girly parts again. Not a twitch. Should she give him a chance anyway? It had been so long. Her body wanted sex. It reminded her each night as she drifted off to sleep.
Still . . .
If there was no spark, there was no spark. It couldn’t be forced no matter how much she might wish—and she knew it was not just her mood.
She met his gaze levelly.
He stared back, clearly not believing her, waiting for her to change her mind.
And she couldn’t really blame him. She’d been standing by herself staring across the crowded dance floor, watching the whirl and wonder of colorful summer dresses under the large tent. She gave him a light smile, then shook her head again and glanced away, dismissing him. An explanation was not required. No man wanted to be told that you just weren’t into him, not that she seemed to actually be drawn to any man these days.
“Can I get you a . . . ?” His eyes dropped slightly, focusing on the curve of her breasts rising above the white cotton of the off-the-shoulder top.
“No, thank you.” She cut him off, holding her barely touched flute of prosecco in front of her face, drawing his gaze back upward.
He met her eyes, saw the finality of her response, shrugged and turned away, likely searching for a friendlier target.
A movement to the side caught her attention. A tall, stately brunette in a slinky red dress strode toward her, amusement flashing in chocolate eyes. “That wasn’t very nice.”
Jordan shook her head, loose hair brushing her cheek, at Veronica’s approach. “Sometimes I don’t feel like being nice. And I wasn’t actually rude. It’s always better to say too little than too much.”
Veronica’s eyes moved to where the man stood across the tent, chatting up a young redhead. “But he was cute. Why . . . ?”
“Don’t I want to dance?” Jordan turned toward the dance floor, staring past it, through the gathering dusk, down to the long lawn to the sea grass and the gray ocean in the distance. “Do I actually need a reason? Can I just not feel like it? I did have an unpleasant conversation about the foundation a few minutes ago, but that wasn’t the reason. I simply didn’t want to dance.”
Veronica sighed, audible even over the beat of the dance music. “Come on, we’re not talking about dancing, Jordan. And if it were one time I’d accept that, but it’s been years since I’ve seen you dance, seen you look happy.”
Jordan lifted her wine and sipped it. “That’s not true. We have a good time on our TV marathon nights and I had a wonderful time at Ellen’s baby shower. I’m happy, don’t pretend otherwise. And you know why it’s been so long since I’ve danced.” She copied Veronica’s exact intonation.
Veronica rolled her eyes in exaggeration. “Yes, I know. Your husband was sick and passed away. We’ve had this conversation a dozen times. I understand. I was there with you through all of it, but it’s been over two years since his death and I’m starting to worry. Yes, you may have happy moments, but only if you’re taken out of yourself. I want to see you happy all of the time.”
Another sip. Another gaze down to the water. She wished she could hear it over the band. “Nobody is happy all the time. But you know . . . I woke today and I heard the waves out my bedroom window. I’ve heard them every day for years, maybe for my whole life, but today I really heard them. I just lay there listening for twenty minutes, feeling the peace that they brought. I mean, they’ve always brought me peace, but today . . . I heard their individuality. When I listened, I could hear just how different they were. Some splash. Some rumble. Some lap. Some pound.”
Veronica wrinkled her brow. “Okay . . . what does this have to do with you not dancing with a cute man? I know you’ve read some shape-shifter romances, but I do hope you’re not waiting for your own selkie to rise from those rumbling waves.”
“Well, I wouldn’t complain if one walked up nude from the beach. And don’t pretend you don’t read them, too. But no, I’m not expecting a selkie. I was just trying to explain that I’m feeling more alive and maybe soon I’ll be ready for hot men someplace other than in the pages of a book. It might not even be that long. I’m actually starting to dream about men—very vivid dreams. I just haven’t found the right one in real life.” She tried to look reassuring. It was hard when it had been so long since she’d seen a man, a living man, and wondered what his lips felt like, what his hands could do, since she’d let her eyes drop to the front of his pants and imagined. Her body might wake in the middle of the night, screaming with need, but it refused to respond to anyone she met. It was hard to imagine kissing an actual man. “I’m sure I’ll feel like dating again soon.” And she really hoped she would. She did want to find men, real men, interesting men, men who made her feel attractive, men who made her feel smart.
Veronica wasn’t buying it. “Come on, you know as well as I do that if I don’t push you, you’ll never get out of that big chair overlooking the sea. How often have I found you there with your nose deep in a book? Books are wonderful, but they are not life.”
And wasn’t that true. In books when the heroine found the older, handsome man he didn’t die before she turned forty—at least, not in the books she liked to read. And the heroine certainly wasn’t looked down upon for marrying him, made to feel she could never measure up. Of course, they normally got married at the end of the book so who knew what actually happened afterward. But in her imagination, she knew exactly what happened, knew what happily ever after meant. And it did not include becoming a widow at thirty-four.
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