Multi-millionaire Lucas O’Shaunnessey is incensed to learn that an interloper has opened an exotics pet shop near his very first retail store. How dare she move in on his territory?
But Lucas is in for quite a surprise when he confronts clever, sexy Devon Gallagher. Sparks fly as they each fight their primal attraction.
Can they work together until true love finally stakes its claim—or will his sultry ex-lover drive a wedge between them forever?
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
Lucas knew he should be leaving soon—Chicago and Cassandra were waiting. But his feet remained frozen to the floor while he watched Devon chat easily with another bright-faced old lady.
She’d done something to her hair, he suddenly realized. It was curled back, feathered away from her face. It made her look just a little less like his favorite late-night fantasy, gorgeous Hollywood starlet Samantha Brooks…and yet, somehow, it didn’t. He could still see the uncanny likeness, even from where he was standing.
Damned if she didn’t look even sexier in that long colorful sarong and gauzy peasant blouse! Who’d have thought anything could be more alluring than those tight, raggedy shorts, or the trim navy slacks and vibrant blouses she normally wore? His pulse began to triphammer.
Cassandra was waiting for him.
He couldn’t remember a time when he’d ever cared less.
As if his turbulent thoughts were a magnet, her startled eyes darted in his direction—and all the noisy clamor faded away. If there was anyone else in the market besides just her, he didn’t see or hear them.
A hot flush of color stained Devon’s cheeks as he sauntered over. He was here! She’d been thinking of him, guiltily wishing she could see him again—and hating herself for that treacherous longing—and he was here!
How long had he been standing there, watching her?
“Sam.” His lazy, insolent greeting made every warm, wistful thought vanish like mist. “You clean up pretty good.”
Damn it, she hated it when he called her ‘Sam’!
Devon’s eyes glittered with suppressed irritation. “Coming back to slum it with the little people?” she sneered.
He couldn’t help it; he simply had to laugh. Devon was so full of energy, so gutsy and daring, that he was enchanted by her snappy rebuttals. “Not for long, more’s the pity. I’m due at a trade show in Chicago this afternoon.”
She raked him with a single derisive glance, taking in his expensive tailored business suit and gleaming black shoes. “Overdue,” she retorted. “And overdressed. You’re going to melt in those fancy duds if you stay here much longer.”
The garrulous retirees made way for him, until he was standing close enough to breathe in her delicate scent.
His guts began to churn with sudden fierce need. “Want me to bring you anything?”
Devon had to tilt her head back to meet his mocking gaze. Something in his vivid eyes paralyzed her, and made her heart pound in triple-time. It was only reflex that had her answering, “Proof that you’re moving back there for good?”
His grin widened. Then, before she could do more than gasp in shocked outrage, he caught her in a tight embrace, and his mouth covered hers in a heady, dizzying kiss.
“Try to miss me a little, Sam!” he whispered in her ear when he finally released her. Then he was gone again, swaggering through the cheering crowd, which parted around him like the proverbial Red Sea.