Winning her heart may require sneaking a dink past her defenses.
If Queen of Venues Tabatha Sampson wasn’t so easy to like she’d be universally hated. At Tulle and Tulips, she wins over her clients with a deft likeability, and a gift for finding them the wedding venue of their dreams.
Her polished veneer fools everyone into thinking she’s never known hardship, that everything she touches is blessed with perfection. In truth, her deepest secret is her life’s biggest failure—her husband.
A reformed beach bum turned professional volleyball player, Danny Hampton knows a thing or two about how to work a crowd. On the circuit he wins the hearts of spectators and sponsors while keeping his own safely shielded. Since stepping onto the sand he’s done nothing but win. Behind his easy smile lies the heart of his biggest loss—his wife.
Now he’s determined to show Tabatha he’s a changed man. But it’ll take more than heated kisses to keep her pen off the dotted line at the bottom of their divorce papers.
Warning: This title contains a man determined to be the hero every woman could want, and one woman needs.
Tabatha attempted to formulate a plan for dealing with her husband. Unfortunately, she had nothing when she reached him, which gave him the opening he no doubt had been looking for.
Danny stood, took her left hand in his right one and kissed her before she could react.
It wasn’t a kiss on the hand or cheek that could be easily brushed off. No. He leaned in, locked his gaze with hers and kissed her full on the mouth, teasing her closed lips with the tip of his tongue. The moment she gasped, opening her mouth, he eased back and grinned.
She tugged at her hand he still held, but he wouldn’t let her go.
“Why are you here?” She didn’t ask how he knew where to find her. She hadn’t offered the information to him, but it wasn’t exactly a secret. Still, no matter how public her Twitter profile was, she didn’t want him around her work place or her friends. Her meddlesome friends.
“I needed to apologize.”
“For coming here, pulling me from work and kissing me?”
“So many things. Not those.” He shook his head and sighed deeply. “But too many others to mention in this lobby.”
Regret or remorse or whatever he was expressing struck her as uncharacteristic. He’d never been a bad guy, but his self-centeredness had kept him from ever saying he was sorry and meaning it. The sincerity in his tone made it tough for her to refuse him.
Tough, not impossible.
She hardened herself and ignored the rapid beat of her pulse that had kicked into high gear when he kissed her. “You shouldn’t have come here, Danny.”
“To Miami or this building?”
“Pick one.” The man infuriated her when he pretended not to know what she was talking about. There’d been a time he could make her laugh with the pretense, because he’d always turned it into a game that led to bed.
They’d been really great in bed.
“I had to come. You needed this.” Still holding her hand, he lifted his left one and uncurled his fingers. In his palm sat a tube of lip gloss. Not any lip gloss. The same brand and flavor he’d given her on their first date.
Looking at the offering was all it took to sweep her back in time when a whirlwind of gestures had carried her into a bliss she hadn’t wanted to see fade. Her heart fluttered, suggesting yet again that her feelings hadn’t faded as much as she’d like.
“I noticed how shiny your lips always are,” he’d said with a grin as he handed her the gloss. “You’re going to need a touchup after I kiss you senseless.”
She remembered those kisses. For a third of a second she’d thought he’d take the greeting kiss that far. That he hadn’t, that she’d been able to keep her reaction hidden, gave her the strength to hold back a laugh and sound of shock. “That’s presumptuous.”
“I lose track of time a lot, so I don’t believe in wasting it. Waiting until the second date to find out if you still taste the same would be a waste.”
“That’s just pompous.”
He’d grinned again and damn if the look didn’t further weaken her inner resolve. “Don’t deny it. You know you enjoy kissing me.”
She didn’t hold the second laugh back. And she did enjoy kissing him. So much so, in fact, that they’d spent the first date on the couch making out.
She’d avoided that brand and flavor of gloss since moving from California, but now, seeing it in Danny’s palm, she was helpless. Tabatha reached out and took the gloss. The instant her skin brushed his she knew she’d messed up. She’d given him an inch. With his next words he turned it into a square foot.
“I want to taste that the next time I kiss you.”
“You’re still presumptuous.”
“I just value time more than before. And you know you’ll kiss me again.”
She was laughing when she stepped away, pulling free the hand he still held. “You should stay out of the sun, Danny. You’re frying brain cells.”
He only shrugged. “I’m coming back, Tabatha and I’m going to prove I’ve changed.”
Any remaining laughter died away. “This is one rematch you won’t score the way you want.”
I like Tabatha because she’s smart and snarky. It took me as long as it took Tabatha to warm up to Danny because I’m not a big “second chances” kinda girl. In the end I was glad that Tabatha was a lot more forgiving. Sweet, fun, flirty and hot, a definite must read along with the whole Tulle and Tulips series!