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Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
0062566733 (ISBN13: 9780062566737)
One night. No one will know.
That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts-and the last names that made them enemies.
Until the night she didn’t show up.
Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn’t have time for distractions and Livvy’s sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She’s the one woman he shouldn’t want…so why can’t he forget how right she feels in his bed?
Livvy didn’t come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence–and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.
Being together might be against all the rules…but being apart is impossible.
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ONE NIGHT. No one will know.
Those were the rules.
They weren’t romantic rules, but nobody had called Nicholas Chandler a romantic in a very long time. Love rarely conquered all, the true villains almost always went unpunished, and happily ever afters? Ha. Sometimes all you could hope for were secret stolen moments with one messy, royally bad girl.
Nicholas shut off the engine of his sedan. He preferred using terms that were clearly defined, so he shied away from adjectives like bad. Bad, especially when used to describe a woman, could mean too many things.
In this case, though, it meant she was bad for him.
The Open sign flashed in the window of the tattoo parlor. Dusk had settled, and the other businesses in the strip mall had already closed. He sat in one of the only two cars in the parking lot, the other a fourteen-year-old rusted yellow sports car. How the Mustang was still functioning, Nicholas had no idea. Given how far its owner had run, he was certain that car had hit the upper limit of mileage a long time ago.
He kept his hand on the keys. If he left right now, he would still have time to squeeze in his usual after-work run before he sat down at his kitchen table with a nutritionally balanced dinner for one. Plus, he could avoid the risk of someone spying him and rumors spreading about his suspicious presence in this firmly blue-collar neighborhood of Rockville.
A shadow moved in the brightly lit storefront. Every muscle in his body seized. Part of him had hoped the gossip was false, even after he’d identified her car, but he supposed his life could never be that easy.
Livvy Kane had come home.
He leaned forward, but he was too far away to see her clearly. It didn’t matter. The restless energy in that body as she walked, the curve of her hip, the whip of her dark hair. All of it was imprinted on his brain.
Livvy paused in profile, backlit by fluorescent lights, and gathered the mass of her hair up on top of her head. Her back arched, full breasts lifting. He knew exactly how those firm globes felt in his hands, the point where her light brown skin faded into a paler color untouched by the sun, the taste of her small, tight nipples in his mouth. He’d sucked them, bit them, rolled them between his thumb and forefinger. He knew how much pressure to exert to make her sigh, and how to lick her to make her scream.
Livvy’s arms slowly lowered. She pivoted and walked away, out of view.
He breathed deep and sat back, the odd spell broken. Livvy was home. His home, and technically hers, though she hadn’t called it that in a decade.
He curled his hands into fists. He wanted to march in there and demand answers almost as much as he wanted to go home and forget she was breathing the same air as him. Two contrary, irreconcilable desires.
His phone buzzed, and his head jerked toward the dashboard where it was mounted. It took him a second to process the message that had popped up. The number was unfamiliar, but the attitude was not.
Can I help you?
In terms of pure pleasure and relief, he imagined the feeling he got when he received a text from Livvy was similar to what an addict felt when they got a hit of whatever drug they craved.
This time, though, a beat after the surge of excitement came mortification. If running a corporation didn’t work out for him, he wasn’t going to be able to count on a backup career as a spy.
His phone buzzed again. Quit creeping.
Nicholas scowled. He was not creeping. He was sitting in a dark parking lot, watching a woman through a window—
His face heated. Okay, point taken. Nicholas picked up the phone, thumbs poised on the screen. He hesitated, unsure of what to say.
He’d gotten exactly nine texts from her over the years, like clockwork. With the exception of that first message, they’d been sparing on words, containing only a time, a room number, and the latitude and longitude of wherever she happened to be in the country. None of them had required a response.
His phone vibrated against his fingers, a reminder and a rebuke. If you want a tattoo, you’ll have to come inside.
He didn’t want a tattoo. He wanted her. He couldn’t have her. Bad for you. Like his weakness for sweets.
He was not unaware of the parallels between his sugar addiction and his Livvy addiction. He ruthlessly controlled himself around the white stuff, bypassing the bakery at Chandler’s entirely for long stretches of time. Until he couldn’t help himself anymore, and he found himself eyeing the cannoli in the refrigerated display case.
He only ever allowed himself to purchase two. He ate one in his car, wolfing down the treat in greedy bites. The other he took home and ate slowly, savoring every second of the flaky fried shell encasing sweet ricotta, letting the creamy, rich filling linger on his tongue in a fit of self-indulgent need.