Hey, romance addicts. Get ready for the DeLucas, a family of men who are mean in the streets and the sheets.
They are an international organized crime family known for their lethality and chivalry. Only a fool will mistake their genteel ways for weakness. Cross any of them, and expect to spend the rest of your life watching your back and sleeping with one eye open!
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Enjoy a sneak peek of my book in the collection, Emilio Deluca.
Emilio wasn’t supposed to be a part of the family business, but an attempt on his father’s life pulls him in. He’s determined to exact revenge and keep his father safe. He cons the noble doctor Cherish Raphael to care for his father in hiding, convincing her to come with him willingly. He needs her expertise, but he wants her body more and more as time passes. Desire burgeons between them. Emilio decides that he will not let Cherish go.
She closed her eyes and allowed weeks of tension to drain from them. “I can’t argue with you about that.” She heard Dante enter. His heavy head fell on her lap. She giggled and scratched the soft fur behind his ear. “What’s the matter, boy? You want your feet rubbed too?”
“What’s going on in here?” Emilio asked, his tone filled with irritation. Her eyes snapped open. He stood over them, looking none too pleased.
“I didn’t hear you come in,” she said, meeting his gaze.
He pointed to his socked feet. “That’s because you have everyone walking around without shoes.”
“True.” She met his gaze. “I’m getting a pedicure and a massage. You said I could have anything I want to make my stay here more comfortable.”
He stroked the whiskers of his close-shaved beard that had grown over the past few weeks. “You’re right. I did.”
She smirked. “I asked Leopold to arrange for a pedicure and foot massage with George.” She batted her lashes. He’d been ignoring her for the past few days. Ever since their tryst in the puzzle room. Who knew it would take another man playing with her feet to get his attention? She had finally admitted to herself that it was exactly what she wanted. “Do you mind?”
“Not at all. I want to make you comfortable, as my guest.” He slapped George’s muscular shoulder. “I think he’s finished with your massage.”
George’s large thumb stopped pushing up the ball of Cherish’s sole. He sat up, looking even larger, and offered Emilio a smile. “Yes, Mr. DeLuca.” He dropped Cherish’s foot like it was on fire and bolted off his stool. He packed and left the room faster than one would think someone his size capable.
Cherish watched George dash out the door and giggled. “You certainly know how to clear a room.”
Emilio unbuttoned his black shirt cuffs and rolled his sleeves as he sat at the end of the chaise. “When I want to. Now let me see what I paid for.” He slid his fingers down the top of her foot. “Nice, and red nails. I like them.”
“I’m glad you approve.” She flexed the foot in his hand, heat from his close touch rushing through her. “But my feet are still a little achy. I’m running between the two wings of the mansion every day.”
He put her foot in his lap and squeezed it between his strong fingers. “I can help with that.” He pinned her gaze in a way that demanded she didn’t close her eyes.
She took a deep breath, trying to stay calm despite the desire building inside. “So, why do I deserve this treatment?”
He shifted his gaze down to her foot. “You’ve done an excellent job caring for my father, and you’ve put up with me and my mixed messages.”
His black eyebrows furrowed. “Don’t be coy. One reason I’m drawn to you is your straightforwardness. I’m not one of those men intimidated by a woman empowered by her femininity.”
She put her other foot in his lap. “Good to know. Yes, your signals are all over the place. I assumed it’s because you don’t know what to do with your feelings.”
Emilio kissed the tip of a big toe and then her ankle. His insides surged. Attempting to resist Cherish was as futile as trying to stem high tide with a bucket. “I don’t know what I should do about my attraction to you. A war between families is brewing. I have to find all the people responsible for the attempt on my father’s life, and I have to keep my father and sister safe. Reason tells me I don’t have time to pursue anything with you. I should stuff it down and keep things business between us.” He took one leg and held it in the air and caressed it. “Magnificent.” He rested it on his shoulder and glided his fingers down the soft brown skin, reveling in the sound of her breathing getting heavier. “But I don’t want things to be just business.”