by Annie Seaton
Published by Entangled Publishing
Nothing more than a holiday fling…until he moved in next door!
Staid professor Lissy McIntyre believes that choosing a mate should be based on common sense, not runaway passion. And Lissy would certainly never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Oh, yeah. He’s got a body just made for sinning and his sizzling kisses leave her senseless.
When Nick blows into town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense new neighbor and co-worker is the same sultry creature he seduced for one night of forbidden island pleasure. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to keep his hands off the multi-faceted Lissy. Will Nick break loyal Lissy’s heart or will she be the one woman he simply can’t walk away from?
“Hi, Tom. Hi, Nicky. Hi, lucky ladies with Tom and Nicky,” a giggly champagne-fueled hiccough escaped her lips and Jenny dragged her into the rest room.
“Melissa!” exclaimed Jenny. “The professor is a hunk. Tell me all…you called him by his first name. Have you been out with him, or do you just know him from work?”
“Nuh, juss from work,” slurred Lissy. “He’s a nightmare to work with, very full of himself…not very nice at all.”
“What about Tom? Are you still seeing him?”
“Huh—” said Lissy “—thought he was different, but they are tarred with the same hairbrush.”
Jenny burst out laughing. “Oh, you are so funny with a few drinks under your belt. You mean brush, nothair brush!”
Lissy tried to be serious for a minute, and had to hang on tightly to the basin to keep her balance. She squinted into the mirror and saw that her curls were out of control.
“Woo…a bit giddy,” she said. “And I’m hungry.”
Jenny pulled a chair over and sat her down in front of the mirror. “Okay, let’s fix you up.” She stood behind Lissy and tried to tame her curls down with her hand. “Speaking of hairbrushes, did you bring yours, hon?”
Lissy fumbled in her bag and tipped it out onto the bench. The contents of the bag rolled around and fell over the edge, just as the two glamorous women who were with Tom and Nick entered the restroom. She dived to the floor to catch lipstick, brushes, keys, and coins as they hit the floor.
“Oh, hello,” she said giggling. “Your legs match the rest of you.”
She put her tea on the windowsill and looked outside for a long moment. The sun was dropping behind the trees and the late afternoon sunlight darkened the room, making it difficult to see his expression.
“Why…why? I came to you last Saturday and you threw my feelings back in my face.”
“I was ashamed of my behavior all week. I was scared you would take it as a commitment if I responded to you.”
“Did I ask you for commitment?” she asked, her voice frosty. “Me. This is me. Remember, I don’t do commitment, Nick. You know how I feel about that. I don’t believe in the sort of physical attraction we seem to have for each other ending up in any long lasting relationship.”
“I know,” he replied. “But I didn’t trust you. I thought I could avoid hurting you, but I think I did the opposite.”
He watched as she wrapped her arms around her chest and appeared to go into self-preservation mode.
“Not at all. I barely gave you a thought. I was busy all week with the research. It’s not long till we go the Cook Islands and I have a heap of writing up to do. I will admit I was a little embarrassed about my behavior at the restaurant, so I kept a bit of a low profile at the university.”
He knew she was not being honest with him and it amazed him how well he could read her, but he didn’t want to push his luck and upset her even more. She turned away from him and looked out the window, her arms still crossed in front of her. There was also no way he was going to let her know that all he wanted to do was come over and hold her. Not sex, just comfort.
I have been intrigued from the first press release from Entangled when they announced the Indulgence line. As most of you know, I'm a Harlequin fanatic and when the line was described that would be somewhat modeled after Harlequin books and that Lori Wilde was heading it up. Well, Lori is no longer with them but I was still intrigued. Holiday Affair is my first book in the line and I was not disappointed.
Ms. Seaton has a written a great book with plenty of angst, sexy hero, smart heroine, smokin' sex and a lush tropical location. Our story starts off with Lissy on a vacation to scatter her grandfather's ashes. She didn't expect to have a one night stand with a seaman on the boat that she was traveling on, much less have him as a neighbor and colleague when she got back home. Lissy is a intelligent when it comes to her work but an emotional mess when it comes to men. She keeps company with a co-worker at work, Tomas, and much to her surprise its her one night stands older brother. Lissy and Tom have a companionable relationship and when he proposes marriage because neither one of them is looking for love in a marriage, she thinks about it. What she can't stop thinking about is the sex that she had with her own night stand.
Nick is at a crossroads when he meets Lissy on the boat. He has just finished his research for a paper that he is working on and has a job at a university that will help him finish up his paper. He never imagined that the woman that he seduced would be his colleague or his neighbor. Nor did he factor in that she would be seeing his older brother. He had been down that road before with his brother and it wouldn't go down it again. He wants Lissy but he is scared. Scared of the feelings that she makes him feel and want.
I really enjoyed Lissy and Nick. Put two emotional messy people together, shake it up and see what happens. While when they were together it was hot, intense and emotional, it was also tender and loving. Lissy was the first to recognize that all that had at first was a sexual relationship but once she dug deeper, she really did love Nick. On the other hand, it took a talk and a haircut with his mother to realize what was right in front of him.
Overall, I really enjoyed Lissy and Nick. Their road was rocky and intense but Ms. Seaton didn't sugarcoat their emotions and reluctance to give themselves totally to each other. Plus, I really felt like I was in the lush tropical location.
4 1/2 Harlies and a recommended read
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
She writes across genres: steampunk, historical and paranormal romance, romantic suspense but her favorite genre is contemporary romance
She lives with her own hero of many years. Their two children are now grown up and married, and two beautiful grandchildren have arrived. They share their home with "Bob" the dog and two white cats, Boycat and Girlcat.
Annie’s working life was spent in education from early childhood through to teaching trainee teachers at university. She has worked as librarian, teacher, technology consultant and university tutor. She has now retired and spends her days writing down all the stories in her head.
When she is not writing she can be found in her garden or walking on the beach... or most likely on her deck overlooking the ocean, a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc in hand as the sun sets.