How to write this review without the whole thing turning into a Hardy Cates droolfest. Big time! Hard as a young Liberty Jones did. I could see that beneath that mind-numbingly sexy bad boy veneer was a sensitive, loving, good-hearted person. My feelings never changed for him. Am I putting him on a pedestal?
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Haven is the rebellious Travis daughter who struggles against her overpowering attraction to the most dangerous man in town. But when Hardy crashes a Travis family wedding, the heiress and the bad boy uncover an explosive chemistry that neither of them can deny. He is looking for the perfect society wife, the kind of woman Haven Travis could never be.
Having once been burned by a love affair gone wrong, Haven vows to stay far away from the sexy heartbreaker.
However, Haven discovers that the temptation of a blue-eyed devil is hard to resist. He had gone through the small wrought-iron gate and left it ajar. It looked like he was heading into the vault, which was lined with oak barrel stays that sweetened the air. I figured Nick must have gotten tired of the crowds and had come early to meet me.
I wanted him to hold me. I needed a moment of peace in the middle of all the cacophony. Skirting around the dining table, I went to the wine cellar.
The gate closed behind me with a smooth clack. Reaching for the light switch, I flipped it off and went into the cellar. You feel nice in a tux. The wine-sweet air filled my nostrils, and something else. Exerting pressure on the back of his neck, I urged his mouth to mine, finding softness and heat, the tang of champagne melting into the intimate taste of him.
One of his hands traveled up my spine, coaxing out a shiver, a sweet shock, as the warmth of his palm met my bare skin. I felt the strength of his hand, and the gentleness, as it closed over my nape and tilted my head back. His mouth barely grazed mine, more a promise of a kiss than an actual one.
I made a little sound at the brush of his lips and kept my face upturned, straining for more. Another lush descent, a dizzying pressure as he opened my mouth with his. He reached deeper, his tongue finding ticklish places that drew a shivering laugh from my throat.
I tried to curl around him, holding him with my arching body. His mouth was slow and searching, the kisses hard at first, then loosening as if unraveling from their own heat. The pleasure thickened, hard flushes rising through me, bringing the desire to full-slip ripeness. Nick lifted me with astonishing ease until I sat on the chilled table.
He took my mouth again, longer, deeper, while I tried to catch his tongue, tried to draw him as far inside as possible. I wanted to lie back on the table, an offering of aching flesh on sterile marble, and let him do anything he wanted. Something had been cut loose in me. I was saturated with excitement, drunk with it, and part of it was because Nick, who always seemed so in control, was fighting for self-restraint.
His breath came in ragged puffs, his hands gripping my body. He kissed my throat, tasting the thin, susceptible skin, his lips stroking the throb of my pulse. Panting, I slid my hands up to his hair, so soft and thick, layers of heavy silk in my palms. A cold shot of horror went down to my stomach. I touched his face in the darkness, encountering hard, unfamiliar features, the scrape of shaven bristle. A kiss burned the center of my palm, and then I heard a voice so smoky and deep I would have sworn it belonged to the devil.
Two years later in Houston, a recently divorced Haven runs into Hardy again. The last thing Haven wants is to be involved, but Hardy is determined to prove that he truly is the only man for her.
Kleypas second poignant, passionate, and perfectly written contemporary romance is richly emotional and sinfully sexy. A Wellesley grad and daughter of a Houston energy baron, Haven Travis is an unlikely romantic heroine until her brief but ardent encounter with a man who turns out to be Hardy Cates, the East Texas roughneck from Sugar Daddy who worked his way up from poverty and then outmaneuvered the Travis clan in a business deal.