October 17, 2012
Not even Holland Springs’ Most Notorious Resident can stop this Love Spell.
Customers come to Rose Holland’s apothecary shop for three things: to hear her uncanny matchmaking advice, to buy the “magical” hair and skin products she sells, and to accuse her of trying to steal their men. For years Rose has been entirely innocent and almost content with that status quo. But that was before sexy, smooth-talking Sasha Romanov came to town and made her want to use her love potions on him… until he broke her heart. Now corrupt town officials want to seize her land and sell it to an industrial giant, and her only hope for help looks like the one man she can’t trust—or stop herself from falling under his spell.
Alexander “Sasha” Romanov seems like every woman’s dream: charming, handsome and fabulously rich. But while the people of Holland Springs think he’s in town to generously invest in their economy (and possibly one of their daughters), Sasha struggles to save his sick mother from his vicious uncle’s plans by doing everything the greedy businessman wants. And Vlad Romanov wants Rose Holland’s land—at any cost.
Despite Sasha’s vow to get the job done and keep his hands (and everything else!) off Rose, the blue-eyed witch enchants him. But his mother’s life remains in the balance. Sasha must find a way to protect his mother, sabotage his uncle’s plans, and win the woman who’s captured his heart without destroying everything she loves.
“A refreshing, whimsical contemporary romance with complex characters and bursts of emotion that tugs on your heartstrings. Kept me up till one AM reading!”~ Carly Phillips, NY Times Bestselling Author
Rose closed the door and whirled to face him. “Could you be more rude?”
“Let me have a go at him and you can judge for yourself.”
Fisting her hands on her hips, she glared at Sasha. “You- you spoiled—”
Sasha pounced, backing her up against the door and placing a palm along each side of her head. “Yes, I’m spoiled. I’m ruined and it’s all your fault.”
She gaped at him. “My fault?”
“Yes, yours—the woman who drives me insane. The woman I dream about kissing. The woman I hunger to be inside.” His head dipped down, full lips and sexy beauty mark at the corner dangerously close. “And right now, I’m so damn jealous that I want to…” He turned away but she placed her hand on his jaw and forced his face back to hers.
The heat in his eyes made her legs tremble. “I want to lock you in my bedroom with me and not let you out until, until…”
She licked her lips. “Until when?” she prompted. A small part of her reveled in this, his torture. She wanted him to hurt. To feel something.
He laughed, but it was mirthless. “Never, I never want to let you out.”
“Why?” she demanded. “What’s changed between last week and tonight?”
“Nothing. Everything. Christ, Rose. I’m so damn sorry and…and I don’t know what to do or say.” He looked as though he truly meant it. Regret seemed to fill his green eyes and she couldn’t make herself look away. This was the real him.
“You made me cry,” she whispered.
He rested his head against her forehead, his golden hair soft and silky. “I’m a bastard.”
“I waited up for you. I put on my prettiest dress.” Tears grew thick in throat. She would not cry in front of him. She only wanted him to know how badly he hurt her. But honestly, if he’d cared, he wouldn’t have been so cruel in the first place. Lifting her shaking hands, she tried to push him away, but he wrapped his arms around her and held her close.
“Forgive me,” he said, his breath hot in her hair. He kissed the side of her neck, her jaw and her cheek. “I need your forgiveness, Rosebud.”
Turning before he could find her mouth and she lost all self-control, she said, “I’ll give you another chance.”
She wriggled out of his embrace, running upstairs to her room and shutting the door behind her. Pressing cold fingers to her heated cheeks, she closed her eyes and sank to the floor. What had she done?
Marquita Valentine writes small town romances that are anything but small. Lisa Kleypas, Carly Phillips and Rachel Gibson are among her favorite contemporary authors. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man — and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.
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