Hi, readers! I’m celebrating my latest release, The Saint’s Devilish Deal, this month with a cool prize pack and giveaways! I thought I would share an excerpt on the Ladies in Red today, to give y’all a taste of Santiago & Esme.
Esmerelda Quinn has been looking for a place to belong since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was young. The closest thing to home has always been Aunt Constance’s villa in Puerto Vallarta, so after a string of dead-end hotellier jobs, she’s coming home to run the villa.
Santiago Cruz has called the villa home for as long as he can remember. In between surfing events, Constance has always had a room for him. Color him surprised when Constance decides to retire – and leaves a joint interest in the villa to both Santiago and Esme.
Esme isn’t thrilled to share ownership of the villa with the the youngest Cruz brother – especially when she learns Santiago’s brother has been after the villa for years. But Santiago has grown up while she’s been away at school and soon she finds herself falling for the rich boy down the hall.
“Dios, you were never this uptight before you left Mexico for your fancy boarding schools and university,” Santiago said. “We’ll read our letters as Constance requested, after three months.” Then he firmly grasped Esme’s elbow, pulled her to her feet, and frog-marched her out of the stuffy office before she could protest.
The air on the street was blessedly cool, a brisk breeze blowing in from the ocean, but that did nothing to cool Esme’s temper.
“How dare you? You do not speak for me, Santiago. You didn’t when we were kids, you didn’t in Napa, and you won’t now.” She jerked her arm from his grasp and turned back to the door but he stopped her.
“You still do not listen, pequeña. Constance has asked you to give her three months to recuperate, do you not see that? Three months and then you’ll understand what she wants. Maybe we both will.” The last words were barely a whisper, but before Esme could wonder what he meant, Santiago stepped forward, crowding her against the adobe wall. Making her five-footseven frame feel absolutely dainty next to his six-foot-three of toned, taut muscle. “You have not been here as I have.”
The words lashed at her heart but Esme refused to let Santiago see that he had the power to hurt her.
“No, I haven’t been here, watching her condition deteriorate without doing anything as you have,” she said acidly. “How would you react if your father pulled a vanishing act, leaving me to run Cruz Resorts while you sat on your thumbs in the corner?”
“Leave the worrying to Tobias.” He shrugged. “My brother was always more interested in Eduardo’s dealings than I.”
“Truth, Saint, not more posturing.”
“If I were still involved with Cruz Resorts, I would welcome the additional time to enjoy
the finer things in life.”
She scoffed. “Like you did in Napa?”
“I did enjoy you, pequeña.”
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