Seaside embrace love in.., p.1
Seaside Embrace (Love in Bloom, p.1Melissa Foster
Seaside Summers, Book Six
Love in Bloom Series
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This is a work of fiction. The events and characters described herein are imaginary and are not intended to refer to specific places or living persons. The opinions expressed in this manuscript are solely the opinions of the author and do not represent the opinions or thoughts of the publisher. The author has represented and warranted full ownership and/or legal right to publish all the materials in this book.
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2016 Melissa Foster
This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Cover Design: Natasha Brown
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A Note to Readers
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For readers of the entire Seaside Summers series, you know Hunter Lacroux has got quite an edge to him. I knew he needed a strong woman who could stand up to him, and Jana Garner was his perfect match. Sparks fly from the first moment you see them together. I hope you enjoy their super-sexy love story as much as I do!
Seaside Summers are just one of the series in the Love in Bloom big family romance collection. Characters from each series make appearances in future books so you never miss an engagement, wedding, or birth!
- Keep track of your favorite characters with the essential Love in Bloom Series Guide: http://www.melissafoster.com/LIBSG
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- Love in Bloom Subseries Order
Snow Sisters – Get Book 1 FREE
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Wild Boys After Dark
Table of Contents
Claimed by Love Excerpt - Chapter One
Touched by Love Excerpt - Chapter One
THE SCENT OF patchouli and sex hung in the air as Jana Garner slid silently from the sheets in the unfamiliar room. A thin glow from the streetlights seeped between the heavy curtains, cutting a path across Hunter Lacroux’s bare ass. God, he had a perfect ass: firm and squeezable at once. The kind of butt that Jana knew would defy gravity and still be pure perfection well into his graying years. She couldn’t help but admire his powerful physique one last time. Something to draw upon later when she would surely berate herself for hooking up yet again with the unfairly irresistible pigheaded man.
One beautifully sculpted arm arched across his forehead, and the other stretched across the pillow on which she’d slept, revealing the tattoo of the four essential life elements wrapping around his bicep. She’d asked him about it once, and he’d said he was an earthy guy. She didn’t linger on his tattoo for long. His broad chest was too tantalizing, and it led to ripped abs. Abs that, even when he was sleeping, were perfectly defined and lickable. And oh so delicious. Her gaze drifted lower, to hips that held the secrets of perfect thrusts, and—lucky for her—never seemed to tire. The sheets were bunched across his danger zone, which was an ideal location for them, because there were two things about Hunter Lacroux that drove Jana wild: his wickedly dark eyes that made her forget all the reasons why she should never touch him and that trouser snake of his that brought such immense pleasure, it kept her coming back for more.
Hunter was the one man on the planet she should stay away from and the only one she seemed unable to deny. She tiptoed around the bed and picked up her miniskirt and top, searching for her bra and panties and wondering how she’d ended up here again. She’d been out with her sister, Harper, her friend Sky, and Sky’s fiancée, Sawyer, at a bar in Provincetown, when Sky’s brothers Hunter and Grayson and their friend Clark had shown up. She vaguely remembered getting into a heated debate with Hunter. Don’t we always? Hunter knew Jana had been training under her brother Brock, a local boxing champ, for almost three years, and he’d been intent on giving her shit about women infiltrating a man’s sport.
The next thing she knew they were several shots of tequila to the wind and stumbling along Commercial Street to…? She looked around the room. This place, wherever that was. It looked like a motel bedroom, but in reality, knowing Hunter, it could have been a friend’s house where they’d crashed for the night.
Tequila. It was always her undoing. She should know better than to do shots of it anytime—but especially when he was around. She momentarily wondered why her sister hadn’t dragged her ass away from him. Harper knew she had fallen into bed with him before and had sworn off him. Damn her.
She glanced at her reflection in the mirror above the dresser. Her long blond hair was knotted and tangled, and her eyes were bloodshot. She definitely had that recently fucked look. I really need to stop doing this. Her eyes dropped to the reflection of Hunter. Especially with you.
If she were honest with herself, she’d admit that she needed to stop blaming Harper, too, and take some responsibility for her actions. She was twenty-five, for goodness’ sake, not sixteen.
She stole another glance at Hunter, remembering the way he’d fisted his hands in her hair, tugging until her scalp stung, and nearly growled her name as he found his release. The man was an animal in the sack, better than any man she’d ever been with. She didn’t do relationships, not after a string of horrible breakups and hurt feelings. She’d sampled enough men over the years to be certain of two things. Men as talented in bed as Hunter were har
She pulled on her clothes and sank down to her knees, looking under the furniture for her panties. Where the hell were they? She checked the bathroom and remembered the feel of the cold marble against her bare ass.
Nope. Panties wouldn’t be in there.
She tiptoed back into the bedroom, grabbed her purse from the chair and picked up her flip-flops. She glossed over his jeans lying by the foot of the bed and his T-shirt by the door in one last search for her lingerie. Her eyes danced over the chair in the corner, the dresser, the…Ohmygod.
Her stomach dipped as she plucked her bra from the top of the lampshade in the corner of the room, where he must have tossed it last night. He was definitely an aggressive and fun lover. Two admirable traits—if they weren’t attached to bullheaded Hunter. She didn’t know what it was about him that pissed her off, but every time they were together they clashed like oil and water, then tangled in the sheets like starving castaways fed for the first time in years.
One last sweep of the room confirmed that her panties were a lost cause. It wasn’t the first time she’d left panties behind—and it probably wouldn’t be the last.
She opened the door as quietly as she could and stepped into the brightly lit hallway, tiptoeing out the front door. The sign out front read, We rent rooms by the hour! Grab a date and come on in!
Holy crap. That was a new low, even for her. She ducked her head and continued on her thankfully short walk of shame to her car, where she found a piece of paper shoved in the crack of the door. She recognized Harper’s perfectly scripted writing.
J, I tried to dissuade you. Call me later, you big ho! Xox, H
Jana climbed into her car and closed her eyes, letting her head fall back against the headrest. She probably should have thought about the busy day she had today before she’d picked up the first shot last night. She had boxing practice at seven with Brock, and she’d agreed to help out this week at Undercover, her brother Colton’s bar. She started the car, and a quick glance at the clock told her she had four hours until she was supposed to meet Brock, which meant she might be able to catch two hours of shut-eye if she was lucky.
Her cell phone vibrated with a text. Caller ID revealed the name DO NOT RESPOND! She cringed, remembering that she’d programmed that in after the last time she’d slept with Hunter. She opened and read the text anyway. You snuck out again? Seriously? At least when I do that I remember my underwear.
The smiley face at the end of the text told her that she’d now officially hooked up with Hunter too many times. He was getting comfortable, and that was the last thing she needed.
HUNTER PULLED UP in front of Grunter’s Ironworks at ten after eight and parked his younger brother’s truck. He and Grayson had been in the metalworking business together for years, and he still never tired of seeing the Grunter’s Ironworks emblem on the building.
He climbed from the truck and checked his phone one last time. He hadn’t expected Jana to respond to his text, but that didn’t stop his gut from knotting at the thought of the saucy little blonde ignoring his message. She was a spitfire of annoyance and sensuality that was hard to ignore. He shoved his phone into his front pocket, chuckling to himself about the little package he’d left for her on his way in to work, and headed into his shop.
Clark Shelton was sitting at his desk with his back to the door, talking on the phone. Hunter and Grayson had grown up with Clark, and they’d hired him to run their business after college. Hunter headed to the back of the shop to begin work on a sculpture he was designing for a local competition. He’d been trying to conceptualize the project for a week, and nothing felt right. But the competition was too big to walk away from. The winner would not only have their work featured in a community beautification project, but would also be awarded a major art contract with a national children’s foundation.
The beautification project, and the competition, were funded by Parker Collins, an actress who was building a summer home in Wellfleet. The project was her way of appeasing local residents who were dismayed over the size of her sprawling summer home. The project included creating massive gardens and a gazebo for outdoor concerts across from the harbor. Hunter was designing a sculpture for the competition, and Grayson was working on designs for the gazebo.
Grayson was leaning over the drafting table. He lifted serious eyes to Hunter.
“Jana get home okay last night?”
“I assume so. Why?”
“You assume so?” Grayson smirked. “She left before you woke up again, didn’t she?”
Hunter scoffed. “Why do you care?”
“Maybe because she’s like a sister to Sawyer, our sister’s fiancé, remember? I don’t want you to fuck up their relationship.”
“Let me worry about that, little brother. Trust me, she was all in. It’s not like I took her against her will.” Hell, she’d been all over him, tearing at his clothes before they’d even made it into the rented room.
“A’right, but if you hurt her, you know Sawyer will go crazy on your ass, and I’m not protecting you.” Grayson laughed. He and Hunter were both over six feet tall, with athletic physiques, but unlike their other brothers, Pete and Matt, they’d spent their lives out alphaing each other. While their brothers seemed to morph into responsible adults the day they became teenagers, Hunter and Grayson had accepted that role in their professional lives, but their personal lives were a different story altogether.
“Yeah, I’ll remember that.” He laughed at the idea of Grayson protecting him, but he knew his brother was right. Not only had Sky become close with both Jana and her sister, Harper, but she brought them to almost all their get-togethers, too. It seemed like Jana was always around, and she was the last person he should be hooking up with, considering he usually banged a woman a few times at most, then closed that door. But flames ignited every time he and Jana were in the same room, and she had some kind of crazy hold over him that he’d been unable to escape.
Grayson lowered his gaze to the designs again. “I drew up the plans for the detail around the arches.” While neither Grayson nor Hunter was interested in settling down in their personal lives, when it came to their business, they had a whole different attitude. They’d worked hard to build a reputable business that they could be proud of. Their love of their craft showed in their exceptional designs, and that kept them in high demand.
“Cool.” Hunter came around the table to check out the designs. The competition required only designs and a small scale model of the gazebo, while the sculptures were expected to be full-size and ready for display by the competition date, which was a little more than five weeks away.
They had gone back and forth about the finite details for the gazebo, initially thinking about using a seashell theme, then moving to more of an overall oceanic theme, until finally they’d agreed on something more naturalistic. When Hunter had presented the idea of tangled vines interspersed with fish and shells, as well as clusters of berries and leaves, Grayson had loved it.
“You any closer on the sculpture?” Grayson asked.
“I’m working on something, but it still doesn’t feel right. I figured I’d fabricate some of the pieces and see if I start to feel good about it.”
He needed to get on the ball, but for some reason his creativity was at a standstill. Hunter was a perfectionist. This carried over to his clients to the nth degree. He sometimes spent hours laboring over the slightest angles or twists of metal.
The fact that Hunter did not go to the same lengths for a relationship wasn’t lost on him.
BY SEVEN THIRTY Jana’s arms felt like wet noodles. She’d arrived at Cape Boxing right on time, and like always, Brock was waiting for her. Her eldest brother was never late to anything, and when he’d agreed to coach Jana, he’d dri
“Jana? You sort of spaced out for a minute.” Brock slapped the heavy bag with his palm. “Focus.”
“Right. Sorry.” Focusing was more difficult this morning, when every move made her thighs ache, bringing Hunter, and their latest hookup, to the forefront of her mind.
“Lack of focus leads to—”
“I know. I know. Openings for my opponent,” she said. Brock was known as “the Beast” for his status as a local boxing champion, and Jana appreciated the time and attention he gave to coaching her. She’d spent a lot of time in fight clubs. Their mother used to drag her and her siblings to Brock’s practices and sparring matches. Harper and Colton had never been enamored of the sport, but Jana had been awestruck from the moment she’d walked into the club until the very second they’d left.
For years she’d fought the urge to train, putting her energy into her dance and theater work, where girls were supposed to be involved, at least according to her parents. But the very essence of the sport spoke to her, from the smell of sweat and conviction that permeated every boxing club to the boxers’ grunting and visceral sounds. Having made her mark as a dancer and an actor, she felt as though she’d fulfilled her parents’ need for her to be a stereotypical girl, and she’d finally given in to her love of boxing and began training. She related to the look of determination that not only filled a fighter’s eyes, but took over their body, plumping up their veins and ripening their muscles. But it was more than the scents and energy of the sport that drew her in. It was the sense of control and power that came along with it. Boxing instilled a different type of confidence than dance had always given her. Dancing made her feel beautiful and feminine, graceful in ways that nothing else ever could. Boxing was all about strength and escaping fear. She had to climb out of her head when she fought, and climbing out of her head was always a good thing.
Seaside Embrace (Love in Bloom by Melissa Foster / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes