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Here is a short sample from the book:
A redwood porch with tables and chairs overlooked a sprawling garden and backyard. I clutched my shrug around my shoulders and shivered in the freezing, starless night. My shoulders curled forward as I set the champagne glass on the rail and leaned so that the wood dug into my ribs. The noise of the party shut out, I closed my eyes and let out a shuddering breath. The darkness reminded me of nights with Ben when I’d lie in bed and watch him sleep. I never felt so safe.
A husky voice shattered my sanctuary and my body turned—right into another body.
“Whoa.” I looked up and saw a broad chest. I backed away and saw a man standing in front of me, looking disheveled in his dark gray suit. It wasn’t his attractiveness that I noticed right away; it was the restlessness of his black eyes, which seemed to hold me still.
A slow smirk stretched across his rugged face. His dark hair flared around him, just as wild as the rest of his appearance: loose tie and shirt untucked, a shoelace trailing behind his scuffed patent leather shoes. He looked drunk, except he held nothing in his hands. There was no stink of alcohol.
“Speak for yourself.” I felt a surge of annoyance toward the man who spotted my dark mood. A bit of surprise registered in my brain. Normally, I wouldn’t be able to talk to an attractive guy like him, but I didn’t find him intimidating at all.
He gave me an unconcerned shrug. “What, this?” He tugged his collar. “I hate parties, but I’m always expected to go to them. I try to look like shit so people leave me alone.”
A smile flickered on my face and he grinned back. Even in his haphazard attire, he was handsome. He had a straight nose and hollowed cheeks. His flushed cheeks would have made him look like some sort of dark angel if it weren’t for his narrowed eyes. How could someone be so attractive but look like shit at the same time?
“I don’t want to be here, either.”
I normally wasn’t this honest, but something about him made me feel like being open. I shivered as he drew closer to me. There was so much energy behind his eyes that I felt suddenly warm and my skin trembled with the abrupt change. A jolt of electricity shot up my leg as his jacket slid from his sinewy shoulders so that he could drape it around me. His hand rested for a few seconds on my shoulder and I felt the absence of his warmth when he took it away like a swift fist to my stomach.
“T—thanks.” I stuck my hand out from his jacket. “I’m Natalie Porter.”
He took my hand and squeezed it. My heart fluttered as another surge shot through his hand into mine. The way his hand grasped mine made me wonder how his hands would feel around my hips. I snapped myself out of it.
Pardini? Oh, crap. I reflexively squeezed his hand. “You’re—you’re Luke’s—?” I couldn’t quite keep the doubt from creeping into my voice. He’s a member of that super rich family? He sure doesn’t look like it.
“Cousin. Yes,” he said in a tone that really said: Yes, unfortunately.
William didn’t look like a Pardini. Sure, he had the Italian features: black hair and eyes, a permanently tanned look, but he was dressed like a homeless person. It was as if they had plucked one of the homeless from Civic Center and shoved him into a designer closet.
He only released my hand when I pulled back. His hot gaze dipped down my dress and back up again. He was being blasé about checking me out, but there was no shame in his eyes.