5 stars - Gripping story of true love, forgiveness and happily ever after!
Did he deserve her second chance? Could he love a woman with secrets?
Olivia Moore is thrilled to renovate her best friend’s beach house in Wrightsville Beach. But she is mortified when she literally bumps into her teen crush, the enigmatic and sexy Greek geek, Alexander, who heroically tackles her onto the hot sand. Nearly ten years ago she fell for him hard and fast but he broke her heart. Now he’s her best friend’s brother-in-law and seems to appear everywhere she goes?
Still sorry he walked away from the only woman he ever loved the shy bachelor is determined to earn a second chance with the unique and spirited Olivia. Begging her to help him boost his confidence to woo a special, secret woman—her—will his convoluted plan win her over or lose her trust forever?
Refusing to let her secret past—or any man—distract her from proving herself as the most talented designer in the industry Olivia resolves to stay away from Alexander and focus on her work. But her generous nature prevails. She is over him so why not help the shy geek win his mystery woman? So why is she curious to see what Alexander will look like after his makeover? And why risk being hurt and rejected again by entertaining foolish dreams that he might take her to beautiful Santorini instead of the secret woman he craves?
Once the truth inevitably comes out, will Olivia and Alexander get their second chance to forever? Or will both their hearts and lives be destroyed?
Nine and a half years earlier
Olivia hadn’t imagined that her first time would be in a large walk-in linen closet, even if it was in a five star hotel. One tentative kiss from the shy, sweet Alexander had changed everything.
Both of them were shaking in each other’s arms, the napkins they had come for lay strewn beside them by their feet.
Alexander’s touch stole Olivia’s breath. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. The inevitability was mesmerizing.
This shouldn’t be happening...We’ve only known each other a few weeks. Six whole wonderful, romantic weeks.
But no words would come out.
Was that romantic music playing only inside her head?
Within minutes their world turned into a grown up paradise where only love and pleasure existed.
Enveloped within those large muscular arms, Olivia welcomed the heat in her pulsating body as she tried to control her erratic breathing.
She smiled under Alexander’s stare, grateful that he also looked as shaken up as she was.
“Olivia, wow.” His low voice surrounded her in their cocoon. She loved the delicious scent of his understated cologne mingled with the smell of lemony fresh laundry.
“I...I’m sorry, Olivia. Are you OK? Did I hurt you?”
When she shook her head he sighed and added, “Good. I couldn’t help myself, I love you...so much.” He kissed her again and she wanted to cry from his sweetness. Her heart thrummed even faster as she looked up into his frank, green eyes. They were filled with awe as if he hadn’t realized the intensity of what he felt until the words had come out.
Their incredible bond of having given each other the gift of their virginities could never be broken. She felt it in her bones and saw it clearly in his face that Alexander was in the same exact nirvana.
As if psychic, he whispered into her temple, his warmth breath sending shivers of delight through her body, “You know I love you very much, right, Olivia? So much...it hurts. This isn’t just...”
She nodded and smiled, blinking tears away to enjoy the vision of the adoration in his eyes. In his arms she felt absolutely beautiful, not overweight or clumsy, or geeky.
Everything felt so perfect, so right.
She could imagine meeting his large family, those Anderson boys and the parents. She visualized how much her parents and her younger sister, Lisa would love this humble, shy yet amazing guy.
But there was no rush for any of that. At eighteen she was still in college to pursue interior design, and he was considering his options right here in Wrightsville Beach or in his birth country, Greece.
“I can’t wait to show you off at the gala tomorrow.” Alexander’s deep slow laugh reverberated within his chest straight into her heart.
“You make me so happy, Olivia. I could never imagine feeling like this about anyone in the world.” His lips trailed her temple to her ear, then from her cheek to her mouth.
Another kiss to seal their love. It was magical.
She was about to admit her love for him when the loud knock on the door jarred her.
“Hey, Alexander, are you there? Where’d you disappear to?” Brittany’s nasal voice broke through their haven.
Cool air met Olivia’s exposed upper body, making her shiver.
Alexander sighed and with a regretful expression let her go. “Be there shortly.” He called out. Then he helped her with her with her blouse before adjusting his own clothing.
“This summer, today, they’ve been the most important times of my life. You’re unforgettable. My Olivia.”
She felt her lower lip tremble again as she kept her happy tears at bay and smiled. They would see each other later and she would tell him that she loved him too.
It would all work out, she just knew it.
* * *
What a difference a few moments make. Alex tried to calm himself and not grin like a romantic oaf. Making love with the luscious, beautiful, red-haired Olivia had been even more incredible than he had dreamed or imagined.
He strode towards the brightly lit banquet hall, his hands laden with the large mountain of white napkins from the linen closet. He knew his life would never be the same again and through her expressive eyes he felt confident that Olivia shared his feelings in precisely the same way. She hadn’t said much because it had all happened so fast. She was probably speechless.
It had felt so damn good. And next time when they were together it would be in a real bed….
He bit his inner lip to stop grinning. He could never have enough of Olivia.
“So.” He jumped as Brittany materialized from behind him. Trying to control his equilibrium he shed the heavy pile of linens on the table beside him and turned to face her.
“I see she got what she’d wanted.” Brittany said, her overly-made-up cat-like brown eyes boring into his.
“What are you talking about?” He looked away for a moment but she entered his personal space.
“I’m talking about you and Olivia in the closet. She must have played the virgin act so well.”
“Stop, Brittany. I don’t want to hear anything—”
“Okay, have it your way.” Brittany flicked her blonde hair and started turning away, then added, “As your friend I thought you should know that I heard Brad saying to someone that he was going to the gala with Olivia.”
Alexander stood very still. Showing no emotion he forced himself to breathe normally. “You’ve got your facts wrong. But thanks for your concern.” He swiveled away from her, but she clutched his arm.
“Why don’t you ask her?”
Although he wouldn’t look at her he stayed immobile.
She added, “You see? You know it in your gut. Maybe she’ll deny it, or maybe she’ll tell you the truth. That she was using you to make Brad jealous.”
It didn’t make sense to him, because he’d never seen Olivia or Brad speak or even acknowledge each other.Or maybe he’d just been a fool all along.
About the author:
USA Today Bestselling author, Gloria Silk, loves writing sensuous, uplifting and unforgettable romance and women's fiction. Her powerful stories are filled with passion without cultural borders, which will take you to various exotic locales around the world. Her books focus on the many facets of romantic relationships with strong and complex family bonds.
Born in Russia, her love of travel was ingrained within her from a very young age, as she has lived in various parts of Europe and the Mediterranean. Some of her favorite visited places are Austria, France, the Middle East, Hawaii and Hong Kong. Her next planned excursion is to Australia and New Zealand.
England (where she was brought up) holds a very special place in her heart with all its history and lush, green landscapes. Her background in English literature, writing and psychology help her create well-rounded, unique characters.
After spending many years in London, England where she met and married her own loving hero, she now lives - and happily writes - in Toronto, Canada.