Endless Summer Nights, which features my novella Heartbreak in Rio, is now available! I posted Chapter One last week. In case you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should grab your copy, another excerpt is below to tempt and tease you.
Take a trip into the heart of passion as seductive samba rhythms pulse in the warm evening breezes. Escape and savor these three scintillating stories set against the beautiful backdrop of Brazil….
RISKY BUSINESS by Donna Hill. Two weeks in Rio—surely enough time for marketing VP Sydni Lawson to forge a lucrative merger. But instead of sweet-talking real estate mogul Gabriel St. James…she’s being swept away by their sizzling and unexpected attraction.
BEATS OF MY HEART by Grace Octavia. Sunshine Embry has been pushing her own dreams aside as the assistant to a spoiled R & B diva. Then an invitation to record in Rio brings her back in contact with music sensation Marlo Simmons, who is also her boss’s sexy brother! Is this their chance to make sweet, sweet music together?
HEARTBREAK IN RIO by Delaney Diamond. Sidney Altman and Rodrigo Serrano once shared a scorching affair, before he returned to Brazil to take over his family’s fashion empire. Now she’s in Rio on business—and Rodrigo intends to win her back and prove that his biggest regret was ever letting her go….
Nervous now that she had what she wanted, Sidney marched over to the door, which was opened from the inside. Rodrigo stood looking down at her, an air of tension crackling between them.
“Couldn’t wait to see me again, Sidney?”
“I wanted to talk to you, if it’s not too much to ask.”
“What I want is irrelevant, isn’t it?” He walked back over to the desk and sat, waving for her to take a seat in front of him.
A bank of windows behind him let daylight into the office and gave a visual of the rooftops of Rio buildings. In the distance she could see the Christ the Redeemer statue with its outstretched arms atop the Corcovado Mountain.
Sidney set her briefcase on the floor beside her and lowered herself into a guest chair, crossing her legs and feeling an immediate awareness of Rodrigo but wishing she didn’t. If they were to have a productive business meeting, she had to keep a cool head.
“I thought maybe we could talk a bit—get everything out in the open.”
“What are we getting out in the open, Sidney? As far as I’m concerned, everything was said in the meeting today to the buyers. Was there something else?” His thin-lipped response barely concealed the anger simmering below the surface.
Meeting the problem head-on was the best solution, she decided. “Considering what happened in New York, I understand why you’re upset.”
Steepling his long fingers, Rodrigo sat forward. His watchful eyes made her feel as if he were picking apart her words to find hidden meaning among them.
“What happened in New York?”
“You know what happened,” Sidney said carefully.
“No, you tell me.”
She took a deep breath. “I don’t want to fight with you.”
“Again, you mean?” he asked calmly. “You ended our relationship. Why won’t you just say it?”
“We didn’t have a relationship. We were two people engaged in a fling and enjoying each other’s company. It was fun while it lasted.”
Emotion flashed in his eyes and disappeared. He chuckled softly and the delicious sound warmed her insides. “A fling? Is that all it was to you?”
No, their affair had meant everything to her, but she couldn’t tell him the truth because then he’d demand to know why she’d ended it the way she had. “Let’s not talk about this. Obviously, I started the conversation off on the wrong foot.”
“A fling? I asked you to come back with me. I asked you to be my wife.” The brutal way he said the words made him sound wounded or angry—she couldn’t be sure which. Maybe both.
Sidney’s body became rigid with tension. The conversation was not going well. “I did what I thought was best. I told you why I couldn’t accept your proposal.”
He watched her in silence. “My feelings for you didn’t matter?”
She swallowed the painful lump in her throat and averted her eyes. At that moment she wished she didn’t have to lie and pretend just to protect herself.
“Of course, they mattered,” she said, hating that she had to defend her decision again. It wasn’t any easier now than it had been then. “Don’t my feelings matter, too? I couldn’t marry you, and I wasn’t going to do it because you wanted me to. I can’t tell you enough how sorry I am. I truly never meant to hurt you or to lead you on.”
“I never wanted our relationship to end.”
“Two people have to want it,” she said quietly.
“And you did not. You made that very clear.” Their gazes locked and held, but she refused to look away first. He shifted and took a breath, as if coming to a decision. “You are correct. For a relationship to work, both people have to want it. That is the same for a business relationship.”
Unease filled her. “I’m not giving up. I didn’t come all the way to Brazil to go back empty-handed.” Sidney squared her shoulders, ready for battle. Based on his demeanor, she was in for quite a fight. “The Belo buyers liked the line, and you know those dresses would be a good fit for the stores.”
Hand fisted on the desk, his eyes bored into hers. “Why are you here, Sidney?”
“Why are you here, right now?”
She took a deep breath. “To talk to you, Rodrigo, and to convince you to not interfere with this transaction. This should be about business. Nothing else.”
“Nothing else? Did you really think there would be ‘nothing else’ but business between us?”
“I never thought you were the kind of man to allow emotion to rule his business decisions. I know that you’re angry about what happened, perhaps even thinking about revenge, but—”
He stood abruptly. Before she realized his intent, he came around the desk and she jumped to her feet. He towered over her, but she refused to be intimidated.
He was standing too close; they’d never been able to be close to each other and not touch. It seemed unnatural, and she felt him in every part of her being. His eyes darkened and his gaze lowered to her mouth before returning to her eyes. She knew that look and recognized at the same time that he didn’t want to feel anything for her. It angered him.
“Revenge?” He pulled her hand and attached it to the front of his pants. “This is not revenge. This is torture.”
Make Endless Summer Nights your weekend read!