Fire and Desire

Fire and Desire

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by Brenda Jackson
     
 

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Two years ago, geologist Corinthians Avery had brazenly sneaked into a hotel room to seduce Dex Madaris, head of Madaris Explorations and the longtime object of her affection. But the man who emerged from the shower to find Corinthians clad in next to nothing was handsome foreman Trevor Grant. When a smug Trevor informed her that Dex was not only absent from the

Overview

Two years ago, geologist Corinthians Avery had brazenly sneaked into a hotel room to seduce Dex Madaris, head of Madaris Explorations and the longtime object of her affection. But the man who emerged from the shower to find Corinthians clad in next to nothing was handsome foreman Trevor Grant. When a smug Trevor informed her that Dex was not only absent from the trip, but at home happily married, Corinthians was mortified.

Now, stuck in South America on a business trip with Trevor, Corinthians tries to avoid him at all costs. If only his broad shoulders and wickedly sexy smile didn't send her senses into flames. Their hotel falls under terrorist attack, and Corinthians has no choice but to place her trust in Trevor. As the two make a daring escape into the war-torn streets, fear for their lives suddenly turns to feverish desire, as they both give in to the hottest danger of all. What neither of them realizes is that one sultry night of passion under the luminous Latin skies will change their lives forever….

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An oil research summit in Rio de Janeiro leads to romantic adventure for renowned geologist Corinthians Avery and Trevor Grant, the head foreman of Madaris Explorations. A tense relationship, which began at a business meeting two years before, is complicated when Corinthians, attempting to seduce a colleague by secretly entering his hotel room half naked, inadvertently reveals herself to Trevor instead. A terrorist takeover of their hotel forces the notoriously contentious African-American pair to take cover in the jungles of South America, where Trevor's survival skills and fluency in Portuguese, honed from 15 years in a Marine Force Reconnaissance unit, come in handy. Jackson (One Special Moment) turns up the heat in the already steamy surroundings as Trevor and Corinthians put their differences aside and respond to their mutual attraction, revealing a passion for each other hidden by years of anger. The duo's rescue and return to U.S. soil is only the beginning of Jackson's special brand of intrigue: now Trevor must save Corinthians from a Middle Easterner who lusts after her and has made arrangements for her abduction to his country. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Cheryl Ferguson
With her inimitable style, Ms. Jackson has created another rip-roaring, seductively sensual love story that is sure to take the romance-reading community by storm. As always, her standard of excellence is evident in every scintillating page of Fire and Desire.
Romantic Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780373830541
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
01/01/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
513,968
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Trevor Grant knew the exact moment Corinthians Avery entered the huge conference room. A tremor of heated desire shot through his entire body. It hadn't taken the alluring scent of her perfume to alert him of her presence. The primitive, male part of him had immediately set off his internal radar, warning him that she was within close range.

He shifted uneasily in his seat. The sensation he felt was not a new one, just an unwelcomed one. He'd been attuned to her since that night two years ago when they had met. The woman he held within his sight looked as she always did in his dreams, only today she was wearing more clothing.

A lot more clothing.

Last night, in the deep recesses of his sleep-induced mind, she was dressed in the outfit she had worn the first time he had laid eyes on her. It had been a skimpy black negligee that had barely covered her body. Even now, he could recall seeing her in it. Another slow tremor began in his stomach and spread down his body at the steamy memory. He shifted in his seat again.

It didn't take much to envision her as he had seen her that night. And it didn't take much to remember the shocked look on her face when he had been the one to walk out of the shower instead of the man she had planned to seduce.

Trevor allowed himself a small grin when he thought of her fainting at his feet after he'd informed her Dex Madaris was married. It had been his supreme pleasure to pick her up off the floor and place her on the bed, then watch her expression when she had come to and realized her carefully laid plans of seduction had backfired. Unfortunately the embarrassment of her folly had not curtailed her biting tongue or her fiery spirit. She had lashed out at him as if it had been his fault she had made a complete fool of herself.

Now here they were two years later, still bitter adversaries. She disliked him because he knew too much about that night, and he disliked her equally as much because he had seen too much that night. Way too much. And he hadn't gotten a decent night's sleep since without her and that skimpy black outfit invading his dreams.

Since she was head geologist for Remington Oil, and he was head foreman for Madaris Explorations, their paths had crossed a few times since that night. A little over a year ago, their companies had worked together on a major project, and she had gone out of her way to avoid him. At the time, her actions had suited him just fine because each time he had seen her, he had been reminded of a night he could not forget.

He watched her move around the conference room, greeting various business associates. She had not seen him yet so he continued to just sit and watch her, patiently waiting for the moment she would become aware of him.

Trevor leaned back in his chair and appreciated how her body moved with an unconscious gracefulness that he couldn't help finding seductive. The conservative navy blue suit she wore should have downplayed her beauty. Instead it fueled the fire within him because he knew just how sexy the body was underneath the tailored skirt and jacket.

His gaze continued its survey of her trim, five-foot-eight-inch curvy figure before zeroing in on her face, a perfect oval shape. It was the color of rich, creamy chocolate, and was a face any man would take a second look at. Her hair was a rich glossy black, and was a lot longer than it had been that night. The stylish cut framed her face and made her features more profound and even more radiant. He wondered how one woman could convey such an aura of total professionalism in a boardroom and be such a sensuous temptress in a hotel room.

"Ladies and gentlemen, if you'll take your seats, we can get our meeting underway," Adam Flynn, senior exploration manager for Remington Oil, was saying.

Trevor watched as Corinthians glanced around the room, looking for an available place at the huge table. The smiling glint in her dark eyes immediately disappeared when she saw him. Flashing her a dimpled smile, he nodded. She frowned. Just as he had known, the gesture had teed her off. He enjoyed getting a rise out of her.

He saw sparks of anger leap into her eyes. His smile widened when he noticed the only available chair was the one across from him, and he knew she had realized that fact. His gaze held hers as she took her seat. With satisfied amusement in his eyes and without missing a beat, he said, "Good morning, Miss Avery. It's so good seeing you again."

Knowing she was in earshot of others, he watched as she pasted a phony smile on her face and replied, "Likewise, Mr. Grant."

He let out a deep, throaty chuckle. She could lie so well. He was the last person she would have wanted to see. The last time their paths had crossed had been at a wedding last month when his friend Clayton Madaris had married Syntel Remington's daughter, Syneda. Even then, the daggered looks Corinthians had given him would have sent most men running. But not him. He had accepted it as a challenge.

By the time the meeting was underway, Trevor relaxed in his chair. It was business as usual.

The look in Trevor Grant's eyes was hot, nearly burning her with its intensity, Corinthians thought. Each and every time he looked at her, his gaze was like a fire that heated her in some places and torched her to flames in others. She sat stiffly rigid in her chair as she tried to control the fiery emotions that flowed through her. How could the one man she despised arouse such feelings within her?

She tried getting comfortable in her seat, knowing his gaze was still on her. Her frown deepened. She would ignore him. At least she would try. She knew it would not be easy putting him out of her mind. She hadn't had any success in doing that since meeting him.

Corinthians had to grudgingly admit there was something totally sexy about the ruggedly built man with dark, piercing eyes. There was no way she could deny he was handsome. His black, curly, close-cropped hair was trimmed neat on his head. And his dark, coffee-colored face encompassed high cheekbones, a straight nose, full lips and a strong jawline that made any expression he wore serious, almost lethal. She knew he stood well over six feet four inches tall, and her memory of him that night with only a towel wrapped around his waist reminded her of wide shoulders, a broad hairy chest and long muscular legs. That image of him was still vivid in her mind.

Every time she saw him, his presence reminded her of the night she had made a total fool of herself. For years, she had thought herself in love with Dex Madaris and had finally made up her mind to do something about it. She had put her carefully laid plans of seduction into action, going so far as to get connecting hotel rooms and then sneaking into his room when she had heard him in the shower. But it had not been Dex who had emerged from the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. It hadn't been Dex whose virile, near-naked body had rendered her speechless…at least almost speechless. Nor was it Dex who now continuously haunted her endless sleepless nights. To her utter misfortune, the man responsible for her nightly tortures was sitting across from her. His full attention was centered on her, and she knew he was doing it to deliberately rattle her.

And it was working.

"Corinthians, are you still available to fly to South America to represent Remington Oil at the oil research summit?"

Corinthians gave Adam Flynn her full attention and replied with a smile. "Yes, I'm available to go and looking forward to the trip."

"Good. And we'll look forward to hearing your report at our next meeting," Adam Flynn replied. He then turned his attention to Trevor. "Do you know if Dex Madaris is still going?"

Trevor smiled at Corinthians before turning his attention to Adam. "Due to family obligations, Dex has relinquished all travel plans abroad for a while. I'll be the one representing Madaris Explorations at the meeting in South America."

He turned and met Corinthians's shocked gaze. His smile deepened. "And I'm looking forward to the trip, as well."

When the meeting ended, Corinthians tossed Trevor a chilling glare before quickly leaving the conference room. A smile of satisfaction curved his lips. The gauntlet had been thrown down and the battle lines were officially drawn. The bout was on and it would be a fight to the finish; a fray he didn't intend to lose. He wouldn't accept anything but Corinthians Avery's complete, unconditional surrender.

Her days of avoiding him were over.

W elcome to Rio de Janeiro, senhorita."

Corinthians Avery smiled at the irony of the man's greeting as she signed the hotel register. She hadn't felt welcomed a few hours ago when she'd been detained at the Brazilian airport by a customs inspector who thought her luggage appeared a little too full.

"Thanks," she responded in English, momentarily forgetting to use some Portuguese words she'd learned over the past couple of weeks.

"Would the senhorita like a cup of cafezinko delivered to your room later?"

Corinthians smiled. A cup of coffee, even strong, Brazilian coffee, sounded pretty good right now. "Sim obrigada," she answered in Portuguese. She was awarded a smile from the hotel clerk for her effort.

"Senhorita, you have a message," he said, handing her the key to her room along with a sealed envelope.

She opened the letter and scanned its contents. Call me when you arrive. I'm in room 301. Trevor.

A deep frown appeared on Corinthians's face. She crushed the paper in her hand and tossed it in a nearby wastepaper basket, feeling angry that she had wasted even a second of her time reading Trevor Grant's note.

"When did Mr. Grant arrive?"

"Yesterday, senhorita."

She nodded. "Under no circumstances do I want my room number given out. And the only calls I'll accept are those from Remington Oil or from Reverend and Mrs. Avery. All others take down as messages."

The hotel clerk nodded in understanding.

For the moment Corinthians felt a sense of relief in knowing she wouldn't be bothered by the likes of Trevor Grant…at least not for a little while. She would see him soon enough when the research summit began in a few days. As far as she was concerned, the less she saw of him, the better.

"Don't you think it's time you stopped avoiding me?"

Corinthians looked up from her meal and momentarily paused, startled by the beauty of Trevor Grant's dark eyes. She hated admitting it, but his glare made him appear even more handsome. But she also conceded that at the moment, standing next to her table in a menacing stance with hands on his hips, he looked downright threatening. Her eyes narrowed as she looked him over, noticing the casual way he was dressed, wearing a pair of khaki pants and a dark shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows. She wondered if there was any type of clothing he didn't look good in.

"I asked you a question, Corinthians."

His sharp tone brought her gaze back to his face. "Trying to avoid you, Mr. Grant, would take too much effort, and I wouldn't waste my time on such a task." She resumed eating, knowing in all actuality, she had been avoiding him since arriving yesterday.

"Then you shouldn't have a problem if I joined you for dinner," he said, taking a chair across from her.

She frowned. "I do have a problem with it. It was my intent to sit here and enjoy a quiet meal."

Trevor's face melted in a buttery smile, showing beautiful white teeth. "A quiet meal? I see no reason why you won't have one." He glanced down at her plate. "I doubt that food will make any noise. Trust me, I'll be the first to leave if it does."

Corinthians didn't find his words the least amusing. "Look, Mr. Grant, I—"

"I'm Trevor, remember."

"You're whatever I see fit to call you. Just be glad it's not something a lot worse."

Trevor leaned toward her. His eyes turned cold as he met her glare. "I'mnot worried about you calling me anything but my given name. You're too much of a lady to do anything else."

Color flamed Corinthians's cheeks as she reacted to his statement, not liking the emphasis he had placed on the word lady. He had insultingly reminded her of that night she had stood before him looking like anything but a lady.

Her facial muscles tensed and her glare hardened. No true gentleman would deliberately remind a woman of one of her most humiliating experiences. She sighed. If she was no lady, then he certainly wasn't a true gentleman. She was spared from telling him that fact when the waitress came to take his order.

"You look nice today, Corinthians," he said after the waitress had left.

She lifted her head. The look she gave him indicated his compliment didn't faze her. However, since she'd been brought up with the belief that displaying good manners was essential, even to someone like Trevor Grant, she answered stiffly. "Thank you."

"You're welcome. And you smell nice, too."

Corinthians stared into Trevor's eyes. "Why all the compliments? Let's be honest with ourselves, shall we? I don't like you. You don't like me. For reasons that I'd rather not get into, we don't get along. However, since our jobs occasionally bring us in contact with each other, I believe we can handle the situation like two professional adults."

Trevor eyed her thoughtfully. "If you believe that, then why are you always avoiding me?"

"I don't always avoid you."

"Then why haven't you responded to my messages?"

"I had a rather taxing flight yesterday from Austin to Miami. And to top it off, when I arrived at the airport I was stopped. Brazilian customs officials who went through every piece of luggage I brought with me detained me. By the time I checked into the hotel, I was too tired to be bothered by anyone."

Corinthians sighed. That much of what she had just told him had been the truth.

Trevor raised a surprised brow. South America was known to be lax when it came to airport security. More drugs and contraband were smuggled in and out of this continent than any other place that he knew of, and usually under the airport officials' indifferent eyes. He wondered why she had been stopped. "Brazilian officials actually stopped you?"

Corinthians met his stare. "Yes. I was detained for more than two hours. It probably would have been longer had I not made a scene and threatened to contact someone at the American Embassy."

At that moment the waitress returned with Trevor's meal. He had ordered churrasco, an array of different kinds of meats grilled on skewers. In addition to his glass of Brazilian brandy, the waitress also left him a small bottle of malagueta, a spicy sauce made from crushed, hot red peppers. When he uncapped the bottle, the spicy-hot aroma nearly took Corinthians's breath away.

"I can't believe you're putting that stuff on your food," she said, watching him pour the sauce all over his meat.

He didn't look up when he replied. "Believe it." But he did lift his gaze to meet hers when he added, "I happen to like hot stuff. Nothing stirs my blood more. The hotter, the better."

The look he gave her, as far as she was concerned, was just like the sauce he had poured over his food: red-hot. She felt her insides sizzle from the heat. He was staring at her with those dark eyes of his, hard and intense. She took a shaky breath. "Then enjoy yourself."

He smiled. "I will." He lifted a skewer and with his teeth pulled a piece of sauce-covered meat into his mouth without flinching. He smiled a slow, seductive smile.

Corinthians tried hard not to stare, but watching him chew his food was having an arousing effect on her. An involuntary shudder of simmering heat ripped through her. Her gaze followed every contoured movement of his mouth. Its motion was slow, provocative and alluring. She could just imagine his mouth working those same slow, steady and measured movements on hers, smothering her lips with demanding intensity. She tinted a darker shade, mortified because she'd had such thoughts.

"Want some?"

The sound of Trevor's voice, deep and husky, startled Corinthians. She tinted at having been caught staring. She ran her tongue over her lips to moisten them before asking. "Want some what?"

Trevor leaned over toward her and whispered, "Some of my food, what else?"

Meet the Author

Brenda Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred romance titles. Brenda lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and divides her time between family, writing and traveling. Email Brenda at authorbrendajackson@gmail.com or visit her on her website at brendajackson.net.

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Fire and Desire 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I typically don't read as a hobby but I read this book in 2 days. It is intense, heart throbbing. It made me smile, laugh, cry, get angry. I couldn't put it down. This was the first book I have read by Brenda Jackson and will not be the last.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brenda Jackson does it again! In addition to the three previous books about the Madaris brothers, Brenda tosses in a little love for the guys' buddies also. In Fire and Desire the heroine and hero hate each other from the start. This can only lead to a conflagration of passion that can only be brought to fruition by Brenda.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the this story line it was adventerous....... this book had me going to the end... Great Read... I would love to see the Madaris family novels become a movie
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great story with a manificent plot. Of course my alma mater was an intricate part of the story. I wondered however who did the proofreading, life for lift, etc. I continue to be a fame of Brenda Jackson's writing. Looking forward to the next book. LA-TXN
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SassyQueen More than 1 year ago
I love this book, it is my favorite by Brenda Jackson, i truly love her work and the Madaris family Series novels are all great. would recommend for any one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all the Madaris family and friends. Keep them coming!!
TYB1208 More than 1 year ago
A true romance novel. I loved it! You get lost in the love story.
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