Every woman wants him. But he only wants her.
When Darcy Owens leaves snowy New York for some Jamaican fun in the sun, the city planner isn't expecting to meet the hero of her fantasies. But the sexy, sun-kissed man she sees her first day on the beach comes pretty close. Until he turns out to be York Ellis, the drop-dead-gorgeous but supremely arrogant ex-cop who thinks she needs his protection and his passion.
When York looks at Darcy, he knows she's the woman he'd give his life for. So when Darcy finds herself in peril, the security expert vows to safeguard her. Now it's not only his body at risk. It's his heart he's in danger of losing when she tempts him with the one thing the sworn bachelor never dreamed he'd find: passionate, glorious love.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Darcy stood on the balcony and glanced out at the beach. It was hard to believe this was her third day in Jamaica and she was just getting out of her hotel room today for the first time. She, who rarely got sick, had gotten a stomach virus her first day and had stayed in her hotel room in bed. What a bummer of a way to start off her vacation.
The good thing was that today she was feeling like her old self again, and she intended to spend as much time outside as she possibly could. She had lost two valuable days, but from here on out it was full steam ahead.
When she had checked in, the hotel clerk had given her a list of the hotel's activities for the week, and tonight they would be hosting a classy beach party. Her health had improved just in time. A party was the last thing she wanted to miss.
She turned away from the window and crossed the room to glance at herself in the full-length mirror. She had purchased the wide-brimmed straw hat from a gift shop at the airport, and the sundress she was wearing had caught her eye the moment she'd seen it at Macy's over the summer. At the time, a trip to Jamaica had been just a fancy, and in a way, it was hard to believe she was actually here.
Instead of donning a bikini and lying on the beach today, she thought she would take a tour of the island and get some sightseeing in. She had purchased a new digital camera and intended to put it to good use. And she definitely intended to do some shopping. When she had visited Jamaica a few years agoa college graduation present from her parentsshe had purchased several pieces of jewelry that had been handcrafted by an island woman. Darcy intended to see if the small shop near the pier was still there. There were several more pieces she would love to add to her collection.
She glanced around the room. Since she would be here for three weeks she'd decided to get one of the residential suites, and she loved it. It was huge and spacious, and although it was costing her a pretty penny, it was worth it. Besides, she deserved it.
The furniture in the sitting area was elegant and the decor colors of cream, yellow, mint green and plum perfectly reflected an island theme. Floor-to-ceiling windows lined one wall and provided a balcony view of the water.
French doors led from the sitting room directly into the bedroom, which had its own balcony. There was nothing like waking up to the beauty of the Caribbean Sea. But it was the bathroom that she'd found simply breathtaking. It had a dressing room area and a closet large enough to camp out in if the need arose. Then there was the humongous Jacuzzi tub that could hold several couples if you were inclined to get that kinky which she wasn't. She wasn't into sharing of any kind when it came to relationships.
Grabbing her purse off the table, she headed for the door. It was a beautiful day, and she planned to spend as much of it as she could outside. Then she would return and take a shower and a nap before getting ready for the party tonight.
York walked along the pier. It hadn't taken any time to get his game plan in place and head toward the island. Jamaica was beautiful, but unlike all the other times he came to the island, he was here for business.
Regardless of what Malcolm thought, every member of the cast and crew was a suspect. His team had divided the list, and every single person was being checked out. He was hoping it wouldn't take long to expose the culprit since he planned to spend the holidays back in the States. His parents had moved to Seattle a few years ago and luckily didn't expect everyone to show up on their doorsteps for the holidays. In fact, as long as he could remember, once he and his siblings began having lives of their own, his parents would spend the holidays in Toronto, visiting friends they had there. Usually York would spend a quiet Christmas at home, and those times he wanted company, he had five sets of godparents he could visit.
Most people knew the story as to how six guys who'd met and become best friends while attending More-house had on graduation day made a pact to stay in touch by becoming godfathers to each of their children and that the firstborn sons' names would carry the letters of the alphabet from U to Z. And that was how Uriel Lassiter, Virgil Bougard, Winston Coltrane, Xavier Kane, York Ellis and Zion Blackstone had come into existence. He was close to his godparents and god-brothers and couldn't imagine them not being a part of his life.
He checked his watch. A couple of his men had checked in already with their reports, and it was obvious Malcolm didn't know some of his people as well as he thought he did. However, there was nothing to indicate any of them could be suspected of anything other than engaging in a number of illicit affairs.
York glanced around and saw he was the object of several women's attention. He didn't mind, and if he'd had the time, he would even indulge their fantasies. He was well aware that a number of women came to the island alone to get their groove on. They were man-hunters who were only looking for a good time.
He kept walking. He was on assignment, and there wasn't a woman he'd met yet who could make him take his mind off work.
Darcy squinted against the brightness of the sun while moving from shop to shop in Montego Bay. Reggae music seemed to be playing just about everywhere. Pausing, she pulled out her sunglasses to shield her eyes from the sun. It was hard to believe how bright it shone here when, according to weather reports, it was still snowing in New York.
She stopped at a fruit stand, admiring the basket of strawberries, all plump and ripe, when something out of the corner of her eye caught her attention.
And boy, what a man he was. She could only see his profile, but even from almost fifteen feet away she could tell he was a fine specimen of the opposite sex. He was in a squatting position, going through a rack of T-shirts that some peddler was trying to sell him.
Darcy tilted the sunglasses a little off her eyes to get a better view, deciding she didn't want to miss anythingespecially the way the denim of his jeans managed to stretch tight across his thighs. And the way his shoulders filled the shirt he was wearing.
He stood up a little and his tushOMG, it was definitely the kind a woman would drool over. She bet they were perfect masculine cheeks, firm and fine.
Her mind began working, and she immediately began seeing him as a hero from one of the romance novels she read. But which one? she asked herself, thumping her finger against her chin.
She immediately thought of Jansen Trumble, the bad boy from the spicy novel Mine Until Morning. That had been one hot book, and even after reading it at least four or five times, she would give just about anything to have a rumble with Trumble. She settled her sunglasses back on her eyes thinking if she couldn't have the fictional Trumble then a lookalike would have to suffice.
"Miss, would you like to try some of my strawberries? I just rinsed this batch off. I bet you'd like them."
Her attention was pulled momentarily away from the gorgeous hunk when an island woman offered her a tray of fresh strawberries, sill wet from a recent rinsing. "Thanks, I'd love to try one."
She popped a strawberry in her mouth, immediately enjoying the taste when the sweet flavor burst on her tongue . It was wet, juicy and so delicious. That made her glance back over at the man. Now he was standing to his full height as he continued to consider the T-shirts. He was tall, and she could see just how well built he was.
She tilted her head, thinking there was something about him that was oddly familiar, although she had yet to see his features. Like her, he was wearing sunglasses. His were aviators. And even from a distance she could tell he was an American. He had chocolate colored skin, and his dark hair was cut close to his head.
She glanced back at the woman and smiled, remembering they were talking about the strawberries and not the man. "Yes, definitely delicious."
"Would you like another?"
Darcy chuckled. She hadn't intended on being greedy but since the woman asked "Yes, I'd love another."
She put another strawberry into her mouth, and when she glanced back over at the man, she saw he was staring over at her. Facing him, she immediately recognized him and almost choked on the strawberry in her mouth.
Even wearing sunglasses she would know him anywhere. The shape of his mouth and his chiseled jaw would give him away each time. What the heck was he doing here?
She felt irritation invade her entire body. Staring into his handsome face did nothing to calm her rising anger. Her best friend was married to one of his godbrothers, so they were usually invited to the same family functions.
She and York always managed to rub each other the wrong way whenever they would run into each other. Things had been that way between them since the time they'd met at Ellie and Uriel's wedding two years ago. During that time, her ex-husband Harold had tried threatening her to take him back. York had tried coming on to her at the reception. She had been in a bad mood at the time and had rebuffed his advances. Evidently he hadn't taken rejection well.
He removed his sunglasses and stood staring across the way at her, evidently as surprised to see her as she was to see him. She felt her body get hot under his intense stare but forced her emotions to stay in check. She certainly couldn't be that hard up for a man that she would be attracted to him.
And this wasn't just any man. It was York Ellis. He was arrogant. Cocky. Too damn sure of himself at times to suit her. So why was she having such a hard time dragging her gaze from him? Why instead was she allowing her eyes to roam all over him, taking in how well he fit his jeans, his shirt? And then, there was his looks
So, okay he had a nice looking mouth, one that was shaped just for kissing and those other scandalous things mouths could do. And his eyes were dark, so compelling and so magnetic. And at the moment, those dark eyes were intent on staring her down.
His half smile told her he knew she was checking him out and evidently found it amusing, considering their history. Anyone who'd ever hung around them knew they had one. He rubbed her the wrong way, and it seemed she always managed to rub him the wrong way as well.
He continued to smile, and she tried to ignore the fact that doing so made the angular plane of his face more pronounced, made dimples slash deep in his cheeks. This was the first time she ever noticed them. But then this was the first time he'd smiled at her.
But she quickly reminded herself he wasn't smiling at her now. He was smirking at having caught her sizing him up. Good grief! With his arrogance, he'd probably assumed she was interested in him sexuallynot on her life and not even if he was the last man on this earth.
But then she couldn't help noticing that he was checking her out as well. His gaze was scanning up and down her body, and in response she could feel the nipples of her breasts press hard against the material of her sundress. She broke eye contact to reach for another strawberry. She needed it.
"All the others are for sale, Miss," the woman told her gently.
Darcy couldn't help but chuckle at the woman's game and conceded it had worked. The woman had offered her two free strawberries to taste, knowing she would like them enough to buy the rest. And she was right.
"All right then, I want the entire basket. They are delicious."
The woman's face beamed. "Thank you. Would you like to try any other fruit?"
Darcy figured she might as wellanything to get her mind off the man across the street. Ellie liked York and couldn't figure out why her best friend and one of her husband's godbrothers could not get along. She had constantly told Ellie not to lose any sleep over it. Life wasn't intended for every single person to live together in harmony.