Bound by Desire

Bound by Desire

by Wendi Zwaduk

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786864185
Publisher: Totally Entwined Group Ltd
Publication date: 01/29/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 175
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Wendi Zwaduk is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to BDSM and LGBTQ themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com and the former AllRomance Ebooks. She also writes under the name of Megan Slayer.

When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.

Read an Excerpt

Copyright © Wendi Zwaduk 2019. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.

“This is a great building.” Stella wandered around the open space of the first floor and drank in the details. The quirky old appliance store featured neon lighting along the walls and wide-open spaces. A split staircase led to the second floor and black and white tiles decorated the first level. She ran her fingers along the wooden railing. She could see rope lighting wound through the wrought iron and wished there was a way to turn on the neon.

“It’s worthless.” James groaned and strode past her. “I’m talking to the lawyer. The bastard hasn’t shown up yet. He’s wasting my time.”

The bastard? She rolled her eyes. Only her husband would call his lawyer and the person coming to visit to potentially rent the space a bastard. She turned her attention back to the building. If it wasn’t on the register or at least labeled a historical place…it should be. There was a certain aura to the place that screamed to be saved.

“This would be a great storefront,” she said. The property was prime real estate and should be developed into something else. She could see a quaint business taking up the space. Maybe something funky and run by a millennial. Someone could take the large windows and use them to showcase wonderful Christmas displays. She had so many ideas, but no way to execute them.

No, James wouldn’t go along with her idea. No was his answer to everything at the moment—business ideas, lunch choices…sex. She hopped onto the counter and closed her eyes. She couldn’t remember the last time they’d had sex or he’d even kissed her. They’d been so close before. For fourteen years of their marriage, they’d been the best of friends and two halves of a whole. During the last year, he’d changed. He’d pulled away. He claimed the business required his attention. She had the feeling business wasn’t papers and numbers, but rather the blonde down the hallway at the real estate office.

“Oh shit. I’m late.”

She opened her eyes and a tall man with dirty-blond hair ran up to her. He gripped a binder and his brown eyes blazed.

“Hi, I’m supposed to meet a guy,” he said. He puffed and doubled over for a second. “Sorry. I ran down the block.”

“I can see that. You’re a mess.” She drew her legs up and folded them beneath her. He’d piqued her interest. She guessed he was there to meet with James. The poor guy. So young and handsome…he’d get shot down by James, no doubt. Still, she wanted to keep speaking with him. “What, again, are you here for?”

“I want to open a business.” He offered his hand. “I’m Wes Chase.”

“Stella.” She shook hands with him. The moment she touched his skin, hers tingled. She fought the urge to pull away from him. She hadn’t felt such a reaction in a long time—probably not since she’d met James back in college.

“Stella.” He smiled. “That’s a pretty name.” He tucked the binder under his arm. “So, see, I’m envisioning a record store. Think lots of neon—besides what’s already here—lots of couches, turntables, vintage…listening areas and lots of vinyl.”

“Sounds interesting.” She tucked her hands under her butt to keep from touching him again. “What’s your plan?”

“Oh!” He tugged the binder free and opened it, then placed it on the counter beside her. “I’ve got half of the capital and connections secured. I’ve met with people in the record sales and trade business. This area doesn’t have any specialty shops and needs one. I believe once there’s one started, then others will follow. You’ve got a thriving downtown scene and it should be utilized.”

She laughed. He knew how to say the right words anyway. She glanced down at his charts. He had the correct information, too. “I agree. I miss the unique shops we used to have.”

“With the right marketing—which I’ve laid out here—this can be a reality. I’m hoping Mr. Barnes will allow me to rent the building.” Wes nodded. “Are you looking into renting this place?”

“Oh no.” She shook her head. “I’m not in any position to rent anything.” Truth be told, she wasn’t financially independent of James at the moment. But until now she hadn’t needed to be. Looking at her situation, she realized she needed to have a plan for herself.

“Good. I don’t want competition.” He paused and his eyes widened. “I mean…sorry.” He frowned, then bowed his head. “I know his penchant for pretty girls.”

She suppressed a snort. Pretty girl? She had to be at least ten years older than him, but she’d accept the compliment. Besides, she wasn’t on James’ radar. She was his friend and the person who lived at the house with him.

“Do you know him? You’re his girlfriend, right?” Wes leaned in close. “Wait…I know you. Have we met before? Maybe another professional setting? You look familiar but I swear I can’t place you.”

“I know him.” She nodded to hide her disgust—not with Wes, although his pushy nature grated a bit on her nerves—but at James for cutting her out…already. “Well, why don’t we ask him? If your plan is up to snuff, then I don’t see why he’d turn you down.” Except that he’d already decided to demolish the building. If nothing else, Wes would get a great lesson in not getting his hopes up.

“I’m afraid to ask him because he’s notoriously tough to work with and cranky. He kills deals because he doesn’t like a person’s tie or whatever.” Wes adjusted his crooked necktie. His collar was askew.

She waggled her fingers. “Come here.” She fixed his collar and smoothed out his tie. Then she swept his hair off his forehead. “Better. Less messy.” She sat back and looked him over. “If you’ve done your homework, then you’ve done your part and you won’t know what he’ll say until you ask.” She turned her attention to her husband, who’d just returned to the room. “James? This gentleman wants to rent the building.”

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