Irrepressible Jasmine

Irrepressible Jasmine

by Sami Lee

NOOK Book(eBook)

$3.99

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640630970
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 08/21/2017
Series: Wild Crush , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 150
Sales rank: 498,500
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Sami Lee is an award-winning author of over twenty novels and novellas. Some are sweet, many scorching hot and all are romantic at heart (she hardly ever writes about snakes now). She loves to write about strong, independent women and the confident men who are intrepid enough to fall in love with them. She lives in Australia with her husband, two stupendous daughters and a mischievous cat named Bobby, who, along with writing, all keep her pretty busy. Long walks on the beach and quiet afternoons reading are her bliss—that and writing that one perfect scene that reminds her why she started writing in the first place.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Gregory Danvers headed towards Summer's Retreat, wondering how it had come to this. He was only thirty-three years old. He was a thirty-three-year-old man who exercised daily, ate his vegetables and wasn't an ounce overweight. He didn't smoke. He'd cut down significantly on his single-malt-scotch habit, which had admittedly gotten out of hand a while back. But that dark part of his life was over. These days, he was as clear-headed as could be.

He hadn't expected to be blindsided by his doctor at a routine checkup. I don't like the look of this blood pressure. After monitoring it for twenty-four hours and subjecting him to some intense questioning, Dr. Stevens had deduced the most likely cause of his condition was stress, which she wanted him to reduce with lifestyle changes.

He'd moved from the bustle of Sydney to Leyton's Headland precisely to get away from the pressures — and the disappointments — of his old life. Working fourteen-hour days had been the norm for him his entire career until he'd come here. Now sometimes he worked as little as ten hours a day. He shouldn't be stressed.

He reached the glass doors of Summer's Retreat and stood out front for a few seconds. Questioning himself, which he rarely did. It was Dr. Stevens's advice that had compelled him to come. You need to do something about your lifestyle, take another look at your diet. Find ways to relax. Meditate, take up yoga. Slow down, Mr. Danvers. That's my advice. I'll see you in two weeks and if these numbers aren't better, we'll talk medication.

The last thing he wanted was to be on medication, yet the idea of him meditating was so ridiculous Greg had at first dismissed the woman's suggestion. He didn't think natural medicine was much more than some herbal mumbo jumbo. However, he was here and he had come to trust Summer Campbell, with whom he'd remained friendly after they'd gone on a blind date neither of them had wanted to go on. The lack of romantic chemistry hadn't bothered Greg. After the fiasco of his almost marriage he wasn't going there anyway.

He went inside, causing a little bell to ring. It was an old-fashioned touch that was quintessential Leyton's Headland. He'd moved from the city almost a year ago, but apparently he hadn't slowed his pace to Small Town yet. Hopefully Summer could help him with that.

Greg's heart sank when the woman who emerged from the back of the clinic was not Summer. Instead it was her business partner, Penelope Irving. She strode out to the reception area, lithe and graceful and all smiles. She had an aura about her that drew the eye and made a man's attention stick whether he wanted it to or not. Greg's pulse jumped before he could stop it.

When she recognized him her smile faltered. Greg kept his expression impassive and willed his pulse to be normal. He had no business reacting at all to her just because she had a way of moving that made Greg want to watch her do it. If she were someone else, he'd be pleased to have a physical response. It had been a while since ... well, it had been a while. If Penelope Irving were any other woman, he would probably have asked her out by now.

But she wasn't any other woman. She was the woman who'd broken his little brother's heart.

"Oh. Hello."

She'd frozen to the spot, staring at him. She folded her hands behind her, then in front, before moving them to her sides and leaving them hanging there. Obviously, she was uncomfortable. If she had any conscience at all she ought to be. Although the jury was still out about her having a conscience.

"Penelope."

She grimaced at his use of her full name, which he'd expected. She'd introduced herself as Penny the night they'd met on that ill-fated double date, when Greg had been set up with Summer and Penny had begun her seduction of his brother, the way-too-trusting Bryan. Greg knew she preferred the shortened version of her name. He took a childish satisfaction in not using it.

"Gregory," she said, with not a flicker of irony in her expression. "What can I do for you?"

"I'm looking for some naturopathic advice and I thought I could speak to Summer."

"She won't be in for a while. She's taking time off before the wedding."

Ty Butler and Summer Campbell's wedding was the talk of Leyton's Headland at the moment. It wasn't going to be a big affair, but it was huge news because Ty was a world champion surfer and a Leyton's native. As Ty's new contract lawyer, Greg had received an invitation. He'd assumed Summer would take time off for a honeymoon after the wedding, and work right up until. Apparently not.

"Can I help you with something?"

Her expression was open, welcoming. Her green eyes were wide and innocent looking, her smile back in place. She looked like butter wouldn't melt between those full lips of hers. There was a physical response Greg couldn't deny, a hunger engendered by her softly curving mouth that reminded him it had been too long since he'd known the taste of a woman's tongue sliding against his own.

Greg didn't like it one bit, and his reply came out gruff. "I don't think so."

She frowned. "You don't think I can help you?"

"Like I said, I was looking for Summer."

"As I said, she won't be in for over a week," she retorted, her voice stiff. "If you need to see my credentials, they're right up there on the wall."

She pointed behind her, where her and Summer's relevant certifications were mounted in glass frames. Greg glanced at them before returning his attention to Penny's face. "I don't need to see them."

"But for some reason you don't think I'm as qualified as Summer."

Defensiveness made her bristle, and Greg figured it was counterproductive to get into a back-and-forth about the easy availability of certificates in natural medicine or the dubious nature of some online courses. He was sure if Summer trusted Penny to run her business in her absence that the woman was suitably qualified.

He simply didn't want to spend any more time with her than he had to. He didn't like her for how she'd treated his brother, and he didn't like that his body couldn't care less about that.

"There's a naturopath in Billings I can recommend," Penny said. "I'll get you the number."

"That won't be necessary." Driving to Billings would take time, and he couldn't afford to expend any more than he had to sorting this problem out. He had two weeks to try Dr. Stevens's suggestions, and he had no intention to spend it fussing around with other naturopaths when there was one two blocks from his office. It wasn't efficient, and Greg generally did things in the most efficient way available. He'd simply have to put his personal feelings about Penny aside. "Perhaps you can help me after all. I need to relax." "No kidding."

She followed up her drawled words with a smile way too sweet to be genuine. Greg kept his voice deadpan. "I mean I've been ordered to lower my blood pressure."

The smile dropped and she frowned, her look of concern appearing sincere. "Ordered. You mean by a doctor?"

"That's right."

"Oh, Greg. That's not good."

For a second Greg was convinced she was worried about him. It caused the strangest sensation in his chest, like something turning over and growing tight. He was the one who worried about other people — his high-strung mother, his gullible brother, his growing list of clients — not the other way around.

"You need my help."

Did she have to say it like that? The idea of needing Penny for anything didn't sit well with him. This is a professional association. Nothing more. She was the logical choice to help him, and just as he was a fan of efficiency, he was also a fan of logic. There were more reasons to accept her assistance than to deny himself the benefit simply because he'd rather stay away from her for reasons that he didn't want to examine too closely.

He could do this, temporarily. That decided, Greg was perturbed to find his voice sounded taut with strain when he spoke. "I suppose I do. For now. What did you have in mind?"

"Massage is always a good place to start."

The thought of her getting her hands on him ... No. No way was that happening. The mere suggestion made something in his jockeys grow tight and hot. Not that he'd fall for her charms to the extent Bryan had, but it was better not to tempt his libido in any event.

He was annoyed she even had the power to incite his libido, and although he'd always considered himself a gentleman, he let out an ungentlemanly scoff. "Start somewhere else."

*
Penny bit her tongue to keep from snapping at Greg Danvers. What did he have against massage? Did he think it was some airy-fairy nonsense that couldn't possibly benefit him? That was the impression Penny got from the way he'd glanced dismissively at her certificate of natural therapies. "There are some herbs you can take that might help."

His look was dubious. "My doctor didn't say anything about herbs. She suggested ... meditation."

The derision fairly dripped off that last word. He obviously did have a problem with natural therapies, and from the way he stood there still as a scowling statue, it also seemed he had some kind of problem with her. She'd always concluded as much from the way he'd given her short shrift whenever she'd seen him around town. Not that they were friends or anything, but they had been introduced. By his brother on the night he, Greg, her and Summer had all gone on a double date. A polite hello here and there would have been normal behavior.

The thought of Bryan brought a frown to Penny's own face. If anything, Greg ought to be extra nice to her, considering what his jerk of a brother had done to her. Even an apology on the dirtbag's behalf wouldn't go astray.

That clearly wasn't forthcoming. Perhaps he didn't know that Bryan had cheated on her with other girls and stolen her money. Or maybe he did know, and his stony expression was designed to hide a smidgen of embarrassment after all. Offense is the best defense and all that. Greg seemed like exactly the kind of win-at-all-costs alpha male who would believe that stupid clichÃ(c).

Summer had told Penny Greg was a nice guy. A little intense but basically decent. She even said she thought he was lonely. Penny wouldn't be surprised about the last thing, if this was an example of his interpersonal skills.

She was determined to maintain an air of professionalism, even if Greg was kind of being an ass. "You might want to take a look at your diet, reduce the amount of alcohol and salt —"

"My diet's fine," he interrupted. "I eat healthily. Always have." Healthy meant different things to different people, but he obviously wasn't going to discuss that. She tried another tack. "Do you exercise?"

"Every day."

Her eyes flickered of their own volition over his frame. He was tall with broad shoulders that filled out his suit. His waist was narrow. Obviously overeating wasn't an issue. She imagined him doing some kind of high-octane exercise, like rock climbing or running. Oh yes, he definitely looked like a runner. He didn't seem to have the patience for anything as slow-paced as walking.

Or yoga. Doubting he'd go for the idea but suggesting it anyway, Penny asked, "Have you considered yoga?"

His lips thinned. "It was something the doctor mentioned, but I don't think it's for me."

"I'm sure you'd be able to do it."

"I didn't say I couldn't do it," he said, affronted. "It doesn't look that hard."

Penny bit the inside of her cheek. Yoga wasn't hard.Pfft. "Then it won't hurt you to give it a go. And you never know, it might actually help. Yoga is great for stress."

He opened his mouth as though he was about to deny being stressed. He must have thought better of it when he remembered he was here because he'd been ordered by a doctor to relax.

When the silence stretched on, Penny prompted, "I can suggest some classes if you like."

"I'd rather not twist myself into a pretzel in front of twenty strangers."

"You don't start with the pretzel moves," Penny explained. "It's more about learning to be present in the moment, to let your stresses melt away through a series of asanas designed to increase your awareness of your body and what it's doing."

Something flashed in his eyes when she mentioned body awareness, but it was gone before Penny could interpret it. "You sound like you know all about it."

"I do yoga most mornings, on the beach when the weather's good." You're going to have to offer, Penny. Or when he drops dead from a heart attack it will be on your conscience. She braced herself for a rejection. Or even worse, for an acceptance. "I could give you private tuition if you won't go to a class."

He looked at her suspiciously. "Why would you do that?"

Penny threw up her hands, nearing the end of her patience. "Oh, I don't know. Because you won't do anything else I've suggested and I'm running out of options."

He cocked a brow. "You'd charge me, of course."

Why did it sound like he thought there was something underhanded about that? Yoga classes would cost him too. Was the man who drove a European car around town too stingy to pay for her help?

The truth was Penny hadn't even thought of charging him. She'd been doing yoga for years, but she wasn't a qualified teacher. For a friend or even a person possessing a modicum of politeness, there was no way she'd accept money for showing them a few moves that she knew in her heart would improve their overall wellbeing. Helping them would be satisfaction enough.

Greg Danvers was neither a friend or a person possessing a modicum of politeness. So Penny thought screw him, immediately hoping karma wouldn't bite her in the butt for her unkindness. "Private tuition generally costs around one hundred per hour."

He reached up and stroked his chin with his thumb. Penny heard the scrape of afternoon stubble as his touch passed over it and felt the oddest tightening in her stomach. He had Bryan's hawkish nose, but his jaw was stronger and his eyes weren't the same ordinary brown. Greg's were flecked with gold that fanned out from his pupils and made his stare seem almost mesmerizing. "And this would go on for how long?"

She shrugged, hoping to cast off the strange effect of his gaze. "For as long as you're benefitting from it, I guess."

He shook his head. "Too open-ended. I'm seeing the doctor in a fortnight. I'll take a week of lessons and go on with it myself if I think it's helping."

Oh, man. He was insane if he thought it was going to change his life in a week. Yoga was about inner strength and self-awareness — it wasn't a seven-day fitness challenge. Trying to teach him that would be a royal pain in her behind. She should have charged him one hundred and fifty. "I think the time limit defeats the purpose of doing yoga in the first place."

"I can't commit to more than a week at this stage," he said, his jaw set in an obstinate line.

Penny was close to telling him where he could shove his week. She didn't need this. She was busy enough running Summer's Retreat by herself while Summer was off work. And although she'd dedicated herself to helping people through Eastern medicine, she'd never felt less like helping anyone than Greg Danvers at that moment.

He was Bryan's brother for a start. Bryan the liar, cheat and thief. She owed him nothing. She ought to say no. But a week at one hundred dollars an hour. The business was solid, but that didn't mean she was personally raking in the dough on a daily basis. Her car needed a new radiator and her credit card was already maxed out. She'd had to use it for basic expenses the past month because Bryan had pilfered the rent money she kept in her tea canister before he'd skipped town.

Maybe Bryan's brother owed her something.

"All right. I'll help for a week and see where that gets us." Probably nowhere, but at least she could tell herself she tried when she heard about his untimely heart attack on the news. "I start at six o'clock, if that's too early — " "It's not."

"Okay. I'll meet you at the southern end of Shelley Beach at six."

"I'll see you then."

Greg nodded once and was gone without so much as a goodbye, leaving Penny to regret offering him help. He was probably going to suck the enjoyment right out of her morning yoga session with his impatience and inexplicable cool attitude towards her.

Nothing to do about it now. Besides, thanks to Greg's brother, she was in dire need of a fast seven hundred bucks.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Imperfect Penelope"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Sami Lee.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Irrepressible Jasmine 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story- really well developed characters, good plot - plentiful steamy love scenes!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy this series and hope it continues