Cassie Wilson has traveled to Brazil for her brother's wedding; yet she's the one with cold feet. She's all set to begin seminary, but she's sick and tired of being treated like a saint, especially by the best man. What she really needs is one sexy night with him to ease her jitters and give her a taste of normal life.
Adam Forrester crashed and burned at his dream job, screwing up all his hopes for a better life. Now he's moved home to start over, but first he must confront the irresistible Cass, apologize for whatever happened on that drunken night he can't remember, and make damn sure it doesn't happen again. Only she has other plans.
He has typecast her as the good girl in his heart. Can she force him to see her as a real woman, desires and all?
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||1 MB|
About the Author
Amber Belldene is an Episcopal Priest and student of religion. She believes stories are the best way to explore human truths. Some people think it is strange for a minister to write racy romance, but it is perfectly natural to her, because the human desire for love is at the heart of every romance novel and God made people with that desire. She writes paranormal, historical and contemporary romance and lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.
Read an Excerpt
One Sinful Night in São Paulo
By Amber Belldene, Candace Havens
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Amber Belldene
All rights reserved.
Cassie dug through her tote bag in a frenzy. She'd only changed her dollars for reals forty-five minutes ago, and already she'd misplaced her cash. Could she have left it at the airport? Usually, she loved traveling, but nothing about this trip had gone right, starting with packing. It had been impossible with nearly everything she owned still in moving boxes. She couldn't find her pantyhose, her strapless bra, or the antique hair clip she'd promised to lend the bride.
And the cab ride alone. Sheesh. According to her travel guide, an hour's drive all the way to the posh suburb of Alphaville—which sounded so much more exotic with Gabriella's Brazilian accent, Alfa-Villi—was going to break her meager travel budget.
"Senhorita, can I help you with your bags?"
"Just one more second." Oh, God. How humiliating.
"There is maybe a misunderstanding?" he asked. "The car has already been paid for."
"Oh." She met his kind eyes in the rearview mirror, then glanced back in her purse, as if a tip might magically appear there.
"Even the gratuity, senhorita."
She smiled, grateful for his help. "Obrigado."
"Don't speak of it. I will carry your suitcase to the door."
She tried to restore order to her bag and slid out of the cab. Even this far out of the city, a hint of rank smog tinged the air, confirming her grim expectations of São Paulo. Then, through the dark she glanced up to see a gorgeous white Spanish-style house, surrounded by a perfectly manicured tropical garden. She smoothed her UCLA sweatshirt, wishing she'd dug something nicer to wear out of the moving boxes. But, the one holding the contents of her closet sat buried under a stack of milk crates full of books. So, she had only a party dress, a bridesmaid's dress, and the sweatshirt and ratty jeans she was wearing. Not even a pair of pajamas.
She rapped on the gorgeous, carved hardwood door. Had some ancient Amazonian tree been chopped down to make it?
Knock it off, Cassie—nobody likes a self-righteous liberal.
The driver set her suitcase at her side.
"Obrigado," she said again. She didn't need him to wait with her in this fancy-schmancy, gated neighborhood.
His eyes flicked to the door, as if she'd insulted his honor by implying he shouldn't.
Fine. His choice.
She looked at her sneakers, sighing. Why couldn't her brother have chosen to get married in their family church in Palo Alto? It would have been so much more convenient. Instead, she'd traveled all this way to stay in the smelly armpit of Brazil—no beaches, no rainforest—only a polluted megalopolis full of cars and skyscrapers. And she had all those boxes to unpack, books to buy, new classmates to meet. She would hardly be on the ground in São Paulo longer than the hours of travel it took to get there and back to Berkeley for her first day of class. And she would probably spend the whole time hiding behind curtains to avoid a certain someone she really did not want to see.
The door opened, and Gabriella spread her arms and her shiny red lips in a glamorous smile. Cassie melted, instantly recalling exactly why she was there—her big brother was going to marry this amazingly wonderful woman.
"Finally." She kissed both of Cassie's cheeks. "We have been waiting hours for you."
Cassie let herself be gathered into a hug. "My flight got delayed in Texas."
"Come in. Mamãe is mixing caipirinhas." Gabriella stepped back, winking.
She knew Cassie's weakness for them, and thank God she also knew a wicked hangover helper she called the São Paulo Special. Cassie would swear by it, but didn't want to know what it consisted of—probably eye of newt—in case she ever needed to drink the foul stuff again.
"Obrigado, Mauricio," Gabriella called to the driver.
"Oh, wow." Cassie reared back at the sight of a small crucifix hung opposite the door, the body of Jesus carved in exquisite, bloody detail.
"I told you, mamãe is very Catholic."
"It's ... wow." Cassie swallowed a lump in her throat—this devout woman would probably think her career choice was blasphemous. "Will she hate me?"
Gabriella rolled her eyes. "She will adore you."
The entryway of the house didn't reveal much of the interior, but the sound of chatter and João Gilberto singing drifted down the hall. A little shiver of pleasure seized her. Caipirinhas and bossa nova—she really was in Brazil. Maybe armpits got a bad rap. The inviting buzz drew her toward the gathering.
A loud knock sounded on the door behind them and she jumped. Gabriella opened it to reveal Mauricio with a garment bag dangling from his fist.
Cassie cringed. "Obrigado," she said for the millionth time, unwilling to meet his eye.
Gabriella's musical laugh soothed her embarrassment.
"I would never forgive you if you lost that dress. It looks too good on you."
Cassie wouldn't forgive herself, either. When she and Gabriella had found the red halter for the rehearsal dinner, no arm-twisting was required. She'd gladly eaten canned soup for weeks to pay for it.
"I'm glad you like it, because I'll be wearing it to breakfast. I couldn't get to any of my clothes under the moving boxes."
Gabriella laughed again, waving away Cassie's worries. "You can borrow something."
"I also forgot the hair clip. I'm sorry." Cassie eyed her warily.
That time, Gabriella frowned, but only for a moment. "I love your clip. But we'll find another one tomorrow. Now, come on." She tugged her down the hall.
Cassie dug in her heels. "Wait. Maybe I should clean up. I smell like an airport."
Gabriella pulled her toward the music. "Don't be silly. You look fine. We're all family here."
Family. Good. Adam wasn't here.
Cassie relaxed, surrendering to Gabriella before she pulled her right over. Mom and Dad stood just inside the living room, her with white wine, him with red in hand.
"You made it." Dad set down his drink to hug her.
Mom perused Cassie's outfit, pursing her lips. "Hello, dear. We worried you might be stuck overnight." She wrapped one arm around Cassie's shoulders, wine glass held tight, and gave her cheek a kiss that left a waxy coating of lipstick.
Cassie wiped at her face. "I don't even know when night is or which way is up at this point. Where's Justin?"
"In the kitchen, sampling dinner," Gabriella replied. "Mamãe cooked him a fejoida."
His favorite black bean stew, slow cooked with all kinds of pork. Cassie's stomach growled in approval. "Please tell me there is pao de quejo."
"An extra dozen, just for you."
Cassie patted her belly with a chuckle. If she ate half a dozen balls of the cheesy bread, she wouldn't get into her divine red dress. She would have to settle for two.
"Here's my mother." The woman stood behind a sleek hardwood bar. She resembled Gabriella, only slightly faded at the edges. Cassie would have given anything to own that black pantsuit—probably vintage Chanel. Now she really wished she'd dug harder for a decent blouse and a pair of slacks.
"Mamãe, this is Cassie. Cassie, my mother, Raquel. Cassie needs a drink."
"Cassandra, bienvenudo, you're as pretty as Gabriella said."
Cassie blushed, taking the woman's perfectly manicured hand. Pretty was nothing compared with the elegance of these two Brazilian beauties, but she'd take what she could get.
"Do you like caipirinhas?" Raquel asked.
"Sim, and I would like even more to learn how to make one. Gabriella says they're your specialty."
Raquel shrugged with the same humility Gabriella always embodied when she received compliments. "They are every Brazilian's specialty. But yes, come around the bar and I will be happy to show you." She traced the name embossed on a golden-labeled bottle. "I prefer this cachaca, and do you see how the limes are very small?" She cut one in half, then quarters, and tossed them into a glass. "The skin must be thin. The white part of the rind is where the bitterness hides. So you press out the juice very carefully." She ground the pointed tip of a wooden tool into the pulp of the fruit.
Its fresh odor burst from inside the cup and replaced the stale smell of airport and smog that had lingered in Cassie's nose. "Mmmm."
"Yes, it is very refreshing, especially in the hot months." Raquel shook the juice with a measure of the cane liquor before pouring it over ice.
Cassie's first sip became a gulp, and her cheeks burned with warmth almost instantly. Finally, she relaxed. Three nights and sixty-something hours in São Paulo to enjoy being with her family before her new life began. She would wring every drop of pleasure out of it the way Raquel had pressed the juice from the lime.
A bluster of male laughter erupted from a door on the other side of the room and then Justin sauntered out. "Hey, you're here."
"Hey, big brother, I hear you're getting married." She crossed to him, arms open wide.
"Oh, is that what the tux is for?" He hugged her and mumbled into the top of her head. "Glad you made it. I know the timing sucks for you."
"Anything for you."
"Is that kid sis?" a familiar voice drawled.
A warning rattled in her brain. Then, the owner of the voice stepped out from the kitchen—Adam Forrester, her brother's best man. She'd been shoving the knowledge she would have to see him again in some dusty drawer in the back of her mind for weeks. It flung open and thudded onto the soft floor of her gray matter. Oomph.
"Hey, Cass." He raised his glass to hers, full of only ice, and clinked. "I hear you're going to start seminary school on Monday. Studying up to become a nun?"
"Something like that."
How could he steal all her confidence with one quip? She considered yanking the hood of her sweatshirt up over her head and pulling its strings until her face disappeared. Instead, she downed her drink in one swallow and seriously considered tossing the ice in his face.
But he was so handsome.
His sandy hair fell carelessly over one brown eye. The dimple in his chin was somehow deeper. His crooked smile seemed cockier than ever and made her feel precisely sixteen years old. Worse—to her ratty jeans and dorm-era sweatshirt, he wore crisp gray slacks and a blue button-up. His sleeves were rolled halfway to his elbow to reveal tan, ropy forearms. Gone were the days of his cargo shorts, hanging off his lean hips to reveal boxers and a six-pack whenever he raised his arms. Now he dressed like a slick investment banker, making her all too aware of her shabby-not-so-chic state.
And a pink glow painted his high cheekbones, which meant he was drunk, just like last time.
Furious with herself, she gritted her teeth. She should have prepared herself for this—for all the long-buried embarrassment seeing him would bring up. Now, she had to get away from him and find her cool before she made it worse. She spun on the balls of her feet and walked away.CHAPTER 2
Well, that had gone better than Adam expected. She hadn't hit him, which he probably deserved. Though, he wasn't completely sure what he had coming to him.
Justin tucked his chin in astonishment. "What the hell? Cassie, get back here and say hello."
Adam couldn't tell him that she had every right to be mad, or he'd go from best man to worst enemy in three seconds flat. "It's cool. I'm sure she's just tired."
The back door slammed.
He took a deep breath. Best to clear the air and move on. "I'll go check on her." He strode away before Justin could argue.
Outside, she sat cross-legged on a bench against the garden wall, looking up. Above them, the clouds reflected back the city's lights so brightly a night driver wouldn't need headlights.
She didn't spare him a glance. "You seem to have missed the hint, Adam. I don't want to talk to you."
"We have to walk out of the church together arm in arm on Saturday, so this is going to be a shitty couple of days if we can't be civil, especially for Justin."
She looked at her fingernails. "I'm always civil. I just want a little space."
"Look, Cass, I know this is awkward. I really am sorry for what happened."
Whatever that was, exactly, that resulted in your panties beside my pillow.
Her gray eyes settled on him, like Justin's but prettier—almond shaped with thick lashes, so unsettlingly clear. The eyes he thought of when someone used that cliché 'so-and-so has an old soul.' And he only had a clue what the saying meant because of Cass.
"What are you sorry for?"
This he could answer truthfully, despite all he failed to remember. "That was no way to treat a girl like you."
"A girl like me." She smiled down at her knees.
He didn't know what to make of her words or the strange curve of her lips, so he continued to study her.
She wore a faded pair of jeans, thready hems hanging over her sneakers. She never dressed so casually. Even in high school, she'd always worn skirts, old-fashioned ones that looked cute on her but would have looked geeky on anyone else. She had a classy kind of polish he'd always liked, different from the perfect shine on the women he'd worked with, and slept with, in New York.
Cassie glanced up at the house and licked her lips before rubbing them together.
No. She was nothing like those women. She was sweet, pretty, and so fucking kissable. And he hoped that was all he'd done that night, because a girl like her deserved better than a guy like him.
And she was taking a good long time to respond to his apology. Shit.
Finally, she exhaled through her nose. "Thanks."
Well, she didn't sound like his number one fan. But it was better than nothing.
"So, tell me about seminary."
"Adam, you're drunk. I'm tired. Not now, okay?"
"I'm not drunk." He'd gulped down that one drink when he'd heard her come in, but it was the only one.
Her eyebrows slanted into a 'V' shape—confused. He loved the way her emotions played across her freckled face, undisguised, guileless. Giving the impression she had nothing to hide. She probably didn't, sweet thing.
Fine brown hairs blew loose from her ponytail around her face. She shoved them back and sighed. "Okay. What do you want to know?"
So many things. He'd never gone to church, even as a kid. He had no clue what she'd signed herself up for. It made sense, in a way. She was so good, so confident, competent, and helpful. She seemed kind of ... holy.
Could she ever get married? She'd always seemed like the marrying kind. Could she still drink beer and talk trash about Cal football? Would she have to wear robes all the time? That seemed unlikely, but it would be a shame to hide those sexy legs.
And shit. There he was, thinking sinful thoughts about the seminary student. This had always been his problem with Cass. She'd fascinated him from the day they met. When Justin had made it clear she was off limits, Adam had only wanted her more—to tease out her wild side. And that had been a mistake.
He reached for a safe question.
"What happened to teaching?" She'd been working in Mississippi with one of those teacher-service programs for idealistic college grads. "Justin said you loved it."
"I did in the beginning, but nothing ever changed."
"What do you mean?"
"I worked nonstop. I tried hard to connect with parents, but so many of them had checked out. And the administrators didn't have my back." She shivered, sliding her fingers under the sides of her thighs. "In the end they came after me."
There was a story there, and some chivalrous part of him needed to know it, needed to know the wrongs she'd suffered and soothe her, needed to know who'd wronged her so he could avenge her.
Simmer down, big boy.
How was it possible she brought out his honorable side and at the same time made him think of getting her clothes off?
She crossed her feet at the ankles and let them dangle, swinging. "Church work is no picnic, but at least I won't be vice-principaled to death."
He chuckled. He'd missed her way with words. "What about your boyfriend? He's cool with your plans?"
Her lips pursed. "We split up in June, when Marcus took off for summer vacation."
"Don't be. Everybody in our program paired off. We knew it wasn't a forever thing."
Excerpted from One Sinful Night in São Paulo by Amber Belldene, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2015 Amber Belldene. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love Amber's books. Whether they be paranormal or contemporary. Long or short. She tells a good story. I had fun reading this. So much so, I walked on the treadmill way longer than I had intended. See... she's good for my health, too! :)
If you love Entangled Brazens books, which features smart and sassy heroines, alpha heroes, and hot sexy moments, younger sister in love/lust with older brother’s best friend, and dying to get into his pants/heart… you will enjoy this novella. I will admit Adam was not alpha alpha….yet he was enough, his character flaws and strengths perfect for me to enjoy him. The man was just so down to earth. He owned his flaws and he tried to overcome them. From the get go. The history between Cassie and Adam set the stage for their banters and sexy dance around each other. Though only a bit over a 100 pages, I got enough background on each character to make me believe their attraction, their conflicts, and their eventual declaration of love (which was done without any weird corny 'I love you' moments ). Though I liked Adam, Cassie stole my heart. I loved her. Bold, sensual, smart, sexy, kind, she was a wonderful heroine. She pursued what she wanted despite her doubts—Adam, and yet she did it in a non-pushy way that showed her vulnerable side. I loved the blend so much, shy vulnerability in one moment, then sensual and bold another time. I enjoyed her character. The plot was pretty simple and really as the blurb said, the writing was engaging, fast paced, and made for a sexy delicious read. I recommend to romance lovers.
This book is a short but good read. Cassie and Adam story is sometimes you have to go for what you want and never give up.
Cassie Wilson is just starting on a new path. After her brother's wedding, she's beginning seminary school. Right now she wants just one thing - one night with the best man. Adam Forrester is her brother's best friend. He's been attracted to Cassie for years. He wants her, but he can't seduce her. He promised her brother he wouldn't. Things are going to get strange, because she wants him to be her lover. I liked Cassie and her determined attitude. Adam is trying to get his life back on track. Their battle of wills was humorous and sexy. The wedding location added to the romance as did the secondary characters. This was a fast paced story filled with temptation and love. I enjoyed Amber Belldene's writing style.
Cassie Wilson has traveled to Brazil for her brother’s wedding; yet she’s the one with cold feet. She’s all set to begin seminary, but she’s sick and tired of being treated like a saint, especially by the best man. What she really needs is one sexy night with him to ease her jitters and give her a taste of normal life. Adam Forrester crashed and burned at his dream job, screwing up all his hopes for a better life. Now he’s moved home to start over, but first he must confront the irresistible Cass, apologize for whatever happened on that drunken night he can’t remember, and make damn sure it doesn't happen again. Only she has other plans. He has typecast her as the good girl in his heart. Can she force him to see her as a real woman, desires and all? Review: I thought this was an interesting take on the unrequited love between a little sister and her brother's best friend. Making Cassie a seminary student was very interesting and I do not think I have ever read another story where the heroine is in seminary school. I liked how the author made Adam and the reader see that just because Cassie is going into seminary school does not mean that she is better or less sexual than other people. I know you are thinking a story about a woman who is to start seminary school has got to be very tame and though it is not full of sex from start to finish, it does have its sexy moments where the chemistry between these two is quite obvious. I think the Author did a great job giving a unique story that had heart and was sexy and to have it set in Brazil was a very interesting choice also. I would definitely recommend this new to me Author and will seek out her other works. 4Stars
This was a quick short fun read. Very relatable. Cassie had a crush on Adam since she was young. He gave her hope they could be together and then took it away. During her brother's wedding ritual, Cassie wanted Adam for at least one night. She held strong at each of his rejections. I liked that about her. She was not a pushover but a hopeful romantic. She was strong in her convictions even though she felt so strongly for Adam. I am glad Adam acted as he did in the end. It wasn't a very angsty book, but it was sweet. Even though I knew going in that it was a short story, I would have loved getting to know all these characters a little better. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
Cassie has lusted after her brothers best friend Adam since age 16. They had a near miss one night when Adam was beyond drunk. He keeps apologizing to her 3 years later, but she can't figure out what for. At her brothers wedding in Brazil she figures out Adam doesn't remember what happened and she wants to do everything she can to make them happen. Adam doesn't want to want his best friends little sister. Especially as she is going to Seminary school and he has no idea what exactly that entails but he knows it means that Cas is very special and very good. He just knows he would screw it up. He can't handle more than a one night, but knows he would need more with Cas. This book takes you to a different side of religion and its good. I would love to have another book to check in to see how they are doing. I was provided a copy of this book for my honest opinion.
Cassie has been in love with her brother's best friend Adam for most of her adult life. They are thrown together by her brother's wedding, and eventually give into there feelings. Each has a complicated past that is influencing their future decisions... This was a suprisingly sexy yet sweet novel! I enjoyed reading it. I was given a arc copy for an honest review.
This romance novella is the story of Cassie and Adam. Cassie plans to start seminary school but still has feelings for her brother's best friend Adam. When she gets the chance to act on those feelings with him, will they see it as a one time fling or be willing to go the distance? I quite enjoyed this story! I thought the setting was very unique - having a story set in Sao Paulo Brazil obviously requires an attention to detail in terms of language and culture (especially food) and this was admirably done. Cassie and Adam were interesting characters to read about. They share a history, their families being close through childhood and this set the story well for the present time and development of their relationship. Having a heroine who is going into a religious education program while still being a woman interested in sex is a tricky thing to write about, and it was done well. The story does touch on religion but not in a proselytizing way. I liked that Adam was aware of his failings and willing to change. I also liked that the love scenes between them weren't perfect - Cassie has to give Adam some instruction on what she likes and isn't afraid to do so, confident in herself and her needs. And Adam was willing to listen - something another man might have taken offense to. Together they steamed up the pages. Overall it was an entertaining and fun read. 4 stars!
A very enjoyable quick read that was completely entertaining. Cassie is in Sao Paolo for her brothers wedding just before she is scheduled to start her seminary program. Adam her brother's best friend, best man, and the object of Cassie's affection since her youth. What Cassie wants more than anything is one night with Adam to taste what a normal life is like but he has her firmly on the off limits list. You definitely need to get this one and find out what happens! It's a great one and I highly recommend it.