Sweet Cravings Publishing
Abbey couldn’t believe he was gay. She nearly ran away from her dreams of being a children’s book writer when she was introduced to her illustrator Sloan O’Riley, a dark, sensual Irishman with incredible blue eyes. He certainly couldn’t be good for Abbey’s relationship with her boyfriend back in Iowa. How could she stay in New York and work with the sinfully sexy Sloan even if he was gay? And when Sloan is threatened to be deported, how far would Abbey go to keep him in the US?
Sloan was forced to tell a little white lie. He had no choice. He couldn’t let the sweet, beautiful, Abbey Wright flee from his life – not without a chance to explore the sudden desire he felt for her. But what would Abbey do if she ever discovered the truth about Sloan’s sexuality – or learned the deeper, darker secret he’s been hiding?
Sloan watched from a distance as Aubrey fought to keep Abbey from dashing away, a frightened doe in the terrifying forest named New York. Apparently, up to this point, the vicious predators of the city hadn’t sent her fleeing home.
Until he entered her world, obviously.
Sloan had to admit something about her alarmed him too. He knew many women and had been with several. But none of them like her. Innocent. Naïve. True. Or so she seemed at first glance.
He couldn’t pull away from her wide-eyed, burning, hazel gaze. He wanted to free her shining, brown tresses from her ponytail and bury his fingers in the locks. He wanted to taste her plump, rose lips. He wanted to caress her curves, feel her warmth.
Sloan could hear Abbey beg for another illustrator. He heard Aubrey counter that there was none better. He was part of the deal, or there was no deal. She was ready to walk away from a contract worth potential millions over a fear of him.
He wouldn’t let her do that. He wouldn’t let her leave his life before she ever became a part of it.
Slowly approaching the two women at the end of the hall, Sloan asked, “Aubrey, can I have a moment please? Let us talk it out and see if we can come to an agreement.”
Aubrey looked uneasily from him to Abbey then nodded. “Sure.”
Sloan waited for Aubrey to return to the conference room. He shot a warning glare at the associates that had gathered to watch the scene unfold before turning his attention back to Abbey.
“What’s the matter, miss?” Sloan took Abbey’s hands in his as he smiled encouragingly.
“I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re very talented. But I don’t think I would be comfortable working with you,” she confessed.
“You don’t even know me.”
“I know. And I’m sure you are a perfect gentleman. But, you see, I don’t think Michael would be very happy with me working with a…gifted man such as yourself.”
Abbey blushed. “My boyfriend.”
Ah. There it is. A boyfriend. Sloan silently berated himself. He should’ve known a woman so beautiful would have already given her heart to someone. He couldn’t, however, allow her to get away so quickly. Perhaps he couldn’t have her, but that didn’t mean he had to let her go.
Thinking quickly, Sloan pressed one of her hands to his lips. “No worries, luv. I’m no threat.”
“How can you say that?”
Her face brightened with relief. “Really?”
“Yes, Abbey. Gay.”
She blushed pink. “I’m so embarrassed I overreacted. Please forgive me?”
“Of course I forgive you. Now, will you stay and undertake this project with me?”
Abbey beamed. “Of course. I would love to.”
Sloan motioned for her to precede him back to the conference room. He watched her walk before him, his gaze transfixed on her hips, her slim waist, and her luscious curves. A little white lie. She’ll never know.
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Tricia Andersen lives in Iowa with her husband, Brian and her three children – her sons, Jake and Jon, and her daughter, Alex. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from KirkwoodCommunity College with an Associate of Arts degree in Communications Media/Public Relations. Along with writing (which she loves to do), Tricia coaches and participates in track and field, does kickboxing, reads, sews and is involved in many of her children’s activities.
Tricia is a member of the Romance Writers of America and RWA Chapter 177 From the Heart Romance Writers.