Syleena Webster has been hurt by her mother's free lifestyle with men, but she maintains her romantic ideas about love and marriage. She doesn't doubt her perfect man is out there.
Storm Hyde, however, gave up on love and a long time ago. The wealthy banker decided staying single is the way for him, so he hasn't dated the same woman longer than a few months in ages. He's totally unprepared for his reaction when his sister brings her gorgeous roommate, Syleena Webster, home for the summer. Once he gazes into her soulful brown eyes, an emotion he's never felt before hits him, and he sends Syleena running for the door.
Five years later, they meet again. Will Storm be able to make Syleena understand the depth of the mistake he made?
A Phaze Books ReleaseContains sexual language and explicit sexual situations intended for the enjoyment of adult readers.
The Queen of Tease: If you want to read interracial romance stories that leaves you panting for more and turning the pages faster than you can read them. Marie is for you.
After reading her first “dirty” book as a teenager, Marie knew she had to become a writer. She started writing a few years ago because she wanted to reach for her dream. She writes her characters so her fans will believe in the Happily Ever After. She loves collecting bear figurines and reading a HOT book when she gets the chance.
Find out more about Marie here:
Official Site: http://marierochelle.weebly.com/
Official Blog: http://shopdiva28.blogspot.com/
Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marie_rochelle/
Yahoo discussion group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarieRochelle2/?yguid=289462859
All Romance ebooks Best of 2008 Awards
All Romance ebooks Best of 2009 Awards
Syleena Webster paused in front of her dormitory door. She shifted the weight of her two advanced business books from one arm to the other. Reaching out with her left hand, she pushed the oak door open and flinched when loud country music escaped. Walking into the room, she kicked the door shut with the heel of her boot. Her gaze wandered over the brightly decorated room, covered with piles of jeans and other discarded clothes, before landing on her roommate, Courtni Hyde. “I don’t how she can listen to that music all the time,” she muttered under her breath. Shaking her head, she moved to her desk over by the window.
“I hate this class,” Syleena said, dropping her books on the desk. Sitting down in the cushioned seat, she pushed the switch at the bottom of the computer and it purred to life.
With only two weeks left in the semester, she desperately needed a passing grade in this class, because if she failed her scholarship disappeared like a David Copperfield magic trick. The fast pace of the class was hard enough without her professor’s lustful looks.
Professor Alexander had repulsed her from the first day she walked into the packed classroom. The second she sat down in front of him, a thin line of drool slid from the corner of his mouth down his jowls. His dull, brown gaze never wandered from her breasts when he lectured, and he constantly, "accidentally" brushed his large, sweaty body against hers.
Shuddering, Syleena swallowed down the bile creeping up her throat. She wouldn’t let him break her spirit. Picking up a black ink pen, she flipped open to the page where he left off in class.
Totally engrossed in taking notes for tomorrow's assignment, Syleena missed the first time Courtni yelled at her from across the room, but the second one definitely caught her attention. Tossing her pen down in her book, she twirled around in her chair and frowned at Courtni.
“What did you say?”
“Does this shirt look good with my tan?” Courtni asked. It wasn't the original question.
“Will you stop worrying about your clothes and answer my question?” Syleena sighed. If Courtni spent as much time studying as she did shopping, she wouldn’t be close to failing all of her classes.
“Fine,” Courtni snapped, tossing the sweater on the floor. “I said you’re spending the summer with me in Texas at my brother’s ranch.”
“No, I’m not,” Syleena disagreed.
Spinning around, Courtni pushed the stop button on the CD player, ending the soft country sounds of LeAnn Rimes, and glared at her. “Why in the hell don’t you want to go?”
“I just don’t want to,” Syleena said, slamming her marketing book shut. Courtni came from a totally different world. She might not fit in with the rest of Courtni's family.
“It will be so much fun,” Courtni insisted.
“Maybe for you, but not for me.”
“Okay, spill it,” Courtni said, waving a finger in her direction.
“Spill what?” she asked, arching an eyebrow.
“The real reason you don’t want to spend the summer at my house,” Courtni sighed, walking across the room. “Tell me, or I’ll bug you until you do.”
“All right, I’ll tell you,” Syleena mumbled. She knew once Courtni got her mind set on something she wouldn’t let it go. “I don’t think it would be a good idea for me to spend all summer with you. What if your brother wants to spend that time alone with you? I would just be in the way.”
Laughing, Courtni shook her head. “You don’t have to worry about Storm. He doesn’t care who I bring home as long as we don’t get in his way,” she said. “You’re my best friend. You have to save me from my brother and his girlfriend of the moment.”
Syleena folded her legs in the chair and stared at Courtni. “How do you know that she isn’t the one, and that your brother will marry her?”
“No. My brother will never get married. Storm is a confirmed bachelor and usually gets rid of his girlfriends after six months, and April is hitting the six-month mark in a couple of weeks,” Courtni replied.
She watched Courtni yank a white wrap-around shirt out of her closet and toss it on the bed. “Stop trying to find a way out of spending the summer with me, because I won’t take no for an answer this time.”
“Yes, you will, because I’m not going home with you,” Syleena tossed back.
“Why are you putting up such a fight?”
“I don’t want to show up unannounced at your brother’s house and piss him off,” she snapped.
Spinning around, Courtni pinned her with a hard stare. “Storm is really cool. Besides, I’ve already asked him and he doesn’t care if you come home with me,” she said. “Does that mean I’m going to hear a yes?”
Courtni was always talking about her older brother, and she would love a chance to meet him. Courtni acted like Storm could do no wrong and it would be fun for her to see if Storm really lived up to all the hype. “All right, I’ll spend the summer with you as long as your brother doesn’t care,” Syleena agreed reluctantly.
Moving around the pile of clothes in the middle of the floor, Courtni ran over and hugged her. “I know you’ll have a good time. The ranch is so much fun during the summer and Storm is hardly there. I’ll call the airlines tonight and book our seats.”
Sin wrapped in a perfect bow.
Those six little words popped into Syleena’s head the second she laid eyes on Storm Hyde, as she stood next to Courtni in the crowded airport. She couldn’t believe how mouth-watering gorgeous Courtni’s brother was.
Midnight black hair covered his head, giving him a sexy yet lethal look. His slate gray eyes penetrated the short distance between them and held her prisoner. Standing over six-feet, he towered over her smaller frame by several inches. A gray suit a few shades darker than his eyes molded his athletic body. Muscles were apparent beneath the suit, giving him a semi-dangerous look. Storm Hyde was the kind of man every girl’s mother warned her about.
Her stomach somersaulted and her heart fluttered against her ribcage like a trapped bird. She prayed Storm couldn’t sense her instant attraction to him while she continued to ogle his unbelievable body.
“Syleena, I would like for you to meet my big brother, Storm Hyde,” Courtni said, cutting into her thoughts. “Storm, I want you to meet my best friend in the world, Syleena Webster.”
Syleena barely heard the introductions because she couldn’t stop staring into Storm’s piercing gray eyes. She swallowed hard and held out her hand. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Hyde.”
Storm only nodded in her direction, and turned his attention back to Courtni. Dropping her hand, she glared at the side of his face. Well, she knew her place.
“Courtni, are you learning anything at that high-priced school?” Storm asked, trying to ignore Syleena’s hard glare. Damn, when he went to college none of the girls looked like his sister’s roommate.
“Yeah, I know how to sleep through class and still get a passing grade,” Courtni teased.
Storm sighed. “Stop joking all the time. I don’t pay your tuition so you can learn jokes.”
“Hey, what’s wrong with you?” Courtni asked.
“Nothing,” he answered. “Let’s go. I’ve a meeting in forty minutes.” Pulling Courtni by the arm, he dragged her toward the exit. He didn’t mean to be hard on her, but his little sister was a handful. Just last week the dean called and informed him that she had been skipping class. What was he going to do with her?
“Storm, slow down. You know I can’t keep up when you walk this fast.” Twisting her arm, Courtni tried to loosen his grip.
Cursing, Storm let go of his sister’s arm and slowed down so she could keep up with him. “Walk a little faster and I won’t have to drag you. God, you’ve got those long legs for a reason,” he snapped.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Nothing I can’t take care of,” he replied.
“How about you take care of it after my vacation?” Courtni asked, touching him on the arm. “I invited Syleena here for a good time and you’re ruining it. You dragged me away and left her way back there at baggage claim.”
Why did he agree to come and pick up Courtni and her friend in the first place? One of the guys from the ranch could have easily taken his place today, and he wouldn’t be going through this hassle. Then again, he would have missed meeting the gorgeous Syleena. What am I doing? He didn’t need to look at her or even think about her. She was the same age as Courtni.
“Do you want me to go and get her?” he sighed, rubbing his temple. “I didn’t realize she wasn’t right behind us.”
“No, I see her coming now.”
Dropping his hand, Storm’s eyes widened with interest as Syleena approached them. Her rich brown skin shone against her red V-neck t-shirt. Her black hair blew softly around her shoulders as her body swayed toward them. Full, kissable lips drew his gaze down from her bedroom brown eyes. His heart never pounded like a drum in his chest for April. Honestly, his body never roared to life like this with any of his old girlfriends. His fingers practically tingled with the need to touch her. Shaking his head, Storm calmed his body down. He had never been attracted to one of his sister’s friends before, and he wasn’t about to start now.
“What do you think about Syleena?” Courtni whispered next to him. “Isn’t she so pretty?”
He thought of several words that described the sexy college student, and pretty wasn’t in his top twenty-five. “I don’t know if she's pretty or not.” He shrugged, moving away from his sister. “You know how much I love the tall model types. I would never look at your friend twice,” he lied.
That’s the last straw! Syleena was fed up with Storm and his rude attitude toward her. She didn’t have to take this crap from him. She loved Courtni like a sister, but her dislike for Storm was greater. She stomped over to him and stood as close to him as she could get and ignored how her body responded to his.
“Mr. Hyde, I know you have a problem with me being here, and I don’t know why. But, I think it might be for the best if I go back and spend the summer with someone who wants me around them.”
Storm’s lips curved up at her directness. “Miss Webster, if I had a problem with you coming, I would have told Courtni she couldn’t invite you for the summer,” he drawled. “I allowed her to bring you along, didn’t I?”
Syleena rolled her eyes, then looked over at Courtni. “I’m leaving. Have fun with your brother and I’ll see you back at the dorms in August.” She spun around and headed back toward the ticket line.
“Damn it!” Storm yelled, running his fingers through his hair. Courtni wouldn’t give him a moment’s peace unless he found a way to fix this. When would he learn to think before he opened his mouth?
“Why in the hell did you insult Syleena like that?” Courtni asked, shoving his shoulder.
“I didn’t mean to insult your friend,” he confessed. “I’m having problems with April and I’m still carrying an attitude from the fight we had earlier. Wait here and I’ll go get her,” he retorted.
“Don’t forget to apologize,” Courtni screamed after him.
He made his way slowly towards Syleena. She was standing in the middle of the ticket line behind a woman and her two children. Wrapping his fingers around her arm, he pulled her out of the line. “Come on, let’s go.”
“What in the hell are you doing?” Syleena snapped, jerking away from him.
She glanced back at the line, then at him with a cold look in her beautiful eyes. “Why did you do that? Now I’ve to go to the back of the line,” she grumbled, brushing past his body.
Something intense flared inside Storm at the way Syleena didn’t back down from him. Smirking at her outburst, he chased after her. His longer legs caught up with her shorter ones in no time. Wrapping his fingers back around her slim wrist, he tugged her in the direction of the exit doors.
“Courtni is waiting for us,” he said, rubbing his thumb over her smooth wrist. Sucking in a deep breath, he bit back a moan. Her skin felt like satin. Why in the hell couldn’t she be ten years older? He loved this kind of passion in a woman.
“Let me go,” she hissed. “Why are you doing this? You know you don’t want me here and I was trying to leave. So, why don’t you let me?”
Stopping in the middle of the airport, Storm jerked Syleena around to face him. He couldn’t believe he was wasting his time with this. He didn’t have the patience to deal with the two of them and April.
“Hey, you need to stop with all the manhandling,” she snapped.
Leaning down until they were eye to eye, he spoke directly into her face. “Listen, I don’t want my kid sister mad at me her whole vacation because I sent her best friend home in tears.”
“I have not cried,” Syleena said, staring straight into his eyes. Jerking her arm free, she stormed away from him.
He caught up with her before she moved a few inches. “Syleena, I do feel bad about what I said. Can’t we forget it happened and start over since my sister is so fond of you? Let’s go to my car. It’s right out front. I bet Courtni is wondering what happened to us,” he suggested, holding out his hand.
Snickering at him, Syleena ignored his hand and walked past him. Running his hands down his face, Storm turned around and went back towards baggage claim. He couldn’t help but smile at Syleena’s spunk because one thing was crystal clear: she was totally different from his sister.
“Are you okay? Did my brother apologize?” Courtni asked her the second she slid in the car and closed the door.
“I’m fine,” Syleena answered.
A few minutes later Storm opened the driver side door and slid inside the car. He tried to catch her eye through the rearview mirror, but she looked away from him and stared out the window. Storm glanced at her one last time before he started the car and pulled out into traffic.
All the way to the ranch, Syleena couldn’t get the idea out of her mind that meeting Storm was going to change the rest of her life. He wasn’t taken back by her tough attitude like guys her own age were. He didn’t mince his words. She liked the direct way Storm looked into her eyes when he spoke to her.
Forty-five minutes later, she gasped as Storm pulled into the most breathtaking place she had ever laid eyes on. A huge red house with a wrap-around porch took up most of the yard. Cattle resembling tiny spots were fenced in fields far from the house. Workmen walked past the car, waving or speaking to either Storm or Courtni through the open car windows, and a few smiled at her.
“Wow, you’ve a beautiful home, Courtni,” she said, staring out the window at the picturesque scene.
Courtni spun around in her seat and grinned at her. “I’m glad you like it.”
“So, do I get a tour of this place or what?” she asked, getting out of the car.
“Sure, let’s go,” Courtni replied, getting out of the car behind her. “Storm can take care of our bags.”
Syleena looked over her shoulder at Storm and hoped he would look at her, but he didn’t. She didn’t want to know why she felt so disappointed. “Yeah, you’re right. I’m sure your brother doesn’t mind helping us at all,” she replied, slamming the car door shut.
Staying in the car, Storm watched Syleena as she raced up the front steps with his sister. His sudden attraction to her bothered him, and he needed to take care of it before it got out of hand.
An hour later, Storm sat inside his den and waited for his sister to come back from showing Syleena to her room. He hated to do this to his sister, but the quicker it was done the better.
“What’s up, big brother? Why do you need to talk to me?” Courtni asked him, coming into the room.
“I think you should sit down before I say this,” he said, pointing to a chair in front of his desk.
Courtni’s eyes narrowed at him and she shook her head. “No, I think I’ll stand, because I don’t plan on staying too long. Syleena’s unpacking right now so we can go shopping when I finish talking to you.”
He picked up the gold pen off his desk; the metal felt heavy in his hand. “I don’t think you’ll be going anywhere after I tell you this,” he said.
“Tell me what?”
Tossing the pen back on the desk, he looked his sister directly in the eye. “I think it would be best if you didn’t continue your friendship with Syleena. She isn’t from the same social circle as we are and probably won’t fit in at the birthday party I’m having for you this weekend.
“I’ll be more than happy to send her somewhere else for her vacation,” he said, opening his checkbook. “You can even spend a few days with her if you want to.”
Courtni fell down into the chair in front of his desk. “I don’t believe you’re doing this. What happened in one hour that you want me to send my best friend packing?”
“I really didn’t want her to come in the first place, but I just didn’t know how to tell you,” Storm lied.
He got up from behind his desk and walked around to sit down next to Courtni. “If you don’t want to tell her, I will,” he volunteered.
“No, I can think of something to tell her. I can’t believe you’re making me do this to her,” Courtni snapped. “Just give me a few minutes to think of a good reason why she has to leave before I go and tell her.”
Storm couldn’t keep the smile off his face. He wasn’t about to tell his sister the real reason he wanted Syleena gone. The only thing that mattered was Syleena was leaving and he wouldn’t be tempted by her anymore.
Syleena eased away from the doorway before Courtni or Storm saw her. She tried to keep from crying, but the tears streamed down her face. She knew better than to think Courtni was ever her friend in the first place. “Well, they don’t have to think of a way to get rid of me. I’ll be repacked and gone before either of them knows it,” she said, racing toward the stairs.