In Change of Heart, Jude Deveraux’s short story featured in the Holiday of Love anthology, child protégé Eli and his best friend Chelsea conspire to find Eli’s mother Randy the perfect match. But when their meddling lands Randy in a remote cabin serving as personal chef and attendant to gruff billionaire Frank Taggart, will the well-meaning children have done more harm than good? Or will Randy open herself up to the possibility of true love?
Read the excerpt from Holiday of Love:
Thunder loud enough to split her eardrums woke her up. As she sat up, lightning lit the cabin, and she gave an involuntary scream. She was not used to such storms.
Frank was beside her instantly, just sitting there, not touching her, but at the next flash of lightning she flung herself into his arms.
She had forgotten how good a man could feel. His big, hard, strong body enveloped her, and before she could breathe he pulled her head back and kissed her.
It was not a kiss from a cold man, and in that moment she believed what Julian had told her: that Frank did love her.
He was kissing her neck. The cabin was lit with lightning and the roar of the thunder seemed to echo within her.
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“Yes,” she whispered as his hand went to her breast. “Yes, please make love to me.”
Gently, he took her face in his hands, his eyes searching hers. “I have no protection with me.”
For a moment she held her breath. She felt sure he didn’t have a communicable disease. “I would like the consequences,” she said, meaning how very much she’d like to have another child, to feel life growing within her, as she had with Eli.
“Yes,” was all he said, then he was on her.
He was as hot in bed as he was cold out of it. She’d never seen him leering at her as men did, but he seemed to have noticed all of her body and to want her very much. Her gown was off her body in seconds and his hands were everywhere, caressing her, touching her, as though he wanted to memorize her.
Never had Randy enjoyed sex as much as she did with him. He seemed to know what she liked, seemed to find places she didn’t know she wanted to be touched.
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Somewhere during the night she thought she heard him say “I love you,” but she wasn’t sure. For herself, she was too taken away with touching Frank to think any words. Leslie had always been a man who rushed sex, always in a hurry to get onto the next task. Or the next woman, Randy had often thought.
But Frank seemed to have all the time in the world. When he entered her, she was nearly screaming with desire. She held him inside her for a moment, loving how he filled her. When he began the velvet strokes in and out, she thought she might die with the pleasure.
Watching her, he seemed to know when she was ready to peak, then he thrust into her until she thought she might faint. “Baby,” she whispered, not sure if it was a word she was calling him or a wish she wanted fulfilled.
Later, shaking in the aftermath, she snuggled in his arms and went to sleep, feeling safe and secure and at home.
But when she awoke the next day, she could tell by the light that it was afternoon and Frank was gone. She thought that perhaps he was outside, but he wasn’t. There was no note, nothing. Only his unmade bed showed he’d been there at all.
An hour after she woke, Sandy appeared with the horses and said he’d been instructed to take her home.
About the author: Jude Deveraux is the author of more than 40 New York Times bestsellers, including Moonlight in the Morning, The Scent of Jasmine, Scarlet Nights, Days of Gold, Lavender Morning, Return to Summerhouse and Secrets. To date, there are more than 60 million copies of her books in print worldwide. To learn more, visit Jude-Deveraux.com.
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