Smolder

Book Five in the St. Martin Family Saga: Whiskey Cove

Campbell Lee St. Martin has always played by the rules. He follows his head not his heart, but when that backfires not once, but twice, changes are in store for this Mr. Play It Safe. He’s instantly attracted to Jenny’s uninhibited sexuality but soon learns that together, they are highly combustible.

Jenny thinks Campbell is a bastard and she doesn’t mind putting him in his place. What he needs is a hard slap across the face, which Jenny is willing to provide even if it means the loss of her job, but it doesn’t. Instead, their chemistry forces them together in a physical relationship that neither of them will ever forget.

Is it possible to build on a relationship that started from lust?

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At a sound from down the hall, Camp looked up from his computer, but it was just one of the workmen. He was in Lake Charles through the end of the week. Right now he was supposed to be meeting a Jennifer Roberts, but she was already fifteen minutes late. Her inconsideration irritated him; she could have called.

She probably wouldn’t even care that his company was paying for her to stay in a suite, just as he was. The rooms needed to be large enough to serve as temporary offices. St. Martin Commercial Construction had been hired to oversee the revamping of the casino hotel’s west wing. It was to be aimed at high rollers. The developer wanted the wing to drip opulence, and this Jennifer had been hired to meet that design requirement. Camp wasn’t impressed. He never worked well with designers, and it seemed that trend would continue.

Pleasant feminine tones hit his ears. Who was singing? He didn’t mind at all, the sound was lovely and hypnotic, easing his cantankerous mood. He punched a few keys on his computer, the beautiful voice was getting closer.

Heels clacked down the hall. Not work boots this time. Camp lifted his head and that was when he first saw her, striding into his suite, humming of all things, late as she was. He took in her long wavy and windblown nut-brown hair streaked with copper highlights. Her slender neck accentuated her prominent jawline, a jawline made for nibbling. Thick dark lashes framed her chocolate eyes. Her teeth peeked through pillowy lips, and the slender bridge of her nose culminated in a button. She held her phone in one hand and clutched three portfolio folders to her chest with the other.
She wore black dress slacks and heels. Her blouse was a cream color and made of a silky material. She hadn’t used all the buttons, leaving the skin of her upper chest exposed.

The woman set her folders on the table in the suite, turned to Camp, and extended her hand.

“Hi, I’m Jennifer Roberts. You can call me Jenny.”

Her voice suited her. It was a bit edgy, but low and smooth, and breathiness made it sensual. He wanted to hear it again. Hell, he wanted to record it so he could listen to it forever. Camp took her small, soft hand into his.

“Campbell St. Martin.”

She nodded at him. “Campbell, how about I call you Camp?”

His hand sizzled against hers. Their eyes locked, and her lips parted as she inhaled sharply. He let her hand go quickly. He would do well to remember Kim. Always think of Kim and get this chick out of your head.

“How ’bout you call me Campbell or Mr. St. Martin.”

“Huh.” Jenny shrugged and under her breath said, “Suit yourself, old man.”

Did she just call him old man? “Have something to say?”

She smiled tightly at him. “Nope, I’m good. Shall I show you the room sketches I’ve been working on?”

“Seeing as you have already wasted fifteen minutes of my time, I should think so.”

The phone in her hand beeped, and she looked down at it. She silenced it and set it on the table next to her folders.

She leaned forward and jerkily slammed opened the folders. Her blouse gaped when she moved. The top barely contained her tits. She wasn’t wearing a bra, and Camp could see the shadow of one nipple. He swallowed hard. Here was a woman not inhibited by her sexuality. He felt himself growing hard. He shook off his thoughts and tuned in to her words. She was talking about balustrades and damask linens. Camp didn’t care about the details, just the overall look and above all, the cost.

“How much is the cost per room?”

Her phone beeped again, and she picked it up to check the screen. Her lips thinned and her forehead creased. She straightened herself up and looked Camp square in the eye. “I don’t have that information completed in detail just yet.”

Camp cut her off with a raised hand. “I don’t have time to meet with you until you have all of the details in order. You come highly recommended, but maybe you should tend to whatever it is that’s distracting you so you can focus on what I’m paying you for.”

She started to speak, but he cut her off. “You may go.”

Her phone continued to beep. Camp loathed cellphones and especially people who couldn’t live without being attached to one. She stepped into the hallway, ignoring his directive to go. With a worry-tinged voice, she answered her phone.

Camp sat on the couch near the windows. He couldn’t believe the nerve of this woman. Did she really conduct herself like this at all her gigs? He couldn’t see how she would have created such a following if she did. He listened to her say, “It’s in his backpack—did you check there?”

He assumed she had a child, but he didn’t see a ring. Not caring about her privacy, since she didn’t seem to care, he listened to the one-sided conversation.

“Did he drink it already?” Her voice was full of concern. “Put him on the phone, please.” Her voice calmer, she said, “Hey, Andrew. What’s going on?” When she caught Camp’s eye, she pivoted, turning her back to him. “Well, I can’t do that; I’m in Lake Charles until Sunday. Remember I wrote it for you on the calendar?” She sighed. “So will you please just drink the grape?” She inhaled slow and deep. “Thank you. I love you.”

She slipped the phone into her pocket and returned to stand in front of Camp. “Mr. St. Martin” — she overenunciated every vowel of his name — “have you ever had a bad day?”

She was tapping her foot, waiting for a reply. The audacity of the woman. He’d give her an answer. He stood and said, “Everyone has bad days, but one mustn’t let personal life interfere with business. It’s all about balance.”

Her eyes grew wide, and her mouth opened on an arrested exhale. “Balance. Really?” She cocked her head. Her voice was louder and clear when she said, “Funny you should say such a thing because I heard when you found your wife in bed with another man, you botched a crucial element in the Dunbar development that ended up costing them thousands of dollars.” She started to walk toward the table but whirled around and jabbed a finger toward him. “Haven’t you ever heard those who live in glass houses mustn’t throw stones? Honestly, who even talks like that?”

Camp was seething mad and jumped up, advancing on her with an anger-fueled pace. What she said was true, but he thought no one knew about the fuck-up since his father had diligently worked to cover it up. He wanted to wring her smooth ivory neck for mentioning the flaming fiasco.

“Who the hell do you think you are? You can’t speak to me like that.” Camp’s voice was a shout.

Her voice was raspy when she said, “You can’t tell me what I can and cannot do.” She gathered her things and hurried to the door.

He grabbed her upper arm, jerking her back. “Hey, we’re not done.”

She yanked her arm out of his grasp. “Oh yes, we are. I’ll send you a bill for my initial sketches and quotes.”

Camp narrowed his eyes at her. Still yelling, he said, “You didn’t give me any fucking quotes.”

She turned and stomped up to him. “You want a fucking quote? Here’s one!”

She slapped his face. Hard.

Camp couldn’t believe what had just happened. He held his palm to his warm cheek. The crazy bitch had slapped him. Her eyes were large and luminous, her breathing agitated. Camp instinctively moved his hand down to his crotch to adjust his painful erection.

This was far from over.


In her own room, Jenny packed her things. She couldn’t work with Mr. St. Martin, so she might as well get back to her brother. He needed her.

One mustn’t let personal life interfere . . . It’s all about balance.

That man was the hugest dick on the planet. Her anger simmered just below the surface. She wouldn’t stay here and take his condescension. She didn’t need this job that badly. Besides, she was sure to be fired.

A knock at her door distracted her from her musings. “Come in.”
“Room service. Your breakfast is ready.”

She looked up from her packing. “I didn’t order breakfast.”
“Mr. St. Martin ordered it.”

She gestured toward the living room. “You can set it by the couch. Thanks.”

Jenny continued to pack, cursing the stuffy Mr. St. Martin. Too bad such a good-looking guy was such a horse’s ass. Her phone started ringing again. She moved across the room, but she couldn’t see the damned thing. She’d stormed in so angrily that she’d slung her leather-bound portfolios, along with her phone, onto the couch. She went down to her knees and peeked under the couch. Of course it was far enough under that she couldn’t just pull it out.

She bent all the way down, with her chest on the ground, and stretched her hand out. When she felt cold metal, she pulled it free. She thrust her other hand against the table next to her for leverage and pushed herself up. Just as it dawned on her that the table shouldn’t move so easily, the breakfast tray flipped off the table and down on top of her. She crouched on the floor covered in oatmeal, cranberry juice, and scrambled eggs.

“Just bloody perfect!” Jenny screamed.

She stood and raced to the bathroom, trying not to drip. She grabbed all the clean towels and returned to the couch. She put one towel on her head and used the rest to clean the mess. Her curses against the arrogant Mr. Campbell St. Martin increased in volume.

When she couldn’t soak up any more juice and had scooped all the oatmeal and eggs back into their bowls, she walked back into the bathroom, leaned on the counter, and looked in the mirror. She was a disaster from head to toe. Oats covered her long hair and her chest, and scrambled eggs decorated her shirt. Cranberry juice was sticky on her skin. She turned the shower on and let the bathroom fill with heated steam. She peeled off her clothes, threw them to the floor of the shower, and stepped into the warmth of the tiled space. She scrubbed the oats and egg from her body and shampooed and conditioned her hair twice. The hot water pelted her body, and she reveled in the sensation. When she eventually stepped out, she realized she’d used all the towels. Shit. Was there a robe?

She searched the cabinets and behind the door. No robe. She walked out of the bathroom in search of something she could use to dry off. She rounded the corner and her wet, naked body slammed into a hard, dry one. One belonging to Campbell St. Martin.

“What the fuck!” She pushed him away from her. They stood frozen.

As he perused her body from head to toe and back again, his eyes smoldered and gave off a glow the color of a natural gas flame. Jenny was trying to process what had happened. Why was he in her suite?

“Turn around! Stop looking at me! What the fuck is wrong with you! You don’t knock?” She was so angry, she was waving her arms and hands. Her heavy breasts swayed with her movements.

And he watched every sway.

The man stood frozen. He swallowed and with a raspy voice said, “Can I get you a towel?”

She pointed to the towels in the living room, but his eyes never shifted. His gaze was glued to her skin.

“There are no clean towels.”

“How about a robe?”

Yeah, she’d kill for a robe.

He walked to the closet in the entryway, opened the door, and removed a robe. He held it open. Jenny let out an exasperated sigh and backed into the plush, white cotton.

Camp—she was not going to think of him as Mr. St. Martin, not after the way he’d checked her out—gestured to the upturned tray and accompanying mess around the couch.

“What happened here?”

Jenny raised a brow. “I was on my knees looking for something and I dumped the tray on myself.”

“I see. Is that why you’re walking around in your suite wet and naked?”

Jenny worried her bottom lip between her teeth. “Yeah, I had a head full of oats and a blouse full of egg.”

Camp erupted into full-bodied and deep belly laughter. When he looked to her and saw she was stewing mad, it got him going again and he laughed loud and long.

When he quieted Jenny said, “I’m so glad I could amuse you.”

“You don’t amuse me. You frustrate and anger me.”

“You frustrate and anger me too.”

End of Excerpt

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Smolder is available in the following formats:

Smolder

ISBN: 9781941059043
December 2013