Game, Set, Love-Match (MF)
[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance]
Sometimes, mistakes are the best things in life.
When Cassie Miller jets off to the remote island of Los Tiqos, she expects to get an exclusive scoop with a reclusive artist. Instead, she finds arrogant tennis ace Filippo Fernandez.
There's no doubt he's gorgeous, but Cassie is not in the mood for men. Never mind that she's wasted a fortune getting here. The worsening storm means she can't get away. The only protection she has is a leaky, old guest house. Well, that and a candlestick. Having mistaken Filippo, who has only come to check on her, for an intruder, Cassie feels incredibly guilty.
They fight their way through the storm to the safety of Filippo's villa. Maybe it is the lightning, or the electricity crackling between them, but Cassie submits to the desires she's long tried to deny.
But what happens on the morning after when the storm clears?
A Siren Erotic Romance
4 STARS/Hot: "Filippo Fernandez is gorgeous and incredibly talented and has nothing in common with Cassie [Miller], not even the color of his skin or his language. I admire the fact that he does not hold anything against Cassie and is all for finding happiness. He knows how to love a lady when one is thrown his way by fate. Cassie is a woman who doesn't need another man adding to the emotional baggage she already has. She should be patted on the back for the way she deals with the ex through the story. She's spunky and tough and very loveable. The chemistry between the two of them is beyond hot, and I love the fact that they can't keep their hands off each other. Their budding relationship is funny, touching and just plain fun to read about! I love the verbal sparring between them and their sexual attraction just grows with each barb. It is like watching a highly charged tennis match in the characters' personal arena where both the players are equally matched. Game, Set, Love-Match is sports romance at its best with tasty sex scenes and a beautiful ending. Ms. Dobbs has certainly scored with this fabulous read. It gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from this reviewer!" -- Mahaira, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
4 CUPS: "Game, Set, Love-Match is most refreshing. Cassie and Filippo are enchanting characters that have lost in their life and are trying to mend their hearts. They get off to a rocky start then end up discovering something lovely. Ms. Dobbs paints a story that stops at nothing to find that one dream for [love] everlasting. She pens a pleasant read. This is one tennis match that is quite enjoyable." --Cherokee, Coffee Time Romance
4 HEARTS: "Sarah Dobbs demonstrates an excellent understanding of her main characters, as well as the secondary, supporting characters. She takes a premise that could very well have fallen flat on its face and instead makes it both workable and intriguing. Game, Set, Love-Match is a story sure to appeal to many readers." -- Annie, The Romance Studio
Cassie heard Filippo fumble about before there was the sound of matches being struck. The flaring light actually hurt her eyes. She hugged her arms around her chest once again, not because she remembered the blouse was see through, but because she realized how cold it had suddenly become. Filippo came over with a few candles flickering on a chipped saucer, some unlit ones under one arm. Not only that, but the warmest, fuzzy brown blanket she’d ever seen was laid over one arm. She suddenly desired that even more than Filippo.
“Here.” He set the candle down on a long mahogany table cluttered with photographs.
The light was not good enough for her to see who was in the pictures, and she didn’t want to appear nosy by ogling them. Above the photo frames, on the cool stone walls, hung prints that she recognized. Matisse, Monet, Cézanne…that is surprising, Cassie thought. Remembering herself, Cassie took the blanket from him and drew it around her shoulders. His fingers were long, she noticed, the nails wide and round. The blanket’s cozy fur tickled her neck. When it slipped off her right shoulder, and Filippo righted it for her.
When he staggered slightly, his whole weight made her knees buckle. The unlit candles clattered to the floor, rolling noisily about the wood. He squeezed her shoulder painfully.
“What is it?”
“Sorry. My head, I…” Filippo withdrew his hand and massaged the bridge of his nose.
“Oh, my God!” Cassie saw blood glitter in the candle light. “You really are bleeding!”
He gave her a heavy-lidded look. “I really am bleeding.”
“Well, you didn’t believe me about the guest house.”
His sigh sounded weary. “A truce then.”
Now, Cassie felt more motherly than anything. She had an overwhelming wish to look after him. It was only natural, she supposed, being that she was the one who’d done the damage in the first place. Yet there was something about him, regardless of the defensive I-don’t-need-anybody front. More than that, although Filippo’s physical strength was unquestionable, and his body screamed that he was a man, there was something almost boyish in his handsome features—a gentle look beneath the giant exterior that was crying out to be cared for.
“Now, you wait there,” Cassie ordered and fumbled about for the stray candles. The blanket completely fell from her shoulders, but Cassie didn’t have time to think about whether he could see through her blouse. She snatched up a couple of candles and lit the tall blue stalks off the ones that were already aflame. “Where’s the bathroom?”
Filippo waved one arm roughly in front of her. “To your left. Yes, that’s it.”
Cassie groped about for a towel, ran the tepid water onto it, and wrung it out. “You should lie down,” she said, returning to the hallway. “Where’s the couch?”
“The bed.” He allowed her to help him upright from where he’d leaned against the hall table. “I’m fine, really.”
“Clearly,” she said when he lost his footing again.
Cassie grabbed his forearm to steady him, her fingers barely curling around half of his powerful arms. She let go, stung, when she thought Filippo pushed her away from him, but his arm only snuck under hers and around her back, gripping the sodden waist of her trousers. He led the way to the bedroom as Cassie struggled under his weight. His solid, male body was heavy, but it was a comfortable sort of heavy against her side. A heaviness that she could imagine atop of her, making breathing difficult. Even through their damp clothes, she could feel that his skin was hot. Cassie tried to force herself to concentrate on the task at hand—that and not allowing the candles she was clutching precariously to set her blouse on fire.
“This is it.” Filippo shoved back a door with one palm. “Watch your step.”
His thoughtfulness was surprising, especially since he was the one with the injury. He sat down on the bed.
“You should lie down,” she suggested. He seemed to agree and dragged his long legs up onto the bed. He heaved a great sigh—she must have hit him harder than she’d thought—and lay his arms crisscrossed onto his stomach. She wondered if he’d fallen asleep straight away. Was that a bad thing? Did that mean he had a concussion? Would he need to go to the hospital? Would she go to jail for beating up a celebrity?
“Steady, Cass,” she whispered.
“Nothing.” She laughed self consciously and made to leave the room.
“Where are you going?”
His accent was attractive like the rest of him. He lay on the bed, with wet clothes…Cassie swallowed. “Just going to get the towel. Got to wipe away some of that blood.”
She crept away and returned quickly with the towel and the blanket he had given her. Again, his breathing seemed slow, as if he had gone to sleep. Cassie was worried about that and wondered if she should do something to keep him awake. Setting the candle down on the bedside table, another one cluttered with a nest of picture frames, Cassie tentatively leaned over to wipe his forehead, where little rivulets of blood had dried. Thank heaven, she’d only cracked him on the head. Cassie reckoned women the world over would be in mourning had she mucked up this angelic face.
Filippo winced as she worked but otherwise didn’t stir. Cassie tried to decide whether it was a good idea to let him sleep in his wet clothes. She knew she herself was shivering, and she didn’t have a head injury. Pervert! Jen would be screaming right now while urging her on. Telling herself it was with purely Florence-Nightingale intentions, Cassie sat on the edge of the bed and slowly began to undo Filippo’s shirt.
Heart beating in her ears, her fingers fumbled with the buttons. She peeled the fabric away from his chest, which was a sight to set her heart racing. Clear, broad, lithe and brown, there was not an ounce of fat. Just pure perfection. His nipples were small and taut, fringed with a slight fuzz of dark hair that also nestled in the center of his chest. The same hair traced a line down the center of his stomach, disappearing beneath his trouser line.
Great idea, Cass. Now, how do I get it off? Cursing softly, Cassie tried to sneak her arms under his back to gather him up. Another great idea—not. Next, she leaned over him to pull the soaked fabric to his far shoulder before trying to ease it off without disturbing him.
Filippo’s long fingers fastened around her wrist, holding her in place. She inhaled sharply.
“I was just…”
Filippo’s shocking green gaze rendered her speechless. His eyes glittered almost gold in the dancing candlelight. To Cassie, there seemed to be incredible pain behind those pretty, pretty eyes. It was just a heartbeat before that intense stare traveled over her own body. It wandered over the planes of her face, the tied-back hair that was starting to come loose and frizz in the damp air, raking over her breasts probably revealed by her still-wet blouse.
Cassie held her breath. He was looking at her, looking at her the way she had never dreamed a man like that could.
Filippo continued, bending down to completely denude her of the very last garment. He stood back up to his full height, and Cassie made to turn away from the mirror. He kept her in place firmly. “Do you see now? Do you really see?” he murmured. “Do you understand how beautiful you are?”
Cassie licked her lips, but the anxiety whirling in her dark, mysterious eyes softened to some form of acceptance. She lowered her head, and her hair slipped over her eyes and caressed her ivory skin. The contrast was breathtaking. Filippo’s own ruddy coloring was revealed through his unbuttoned shirt, dark against her whiteness. It was fire against ice, and the ice was melting in his hands, especially when his hand crept again over her stomach and down to her glossy pubic hair. She gasped when his finger expertly probed the moistness between her legs, glancing in the mirror as if to check that it was all real. In the glass, Filippo saw the lust explode behind her blue eyes.
She twirled towards him and completed her earlier work—opening the last button. Filippo watched the muscles work in her back as she did so, saw his own fingers caress the creamy globes of her bottom. Cassie pulled off his shirt, throwing the light fabric next to the sink. Then her eyes went down, and she bit her lip in anticipation. His simple black dress pants bulged at the crotch, ready for her attention. Oh, so delicately, she released another button, then a zip, then his trousers. He stepped out of them, knowing he looked strong and male, proud of the fact that he would bring them both so much pleasure. He felt her trembling as she lifted the elastic lip of his boxer shorts up and over his upright cock, before taking them off, too. Her fingers brushed the hairs on his legs as she stood back up.
This was it. She blinked, beautiful and ready…for him. Filippo lay down on the white bathroom tiles, the cold shocking back, ass and legs. He drew her down with him so that her knees were on either side of his hips and he saw the whole length of his cock disappear inside her, inch by inch. In the mirror, he also saw the unaccustomed pleasure on his face as she accepted his full hilt.