[BookStrand Romantic Suspense]
After her husband disappears and is presumed dead, feisty, American-born socialist Anastasia spends two months in El Salvador searching for his body, returning to Los Angeles only to face a spiraling economy and no job prospects. Displacing her love with a dependence on the family dog, she awaits a letter from her husband that may change her life.
But love blooms when she meets a Castro-hating Cuban with a crippling Madonna-whore complex. But will he ever get over his fears and introduce her to his family?
Will an unsolved murder of five vagrants and a hired assassin concerned that Anastasia knows too much about his organization's operations keep them both forever in fear?
Note: This book contains some adult language. This book has been previously published. A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
“I usually only date Latinas,” he said. Her eyes rolled in disgust. “And I was hoping to meet an Argentine woman, with an accent.”
She deliberately marched ahead of him.
A spark of resentment flickered in her chest. The ember burned, smoldering like a hot, glowing coal. She turned and looked him straight in the eye with defiance. “I’m Argentine-American, and you look white too. So you can cut the crap!” She was overcome by a brief impulse to leave the narrow-lipped, arrogant son-of-a-bitch and catch a bus home. “And what does it matter if I don’t speak Spanish to your liking if we both grew up in the states anyway?”
“I suppose it isn’t important, but I thought it might be nice to hear you whisper something sexy in my ear in Spanish. Argentine Spanish! Mi entiendes, Che?” He smiled as he mocked her.
She glared at him, her lips growing taut. Why was he was lying about his Guatemalan mother? She observed his eyes. They were light hazel, thick and haughty, and he projected something impetuous, which could have been confused for confidence. There wasn’t a hint of warmth glowing in those eyes, and he had the thick-muscled build of island heritage, not a stitch of Guatemalan in anything about him. She spit out, “You certainly don’t look one bit Guatemalan.”
“Oh? And why do you say that?”
“Because you look like a God damned Cubano who lies about being a Chapine!”
He smirked. ¨”You know, when I answered your ad, I felt a slight resentment that you stated that ‘Central Americans make you weak.”
“Oh? And why is that if your mother is from Guatemala?”
“I thought Central American men did it for you.”
“They do. And you don’t have one ounce of Central American blood in your veins,” she said.
“Well, I identify more with my father’s side of the family.”
“That’s too bad, because you certainly don’t have one drop of the warmth of Central Americans.”
He stopped teasing her. They drove to a popular nightclub in Belmont Shores. La Acapulco was crammed with singles in their forties wearing Hawaiian shirts and jeans where the specialty was margaritas and chips and salsa. They sat at a worn oak bar that ran the length of the club. Two big screen televisions blasted basketball games. Later, the lights dimmed and a local band crowded a small stage.
He changed into everything she had been seeking, exhibiting the etiquette of a real gentleman, as he had on the phone. Opening doors for her and pulling out her bar stool. He was attentive, talkative and open, even slightly jealous when he noticed other men flirting as she strolled to the restroom, and letting her know. He kept her glass filled with margaritas from the pitchers he ordered, had the waiter bring her extra salsa for her chips, even purchased flowers when the man carrying bouquets strolled through. He interspersed his Cuban Spanish with an impulsive desire to stroke her hair, held her hand, gazed into her eyes and asked a couple of times why she jerked away suddenly when he leaned into her.
Near the end of the night, he moved his bar stool behind her and wrapped his thick, hairy arms around her waist. He pulled her back into his body possessively, and they swayed to the old rock and roll songs the band played. When he drove her home, he invited himself in.
They cuddled while chatting on the sofa until four in the morning, and he was enchanted by the way she giggled nervously sometimes. He was delighted that she pulled his hand into hers and inspected his perfectly manicured nails minus a grain of dirt, commenting how soft his fingertips and his palms were.
She didn’t tell him it seemed slightly effeminate to her.
He spoke of his family with deep affection, and protectively, and she wanted a man who cared about his family that way. So, she let him plant a passionate kiss on her before he said goodbye.
He started to leave, promising to call her the following week, but as he turned to walk away, he seemed to have a sudden impulse. He stumbled to say the words.
“I’m not really Guatemalan, you know. I lied because I wanted to meet you.”
She smirked and looked him straight in the eye. “I know.”
He kissed her goodnight in a more passionate way and left, grinning.