On Christmas Eve, Tranell Merdock finds herself in one of the most romantic countries in the world. Yet, she is stuck slaving over work. She steps away from her demanding job as a successful management consultant to seek a little respite at a local restaurant and draws the attention of Stephan, a very attractive Frenchman.
He lures her in with promises of a passionate rendezvous, but Stephan has a secret he neglects to tell her.
Will Tranell shy away from a night guaranteed to be filled with forbidden pleasures or allow Stephan to take her on a journey she will never forget?
"Believe it or not, I used to love Christmas. It was my favorite holiday.” Tranell paused to find the right words. “It kinda lost its zing in my life, ya know. I mean, as far as family goes and exchanging gifts, yeah, that’s great stuff, but without a lover to share it with, it just becomes another day.”
“Another day?” Squeezing her hand, Stephan caressed her inner forearm with his fingertips. “You look detached?not in tune with life and what it offers. When I came in and notice you, I watch you for long time.” He fiddled with the platinum ring on her forefinger. “Everyone around you smile, laugh…feel love and joy…except you.”
“Ha. You think this is bad? You should see me on Valentine’s Day.”
She tried to make light of the situation but failed miserably. The discomforting sting of his earlier observation took the wind right out of her sails. Was her demeanor that bad or her mental grief that obvious?
“Not like I wanna feel this way.”
“I want to ask you…what makes Tranell happy?”
“Puppies, rainbows, unicorns, the smell of roses…” she answered, finding his question endearing. “And, sitting here talking to you.”
His cheeks flushed, and his smile widened. “Merci, I hope to make you happier. Life too short to live in shadow of sadness. Someone so lovely…you shouldn’t be alone. This be our night. It be very special. I make sure of it.”
“Our night?” Giving him an impish glint, she snickered. “You are super charming but presumptuous as well. I never said I was going to spend the night with you.”
“Oui, you did, just not with your mouth.”
Stephan picked up his glass of wine, turned it up to his lips, and consumed it like he was chugging a beer. He released her hand and repositioned himself in the seat next to her. He then bent down, reached one arm across her lap, and took hold of the seat. The legs of the chair grunted over the wood flooring as he dragged her closer to him.
She latched onto the edge of the table. “What are you doing?”
“What it look like I’m doing?” Once he had eliminated all the space between them, his heated palm rested on the knee of her crossed leg, and his lips brushed over the shell of her ear. “I want to make you smile, Tranell.”
Her pulse quickened, the muscles in her thighs tightened, and her eyes briefly fluttered shut. “Damn boy, you are too bold for your own good.” A little voice in her head was telling her to pump the brakes and move away, but her body wouldn’t budge. “So I guess we’re past flirting, huh?”
“Come home with me,” he whispered.
Hesitantly, she turned to look into those hypnotizing eyes. “You expect me to believe you don’t have a woman at home waiting for you on Christmas Eve?”
“Uh-huh, I don’t believe you.”
“I prove to you by taking you home. Please drink your wine.”
Determined to play hard to get, she clucked her tongue and cocked her head. “Why? So you can get me drunk and my decision making skills go out the window?”
“No.” He tapped the stem of the glass with his nail, smiling devilishly. “Drink to relax, so I can make you my lover.”