Published by Garden Avenue Press Genres: Contemporary Romance
Who counted down the hours until she saw a man? Anika Taylor did.
The reception at city hall concluded earlier than expected, so she arrived half an hour early to the appointed gallery where she and Reed agreed to meet. She was nervous. Probably because with Brielle spending the night at her cousins’ house, tonight was a turning point. They teetered on the edge of a decision that would change them both for good.
The art stroll took place every second Friday of the month in the Castleberry Hill historic arts district. Not only did the local shops and galleries open their doors to the visitors descending on the neighborhood, artists came from out of town for the exposure. The additional foot traffic meant patrons and vendors buzzed throughout the street, and food trucks lining the avenue offered food options that could be enjoyed while strolling about.
Scoping out the interior of the gallery, she didn’t see Reed anywhere and proceeded to check out the paintings. She’d made her way back to the front of the gallery when Reed sauntered in, his tall frame dominating as he stood on the threshold for several seconds, searching for her. Once spotting her, he came over, his eyes filled with warmth as his gaze caressed her face.
If it were possible to make someone melt simply by looking at them, Reed would leave puddles of melted females in his wake everywhere his feet tread. Taking her hand, he closed the gap between them with a gentle tug.
“Hi.” He lifted her hand to his mouth.
Anika’s breath caught and held before releasing again. “Hi.”
He bit his bottom lip, eyes lowered to half-mast as he skimmed her body in the figure-hugging black dress. The neckline boldly dipped between her breasts and showed ample cleavage. She’d styled her hair in loose curls and wore more makeup than usual, which included red lips and smoky eyeshadow.
“You look incredible. How am I supposed to concentrate on the art in the galleries when I have a spectacular work of art right beside me?”
Anika giggled, warmth heating her cheeks. She’d taken great care with her appearance, and his reaction was exactly what she’d hoped for.
“You keep talking like that, and you might get lucky tonight.”
Reed’s eyes darkened and a predatory smile skated across his lips. “In that case…”
Shoving him with a laugh, Anika shook her head. “We’re here to look at art. I let you join me, but remember I’m also working.”
“Oh right, right.” Reed’s fingers brushed hers, and she leaned in, forgetting for a minute that they were in a gallery filled with patrons. He simply had that effect—he drew her in and made her forget her surroundings.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Delaney Diamond is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sweet, sensual, passionate romance novels, born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She reads romance novels, mysteries, thrillers, and a fair amount of nonfiction. When she’s not busy reading or writing, she’s in the kitchen trying out new recipes, dining at one of her favorite restaurants, or traveling to an interesting locale. To get sneak peeks, notices of sale prices, and find out about new releases, visit her website and join her mailing list. Enjoy free reads and the first chapter of all her novels at www.delaneydiamond.com. TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST