Miss Guided by Alexia Adams
His matchmaking plans are about to backfire.
Running out of time...
Mystery writer Marcus Sullivan is determined to find someone for his younger brother Liam to love. Playing matchmaker on vacation in St. Lucia, Marcus tries to interest Liam in beautiful, local tour guide Crescentia St. Ives. Unfortunately, things don’t go to plan. And when Marcus and Crescentia are stranded during a thunderstorm, the plot to match her with his brother incinerates in the flames of desire. No way can Liam have her when Marcus can’t keep his hands off. Too bad he can’t write a happier ending to their blossoming romance.
Crescentia St. Ives’ career as a public defender in New York has taken a toll. Following an emotionally devastating case, she returns to her homeland, St. Lucia. While her uncle is recovering from a heart attack, she helps out with his floundering tour company. The product of a holiday affair, Crescy is determined not to follow in her mother’s footsteps. But her resolve is severely tested when she meets Marcus Sullivan. Can she convince him that they can have more than a fling? Or will his secret be too much to overcome?
Alexia Adams once traveled the world, meeting new people, experiencing new sights and tastes. She’s lived in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, and France, as well as spent time in Panama and Russia. When life demanded that she stay rooted in one place, she took to vicarious voyages through the characters she created in her romance novels. Her stories reflect her love of travel and feature locations as diverse as the wind-swept prairies of Canada to hot and humid cities in Asia.
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The taxi arrived within minutes. With a pat on his brother’s back, he let him go. After a final wave to Liam, Marcus turned around to see Crescentia leaning against the van, staring at him.
“You’re very close.” The rest of the group was wandering the market stalls, so it was only the two of them left.
“He’s the most important thing in my life,” Marcus said. “I’d do anything for my little brother.”
“Well, seems to me he’s pretty self-sufficient.”
“Self-sufficient and happy are two different things.”
She pushed away from the van. “Don’t you want to do any shopping?”
“Not alone. Will you show me the best things to buy?”
A wicked smile creased her lips. “Of course.”
Twenty minutes later Marcus couldn’t contain the laughter. He let out a whoop that had everyone in his vicinity staring at him.
“Shush, we’ll be stampeded in the rush to get one,”Crescentia said, although her eyes danced with laughter as well.
“What the hell am I going to do with a statue of the Pitons made out of volcanic ash? They look like they were cast in the bra Madonna wore in the early 90s.” He held it against his chest and gyrated provocatively, much to the disgust of the elderly woman examining the shell jewelry at the next stall.
Crescentia had her hand over her mouth, trying to hold back her laughter. “I don’t remember that. I was just a small child.”
“Good, then you haven’t been scarred for life. On the other hand, I think this will make an excellent present for my mother.” He handed over the requested amount to the stallholder without bargaining. “You have to carry it for me though. My hands are full with my other purchases.” He’d bought something from nearly every stall, not because he wanted the items, but because it made her smile when he proclaimed each ludicrous gift the perfect item for one of his relatives.
“From the way you talked with Liam, I thought you two were orphans,” she said as she carefully placed his pointy Pitons in the back of the van. “Are you actually brothers? You have different last names?”
“Same mother, different fathers. Liam has our mother’s maiden name. I have a father and a mother and step-mother and two half-siblings. But Liam’s the only one I really consider family.”
She stared at him for a moment then turned away. “So which of these presents is for him, then?”
Except the conviction with which he said it in his head was refuted by a burning sensation in his stomach. Crescentia was wonderful. She was warm and witty, smart and feisty. She was fiercely loyal to her aunt and uncle, and spoke about them with love. Yet there was an independence that was at odds with a hint of vulnerability he’d sensed in her. She was a woman who wanted to stand on her own but probably wouldn’t mind if a strong arm was there to hold on to from time to time. It would serve her well if she got together with Liam, as he was often called away at a moment’s notice.
There were two problems with his plan. The first was finding a time to get Crescentia and Liam together. The second would be extricating himself from the scene. The more time he spent with her, the more he wanted to spend. She was an intriguing woman, and as a mystery writer he loved a good puzzle. He had an intuition that to learn about this woman would take more than the lifetime he had left. And that desire had nothing on the raging lust that hammered through his body every time he looked at her. He wanted her for himself, and this was one area where he couldn’t lay the groundwork for his brother.
Falling for the prospective sister-in-law was definitely not part of the plot.
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