Where the Lotus Flowers Grow by MK Schiller
Title: Where the Lotus Flowers Grow
Author: MK Schiller
Genre: Contemporary Multicultural Romance
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Editor: Corinne Demaagd
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Reviews & PR
Even in darkness, love can bloom…
Heir to a multinational hotel empire, Liam Montgomery thinks business is everything—until he goes undercover to check out their locations throughout Asia. As cosmopolitan as Liam is, from the bright lights of Mumbai to the tranquil beaches of Goa to the bustling streets of New York, he's never met anyone like lovely Mary Costa. He can't understand why this delicate, educated woman works as a maid. Or how she is reigniting his long-buried desire to be an artist. They are apart in so many ways—especially in the things Mary won't tell him. But more and more, Liam can't imagine his life without her...
Mary knows this unexpected desire for Liam must end. It’s true that his gentleness and sense of fun inspires her and makes her hopeful for the first time in her life. But she has a grim promise she feels compelled to keep—and painful experiences she fears he could never understand. And with secrets soon reaching out to separate them for good, can they dare risk a future together if it means confronting the scars of the past?
I am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full time life and two busy teenagers, but in the dark of night, I sit by the warm glow of my computer monitor, and attempt to conjure up passionate heartwarming stories with plenty of humor.
I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so good at it that friends asked me to create plots featuring them as the heroine and the object of their affection as the hero. We'd spend hours on the phone while I came up with a series of unrealistic, yet tender events, which led to a satisfying conclusion. You've heard of fan fiction... this was friend fiction.
Even with that, it took many years to realize I could produce an actual full-length book that readers would enjoy. I try to make my stories humorous, realistic, with flawed but redeeming characters. I hope you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.
Author Links: Website – http://www.mkschillerauthor.com/ FB author page - https://www.facebook.com/MKSchillerauthor FB personal Page - https://www.facebook.com/mk.schiller Amazon Author page - http://amzn.to/2cEZ4jN
Twitter – https://twitter.com/MKSchiller Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7223625.M_K_Schiller
Buy Links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dbbBwG
Steam from the bathroom swathed him as he stepped out, a towel looped low around his hips. His naked chest, revealed muscles chiseled to perfection. I’d seen him when he arrived, but I wasn’t paying attention. And now my attention would not go anywhere else. His damp hair, the color a mix of sun with flecks of sand, lay unruly against his head. His expression conveyed annoyance. I pivoted, my bum backing into the bureau. He narrowed his eyes. Green eyes? Brown? They were both.
They were neither.
“I’m waiting for an answer.”
My fingers clutched the book, digging into the hardback cover, holding it against my chest as if it could shield me from his voice, deep and husky. I shrank back farther, praying the floor would quake open and swallow me up.
His eyes shifted to my hands. He blinked, staring at the book. As much as my eyes were absorbing, my mouth refused to work. What could I possibly say to him? There were no excuses. I’d trespassed and, as a result, I’d be sacked.
“I’ve frightened you,” he said, his voice a shade softer. He held up his hand. “Wait.”
He picked up a few articles of clothing from the open suitcase on the bed, then looked back at me. “Stay.” He closed the bathroom door behind him, disappearing into the diminishing poufs of steam.
I should run. But my feet were stuck to the floor, even though my legs were shaking. For once, I was grateful the sari would hide that.
When he came out a few minutes later, he wore soft, faded jeans and a green rugby shirt. He stood a few feet away, but I could smell fresh soap and sweet mint radiating from his body.
He slapped his chest three times. “My name is Liam Montgomery.”
I continued to stare, dumbfounded. Was he introducing himself to me as if we lived on the same plane? I had found comfort in being a maid because the attention paid to me was on par with my paycheck. That was my preference. My choice. Perhaps a penance in a way. But now…I had all his attention and no idea what to do with it. He sighed, shaking his head with disappointment. “Lotus Girl, why would you pick up a book you can’t read?”
Lotus girl? Was he talking to me?
“Let’s try this again. Mera Nam, Liam Montgomery,” he said in poorly pronounced Hindi.
“You don’t speak Hindi either?” When I didn’t respond, he picked up his phone and pressed a few buttons. “So many languages in this country. Rest assured, I’ll find yours.”
As if rest were a possibility.
“Ah, here we are.” He repeated the introduction in Punjabi, Gujarthi, Marthati, Tamil, Bangali, and even Sanskrit. Each time, he looked at me with a hopeful expression. With my continued silence, he grew more disappointed. Somehow, his desperation to talk with me made the tension dissipate just as the steam had. Finally, he threw his phone on the bed.
He shook his head in resignation, offering me a self-deprecating smile.
“That’s all I got. I suppose we shall never speak.” He stared at the book again. I held it out to him with both hands. He stepped closer, his bare feet oddly beautiful. Later, I would wonder why I didn’t just lay the book back on the bureau. His hands, large with long fingers, gripped the other edge and stilled the wobbling tome. I tilted my chin, forcing myself to look at his face. I knew I’d regret the moment if I chose to…squint.
He nodded toward the book, but kept us at a distance. “It’s a shame, really. This is my favorite Dickens’s novel. It’s almost an autobiography.”
He tugged on it. I wouldn’t let go.
He chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck. “Why the hell I’m still talking to you when you can’t bloody-well respond, I have no idea.” He gestured to the door. “Either it’s heatstroke, or I’m going mad.”
He swallowed, his eyes widening. “I’m not going mad?”
“It’s not an autobiography. Dickens said his most autobiographical book was David Copperfield. Not Nicholas Nickleby.” I thought I’d said it in my head, but the way his jaw dropped made it clear I’d articulated the statement.
Liam smiled again, his expression a mixture of curiosity and suspicion.
“She speaks. And what interesting things she has to say.”
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