by Nicole Flockton
Published October 8th 2015
From Nicole Flockton comes the intense, emotional conclusion of her bestselling Bound trilogy…
Reclusive, exclusive, and world renowned, Jeffrey Courteux might get a lot of attention for his exquisite jewellry, but he keeps his personal life under tight wraps. His solitary life fuels his creativity and keeps him sane, and he’s not willing to give it up – until a pair of sexy legs in killer heels makes hiding away less appealing than it used to be…
Smart, driven, and ambitious, Greta Adamas knows she’s the only suitable candidate for Vice-President of her family’s advertising firm. Landing the Jeffrey Courteaux account for his new line of jewellry will only catapult her to the upper echelons of the advertising world, and nothing will keep her from achieving her dreams – not even the overwhelmingly attractive designer who won’t leave her thoughts…
Mixing business with pleasure is always a potent cocktail, but one with consequences. What happens when two people who know what they want suddenly want something completely different – and completely out of their reach?
Jeff stepped out into the sunshine and contemplated where to go next. He could get into his car and drive back home, but the thought of being alone didn’t appeal. Instead he headed toward the jetty that cut a path between the middle of the oyster farm. Maybe a walk would clear his head.
He looked up as he reached it. Standing about a third of the way down the jetty was Greta. She was leaning out over the railing, as if trying to see the magic of a pearl being formed below the surface.
There had to be a reason for him to keep crossing paths with her. This time he wouldn’t be a jerk. This time he wouldn’t shut down on her. This time he wouldn’t let her go.
Jeff walked toward her slowly, thoughts of what he was going to say flowing through his mind.
‘Hi,’ he said softly. A need to reach out and touch her dark hair, twirl the strands around his fingers to see if it was as soft and silky as it looked, nearly overwhelmed him.
She turned to face him. With her sunglasses on he couldn’t see what was going on behind her eyes. Now he knew how annoying it was for her when he put the glasses. ‘What do you want?’
A chuckle escaped him at her response. Jeff didn’t need to see her eyes. He knew they’d be firing sparks at him. Her reaction was exactly as he expected it to be. No way would she be excited to see him again.
‘I want to apologize for how I acted earlier. I’m sorry, Greta.’
‘Thanks,’ she nodded and turned back to look out over the ocean. A soft breeze blew, lifting the strands, tempting him to give into his earlier impulse to touch them.
‘Can we start over?’
‘What would be the point? I’m leaving in a day or two. I don’t need the complication in my life right now.’
Jeff took a couple of steps forward, until he was standing next to her. The wind, it seemed, knew what he wanted and blew a skein of her hair into his face. He softly looped it around his fingers. Just as he’d thought, it was soft and the subtle fragrance of flowers wafted up to him. He wanted to lean closer, until his mouth was touching her sweet skin.
‘I don’t need complications in my life either.’ Somehow he’d closed the distance and was so near her neck. Her scent was intoxicating. He wanted to nuzzle and nip the curve where her neck met her shoulders, hear her gasp, soothe with his tongue. ‘I don’t know what’s happening, Greta, but I don’t think I can let you leave without having you.’
Not waiting for a response from her, Jeff slipped his arms around her so she was encircled in his arms. Keeping one arm anchored around her back, he lifted his glasses, exposing his eyes to her. Letting her see the desire he knew was flaring through him at that moment.
He hadn’t been lying when he told her he didn’t know what was happening. Feelings of desire so strong were taking control of him, making him throw his normal cautious approach toward women out the window. All he knew was he needed and wanted her.
‘I want you, Greta, like I’ve never wanted another woman in my life. Let me have you, even if only for today.’
She maneuvered her arms from his hold and placed one hand on his chest. He expected her to push him away. He would be disappointed but would accept her decision. Instead she scrunched his shirt in her hands and tugged him closer, until it would be impossible to slide a piece of tissue paper between them.
‘This is insane,’ she whispered, as she lifted her own sunglasses with her free hand. Her hazel eyes blazed with desire. The golden flecks within their depths danced in the sunlight. There was also confusion in their depths. He could appreciate that and he knew he needed to reassure her that everything would be all right.
‘I know and I don’t claim to understand it. I do know that if I don’t take this chance, I’ll always wonder “what if”,’ he paused. ‘I live with enough “what ifs” to not want to add another one.’
He lowered his head and brushed his cheek against hers. The contrast between his lightly stubbled chin against her smooth cheek was indicative of their whole encounter. Smooth against rough. An undeniable friction growing with every passing second they spent together. ‘What do you say? Will you spend the rest of the day with me? Do you want to explore whatever is growing between us?’
Greta moved her head fractionally and he tightened his hold on her. Her lips brushed his. ‘Yes.’
On a groan, he captured her lips with his. Her mouth opened immediately beneath his. His body sprang to life at the contact of their tongues meeting. He couldn’t stop it even if he tried. He sunk his fingers into her thick hair, to deepen the contact. Her taste invigorated his soul. Sweet and tempting, like the juiciest strawberry. He wanted to know what she tasted like all over.
As if reading his thoughts, she pulled her lips away from his. ‘Let’s go back to my hotel room.’
Jeff nodded immediately, his body aching to sink into hers. To lose himself until the only thought in his mind was her. Not the collection he needed to come up with. Immediately, thoughts of Luc’s request cooled his desire as effectively as a bucket of cold water.
‘Is everything okay, Jeff?’
Her voice hesitant; like she had a horrible feeling he was about to tell her he’d changed his mind. He pushed the troubling thoughts of Luc and the collection away. He would deal with it tomorrow or the next day. Today, this minute and the next few hours were all about him and Greta.
He leaned down and kissed her again. Just a short kiss, because if he let himself he could easily take her on the jetty in broad daylight, where anyone could walk past. As it was a tour group was making their way down the jetty, heading for where he and Greta were standing.
Grabbing Greta’s hand, he entwined his fingers with hers. ‘Everything’s great, let’s go.’
He lowered his sunglasses and turned his head away from the tour group as they walked past. He recognized the tour guide and he didn’t want to risk her revealing his identity to everyone.
As they walked down the jetty, he wondered if he should let Greta know his true identity. He squashed the thought immediately. They were two ships passing in the night. That’s all they would be. One wild afternoon and evening together and then they’d part and continue on with their lives. Without needing to see each other ever again.
Nicole Flockton has written a captivating love story to add to her Bound series. Jeffrey and Greta were both characters with strong personalities which made for an intense story that I thoroughly enjoyed. They each have shut themselves off from the possibility of real romance. Greta in order to concentrate on her career and proving herself to her father. Jeffrey has taken in the habit of staying mostly to himself in order to heal and focus on his jewelry designing without the distraction of the limelight. Due to his penchant for anonymity when they first meet they don’t realize who the other is or that their paths are about to cross in other ways. Professional ways.
BOUND BY THEIR LOVE is beautifully written story of two people who have stumbled across a love they cannot walk away from, an unexplainable attraction at the worst possible time. They must find a way to compromise and find a way to balance their demanding lives without each other in order to have one they desperately want with each other.
The author does a tremendous job of giving the reader a full sense of Jeffrey and Greta’s amazing chemistry, the tension, the passion, the frustrations and the joy. I was completely wrapped up in these two worrying how it would all work out. 4.5 stars
~Complimentary copy downloaded from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review~