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THE CEO’s SEDUCTION by Diane Alberts
(Hamilton Family #1)
The last thing Brett Ross wants is to be back in the same old damn small town he grew up in, but his best friend is getting married, so there’s no way he’s skipping yet another visit back home. He knows what he’s getting into, coming back here, but the one thing he didn’t count on was the way Anna Hamilton made him feel the first time he sets eyes on her…and she’s all grown up.
Anna’s always been in love with Brett, even if she’s always been his best friend’s annoying little sister to him. But when he looks at her, she doesn’t see annoyance in his eyes anymore. If anything, she sees a silent calling for her to save him from himself…and she’s just the girl to do it. All she needs is to find a way to escape her pesky, protective older brothers…
And then the game is on.
She met his eyes. Hesitantly, she reached out and traced the line of his jaw, touching his skin. Much like he’d wanted to do to her—only she wasn’t afraid of the consequences. And she wasn’t bound by a blood oath made as a kid.
Flexing his jaw, he pulled away her fingers. “Anna.”
Her smile drifted away, and she dropped her hand back to her lap as she took a sip of wine. “Sorry. It’s just…”
When she trailed off, he frowned. “It’s just what?”
“That’s one of the few times I’ve seen you smile tonight,” she said.
He raised his brows. “Maybe you need to look closer, then. I’ve been smiling a lot.” So damn much his fucking cheeks were aching. Who the hell smiled as much as these people? They couldn’t be for real.
“No. Not really. You’ve been smiling.” She turned back to him, her eyes crystal clear to him even in the darkness. “But not the smile I know and…love.”
He flinched at that word. He couldn’t help it. “I think you’re worrying too much about me, like usual.”
“And I think you don’t worry enough.”
He snorted. “That doesn’t make any sense. Why would someone want to worry? What good does it do?”
“That’s not what I meant. What I meant is…” She bit down hard on her lower lip and looked away from him. “Never mind. Forget it.”
“No. Tell me.”
“It’s nothing. I just worry about you because life can be lonely sometimes. You live alone in Atlanta, and you’re trying to fill the void with—” She pressed her lips together, as if she wasn’t certain she wanted to continue the thought. “I just know you, and you’re not happy right now. Not really.”
How did she know that when they’d barely spent any time together?
How could she be so damn sure about his emotions, when he didn’t think he really had any anymore? Scooting closer, he grabbed her chin and turned her face back to his. His pulse leaped at the contact. “I’ll be honest. Sometimes I’m scared of what you might see when you look at me, because you never see what everyone else does.”
“I see you.” Her eyes were all wide, and her lips were parted. “The real you, not the one you want everyone to see. And you’re lonely, even if you won’t admit it.”
She had him all figured out, didn’t she?
He trailed his pointer finger over the curve of her cheek. She drew in a shaky breath, her eyelids drifting shut. It would be so easy to close the distance between them. To brush a soft kiss against her lips. So easy and yet…
Diane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling contemporary romance author with Entangled Publishing. She also writes New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling new adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. She’s hit the Top 100 lists on Amazon and Barnes and Noble numerous times with numerous titles. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
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The CEO’s Seduction is first in a brand new series by Diane Alberts called the Hamilton Family. The story is set as the celebration of the youngest Hamilton brother Christopher’s wedding to Nina is taking place, but the love story is between Chris’s best friend, Brett Ross and Anna Hamilton, the baby of the family with four domineering and overprotective brothers.
Everyone knows that Anna has had a major crush on Brett for most of her life, but they also know that Brett had a less than stellar childhood which left him a mess emotionally so they aren’t convinced Brett can give her all the love she deserves. Likewise Brett has always had a soft spot for Anna, but never believed he was good enough for her. Plus there was that pesky blood oath he’d given to her brothers to stay away from her back when they were teenagers. It wasn’t difficult to keep that promise when he was living hours away and busy being the CEO of a large corporation but being back in his hometown and face-to-face with Anna is more temptation that he can resist.
Despite her brother’s attempts to interfere, Anna is determined to make sure Brett realizes just how much he means to her. Brett cares about Anna, but he isn’t sure he knows what love is or how to show it the way she deserves and doesn’t want to hurt her. These two working out their happily ever after was definitely a battle of sorts, coming with quite a bit of angst and miscommunication. But in the end true love wins out. Cute story with some very sexy scenes and great start to a new series!
~Complimentary copy downloaded from NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.