"The mixture of long-term friendship, unrequited attraction, frustration over the circumstances in which they find themselves - it all comes together to create a couple that promise to light up the pages when they admit their feelings. I tell you all, Claudia and Luke do create a few wee spotfires along the way." Read the rest of the review here
Roslyn Groves - My Written Romance
The room was like a black hole when she pressed inside but that didn't deter her. It was only eight in the evening in the UK-still a perfectly decent hour. She marched over to the curtains from familiarity alone and yanked them back with a harsh squeal along the railing. Another impossibly sunny day greeted her and was surprisingly buoying.
Luke's eyes scrunched up as he stirred. He rolled on his side and prised open an eyelid to check the time on the clock beside his bed. 'What the hell?' he groaned, rolling on his back, knowing it was Claudia in his room without having to sight her. 'There better be another cyclone on the horizon,' he griped, 'because I thought this was our day of rest.'
'Sorry,' Claudia chirped although she didn't sound very sorry at all.
'Shut the curtain,' Luke said. 'Nowhere has the right to be this bright so early.'
'You're such a city boy now,' she scoffed as she acquiesced and closed half the curtain.
'I'm still on London time,' he protested.
'Whatever, city boy,' Claudia dismissed. 'Wake up. I've been up all night and it's all your fault.'
At another time, when he wasn't exhausted from hard physical labour and the remnants of jet lag, Luke might have taken that as a compliment. Might have raised his eyebrow and shot her a little oh, really look. But he was having trouble prising his eyes open.
And this was Claude. He didn't think about Claude in that context. Or he never used to anyway… Thinking about keeping her up at night was just plain wrong.
'Come back in an hour and tell me then,' he muttered, rolling on his side and plonking a pillow over his head.
Claudia glared at his covered head. 'Hey,' she protested, marching to his side and whisking the offending pillow away, tossing it on the ground. 'I know you're flying back to London tomorrow but I have ideas. Lots of ideas.'
Luke groaned. So did he. None of them sane. All of them X-rated. But she looked very awake. Very no-nonsense. Very determined. He sighed, resigning himself to his fate, pushing himself up into a semi-upright position against the head of the bed, his hands rubbing at his eyes.
'Okay, fine,' he said when he could just make her out through bleary eyes tortured by the kind of sunlight he'd never been privy to in his ten plus years in London. How quickly eyeballs forgot!
Then of course they were subjected to further torture by Claudia standing at the end of his bed in that horrendous uniform that somehow seemed to get sexier the more he saw her in it.
'What have you got?' he demanded with a gruffness that he was fairly sure had some kind of sexual genesis.
Claudia narrowed her eyes. He didn't look very awake. 'Do you need coffee?' she demanded.
Luke snorted. There were about a hundred things he needed, including dragging her into bed and stripping her out of her awful clothes, pulling out that damn ponytail and kissing her till she stopped growling and started purring.
Coffee didn't even rate.
Clearly his sanity was of much greater concern.
'Just speak,' he griped. 'You woke me. And now I'm vertical and reasonably awake. So speak.'
Claudia tsked. 'I remember a time when you would have been up and on your surfboard catching a wave somewhere by now.'
The warning in his voice told Claudia she'd stretched his patience long enough and she opened her mouth, prepared to get down to business, to launch into her spiel, and then his state of dress registered. Or, undress, to be exact. He was sitting up looking all big and broad with a very naked chest leading to a very naked abdomen and that very, very nice happy trail meandering downwards to what she began to suspect might be a very naked everything else.
'Are you…wearing any clothes?
Luke looked at her for long moments and didn't answer and Claudia wished she could bite her tongue off. She hadn't meant to voice her concerns but she was so used to speaking her mind around him she'd forgotten that they were all grown up now. That some things just weren't said.
'No. I always sleep naked. Why? Don't you?'
Claudia snorted. 'No.'
'What, not even after sex?'
Heat rose in Claudia's cheeks. She really didn't want to discuss her sexual habits with Luke. 'That's none of your damn business.'
Luke couldn't agree more. Thinking about sex and Claudia in the buff were not places he wanted his mind to wander.
Clearly he needed more asleep
'You're right,' he sighed. 'I apologise. Now can we please just get this over with?'
Claudia folded her arms across her chest as she stared at his. 'I'd really prefer you to not be naked when I'm talking to you.'
And he'd prefer her to be a lot more naked than she was. Irritation needled him. 'Well, we don't always get what we want.'
Claudia dragged her gaze up. Fine. Tiredness was making him belligerent. She'd show him she could be cool about talking to a naked man. Who was in bed. With bed hair. And a shadowy hint of stubble along his jawline.
She wasn't some middle-aged prude. She was perfectly fine with nudity.
And bed hair. And stubble.
It's supposed to be all hands on deck…not on each other!
To Claudia Davis, her Australian beach hotel is paradise. To her business partner, Luke Hargreaves, it's a burden he's desperate to shake off! Then a cyclone hits, and it's down to them both to rebuild the resort. But keeping their minds on the job proves impossible with all those scorching-hot nights alone together….
Agreeing to a fling seems risk-free-Luke's leaving for London soon, and surely their chemistry will have self-combusted by then? Except with time running out it's just getting hotter…like a fireball burning out of control….
Those Summer Nights
In Crescent Cove find sun, sea and steamy nights….