Book 2 in the Passion in Paradise series
Morgan Brown owns Paradise Resort, a sexy, Caribbean getaway for the sexually adventurous. Painful memories from her past prevent her from enjoying the erotic pleasure to be found at the resort she loves, but she's determined others should be allowed to express themselves freely. Love hurts, literally and figuratively, and she wants no part of either sex or romance.
Tony Marino is a freelance reporter assigned to do a story on the resort and its mysterious owner. He finds a gorgeous redhead with a mind for business and a body made for wicked pleasures. She's also hiding something--some painful secret that he sets out to uncover.
What starts out as a simple week-long business arrangement ends up much more as Tony helps Morgan exorcise the ghosts of her past and revive her sexual desires. Hot passion and the romance of a lifetime ensues, leaving them both wondering if they've found paradise with each other.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Paradise Revival by Jaci Burton
They stepped back outside and sat in the chairs by the pool. Morgan settled in, still a bit wary and waiting for the inquisition, but considerably more relaxed than she'd been earlier. Tony hadn't exactly pounced on her or propositioned her for sex. In fact, he'd all but ignored her.
"Shit!" he yelled suddenly, jumping when Phoebe leaped into his lap.
Morgan bit back the low chuckle that threatened to spill from her lips.
"Did you train this thing to pounce without warning?" he asked, leaning back in his chair as if a lion sat in his lap instead of a ten-pound cat. The cat turned around and stared at him.
"Hardly. Phoebe likes to think she's a thousand pound tiger." She leaned forward and whispered, "Don't tell her she's not, okay?"
He laughed. A deep, rich, baritone. The kind of laugh that rumbled through her body and settled between her legs. "I'll try to keep it a secret."
Once Phoebe settled in on Tony's lap and went to sleep, he shrugged and stroked his hand over her back. Morgan bit her lip and tried not to imagine his hand stroking her body in the same way.
Time to occupy her mind with something that didn't have to do with Tony's hands on her body.
"How large is your family?" she asked.
"Four brothers, two sisters and probably eight hundred cousins."
"You're joking, right?" Being an only child, she couldn't imagine that many siblings and cousins. Neither of her parents had brothers or sisters. She'd always wondered what it might have been like to have a large, extended family. As it was, her parents could hardly stand having her around, let alone anyone else. It had seemed that their universe had been the two of them, and anyone else was an interference. Like her. Morgan had always felt unwanted, as if creating her had been something her parents had felt obligated to do.
"Maybe I exaggerated a bit on the cousins. But at least thirty of them, plus their own kids. Holidays are always chaotically interesting."
From the sparkle in his eyes Morgan knew he was remembering good times. When was the last time she had a good memory? Did she even have any?
"Thinking about work again?" he asked, taking a swallow of wine.
"Yes." Eventually she'd have to come up with a better lie. Or quit zoning out on him.
"You're probably tired. I should let you get some sleep."
Morgan waved her hand in the air. "Not really. I don't sleep much." And just exactly why had she revealed that to him? She glared at her empty wine glass.
He arched a brow. "Why?"
"Always a lot on my mind, I suppose."
"Resort things, or personal things?"
Wonderful. It hadn't taken long for that line of questioning to start. "Mostly resort things, and my personal life is none of your business."
He leaned back in the chair, a smile curving his lips. "The article will focus on both you and the resort."
"I know that, I agreed to the terms. But there's personal, and then there's personal."
"And how am I supposed to distinguish between the two?"
"I'll let you know if your questions are out of bounds."
"You like being in control, don't you?"
The words echoed in her memories, calling to mind the first time David had spoken them. Of course, he'd followed up with, "That's too bad, because your days of control are over."
And after that, he'd shown her exactly what he'd meant. Repeatedly, until the thought of her controlling any aspect of her life became nothing more than a distant memory.
She shuddered. "I like my job. It requires me to manage the environment around the resort, to insure the guests are satisfied. So, yes, in that respect I like being in charge. I like knowing my guests leave with a smile on their faces."
"What about you? Are you satisfied? Personally, that is?"
"I know my own mind." Or at least she used to. She used to follow her desires, enjoying the journey, reveling in the destination. Before she'd made a wrong turn once and had ended up in hell. Once she'd made her escape, Paradise had seemed like heaven.
Now, looking across the table at Tony, his long legs spread out, and the clean, crisp scent of him drifting across the table, she felt an ache between her legs that she hadn't felt in a long time. Her body pulsed with the desire to feel a hard shaft ramming into her until she came, screaming.
Too bad. What her body wanted and what it was going to get were two very different things.
"What's on your mind right now?" he asked, startling her.
"Why do you ask?"
"You have a look about you."
He grinned. "I don't know how to describe it. Like there's something you want--something really nice. Your eyes are glassy and your cheeks are pink. If I didn't know better I'd say you were turned on."
What the hell was he--psychic? Even though he'd hit the nail right on the head, it was the last thing she'd want him to think. She steadied her gaze on him, remembering the practiced, icy stare she'd perfected over the years. "Actually, I'm thinking that we have an early day tomorrow."
"Sorry," he said, but his grin didn't completely dissipate. "We'll take this up again in the morning."
They stepped inside and Morgan followed Tony down the hall, stopping at the doorway to her room.
"Good night." She suddenly felt awkward, like she was reluctant to let him leave. How long had it been since she'd had a decent conversation with a man? Or any conversation that didn't include resort business.
Yes, this was business, but something a little bit more. And that more intrigued her way more than it should.
"Sleep well," he replied, heading into his room and shutting the door.
Morgan leaned against the closed door and sighed. What she wouldn't give to be a normal woman who could act on feelings of lust for a man. Damn David for what he'd done to her!