Brenna's love for Jase has grown from a crush to a soul-searing need, a painful hunger...and an unrequited ache, because the savagely sexy Texan doesn't feel the same. A bequest and stipulation in his father's will have hardened Jase, it seems. Now she must endure three months of living under his roof. Three torturous, tension-filled months and Brenna will have fulfilled the stipulation; will be free to attempt to regain the heart lost to Jase so long ago.
Since the age of eighteen, Jase has protected Brenna--from himself, as much as anyone else. Living with her proves too rousing even for his iron will. He'll claim what's his, take Brenna in ways he'd previously only dreamed, sink so deeply inside her luscious body he'll never find his way out. And be damned if he'll let her go.
A scorching Texas summer can't compete with blazing lust as Brenna gives in, gives over, gives all that she is to Jase, to the only man she's every loved...to the one.
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1 . Expensive 7 chapters
Posted March 01, 2013 by Susan , CharlotteFor shame. I thought I bought a book. Instead I got a novella. The story was fine, if rushed. It was just a shame I spent the same amount for a few chapters that I normally spend on a much longer story.
November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from The One by Lora Leigh
Samuels Creek, Texas
Brenna Laine stood in the shadows of the birthday party, nursing a glass of champagne and watching the dance floor with a sense of envy.
The night was growing late. Enough so that the guests were inebriated sufficiently to be relaxed and feeling sexy.
The multitude of peach and white lights strung around the patio and gardens glistened over the couples on the dance floor. The tall lamp lights were turned down low; the music was slow and sensual. The air of sexual tension had begun growing throughout the night, drifting along the currents of music and weaving through the slowly swaying bodies.
Beyond, the water of the pool glistened with the lights, the gardens extending around it, drawing it in and making it a part of the natural landscaping as large, flat rocks and boulders extended up to the point where the water crashed into the pool below from the dining room.
The sound of the water, the sensual throb of the music and the heat of the night combined to create an atmosphere made for sex, sweat and earthy moans.
She watched them...well, more to the point, she watched a couple. The tall, muscular form of the male, so dark and inherently arrogant. Confidence oozed from every pore of his body, just as strength and power seemed to drift around him like an invisible aura.
The woman he held was as gorgeous as he was handsome.
Her raven-black hair was a little darker than her partner's and fell to her nape, framing her face in a sleek, silky bob. Soft gray eyes stared up at her partner, and in her face, Brenna could see the intent to have him in her bed.
Her fingers clenched into fists, anger began to curl through her. She'd watched him for thirteen years. She'd loved him in one way or another since the day she had met him at the tender age of ten.
She'd dreamed of dancing in his arms, of being held against him, and every year she watched him dance with another woman. As the lights went low, the night began to age and the music began to whisper of sex and heat, she always stood in the same place and watched, year after year, as he danced with someone else.
Every year it became harder, every year it hurt more. And every year--
"When are you going to do something about this situation, Bren?" Aged and rasping, Poppa Jason questioned her as he moved behind her, the whisper of the electronic wheelchair silent beneath the sound of the music.
Turning, she resisted the urge to bite her lower lip in a gesture that would reveal the nervous energy beginning to plague her.
Every year it happened. Every year she watched the same scene, every year she was aware of the fact that the woman he danced with would also be the woman he slept with. And every year, the pain of it traveled deeper inside her heart.
"What are you talking about, Poppa Jason?" She tried to play dumb; she was usually pretty good at it.
Her stepfather wasn't a man who was easy to fool though, and the fact that he had watched over her since she was ten years old gave him an edge on reading every emotion and every lie that crossed her expression.
The smile that curved his lips had no amusement to back it. His sun-weathered, aging face was lined with sadness though, and with somber knowledge.
"Ah now, baby girl, you know you can't fool me that easily." He shook his finger at her chidingly as his graying brows formed a deep vee. "I can see your heart breakin' in your eyes, Bren."
She lowered her head, turning it just enough to glimpse Jase, his son, a smile creasing his face at something the woman in his arms whispered in his ear.
She couldn't stay here tonight. She couldn't pace the floors, not here, as he fucked that bitch all night. And watching her smug smile the next morning would drive her to violence.
"Ah, Poppa Jason, it's not that bad." She sighed as she tucked a heavy strand of hair that fell over her shoulder behind her ear.
She couldn't watch anymore.
The woman, Miriam Dallas, the personal assistant Jase had hired the year before, had been waging a seductive campaign to get him into her bed since the day she was hired.
Brenna could almost see her considering engagement rings and wedding gowns.
Her back teeth clenched in frustration at the thought.
"You've been in love with him forever," Poppa Jason said knowingly. "You're close to him, Bren, you have an edge the woman he's dancing with doesn't have. Miriam doesn't stand a chance, sweetheart, if a chance is really what she wants."
Brenna shrugged without commenting on Miriam. Poppa Jason was always making those oblique statements where Jase's assistant was concerned.
"He sees me as his sister," she finally said, regret tightening her chest. "No matter how hard I try to get him to see me as a woman."
She wasn't his sister. She had never seen him as a brother. Since she had been a teenager, he had held her all but mesmerized, filled her dreams and tormented her with a rapidly maturing arousal that was now a bitter, heated knot in her stomach.
"He knows you're not his sister," Poppa Jason informed her, his voice gentle. "Don't fool yourself, girl. Get your ass out there on that dance floor and claim that boy. He's not going to wait on you forever. Some men are stubborn and need more of a hint than others. And sometimes Jase is the most stubborn man I know."
She had an insane urge to laugh. "The male does the hunting--"
"Don't fool yourself," he grunted again. "The female always does the hunting, girl. It's simply that some females hunt out in the open." He nodded to the woman Jase was dancing with. "And some women hunt with a more subtle grace." His gaze came back to her. "Be careful, though, that you're not too damned subtle."