Authors: Sally Clements
BOUND TO LOVE
Bound to Love
By Sally Clements
Copyright © 2011 Sally Clements
All rights reserved. No part of this e-book may be reproduced in any form other than that in which it was purchased and without the written permission of the author.
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Be sure to check out these other great romances also by Sally Clements.
To contact Sally Clements, or to be placed on a mailing list to receive updates about her new releases, click the ‘contact me’ link on her blog.
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Some reviews of Sally Clements’s other books…
Catch Me A Catch
was a finalist for the Romantic Novelists Association’s Joan Hessayon Award, May 2011.
Catch Me A Catch
The be-there-in-the-moment style of this dramatic narrative will grab your attention and keep it, cover-to-cover. This one belongs in the must-read pile! -
The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
Fans of contemporary romances should definitely give
Catch Me A Catch
a read, as with a great plot and likable main characters, it can’t be classed as anything but an excellent contemporary romance. -
The Romance Reviews
This tale moves quickly with a lot of smiles on the pages… I truly enjoyed this author’s way of building a story and hope to read more in the future. -
The Romance Studio
Without a doubt an adorable read that was very hard for me to put down. -
I applaud Sally for making a magical story come to life. 4 tea cups and a “buy now” recommendation from
Happily Ever After Reviews
If you want to read a good romance, well written then read this book.
Loves to read.
With romance, beautiful scenery and a great plot, ‘Marrying Cade’ is one not to miss.
In Marrying Cade, you’re off to a gorgeous island with cool breezes and sizzling heat between Melo and Cade. Melo is a strong, nurturing female character, with whom most women can relate today. Cade is that sexy, carefree bachelor women long to tame. The connection between the two will draw you in and keep you reading.
Maria Waddell, To sleep, perchance to dream.
To my family – thanks for everything.
Charlie, Davy, Holly, Jenny and, of course, Sam.
The lift doors slid shut. Tempest MacKenzie rooted for her cell phone.
‘I got it, Skye.’ She grinned at her sister’s whoops of joy. ‘I know. I’m so relieved.’ She traced the edge of the stiff plastic folder, happiness within soaring like a bird.
‘You were lucky.’
Skye had a flair for understatement.
Without the contract, Tempest’s mother would have had a field day, citing it as yet another example of her foolish, impetuous nature. And her usually friendly bank manager would be demanding a meeting when her loan expired.
‘It was risky, making the bracelets before I got the contract. But I knew it would all work out.’
It wasn’t the first time she’d let her intuition be her guide, and it wouldn’t be the last. Thank goodness everything had turned out all right. The alternative was too ghastly to contemplate. She’d be broke, with a couple of very expensive bracelets all she had to show for it. Tempest pulled in a breath as the elevator counted down to G, and glanced at her watch.
‘I’ll be home soon. I’m heading for the six o’clock train.’
Tempest stowed the phone safely in her bag and gazed at her reflection in the lift’s mirrored wall. She smoothed a hand over the rippling wave of red hair falling to just below her shoulders. She had spent ages taming it and the results were well worth it. The short-sleeved white shirt teamed with the grey pencil skirt looked professional too.
Tempest had always wanted to be a jewellery designer, and her fascination with Egypt had fuelled her direction of specialization. With this latest job, she’d achieved the high profile commission which would launch her as one of the world’s foremost master jewellers; what’s more, the museum had offered a ten percent bonus to complete the bracelets to a tight schedule. She hadn’t done the sums yet, but she’d soon be out of the red and into the black with money to spare.
The doors slid open and Tempest stepped out into a concourse that swarmed with bustling people. They followed invisible trails across the huge open space, and the air hummed with voices and hurrying feet. Light streamed through the patchwork of glass triangles that studded the British Museum’s dome, flooding the space with light and painting patterns on the marble floor.
She barely registered a fast moving blur to her left, and then gasped as a body slammed into hers. Hard.
In slow motion, the file slipped and tumbled to the ground through her nerveless grasp, its contents fanning out onto the cream marble. Firm fingers gripped her upper arm, shooting a bolt of electricity through her. Tempest wobbled, and instinctively bent down for the folder.
‘Leave it, I’ll get it,’ a deep voice commanded. ‘Are you all right?’
Emerald-green eyes blazed from beneath black brows, frowning in concern. A strong, straight nose, killer cheekbones and a gorgeous mouth completed the package. Black hair curled over the neckline of his T-shirt, and he pushed an errant lock back roughly with a lean hand. The man’s fingers still grasped her arm, and her skin buzzed from the point of contact on her bare skin. She was only five foot two, but the stranger topped her by a good foot. He must be six foot three, maybe six four.
‘I’m sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going.’ The hand disappeared and he bent to retrieve her folder. ‘There you go.’
Warm fingers brushed hers as he handed it over, and the warmth of his smile melted her insides like ice cream left out in the sun. She blinked rapidly, fighting for breath as her heart slammed in her chest.
‘Are you sure you’re all right?’
Her face was hot.
Damn it, she was blushing again.
She swallowed, and forced out a breathless reply. ‘I’m fine, I wasn’t paying attention either.’
He reached down to pick up his briefcase, and her heart thumped in an erratic bongo rhythm as she scanned every gorgeous inch. She’d given up men as a bad idea after her last foray into love, but this man was challenging her decision.
‘Well, if there’s no harm done.’ He glanced towards the exit.
Tempest smoothed a hand over her pencil skirt, wishing she could smooth her shredded nerves as easily. The clouds of fog in her brain started to dissipate.
. She had to get going. Her feet, however, stayed glued to the spot.
Years of training in the art of polite conversation kicked in, and she automatically stuck out her hand. He grasped it, and stared into her eyes. Tempest’s heart thudded as his irises expanded and a slow grin transformed his features.
Gosh, this guy flirted as if born to it.
Her hand prickled, and the hairs on her forearm stood to attention. The tantalizing scent of sandalwood and citrus wafted from him, disturbingly male. Like a slow motion scene in a movie, the bustle around them faded away and the moment expanded. She should break eye contact, or at least pull her hand away, but couldn’t, mesmerized like a mouse before a cobra.
Jake raised her hand, and brushed his lips over it. She smelled of lemons, and for one wild moment, he wondered what her lips would taste like. He heard her quick intake of breath, and his gaze flickered up to hers instantly registering the flicker of arousal in her blue eyes.
‘I enjoyed bumping into you.’
The tip of her tongue swiped quickly over her lips.
He should let her go. Holding on to her hand and staring into her eyes was crazily impulsive, and Jake didn’t do impulsive. Instead, he ran his thumb over the back of her hand and watched fascinated as her eyes darkened. He was in London for a few days; maybe he could take her to dinner. This feeling of enchantment was new, and if he let her go now, he’d never see her again.
He breathed in deep and squared his shoulders.
A sudden ringing shattered the mood, and he dropped her hand like a hot potato, grabbing for the phone holster clipped in his belt.
He frowned at the display. ‘I’m sorry, I have to take this.’
She held her hand close to her chest, and blinked rapidly.
‘Goodbye.’ Her voice was deep and husky. She glanced away, and the moment was broken. It was probably for the best, anyway.
Pushing down the lingering feeling of regret, Jake turned away and strode towards the exit.
‘Paul, what’s up?’
Jake forced himself to sound reasonable and laid back. It wasn’t Paul’s fault that he’d broken up the first real flirtation he’d had going on for months. He glanced back, but the concourse was busy with bustling people
and he couldn’t spot the redhead.
‘Are you on your way out? I’ve just finished up a meeting near you, I thought we could meet for coffee and a debrief.’
Jake paused for a moment, his brow creasing. ‘Who were you meeting?’
‘I’ll tell you when you get here.’
Paul gave him directions. He’d know soon enough. Like a shark weaving through minnows, Jake strode towards the café. A five minute brush against the stunning redhead had been all it had taken to wipe all thoughts of the job from his mind, and even now the memory of her face made him wish he’d thrown caution to the wind and asked her out. He glanced up at the darkening sky. The smell of rain was in the air. He turned up the collar of his jacket and dipped his head down. It had been a brief encounter between two strangers in the middle of London. Nothing more.
Damn mobile phones anyway.
If things had been allowed to run their course, Tempest was sure the tall, dark and positively gorgeous stranger would have stayed and flirted some more. Maybe even asked her out. She had no illusions about her response; she’d have jumped at the chance to know him better.
She glanced at her watch, sped down the wide steps at the museum’s entrance and dashed into the lattice of streets leading to the tube station. Businesses had closed for the day, and the streets swelled with tired Londoners making their way home.
Her steps faltered. The man was just a few yards ahead.
If he turns around, he might think I’m following him
. She discarded the thought instantly. He wouldn’t notice her in this teeming throng, it was just a coincidence they’d taken the same shortcut.
Running footsteps tapped behind her, and she jumped out of the path of a tall, thin man in a beige raincoat, sprinting like an Olympian.
Suddenly, a white van turned into the lane and accelerated towards her gorgeous stranger. It pulled up with a screech and the side door slammed open. At the same moment, a huge man ran out from behind a pile of boxes haphazardly stacked in the lane, and shoved her stranger brutally towards the open door of the van.
Blood rushed into her ears, and her heart pounded fit to burst.
It was a mugging!
Tempest’s throat worked in panic. ‘Help!’
Her shout came out as a watery shriek. She swallowed hard and gave it another shot.
The word whipped away in the wind as she began to run. The ridiculously high heels clicked on the sidewalk and the pencil skirt shortened her stride, so Tempest pushed it higher, not caring that it revealed far more than she’d normally consider decent.
Tempest’s chest burned with the effort of dragging in air. Pain ricocheted up her legs as they pumped faster. The scene that met her gaze was terrifying. Two men circled the stranger, as if preparing to attack.
Why wasn’t anyone coming to help him?
The men moved in for the kill, and her stranger landed a punch before one of the men grabbed at him, causing him to stumble.