Read Caribbean Casanova Online

Authors: Jenna Bayley-Burke

Tags: #Romance

Caribbean Casanova

BOOK: Caribbean Casanova
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Dedication

For my Bridges Babes—Lynda, Sue, Kim and Paula. Thanks for listening, brainstorming, encouraging and knowing just how to tell me I’d gone too far, again.

Chapter One

“I have half a mind to invite the entire boat of bikini models back to my villa for the night. Show them a true Caribbean good time.” Harmannus Prinsen crossed his arms over his bare chest and glared at his godfather’s approaching sailboat, annoyance pounding through him like rain from a hurricane.

He’d gone out of his way to help set up the photo shoot for Sassy, and the brat showed her appreciation by forbidding him to lay a hand on any of her models? As if he was hard up for female attention.

“Stop acting like you want to ruin this for her.” Joe stared at the boat in the distance and shifted from one foot to the other, like he couldn’t stand being in his own skin. Harm couldn’t recall seeing his younger brother so anxious. Probably because he wanted to crawl inside his brat of a girlfriend.

“I’m not going to ruin anything. I’m making this happen. I’m helping chauffer for her crew. I’m letting her use my rental bungalows for free. I’m even providing all the sporting equipment for her action shots. But I’m not putting up with her petty bullshit. I’m going to tell her where she can put her ultimatums. And if you weren’t fucking her I’d—”

“Hey.” Joe jabbed him with a sharp elbow but never took his gaze from the sea. The blue water was so clear the approaching boat seemed to be hovering over it. “I’m going to marry her. That makes her your family.”

“She always was family. Our godfather’s daughter.” He could not fathom how his brother thought of the red-headed waif as anything but an irksome child. He remembered the day she was born, for God sakes.

Joe lifted his gaze skyward and shook his blond head. “You both need to stop the childish squabbling. This photo shoot could launch her swimwear designs. That’s why she’s doing it here in Anguilla. She needs our help.”

“That’s your issue. I’m only here to tell her she can’t dictate who I can and can’t sleep with. My dick, my business.” Harm touched his jaw and a week of beard growth abraded his fingers. He only shaved on Sundays, before dinner at Dutch’s place. But since his godfather had been otherwise engaged this week, Harm hadn’t bothered.

“Then keep your dick out of her models. If you don’t want to do it for her, do it for me.” He lifted his arm overhead and waved at the boat.

Damn if Sassy didn’t brighten like she was lit from the inside. The way she looked at his brother was the only thing that kept Harm from throttling her. She’d been a pest as a kid, a nuisance as a teen and a thorn in his side from the moment his brother had realized she’d become an adult.

Harm fell in step beside Joe, helping to secure the schooner to the dock. Once Sassy and her models were delivered to the bungalows, he could wash his hands of the whole mess. Trouble disembarked first, leaping into his brother’s arms as if they’d been separated for years instead of weeks. He looked down and shook his head, hoping he’d get used to the sight eventually.

Something hot and solid crashed into his chest, the scent of honeysuckle surrounding him a second before the woman who pounced on him crossed her arms behind his neck and wrapped her legs around his hips. Harm grabbed her waist on instinct, looking into naughty hazel eyes fringed with long dark lashes.

“Play along,” she whispered through her wicked smile.

Her soft lips were on his in an instant, parting slightly to fit against his mouth. Who was he to turn down such a succulent invitation?

He opened and she responded in kind, the sweet taste of cinnamon making the kiss all the more delicious. He slid his tongue along hers and she sucked in a breath, her body tensing around him. She pulled back a bit, capturing his lower lip between her teeth.

He leaned in, wanting that mouth back on his. She denied him, releasing his lip and sliding down his body until her feet touched the dock.

“You need to shave, Casanova.” She winked, her mahogany eyes dancing with mischief before she turned and walked away.

As she made her way towards the bikini-clad women stepping off the boat, he tried to place her. She looked familiar, but not in a been-there-done-that way. He had a feeling he should know who she was, but for the life of him he couldn’t recall.

He looked to Joe for a clue, but he and Sassy were still attached at the face. No help there. But also no reaction. Had they missed the entire kiss?

His mystery woman herded the bikinis and their baggage to one side, the trio of scrawny men in head-to-toe black to another. Hadn’t they checked the weather before coming to the Caribbean?

Two hairless dudes in Speedos appeared on the deck from below, helping Saskia’s father, Dutch, hoist large black boxes off his boat. Harm stepped in to help, not wanting the older man to hurt himself. Manscaped One and Two he could care less about. He’d never understand the American abhorrence of body hair.

“Holly, we can’t possibly work today.” The scrawniest of the men in black leaned against luggage, his face flushed and shiny.

“The sunset shots will be brilliant tonight.” His new playmate spoke with an attractive air of authority.

Holly. Saskia’s best friend and business partner. His gut clenched.

Yes, they had met before, in a rather embarrassing way.

Chapter Two

Mission accomplished. Holly Hansen wanted to pat herself on the back for the flawless execution of her plan. Every model had seen her lay claim to Anguilla’s resident womanizer. Since she was the one signing the paychecks for the team they’d brought to the Caribbean, she doubted he’d get so much as a wiggle in his direction.

That her best friend had been too wrapped up in her boyfriend to see the kiss was frosting on the cupcake. Holly knew Saskia wasn’t going to be too happy about the way she’d removed the threat of sensual sabotage, but she’d taken one for the team.

Nerves fizzled in her belly like live wires and she licked her lips, still able to taste Harm’s kiss. The man’s reputation wasn’t all gossip.

“Holly,” the hair guru called out. “Which truck do my things go in?”

Jolted back to reality, she worked the disbursement of the luggage and personnel from the sailboat into the passenger van and Harm and Joe’s waiting trucks with the efficiency of a Black-Friday shopper. She knew what she wanted and how to make sure she got it as fast as possible.

Of course, she might be able to do it all without breaking a sweat if the Caribbean didn’t reach eighty before breakfast, and Harm hadn’t decided to monitor her every movement from behind his aviators. He probably wanted an explanation as to why she’d jumped him as soon as she got off the boat, and she needed to decide just how much truth he could handle.

At six four and heavily muscled, the poster boy for Caribbean fantasies looked ready to handle anything. But Holly had eight brothers and she knew no man would take well to being cock-blocked in quite this way. But if his ire was the price for the photo shoot running smoothly, she’d pay it. She’d been raised around badass Alaskan fishermen. A European playboy wasn’t going to shake her determination.

“We have to keep the models out of Harm’s way.” Saskia sidled up next to her and kept her voice low as Holly began to sort people into the waiting vehicles.

“Pun intended?” Holly laughed and wrapped one arm around her best friend and business partner for a reassuring squeeze. “Trust me. Prinsen won’t be a problem for us. This will be the most efficient swimwear catalog shoot ever, so we’ll have time to score lifestyle images for our website. Between you styling the shots and me keeping things moving behind the camera, we’ve got this.”

“If one of the models winds up all sullen because he has the attention span of a gnat and the libido of a sex-addict, we won’t get our pictures. I don’t want the drama or sad-model face.” She put on her best high-fashion pout.

“No, fun and flirty all the way.” She looked out at Anguilla’s picture-perfect turquoise-blue water and sugar-white sand beaches stretching along the shore. An ideal backdrop for the photo shoot to showcase the launch of Sassy V swimwear. “This is going to be great. And after the shoot we’ll get our condo set up and I promise to give being islanders a chance.”

“You’ll love Anguilla.”

“I love that there’s no income tax.” She wondered how in the world she was going to manage living in a climate that never dipped below seventy degrees, even if it was only part-time. She’d grown up in Alaska, for goodness sakes. A place where maintaining a healthy weight kept you warm and dressing in layers camouflaged whatever extra padding needed to be hidden.

Holly adjusted the straps of her white eyelet sundress, hoping her self-esteem would rebound once she didn’t have twenty-four-seven bikini-model mayhem.

“Thank you for this, all of it. I never could have done it without you.” Saskia beamed up at her, all freckles and teeth.

“That’s why we’re partners, sweetie. You keep turning string into swimwear, and I’ll handle the rest.”She’d been taking care of Sass since they’d met six years ago, probably because Sass’s goofy grin had reminded her of her sisters’. Sass had helped her feel at home in Miami, becoming the sister of her heart.

“I love you, Holls.” Sass wrapped her up in a skinny-girl hug, all pointy elbows and sharp shoulders. Nope, couldn’t talk to her about body-image issues.

“Love you too, Sass.” Holly straightened as a second white passenger van pulled up behind their small caravan at the ferry terminal. Harm was there to shake the smaller man’s hand the moment he stepped out of the vehicle.

“What is it?” Saskia read Holly’s rigid body language and turned to follow her line of sight. She stomped her flip-flop. “See? He’s doing it already. Because he’s the oldest, he thinks he has to control everything.”

“We don’t know what he’s up to. Could be perfectly innocent.” Though Holly doubted the man had an innocent thought in his head. She moved away from Saskia and marched toward her target.

She was the one in control here. In the last three months she’d been chased by a moose, bluffed her way into a million-dollar swimwear licensing agreement and dropkicked a would-be New York City mugger. She wasn’t about to let some Caribbean Casanova stand in her way.

Chapter Three

“You three, over here.” Harm motioned three of the models towards the van. They stayed rooted by his truck, exchanging glances. Why was it they snapped to when Holly spoke, but couldn’t manage a simple request from him?

“Holly told us to ride in the red truck.” One spoke while the others nodded in agreement.

He grinned and pushed a hand through his hair. He wasn’t going to find out anything about Holly’s scheme with an audience in the backseat. “This is my little surprise. We need some alone time.”

“Babe, can I have a word with you?” Sweetness dripped from Holly’s voice. She gripped his arm, hard, yet he didn’t turn around.

“You see, she’s excited already.” He winked at their spectators then turned and grabbed Holly. He dipped her low, capturing her lips as she gasped.

She tasted spicy, sweet and so hot. And she kissed him back. Her lips pressed his for more, for control. She gripped his shoulders and tried to lean away, his bottom lip between her teeth again. Damn. He released her and set her back on her feet.

“What are you doing?” The golden flecks in her hazel eyes glowed like fire. The flush on her high cheekbones made them all the more prominent.

“Kissing strangers on boat docks. What about you?” He crossed his arms over his chest and watched her face for her response, knowing it would tell him far more than her words.

She raised her brows and blinked slowly, dark lashes feathering against her golden skin. She cleared her throat and mirrored his stance. “We’ve met, and this shoot has a budget. We’ll have plenty of time to discuss whatever you’d like at the villa, without adding the extra expense.”

“My treat.” He leaned closer, reaching both hands out to brush her deep brown hair off her face and behind her ears. She stiffened at the touch. “I’m sure your explanation will more than make up for it.”

She gave a throaty laugh he really didn’t want to find sexy. “I’ll make sure you enjoy every minute.”

Without another word, she moved past him, continuing to micromanage the minutia of getting her crew on their way. She didn’t return to his truck until everyone else had started to make the drive across the skinny island, from Blowing Point to West End.

BOOK: Caribbean Casanova
4.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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