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Sky Hartman is enduring another conversation with her mom about her nonexistent love life when she slams into sexy business mogul Mateo Jacobson with a hot cup of coffee in her hand.
Despite their messy meeting, Sky is quickly swept up in his charismatic charm. Her best friend warns her of his notorious playboy ways, but after a few warm and cozy nights by the fire, Sky realizes she’s falling for him.
Until his womanizing ways leave her heart shattered.
When Mateo’s best friend, Cade, swoops in to console her, Sky questions his intentions. Although it makes her uneasy to learn his true feelings for her, she wonders if his sweet, romantic nature is what she needs.
But when Mateo is attacked and left for dead, Sky volunteers to help nurse him back to health. Faced, once more, with the selfless and tender ways of the suave casanova, will Sky risk heartbreak again by choosing Mateo? Or will Cade’s kindness and laughter provide her with the happily ever after she hopes for?
Excerpt 1: Mateo
Packing my things for my trip, I thought about her. Getting in the shower, I thought about her. Brushing my teeth, I–. Was this becoming a problem? I didn’t like this feeling of not being in control. I was aware of having a woman and saying goodbye to her the next day without an attachment but feeling this way was insane. I was screwed. The fire in my heart that burned for her was doused with water when she basically told me that I was a jerk who broke hearts. Although I had that reputation, I had been delivered a raw deal in life. Don’t get me wrong, the relationship in my family life prospered. My parents were in a successful relationship, but when it came to me, I seemed to land in a sea of gold diggers and skanks who thought the way to their heart was in my pockets and pants. Is that all I was worth? I often gave in to their demands, without commitment. They didn’t oppose it as long as they got what they wanted. It gave me the freedom to date without restrictions. I was a notorious serial dater and flirt. Sometimes, I contemplated my actions. Although it was exciting at times, in the end, that life was unfulfilling, empty.
I often wondered, where were all the good women? Now that I had one standing in front of me, she didn’t know if she wanted me. Then, there’s Friday. What if Cade is her friend from the past? I mean, they are both from Virginia and are around the same age. If it turns out that she knows him, how will she react when she sees him again? If she wants him, should I just let her go? Maybe I should just let her go right now. I don’t know.
I hated feeling this way. How could someone turn my world upside down in such a short period of time? It was me. I let myself fall. What was I thinking? I let my guard down. From the very beginning, I felt something. Why? She treated me like a normal human being, not like a spectacle. If she only knew how much raw emotion that brought to my heart, she probably would have been confused. I understood that she wanted space, but what if she saw Cade and then decided that he was the one she actually wanted?
Excerpt 2: Sky
I was walking along a peaceful path in the woods when a branch snapped beneath my barefoot. Birds flew away, shrieking in the distance. For some strange reason, I was not wearing any shoes. I wiggled my toes and continued my peaceful journey. But I came to a screeching halt when I noticed splotches of blood on the ground. My heart raced, and I thought about turning back. But my feet continued to carry me forward. The splotches were getting larger and becoming more frequent as I walked. And then I saw it. I saw him lying there on the ground in a pool of blood. Mateo. He was lying motionless with his eyes closed. Squealing louder than I’ve ever squealed in my life, I sprinted over to him. “No. No. Teo,” I screamed, rocking his body back and forth with force. I lifted his shirt to see where the blood was coming from. But there was no indication of where it was escaping. His body was intact. I checked his neck for a pulse. Pulse, pulse, where the heck was his pulse? I checked his inner wrist. I couldn’t feel it. “Where is it?” I sobbed, clasping his shirt. “Teo. Please. Please. Come back to me.”
Excerpt 3: Sky
My eyes roamed around the room, but there was silence. Then arms encircled my waist, pulling me close, causing my breath to hitch. Mateo was still here. I wasn’t sure if he should stay, considering we both had to get up for work in a few hours. But as I lay there comforted in his arms, I decided I’d rest my eyes, waking in a few minutes.
As I awakened to sunlight seeping through the windows, I rubbed my eyes. Mateo opened his eyes with a lopsided grin, propping his head on his hand. “Morning, Sky.”
“Morning.” My voice croaked.
His fingers grazed my face, slightly tickling my skin. As he gave a piercing stare, I licked my lips.
Mateo moaned. I wasn’t trying to seduce him but…
He lowered his head, swiftly crashing his lips onto mine. Our mouths parted, connecting inside–dancing and swirling together. Seduction at its finest. If I had wings, I would fly. Shivering sensations rippled up my spine. My hands slid under his shirt, and I writhed beneath him. He dragged two fingers down my neck. Oh, wow. How can two fingers feel so good? I moaned into his mouth and clutched his taut back. Our bodies pressed together, fitting perfectly like pieces to a puzzle. The grinding entanglement caused so much friction I think I saw smoke. I needed to collect my thoughts before it went too far. His mouth traveled down my neck.
“Teo,” I whispered.
“Sky,” he exhaled my name.
Heat dissipated from my skin as he said my name against it. I relaxed my body, rubbing the back of his head.
He stopped electrifying my body, putting his hands on either side of my face as his eyes filled with desperation and desire. “You’re so beautiful.”
I beamed inside and out.
Skylar Nightingale has always had a vast imagination, inventing characters that could either break your heart or have you standing in awe. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and listening to music. She grew up in Upstate New York. She now resides in a small town with her loving family, where her love of creating characters and stories envelop her thoughts, allowing her to continue in her writing journey.