Raymond LaCasse had just completed his studies in Paris and was on his way home, to the FrenchCaribbean island of Martinique, little did he know sharing a taxi with a beautiful stranger would change his life in ways he could have never imagined. His couldn’t get the beautiful woman out of his mind, long after she had collected her belongs and left the taxi they’d shared on the way to the airport. Who was this gorgeous woman? He wish the drive had been longer, so he could have spent a longer time in her company. He’d get his wish, but not in the way he’d imagined.
Gabrielle Descotte, a model by profession, had agreed to assist her brother in carrying out an illegal feat. She loved her brother dearly and would do anything for him, but when she met his intended target, Raymond LaCasse, she swiftly had a change of heart. She now had to choose, her brother or the man who occupies her every waking moment, to the exclusion of all else.
Divided by loyalties and bound by a desire that drives them into each other’s arms, Raymond and Gabrielle find themselves in a convoluted web of deceit and danger that almost destroy their new-found love and tear them apart….
Raymond was feeling on top of the world. He was on his way to the airport to catch a flight back to his island home of Martinique. He had been gone for a little over five years now, and it would be good to be home to see his family. The last time he had visited was to attend his brother, Wolfe's wedding. Wolfe had married an American, and they’d just had a new baby. He had also found out that, in the past six months, his other brother, Wolfe's twin. Foxx, had himself married a foreigner, this time a British woman. He had yet to meet her because, according to Wolfe, their wedding had taken place in an almighty big hurry because, supposedly, Therèse, Foxx's new wife, was with child. They had deprived his mother of her customary big wedding, although they did get married in the same church Daphne and Wolfe had gotten married. It was a very simple affair that only a few family members attended. If he knew his maman, she must have been beside herself. Oh well.
He hated having to leave Paris in the winter, but it couldn't be avoided. His family was very close, and he did not want to go another year without seeing them. His sister, Franchesca, who was older than him by four years, had graduated with her doctorate and was just beginning to get comfortable in her new job. He, on the other hand, was satisfied with getting his master’s; he didn't have the ambition to go on to get his doctorate like Franchesca. He had landed a job with a large investment firm in Paris while attending university. The money was good, and the company was solid. He had been there for the duration of his four years of college.
He was getting impatient; the cab should have been here already. He detested having to race through the airport to get to his plane. The security at the airport was so tight that anyone caught rushing was immediately held back, enough to slow them down and, often times, causing that individual to miss his or her flight. He prayed this would not be his fate today. He had no intention of hanging around the airport terminal.
Just then, he heard a horn, and as he looked out of the window, he saw that it was the cab. Grabbing his suitcase and coat, he gave one last look around his apartment and raced down the stairs. Lucky for him, he was only on the third floor.
He was in such a hurry he didn't even have the time to put his coat on, so, as he rushed into the cab, he placed his coat on the seat next to him and proceeded to give the chauffeur instructions to take him to the airport. He settled back and closed his eyes because if he remained with his eyes open, he would be tempted to leap over the front seat and take control of the wheel. This way, it was safer for both him and the driver.
The slowing down of the vehicle caused his eyes to snap open. There was no way they could be there already.
“Why are we stopping?"
“Je dois prendre un autre passager. I have to pick up another passenger," the driver informed him.
“That is ridiculous nonsense,” he complained to the driver.
Just then, as if on cue, a woman stepped out of the building. To admit to her being sensational would have been an understatement. She looked sensational. She was carrying a black overcoat and dressed all in black, with skin-tight pants, a body-hugging top and black riding boots, which drew attention to her long firm-looking legs.
As she came closer, he realized she was the other passenger the driver had stopped to pick up. Climbing into the cab, she said a brief hi to him and proceeded to arrange her coat in the space between them.
He couldn’t help thinking that she had the most unusual eyes he’d ever seen. They were the lightest copper in color, as if lit from behind, causing them to glow like two large pennies. Her eyes gave her an innocent appearance until you took in her full, sensuous lips, which looked as if they were made for passionate nights.
Her skin was a smooth honey tone, and her hair was long and of a dark color. He couldn’t tell whether it was black or dark brown. A riot of curls framed her beautiful face. Whatever scent she was wearing must have gone to his head because, all of a sudden, he had a massive erection.
Sensing his distress, and thinking it was out of his displeasure at having to share a cab, she turned to apologize to him. But having the full effect of those gorgeous eyes on him was too much for Raymond. He found himself with the overwhelming desire to kiss those succulent lips. The desire was so powerful he almost found himself carrying out the thought before he got himself back in hand.
He had to get a hold of himself before he assured her that he didn't mind sharing a cab with her. That was all he could say, so he closed his eyes, trying to shut her out, but she was all around him with her alluring scent. He refused to open his eyes to look into hers again—refused to allow her to see his vulnerability.
When he thought she was not looking, he stole a glance at her ring finger, looking for a wedding ring. He couldn't help thinking, If I had a wife who looked like this, I would not allow her to travel anywhere alone.
She caught him looking at her hand and gave him the most beautiful smile, and Lord, she had the two deepest dimples in her cheeks. He was lost; he had a strong partiality to women with dimples. He would really be screwed if he wasn't careful. So confused was he that he shifted away from her, leaving his belongings on the seat between them, as he tried desperately to hide an erection that just wouldn’t quit.
All too soon, the cab stopped to let the woman off. She turned to him and thanked him again for allowing her to share his cab. He again reiterated that it was nothing. But, as he sat in the cab watching her walk away, he could not help thinking, There goes my ideal woman, and he hadn’t even asked her name. What a fool he was. Then it was his turn to be let off. Grabbing his suitcase and his coat, he made the same dash he’d been trying to avoid to the security area. Lucky for him, the line was not long because everyone was already on the plane.
He made it through security with barely enough time to get to the plane before they were taxiing the runway to take off.
He slept for most of the almost nine-hour flight. As the plane gained altitude, his ears began to pop. He always carried a packet of gum for just such an occasion, but he’d forgotten to take it out of his coat pocket. Reaching into the overhead storage, he tried searching for the gum but couldn’t seem to locate it. Taking the coat down from the bin to search more carefully, he was assaulted by the unique scent that the woman had been wearing in the cab. It was a faint scent of wild orchid. Why was the woman’s scent on his coat? He reached inside the pocket and took out the cell phone. It was vibrating like crazy, but he wouldn't dare answer it for fear of causing the flight attendant to come after him. He went into the bathroom with the coat, and the smell and feel of the coat hit him anew. It was even more powerful in the small confined space of the aircraft bathroom. His reaction was just as powerful too. Now he would have to walk out of the bathroom holding the coat in front of him. He didn’t want his fellow passengers to think him a pervert.
This did not solve the problem of how he came to be carrying the woman's coat and not his own. He went through the coat and saw that she had only the phone in the coat. His coat, on the other hand, had all his personal belongings, his keys, wallet with credit card, his phone, and, of course, his gum and some wipes. He needed his coat only to get to the airport. Where he was going, he had no need for a coat. He'd have to wait until his plane landed in Martinique before he would try to find a way to get her coat back to her. What a quandary he’d found himself in now. He only hoped she would realize it was a genuine mistake and that he’d had no intention of stealing her coat, or had he subconsciously?
About the Author:
Ju Ephraime began writing professionally at the age of 19, but her love of romantic literature developed when she was a teenager, where she often found herself dallying with her own tales of love and romance.
Two decades later, Ju decided to write novels for women who enjoy a quick spicy-themed read that includes pure pleasure and escape from the real world. With nine romantic novels to her credit, Ju admits her books are part fact, part imagination – but only she knows what’s what. After writing Temptation to Sin, her fans didn’t want to let go of Jayden’s character, so she wrote a sequel to his story – and Against All Odds was effortlessly created in Ju’s mind. Without spoiling the tale for her fans, she firmly believes her readers will enjoy the twists and turns that Jayden and his new love Genna deal with to achieve insatiable undying love. Ju lives in Connecticut with her husband, who blushingly reads every loving tale that she publishes.
She has now released her third in her LaCasse series, Complete Surrender. Set in the beautiful French Caribbean of Martinique, the story of Raymond Lacasse and Gabrielle Descotte sizzles with a level of heat that only the French is reportedly able to achieve. Check it out for yourself, and then you decide.
Where to Stalk Ju:
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