An emotional yet funny, sensual and fast-paced romance set in Paris and in a French chateau.
What’s a girl to do when she whispers another man’s name in her fiancé’s arms?
When forbidden dreams about the sexy French Dr. Yves Malroux assail her at every turn, Mary-Beth puts her wedding plans on hold. She signs up for a summer training program in surgery with Yves, and flies to France to confront her past and the man who broke her heart years ago.
But she never expected the French doctor–who’s also a count– to insist on his trainees staying at his historical chateau. Sleeping under his roof, next door to his bedroom, is more temptation than Mary-Beth anticipated. Desire for Yves burns as hot as ever, especially when he focuses all his charm on Mary-Beth to convince her she needs passion in her life. While too many questions still swirled in her mind, her jealous fiancé summons her back home.
Will Mary-Beth let her heart decide who’s her right man? Will Yves break his no-strings-attached rule to offer love and commitment?
Even at the slow speed, they reached home too soon. Once in the garage, Mary-Beth darted from the car to the guestroom and jumped into a long cotton nightgown, ready to claim an honest headache.
A moment later, Steve stood at the door, his eyebrows raised in disbelief. “Come on, not that ugly thing.”
Her hands clenched on the reassuring plain material as she glared at the bottle of Cognac and the two glasses in his hands.
“Wear the short red silk one I bought you two weeks ago.” A suggestive smile formed on his lips. “Darling, it’s Saturday night.”
His unspoken demand swirled the gourmet dinner up into her throat. She clutched her middle, gagged and dashed to the bathroom.
“You’re not sick? Are you? Not tonight, for heaven’s sake.”
No, she wasn’t sick, just terrified of lying with him, making love, and screaming the wrong name again.
“Sweetheart, how are you feeling?” he asked from behind the bathroom door. His concern needled her with remorse.
“I’m better.” She brushed her teeth, splashed cold water on her face, dabbed it with a scented towel, and donned the tiny silk negligee over her shivering body. She took a deep breath. “I love you,” she said with a forceful voice when she opened the door.
“I love you too, my precious one. I become a younger man when I hold you in my arms.”
They toasted their future with a drink of Cognac and climbed into bed. In a swift movement, Steve peeled her nightgown over her head and covered her breasts with kisses.
Stiff as a board, she watched him wide-eyed.
Exasperated, he raised his head. “What’s wrong? I feel like I’m kissing an ice block.”
“I’m sorry. I’m tense. Maybe I worked too much this past week.” Alarmed at the possibility of blurting Yves’s name again, she bit her lips.
“Let me help you relax. Turn over. I’ll massage your back.” He kneaded her muscles with firm hands and she breathed easier. “Think about something nice. Our honeymoon. We’ll go to France. My friend Yves Malroux has often invited me to visit his chateau.”
“No,” she snapped. “I don’t want to go to France.”
“Oh, I thought you’d like it. Such a romantic place, perfect for a honeymoon.”
“No, we’ll go to Italy, or Greece, or England.” Damn it, anywhere except at Yves’ chateau. If that was Steve’s way of relaxing her, it wasn’t working. “Forget the massage. Make love to me.” She turned around and pulled him on top of her.
“My pleasure. Glad I managed to put you back in the mood.” He captured her mouth with eager lips, and she concentrated on his caresses.
Steve excelled at everything he did, surgery, research, social life and lovemaking. Soon enough Mary-Beth forgot her inhibitions under his expert hands and kisses. Soon enough she sighed and moaned with pleasure.
After they collapsed in panting orgasms, she snuggled against his shoulder. Content, she raised her face for one more kiss. “Love you, Yv…Ste-eve, Steve.”
“Love you too, sweetheart.”
“Again. Oh God.” She jammed her fist against her mouth as she jumped to her knees and stared at him.
Yanked from his happily sated semi-slumber, Steve frowned. “I can’t do it again. I’m not twenty anymore.”
“It’s very flattering, my love, but… Why don’t you come in my arms and try to sleep?”
“I’m sorry. Did I scream?”
“No, you just whispered in a kiss, ‘Love you Ste-ee-eve’, several times.” He stroked her arm. “That’s what I love about you, your passion for life, your youth. Damn it, you make me feel so good.”
Off the hook one more time, she exhaled. She’d caught herself this time, but how long could she keep on saying another man’s name when her fiancé held her? And why on earth, did it happen now? Three years after Yves had left. Did she need a shrink?