Title Sworn to Forget
Author Maria Imbalzano
Genre Contemporary Romance
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
By all appearances, Nicki Reading is a star. PR director at a major music label, Nicki is sharp, successful, independent and confidently calls the shots. She dates whom she wants, when she wants, with no strings attached. But beneath that shine, loneliness flickers. Events from her past prove love leads only to pain. Commitment is not an option.
Until Dex Hanover, a classy, principled, and prosperous CPA, enters the picture. Undeterred by his unhappy childhood, he has an amazing capacity to be both caring and generous; giving his free time as a mentor for a child from the projects. Dex wears his paternal yearnings on his sleeve and he is at a point in his life where commitment is the only option.
Despite their opposing views, Nicki and Dex ignite each other. But will events from their pasts ruin their challenging relationship and prevent them from experiencing everlasting love?
Nicki gave her purple chiffon frock a little swish. When she dressed for the evening, her plan had been to hit the dance floor at Venus, the penthouse nightclub.
“It’s nearly midnight,” she advised Jonathan. “Let’s go dancing.”
“I’m on a roll now, Nick. We’ll go later.”
Disappointment punctured her balloon, and for the first time tonight, her feet throbbed in her crystal-embellished strappy heels. She slipped one foot out of her shoe as she perused the crowd standing around the table.
A stranger’s intense gaze from across the heated table action halted her review mid-scan. He stood behind a striking woman with long, dark hair and a red, clingy dress. The brash sounds around her muffled as Nicki zeroed in on him, dressed in a designer suit. Elegant, confident. Hot. A gorgeous man making up one-half of a gorgeous couple.
Nicki pulled her attention from the too-handsome guest and continued her sight path around the table. No one else held her interest. Not like him.
Instinct demanded she avoid the area, but her eyes disobeyed, and she caught a crooked smile and a head nod. She couldn’t help it. She smiled in return.
He signaled with his thumb toward the bar, then arched a brow. There could be no mistake. An invitation.
She’d been standing at this damn table for over an hour, and the only time Jonathan noticed her presence was when he had the dice and pretended to include her in his ritual before releasing the cubes. He wouldn’t care if she went to get a drink. Besides, her feet were screaming, and a bar stool and an icy Margarita beckoned. As well as a very handsome stranger.
“I’m going to sit down for a bit. I’ll be at the bar.” Nicki’s heartbeat quickened. Ridiculous.
“Sure, babe. I’ll catch up with you soon.” Jonathan’s attention never wavered from the gaming table.
How could she not have known her semi-boyfriend of three months had a gambling problem? Because she only saw him on weekends when the spirit moved her.
Nicki searched the bar for two empty stools, hoping she hadn’t misunderstood the signal. It wouldn’t fare well for her ego to be rejected twice in the same ten minutes.
“What’ll it be?” asked the bartender as he cleared the space in front of her.
“Margarita, rocks, no salt.”
“I’ll have a vodka martini. Straight up.” His deep voice curled around her. “Is this seat taken?” Without waiting for her response, he sat, his knee brushing against her thigh in a sizzling flash.
Whoa. She inched away, the burn searing straight to her toes. This guy was on fire.
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Maria Imbalzano is a retired matrimonial lawyer who now writes full time. Instead of drafting motions, legal memoranda, and briefs, although fascinating, she now spends her days creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys through her contemporary romance novels.
In addition to writing fiction, Maria is on the Friends of Thomas Edison State University Foundation Committee and is still involved with Dress for Success Central Jersey, having been a founding Board member. She also serves on the finance committee for The Present Day Club. She has received the distinguished Family of Edison Award for her work with The Thomas Edison State University Foundation, the Iron Mike Professional Achievement Award from Trenton Catholic Academy and was inducted into the Italian American National Hall of Fame.
Her novel, “Unchained Memories,” won the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers’ Award and the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award. “Sworn to Forget,” the first of the four-book Sworn Sisters Series has garnered many five-star reviews and has been nominated for the illustrious RONE award.
Visit Maria at www.mariaimbalzano.com
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