Title For The Love of You
Author Claire Marti
Genre Contemporary Romance
For a French soccer icon, and a gifted artist, a fake engagement is the perfect solution for their current dilemmas. But when last summer’s fling slips from lust to love, their pretend relationship becomes too hot to handle.
Gabriel DuVernay is heir to one of the oldest wineries in France, but his passion is playing soccer, not tending vines. When he signs a multi-million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, he’s able to postpone his unwelcome duties and help his younger sister convince their old-fashioned father she should be their family’s first female winemaker. Another bonus of moving to California is reuniting with the striking redhead who snuck out of his apartment after the hottest night of his life.
Last summer, artist Dylan McNeill’s life on her family’s Southern California horse-breeding ranch was thrown into chaos and she escaped to Paris. One electrifying night with a gorgeous playboy athlete helped her forget her problems. She’s never forgotten Gabriel, but aspiring artists trying to break into the elite art world don’t have time for romance. She’s determined to get discovered without trading on her family’s famous name.
When Gabriel suffers a career-shattering injury, he needs to buy some time to figure out how to remain in America and choose his own future. His influential mother can open important doors in the art world and help Dylan fulfill her dreams ––for a price. A fictitious engagement seems like the simple answer until living at Pacific Vista Ranch and pretending to be in love starts to feel real.
Can last year’s one night stand and this year’s fake engagement turn into true love forever?
She met his emerald gaze and exhaled an unsteady breath. “Gabriel.”
“You’re shaking. This is crazy, non?” He flashed his white teeth and squeezed her hand more firmly.
“Completely. Are we really going to be able to pull this off?” Tingles shot up her arm from where they were connected.
He stroked his thumb along her palm and she shivered. Before she could answer, he drew her hand to his lips and brushed his mouth along her skin. He met her gaze. “Our attraction to each other is not faked. I’ve never met anyone like you, Dylan.”
Mesmerized by the heat in his expression, all she could do was nod.
“I am sorry we must do this here, but…” He shrugged a shoulder. “Pretend I am kneeling instead of in this bed.”
He interwove his fingers with hers and tugged her closer. She caught herself with her other hand on the pillow next to his shiny chestnut hair. “Gabriel, be careful. I don’t want to hurt you.”
He chuckled. “I can’t feel my leg and you are light as a feather.”
Now she was practically lying across his lap with her hand on his firm chest. His heart pounded almost as fast as hers. Could the cocky charming Frenchman be nervous too? Heat pooled in her belly––yes she was turned on even when he was swathed in bandages and propped up by a hospital bed. “You’re sure?”
He pulled her in a few inches closer and kissed her, his lips parting hers gently yet firmly. Helpless to resist him, she sighed and deepened the kiss. She shifted one hand into his hair and dug her fingers into the silky strands. Their tongues tangled and stroked and Dylan’s bones melted.
He ended the kiss and now his customary wicked grin returned. “I might be injured, but I am not dead. I, for one, am liking the idea of sharing your bed every night.”
Dylan shifted back, but didn’t pull her hand from his. She licked her lips and his eyes hooded. “But you’re just out of surgery, so you need to get better.”
“Oh, I’m just fine above the knees.” His grin deepened and he winked.
Resisting the urge to yank down the sheets and reveal his carved abs, Dylan sat back and crossed her legs. Like Gabriel said, they’d be sleeping together every night. She shivered again. “Gabriel. We’re in the hospital.”
“Fine.” He pouted and then exhaled. “Dylan McNeill. You are an incredible, beautiful, talented woman. Will you do me the honor of becoming my fiancée and spending the rest of…” He sighed. “Will you become my fiancée for as long as makes sense for both of us to fulfill our dreams?”
Dylan’s heart clenched. For a moment, she’d fallen into a trance with his accented raspy voice proposing to her. Until he got to those final words that emphasized this engagement wasn’t real and was only a six-month business arrangement. That, unlike her sisters, she wasn’t getting her own happily-ever-after. No words of love or forever. She swallowed down the sudden lump clogging her throat.
“Yes. I will be your fake fiancée for as long as we both shall need.” She managed to speak clearly, although for some reason, hot tears burned behind her eyes. Ridiculous.
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I’m one of the authors participating in the Pot 'O Gold Giveaway and you can win a $10 Amazon/B&N gift card and signed copy of For The Love of You by Claire Marti (US only).
Runs March 1 - 31 and is open internationally for most prizes.
Winner will be drawn on April 1, 2020.
Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.
Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga.
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