Blossoms of the Heart by Khardine Gray
Genre: Contemporary Romance
The most intense and passionate romance you'll read this year.
Why do I fall for guys I can’t have?
Okay, it’s not guys –plural.
It’s just one guy.
When I was 18 he stole my heart.
Tai was the guy I wasn’t supposed to have…
The tattooed rebel my mother told to stay away from me.
My heart stopped beating that day.
I was off- limits to him and he was forbidden to me.
I never thought I’d see him again.
He stayed away, just like my mother demanded.
Until… fate decided to hand us an all-access card eleven years later. Leaving it to us to work out the kinks.
We got to see what could have happened if we got together.
Then it became complicated….
The passion and heat between us is wild.
Scorching hot and consuming.
He wants more. So much more…
But I can't give him more…
This time it’s not my mother telling me I can’t have him.
It’s life …
Because … now I have a secret.
A secret that could tear us apart.
**This is a full length novel with a happily ever after, no cliffhanger, no cheating, and plenty of steam. ***
If you like hot, steamy, romance with gorgeous, drool worthy ex-marines that, you will like this book.
I didn’t think I would feel like this seeing him again.
I just assumed time would dull my interest. Or, maybe it was just that I hoped it would.
The minute I saw Tai that spark of interest and excitement I used to feel came rushing back to me. It clenched at my stomach and sent my nerves into a crazy frenzy.
Getting all weak-kneed, hot and bothered about a guy was not in the cards for me. After all I was here on business.
Tai, however, was always the exception to every rule.
Maybe it would have been wiser for me to get settled in first.
I landed at Narita International a few hours ago. Mitsuke picked me up and took me to Akito’s place. She insisted on going shopping, but I was too eager to get here and see the journal.
Sure, I’d thought about Tai but I just figured we’d have more of a ‘hey there and goodbye,’ meet.
I didn’t think Akito would pair him up with me.
I never told anyone about our last encounter, and thinking about that now just felt so childish. It wasn’t as if I slept with him... much as I wanted to.
With everything that had happened to me over the last few years that time seemed like it happened in another life. At eighteen, I may have been a levelheaded young woman who could handle herself, but I was like every other helpless female who fell prey to his charms and dreamy looks.
I’d never seen anyone that looked like him.
Tai was biracial half Japanese and half white. A deadly combo of beauty and rugged handsomeness that made you want to stare. His face was all angles and planes. The kind that would make most women a drooling mess.
He had the slightly down-slanted eyes, thick eyebrows and angular face from his mother. From his father he got the GQ looks, the height and muscles. I remembered his father being tall and built like
Tai basically looked too good for his own good and knew how to make you do whatever he wanted. It was all the more easy for him when what he wanted you to do was what you wanted.
We had that weird awkward silence as we both stepped out of the meeting room and started walking down the corridor.
“So, Dr. Phoebe, it’s been awhile.” He cast a sideways glance at me.
“Long time.” I raised my shoulder slightly and tucked my hair behind my ear.
“How’ve you been?”
I wasn’t really sure how to answer that question. The truth was I felt like shit, but telling him that would open the door for questions on why I felt like that. And I doubted he would care to hear it.
So I guess I could go with the standard answer, as I was excited to be back in Japan.
“Great. It’s good to be here. You, how are you doing? When’d you get back from the Marines?”
“A little over two years. Spent most of the time being a free spirit.”
“Weren’t you always a free spirit?” I smirked.
Maybe that was a little too blunt for a first meeting in years. It just seemed weird he would say that. I’d already counted five more tattoos that I hadn’t seen before. He mostly went for Japanese characters which looked cool but there was what I thought looked like a dragon’s wing creeping up the side of his neck, and the tail looked like it snaked around his arm.
He turned so that he was walking backwards while he faced me.
“Was that a statement or a question?”
I pressed my lips together to keep from smiling. “It’s... whatever you want it to be.”
“Statement. The way I remember it, you seemed to like me as a free spirit, and looks like you still like what you see.”
God damn, my stupid body betrayed me and took in the purely sexual look he gave me as he looked me up and down. Heat flushed my cheeks.
We stopped and he just stared at me. I wasn’t sure what he expected me to say, but he was looking at me like he wanted some kind of response. He’d always thrown me with his openness.
At least with Tai there were never any hidden surprises. He was open and forward, said whatever was on his mind and didn’t care about the end result.
“I can see you haven’t changed one bit.” Better to say that.
“No not a damn bit, maybe just got better at it.” He shifted his weight from one leg to the other, drawing my attention to the strong athletic definition in his legs. “Newsflash, I like what I see too. Dr. Phoebe.”
A slow, easy smile inched across his face as he observed me. It was that sexy smile I remembered very well, except his boyish looks had become manlier and sharper.
That smile on him now did things to my body that I’d rather not acknowledge.
“Phoebe, no one calls meDr. and please don’t start calling meDr. Phoebe. Sounds like Dr. Phil or something.” I glossed over the compliment, or rather his obvious flirting, opting for safer grounds.
He chuckled. “If I had a title like that everyone would have to call me Dr.”
I rocked back on my heels. “Does everyone call you lieutenant? Lieutenant Tai?”
A satisfied glint came into his eyes making them gleam as he gazed at me.
It was Dad who gave me more context to how well Tai did as a Marine, and that he became a lieutenant. He didn’t say much more than that but it was enough.
I was proud to hear he’d accomplished so much.
“They don’t. Lieutenant doesn’t have the same ring to it as Dr.”
“Lieutenant sounds better”
“Doesn’t sound better.”
“You don’t think so Lieutenant Tai?”
“Came natural to me. Like adventure.” His face brightened.
“Adventure. We used to use that word to explain everything.” Because Dad and Akito threw it around like it could explain everything indeed. Everything that meant something.
If one of them had gotten some accomplishment during the course of their work it was all down to adventure. If one of them had done something outlandish like seeing how many time they could
climb Mt. Fuji while we were here, it was because adventure made them do it.
“That word got us in trouble.”
“You more than me.” I pointed out laughing. When the laughter escaped my lips it felt so effortless.
“Yes, because of you.”
I grimaced even though I knew that was true. “No ...you didn’t.”
His smile widened. “Great, she doesn’t remember how much my ass got in trouble for her craziness, and ability to break bones with ease.”
I opened my mouth to protest but couldn’t. He was right again, but I didn’t want to admit it.
He gave me that penetrative look again. It weakened my insides this time and got me thinking of the last time I saw him.
It wasn’t a good memory at all, but there were parts to it that I would always cherish.
Did he think about that too? Was he now?
Here we were talking like we’d just seen each other last year, but that was so far from the case. So many years had passed by. Too many.
“Were we heading this way?” I asked, swallowing against the lump that formed in my throat.
I offered a little smile and started walking, but he stayed behind.
I looked back to him and watched him run his gaze down the full length of y body, lingering for far too long on my ass. I stopped again surprised at his obvious checking me out.
To add to my surprise he took his time to trace the outline of my figure, moving back up to take note of the curve of my waist, and then my breasts.
My cheeks heated from the salacious look he gave me when he returned his focus to my eyes, and I had to swallow hard to calm myself.
The smile came back and he continued walking. I followed and tried to keep my focus.
Khardine Gray is a contemporary romance author who lives in England with her husband, two kids, and three crazy ferrets.
She is well traveled, cultured, and a woman with a passion for dancing and ice skating.
When not writing you can catch her shopping, indulging on pizza and hot chocolate, or hanging out with her family and friends.
No need to spend money on an airline ticket. Simply pick up one of Khardine's books to become immersed in the fascinating stories and characters she creates.