Wine Country King
(California Suits, #2)
Publication date: January 13th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
A cocky, charming real estate attorney.
A brilliant, gorgeous sommelier.
Neither has time for romance.
One mind-blowing kiss changes everything.
Jack Cassidy heads the team opening the next in an exclusive line of boutique hotels, this one in wine country. Working with his best friend’s sister should make it easier, tapping into her expertise about the area and its wines. The pair have been friends for years, so sharing an apartment shouldn’t pose any issues… except for the simmering heat building between them.
Campbell Taylor’s one of only a handful of women to battle the all-boys club and go for the title of master sommelier. She didn’t rise to her position by being a pushover, but living and working with her brother’s best friend – the man she’s secretly crushed on for years – might prove to be her greatest challenge. How can she get him to see her as more than Cameron’s little sister? And will their undeniable attraction derail her dreams?
An awkward silence hung over the room, the clicking of the silverware on ceramic the only relief from the unspoken tension. Her pulse hammered in her throat––she couldn’t handle it. “So how did everything go this afternoon?”
Jack set down his fork and finally looked at her, his jaw tight, his eyes unreadable. “You’re right. There is nowhere to stay within twenty-five miles, and I can’t commute that far. So…” He shrugged and sipped his wine.
Time to return them to stable footing. Humor was her go-to. “So, you’re admitting that I was right and you were wrong?” She flashed a toothy grin.
His severe expression relaxed, and he chuckled. “I admit nothing. I still wish I’d been able to negotiate with the landlord and help him find a different option, but it is what it is.”
“Exactly. I was right.” She saluted him with her glass. “How delicious is this halibut?” The flaky white fish was perfectly prepared, with the appropriate amount of seasoning. Jack loved excellent food as much as she did.
He clinked his glass against hers, the muscles in his powerful forearm flexing. “You were definitely right about the fish. And I appreciate not having to think about groceries or anything tonight. It’s been a long day.”
“Well, I know our schedules are both super hectic and we probably won’t see each other every night, so I figured I’d treat to welcome you to town.” And squelch the sliver of guilt she couldn’t shake off. But how could she have turned Kyle’s sick father away?
“About that. How’s that going to work with me sleeping out here and the dresser in the bedroom? I can’t exactly barge into the room if I get back later than you.” A crease appeared between his dark eyebrows.
She sighed. It was awkward. Even if she had looked at him like a brother–and that ship had sailed in high school––sharing the space with another person wasn’t going to be easy. Add in the attraction factor and the damn gray sweatpants and she was in trouble.
“Why don’t you leave most of your clothes in the bedroom and keep your pajamas––”
“Pajamas?” The dimple in his right cheek deepened before he burst out laughing.
“What’s so funny?”
He shook his head. “I left my Star Wars footie pajamas in storage, so I guess I’ll have to improvise.”
She waved a hand. “Surely you have something to sleep in?” She’d buy him a head-to-toe flannel onesie to cover all that smooth skin.
“Well, I’ve lived alone for over a decade, so no, I don’t have pajamas. Will boxers work?” His leaf-green eyes lit with mischief.
“And a t-shirt. Boxers and a t-shirt.” No way would she survive seeing that carved torso on the regular. And please god let them be baggy boxers, not those snug boxer briefs.
He smirked. “Maybe. It’s basically summer up here, Campbell. I’m not going to sweat to death. You’ll be in the other room anyway. So, does this mean you wear pajamas?”
She sniffed. “We do have air-conditioning, as you may have noticed. And of course I have pajamas. What if there was a fire in the middle of the night and I had to run outside? I like to be prepared.”
Claire Marti is an award winning and USA Today Bestselling author of swoonworthy Contemporary Romance novels set in Southern California, including the Pacific Vista Ranch series and the spin-off California Suits series. She lives in San Diego with her husband, silly dog, and two clever cats.
Claire 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.
When Claire’s not writing, she’s teaching yoga. You can find her sixty+ online classes on the international website www.yogadownload.com. A breast cancer survivor, Claire is a sought-after speaker on the power of yoga and meditation. She’s been published in numerous magazines with articles on wellness and is the author of a memoir, Come Ride with Me Along the Big C, on her experience beating breast cancer.
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