by Terry Newman
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Coffee shop owner, Charlee Lightheart, views corporations with contempt. She believes her father died at the hands of the pharmaceutical industry. When she's approached to run for city council on an anti-fracking platform, she's reluctant. She's not sure this movement is her cause.
Billionaire Riley Brockton has given up on love. Then he walks into Charlee's shop. All he wanted was coffee and muffins. From that first electrifying touch, he knows he needs more. He withholds one piece of vital information: he's a lionshifter.
A rogue reporter sets out to reveal the one secret that can destroy the anti-fracking movement and the couple's relationship. Can their love survive the truth and public exposure?
Charlee leaned with her back against the front counter, her elbows resting on the flat surface. As she faced the coffee pots and watched as Mel idly wipe the counter and arrange the accessories, she confessed, “I’m a bit disappointed Mr. Impervious hasn’t been back. I guess there really wasn’t anything there but—”
She stopped talking suddenly, when she saw Mel making slashing motions along her throat with her index finger. Every muscle in her body froze. As quietly as she could speak, she said, “You’re trying to tell me he’s right behind me, aren’t you?”
Even though Mel hadn’t seen him, she must have recognized him from Charlee’s description.
Mel gave her a slight nod and then looked at Mr. Impervious.
She did the only thing any respectable woman would do who got caught talking about a gorgeous man within his earshot. She dipped down immediately below the counter and hyperventilated. Her breaths came faster and faster. She sat for several seconds, trying to will her body to control itself.
“It’s no use hiding,” Mr. Impervious said. He leaned over the counter and gazed down at her. “I can still see you.” She smiled weakly and gave him a timid tiny wave with her forefinger.
“There’s no way I can get out of this one with my dignity intact.”
Mel extended a hand to help her get to her feet and beelined to the kitchen. Heat radiated off of Charlee’s cheeks. She knew her face turned a bright red. She stammered an apology to Mr. Impervious.
The man stood with both palms down on the counter but said nothing. She involuntarily squirmed as her words were met with silence. Without thinking, she touched his hand. The electric surge occurred again, just like it did the first time. Before she could pull her hand away, Mr. Impervious took his other hand and placed it on top of hers.
This surge of electricity—no, now she knew it was more, much more than electricity, static or otherwise. It was, without a doubt, a sexual surge. A bonding of sorts. As hokey as she knew it was, it was nature’s way of alerting her that she just experienced what others would call love at first sight.
As soon as that thought popped into her brain, her mind rejected it. Holy Heavens! Where did that come from? She didn’t even know his real name and her mind is jumping to “love at first sight.” Ridiculous.
She looked him in the eye—his amber eyes—as she sized him up. The longer she gazed into those eyes, the more ensorcelled she grew.
She marveled at how the track lighting above the counter elicited every nuance of color in his eyes. His hands seemed more like paws. Not destructive mauling paws of a feral beast, but the large loving ones of an animal dedicated to protecting those he loved. She feared if he kept his hand on hers too long, she would start to think about love at first sight again. Yet she didn’t move it.
When he did remove his hand from hers, she felt an immediate and crushing disconnect. She fell back to earth and experienced the gripping weight and limitation of the force of gravity. Did an astronaut experience this remorse and loss of freedom when he re-entered the earth’s atmosphere and found himself bound by gravity?
“I apologize,” he said, as he shook his head slightly. “I think I’ve overstepped my bounds. That’s not at all what I intended to happen. That was uncharacteristic of me.”
“Don’t be,” she said. She couldn’t take her gaze from his eyes.
“Don’t be sorry.”
Terry Newman has always loved words. As the editor-in-chief of a national natural health publishing company, she has written books on a variety of topics, as well as writing direct-mail advertising.
She’s also worked as a reporter, a communications specialist and a freelance writer. She’d had clients worldwide, and researched and wrote hundreds of eBooks and print books as well as ghostwrote novellas and short stories.
One day she woke and decided to make her dream of writing her own novel come true. She sets all her stories in fictional towns in northeast Ohio and writes about things she loves—like coffee.
Terry has led workshops on writing and character development.
She has a daughter, a son-in-law, and a grandpuppy, and lives in North Lima, a real town in northeast Ohio.
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