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Book Excerpt: “I promise you, Alyssa, this is the guy for…” Maryn’s voice
trailed off. “He’s a super-nice guy. Don’t shut yourself off before you even
talk to him. Be nice to him and get that date offer.”
Alyssa turned and Beckham Taylor stood at the bottom of the
stairs on the other side of the courtyard, watching her like she was a cat who
might leap and scratch his eyes out any minute. She sighed. This was going to
be harder than Maryn could understand. She forced some gaiety into her voice. “Sounds
great. I’ll talk to you later.”
“He’s right there? Oooh,” Maryn squealed. “This is going to
be sweet. Ta-ta.”
Alyssa restrained from rolling her eyes and dropped her
phone into her purse. She took a deep breath and tried to release the tension
in her shoulders. He was still watching her. Go on the offensive and introduce
herself? Tell him how amazing he was rescuing the little girl this morning? Or
head for the food and hope he came to her? She glanced at his slightly-mussed
dark hair and the hopeful expression in his impossibly blue eyes. His jaw line
was firm, just like she liked, and from his build she could tell he’d probably been
a fabulous hockey player. She darted toward the food. What a wimp.
Piling her plate with papaya, boiled eggs, and a bagel, she
grabbed some POG juice and sat at one of the tables. Of course today would be
the day the breakfast wasn’t busy. Only her and some famous, hot, rich man.
Where was Jerry? Where was the cute elderly couple, Simon and Kendra, who
always told her about their Maui adventures every morning? Maryn was
exaggerating, this bed and breakfast wasn’t a dump, but still why would a super
wealthy dude stay at one of the least expensive places on the west side of the island?
Beckham helped himself to food while she started eating. She
tried not to watch him out of the corner of her eye. It was impossible not to
look when he marched straight up to her table. “Is this seat taken?”
“All the other tables are full?”
His welcoming smile faded. He looked like she’d just busted
his Lego creation.
“I’m just teasing. Please.” She gestured toward the seat. He
settled his food on the bamboo table. As his juice tipped precariously to the
side, they both reached out to steady it. His hand came around hers. The warmth
of his rough fingers sent tremors up her arm. Their eyes met and neither of
them moved. Awkwardness settled in quickly. “If you’ll let go, I can put your
juice in a safer spot.”
He nodded but didn’t move his hand. “What if I don’t want to
She moved her hand quickly and he barely caught the juice
before it spilt. Studying her plate, Alyssa forced herself to peel a boiled egg
and hoped he couldn’t see how he was making her shake. Maryn was so dead.
“I apologize again about this morning. Did I hurt you?” His
eyes lowered to her legs and she knew he’d noticed her limp.
“No. You did a great job of protecting me with your body.”
Her face flamed red and she took a quick drink of her juice.
A slow grin appeared on Beck’s face. “I’m glad you’re okay.”
She nodded her acknowledgment, her stomach fluttering like
it was full of fireflies. Oh, my, he looked good when he smiled like that. They
ate in silence for several minutes. Alyssa didn’t know what to say to break the
awkwardness that settled in again.
“So, um, I hear you’re a Maui veteran.” He forked a bite of
eggs, sneaking a glance at her then focusing on his food.
“Where did you hear that from?” Alyssa realized there was
too much bite in her voice. She couldn’t be herself around handsome, wealthy
men. Maryn was going to have to find someone else to quote for her article and
just deal with disappointment, Alyssa couldn’t handle this.
Beckham’s eyes widened and she was caught off guard studying
the brightness of the blue. Caribbean blue, sky blue, or maybe almost aqua blue?
She couldn’t quite decide and she couldn’t tear her gaze away from his. What
she wouldn’t give to photograph him, for her private collection this time.
“Jerry,” he said.
“Oh.” She spread cream cheese on her bagel, wondering if the
air was really crackling around them or if she was going nuts. He had this draw
that was so exciting she wanted to either snuggle up next to him or hide in her
Beckham set his fork down and cleared his throat. “I don’t
have anything planned the next couple of days. Would you be interested in…
showing me around?”
Alyssa hated that she wondered if this would qualify as him
asking her on a date. She wanted to meet his eyes and get lost in the blue
again, but she just couldn’t do it. What if he was like Hugh? She couldn’t be
alone with a man and risk being vulnerable. If she couldn’t escape from a wiry
guy like Hugh how could she protect herself from someone built like Beckham? She
could still feel Hugh’s manicured fingers trailing down her neck and then ripping
her shirt off. Nausea rose in her throat.
She set her bagel down and mumbled, “Excuse me. I’m not
feeling very well.” She pushed away from the table and Beckham hurried around
to pull her chair out. He wrapped one hand around her elbow and the warmth of
that touch made her already shaky legs turn to pudding. Her eyes were drawn to
“Thanks,” she murmured
before withdrawing from his touch and those eyes and fleeing up the stairs.
My review: I really liked Alyssa in this book. She was born with a deformed foot and I love that she is in no way going to let it hold her back or even slow her down. I love that she was not on board with the Billionaire Bride Pact at Camp Wallakee. She had seen enough from her own father to know that money is not really all everyone thinks it is. It doesn't make your life perfect by any means, and sometimes it can make you downright mean.
Speaking of Alyssa's dad, he really bugged me. He was not kind and he was not above paying others to be unkind to Alyssa, and the extortion he was trying to pull was unreal.
I did like Beck though. I liked that even though he had plenty of money, he was down to earth and he even gave a good portion of his money to his charity. I loved that he was willing to defend Alyssa, even when he thought she had been out to get his money.
Alyssa's Granny Ellie was probably my very favorite character in this whole book. She is sneaky and conniving, always trying to get Beck to like Alyssa even more than he already does. She made me laugh at every scene she was in. Such a fun character!
This is a cute book that you won't want to put down until you've read the very last word.
The Passionate One by Jeanette Lewis
As the creator of the Billionaire Bride Pact, Erin Parker is determined to see it through. And now that wealthy, gorgeous Brennan Avery has been cast as her costar in a play destined for Broadway, things couldn’t be better. But Erin’s best friend, Matt Walters, isn’t ready to give up on her. He has a plan to escape the friend zone and prove to Erin that there are more important things than money and fame.
Available now for only $2.99 or free for Prime members - Amazon