SECRET MIAMI NIGHTS (August, 2017)
His passion is like no other
Everything has come easily to Ashton Rollins, the handsome, über-wealthy heir to an aeronautics empire and president of the Millionaire Moguls. The only thing his riches can’t do: help Ashton put a tragic accident behind him. Petite, sexy Haley Adams is the first woman to truly intrigue him since he lost his fiancée. Until a secret about that long-ago night resurfaces and threatens his picture-perfect world…
Haley’s charity work is worlds away from Ashton’s palatial home and jet-setting lifestyle. He’s introducing her to fabulous vacations, exquisite cuisine—and a simmering seduction that leaves her craving more. As power struggles within the Moguls collide with family revelations, Ashton realizes that Haley’s the one thing he can’t bear to lose. But is she willing to stake everything on the enigmatic man behind the fantasy?
“Welcome to The Aunt Penny Foundation, Mr. Rollins,” Haley Adams said. “What can I do for you?”
Ashton choked down a laugh. Her mouth said, “Welcome,” but her cold, rigid stance said, “Get out and don’t come back!” Fidgeting with her fingers, she shifted and shuffled her feet, causing Ashton to remember the last time he’d done The Electric Slide. It was at a friend’s wedding reception months earlier, and when his date—an uptight scientist from Coral Gables—had complained the song was corny, he’d hit the dance floor alone.
“It’s great to see you again, Haley. How is Aunt Penny doing?”
Eyes wide, she stared at him as if he’d just asked for her hand in marriage.
“I hope she’s feeling better,” he added, “and is finally out of the hospital.”
“Yes, she is. Thanks for asking.”
Noting the photographs on the mauve walls—pictures of Haley at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, posing with a group of college graduates, shaking hands with the mayor—Ashton walked further into the small, cramped space. Wholly feminine, it had a hot pink corkboard, vases overflowing with sunflowers, a colorful area rug and glass shelves lined with business management books, postcards and potted candles. “Ms. Wright did an outstanding job with her presentation for Prescott George, but I have some questions about The Aunt Penny Foundation that I’m hoping you can answer.”
“Absolutely,” she said, speaking in a breathless tone. “I’m free now.”
Haley gestured to the armchair in front of her desk, but Ashton didn’t move.
“Sorry, but I can’t stay.” For effect, he glanced at his gold wrist watch and slowly shook his head, as if he was profoundly disappointed. “I’m pressed for time, but perhaps you can come to my Fisher Island estate tonight at six o’clock. We can talk then.”
“Your estate?” Her voice rose an octave. “Tonight?”
“Yes, my estate. Is that a problem?”
Panic flickered across her face, but she fervently shook her head. “No, not at all.”
“Great. I’ll leave my address and cell number with your receptionist on my way out.”
“Thank you, Mr. Rollins. I look forward to seeing you later.”
“Call me Ashton. All of my friends do, and I have a feeling we’ll be buddies in no time.”
Her face lit up. “I’d like that.”
That makes two of us, he thought. Getting to know you better is priority number one.
Desire, a raw, primal hunger he’d never experienced, surged through his body. Ashton wanted to take Haley in his arms for a kiss, but he didn’t. Couldn’t. Not until he knew more about her. Did she have a boyfriend? Several? Was she attracted to him, too, or was he fooling himself? He hoped it wasn’t the latter.
“Enjoy the rest of your day,” he said, putting on his sunglasses. “Don’t work too hard.”
“Likewise, Mr. President.”
Amused at her joke, Ashton chuckled. “Funny, successful and gorgeous? What a winning combination. You should be my first lady.”
Her laughter tickled his ears, and the jovial expression on her face made him feel proud, as if he’d hit a hole in one on a Miami golf course. They stared at each other, and her gaze was so strong and intense Ashton couldn’t move. Couldn’t catch his breath. He didn’t like losing control and hated feeling weak, powerless. He turned away from her to break the spell.
“I better get back to work, or I’ll never make it out of here on time.” Plopping down on her zebra-print chair, she crossed her legs and picked up the pen on her desk calendar. “Thanks for stopping by, Ashton. I’ll see you at six.”
I can’t wait.
He’d done it. Asked out the sexiest, most captivating woman he’d ever met, and Ashton hoped tonight would be the first of many dates. Anxious to return to his estate to begin making preparations for their romantic dinner, he strode out the door with a Cheshire-cat grin on his face, confident it would be a night he’d never forget.