Pleasure in His Kiss


They’re living their most passionate dream…

But will her scandalous secret cost her his love?

Beauty blogger and owner of the Hamptons’ hottest salon, Karma Sullivan has been swept off her feet by judge Morrison Drake. But she knows their passion-filled nights must end. She can’t let her family secret derail Morrison’s ambitious career plan. Even if it means giving up the man she loves…

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Ice spread through Karma Sullivan’s veins, chilling her to the bone. Put off by, Morrison Drake’s cold demeanor, she dropped her hands to her sides, and pinned her shoulders back, radiated confidence even though his rigid stance was intimidating. “What can I do for you, sir?”

“I’m Morrison Drake, Reagan’s uncle…”

He reached into his back pocket, took out his wallet, then raised his driver’s license in the air. Scanning it, Karma committed the details to memory. According to the information on the card, he was six feet six inches, two hundred and twenty-five pounds, with dark brown hair and eyes. Morrison was thirty-four years old, and he was born on…August 2 …

Overcome with emotion, sadness stabbed her heart. Morrison shares the same birthday as my mom. Needing a moment to gather herself, she took a deep, calming breath. Thinking about Carmelita’s tragic death six years earlier always made her cry and since she didn’t want to break down at the salon, she willed herself to keep it together.

A troubling thought ran through her mind. Was Reagan okay? Was she in trouble? Needing more help at, Beauty by Karma, she’d hired the high school senior as a salon associate weeks earlier, and already had a soft-spot for the teen. Karma straightened her bent shoulders and tried her best to recall everything Reagan had ever said about her uncle, Judge Morrison Drake.

Uncle Morrison is serious, stubborn and strict, she’d complained, one evening last week when they were cleaning the salon after closing. He rarely laughs or smiles, but I hope he finds a girlfriend soon, because I’m sick of him running my life. I’ll be eighteen in July, Ms. Karma. I should be able to do what I want, and go as I please…

Bits and pieces of other conversations they had filled her mind and, as Morrison glared at her, Karma suspected everything Reagan had told her about him was true. She had her work cut out for her, knew it was going to be hard to turn his scowl into a smile, but Karma was up for the challenge. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Drake. Welcome to Beauty by Karma.”

He nodded, but didn’t speak. Stared at her as if he was bored out of his mind.

“Reagan tricked me,” Karma said, hoping to lighten the mood with a joke. “You’re tall, dark and handsome. There’s no way you’re a tyrant!”

Morrison didn’t laugh. Instead, his frown deepened, and his lips formed a hard line.

“Is Reagan here? Have you seen her? Do you know where she is?” he asked, his gaze darting around the salon. “Your employees won’t tell me anything and it’s infuriating.”

Karma shook her head. “No, she’s not here. Why? What’s going on?”

“Reagan didn’t come home last night, and I’m worried about her.”

“Are you sure? Maybe she got home late, and left before you woke up.”

“I checked the alarm history. I set it before bed, and it was never deactivated.”

“Have you tried calling her?”

“Of course, I’ve tried calling her,” he snapped, his frustration evident by his sharp tone. “But every time I call, her cell goes straight to voice mail. Worse, she hasn’t responded to any of my text messages, and none of her friends know where she is, either.”

His voice cracked, faltered under the weight of his emotions, and his demeanor softened. As Karma watched Morrison pace the length of the waiting area, his head bent, his hands balled into fists, two things became abundantly clear: he was angry, and he was scared. Filled with sympathy, Karma wanted to help. All of her employees knew and loved Reagan, and she did too. Treated her like the kid sister she’d always wanted, but didn’t have

“How long has my niece been working here?”

Caught off guard by the question, seconds passed before Karma spoke. “A month.”

“A month?” he repeated, stopping abruptly. “Are you kidding me?”

His gaze was full of confusion, but Karma didn’t know why. Couldn’t understand why he was shouting at her. And, wondered why he was staring at her in disgust.

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