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Phoebe needs a second chance at life.
In the aftermath of the devastation from her failed marriage, Phoebe returns to her old stomping grounds to open her own bed and breakfast. Starting over is the bravest thing she’s ever done – or so she thinks. But opening her front door to find a blast from her past on her front porch changes all that. The teenager she’d once known has become a jaw-dropping, dominant man in his prime.
He wasn’t looking for a relationship until she blazed back into his life.
Graham runs his own construction business, remodeling homes, and building brand new ones. When his buddy gives him a lead on a new project, he never expects to run into Phoebe, the woman he shared a single kiss with eons ago. Nor is he prepared for the Dominant in him to stake his claim before the end of their first meeting. He wanted her in high school but there had been too wide a gulf separating them. Now, Graham will stop at nothing until he makes her his. But there are larger forces at work, attempting to tear them apart.
When everything Phoebe holds dear becomes a target, Graham will risk it all for the one woman he knows he can never live without.
Publisher’s Note: This steamy second chance romance contains elements of power exchange. While it is the second in the Crescent City Kings series, it can be enjoyed independently.
Read an Excerpt
She opened the door to the small groundskeeper’s house, which was really nothing more than a glorified pool house. It was four hundred square feet, little more than a studio apartment in size. The only thing enclosed was the tiny bathroom. But she had spruced her home up as best she could, painting the walls a fresh, light powder blue and had put her bed near the window to catch the early morning sunlight.
There was room enough for her couch and a small television, plus the eat in kitchen with her small, pine dinette set. She’d painted the walnut cabinets an eggshell white, giving the place a farmhouse look. Daisy made a beeline toward her water bowl and dog bed up against the far wall.
“This is where you’re living?” Graham studied her place without judgement, his gaze assessing the space.
It might not be much, but it was home and, best of all, hers. “Yep. I don’t need a lot of space or things. Most days I will be over at the main house from sunup until sundown, at least until I can afford to hire help.”
If things worked the way she hoped, she would have a hostess and servers for the dining room. Phoebe already had her eye on a waitress at the nightclub to entice to come work for her. While she was confident in her abilities, it would be a juggling act to cook and serve meals in the dining room at the same time. At first, there was no way around it and she would be forced to manage it somehow. But she hoped this place would be successful enough that a few months after opening, she would have the available budget to hire help.
“Have a seat. Would you like a cup of coffee? And I have some croissants on the table there, just baked them fresh this morning,” she said, rather thrilled to be playing hostess. Phoebe enjoyed cooking and had found early in life that she had a knack for it. But this was a new croissant recipe she was testing out, and she was interested to see Graham’s reaction.
“It’s barely ten.” He smiled as he sat, facing her and the kitchen.
“I tend to be an early riser. Always have been.”
“I’m the same.”
Using one of her good mugs, she served him a steaming cup of coffee, then brought over all the accoutrements on a wooden tray: sugar, cream, and sugar substitute. She noted that he took his coffee black as night, but he slathered the croissant with her homemade jam.
“Mmm, oh my god.” He groaned, and the sound pinged low in her belly. “You made this?” Graham asked, looking at her and then back at the pastry as if he had died and gone to heaven.
“Yep.” She expelled a breath. The new recipe appeared to be a hit. Graham ate the croissant with relish. Pinpricks of satisfaction flowed through Phoebe. She slid into the seat across from him as he put a thumb covered in jam into his mouth and sucked it off.
Her girly bits throbbed at an unexpected blast of desire that struck her system like a thunder bolt. It had been an unconsciously sexy move on his part. It wasn’t like he was attempting to get into her pants. He was here to earn a potential payday, and work. Yet when he glanced her way with sublime satisfaction in his eyes, across the small expanse of her pine dinette table, her insides quivered—and not with fear.
She needed to shut the gate closed and seal it tight. Phoebe didn’t do relationships anymore. That wasn’t in her plans for her life any longer.
No matter how sinful the packaging happened to be.
About the Author:
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.
Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.