Elise Cormier has hated Cole Whitehurst since she was five years old. He’s always known just how to make her feel dumb, shabby, and — worst of all — invisible.
Even when they live under the same roof.
But that’s where Elise learns Cole’s terrible secret and why he is the way he is. Despite how he’s always treated her, Elise becomes his ally.
Cole Whitehurst has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Day in and day out, it’s up to him to keep his mother and sister safe. He’s used to giving up everything he wants in order to protect them.
And there’s nothing he wants more than Elise Cormier.
Cole has no business falling for his housekeeper’s daughter, but how could he resist? She’s funny. She’s real. And he trusts her with his life.
But, as Cole knows, loving someone comes with a price, and it may take him years to pay it.
I didn’t think about it. I didn’t even hesitate. I tugged her hand, pulled Elise against me, and covered her mouth with mine. Her startled gasp met my tongue, and a bolt of desire shot clean through me.
This morning, our kiss had been a measured exploration. But not this time. This was a conquest. And even though I led the kiss and it was my arms that wrapped around Elise and gathered her tight against me, I was the one conquered.
Even as I plundered her mouth, I knew surrender was my only option. How could I resist her? She was fearless. She was flawless. She’d redefined what I knew of beauty. Yes, anyone could see she was beautiful. But who else but me knew how brave and capable she was? How ingenious and resourceful? How genuine?
She knew all of my secrets, and still she opened her mouth to welcome my outlaw tongue. And those were her hands diving inside the shelter of my jacket, skimming over my thin dress shirt and leaving behind a signature of heat.
I had no business getting hard in the shadowed hallway of my parents’ house on the night of our escape. With Elise Cormier, no less. But under her touch, I was like a brick. I’d never wanted anyone like this.
I had to stop. I knew this. But I just wanted to keep kissing her. To lie down with her. To listen to that delicate cry she sang into my ear as my lips moved to her neck. But what I wanted more than anything was time. Time to discover all of her secrets. I wanted to hear everything she wanted, and I ached to give her whatever I could.
But I could have none of that. Especially time.
Stephanie has put together a little playlist on Spotify to get readers ready for Elise and Cole’s love story.
Stephanie Fournet, author of Fall Semester,Legacy,Butterfly Ginger, Leave a Mark, You First, and Drive, lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and sometimes their daughter Hannah even comes home from college to visit them. When she isn’t writing romance novels, Stephanie is usually helping students get into college, setting up a tent in the woods, or running. She loves hearing from fans so you can follow her on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, or message her on Goodreads.