With: Stefanie London
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I love a wide selection of romance tropes. Fake engagement? My absolute catnip. Best friends to lovers? Cue grabby hands. Mistaken identity? I’m all over it.
Right up at the top of my ‘must’ list is stories where the hero and heroine have a past. Particularly if that past was rocky and ended suddenly or dramatically. So much opportunity for tension.
Stella and Evan have one of those histories. They had mutual attraction that was throttled by loyalty, they were childhood friends but always with a healthy dose of rivalry. Then there was that one disastrous night. Don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil it for you. Needless to say, when they finally meet again as adults, Stella isn’t too happy to see Evan.
Here’s a sneak peek of how it happens…
When she was confident Mr. Sexy Brit had turned his attention away, she risked a glance in his direction. The hard line of his jaw made her eyes linger. He had the kind of features that demanded attention. Arresting features. In an alternate universe she might have broken her “no small talk” rule to flirt with him. On paper he ticked all the boxes for an ideal travel fling. Sexy accent? Check. A body made for keeping warm? Check. A mega-watt smile worthy of holiday snaps? Double check.
But Stella didn’t flirt. Nor did she have flings—of the holiday variety or any other variety. Returning to her magazine, she lost herself in the stylish perfection. As soon as the final check and the safety demonstration were complete, she was going to stick her headphones on and block the world out.
“Miss?” Mr. Sexy Brit leaned into the aisle to get her attention. “Have we met before? You seem familiar.”
Stella laughed. She’d heard that one before and it was disappointingly unoriginal. In her fantasy universe, his pick-up line would have been much wittier. More Hugh Grant-esque. She turned to give him a polite but firm brush-off, and saw his face up close for the first time. That flawless, fair skin, those glacial pale green eyes, full lips curved into a curious smile. Features that she knew could turn to stone in an instant.
He stuck out his hand. “I’m E—”
Recognition slammed into her hard and fast. Like a bucket of ice water, it shocked her system and stunned her into speechlessness. How had she not seen it straight away? His eyes were ever so slightly down-turned and crowned with heavy brows. She knew them well because she’d stared at those eyes for hours as a young girl. She’d stared into them as she’d unbuttoned her blouse…
Oh God, she was going to be stuck next to him for the whole flight without escape.
Blood rushed in her ears, roaring like an ocean of panic as her confidence evaporated into thin air. This was not how things were supposed to go down.
Stella Jackson would rather stab herself in the eye with her own stiletto than return to England. Especially in winter. But to fulfill her grandfather's last wish, she has to spend Christmas at the estate she inherited from him...with the one man she wishes she could forget.
Self-made millionaire Evan Foss wants one thing from Stella--her estate. But thanks to their rocky past, he's the last person she'll sell to. So when she takes him up on a bet, with the estate as the prize, Evan can't believe his luck. The only problem is that seeing her now, sexy and all grown up, tempts Evan to finish what started years ago between them.
About Stefanie London:
Stefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance with humour, heat and heart.
Growing up, Stefanie came from a family of women who loved to read. Thus, it was no surprise she was the sort of student who would read her English books before the semester started. After sneaking several literature subjects into her ‘very practical’ Business degree, she got a job in Communications. When writing emails and newsletters didn’t fulfil her creative urges, she turned to fiction and was finally able to write the stories that kept her mind busy at night.
These days she lives with her very own hero and is currently in the process of doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, French perfume, high heels and zombie movies.
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