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Miles (The Casanova Club #5)
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Handsome. Sweet. And incredibly talented behind a camera.
He’s the fourth Casanova Bachelor on my parade of hot and wealthy suitors and I’m going to spend all of my time with him on a tropical island in the South Pacific.
Any girl would be lucky to be in my shoes. Or rather, my sandals.
The guilt I feel at not being able to truly appreciate my surroundings or my luck for being with such a good man for the month of April is crippling. And try as I might, I can’t stop thinking about one thing:
The rugged cowboy boot wearing hunk that follows me in my dreams and my waking hours.
Wyatt brewer is still heavy on my heart.
But day by day Miles is breaking down my halls and leading me toward healing. His gentle touch is exactly what I need in the aftermath of heartbreak, fire, and smoke, and there is no better place to open myself up again than in this tropical paradise.
But things are never that easy.
Miles needs me when he suffers a devastating loss and I need to keep myself together for him. He deserves at least that.
My heart has already been torn in all directions.
What’s one more tear?
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Sweat ran down the back of my neck to soak into the linen of my white, short-sleeved button up as I flipped through the role of pictures on my digital camera.
It had been a long, sweltering, hot afternoon in Cuba’s capital. I’d left my resort half an hour before dawn to make sure I was in the city with plenty of time to capture some incredible shots of the sun cresting over the colonial architecture in hues of baby blues, pinks, yellows, and bright greens. By the time the sunlight hit the streets, the city was coming to life, and neon-colored cars were rolling by, leaving streaks of color in the frames of some of my shots.
I didn’t mind.
It captured the jovial atmosphere of Havana in an honest way, and if my boss back at National Geographic didn’t like it, he could stick it where the sun don’t shine and send a different photographer in my place to capture the more mundane stills.
I doubted he would cut me loose.
My work exceeded most, if not all, of the other photographers at National Geographic by a landslide. That was why I was lucky enough to get put up at the best hotels and resorts whenever I traveled for work, which was usually two times per month.
I dragged the back of my hand across my upper lip to wipe away beads of sweat and looked up when the bartender paused at my end of the bar and nodded at my empty beer glass.
“Otra cerveza, señor?”
I wasn’t fluent in Spanish by any means, but I knew enough to put two and two together and conclude he had asked if I wanted another beer.
“Sí.” I nodded.
The bartender, a stout man with a beer belly, black hair, and a thick and perfectly trimmed mustache, went about pouring me another beer from the tap and slid it across the oak bar toward me.
I lifted it in thanks. “Gracias.”
The beer trickled down my throat and temporarily cooled me from the inside out.
Havana was hot as hell in April. By the time eleven in the morning rolled around and I was halfway through my shoot, temperatures had already exceeded eighty-five degrees, and I had to stop in a convenience store to buy two giant bottles of water to get me through the rest of the day.
I’d earned these couple of beers.
Over the course of the hour, which brought the time to eight o’clock in the evening, locals began streaming in and filling the place up. Tables were piled high with local dishes like empanadas, pastelitos, boliche, and cocido de garbanzos—chickpea stew. Since I arrived in Havana last week, the latter had become my favorite meal. If ordered from the right place, there was just the right amount of spice to get you sweating and help cool you off in the heat.
While several people had beers, many ordered sodas, which seemed to be one of the most popular cold beverages for locals. Over the course of the day, almost everyone seemed to be drinking coffee around the clock.
By the time I finished my second beer, I was gearing up to head back to the resort. The evening had cooled off some, and my sweat had dried to my skin, leaving it feeling tight and tacky, and I ached for a cold shower back at the hotel. My hair was thick with grit, and the complimentary tea tree mini bottles of shampoo sitting on the ledge of the shower were calling my name.
But so was a pretty, dark-haired girl sitting at a table near the entrance to the patio.
Her back was toward me, but she’d been casting looks my way for at least fifteen minutes, and the other women she was with kept giggling and averting their gaze whenever I caught them looking at me.
I stood out like a sore thumb. The attention wasn’t a surprise.
I often received responses like this from women in my travels.
And from men, too.
My blond hair, coupled with my blue eyes, separated me from the herd in places like Havana. Well, in a lot of places actually. People here mostly had dark hair and skin with deep brown eyes and softer rounder features, and I was fair with sharp, square features. My height made me a target for attention as well and had I stood up along with everyone else in the place; I’d probably be at least a head taller than everyone else here.
I was about to slide off my barstool and slip out of the bar when music started playing. The lights dimmed, casting most of the place in shadow until the twinkle lights strewn along the thatched ceiling winked to life and cast the place in a warm, soft glow.
The girl at the table got to her feet.
Damn, she was beautiful.
Her curvy hips swayed from side to side as she crossed the bar and came toward me. Her eyes, lined with thick black lashes, gazed steadily at me, and she didn’t stop until she was about a foot away.