Charmed by Cora Hale
#Contemporary, #Erotic, #Romance,
Dr. Selena Evans just wanted to get away for a while, so she could get over Matthew and the way he tore her heart in two before slamming the front door in her face after four years of what she thought would be forever.
Crete seemed the perfect destination for a single mom to unwind a bit by herself. Something about Greece with all the beaches and old history had always called to something inside of her. She could never afford the trip before, what with every single penny going for her education, loans on her house, and John’s upbringing. Things changed, however, as soon as she finished her Ph.D. She can barely wait to get a hell of a tan, cruise all the clubs, and get all the hunks.
When she finally steps foot inside her room at the famously luxurious Cretan Aetos Resort, something pings red flags all around, and she pays the price for ignoring them real soon, when the actual owner catches her gorging herself in his food and champagne.
Christos Aetos doesn’t have time for anything that isn’t his kids, his family, and his job. Since the ugly divorce more than a year ago, he’s stayed away from women. He certainly doesn’t have time for one more attempt from Nik to get him to hook up with one of his girls. So, imagine his reaction when he finally gets to his personal apartment in his own bloody resort to find one of them making herself at home, stuffing herself with the chocolate cake he’d personally bought for when Tati and Egan arrived the next morning. It also doesn’t help that the woman was practically naked, with miles of bronze skin on display, legs that wouldn’t bloody quit, and those mesmerizing silver eyes.
She was feisty, that one. Christos can’t get her out of his head. Sad that he’ll never see her again.
At least that was what he thought before the perfect opportunity lands straight on his lap to go after her and make a proposition she can’t possibly refuse.
Will the vulnerable, surprisingly sweet billionaire CEO, and the headstrong psychologist learn to get along, or will they set fire to an already scorching Cretan summer?
Who knows? Maybe it will be both.
Two broken hearts learning to open up to love again, a nosy Greek clan, long dates, from beach parties to wine festivals, and characters that aren’t afraid to communicate. Charmed is a steamy contemporary romance, filled with sexual tension that will make you squirm. It’s a standalone with a guaranteed HEA.
Charmed features strong language, explicit sexual scenes, and mature situations. Reader discretion is advised.
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Selena cleared her throat loud enough to bring the man’s eyes back to her face. “Are you part of the staff? I don’t remember asking for room service, and even if I did, it’s rude that you’d just barge into my floor without calling up first.”
The tips of the man’s lips curved up, and a dimple formed on his cheek. Because of course he had dimples, too.
Selena’s chest tightened for a second. She should’ve listened to her sixth sense from before. It was just her luck that someone had messed up her sleeping arrangements on the first vacation she’d taken since John’d been born.
Before she could respond, the man took a step forward, eyes scanning her from top to bottom and back again. “So, it wasn’t my brother who sent you?”
This was the first long sentence he’d spoken, and the slight lilt to his words reached her ears like a caress; a song. It was peculiar, the way he spoke. It was very much British, but with a bit of the particular Greek cadence she’d experience since landing at Athens’ airport. The combination was doing horrors to her libido, and it was infuriating, if not embarrassing. What other things did the stranger have in his package? Mind-reading? Omnipresence? Goddammit.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir, but you need to give me a good reason not to call security in the next ten seconds.”
Utterly unfazed by her words, the man’s eyes glinted as he leaned back against the kitchen island and drew his hands into his pants pockets. If anything, he looked more amused by the second. His new stance only accentuated his chest muscles, same with his strong arms with their bulging biceps, as they strained against the cotton shirt.
Selena crossed her arms, more aware by the minute of how little clothing she had between her and temptation. Not that you could call a wool towel clothing.
“I’m sorry,” the man said after a few seconds of silence. “I’m just confused. If you’re not one of Nik’s girls, then how exactly did you managed to get into my place?”
“You— your place?”
Selena watched as the man rose an eyebrow, amusement plain in his features. He passed right by her, leaving a trail of his delicious Mediterranean scent, and finally reached his suit jacket, discarded earlier. From there, he retrieved his wallet and, between his forefinger and middle finger, flashed her a black card identical to the one the receptionist had handed out to her an hour or so ago.
“There must’ve been a mistake,” Selena muttered while going back to her things behind the counter.
Her purse was a mess. Chocolate, makeup, perfume, her own wallet. Everything but the little black card she was looking for.
Her face heated. She’d probably left it in the little pocket in her dress, which was still lying on the bathroom floor, way back there in the only unlocked room she’d found on this floor. She cleared her throat and grabbed the pepper spray before zipping the purse shut. Nowhere to put it, she crammed it between her breasts, under the towel, with as much discretion as possible.
When she lifted her eyes to make sure the man hadn’t gotten closer, her heart raced and she suppressed a gasp. He hadn’t moved, but it’d take blindness not to notice the fire in his eyes. He shot his gaze back to her face as soon as he realized she was looking, but it wasn’t quick enough. Selena’s lips thinned in outrage as a light pink spread under the tanned skin of the man’s cheeks.
“Just a second,” Selena said, before whirling around in the direction of the hall at her back.
The long stretch of corridor felt like miles, and Selena breathed a sigh of relief when she finally got to the bedroom. The open window, in the corner, had the curtains floating violently against the force of the winds, and it was welcome; cooled her sweaty skin. It was a hot night, yes, but little of it had to do with the weather now. Whoever that wall of sexiness was back there, everything that was him was calling to her most basic instincts, and it left her light-headed.
She finally reached the bathroom and scanned the room. In her excitement, she’d thrown her dress at the other side of the Jacuzzi. With quick steps, she reached for it and went for the pocket. The black card, as well as the printed paper with her room number, were thankfully there.
Smiling to herself, Selena turned around with all the proof she needed in hand.
She almost jumped out of her skin when her eyes landed on the stranger leaning against the door jamb, so big he practically covered the whole gap.
Startled, Selena thoughtlessly grabbed the pepper spray from between her breasts and aimed it at his face. “You try anything, and I swear to God I’ll use it.”
The man lifted both hands. “Calm down, sweetheart. I can’t just let a stranger loose inside my home without keeping my eyes on them, can I?”
Shaking, Selena studied him. Nothing about his body language screamed threat or rapist, so she ended up cramming the pepper spray back into its proper place. His eyes followed the movement, and it had her heart racing.
“Here,” she said, crossing the few steps between them to shove the card and paper at his face.
The man righted himself and took both the card and the little paper and, for the first time, his face grew somber.
“Selena Evans, uh?”
“Doctor Evans to you.”
The man’s eyes glinted as he lifted them from the paper to her face for a millisecond, but then his expression hardened. “Well, Doctor Evans, I believe we have a situation in our hands.”
The man nodded. “I’ll step out and go to reception. Give you a little…” His voice had turned lower and lower with each new word slipping out of his mouth, and something not entirely welcome flared in Selena’s stomach when the man unabashedly gave her the once-over to end all once-overs. “…privacy,” he finished, eyes once again locked on hers. She couldn’t breathe. Her whole being was trapped in the flashing interest coming off those heated blue eyes; in the deep voice resonating out of his wide chest; in the waves of heat coming off his body, smelling like sex and man.
“Be sure you don’t forget anything,” he added with a little smirk that showed a hint of straight, unblemished teeth, and a little jerk of his chin toward a spot on the floor behind her, as he started to turn around to leave. “Because of one thing I can assure you, love: once I come back from downstairs, you’re not staying.”
The man’s shadow had just disappeared from the bathroom doorway, out of her field of vision, when Selena looked in the direction he’d indicated. Heat rose from the bottom of her feet all the way to the roots of her hair when her eyes registered her discarded panties and bra, left behind on the bathroom floor in her haste to get clean and fresh, before.
Selena was still trying to decide if she wanted to slap him, scream at his face, claw his eyes out, or fuck him, when she finally found herself back in the kitchen area just a second before the elevator’s soft ding signaled the man’s departure, in the distance.
4 out of 5 (very good)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Crete may be hot but Christos Aetos is a whole lot hotter! (Fans self with one hand and sips an iced drink with the other).
Christos has had a difficult few years but he's a powerful, resilient and vulnerable man who prioritises his children and his CEO job... but his head gets turned by a goddess...
Dr. Selena Evans is beautiful, intelligent and a caring mother. She's been dealt a crappy hand (as*hole ex) and is finally doing something for herself. She's rebuilding her confidence and independence with a long overdue vacation.
Although she has the intention of having fun and a few flings, Selena is totally unprepared for Adonis to walk into her hotel room.
Charmed is smoking hot with a sweet streak, definitely fan worthy! Grab a cold drink and enjoy this sizzling read.
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Cora Hale is the author of sexy, heartfelt romance novels. She's a true introvert; a loner. A people-watcher and dreamer, who currently lives her very much single life in Denver, Colorado. The stories she writes are weaved around the deep hopes and desperate wishes of a true romantic. She's particularly intrigued by love's power of transformation, and the stories she loves the most are those which portray a deep change in the characters, bonus points if they're ignited by love. So, if you like significant character development instead of cardboard cut-outs, you'll probably love her books.
Cora's also the ultimate literature nerd, and cliché as it might seem, her favorite things to do have always been spending time with loved ones, reading, writing, and watching absurd amounts of movies and shows.
She discovered romance books in her early twenties, when, after getting her degree in English Literature from the University of Denver, she found herself with too much time on her hands. Suffice to say, they were a match made in heaven and she never looked back. In recent times, she got tired of just editing other people's stories and decided to show the world her own.
Her life has always been a rollercoaster, with parents dragging her all around the world for work. As a result, she picked up something here and there, both linguistically and in the form of life experiences that now she shares with her readers through her characters. That cosmopolitan upbringing is a huge part of what makes Cora wince at the thought of boxing herself with tags, subgenres, and all that, but one thing her stories will always have as a central theme is unrelenting love. And they'll also always have sexual tension bursting through the roof, delicious smut, and a lot of feels, because that's what she likes to read, as well.
That said, even though she spends a considerable slice of her free time dreaming up lives she'll probably never have, one alpha, filthy-rich book boyfriend at a time, she tends to prefer those heroes who don't treat women like trash just because they can. Unless they ask them to. *wink wink*
Cora hates cliffhangers as much as she loves books that end with a definite happy ending. Even if she eventually decides to write a book series, rest assured that at least an HFN will be a guarantee in every single one of her books.
Also, if you want first-hand access to extra content, like short stories, snippets of new books, and more, be sure to subscribe to her newsletter here: https://bit.ly/3w9KSTC
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