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A Reckless Love

Author(s): Kate Hofman

Jessica Palmer just wants to enjoy her vacation in Spain.  Too bad her brother, John, simply sees it as a way t pick up chicks.  He frequently locks her out of their suite, while he romances young women. Good thing she's just met handsome hotel receptionist Alejandro de Castellón. He gets her a room of her own, so she can have some privacy.  Of course the fact that he will be spending as much of that time as he can with her is just a bonus.

Alejandro is sexy, handsome, and oh! so Spanish.  He's also something else: something Jessica does not know - he is the son of the owner of the hotel she's staying in.  Alejandro keeps his secret because he loves the fact that Jessica is not interested in him for his money and position.  She is the kindest and most loving woman he has ever met - but Alejandro does not believe in love--only in passion. At the end of the holiday, they part ways, promising to stay in touch.

Fast Forward to two years later. Alejandro is now the CEO of the chain of Castellón hotels, and comes to Ocean Breeze, where Jessica lives, because they are building a new hotel there. Jessica has never forgotten him, and still loves him, although she has long ago given up all hope of ever seeing him again.  Imagine her surprise when her boss tells her his advertising company has landed the account for the new Castellón hotel, and he wants her to design the campaign.

When they see each other again, the passion is just as hot, and the feelings just as deep--at least on Jessica's part.  She can't help wondering whether this is merely the beginning of another short-lived love affair--or is it more, this time?

Excerpt


Hotel Castellón, Torremolinos, Spain
— early May


Chapter One

“Aren’t you glad I persuaded you to stay in this 5-star hotel, rather than in some backwater?  The beach and the Mediterranean arethere for us at a glance from the balcony.”  John Palmer gazed at Jessica, his twin sister, who smiled at him.

“Yes, I’m glad I went along with the 5-star hotel.  The past week here has been wonderful.  Mind you, I’d be enjoying this two-bedroom suite more if you ever let me be in it…”

John interrupted somewhat hastily.  “Jess—I’ve met some terrific chicks, and you realize you can’t be here when I’m chatting one up—like later this morning.  You won’t mind making yourself scarce, will you?  It’s only for a few hours…”  He grinned at her, his glance teasing.  “Seems to me that receptionist, Alejandro, won’t be sorry to find you at a loose end.  I’m glad you found a use for that Spanish course you insisted on taking.”

Jessica gave her brother a small, secretive smile. No way did she want John to suspect how close she and Alejandro had become over the past week. Shaking her head, making her blonde curls dance, she said, “He’s just being kind to someone who has never been to Spain before.  We’re friendly, that’s all.”

“Whatever,” said John insouciantly.  “Trust me, I’m not serious about the girls I’ve been inviting up either.  No way!  But having someone wanting to be with you surely makes the holiday a lot more exciting, don’t you think?”

Reluctant to let her brother see just how exciting she found Alejandro’s company, Jessica shrugged.  “I guess so.”

***

Jessica came back from a solitary walk along the Paseo Maritimo, which ran along the beach and the sea.  She had begun her walk on the beach, but as more and more people appeared, she had to dodge and weave.  She decided she’d put on her cover-up and slides, and walk on the Paseo instead.  Good thing she had opted for a glazed cotton cover-up that came to her knees, and not one of those lacy see-through ones that barely covered the derrière.

She enjoyed the exotic vista of palm trees everywhere, and lush tropical flowers spilling from flower boxes decorating some of the elegant condo buildings.  Bougainvillea drifted in profusion over walls and parapets.

She wondered what it might be like, owning a condo in one of these impressive buildings, surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens and azure swimming pools—all against the backdrop of a blue-violet haze of snow-capped mountains on the horizon, and a cerulean sky above.  Spain sure was a beautiful country.

She glanced at her watch as she entered the hotel’s lobby.  Would John’s date with whatever luckless girl still be going on?  She frowned.  It was inconsiderate of him to hog the suite to himself when she needed to change out of her bikini and cover-up, have a shower…

She sighed, sitting down in one of the elegant chairs standing around in pairs or in groups.  When they decided on this holiday, she hadn’t realized that John would be so into chasing chicks—indoors.

A deep voice said quietly, “Buenos dias, Dzhessicah.”  It sounded to her like honey poured on dark brown velvet.

Buenos dias, Alejandro.”  She glanced up into caressing dark eyes with the longest lashes she had ever seen, and thought how different her name sounded on Alejandro’s lips.  Instinctively, her glance went to his mouth—oh, my—the upper lip carved by a master, the lower lip sexy and full, promising wicked delights—which he invariably delivered.  He sure is to die for.

Feeling suddenly better, and not caring how long John would hog the suite, she smiled at the handsome man, who said, “I am off today—and thought I would invite you to have lunch with me. Some small out of the way restaurant where Spanish people eat.”

“Thank you, Alejandro.  I’d love that, but I can’t get into the suite to change and have a shower.  John locks the door when he has someone over.”

“Ah.  John is entertaining someone again?  It is very early for that.  Let me get my pass key card—it overrides the lock.”

“Oh, would you, Alejandro?  I’d be…  Thank you.”

He held out his hand to help her out of the depths of the chair.  “Come.”

A hand lightly at her waist, he guided her to his desk in the reception area.  Opening a drawer, he took out a key-card, and gestured to the elevator bank.  One was waiting, and Alejandro pressed ‘3’.

When they came to the suite, he opened the door with the pass-card and stood aside politely for Jessica to enter.

In the sitting room, John was trying to get his arms around a very young chambermaid, who pleaded, “No, Señor, no!Por favor, plizz…”

Alejandro took the scene in at a glance.  John’s arms fell away from the girl, and Jessica heard Alejandro say, in Spanish, “Get back to your work.”   The moment she felt free of John’s restraining hands, the girl dashed past, eyes downcast.

Furious at the disturbance, John flung at Alejandro, “What the hell do you think you’re doing, barging in here…”

“Your sister was tired from walking, and needed to shower and change.  For your information, your stay in this suite has come to an end.  I will give you and your sister two bedrooms, which will ensure that she can have a rest, change clothing or shower whenever she wishes.  No longer will she have to put up with your monopolizing this suite to pursue unwilling women, while she has to sit, hot and tired, in the lobby.”

“And who the hell do you think you are, changing our booking…”

Jessica’s soft voice interrupted her brother.  “Thank you, Alejandro, I’ll be grateful if you can give us two separate rooms.”

He smiled briefly at her and turned again to John, his expression proud and remote.  “I demand that you do not molest our chambermaids.  They are respectable young women, who do not double as call-girls.  If you ever again assault one of our chambermaids, your stay in this hotel will be at an end.”

“And who do you think you are, telling me what to do?”

Alejandro’s eyes were cold as onyx when he looked down his nose at John.  “I am Alejandro Luis Roberto de Castellón…”

“That’s the same name as this hotel.  Oh, wait a minute.  You’re some poor relation of the owner, and that’s why you think you can throw your weight around.”  No way was Alejandro going to tell this conceited creep that he was the only son of the owner of the Castellón chain, learning the business from the ground on up.  He was happy that Jessica liked him for himself—not for being a rich man’s son—nor for the millions that were his, inherited from a doting grandmother.

Coldly, he said, “Speak to the manager if you wish.  His decision will be the same as mine.  You know his name? Roberto López-Díaz.”  He went to the telephone.  “I shall call him.”

Furious at having been bested, and belatedly realizing that he had been very unfair to his sister—who had as much right as he to be in the suite, but too rarely got a chance—he shrugged.  “Do what the hell you want.”

Alejandro ignored him.  He spoke into the telephone, listened, and spoke again.  When he replaced the receiver, he turned to Jessica.

“I have arranged for chambermaids to come and put your possessions in two bedrooms.”  He smiled at Jessica.  “If you will take some clothing with you, I can show you your room now, so that you can shower and change.”  Over his shoulder, he threw at John, “Someone will show you your room when your things are being taken there.”

Alejandro guided Jessica out of the suite.  When the door had closed behind them, Jessica hugged herself to his arm.  “Thank you so much, Alejandro.  I had no idea my brother was such a womanizer.  At home he has always been quiet—tongue-tied, even—when meeting my girlfriends.”

Alejandro gave her a rueful grin.  “Some people think that what is frowned on at home is permitted here.  They would be surprised if they knew how carefully we protect our sisters and daughters.  Anyway, here we are.  It is a room that gets the early sun, and shows you the gardens of the hotel and a sea view, but it will be pleasantly cool here once the sun travels south.  And when you are on your balcony, there is a view of the beach and the sea.”

“Thank you, Alejandro.  This is beautiful.  And now I can enjoy my stay here much more, never again having to sit in the lobby in a bikini and cover-up, waiting for John to finish at last with one of his girls.”

Alejandro bent to her and dropped a light kiss on her blonde hair.  She was beautiful and charming—of medium height, with a sensational figure, long legs, elegant arms and hands.  He liked it that her head came just to his shoulder.  In fact, he had towered over John—who was probably close to six feet, and wasn’t often towered over.  Alejandro had been quietly amused to note how it had discomfited John—a natural-born bully, in his opinion.  Amazing that he and Jessica were twins—such vastly different personalities.

“Shall I wait here—the maid will soon come with the rest of your clothes and luggage.”

“If you don’t mind, Alejandro…?  I won’t be long.”

He smiled.  “Take your time, querida.”

She disappeared into the bathroom, carrying the clothing she had taken from the suite.  As she turned on the shower, she thought, I love it when he calls me querida.  I might as well admit to myself that I’ve fallen for him.  How could I not.  Apart from his athlete’s body and his dark, stunning looks, he is the kindest, wittiest man I’ve ever met.  And the most wonderful lover I could wish for…  Well, as long as I don’t let him see that I’ve fallen in love with him—I’m sure he isn’t looking for anything serious—just a wonderful time while I’m here. Two more weeks…  Dear God, what’ll I do when they’re over?


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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-61979-271-5
Genre: Romance
Date Published: 12/21/2012
Publisher: Leap of Faith Publishing

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