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Dear Cari

Author(s): Marilyn Lee

Dear Cari,
When I was twenty‑seven, I realized I was in love with my younger sister’s best friend. She was only seventeen  at the time so I never confessed my feelings before she moved out of state to attend college. My plans to tell her how I felt after her graduation were ruined when she married her college sweetheart without returning home.Ten years later, I’m still in love with her. I recently discovered that she’s divorced and involved in an exclusive relationship. Should I allow her a chance to be happy with another man? Or should I risk ruining her relationship for my own selfish reasons?

Lonely and Love Starved in Chestnut Hill, Philly.
 
Advice columnist Tyler Morgan’s (Dear Cari) world is upset when she receives the above letter because she suspects the writer is Jordan McGuire. In addition to being a high-profile defense attorney, Jordan is her best friend’s older brother—and the only man she’s ever loved. She decides to return home to discover if Jordan McGuire is indeed Love Starved and if she's his lost love.

 
Excerpt


 
“Hello.”

Tyler hadn’t heard Jordan McGuire speak since she left home ten years earlier. Nevertheless, she immediate recognized his warm, deep voice amidst the loud music and assorted conversations going on around her on Pam and Brad’s crowded terrace.

At seventeen, she would have given up a Pulitzer-prize winning series of articles to be noticed by him. Of course a lot of things had changed in ten years—at least she hoped so.

She put her empty martini glass on a small table at her side before turning to survey him. Although she’d always considered Native American males more interesting than attractive, she’d always found Jordan and his brothers panty-wetting sexy. Over six feet tall, he had wide shoulders and a big, masculine body a five-foot nine-inch woman could safely wear heels with.
 
A hint of silver at his temples provided a sexy contrast with his short, glossy dark brown hair. He oozed sex appeal and all the mystique of the Native American male in the dark blue designer suit and silk tie he wore. 

All the polite, polished small talk she’d planned flew out of her head. She ached with the need to feel his arms around her and his lips moving hungrily against hers—even if only for one night. Now that she’d seen him again she feared it was unrealistic to expect a man with his physical attraction and financial means to be hopelessly in love with her. Still, Josh and Dave both found her attractive. Why shouldn’t Jordan at least have a mild interest in her?

All she needed was one night to get him out of her system. She sucked in a breath at the thought of a night spent in his arms. Keep it together, Tyler. If you don’t you’ll start behaving like the desperate teenager who had so adored him.

She moistened her lips and stammered the first thing that popped into her head. “I’m sorry. Have we met?”

Oh, hell! How ridiculous can you get? Pretending not to know him?
She bit her lip. Talk about going overboard. Have we met, indeed! You’ll have to do better than that or you’ll make a complete fool of herself over him again.

“Have we met?” His dark eyes narrowed and his firm lips twitched.

What wicked, delicious daydreams she had weaved around him and those sexy green eyes. It wasn’t everyday a woman met a Cherokee hunk with green eyes—especially when, both his parents were Native Americans.

“I didn’t think it had been that long, Tyler.” He shrugged his wide shoulders and then smiled. “Jordan McGuire.”

Eager to redeem herself in his eyes, she smiled. “I was teasing.” She willed her heart not to beat so fast just because he was smiling at her as if he’d finally found her after a long, arduous search. She had not come home just to fall under the spell of his charms all over again. Tumbling into bed with him was fine. Falling for him was not.

“So you do remember me?”

Releasing the tight rein on her emotions, she allowed a slight smile to curve her lips as she nodded slowly. “Of course. How could I possibly forget you?”

She watched the look of satisfaction cross his handsome face before she went on. “After all, you are my best friend’s brother,” she pointed out.

He arched a brow. “Is that how you think of me, Tyler? As Pam’s brother?”    

That and the man I most want to have fuck me senseless. “How do you remember me?”

He stepped back slightly and openly made a slow, thorough inspection of her.

At first she stared back. Then she worried that the calf length blue dress that clung to her body might be too tight. And what if he thought her too tall or not thin enough? She already knew that he found her short dark brown hair and eyes quite forgettable.

As a seventeen-year old, she would gladly have given an arm and a leg to have him look at her as he was doing now—as if he liked what he saw. Maybe that one night might be possible after all.

“It’s been a very long time, Tyler,” he said softly. He glanced around the dimly lit terrace where several couples danced close together. “Are you here alone?”

She smiled. “I’m as alone as one can be at one of Pam’s parties.”

“Point taken.” His grin revealed a dimple in his left cheek.

“Pam probably mentioned I came home with a good friend.”

He shook his head. “I haven’t asked and Pam hasn’t told me anything about you, Tyler.”

You are so not looking at a man who’s waited ten years to tell you he loves you, Tyler. “Oh. Well. Now you know.”

Just what was she supposed to make of his enigmatic smile in response? “Were you planning to remain here much longer, Tyler?”

“I’ve only been here an hour or so.”

“I always think that’s plenty of time for one of Pam’s parties.”

She nodded. “I can’t argue with the truthfulness of that.”

“Great. Have dinner with me.”

Oh damn, girl. “Dinner? With you?”

“Yes,” he repeated, still smiling. “Dinner. With me. You do eat, don’t you?”

She grimaced and cast a quick glance down at herself. “Can’t you tell?”

“That you’re curved and padded in all the right places? Yes, Tyler, I can tell that.”

Thank you, God! He may not be Love Starved, but who cares when he’s making remarks like that?
“When did you want to have dinner?”

“Tonight. Right now in fact.”

She had spent most of her teenage life plotting and scheming to get him to ask her out without Pam in tow. She cringed when she thought of the shameless way she behaved trying to get that to happen. The Saturday night just before her seventeenth birthday came to mind. She had dragged Pam to his Center City condo, only to find him with a tall, supermodel type who stormed out of the apartment when he insisted on driving Tyler and Pam home rather than putting them in a cab.

Tyler’s dismay had given way to tears when Jordan, obviously angry, snapped that he didn’t want to see either her or Pam at his condo again—ever. The moment he saw her tears, he’d pulled the car to the side of the road and put an arm around her shoulders.

She had proceeded to cover his neck with desperate kisses. Ignoring Pam’s horrified gasps, she’d gone on raining kisses over his face, feverishly working her way toward her ultimate goal.

Thankfully, he’d pulled away before she could disgrace herself further by trying to kiss his mouth.

Okay, Tyler, that was bad, but it’s ancient history and best left buried deep in the past.

“Why?”

“Why, what? The dinner invitation?”

She nodded. Just maybe she was finally going to be rewarded for all those agonizing years spent wallowing in the pain of what he had allowed her to think was unrequited love. “Yes.”

He shrugged. “Do I need a reason to ask you out?”

“Do you have one?”

He smiled. “Yes. Like most men, I enjoy having dinner with an attractive woman.”

A rush of warmth washed over her. At long last, he found her attractive. 

“Surely it’s not such a difficult decision to make,” he teased when she didn’t respond. “Will you have
dinner with me?”

“Yes.” The word came out in a breathless rush. Oh hell yes.

“Good, but before we leave, let’s have one dance.” He extended his hand.

“Will I dance with you?” This was getting better by the second.

He glanced quickly around the terrace before smiling down at her. “Is it just me or does there appear to be an echo out and about tonight?”

She laughed, inordinately pleased at the way things were going. Hopefully, her days of being wowed by him were long gone. All she wanted was one magical night in his arms and in his bed.

“Dance with me, Tyler,” he urged softly, taking both her hands in his.

His hands were big, his fingers were long. His palms were smooth. Unbidden, she wondered what they’d feel like caressing her naked flesh before parting her legs and trailing his fingers up to her pussy. Her cheeks burned as she quickly dismissed the thought.

“I’d love to,” she admitted and all but poured herself into his arms.

“Probably not as much as I’d love it,” he murmured and folded her in a warm embrace.

She sighed softly as he pressed his cheek against hers.

“Oh damn. This is nice.”

Nice didn’t begin to describe how wonderful she felt with his arms around her.

For a moment, they stood swaying together in silence. Then his arms tightened around her.

Tyler bit her lip to keep from sighing with pleasure. The feel of his big, masculine body pressed tight against her, stirred emotions she’d long ago given up having satisfied—at least by him.

“What are you wearing? You smell good enough to feast on.”

Her heart thumped painfully. She felt almost dizzy with delight. At long last, she had her most fervent wish. She was finally in Jordan’s arms—cradled against his body, feeling the steady beat of his heart. It felt right and good—just as she’d known it would.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-4543-0178-3
Genre: Fiction
Date Published: 04/12/2012
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing

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