Authors: Melody Anne
Book Three in the Surrender Series
By Melody Anne
Copyright © 2013 Melody Anne
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Printed and published in the United States of America.
Published by Gossamer Publishing Company
Editing by Nicole and Alison
Cover art by Trevino Creative
Table of Contents
This book is dedicated to Ray White. You are one of the kindest, hardest-working people I know. I love what a strong man you are, and how much you give to the world. You have helped me so much, and I appreciate it more than you could imagine, even if I don’t say it often enough. Thank you! May you find your very own Ari soon, because any woman who can have you for the rest of her life is truly blessed.
I wanted to share with you all something of the way in which I come up with a story. Sixty percent of the story is from research, imagination, and thoughts that won’t go away. Thirty percent comes from personal experience, some greatly embellished for dramatic effect. (Sadly, a scene in Canada with my friend left on the dance floor and trapped in a hot crowd of men was true. I did leave poor Stephy out there, but, luckily, she survived.) The remaining ten percent of my inspiration rises up while I sit on the deck at night and think about the nature around me.
Recently, when my husband and I were enjoying a cup of coffee during a family vacation, a spectacular storm flashed in the sky. I turned to him and said, “I need to write a love scene in which the characters make love during a great storm. I haven’t done it yet.” He said, “Oh, yes, outside in the rain.” We were in Orlando, Florida, and the rain was amazingly warm. And my thoughts started to pour in, like the rain. I said, “And a waterfall! We need a waterfall!” That is how quickly one scene in this book came up.
A lot of hopeful authors, new authors, and friends ask me why I write romance. My answer? Romance is all around us. It’s beautiful, it’s compelling, and it will never die. Since I started writing full time three years ago, I haven’t been able to stop. I pray to my Heavenly Father daily that this gift won’t ever be taken from me; it’s the most joyful experience of my life. I struggle with sleep at night because I lie in bed and even in the comfort of my husband’s arms my mind refuses to shut down. Many times I’ve jumped from bed and rushed to my computer because an idea won’t go away.
Why romance? Because we all need to dream. We all need to spread our wings. We all need to push for what we deserve in life. Thank you all for your support, and thank you for the joy you’ve brought to me and my family these last couple of years. I hope I can continue to entertain you with my dreams and visions in the years to come.
*The Billionaire Wins the Game
*The Billionaire’s Dance
*The Billionaire Falls
*The Billionaire’s Marriage Proposal
*Blackmailing the Billionaire
*The Billionaire’s Final Stand
iceless Treasure –
Unrealized Treasure –
BABY FOR THE BILLIONAIRE
+The Tycoon’s Revenge
+The Tycoon’s Vacation
+The Tycoon’s Proposal
+The Tycoon’s Secret
+The Lost Tycoon –
RISE OF THE DARK ANGEL
-Midnight Fire – Rise of the Dark Angel – Book One
-Midnight Moon – Rise of the Dark Angel – Book Two
-Midnight Storm – Rise of the Dark Angel – Book Three
-Midnight Eclipse – Rise of the Dark Angel – Book Four –
=Surrender – Book One
=Submit – Book Two
=Seduced – Book Three
=Scorched – Book Four –
“My, my, how the tables have turned.”
“I swear, by all that’s holy, that if you don’t wipe that smart-assed smirk off your face, I will pound you to a bloody pulp!” Rafe thundered as he looked at his best friend, Shane.
“Wow. Aren’t you cranky? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?” Shane wasn’t the least bit intimidated by Rafe’s outburst. Of course, part of that could be because his best friend was securely behind bars.
“Yeah, you’ve had your fun, Shane. Now pay the damned bail and get me the hell out of here!”
“I don’t know if I can afford it, since this
the second time in two months…”
“Shut up, Shane! This isn’t the time to be a jackass. They won’t let me pay the bail myself, and I want to go home!”
“Maybe if you stopped picking fights at clubs, you wouldn’t get locked up,” Shane said as he came closer to the bars.
Rafe’s hand snaked through the opening and grabbed hold of Shane’s shirt in an iron-tight grip. “Get — me — out — now!”
“OK. OK. There’s no need for violence,” Shane said, unable to control the laughter spilling from him. “We wouldn’t want you to be thrown back in jail before you even get out.”
Once Rafe released him, it didn’t take long for Shane to post bail, and then he was leaving county detention with a very irate Rafe. “That wasn’t amusing the first go-around, Shane, and certainly not this time,” Rafe growled as he climbed into Shane’s sleek silver Porsche.
“I seem to remember that you found it quite amusing when the shoe was on the other foot and
needed to be bailed out.”
“That was different,” Rafe muttered, rubbing his eyes. He hadn’t slept in forty-eight hours, and he smelled like stale tequila and sweat. He didn’t want to analyze the other odors drifting from his clothes.
“We need to get out of this town. One month in Italy wasn’t long enough for Ari to forgive you, and you’ve been back for two months doing nothing but causing trouble. I think the best thing you can do is give the woman space. I’m scheduled to leave next week for South America because your unbelievably stubborn sister still won’t speak to me. Let’s take the hint and get away for a while.”
Rafe stewed silently as he considered his best friend’s words. The Gli Amanti Cove project was on hold because of environmental disputes, so they were stalled there. Rafe felt like crap, and for the first time in his life he had no motivation whatsoever to find the next big acquisition. Maybe he
just leave for a while. It would give him time to pull himself together. He didn’t even know who he was anymore.
He hadn’t seen Ari in three months and it was taking its toll on him. Every time he tried to speak to her, she would hang up the phone. He’d had gifts delivered to her new place, but she
just returned his packages. The one time he’d cornered her, she’d coolly told him
wasn’t ready yet.
Yes, he’d screwed up, but didn’t people make mistakes? What was so wrong with liking sex? Was he that bad a man because he knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to be with women who weren’t intimidated to explore their sexuality? He didn’t see it that way, but Ari apparently thought his actions were unforgivable. He’d even tried to enter into other satisfying sexual liaisons — not romantic, of course — but those had fizzled before they had even started.
He couldn’t seem to forget one bright-eyed blond woman who’d stolen his breath away.
“I’ll go with you.”
Shane turned in surprise; his car swerved slightly into the next lane and almost clipped a station wagon. If Rafe had been in a better mood, he would have chortled at the look of terror on the father who was driving the old Volvo. The poor man had probably peed himself.
“Seriously?” It was obvious that Shane had never expected Rafe to walk away from the business world so easily.
“Yes. I need to get away before I do something incredibly foolish.”
“Like you already haven’t,” Shane said with a laugh.
Rafe glared at him before replying. “I’m serious. I’m ready to do this.”
“What about work?”
“I thought you were the one trying to talk me into this in the first place,” Rafe said with a frustrated sigh.
. I just want to make sure you aren’t going to get there and then turn around and leave in two weeks. These people are really counting on us.”
Rafe knew that Shane was right. The homes and businesses they built in Third World countries changed lives. Rafe was surprised by how much he wanted to be a part of it. He’d grown anxious, bored, and frustrated with his life.
“I’ll make some calls. My manager can run things from here. I’m ready to leave.”
Assessing Rafe for several moments, Shane finally spoke. “Good. Pack up, because we’ll be gone at least six months.”
“What if you get called away?” Rafe asked.
“We’ll cross that bridge,” Shane said. He was used to being yanked away, and he always came back as soon as the task was finished.
This was a brilliant idea. Some hard physical labor was sure to take Rafe’s mind off of Ari. He just needed to get away from this mess for a while. His infatuation with one woman was out of character; hell, it was completely insane. But it was all in his head and he’d be over Ari before he knew it!