Authors: Lyric James
Beach House Nights Series Book #3
Up All Night
Up All Night
Copyright 2012 Lyric James
Electronic Publication November 2012
Cover Art by Sasha White of
Services by Leanne Salter
Formatting Services by
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under the copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above author of this book.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to BarnesAndNoble.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work.
Up All Night
Beach House Nights Book Three
Stella Lewis is excited when she receives a weekend invite to a friend’s beach house, especially when the beach house’s attic is full of priceless furniture she can sell at her struggling antique store. The last thing she expected was to be sidelined by her attraction to playboy millionaire, Ian Hollis. The two have nothing in common, except their insane but inexplicable attraction to each other.
After winning a multi-million dollar lottery when he was only twenty-five, Ian Hollis has been living the high life. But the first time he saw Stella, he knew there was something sinful hiding beneath the exterior of the prim and proper miss. Proving it to the workaholic beauty is a whole different story. Stella is running scared, but if she thinks she can rebuff Ian’s advances that easily, she’s in for a surprise. Ian is willing to prove to Stella he can stay up all night to prove she’s the woman of his dreams.
Table Of Contents
“Hey. Where are you going?”
Stella Lewis glanced down at the hand wrapped around her wrist. Her gaze swung up to stunning green eyes with gold flecks around the irises. The face wasn’t anything to sneeze at either. It was a light honey brown with a smattering of freckles across the bridge of the nose.
Her mind went blank, and she forgot to breath. Gracious, he was handsome. In a white linen shirt, gray linen shorts and no shoes, he looked like he just stepped out of a
Between the eyes, the cocky grin on his face and the backdrop of the ocean, it was no wonder her mind conjured up an antique four-poster bed draped in red silk with bodies tangled underneath. Her heart thumped when he moved to the step below her.
The way her name sounded in that deep, intoxicating voice sent shivers down her spine and shifted her imagination into overdrive. Ian Hollis was the man she craved but denied herself since the very first moment she met him. Because she knew better and understood that a man like him could, and would, distract her and turn her into someone she didn’t want to be.
So, why did the mere sight of him make her mind turn to mush and conjure sensuously dark thoughts? She twisted her wrist out of his grasp. “Up to the attic,” she answered in a clipped tone.
Ian smiled and looked around. “Is there another pool up there I don’t know about? A hot tub?”
His gaze, slow and lazy, perused her body and made her wish she’d worn something sexier than navy blue shorts and a short-sleeved white shirt, even though the eyes that traveled back up to her face hinted with pure male appreciation. For the life of her, she didn’t understand why. “Um...no. I’m going up there to look at some of the furniture Dayna’s grandmother left.
His eyes widened. “You’re working?”
Stella nodded her head and shifted her eyeglasses on the bridge of her nose. “Yes. I only have the weekend. I want to look at as much of the furniture up there as possible so I’ll know how big a truck to send next week to pick it up.”
A rush of heat sparked along her veins when Ian trailed a finger over her cheek. “You mean,” he said, huskily, “you’re going to waste that white sandy beach, that gorgeous pool and your beautiful body by rummaging around in an attic all weekend?”
Her insides tingled with pleasure and she nodded. He moved around her to the step above and took her by the waist. Heat suffused her skin, and she found herself leaning back into his embrace. A delicate whisper of wind pushed a tendril of hair from her ear when he leaned forward and said, “Nope. Not going to let you do it.”
Ian pushed her ahead until she had no choice but to climb down the steps or fall. She pursed her lips. “But...”
Ian’s lazy, amused voice rolled out. “No buts. You came to relax and enjoy yourself. Not work.”
Actually, that wasn’t true. She
come to work. When she’d received Dayna’s email, she’d immediately picked up her phone and called.
“Hey, Dayna. Can I take a look at the furniture in the attic while I’m there?”
“Sure. I was actually going to call you and suggest you do that.”
Stella owned an antique store, and if she didn’t get an infusion of new furniture and cash real quick, she’d be operating in the red in a few short months. Since the economy tanked, she wasn’t able to purchase or order new furniture for her store. Her regular customer’s had grown tired of seeing the same offerings month after month. But if she could get her hands on some of the things Dayna’s grandmother left, she knew it would entice her customers to purchase and infuse some much needed funds into her almost empty business and personal bank accounts. As an added bonus, she didn’t have to outright buy anything from her friend as she’d have to do with one of her regular retailers. Once she sold something, Dayna agreed to accept a seventy-percent commission from the sale.
“Great. I’ll see you this weekend,” she’d told her and hung up, a smile on her face.
Now, just as she was about to start her weekend project, she was waylaid by Ian. “Look, I know you have no idea what the concept of work is, but I don’t have time to play. I have a job to do, a business to run.”
He pushed their momentum toward the double French doors leading out to the pool. “And you’ll have plenty of time
you have a little fun. You can’t waste your whole weekend in the attic.”
“Yes, I can. Besides, if I don’t start now, I’ll be up all night and tomorrow,” she complained. “I don’t know how much is up there.”
Outside, the warm air surrounded them, and the scent of sand and ocean crept up to the house. Ian led her around a bank of lounge chairs until they stood by the pool. “Come on. Wouldn’t you rather be out here?”
There were coordinating shades of blue and green as far as the eye could see. Half washed away sand castles littered the beach. Throngs of laughing people sat under multicolored umbrellas enjoying the evening. A pack of seagulls cried and flapped through the sky while a speedboat zoomed by. The sun was so warm and bright, she had to shield her face. It
glorious. She’d always enjoyed coming up here with Dayna when they were on holiday from school.
But she didn’t have time to enjoy it this weekend. She needed to work, and Ian was screwing up her equilibrium. He made her want to forget about her money problems for once and just enjoy herself. But maybe… “An hour. I’ll relax for one hour.”
Ian grinned and captured her hand in his. Her breath lodged in her throat and refused to slip past her lips when she glanced at their clasped fingers. “Two hours. Give me
hours and I’ll come up there and help you,” he countered.
Stella raised a brow. “You’ll help me?”
Ian Hollis was a first-generation rich kid, who with two dollars and a stroke of luck, won a multi-million dollar lottery when he was twenty-five years old. He’d been living the high life ever since with wild parties, trips to other countries, houses, cars, you name it. If it resembled fun, he was the first person in line to purchase a ticket. And let’s not forget the women who followed him around like groupies. It didn’t help that he had movie star good looks, a body to die for and bedroom eyes. They made her melt every single time she gazed into his face. But what pulled her back to reality each time she saw him was a beautiful, scantily clad woman, sometimes two, draped over his arm. She was surprised he didn’t have one with him this weekend.
The night was still young.
“Yes. I’ll come up to the attic, and I’ll do whatever you want me to do. Unpack boxes, move furniture around, make lists. Whatever. Just have some fun with me,” he persuaded, a sinfully sexy look in his eyes.
It was a tempting offer. Two sets of hands were better than one, and if Ian helped, even though he probably didn’t have an eye for antiquities, he could label what she wanted to be picked up and move stuff around. It would save her a lot of time.
She smiled. “Deal.”
* * * * *
Ian Hollis resisted the urge to pump his fist in the air in triumph. He
got Ms. Prim and Proper to loosen up and have some fun. Damned if the brown-eyed petite bombshell didn’t make him want to shake up her work ethic. A lot.
On the surface, she wasn’t his type. She was an uptight workaholic busybody who wore tailored skirts, tucked in starched shirts buttoned all the way up to her freaking neck, and sensible shoes. Hell if he knew why, after the first time he saw her, he hadn’t been able to erase her from his mind.
Because underneath her cool façade he knew a sex kitten lurked, waiting to be unleashed.
Ian usually had a way with women, but for some reason the first time they’d met, she put a locked and bricked wall between them. Hell, it wasn’t his fault he fell waist deep into money after spending two bucks at a gas station. She’d primly informed him when he flirted with her he wasn’t her type.
Him. Not her type.
He’d had a mind to shove her against a wall and kiss her delectable little body from head to toe and see if she felt the same way when he got done with her.
Ian enjoyed life.
Because of his windfall, he didn’t have to work and could take off to a foreign country whenever the mood struck. Or hit the highways on his Ducati to wherever his fancy took him. That didn’t mean there was no meaning to his life, no substance, that he didn’t have purpose. But Stella never took the time to find out. She stood her ground each and every time he saw her and didn’t bat an eyelash when he teased and flirted in an attempt to get her attention. With her hands on her hips, she told him each and every time, and in no uncertain terms, she wasn’t interested.