“Carved Wooden Heart” will be FREE on Kindle February 16th – February 20th.
A sexy encounter with a talented native artist, a broken heart, and a knight in shining armor are just the beginning in this passionate erotic romance. Dani Stone never expected to fall in love with carver Jesse Wolf Carver. She certainly didn’t foresee the results of her intense one night stand with the sexy hunk. From the wealth of New York City to a small southern community, follow Dani as she journeys the winding path fate has laid out for her.
Wonderful Loved this book, one of the best romance novels I’ve read this year
“Sizzling” …a journey with subtle twists and turns so you never quite know whether you’ll arrive at your preferred destination, but you can’t stop reading until you find out.
Fun Contemporary Romance And the love scenes are hot enough to keep romance fans happy.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book I would highly recommend this book.
It had been almost six years since we’d seen one another. During those years I had thought of him often. I remembered the last few moments before I got back into my car to drive away. He’d run up the driveway as I pulled away, stopping when he reached the road. Shirtless, hands shoved deep in the pockets of his jeans, jaw set, and eyes narrowed, anger seemed to spark from every pore. I’d watched him in my rearview mirror, his image growing smaller before it finally disappeared.
It had taken me almost a year to get the interview with the artist Jesse Wolf Carver. A renowned indigenous carver, he rarely granted interviews and when he did they were short and not very sweet. Temperamental and extremely private he would only discuss his art. Little was known of his training, his history, or what he thought about anything other than his carvings. It wasn’t even certain that the name he used was really his own.
The carvings themselves were controversial. Enormous traditional Pacific Coast masks, many decorated the walls of his studio. Recent showings of his work included smaller carvings of masks and figurines in various poses.
A few weeks before he reappeared in my life I had gone to a gallery in the Southeast never expecting to see any of his work displayed. Unlike his early traditional carvings, these were intricate and extremely detailed. One figure, in particular, caught my attention. It was a woman, nude, her arms extended above her head as though she was reaching toward an unseen sky. Her head was bent back, long hair cascading down her back. Eyes closed and lips slightly parted she looked almost ecstatic. Her hands bent out at the wrists, fingers spread, seeming to welcome an unseen God into her arms. It stood on my mantle beside a small carved wolf family.
I was showing a client a painting by one of our local artists when he entered the gallery. I didn’t look up when the buzzer rang telling me someone had come inside. I knew Kathryn would see to whatever this new customer wanted. It was the sound of his voice that got my attention. After six years I still recognized the deep timber that seemed to vibrate within his chest. Frozen mid-sentence I turned to see him staring directly at me.
“And you say this is going to increase in value?” The gentleman at my side inquired.
I nodded my head but found I was unable to speak. Kathryn was at my side whispering nervously, “He insists on having you show him around. What do you want to do?”
This obviously irritated my client. “Seriously?”
I tore my eyes away from Jesse. “I apologize, Mr. Martin. I completely forgot I have this appointment. I am certain Kathryn will be able to assist you.” Without waiting for a response I moved across the gallery.
Jesse had not moved. It was as though he was a magnet and I was irresistibly drawn to him. “Mr. Carver, how nice to see you.”
His lip curled. “Really? Mr. Carver?” His eyes narrowed. I knew that look. It was not good. “Fine. Miss Stone. Oh wait, it’s Mrs. Newsom now, isn’t it?”
I tensed at the sarcastic tone. My husband had passed away almost three years ago and I had returned to using my maiden name. Anyone who knew me was well aware of that.
“It’s Miss Stone,” I responded stiffly. “I’m currently assisting another client. I’m certain Kathryn will be happy to show you anything you would like to see.”
“I highly doubt that since it’s you I’ve come to see. Miss Stone.” His dark eyes glistened
My heart flip-flopped and I swallowed hard. “And why would that be, Mr. Carver?”
“Let’s stop playing games, Dani. We both know why I’m here.”
I glanced back at Kathryn and my client to see them both staring at us curiously. Turning back to Jesse I hissed, “Fine. Let’s go to my office.” Brushing past him I strode purposefully toward my office at the rear of the gallery. Opening the door and stepping inside I noticed my hands were shaking slightly.
I turned to tell Jesse to take a seat to find he was standing directly behind me. He was much taller than I was and my eyes were on level with the open collar of his oxford shirt. I looked up slowly. The scent of him filled my head; the long remembered woodsy smell that he seemed to carry with him. Stepping back quickly I indicated the chair in front of my desk before moving behind the desk to my own chair.
“Can I offer you a drink?” I asked politely. “Coffee, tea, a soft drink? Or perhaps you prefer something stronger?” I said the last sarcastically, taunting him with the alcohol problem I knew he struggled with.
He leaned back in the chair and comfortably crossed his long legs. “I don’t drink alcohol anymore. I haven’t had a drink in almost six years.” His voice was even and undisturbed. My comment hadn’t even ruffled his feathers. “Do you have any bottled water?”
I went to the small refrigerator I kept in my office and withdrew a bottle of water and a can of cola. Setting the water in front of him I returned to my seat, popping open the can of soda. I took a long sip of the cold drink before speaking. “Alright Jesse. What did you want to see me about?”
“I want to buy the carving back.” He stated it simply with no precursor.
I felt my face grow warm and I knew I was turning pink. One of the unfortunate side effects of being a fair-skinned blond was my tendency to blush at the slightest provocation. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I lied and took another sip of my drink.
“Come on Dani,” he practically snarled. “Let’s get on with it. You paid with a credit card.”
I mentally cursed paper trails. “I’m not selling it.”
Jesse tossed the closed water bottle from one hand to the other. “Yes, you are. I’ll give you what you paid for it and an additional fee.”
I laughed sharply. “A fee? That’s rich.” Leaning my elbows on my desk I repeated what I had already told him. “I’m not selling it.”
“It was mistakenly sold. It was only for display.” Now he was lying and I knew it.
“How unfortunate. It had quite a large price tag.”
His eyes glittered dangerously. “I told you, it was a mistake.” He was practically grinding his perfectly white, slightly uneven teeth. “I’ll pay you double what you were charged.”
I never hesitated. Granted it was partly spite. “I have no intention of selling it.” Standing I asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you today?”
Jesse stood as well and he glowered at me. His lips were set in a tight thin line. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a card case and tossed his business card on my desk. “Call me when you come up with a fair price.” Before I could respond he had turned on his heel and strode out of my office.
Kathryn hurried in and closed the door behind her. “Who was that? What did he want?”
I realized I was trembling all over. “Someone I knew a long time ago. He wanted to buy something.”
“What?” Kathryn’s eyes were wide. She had never seen me like this.
I collapsed into my chair. “Me.” I said it softly at first. Then I looked at her. “He wanted to buy me.”
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