Book blurb for HOTTER THAN THE CARIBBEAN (Building Love #2)
Luis Serrano, the unwanted love child of a hotel construction magnate, is determined to reach his father’s level of success. When Luis finds himself pitted against his half-brother for control over their ailing father’s company, sibling rivalry comes to a head. The stakes are high. The brother who best completes their portion of the Caribbean construction project will gain control over the entire company. To win, Luis hires an interior design firm. But the firm will have to perform difficult work under serious time constraints.
Melanie Merritt is used to sibling rivalry. She’s always been second best to her older sister, the “golden child” of their parents’ interior design firm. Melanie’s desire is to be an artist. She works for her family to appease them. Her newest task is to implement a complex project for Luis Serrano under an impossibly short deadline. If she fails, her family’s company may go bankrupt. But Melanie can’t keep her too-creative ideas away from her family, and the client.
Completing work on time won’t be easy. Especially when dual sibling rivalries threaten to destroy the project, and a passion hotter than the Caribbean.
Excerpt from HOTTER THAN THE CARIBBEAN
Mel quickly keyed into her suite on the fifteenth floor of the Condado Beach Resort. She was in a hurry to get ready for her dinner meeting with Luis. Afterwards, she’d call her sister to let her know his handsome appearance was the least intimidating thing about him. The man was confident to the point of cocky, and as determined as a Caribbean hurricane.
Despite his cool response, however, his eyes had been warm as they appraised her. There was something sexual about the man, putting her senses on high alert. Making her skin super-aware. Had he been appraising her body as well as her competence? Or perhaps she was just imagining his reaction.
Her own reaction, however, was harder to figure out. Why did she feel extremely turned on when she should feel put off? What the heck is wrong with me? The minute she finished her phone call to Denny she would take a frigid shower to chill her libido.
Working for unapproachable authority figures was a pattern that had to be broken. Like her parents, Luis was clearly someone who was hard to please. The tension he exuded when he spoke about the project was so apparent on his face it was practically palpable. Worse, his work pressure would surely be passed on to her. As if she didn’t have enough stress to deal with already. Ugh! Please fly the hell down here already, Denny!
This design project would no doubt eat her alive. Not only would she have to quash her libido, she’d have to design the lobby in the way her ultra-stuffy sister envisioned. Denny didn’t think anywhere near similar. The whole assignment would probably end up being a disaster.
Worse, her family would never let her live failure down. They had publicly touted this project as the firm’s showcase assignment. News of a failure would be widespread.
Her phone vibrated next to her with enough force to almost bounce off the bed. Her sister’s name flashed across the screen. Guess Denny beat me to it. “We Are family” by Sister Sledge played loudly, a song Denny had suggested as a way to try to bring them closer together. Delving into her bag just in time to swipe the bar, Mel accepted the call.
“How are you doing so far?” Denny asked without preamble.
“The flight was . .. . challenging. At least I made it here in one piece.”
“What company did you rent your car from?”
“None. The client sent a limo.”
“Ooooh, I like a man with class and style. One who spends lavishly on his team of designers.” Denny chuckled. “I swear, Mellie, Luis Serrano is bachelor of the year. But not for long, because I can already tell you I’m going to marry him. He’s hot, owns a very successful company, and comes from a rich family. There’s no way I can go wrong with a man like that.”
“Optimist,” Mel quipped.
“Sure, I’m an optimist. Why not? I believe in happy endings. Fairy tales. Prince Charming. Heck, I’ll even shop around for a castle and pair of glass slippers.”
Although Denny was obviously kidding, Mel bristled. “Um, which one of us is going to be Cinderella in your fairy tale? I’m always the one stuck sweeping out the cinders.”
“Mellie, I was joking,” Denny answered in a soft voice. “I know Mom and Dad are tough on you. I hope you don’t think I am, too.”
Not since last week when you asked me why I was wasting time with art. You might as well be Mom and Dad’s echo chamber.
“Hello? Mellie? Are you still there?” Denny prompted.
“Don’t be. I know you’ll do your best to keep the client happy until I arrive.”
“What about Mom and Dad? Do they think so, too?”
Denny hesitated before speaking. “They’ll come around.”
“Right.” Mel knew her voice sounded strained. Sometimes the hurt was hard to filter out.
Silence lingered in the air a full minute. Fighting with her sister, especially over their parents’ favoritism, would only drive more wedges into the family tree. At this point, a light wind would blow the fragile, old oak over. Splintering as it landed from the years of heavy blows.
Mel coughed to clear her tight throat. “I don’t know about a prince, but I bet Luis Serrano will be taken with your good looks, and your design proposal.”
“Give him two days to eat of your hands, just like your many other admirers.”
Her sister paused for a moment. “Men are attracted to you, too, Mellie. Try breaking out of your shell. Live a little. Put yourself out there. No one woos a recluse. You’ve got plenty going for you. I know you think I’m better looking than you, but if we were any closer in appearance, we’d be twins. Everybody says so. You know that.”
Mel mustered a lighthearted voice. “Sure, sure. You’re right.” At least some of her sister’s compliments weren’t left-handed. Little did Denny know that Mel was already trying to “live a little” and “put herself out there.” Although not in the way Denny suggested.
HOTTER THAN THE CARIBBEAN (Building Love #2) can be read as a stand-alone novel. The other books in the Building Love series are BETTING ON LOVE IN VEGAS (Building Love #1) and MAD FOR YOU IN MADRID (Building Love #3), which releases March, 2018.
About Stacy Hoff
Stacy Hoff is a contemporary romance author, as well as an attorney. She has practiced law for over two decades, primarily handling contracts. Romance novels have always been her secret passion. She writes her romantic stories until the wee hours of the night. Stacy lives in New England with her husband and two boys. Stacy’s other full-length contemporary romance novels are: JOCKEYING FOR YOU, LAWFULLY YOURS, DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES (DESIRE series #1), and DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC (DESIRE series #2).
Links (including buy link):
Amazon Buy link for HOTTER THAN THE CARIBBEAN: http://amzn.to/2xW3WtJ
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Stacy-Hoff/e/B00NN0HCW8
Author website: http://www.stacyhoff.com