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BAREFOOT IN THE SAND
by Roxanne St. Claire

Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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“I want to work for you,” he said, honey over gravel in his voice. “I won’t take a dime until your resort is profitable. How does that sound?”

Very, very slowly she managed to turn in his arms, brushing his body as she did, painfully aware of every masculine inch, every hard bump, every relentless angle, but forcing herself not to let the glorious sensation cloud her brain. He wasn’t asking for sex, duh. He was asking to work on spec, for the experience.

“It sounds tempting.” Like everything else about him. “But I need you to be perfectly straight with me. Why would you do that?”

“I need this project in order to prove to the arch board that I can sit for the exams,” he explained. “So it’s a win-win for everyone.”

“Why couldn’t you just take the exams? How can they stop you?”

He stabbed his fingers in his hair, hesitating as he considered his reply. “I need one significant project under my belt,” he said slowly. “I left my dad’s firm before I got it. After seeing this place and what could be done here, I know that this is the project I not only want to do, but I’d love to do. Enough that I’d do it for free. And that solves some of your money problems.”

Some, not all. “It also makes me wonder if I’m getting a good enough architect.”

“Fair enough. You can fire me at any time and keep all the work I’ve done to date. I need the project and you need a partner who can give life to your vision.”

She gave him a slow smile. “Except sometime in the last ten minutes, it became your vision,” she said instead.

“It could be our vision, Lacey.”

“It could be,” she agreed. She did want a partner. She did want a vision. She did want something as big and bold as he described, especially if she didn’t have to attack that challenge alone.

“I guess it’s possible.”

“Anything is possible, Strawberry.” 

Right then, with this man holding her in the sunshine, giving her strength and ideas and throwing reason and excuses out to sea, she actually believed that.