About Your Inescapable Love: *A new sizzling friends-to-lovers romance from a USA TODAY Best-selling Author* *This book is a stand-alone. Each book in The Bennett Family series will follow a different couple.*
Max Bennett was nine years old the first time he met Emilia. The two formed a tight friendship that lasted for years until she moved away. Now, years later, Max enjoys a successful career, and his brilliant business sense helped him take his family’s company to the next level. Max loves his life: carefree and fun. He has everything he wants and does not intend to settle down anytime soon (even though his family might have other ideas). But when a chance encounter brings him face-to-face with Emilia, he starts questioning everything. The girl he last saw years ago has grown into a beautiful woman with sensual curves and a smile he can’t get out of his mind. Their chemistry is sizzling, and between old memories and new challenges, the two form an undeniable connection.
Emilia Campbell has a lot on her plate, taking care of her sick grandmother. Still, the twenty-eight-year-old physical therapist faces everything with a smile on her face and a positive attitude. The one area in her life where she’s not too optimistic is love. After practically being left at the altar, Emilia has sworn off men. Until the childhood friend she hero-worshiped and hasn’t quite forgotten steps into her clinic. Max is every bit the troublemaker she remembers, only now he has a body to drool over and a smile to melt her panties. Not that she intends to do the former, or let the latter happen. They are both determined not to cross the boundaries of friendship. But as they spend more time together, their chemistry spirals out of control. Can Emilia trust her childhood hero with the key to her heart and accept she might have found her one true love?
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Laughter rumbles out of Max in a deep, heartfelt sound. I desperately try to come up with something clever to say. A strand of my blonde hair falls from my ponytail, and Max tucks it behind my ear, the pad of his thumb lingering on my earlobe. Heat radiates from that small point of contact, spreading to my cheeks, my neck.
“Lie on the table, Max,” I eventually say. He does as I instruct him, and once he’s on his back, my fingers accidentally touch his chest and an electrifying zip makes every part of my body heat up. He exhales sharply.
I attempt to decipher the expression on his face. There is heat in his eyes—that much is clear, but the way his brows are arched indicates that he’s as surprised by my reaction to him as I am by his reaction to me.
“Emilia,” Max says in a low voice. “I think we have a problem.”
“Mmm?” I urge, not wanting to say anything unless I’m certain we’re on the same page. I wouldn’t put it past my sex-deprived body to be messing with my mind.
“When I found out you’d be my therapist, I thought we’d pick up where we left off years ago. But then I saw you all grown up and sexy and… well.” He cocks an eyebrow, a devilish grin crossing his lips. “Just thought I’d put this out there. They say communication is the key to everything, right? And it used to work for us.”
I chuckle, shaking my head. His breathing is labored, and so is mine. Stepping back, I put some much-needed distance between us.
He nods slowly, scratching the faint stubble on his jaw. “It’s only a matter of time.”
“What is a matter of time?” I ask, not following.
“Until we’re comfortable with each other again.”
Oh, I hadn’t thought about it like that. “Maybe you’re right.”
Judging by the way my entire body seems to go hyperalert when he’s around, that seems like wishful thinking.
“Let’s start with your exercises.”
He groans. “I hoped you’d forget about that.”
“No chance.” I explain the exercise in detail for the next few minutes, and Max’s already nonexistent enthusiasm for the exercise turns to downright annoyance. To his credit, this particular exercise is a bitch. He follows through with my instructions and does a set of twenty reps.
“You’re in great shape,” I commend him. “Most people are out of breath by the time they reach twelve.”
Max draws a deep breath. “I worked out a lot before the accident, and I also play water polo on occasion.”
The thought of Max in a pool, shirtless and playing polo is fodder for my brain, which turns everything into a dirty picture.
“You know, the faster you finish the physical therapy, the faster you can do your regular workout again and keep those hard abs of yours in place.”
“You noticed?” he asks smugly.
“Couldn’t help it,” I admit. “It’s all messing with my hormones big time. Like you said, just putting it out there.”
“Maybe communication doesn’t always help. It didn’t really clear the air, did it?”
I chuckle nervously, pulling with my fingers at the hem of my shirt.
Seeing as how the air seems to consist of hormones and sexual tension, the question is almost rhetorical. When we were kids, we used to talk out loud about everything, and it helped us put some awkward incidents behind us fast. But openly admitting our attraction for each other just seems to be making everything worse.
Clearing my throat, I say, “Okay, new resolution. We’ll just ignore the chemistry until it goes away.”
Max curves his lip up in a smirk, and I can tell he has a witty reply in mind. He remains silent, though, and now I’m dying to know what he’s thinking, of course.
“Are you seeing someone?” I ask, realizing I have no idea what the status of his love life is. My stomach is in knots as I wait for his answer.
His smirk becomes more pronounced. “This coming from someone who wants to ignore the chemistry?”
“Just hoping to alleviate my conscience. As light as our flirting was, I’d feel like shit if there’s a woman in your life.”
“I’m not an ass, Emilia. I wouldn’t have flirted back if I was seeing someone. What about you? I have to say right off the bat that if you are, and you’re blushing like that when I’m just looking at you, dump him. He’s clearly not good enough.”
“You know, one thing did change about you, Max. You weren’t so full of yourself before. Now you’re bordering on being cocky.”
“Bordering? Please. I’m far past that border, deep into Cockyland.”
“Cockyland?” I giggle, then remember what Mrs. Devereaux said, that confident men are usually great in bed, and I can’t help the heat rushing to my face.
“Something about you changed too, Jonesie. You laugh a lot more. It suits you. But you haven’t answered my question.”
“I’ll tell you everything while you do another set of twenty.”
He gives me the stink eye but doesn’t argue.
“I’m not seeing anyone. But I almost got married six months ago.”
“What happened?” Max asks in a soft voice, pausing for a split second.
“He dumped me three weeks before the wedding.”
“That son of a bitch.”
I smile at his indignation. “How do you know it’s not something I did?”
“I have a hunch. Tell me.”
I instruct him to do a set of straight leg raises, then tell him what happened.
“We’d been together since college, and we got along well until Grams got sick. Things became more difficult, I was stressed…. Three weeks before the wedding, he said it was all too much responsibility for him, and he hadn’t signed up for this.”
“He was a jerk. You got off easy.”
“Maybe, but it still hurt. Like I wasn’t worth fighting for, you know.” It also twisted the knife into an age-old wound, hitting too close to home. My father took off right after Mama’s funeral, claiming that raising a kid was too difficult and he was meant for other things. “I suppose it’s better that it happened so early in the game before we signed the papers, but it hurt. I’ve put my romantic life on hold since, but I could use a friend, Max.”
My fingers are on the edge of the treatment table, and Max feathers the back of his hand over them, a devilish smile on his face. “I volunteer for that spot, Jonesie. Now, if I
accidentally make an inappropriate comment or look at you the wrong way, please chalk it up to the fact that I’m a weak man.”
I point a menacing finger at him. “No messing around with me. I mean it.”
“Or what? Will you spank me?” He wiggles his eyebrows. “You already have me lying down.”
“You’re a pest, you know that?” I say under my breath, but can’t hold back a smile.
“I’ve been called that before. Nuisance, plague.”
“You say that with pride, as if it’s a badge of honor.”
“It is. It means I’m determined.” Max resumes a serious expression. “And I’m determined to be a good friend to you, Emilia. I promise. Now, what’s the next torture you have in store for me?”
As I explain the next exercise, his eyes zero in on my mouth. Nervously, I lick my lower lip, and Max’s gaze smolders me, like that of a man ready to break his promise. Damn it. How is this ever going to work?
Your Irresistible Love (The Bennett Family Series, Book 1): Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2dbUS7s Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2dG4jMj iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1071839236 Nook (Barnes and Noble): http://bit.ly/2cQ8OI3 Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/your-irresistible-love Google Play: http://bit.ly/2booehV The AUDIO version: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dsVfw4
Your Captivating Love (The Bennett Family Series, Book 2): Amazon: http://amzn.to/1RISb9k B&N: http://bit.ly/23bz3ck Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1071941774 Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/your-captivating-love Google Play: http://bit.ly/2doRv2q The AUDIO version: http://amzn.to/2dH85WD
Your Forever Love (The Bennett Family Series, Book 3): Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cQaAcb B&N: http://bit.ly/2bN7Smx Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1105596243 Kobo: http://bit.ly/2aHQd0x Google Play: http://bit.ly/2ar1ooN The AUDIO version: http://amzn.to/2dbWMF7
About Layla Hagen: I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later. I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world. And I drink coffee. Lots of it Links: Website: https://twitter.com/laylahagen Facebook: https://facebook.com/LaylaHagenBooks/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/laylahagen
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