For cosmetics heiress Elisabeth Bach, finding the right man hasn’t been easy, especially when her father is bent on arranging her love life for his own twisted purposes. When she falls for fashion designer Jordan Carlisle, she knows she’s met The One, and she’ll do anything to keep their relationship secret from her father’s schemes.
Jordan Carlisle has been waiting a long time for a chance to date Elisabeth and he’s determined to make her his wife. Will a Valentine’s Day proposal be enough to keep her or will his checkered past destroy his future?
“Are you playing matchmaker again, Dylan?”
He chuckled. “No ma’am. He saw you sitting alone.”
“I think I can take it from here,” a smooth, velvety voice interrupted.
Dylan nodded and backed away. Elisabeth straightened a little in her chair. Her breath stuck in her throat at the intensity of the newcomer’s stare. His long slow perusal left her body simmering.
His jet black hair was cut close, the smooth hairline tapering to neatly trimmed sideburns. Otherwise, his rugged face was clean-shaven. He smiled and her eyes were drawn to his full, sexy mouth. For a moment, she wondered how his lips would feel pressed against hers. Desire flooded her veins.
“Jordan Carlisle.” He offered his hand. The oversized watch on his wrist winked in the dim light, vying for attention with his gold cufflinks.
She accepted his hand. “Elisabeth.” She snapped her gaze to his at the crackle of electricity between them. He held her hand a second too long and flirtation gleamed in the depths of his coffee-colored eyes.
“Mind if I join you?” He waved to the vacant chair across from hers.
She shook her head and bit back a sigh when his biceps flexed against the dark silk of his suit jacket. He unbuttoned his coat and sat down.
“I hate dining alone,” he said, smiling apologetically.
“I do too. I was just about to leave.” She studied him from beneath her lashes before meeting his eyes a second time. He seemed familiar to her, yet she couldn’t quite place where she’d seen him. “Have we met before?”
He smiled, wide and easy, and her heart fluttered in anticipation.
“Not formally. I’m a friend of your brother’s. We went to college together.”
His dark good looks and devil-may-care eyes slid into place in her memory. The photo in her brother’s room, of the lacrosse team. Jordan had been the captain.
“You and Drew played lacrosse.”
He nodded. “How is Andrew? It’s been a few months since we’ve seen each other.”
“Out of town at the moment. At a conference.” She reached for her water glass and Dylan reappeared with a second menu. “I’ll have to tell Andrew we spoke.”
“I’m sure he won’t mind.” Jordan smiled again and she melted.
She shook her head. “He thinks I should get out more, but my father has a way of sabotaging my love life.” She sipped her water.
He regarded her a moment, avid interest shining in his eyes. “You are definitely worth protecting.”
Heat crept into her cheeks from his scrutiny as well as the compliment. “You’re pretty suave, aren’t you?”
He chuckled, a smooth laugh that reminded her of warm fudge. “When it suits me.”
He inclined his head.
“And my father knows nothing about you?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
She picked up a menu. “Let’s keep it that way.”