The Bachelor’s Promise
by Naima Simone
Bachelor Auction #3
Publication Date: August 29, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Indulgence, Contemporary Romance
Synopsis: Aiden Kent never expected to see Noelle Rana again. He’s determined to keep his distance from the beautiful enigma wrapped in denim and leather. He can’t trust anyone with the last name Rana. But he made a promise to his dying mother, and it isn’t long before Noelle invades his personal space. He can’t stop thinking about the exotic beauty’s alluring curves.He wants the daughter of his enemy, and he’s determined to have her…if only for one night.
If Noelle wants to move forward with her life, she must make a deal with the devastatingly gorgeous, broody millionaire Aiden. He made a promise years ago, and she’s come to collect—even if it means facing down the only man who ever broke her heart. And there’s a really good chance he’ll do it again.
“What exactly do you want from me, Noelle?” Aiden shifted forward, his tone hardening, the patrician lines of his face sharpening.
Noelle inhaled a deep breath…a big mistake. His clean, fresh, rain-and-earth scent filled her until she could practically taste it. Taste him.
The hell? Where had that thought come from? Whatever feelings she’d once had for him had been ground under the heel of humiliation, rejection, and pain.
“I need you to pay my graduate-school tuition.” She paused. “For Boston University.”
“Boston University,” he repeated, ice dripping from each syllable. “You’re applying to Boston University.”
“Have applied,” she corrected, voice soft. Wary. “And have been accepted with a partial scholarship. I start in January. I can cover all of my other expenses. Only the rest of the tuition has to be paid.”
“What are you playing at, Noelle?” he growled. Anger seemed to radiate from him, beating at her. “Of all the cities and colleges, you choose here? Do you think I’m stupid? I’m not one of your father’s marks. You can’t con me. What else aren’t you telling me?”
“Nothing,” she insisted, insulted. “I have an apartment and a job. I arranged those before I left Chicago. I’ve been providing for myself and others for years without your assistance, and I really don’t want it now, but I have no choice.”
Screw this. Yes, her father hadn’t been a model citizen—unless it was a citizen of the Cook County DOC. But she wasn’t him. Damn if she’d let him—him—make her feel…dirty. Unworthy.
She stalked forward, allowing anger and hurt—yes, damn it, hurt—to propel her forward when caution would’ve been prudent…safer.
“Look, believe what you want. I could quote the damn Bible from Joseph to Jesus, and it wouldn’t change your opinion or erase your suspicions. But if you think coming to you and asking for help was easy, then all those millions have made you soft in the head.” She snorted, shaking her head. “At this moment, though, I need you to keep your promise to Caroline more than I care about offending your tender sensibilities with my presence. She wanted me to have the money. So how about this? Send the tuition payment directly to the university, and you don’t have to worry about seeing me again. You can go on pretending I don’t exist, and I can forego the pleasure of you staring at me like I’m something you scraped off the bottom of your shoe.”
Giving him a tight smile, she pivoted and marched for the door, desperate to escape the room before she did something stupid…like allow the tears stinging her eyes to fall. Damn it! She’d been teased, bullied, and sneered at more times than she could remember, much less count. Yet none of those mean girls or leering guys who assumed she was an easy fuck just because of her last name had been able to drag one tear from her.
Only Aiden possessed that power.
“Noelle, we’re not finished. Don’t you walk out that door.”
Like hell she wouldn’t. She was a grown-ass woman. Self-sufficient. Mature.
So she did the only thing a grown-ass, self-sufficient, mature woman could do in her situation…
She flipped him off and walked out.
“It’s just a date,” Aiden said.
“One a woman paid thousands of dollars for. I can’t say I blame her for being…anxious.” Noelle cocked her head to the side. “Does that make you some kind of gigolo?”
He snorted. “She’s paying for a trip, not sex.”
“Really?” she drawled, disbelief dripping from every word. “So you don’t plan on fucking her? Is that a sudden moral decision or a physical problem?”
Slowly, he turned to face her. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were pushing me.”
“Pushing you?” she scoffed. “For what?”
“I don’t know. Details about my sex life? Do you want to talk about it?” he challenged. He shifted forward, eliminating the space between them in the already close quarters of the elevator. He leaned over her and planted a hand on the back wall, his arm nearly brushing her ear.
“No,” she rasped. “And I don’t care.”
He tilted his head. “You sure about that?”
“Yes,” she said, but her gaze dropped to his mouth before quickly returning to his eyes. But not quickly enough. Lust licked at him, sent heat surging through him like a torch. And all because of a glimpse at his mouth. A hungry glimpse. A glimpse that, whether she acknowledged it or not, asked him to taste her. And fuck if he didn’t want to give it to her.
Her sweet, floral scent drifted to him, and damn if he couldn’t help pressing closer, inhaling more of her into his lungs. “You want the truth?” He waited for her nod, and when it came after a long moment, he placed his mouth next to her ear, letting his lips graze the outer shell. “Sex is a release, a pleasure. I love the sound of it, the scent of it, and damn sure the feel of it. You know what I’m talking about, right, Noelle? The burn of a man pushing inside you, stretching you, filling you until he’s so deep you don’t know whether to beg him to stop or give you more? The sound of bodies sliding over one another, screams of pleasure? Do you like that, Noelle?” He dropped his voice, roughened by the need that had been riding him like a fucking saddle. Leaning back, he gently pinched her chin and lifted her head. He wanted to see her eyes, needed to see them. Needed to read the answer to his question in them.
She didn’t reply, but with mere inches separating them, he caught the flash of apprehension in her gaze. If it’d only been nervousness he read in her eyes, he would’ve backed off. But underneath…underneath he spied something else.
Curiosity. Desire. There and gone so fast, hidden by the sweep of her lashes, but he’d caught it. Fuck, for both of their sakes, he wished he hadn’t.
Because a part of him—the part not ruled by logic or reason—wanted to satisfy that curiosity, that hunger. That part didn’t give a damn that she was the daughter of the man who’d stolen his mother’s spirit and the sister of the man who’d screwed his fiancée behind his back. Didn’t care that not only could he not trust her, he couldn’t trust himself.
No, this part only hungered to instill full knowledge in those blue eyes. Witness them widen with revelation….darken with pleasure.
CATCH UP WITH THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE BACHELOR AUCTION SERIES…
Synopsis: Billionaire Lucas Oliver is hell bent on revenge. And his plan begins when Sydney Blake—the stunning daughter of his enemy—is tricked into bidding on Lucas at a bachelor auction. Then he serves up a little blackmail…followed by a marriage proposal Sydney has no choice but to accept.
Sydney has been controlled by her family her whole life. When Lucas threatens to reveal her father’s shady business, she is once again forced to do her duty for her family. But worse—oh so much worse—is the rush of lust that Lucas ignites in her blood.
Lucas is determined to make Sydney suffer, but it’s tough when he can’t keep from touching her–or thinking about touching her–all the time. She’s not fairing much better since she’s engaged to a darkly handsome beast intent on destroying her entire family…along with her heart.
Synopsis: He promised to stay away…but some promises are made to be broken
Plain-Jane computer programmer Khloe Richardson needs a date—one to make the prince of her dreams jealous. Maybe then he’ll finally see her as a desirable swan and not the ugly duckling in the second office from the left.
But when she bids on a bachelor at a charity auction, the man she wins is millionaire Niall Hunter—who once made intense, passionate love to her and then left without a word. She’s determined not to let her guard down again—among other things—around the infamous Irish lothario.
Niall never imagined his penance for one hot-as-hell night with his best friend’s little sister would be transforming her from a shy wallflower to a sultry siren. Helping her attract another man is torture…especially when he promised his friend he’d stay away. Plus, she wants forever, and he’s not a forever kind of guy. But Niall can’t stop wanting her. Can’t stop touching her. Can’t stop, period. And damn if he can remember why he has to…
ABOUT NAIMA SIMONE
Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.