Welcome back to the luxurious Kalani resort…
Jessie Van Buren has to get through the vacation her sister booked for her. A week of incredible surfing in gorgeous Hawaii? She can handle that. Then she can get back to the business of finding funding for her new app and taking the tech world by storm. But when tall, tanned and deliciously tattooed surfer Byron Keahi literally steals her wave, all her sexual self-control goes along with it.
It turns out that this wish-fulfillment resort knows exactly what their guests need. And Byron has an uncanny gift for granting her every wicked request… For the first time in her life, Jessie is learning to ask for what she wants—and to savor every moment. Only Byron isn’t just some surfer dude. He’s the billionaire owner of the resort, and there’s definitely an expiration date on this explosively hot little game. When it ends, Jessie will be down to one last wish. But will Byron be able to satisfy her every need…body and heart?
*** Excerpt ***
As she lifted her hand to paddle, a flash of white not too far away startled her. She jerked her head around to find a big guy on a short board, tanned, muscled and bare-chested, wearing board shorts. His brown hair was slicked back with water and a sexy smile teased his lips. And it looked like he was getting in position for the wave, too. Her wave.
Jessie frowned. How the hell did someone paddle out here without her noticing? She should have heard him even if her back was to the shore, but she must have been so absorbed with the solitude of the ocean that she’d missed it. She glanced over at him again. Was the dude really going for her wave? Because stealing a wave was the height of rudeness for any surfer, and she felt the insult doubly, as a woman.
Focus on the wave.
She turned back to watch it coming around the point. Yes, this first one was going to be the best one, and it was close, maybe too close to get in position. Jessie paddled hard, her shoulders burning until she was right there on the lip of the wave. Late, maybe too late, unless she popped up close to the front, pushing the board forward. Too far forward and she’d topple over; not far enough and the wave would pass her by.
Jessie pushed up, then jumped her feet under her, staying low, shifting her weight further forward, holding onto the nose. And then it happened. The moment her board caught the wave was magical, that push as the board headed down the face, picking up speed. She shifted back toward the center of the board and started across the green ocean wall that was stretching up next to her.
As the wave opened up, she caught a glimpse, just a little further down, of Surfer Dude paddling in, like he was still getting ready to drop in. This guy wasn’t a novice—his board was too short, and he was too comfortable in the water. He wasn’t even wearing a rash guard, for God’s sake, probably just to show off all those muscles and tattoos. And clearly, he didn’t give a shit about the cardinal rule of waves: first to stand up owns the wave. Or maybe he didn’t think she’d catch it. Whatever his reasoning, it was as if he had been placed right here in front of her, in the middle of this perfect beach, to push all of her buttons. She fought hard to resist schooling him…and lost.
“Don’t even think about it,” she called, giving him her best evil eye.
His eyes widened, but he didn’t scowl or glare back or react any other way she expected. Instead, his smile spread across his face, a beautiful smile, like she had made his day. And, dammit, she almost lost her balance. Jessie swore she heard him chuckle, but he pulled back, sitting up on his board right as she passed him by.
Jessie gritted her teeth and found her center, carving up. The wave was breaking just behind her, shooting her forward, so she put that smug surfer out of her mind and curved into the glassy morning water. The fog was lifting only a hazy mist, and the green forest high up on the bank shone dark and brilliant.
But at that halfway lull, the wave died under her, so she turned her board out toward the ocean and jumped off into the water. Beautiful ride, even if she didn’t make it all the way in to the shore. Jessie came to the surface, pushing her hair back over her shoulder as she climbed back on her board.
The next wave was coming in…and Hot Surfer Guy was heading toward her. He slammed the lip of the wave, holding his board, catching air before he glided down the face. Damn, he was good. And he had to know it. The wave he was riding was bigger than hers, and it looked like he’d be able to make it all the way in.
But when he got to the spot where she sat, gawking at him, he turned up the face and jumped the lip, coming down right next to her, dangerously close. And beautifully executed. He sank down next to his board, grabbing it, making sure it didn’t hit her before he disappeared under the water. A moment later he emerged dripping, and got himself back onto his board, muscles rippling.
Jessie continued to gape. Oh, Lord, this guy was jacked. He was really big and really built, with a few tattoos she was trying hard not to stare at. He pushed strands of brown hair out of his face and looked at her with dark eyes that shimmered in the light. And then he smiled. It was the same smile that he had given her as she rode by him, one of pure, sexy enjoyment. Her stomach was doing funny things, and her heart was pumping hard. She hoped it was just leftover adrenaline from a good surf run.
Maybe she should go easy on him. Naaah.
Jessie crossed her arms, trying to look unimpressed. “You almost dropped in on my wave. Do you cut in line at the grocery store, too?”
He shook his head slowly, managing to look both repentant and mischievous at the same time. “Sorry.”
His voice was a deep rumble, distracting her from her frustration. And he had this look on his face, like he loved what he was seeing…which she absolutely wouldn’t let distract her because she had been in this situation too many times before. Jessie knew exactly how she had to handle these surfer bros. If she didn’t make her point absolutely clear, he and all of his other dude friends who showed up would keep doing it again and again.
“If I were a guy, you would have pulled back without me having to snap at you,” she said.
“Maybe,” he said, like he was considering that possibility. “But I don’t think so. Not many people could have caught that wave so late on a longboard, male or female.”
She blinked at him. That sounded an awful lot like a compliment…one that was sidetracking her from the main point. “If we see each other out here again, you can assume I’ll catch anything I paddle for.”
It was at this point in the conversation that the guy’s smile should have faded. He should be looking around to see if any of his buddies heard him get chewed out by a short chick with long, platinum-white hair. But he didn’t look pissed or embarrassed at all. In fact, his eyes were even more alive, and he seemed to be fighting another smile.
“I won’t do it again,” he said solemnly. There wasn’t an ounce of sarcasm in his voice. It was warm and a little husky.
“Good,” she said. She was trying to give him some attitude, the kind that ensured that people didn’t mess with her waves or her business or her life. But it was so hard with this beautiful man staring at her like he was a little…in awe?
So she let herself look just a little more. His dark hair was shaggy, a little overgrown, and it dripped down onto his shoulders, leaving trails of water along his pecs and his washboard stomach. He had deep brown eyes with dark lashes and a lush mouth, soft and inviting. Around one muscular arm was a tattoo that reminded her of something Hawaiian. He looked like he could be Hawaiian. And he definitely wasn’t some rich tech dude who bought a surfboard to improve his image.
But most notably, she had just given him dick-withering attitude, and he was still staring at her like she was the best thing he had ever seen. Sitting in silence in the water, staring at this guy, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to strip him down or give him the finger. Or both. Damn. She had to get out of here before she did something really stupid. Like smile and nod and say something conciliatory, the way she was supposed to in investor meetings. Pretend she didn’t have a mouth like a whip, at least for long enough to get this dude into bed. Yeah, too late for that.
“You’re good,” he said. Was that a hint of surprise in his voice?
“Gee, thanks,” she said, her voice full of false cheer. “That’s so nice of you to notice.”
But he just grinned back at her. “You’re welcome.”
“Not as good as you, of course.”
The guy shrugged. “We’d have to see.”
Jessie bit her lip to keep from smiling. She should really cut this conversation off here, but as much as she hated to admit it, it was entertaining.
“Are you challenging me to some sort of surf-off?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “I mean, I know I’m not from around here, but how exactly does that go down?”
“Any way you want it to,” he said, and she could have sworn his eyes glittered with sexy interest.
“What do you want?”
“Hmm…” Jessie pretended to think about it. “I think you’d bend the knee.”
The guy tipped his head back and laughed. “This is getting better by the minute. You ready to go?”
Damn, she needed to get out of there before she did anything stupid. Like proposition this guy, right there on the water.
“Maybe another day.” She started to turn her board around toward shore.
“Wait,” he called. “Are you staying here at the Kalani?”
“Meet me here tomorrow morning.” His voice had that rumble-y quality, making it sound like he was open to just about anything happening between them tomorrow morning.
Was this guy for real? Jessie was really hoping her mouth wasn’t hanging open right now because it was getting harder and harder to come up with snarky responses. Which he deserved.
“I have plans,” she said, then lay down on her board and took a couple strokes. She could feel his eyes on her as she paddled into a wave, headed for shore.
“See you around?” he called after her, his voice laced with undisguised interest.
She couldn’t resist a smile. “Possibly.”