Scotland, present day
The overhead doorbell jangled and Laria prayed it wasn’t that prick Hamish Wallace harassing her. Again.
She arranged the last batch of shortbread in the display case.
“Welcome to Wicked Temptations,” she called. Laria lifted her head and the bon-bon in her hand slipped through her fingers to splat on the plate when she spied Mr. Yummy making his way to the counter. Scooping up the ruined treat Laria turned and placed it on the saucer next to her empty mug of tea. Grabbing the end of the towel hanging at her waist, she wiped her hand.
As he strode toward her, appreciation rose. She’d seen him around the village, and bugger, he was even better looking up close. Thrice she’d dreamed of him and found the real man was definitely more delicious. Laria hadn’t yet discovered the reason for the visions of him, but she hoped all would be revealed soon.
He stood at least six foot one, with sun-kissed blonde hair just past his collar, and his eyes were the brilliant blue of Loch Awe on a sunny day. He reminded her of a Norse god. A shiver of anticipation shimmied to her core at the thought of what she’d like to sample on this man. His aura and presence reached out and touched her–almost like a caress, soft as a kitten’s fur. She took a deep breath to refocus, to still the attraction she felt for this stranger.
She closed the sliding window and wiped the crumbs from her hands on her apron. She resisted the urge to pluck her damp shirt away from her body. I’m probably a mucky mess. Just my luck.
“May I help you?” she asked as she kept watch on the village’s two gossipy crones, Agatha and Clara, at their favourite corner table.
“I’m looking for Laria MacCleod.” He pulled an envelope from the pocket of his jacket.
Prickles of unease danced a Highland reel up and down her spine. Something wasn’t right. “Aye, I’m Laria.”
“This is for you, lass.” The embossed crest in the upper left-hand corner caught her attention. Brighid’s Fire! Hamish Wallace. Would the slug never leave her alone? Her creed, if it harms none, do what you will, she always obeyed. Hamish pushed her to her limit.
“I’ve been told this is a final offer from Wallace on your building and property.” The muscles in his jaw tightened but his eyes flashed with anger.
Her hand trembled, rattling the packet. Anger flared, heating her cheeks. “Would you give Hamish a message?”
The Viking Warrior crossed his arms and raised a tawny brow. “Aye, lass.”
“Tell that son-of-a-bitch cur he can go straight to bloody hell! I’m not selling. Ever.”
A devilish half-smile twitched at the corners of his mouth. “Hamish isn’t my client. I only have the misfortune of working with his solicitor for a few months. It would give me great pleasure to deliver your message.”
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Wicked Temptations by Tambra Nicole Kendall
“See anything tempting?” Laria wished it was her he found a wicked temptation instead of her pastries. She wondered if he tasted as good as her sweet treats. Mr. Yummy with chocolate drizzle? Aye, chocolate went with everything.
She stepped to the side, restoring her focus on her customer and pushed her naughty thoughts aside for the time being, but by the moon, it was hard.
“I’ll take a baker’s dozen of shortbread and three savoury scones. A man has to eat. If your wares as good as they smell, I’ll be returning often.” He paid for his purchases and gave her a roguish wink before striding out the door.
The attraction between Laria and Cameron sizzle white-hot while Hamish’s evil intentions endanger the lives of Laria, Cameron and the Fae.