Life in the small town of Emerald Springs, Washington, is anything but slow and peaceful. An old feud between former business partners Whitman and Sanders keeps competition on a high burner, fueling resentment, renewing rivalries … and love. Now someone is trying to bring down Emerald Tea Farm, and it’s up to both families to protect their future while still wrangling over the past.
Daniel Whitman has a plan to turn their hospitality retreat into a high-end eco-friendly resort, but his father and brothers think the timing is wrong. Against family wishes, he heads off to Australia to an award-winning eco-spa to test their services. He is immediately attracted to marketing manager Rochelle Harris but pushes it aside to concentrate on discovering what has made this resort so successful.
Rochelle is a career woman, whose mother who frittered away every single penny her father earned, putting him into an early grave. Now Rochelle’s sole goal is to get to the top of her field and become financially secure so she won’t need to rely on anyone. What she doesn’t need is a sexy, attractive American distracting her from her plans.
The more time they spend together, the more the attraction grows. Then a disaster back home makes Daniel realize he has to step up to his responsibilities. But is Rochelle prepared to take the risk and relocate halfway around the world—and can Daniel open up and let someone be a true partner in his life?
by Nicole Flockton
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Nicole is an Australian living in Houston. She writes contemporary romances and enjoys creating characters and situations unique to them. When she’s not writing romance, she is busy looking after her own personal hero, her husband, and two children.
An excerpt from Daniel’s Decision:
As Rochelle gave the reception area another once over, she noticed a man walking into the resort. He strode confidently through the doors; she pegged him for a successful businessman. He probably had a glossy, perfectly made-up woman following behind.
Except he didn’t. He didn’t waver in his strides, as if he was waiting for someone to catch up with him.
She made her way a bit closer to the reception desk. It wasn’t unusual but it definitely wasn’t common for a single man to come to the resort. She moved behind the counter, smiling at one of the staff as she did so.
“Good morning, sir, and welcome to Kulang Resort.”
Rochelle smiled as she heard the front desk clerk greet the mystery guest. She had no idea why she was so interested in him, but he’d piqued her curiosity. She risked a glance at him then looked quickly away. Up close, he was even more magnetic. She tried to ignore the increase in her heart rate. She wasn’t normally one to like a five o’clock shadow on a man, but on this guest it was extremely sexy.
She pushed the thought away. It was her personal policy not to get involved with any guest. The owners of Kulang had no hard and fast rule about guests and staff. But for her, getting involved with a guest could be detrimental to her career. She’d made that mistake once, and she wasn’t going to do it again.
“Good morning, my name’s Daniel Whitman and I have a reservation.”
Why did that name ring a bell? She racked her brain, trying to see if there was something that would trigger her memory. He was American; she got that from his accent.
Was he a returning guest? No, she didn’t think he was. But then again, it wasn’t like she knew all the guests who had ever stayed at the resort.
She knew that name, she was sure of it, and it was bugging her that she couldn’t remember how she knew him.
“I see you haven’t booked in for any of the treatments the resort offers, Mr. Whitman. Is there something in particular you’d like to experience?”
“I haven’t made up my mind, but when I do, I’ll let you know. Your resort has so much to offer; it’s almost too hard to choose.”
There was nothing in what he said that should have unlocked her memory, but she suddenly knew who Daniel Whitman was. He was the person who had been emailing her to get information about the resort. She’d not responded because she wasn’t sure if his claim as a resort owner was legitimate. She had been too caught up with the new marketing and expansion plans she’d been working on to take time to do proper research on the resort he said he was from, and until she’d looked more carefully into his background, she wasn’t going to respond to his queries.
Now was the perfect opportunity to find out why he was here and what he wanted from her. If he wanted anything. She took a step forward and held out her hand toward him.