Release date: 31 March 2014
When Esmeralda Salinas left her childhood home, she left behind the judgmental lectures and cold, unaffectionate parents who never found her good enough to compete with her brother Beto. Esme fashions herself into her own woman, and refuses to let others dictate her behavior or her dreams. After a love affair goes wrong in Rose Creek, Texas, she packs up her horse and moves to even tinier Truth, Texas.
When Esme finds herself singing country karaoke in her aunt’s bar, she can deal with that. But when Tía demands that Esme consider a job offer from devastatingly sexy Rafael Benton, Esme realizes that the small town of Truth might harbor some horrific lies
revolving around Rafael and his recently deceased sister Cody, who had reached the pinnacle of the country music season only to crash and burn.
Still, Esme listens to Rafael’s sales pitch and can’t believe what he offers: almost a quarter million dollars to marry him for the summer.
Rafael talks a good game, and Esme knows she could enjoy the benefits of marriage to him, with or without the formalities and pre-nuptials and pretense. But sleeping with a man for the thrill is one thing. Marrying him for money is another. Can she accept a job that would make her rich but might destroy all she holds sacred?
by Leslie P. García
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Leslie P. García lives in deep South Texas, surrounded by her loving family, annoying animals, and a country song for every imaginable situation. Find Leslie at http://lesliepgarcia.wordpress.com/return-to-rio/ on Facebook, and on Twitter.
An excerpt from His Temporary Wife:
Across the room, behind a huge mahogany desk, Rafael rose gracefully, smiling, and she walked toward him, remembering again all the unease and dark feelings she’d had since running into him in the club kitchen.
He held out a hand, nodding at her as she arrived, and greeted her politely. “Ms. Salinas! Thanks for coming. Please, sit down.”
He sat after she did, and seemed momentarily at a loss for words. After a brief pause, though, he gestured at a nearby bar full of bottles and cut glass decanters. “Something to drink? Tea? Water?”
“No, thank you. Mr. Benton, my aunt asked me to come here to interview for some job she thinks I might be interested in. I’ll be honest—I have a profession, and I hadn’t planned on working this summer. I don’t think I’m interested in anything you could offer.”
Sparks danced in his eyes, chispitas of fire that burned. “Nothing?” he asked, dimples slashing his bronze cheeks. Then he shrugged and the slow-burning fire died away as the businessman he had to be took over.
“I don’t know that you’d meet the qualifications, either, but perhaps we should both look at the situation. I’m not offering a common job, and I don’t expect the applicant to accept a common salary. Because of the extremely complicated situation, I’m offering a salary—with expenses covered—which could close in on two hundred thousand. For six, seven weeks—maybe two months, tops.”
She stared at him, shocked. “You’re serious?”
He nodded somberly.
“Wow.” Disbelief still clutched her. “This isn’t a joke? I don’t have to hurt or kill or destroy someone?”
This time he shook his head, just as serious. “My money needs to buy you,” he told her flatly. “I need to hire a temporary wife.”