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A reluctant member of the first wives' club her husband left her for a woman half her age Elizabeth Lewis had sworn off men. Then sexy contractor Ron Powers charmed his way into her life and into her bed. With Ron, Elizabeth finally learned what it felt like to be really loved. But just when she embarked on her journey of sensual self-discovery with Ron, misfortune rocked their relationship. Her ex wanted her back. And Ron's radical past as a former Black Panther threatened their future.
Elizabeth was torn between her past and present. She had to choose between two men who loved and needed her. But what about her needs?
As always, Elizabeth will depend on her girlz Stephanie, Barbara, Ann Marie and newbie Terri to help her make the right choice!
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Donna Hill is the Essence bestselling author of Divas, Inc., In My Bedroom and If I Could. She is a public relations associate for the Queens Borough Public Library and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her website at www.donnahill.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Ellie reached for her silk robe at the foot of the bed, careful not to disturb Ron as she got up. She and loosely tied the belt. She stood and her muscles ached, but in an all-too-good way.
She smiled to herself as she tiptoed into the kitchen. Her thighs trembled ever so slightly when she walked and she could still feel the fullness of Ron deep inside her—hours later.
In her twenty-five years of marriage, sex had been enjoyable but never mind-blowing. Her exhusband, Matt, hadn't been particularly adventurous, although, she had to admit, he was caring and always tender. Hmmph, it had all been a facade.
She flipped on the wall switch and her sunny yellow and white kitchen came to life under the muted lighting, courtesy of Ron. His touches were everywhere throughout the two bedroom apartment, from the recessed track lighting, to the mosaic floor tiles, the hand-crafted book case to the refurbished walk-in closet. Even when he wasn't physically with her, his presence was still felt and she loved it.
Elizabeth went into the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee and see what she could throw together for a filling breakfast. She opened the refrigerator and leaned down to scan the shelves.
"What a view," came the rich voice from behind her.
She grinned and turned around. Damn, even first thing in the morning he was a vision to behold.
Ron Powers was all man, from the rugged, well-toned physique to his no-nonsense, take charge persona. Whenever she was with him she knew that he would look after her. At six foot two, with a warm chocolate complexion, a slow sexy smile and bedroom eyes, Ron was not just an appetizer but a full-course meal. "You're not too bad to look at, yourself. Good morning."
He stretched and the hard muscles of his stomach rippled. LL Cool J didn't have nothing on her man.
He strolled over to her. "And what, may I ask, are you doing?" He took the carton of eggs out of her hand and set them on the white marble countertop.
"I was in the process of starting breakfast. I don't know about you but after last night and this morning, I'm starved."
"And what is today?" he asked like a teacher quizzing a student.
She frowned for a moment in confusion. "Um, Tuesday."
"Two points deducted. Today is your day off. That means no work of any kind. I'll take care of breakfast.You work that pretty behind of yours off every day. Let me take care of you for a change."
"Well, since you put it that way..." She tiptoed and kissed his soft lips. "Be my guest. You know where everything is."
"Yep. Go relax—preferably in bed until I'm done."
She gave him a mock salute. "Yes, sir. Is it okay with the sergeant if I take a shower, first?" "Yes, private, then off to bed with you."
She spun away, undid her belt and let her robe fall to the floor before walking off.
"That kind of behavior will get you the results you're looking for," he called out.
"I hope so," she yelled back.
God she was happy, she thought as the steamy water splashed over her. She used her loofah sponge on her hips and her heels then rubbed her favorite mango and guava shower gel into her skin. Soon the room was immersed in her fragrance. Rinsing off, she reached for her shaver in the shower caddy and touched up under her arms and neatened up her pubic area before a final rinse. She noticed a few gray hairs down there and cringed. Well, looks were deceiving. It may look like it was getting old, but it sure played like a young girl.
She stepped out of the shower and wrapped up in a thick towel before padding off to the adjoining bedroom. No point in getting officially dressed she mused while applying lotion to her to her bed and Ron as possible for the rest of the day. But, at least, she could pretend to clothe herself.
Elizabeth opened her top dresser drawer where she kept her lingerie. It was filled with lacy undies, garters, thongs in splashes of colors. The kinds of things she'd worn during her marriage, but Matt never seemed to really notice. Ron was a different story. He loved to see her on the way the dazzling colors looked against her skin. Most of all he enjoyed taking them off of her. She would have thought her basic black or white undergarments would have sufficed until one day they were in the mall and passed a Victoria's Secret store, and Ron insisted that she go in and pick out whatever she wanted.
She was a bit self-conscious at first until she'd felt him next to her and he started making suggestions. She soon discovered what he liked and that she liked it, too. From then on, Ms. Victoria was her best friend.
Elizabeth pulled out a burnt orange demipushup bra with a matching thong. She grinned. Ron loved her in orange.
Doing as commanded, she hopped back in bed and turned on the morning news. As usual, it was a litany of chaos: Fires, car accidents, police shootings and terror suspects.
The newscaster's story was on the heightened security measures that the FBI and Homeland Security were employing to weed out possible suspects here in the States. He went on to say that there was legislation that was being considered allowing the government to tap into the phones of American citizens without a warrant as long as they were considered suspect.
Elizabeth shuddered at the thought. Where would it end? She pointed the remote at the television and began to surf. It was too early in the morning to get depressed. She finally settled on Monster In-Law on one of the cable stations. She'd seen it three times, already, but it never failed to make her laugh. The movie was up to the scene where Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda have it out at a restaurant.
"Breakfast, as they say, is served, Madame," Ron announced with a really bad British accent. He walked in with a large tray.
Elizabeth flattened out the covers and propped herself regally against the thick pillows.
Ron placed the tray on her lap. Grits with cheese, a western omelet, wheat toast, coffee and an icy cold glass of orange juice.
"Wow." She looked up at him. "This is wonderful.
"Enjoy it." "Aren't you going to eat?"
"Yep. Be right back."
Shortly he returned with an identical setup and they watched the movie and laughed their way through the meal.
"I'll take these out to the kitchen," Elizabeth offered once they were finished.
"Nope. I will. Stay put." He took their trays and empty plates into the kitchen and put them in the dishwasher.
When he returned to the bedroom, Elizabeth was sitting up with her arms folded tightly across her waist.
"You don't have to fuss over me, Ron. Seriously."
He came over to the bed and sat down, the side sinking with his weight.
"Look, it's not often that I get a chance to do anything for you. I see you working like a fiend every day running the spa. I know it can't be easy. Ellie, even on your days off you have errands to run and loose ends to tie up. Today, I really want it to be a day off for you."
She smiled at him and cupped his chin in her palm. "Thank you. I really do appreciate it. I have been going nonstop since we opened." "My point exactly."
Elizabeth stretched and wiggled her toes beneath the sheets. "Okay, I surrender."
"Good." He pushed against her hips and she scooted over, making room for him in the bed.
"How did you manage to get the day off today?" she asked, resting her head against his chest.
"I'm the boss, remember?" He chuckled lightly. "I have a few new jobs coming up, but I'm waiting on the contracts to be finalized. I have Ali running things today. The job up on Lenox is almost finished."
Ron was a private contractor with his own small construction firm specializing in rehabbing brownstones, which was how she'd met him. He was the contractor that was hired to renovate the Harlem brownstone that housed the day spa, Pause for Men, as well as her apartment that was on the top floor.
"I still can't get over how Ali was the connection to Stephanie's dad. Fate truly brought them together."
"Yeah. If he hadn't been working on that job for me, he might have never met her. When is she coming back from Texas?"
"I don't know, exactly. I'm sure she wants to spend as much time with her father as she can. But she probably won't stay away too long. She does have her sister to think about."
"Now, that is a sad story. I don't know how Stephanie has been able to deal with seeing her sister like that all these years."
"It can't be easy. But Stephanie is a tough girl. She may have her faults, but she can hold her own."
"All of your friends, Barbara and Ann Marie are pretty amazing women."
"I only surround myself with the best." She looked up at him and winked. "Including men."
"Hmm, now that's what I like to hear."
In the distance, the faint sound of the downstairs doorbell could be heard. The spa was open for business.
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Book Description Harlequin Kimani, 2007. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0373860242
Book Description Harlequin Kimani, 2007. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110373860242
Book Description Harlequin Kimani, 2007. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0373860242