Resilient and practical, Kara Barton has continually strived to live a respectable life. She went to college, embarked on a promising career as an attorney, married a great guy, and always appeared to be the perfect wife and mother. But all is not what it seems, and the troubling past Kara has been running from her entire life is about to catch up with her. Urged on by her insecurities about growing older, and desperately wanting to feel one more night of passion, Kara agrees to share a tryst in a hotel room with a sexy business associate, Scott Ellsworth. But Scott wants more than one night together, and Kara quickly discovers it is impossible to resist him. Soon Kara finds herself transformed into the kind of woman she vowed never to become, and the secure world she has struggled all her life to build begins to fall apart. Kara Barton is about to find out how a one-night stand can change everything.
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Excerpt: Diary of a One-Night Stand
Relieved to finally be alone in the elevator, Kara’s thoughts began to stray from the exuberant family she had met to the man waiting for her on the fifth floor. She reflected back to their first meeting.
“I’m not talking about a quiet dinner and some hand holding,” he had said to her as he put her business card in his jacket pocket the night of the fundraiser.
“I’m not looking for any hand holding, Scott.”
“How refreshing,” he had whispered, right before he leaned forward and let his lips graze her cheek.
The feel of his lips against her skin still burned.
The opening of the elevator doors snapped Kara back to the present. She gazed down the corridor decorated with pale yellow carpeting and portraits of old New Orleans on the walls. She then placed her hand against her stomach and swallowed hard.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she mumbled.
She stepped from the elevator car and slowly made her way down the hall, anxiously eyeing the room numbers on the doors as she went. As the numbers climbed closer to the one she was searching for Kara felt her heart begin to race. His voice popped into her head as she remembered when they had made arrangements to meet.
“I have made reservations at the St. Charles Hotel for Tuesday night,” he had said to her over the phone a few days before. “Don’t disappoint me, Kara.”
“And what makes you think I will join you at the hotel, Scott?”
“Because I know what I saw in your eyes at the party. I know what I felt from you. We’re both adults, so let’s not pretend this is something other than lust. I don’t want to wine you and dine you into bed, and I don’t think you want that from me either. There’s nothing wrong with wanting me, Kara. I believe sex between two people can be a lot more fulfilling when they don’t try to make it out to be something other than what it is.”
“How predictable to hear such words from a man,” she had said into her cell phone.
Scott had laughed on the other end of the line. “Being male has got nothing to do with this. Admit it. You’re thinking the same way, Kara. I’ll see you Tuesday night.”
Kara shook her head, dismissing her memories as she made her way down the hotel corridor. This was a mistake, she reasoned. But just when Kara was about to turn around and head back home she found herself standing in front of suite 5659.
Her heart was pounding in her throat as she stared at the black numbers on the door. Kara raised her hand and held it just in front of the door for several seconds before finally knocking. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, fighting back the panic swirling around inside of her gut.
“You’re here,” a deep voice said in front of her.
Kara opened her eyes and beheld Scott Ellsworth’s handsome face. He was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and a pair of gray slacks. His dark, wavy hair looked a bit disheveled, as if he too had been anxiously weighing the pros and cons of their meeting. His deep-set gray eyes gazed up and down her slim figure.
“I wasn’t sure you would come,” he admitted as he stood back from the door.
“I told you on the phone I would be here.”
Kara walked into the suite and took in the finely decorated living area. To her right she spied a gold sofa, coffee table, and two matching gold and mahogany chairs. Beyond the living room there was a small bar with a sink and mini refrigerator. Placed atop the bar were two crystal flutes, with a silver ice bucket sitting between them. In the bucket was an open bottle of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame.
She turned back to Scott. “Champagne?” She raised one blond eyebrow. “That’s rather cheesy, don’t you think?”
Scott closed the door. “I figured it would help get you in the mood.”
Kara tossed her black purse onto the couch. “In the mood?” Kara arched one eyebrow as she walked up to him. “That’s what foreplay is for, isn’t it?”
Scott put his arm about her slim waist. “So, am I to skip all of my well-planned seduction material and just get right to it then? That’s rather a lot of pressure to put on a man, Kara.”
Kara gracefully ran her hands up his white shirt. “I thought you were the kind of man who worked better under pressure.”
Scott grinned. “Yes, I am.”