It’s her turn to drive.
Men take from Jana. Her dad and brother: money. Stage-side gawkers: her dignity. Still, she finished nursing school, won a spot in Manhattan’s top ER—thanks to no man. But when her dad’s business and heart fails, ever-loyal Jana Park must return to the stripper’s pole. Now even her boss’s chauffeur ogles her in the rearview. Faux-kindness—and irrefutable heat—aside, she glares back.
Because screw ’em all.
Chauffeur Antonio Ruiz is done with his cheating wife, the city, the almighty buck. His seaside home in Mexico calls. One last gig for his biggest client, the city’s strip club king, then he’s out. Except that the sharp, exotic, petite powerhouse of a woman he’s been hired to drive—day in-day out, glaring at him with those deep, solemn eyes—takes him over. If he could pierce her shield of doubt, he’d bring her home, far from this hell.
But, no. Jana’s got to take the wheel and drive. Away from her family’s abuse, her boss’s clutches…and toward Antonio’s true brand of love.
The road’s rocky. Will they make it to paradise? Or will it all go south… in the city.
She ended the call feeling lousy, so she stared out the windshield as they tore down I-95, about thirty minutes away from the club. No traffic, although she wished there was. She needed more time to cool off.
“So…” Antonio broke the silence. “You think I’m attractive?” Antonio asked, his eyes focused hard on the road ahead.
“What kind of question is that?” She turned to him, shocked and laughing a little at the awkward remark. Then she got nervous. Was he teasing her? Yes, he had to be. She’d started to get his sense of humor yesterday during their grocery run. Yeah, he was messing with her. “I mean…uh, yeah, I guess you’re an attractive person. Sure.” Then she waited for the punch line.
“No, no…you said I was ‘damn hot.’ ‘Esta rechulo.’ That’s what you said.”
Her breath got shallow. Cheeks burning. “You…heard? Understood?”
“I understood, yes.” He cracked up. “That you think I’m gooorgeous.”
“Whoa, I didn’t say that!” She got more frazzled.
And he only got more of a kick out of it, waggling his eyebrows at her and smirking.
“You were eavesdropping on my call?”
“Not really. I mean, it was easier to tune you out when you sat in the backseat, but now you’re right next to me. And you have my mp3 player, so I can’t even block you out with that.” He laughed. “But anyway, you think I’m seeeeexy.”
She huffed and crossed her arms over her chest; he was enjoying himself a little too much.
“You’re Spanish, not Italian?” she said, summarizing her understanding as she felt her cheeks get even hotter. Running through her memory, what else had she said to Luly on the call? Crap! Calls, plural! And on her last call to Lu, she’d called him a prick. Was that all? Oh God, she hoped that was all.
“I’m from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on the beautiful Pacific coast, where yes, Spanish is the native language,” he teased.
Of course. How could she have been so stupid to assume he was Italian just because he worked for the Demontes?
“The question, though, is how do you speak Spanish so damn beautifully? You’re Korean. And you speak Korean? God, you’re trilingual, woman!”
She softened with the compliment. Any annoyance over the fact that he’d neglected to tell her that Spanish was his first language all but vanished. Now she just felt like a stupid, ignorant asshole. She sighed. “First off, sorry for calling you a prick….”
“You called me a prick?”
“Yeah, when you made the consultant-stripper comment.”
“I must’ve successfully tuned you out then.” He snickered, subtle dimples on his cheeks showing themselves as he messed with her further.
“Well, I don’t think you’re a prick anymore.”
“I know. You think I’m suuuper fine!”
She punched him in the arm and gave him her death look as her cheeks flared up. Again. “Secondly, if I may continue…”
“Of course, princessa.”
Rissa Brahm Bio:
Contemporary romance writer Rissa Brahm grew up in New York and has since lived in all four corners of the United States, and beyond. The beautiful paradise of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico—the core setting of her hot & heartfelt debut series, Paradise South—is Rissa’s most recent and beloved home.
After two decades of working in the rigid—and sometimes blurry—world of finance, she's taken hold of her truest dream, writing hot and heartfelt stories full time.
When not chained-by-choice to her MacBook, she is embarking on outdoor adventures with her husband and little girl, laughing to tears with a good rom com, eating amazing Indian food with something chocolate for dessert; reading good, hot scorchers in bed; biking, long walks, and yoga; zoning out to killer music from across the decades and the globe; and getting lost only to discover a new exciting route home again. You can connect with Rissa on Facebook, Twitter or by email anytime by heading to www.RissaBrahm.com.