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FAR FROM PERFECT by Portia Da Costa

Please be aware that this excerpt contains sensual content that is only suitable for adult readers who are comfortable with frank language and descriptions of erotic scenarios

Far From Perfect Blurb

Enduring passion, turbulent emotions, and an engagement of convenience…

Four years ago, Anna Felgate seduced Nick Lisitano, a family friend she’d known all her life and always had a crush on. It was only supposed to be a one night thing, and the chance to lose her virginity with an experienced older man and legendary lover… but one taste of passion with Nick branded her soul for all time.

Four years ago, Nick Lisitano had a single night of peerless lovemaking with the one beautiful young woman he’d told himself he could never, ever have. Scarred by his parents’ nightmare relationship, he’d sworn off commitment forever in favour of temporary liaisons, but he knew Anna deserved deep, enduring love.

A far from perfect match, the two agree to forget their ecstatic night and manage to maintain a cordial distance for four long years. Until a family crisis brings the two of them together again and Nick makes a daring proposition… that they enter into a temporary façade of an engagement, to lift the spirits of his dangerously ill father. Against her better judgement, Anna goes along with him, even in spite of the perilous emotional turmoil that she knows being close to Nick again will bring.

But with genuine feelings for each other, and a volcanic mutual attraction that’s just bursting to reignite, can Nick and Anna keep to the terms their pragmatic agreement? Or will the passion of past become a present affair… and maybe more?

Available in print from Samhain Publishing, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Available from Samhain Publishing, Amazon Kindle Store UK, Amazon Kindle Store US, Diesel Ebooks, All Romance Ebooks and Barnes and Noble Nook Store.

Excerpt: Prologue

It was now or never. She’d waited too many years already, yearning like a half-baked damsel in distress, hoping he’d see her the way she saw him. If she held back much longer, she might never get a chance.

Anna Felgate padded forward into the darkened bedroom, guided by a shaft of moonlight from the open window that spilt onto the bed… and illuminated an angel.

Niccolo Lisitano, the son of her father’s dearest friend. Niccolo Lisitano, the man she’d loved since she was barely more than a girl.

He stirred slightly as she approached, but he was still dead to the world, sleeping the sleep of the weary traveler who was mired in jet lag but happy to be home. It probably wasn’t the best time to wake him up and offer herself to him like sex on a plate, but she was sick to death of being a virgin, and spending another holiday wanting but not having.

The scents of summer roses, the citrus and balsam oozed into the room from the groves above the villa, and the night was warm and heavy-aired, like velvet on her skin as she stripped off her vest and sleep-shorts. Nick was naked too, and feeling the heat just as she did, judging by the way he’d thrown aside the single sheet on his bed. He was facing away from her, exhibiting his perfect profile and the shine of tanned skin over taut, sculpted musculature. Shoulders, back, thighs and buttocks, all perfect to her eyes. His golden hair gleamed against the white of the pillow, darker in the shadows than in the sun, but still glorious.

Settling herself gingerly, she climbed onto the bed, but despite her care, Nick sensed her weight, turned slowly and began to shake his way to wakefulness. He groaned, rubbing his face and pushing his hand through his tousled curls. Even sleepy and grimacing, he was everything Anna wanted, and she gasped, sideswiped anew as her heart clenching in longing. The perfumed air and the beauty of the man before her were a drug that made her feel as if she were dreaming too, and in that dream she was a goddess who could do anything. Even when Nick’s eyes snapped open, and recognition dawned in their blue depths.

“Anna?” He blinked, still hazy and fighting towards full consciousness. As if on autopilot, he reached out blindly, trying to find the sheet and cover himself, but Anna wasn’t having of that. She’d waited too long to see all of him, every last gorgeous inch, and especially the penis that she’d driven herself half-mad speculating about when she’d watched him poolside in form fitting Speedos. Before he could get a grip on the bed-linen, she set her knee on it so he couldn’t pull it up.

Still frowning, Nick came up on one elbow, peering at her in the low light, his brows shooting up when he registered her bare body. Triumph buoyed her up when she saw the flare in his eyes, the heat he couldn’t hide, and the way his unsuppressed gaze traveled over her, licking her skin like a flame. At last he was seeing her, really seeing her.

“What are you doing here, cara?”

But there was still confusion in his eyes, and his voice was blurred with sleep. She could feel the war going on in him. The conflict between status quo and the ancient male urge already making his sex rise. “Look, you shouldn’t -”

No! You’re not sending me away! I won’t let you!

She didn’t say it. She wasn’t going to plead like a little girl shrilling for a piece of candy. She was twenty, and a woman, even if she was a virgin. So instead she just reached out and placed her fingers across his lips, then an instant later she replaced her fingers with her mouth.

At first, he seemed to resist her, as if his subconscious was clinging to the idea of her as his familiar “holiday buddy”.

No way, mister, she thought, banishing her doubts as she sought to crush his by pressing forward and kissing him as if her life depended on it.

His mouth was like velvet, firm and supple, deliciously warm. As she ran her tongue along the inner edges of his lips, they parted, letting her in. He was quiescent, but only for a moment, and then his tongue pressed against hers, making it yield, asserting his dominance.

Yes, yes, yes!

Instead of holding back now, he surged forward, brushing her hair away from her face as he compelled her back against the pillow. Anna rearranged herself to fit him, stretching her body down the bed, molding as much of her skin against as much of his as she could. She gasped into his mouth when his penis brushed her thigh, then pressed harder against it.

He was solid, hot, growing, the skin like satin. Anna’s prime instinct was to rub herself against him, and she followed it, loving the way he growled low in his throat, even while he was still kissing her. She curled her arms around him, running her fingers over his backside and his thighs, still rubbing, still circling her sex against him as he worked his sex against her.

He felt perfect. He wanted her. The night and the man were the embodiment of her dreams.

The kiss deepened. His hands roved her body, cupping her breasts, skimming over her bottom. He was possessive, and hungry, but at the same time gentle and measured. Even as she simmered and trembled at his touch, she wondered. Did he suspect he was the first? He drew back, and peered into her eyes in the darkness, his own questioning. Her answer was a smile, and a sultry kiss against his neck. She drew confidence from his beauty and his scent, and the strength of his erection.

Unable to stop herself, she reached down between their bodies to caress him.

“Oh, Anna… yes, yes,” he murmured, surging in her hold. She’d never done this before, but the way he moved, and gasped and arched his neck all told her that she was doing something right, even though she was far from the experienced kind of woman he was used to. A man like Nick knew how to keep himself in check, but still, she stroked him only lightly, handling his penis with reverence. His low, thrilling moans only confirmed her instinct to go lightly.

After a few moments, he shook his head against the pillow, and she froze.

“Enough,” he gasped, his voice as shadowy as the night, “My turn to touch…” he stilled her hand and put it from him, “ and yours to be touched.” He looked down at her, and for a moment, he frowned, his eyes cloudy again, as if he still wasn’t quite sure he was awake. Then he settled his lips on hers, and slid his palm down the length of her body, curving over waist and hips and thighs. As he pushed his tongue into her mouth again, his fingers dipped between her thighs.

The sensation was electric, wonderful, just as she’d imagined it, but more, different, better. Ready, willing, and tense with long-brewed desire, she was half way to the pinnacle already. Moaning and moving, she pushed against him, rising and rocking as he stroked her and kissed her face and throat.

Within moments, she climaxed hard, shouting his name, stunned and stopped in her tracks by the intensity of it. The sensations were unreal, and yet everything she’d imagined and hoped for and more.

But sweet as pleasure was, after a few moments of pause, she was eager to taste it again, and ready to give as well as take.

Embracing, kissing, touching and sliding their bodies against each other, the hunger and passion rose and swelled like gathering wave, each one gaining momentum. For a long time, they enjoyed each other, playing and exploring, mostly silent apart from gasps and whispers and moans, most barely coherent. They didn’t join, but did almost every other wonderful thing that Anna had practiced in her imagination with the dream of Nick.

Then the time came.

Nick’s eyes were intent, serious, yet fiery in the darkness, still asking questions. Anna simply kissed him and pushed herself against him, impatient even while he rolled on a condom. Her heart quivered and she could hardly breathe with excitement when he moved between her thighs. And pressed into her, sighing her name.

It hurt a little and she caught her breath.

Nick halted, mid thrust, and tried to make her look in his eyes. But she buried her head against his neck, and arched her body against him, determined to take him into her by sheer force of will.

“Anna? Are you all right? What is it?” His voice was tight, fierce, on the ragged edge of self control. Anna felt him trying to pull back, but she clung on hard, redoubling her efforts.

“I’m fine… great… wonderful…” she gasped again, “I was just a little tense… I’m so excited… Nick, please… I want you in me.”

There was an instant, just an instant, when she sensed him disbelieving her, and still inclined to retreat. So she stroked his back and his bottom and thighs, her fingers traveling and teasing, making him groan and renew his efforts.

Then it was easy. At last. And Nick loved her in a rhythm that was deep and sweet and true, and she matched him, rising and meeting him, stroke for stroke, riding the groundswell of their pleasure, the passion and desire, until at last they soared together to the precious peak of orgasm.

As they lay, afterwards, waiting for their breath, and for the world around them to normalize, Anna shuddered. It was almost as if one moment she was in heaven, the next in another place entirely. She couldn’t describe it, or pinpoint why, but as the silence between them lengthened and lengthened, a strange cold breeze wafted in from the garden, more North Sea than the balmy Mediterranean.

She stared at Nick, in the darkness, beside her and her stomach dropped in alarm. His body was a column of tension, and his face was a chiaroscuro of complex emotions, his beauty hard and unforgiving. Expressions shifted and changed across his features even as she watched, cycling through anger, regret, self-loathing and others less definable. Then he frowned, and suddenly spoke, his voice hard and tight as he reached for the sheet and draped it across her.

“You young idiot, you were a virgin, weren’t you?”

The Northern waters deluged all over Anna’s head, dowsing away the drowsy heat of passion, and chilling the warmth of love. She couldn’t speak.

“How could you be so stupid?” Nick’s tone was as stern and cool as his face and after a moment of frigid shock, a new kind of heat surged in Anna’s gut.

How dare you? How dare you go all sanctimonious and disapproving on me in the blink of an eye after what we just did?

Not so long ago, he’d been enjoying everything she had to offer, but now it was as if she was in bed with a different man entirely. Not the lovable, funny, companionable Nick she’d always known, and not the generous, searing, magnificent lover of just a few minutes ago.

No, this was a new man, as dead and distant the moon and yet strangely aggressive. A million miles away, yet beside her. A new rush of horror dawned. Oh God, was this the real Nick, the one she’d never seen, the predatory self serving egotist? Was she just another woman to be savored for the briefest while, then discarded?

Don’t be stupid. That’s what you wanted him for, wasn’t it? To rid you of your virginity, no strings, no entanglement?

But still, still she knew she’d wanted more, much more, fool that she was! Anger with herself as well as him made her aggressive too.

“Yes, of course I was a virgin, Nick. What’s the problem in that? Every woman is until her first time. It’s not unusual.” Her voice rang out in the quiet room, far more strident and pugnacious than she wanted it to be. She hadn’t really worked out in advance how she’d deal with the aftermath, but all shreds of good sense and reason had been dissolved by Nick’s sudden hostility. “I thought you’d be pleased. I thought men like you liked deflowering virgins?”

“Men like me? Players, you mean? Men who get through a lot of women?” He was storming now too, his dark eyes sparkling with anger. Although a still, quiet voice in Anna’s mind observed that he was probably as furious with himself as she was with herself.

Shaking his head, Nick reached for his robe, pulled it on and cinched it tight, then turned and glared at her, “Per Dio, what on earth were you thinking, Anna?”

* * *

Clearly I wasn’t thinking at all, thought Anna later, feeling as if she’d been pounded by rocks as she mentally replayed the ebb and flow of the rest of their argument, and then cringed at their stiff, tight lipped agreement in the aftermath.

They would never speak of tonight. It hadn’t happened, and it was better that way. Better for them. Better for the family.

But still her heart turned over with sorrow at the thought of what had happened. And what they’d lost. Most probably forever.

How could something that started so perfectly grow so far from it?


Far From Perfect by Portia Da Costa
2010 Portia Da Costa & Samhain Publishing

Available in print from Samhain Publishing, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Available from Samhain Publishing, Amazon Kindle Store UK, Amazon Kindle Store US, Diesel Ebooks, All Romance Ebooks and Barnes and Noble Nook Store.


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