FAR FROM PERFECT
~ a sexy contemporary romance ~
It's a marriage of convenience... at least that's what they're telling themselves
A night of earthshattering lovemaking left Nick Lisitano wracked with remorse for taking advantage of Anna’s innocence. He knows Anna deserves deep, enduring love, which is not something he can offer her. He’s managed to keep his distance until now, but his father is ill, and he knows just what will bring his family together and give his father peace. A wedding. His wedding. To the lovely young Anna.
Four years ago, Anna Felgate gave her virginity to the man who held her heart—long-time family friend and legendary lover, Nick Lisitano. That one night branded her for life and ruined her for any other man, but Nick has been cold to her ever since. Until now that is, when he comes to her with a crazy plan…a proposal…of marriage.
Anna knows she shouldn’t agree to Nick’s plan, but how can she refuse the man who holds her heart
Far From Perfect is now published by
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
* * *
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
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?
Available from :: iBooks :: Kobo :: Nook :: Entangled Publishing
Amazon :: US :: UK :: CA :: AU
Far From Perfect by Portia Da Costa
Entangled Publishing ® 2017
Previously published 2011
© 2011 Portia Da Costa
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher
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