Recipe for Temptation - Gina Gordon

Chapter One

This was the life.

When Penn Foster awoke that morning, there was no tension in her body. No nauseous feeling in her stomach. All because she didn’t have to see Cole Murphy—her sort-of boss, a pain in the ass, and one of the hottest men she’d ever encountered. Not for seven glorious days.

She lay on her back, her body stretched out on a lounge chair. The white resort towel spread under her was soft against her bare skin, and the bright midday sun shone down from a cloudless sky. A slight breeze wafted up to the pool area from the ocean and tickled the fine hairs on her arms. With a sigh, she settled against the folded-up towel under her neck, relaxed her shoulders, and soaked up the sun. She sneaked a peek down her body. Not that she’d be getting much sun. Not with the one-piece bathing suit she was forced to wear to cover the cherry blossom tattoo that spanned her entire left side. Her family didn’t know about it.

Hell, they didn’t know her at all. To them, she was the dutiful daughter and sister who always did what she was told. She’d been slapped with the boring, unadventurous wallflower stigma a long time ago, and they refused to see her as anything different. To this day, they couldn’t understand why she hadn’t settled down with a nice man and followed in her father’s footsteps to become a teacher.

Because shaping the youth of tomorrow was God’s honest work.

Which she believed in, but she wanted to do it in her own way. Like on the board of directors for the Vivian Madewood Foundation, a not-for-profit run by the Madewood brothers—her bosses. They used the foundation to raise funds for charitable causes aimed at helping children and youth across the city of Toronto in the name of their late foster mother, Vivian Madewood.

Fitting back into her wallflower persona was more and more difficult every time she saw her family, and she felt like she was leading a double life. But they just wouldn’t understand the person she’d become.

When a shadow fell across her lounge chair, she peeked through one eye and saw a man standing with his back to her, blocking the sun.

“Do you mind moving over? I’m trying to get some sun,” she muttered, closing her eye in annoyance.

The man complied immediately. She knew because she felt the heat against her skin again. But just as quickly as it had appeared, it disappeared. She turned her head and ripped off her sunglasses, then shielded her eyes with a hand pinned against her forehead.

The man had moved closer and was now turned toward her, his shins almost touching the edge of her chair.

“Seriously, dude. Do you mi—”

Her shoulders shot up to her ears. She fisted one hand around the arm of the lounge chair and the other grasped her fruity drink in a death grip. Oh. My. God.

Cole Murphy.


In Hawaii.

On her vacation.

But why?

“How did I know you’d be lounging like a cat with your hand around a drink?” he drawled.

And with only a few words—not even a hello—he had managed to ruin the moment entirely.

“What are you doing here, Cole?” She sat up and placed her banana daiquiri on the small table beside her chair. She had so been looking forward to a week of perspective. To try and get a handle on her feelings for him before she returned home and cemented herself even further into the Madewood family business.

But with Cole here, in one fell swoop that plan had been squashed.

He straightened and clasped his hands at the small of his back. His eyes were hidden behind sexy wraparound sunglasses. “I’m on vacation.”

Oh, hell no. He did not get to crash her family vacation.

“You don’t vacation.”

He hesitated, his body tensing for a brief moment.

She sat back in her lounger with a smug smile and enjoyed watching the small vein throb at his jaw. He was nervous. But she couldn’t help her wandering gaze.

Damn, he was hot. He wore a white polo shirt and blue golf shorts. Tommy Hilfiger models had nothing on this guy. His hair, usually combed through, was haphazard, like he’d dried it with a towel and left it alone. She liked it. Made her think of her recurring daydream that had her running her hands through those brown strands and using them to guide his mouth to where she wanted it. Which was—All. Over. Her. Body.

Which absolutely was not going to happen.

She picked up the small