When she walked in, his breath caught and his entire body seemed to stiffen.
Her hair was piled on top of her head, black boy shorts showcased her long, lean legs, and a small black tank molded to her slender form. Her feet were bare. For some reason that last bit of bare skin made Rich feel like he was going to lose his mind.
She padded softly across the wood floor to the radio and hooked her iPod in. She stretched languidly in front of the mirror, seeming to have forgotten Rich’s presence.
With each stretch, Roni became more limber, and Rich became harder. He was starting to think this audition was a terrible idea.
When she was finished stretching, she pressed play on her iPod and positioned herself in the center of the room. As Christina Perri’s voice filled the room, Roni began to move.
Rich couldn’t have uttered a sound if he wanted to. He was completely, and utterly mesmerized.
Her body seemed to be made for this. The movement was so natural, so sensual, Rich had to focus on keeping himself in the chair… his entire body seemed to scream at him to get up and go to her.
As the music stopped, Roni turned to him, her chest heaving as she fought to catch her breath.
“That’s the contemporary. It’ll be for the advanced classes. I can show you the basic ballet and tap steps for the younger classes if you’d like.”
Rich tried to speak, but squeaked instead.
He felt his face grow warm as he cleared his throat and tried again, “Um, no. That won’t be necessary.”
Roni stretched a bit as she walked towards him, a puzzled smile on her face.
Rich stood, willing his legs to hold him as he tried to look cool and unaffected. “Yeah, I’m great.”
Trust in Me by Bethany Lopez
Series: Friends & Lovers #3
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Roni’s dreams of becoming a contemporary dancer were smashed under the brutal rage of her ex-husband's fists. Getting divorced and starting over at the age of twenty-two was never her plan, but maybe in Texas, she'll find her path. When the town's local player, Rich, opens a Rec Center, she sees a way to rekindle her dancing dreams...and maybe have a little fun with her sexy new boss.
Rich never expected to fulfill his dreams in the town he planned to leave behind, but that's just what he's doing. His reputation as a noncommittal ladies' man might make it challenging to earn respect in the business world, but he's willing to prove that he's serious. In fact, when it comes to pursuing Roni, he's more than willing. But she's taking a page out of his book, not wanting to risk another relationship. Can he convince her that his playboy days are over and that she can trust him with her heart?
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She walked inside and spun slowly, inhaling deeply as she moved. The fresh paint and varnish smelled like hope. She perused the room, touching ever surface, trying to convince herself that this was real. This time her dream was going to come true.
As thoughts of Hank crept back into her mind, she lifted her leg onto the bar and began to stretch, not even conscious of what she was doing.
She felt foolish for believing he loved her, even after he’d started to hit her. He was the only man she ever kissed. The only man to ever touch her. She felt cheated thinking about it.
Roni felt unsettled and out of sorts. She needed something to bring her out of this funk. Something to prove that she was still desirable, that this divorce wasn’t an ending, but rather, a beginning.
Roni stretched a bit more as her thoughts ran rampant in her head. She heard the front door shut, then the lock being turned. She walked quietly to the door of her studio and saw Rich turning from the front door.
She walked a little more loudly out into the hallway, causing him to start and turn.
“Shit, Roni,” Rich said with a quick laugh. “I didn’t know you were in here. I thought I was alone. When did you get…?” Before he could finish his sentence, Roni catapulted into his arms, her lips fusing onto his.
Rich stumbled back a step, taken off guard, before he caught himself and began to return her kiss.
She could tell he was surprised, but she had to hand it to him, he went with it.
Make it Last (Book 1, Friends & Lovers)
In a small town, it's hard to recover from being dumped by your high school sweetheart. That's just what Briana has to do after Colin leaves her to follow his dreams. She focuses her energy into her friendships and the pursuit of her own goal of becoming a chef. Just when she finally feels like she's on the right path, he comes back to town.
Colin knew breaking up with Briana before leaving for college was the right thing to do. He was determined to leave small-town life behind forever, and that included his high school girlfriend. But when a sports injury puts him on the sidelines, he's forced to return home. Seeing Briana again brings back a lot of memories, and Colin wonders if he made the right decision. It doesn't take long for him to realize he wants her back, and this time, he wants to make it last.
I Choose You (Book 2, Friends & Lovers)
Up until now, Nicole's life has been mapped out for her. She'd go to college, marry Jake and become the upstanding minister's wife. When she leaves that life to begin again in a small town in Texas, she finally has the freedom to live as she chooses. There, she meets Kent, a guy whose charm and passion make it hard to stick to her morals.
Dodging his father’s fists and protecting his twin sister made Kent into the man he is today. He learned by watching his mother stay by his father’s side that it’s better to keep relationships simple. Then he meets Nicole. Her sweet smile and genuine response to him land like punches to his resolve. After a lifetime of learning to protect his heart, can he finally let down his guard?
Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.