Book Title: An Unexpected Encounter
Author: Robin Shaw
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 8, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Entrepreneur Zachary Wilkins doesn’t see himself as a brother to his younger cousins, like they have considered him to be. He feels indebted to his aunt and uncle for adopting him and officially making him a member of their family. When he encounters Shaina Hayes, he wants her just as much as she wants him. Seeing her, for a second time, at his cousin, Aaron’s wedding, stirs emotions in him that he can’t shake and further fuels his desire for her.
Shaina Hayes has had two rules since moving into Bloomfield Township, Ohio; work hard and keep to herself. One night, however, she goes out to celebrate her new job. A tall, handsome man catches her eye and the attraction between them unravels into an explosive night of passion. A night that she relives in her mind and vows to herself to never repeat again.
I am Robin Shaw, a hopeless romantic who loves to read and write about romance. Life is filled with enough unhappy endings, so I enjoy penning tales with a HFN or HEA.
Eyes scanning the interior of the bar, Shaina couldn’t find a corner or a table she could occupy. As she pivoted around, she saw a very handsome man with facial hair that looked like it’d taken a week or two to grow in. As the older waitress picked up all of the bottles and empty baskets, the man told her something and slipped what looked like a stack of bills into the tiny pocket of her apron. The waitress looked stunned and he gave her a smile that made the women look like she was going to melt.
Five minutes later, the man Shaina had her eyes on hadn’t moved from the table. Was he waiting for someone? His girlfriend? Based on the man’s manners and seemingly agreeable demeanor, Shaina could easily picture him having the company of a woman tonight. Or a man.
Looking directing at her target, Shaina marched over to him. The man’s eyes settled on her before she stood across from him. He had a beautiful shade of azure eyes. Usually, she didn’t feel like she needed to take a cold shower when she saw a good-looking man. Not even a drop dead gorgeous one. Perhaps it was because his eyes seemed familiar to her, as odd as that sounded. It became apparent that he was here by himself. She wouldn’t leave him sitting at a table in a bar by himself for more than five minutes if she was out with him tonight.
“Is this seat taken?” Shaina’s tone was blasé. He shook his head “no” and she sinuously slid down on the hard wooden chair. “What can I get you to drink?” she asked.
He flashed a grin that conjured up an image in her mind of his head disappearing between her legs, the texture of his stubble on her hot core. How could this man be so devastatingly seductive without having spoken? He held up his finger and the waitress was at their table immediately.
“Get this lady here anything she wants. I’ll have a Stout and salty soft pretzels.”
The waitress jerked her eyes to Shaina, a barely perceptible grin on her face. The power that this man held in his deep voice was at odds with his laid-back appearance. She’d noted that he was wearing sandals.
“A Stout for me too,” Shaina replied.
They were alone a split second later.
“I am Shaina.” She dipped her head a little, the same boldness floating in her tone was reflected in her hazel eyes.
“I am Zachary.”
“Zachary, for a couple of minutes it looked like you were here with someone.”
His lips curved into a smile. “You were watching me?”
“Would you not have asked to get me a drink if someone else was with me?”
“If I thought you were with a random person like me who was talking to you, then I would’ve came over here regardless.” She slightly lifted her shoulders. “I wanted to know if you’re as handsome as you looked four feet away up close.”
Shaina couldn’t tell what Zachary was thinking. He studied her as the waitress brought their food and drinks to the table. He knew that he was more than just pleasant to look at. Zachary told the waitress “thank you” and he resumed his appraisal of Shaina. As Shaina swigged her ice-cold Stout, she felt warm all over; her body flushed.
“You’re easy on the eyes, as you well know.” He lifted his glass of Stout to his lips and she peered at the slow movements along the column of his lean neck and the breadth of his shoulders. Heat began to build between her legs. “I’ve seen you in town but never here.”
“I haven’t been in Joey’s in a while but I’ve passed by you once or twice that I can remember. I think you were clean shaven, though and bundled up.”
Zachary bobbed his head and Shaina bit into the salted pretzel. “You had to be all covered up yourself. I favor you in what you have on—exposing just enough of your skin.” He raked his gaze over her face and down to her cleavage. “I like what you’ve put to the imagination.”
A flash of desire swept over Shaina and her mouth went dry. She reached to take another sip of the beer when she heard him ask, “Why’d you end your hiatus from here tonight?”
Shaina’s cheeks lifted into a slow, wistful smile. “I have a new job.”
Zachary’s eyebrows furrowed. “There’s something more to it. Kind of like you’d go back to the position you previously had if you could.”
Shaina didn’t think she’d given any hint that her new position was bittersweet for her. “Sort of, but my boss knew that I wanted the job I now have when I’d applied. What do you do for a living?” She gulped her drink down and ate some more of her salty pretzel.
“I work with relatives of mine.”
“We don’t have to discuss our professions. That’s not why we’re doing this little dance around what my purpose in conversing with you is,” Shaina said as her expression changed, the ferocity of her gaze betrayed that she wouldn’t continue to pursue him under any circumstance.
“Are you married?”
“No,” Zachary said, “and I am not dating other women at the moment.”
Shaina turned the knob on her tiny purse, tore a sheet of paper from her note pad and took a pen. She wrote something down and then slid the small piece of paper over to him. With an indecipherable expression, Zachary glanced at it and then peered at her once more, his eyes more penetrating and intense than hers had been when she’d asked about his marital status.
“You wouldn’t even need to drive to my apartment. I live six blocks down from this place. The building after Lou’s diner,” Shaina told him, not sounding the least bit discouraged. He gave her an “I know my way around Bloomfield Township” look as she surged to her feet, and grabbed another salty pretzel, chewing on it as she strutted away from him.