First Comes Marriage
by Valerie Mann
Who agrees to an arranged marriage in the 21st century? Beth Malone can’t believe a date request with the 1Night Stand service morphed into an arranged marriage offer. But after a heartbreaking divorce and no knight in shining armor coming to sweep her off her feet, her desire to find that knight and have a family is looking more like a dream than a reality.
After filling out a 1Night Stand questionnaire worthy of the CIA, Christian Ramos is stunned when Madame Eve offers to arrange more than a date for one night: she suggests a wife! What the hell? After his best friend Jackson Castillo stops laughing, he advises him to consider the offer. Between the fortieth birthday looming on the horizon and his Latino upbringing, Chris is forced to take a hard look at his life. Reality check—time is running out for what he wants—a family and a woman to share his life.
First comes love, then comes marriage isn’t part of their matrimonial situation, but neither Beth nor Christian anticipated the immediate attraction and contentment that comes with saying, “I do.”
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“We need to get this over with.”
Her eyes widened in shock. “Get what over with?” But she knew.
He dropped his hand and gave her a rueful smile. “We’re married. I want to make love to my wife.” He waited for her to respond again and when she didn’t, he added, “Now.”
Beth blinked. Her heart started beating again. She liked a man who knew what he wanted. Especially when he wanted her. Stretching up, she gave him a light kiss. He clasped her waist with both hands and pulled her against him, fusing his mouth to hers, nothing like he had during their wedding. He invaded her, tasting and exploring with his tongue, forcing her to open for him.
She wound her arms around his neck and gave in, letting the invasion happen. Every fear disappeared and the only trembling happening was from desire. Her breasts swelled, aching to be touched. She wanted him. How wonderful he was hers.
Chris eased away but didn’t let go, wearing the same dazed look she must have had after their wedding kiss. He stepped back a few paces, bringing her with him, until he reached the bed.
Beth narrowed her eyes but obeyed. The zipper on the back of her dress descended and the silky garment puddled at her feet as he turned her back to face him. His hungry gaze swept over her, and she shivered with anticipation. Leaning in, he kissed the space between her breasts, his face tight with desire. No man had ever looked at her body that way…so appreciative.
Reaching behind her, he unhooked her bra, and tossed it on the floor to join the dress. Her nipples stood at attention, swollen and needy. She shivered again.
He tilted his head back. “Am I going too fast?”
She cupped his face and gave him a hard kiss. “Hurry,” she whispered.
About the Author:
Valerie Mann has lived from sea to shining sea and currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has her own romance hero husband, five children, and two lazy cats. She started writing when she figured out her school chums would listen to her stories, with “The Stolen Ring”, a riveting tale about a ring stolen from a museum gumball machine, being her first critical success. Between family, authorly stuff, managing and editing for an electronic publisher and whatever else she can cram into a day, she’s having way too much fun. She loves to hear from her readers!