Authors: Francesca St. Claire
Eighteen-year-old Sarah falls in love with gorgeous Diogo
while on vacation in Portugal. But their steamy romance is short-lived. Found
in bed by her grandmother, she is sent back to the States straight away.
Seven years later, Sarah returns to Portugal, and she’s not
thrilled to discover her smoking-hot first lover Diogo is also back in town.
She can’t seem to forgive him for not staying in touch all
those years ago, but neither can she deny the heat of attraction between them
now. Sex is just as exciting and fulfilling as she remembered, but to overcome
her past pain, she must first learn the reason for his extended silence.
contemporary erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave
couldn’t wait for warm nights, swimming pools, partying
with friends, a break from school… Just an awesome summer!
I was made to spend graycation in Portugal.
“How am I expected to survive the whole six weeks without a computer, cable TV or even a
decent phone signal?” I argued time and time again with my mother the weeks
leading up to my departure date, but she remained unmoved and unsympathetic to
“You’ll find a way, I’m sure.”
As I suspected I began missing the States
the moment my luggage hit the floor of her old bedroom in the family home in a
small town in Portugal. This was not what I’d envisioned doing the summer I
turned eighteen, so I sulked for three days.
Pissed, and bored out of my mind by the
afternoon of my fourth day, I slipped through the side door into my grandmother’s rose garden and from there walked to the woods. Meandering along
the path, I came to a high stone wall at the edge of the family estate. The
sound of a horse running nearby pricked my curiosity, and the prospect of a
diversion quickly propelled me into climbing the stone steps to the top of the
I don’t know what I expected, but the sight
of a most splendid chestnut horse and a shirtless rider wasn’t it. My mouth
slacked open as I stared at the gorgeous rider’s tanned torso and at his strong
thighs draped over a majestic stallion. Then his round ass, clad in white
riding pants, clenched, and his lithe body leaned forward as they flew over an
Lightheaded and aroused, I gasped. “Ooh!”
The rider turned the horse around and approached the wall, and like in a movie
he lifted his head in slow motion and looked straight at me with the darkest,
most beautiful brown eyes I’d ever seen.
For a moment my world just stood still as I
realized I’d fallen in love at first sight.
A sharp bark from a black Labrador
retriever startled me. I jumped, lost my footing and tumbled down, landing in a
bed of ferns. In a daze, I watched the rider head toward me, dismounting with
impressive agility and speed as he raced to my side.
“Are you all right?”
Better than all right, I oozed awesomity.
His British accent and the warmth and sexiness in his voice numbed me from any
possible pain. I nodded.
“Nero, you’re a bad
boy.” Not remotely bothered with his owner’s chiding, Nero responded with two
short, powerful barks.
We both laughed—his a rich, throaty sound
that sent a ripple of desire racing through me and mine a girly giggle that
drew his attention to my mouth.
He was gorgeous. His lean, masculine face
with well-defined jaw, beautiful deep-set dark-brown eyes and perfectly shaped
lips made him the most handsome man I’d ever seen.
He cleared his throat and I blinked, trying
to focus on his words. “We’ve not met. I’m Diogo Vilas-Boas.”
“Kowalski,” he added, surprising me.
Had I been less sheltered I would have realized when the
daughter of an internationally acclaimed sportsman and a local celebrity came
to town it made news.
“You know my name?”
He smiled, making my breath catch. Oh my God, he was so
The large hand he offered to help me get up
closed around my much smaller one as he used his strength to pull me in close
to his chest. At five feet nine I’m no midget, but the top of my head barely
reached his chin and I had to tilt my head back to look him in the eyes.
Strange, I thought Portuguese men were shorter.
Mediterranean men usually a lot shorter than you?” I asked, letting my
uncensored curiosity get the best of me.
“My father is English.”
He smiled, showing perfect white teeth. “Yes.”
“And your mother?”
“Petite, dark headed with tanned good
“Just like you.” He arched a brow and I
rushed to clarify. “The dark hair, I mean.”
His lips twitched. “But not the good looks,”
he said with a smidgen of teasing I found irresistible.
“Are you fishing for compliments?”
“Absolutely!” His amused but piercing gaze
did things to me I hadn’t experienced before, like a million butterfly wings
fluttering in my chest.
I blushed as I rolled my eyes. “It figures.”
“Why is that?” he probed.
I shrugged, projecting an air of worldly
knowledge I certainly didn’t have. “Men do that a lot.”
He should have been insulted by my sexist
statement. Instead he studied me with what looked like warm amusement. “Oh
yeah? Does this notion stem from your great knowledge of men?”
blushed profusely but forced my gaze to meet his, afraid what I’d see but
unwilling to wimp out. “Not exactly…”
His eyes darkened as he looked at me with
hunger, and goose bumps formed on my inner thighs as my pussy clenched in
reaction to his blatant desire. Time stretched, then stilled, and just when
anticipation was at its highest his hand slid up to my shoulder and grasped my
neck, sending my thoughts to the wind. Then he lowered his head and kissed me.
And the earth moved under my feet.
He didn’t demand or push me for more, yet I
wanted to offer myself completely to him. Contrary to previous experiences his
growing erection trapped between us did not vex or embarrass me. He nudged me
closer to him by pressing the flat of his hand on my lower back and I moaned.
I could’ve stayed in that manner
forever—lips locked, naked chest rubbing against my thinly clad breasts, limbs
“Come riding with me.” His voice was a
caress against my lips and my eyes fluttered open.
I was so deep into the kiss his question
didn’t register at first. When it did I realized we’d been kissing in a field
and we might have been seen. My gaze drifted past his head and beyond.
“Relax, there’s nobody around in this heat.
And we’ve only been kissing…”
He didn’t have to finish the sentence for
me to guess his thoughts, and just then all my good intentions to remain a
virgin until my wedding night suddenly went out the window. I realized Diogo
Vilas-Boas was the man I’d been saving myself for.
I stared deeply into his penetrating brown gaze, my legs as
weak as those of a foal, my body simmering with heat and desire. There was only
one possible answer.
“All right, but I don’t know how to ride.”
He smiled and leaned in a little lower to place a feathery
kiss on my lips, his gaze locked with mine. “I do.”
His fingers tightened around my waist as he hoisted me onto his
horse with ease, then he retrieved his navy polo from a nearby bush and slid it
over his head, hiding his superb body before joining me on the horse’s back.
“What’s your horse’s name?”
“Soberano,” he said, stroking the animal’s neck with
affection, and added proudly, “he’s fourth generation of a pure line of
Lusitano stallions bred in our farm.”
“Soberano means King, doesn’t it?” My Portuguese was spotty
at best but that much I knew.
“That’s right!” He half turned in the saddle and smiled, seemingly
pleased at me. “Keep it up and you’ll be speaking Portuguese like a native
before you know it.”
I had never been overly interested in learning my mother’s
native tongue, too hard a job for such little usage, I thought. But suddenly
the prospect of learning Portuguese sounded a lot less daunting and a whole lot
Soon we were riding through the countryside, my long, blonde
hair flowing in the wind, my legs encasing his, my arms tightly locked around
I felt amazing.
“Hold on tight,” he warned as we moved from a trot to a
I gripped firmly around his waist and pressed against his
back, his smell—a mixture of male and
horse scent with traces of soap—enticing me, an odor so
unique I’ll forever associate with him.
I laughed with exhilaration. “This is
fantastic!” I shouted over his shoulder, his layered hair teasing my face.
He smiled and nodded but kept his attention
focused on the trail.
I nuzzled his shoulder. Aroused by the strength of his
muscles and the warmth of his skin seeping through his shirt, I began drifting
on cloud nine.
Had I taken leave of my senses to be riding with a man at
least five years my senior and a virtual stranger, albeit a gorgeous one?
Probably. But somehow it seemed natural. And right. If my friends could see me
now they would be pea green with envy. What an adventure—and to think I hadn’t
wanted to come.
At the edge of the woods Diogo’s horse slowed to a trot and
we walked along the tree-lined path.
We dismounted and I twirled around, taking in the beauty of
our surroundings—water cascading into a crystal-clear pool, smooth boulders
dotting the banks they shared with oaks and olive trees, and a cute wooden bow
bridge. “This is beautiful!” I cried out in wonder. “Do you come here often?”
“I come here all the time when I’m home,” he said, taking my
hand as we ambled to the edge of the water, setting my pulse racing.
“Hmm.” He’d managed to distract me completely with his
simple touch and it took me a few seconds to articulate a coherent thought. “Where
do you go when you’re not home?”
“To England. Oxford. I’m doing my master’s in business
there. And you?”
“Art, at Yale.”
He did a double take and whistled as if attending Oxford was
not as impressive as, if not more than, Yale. “No kidding! What are your plans?”
“Hmm, that’s a good question. Sculpting is my passion but I
honestly don’t know yet what I’m gonna do to support myself until I can live
off my work.”
He looked at me from head to toe. “Modeling? You certainly
have the looks,” he suggested, his eyes gleaming.
I had done some freelance modeling and knew I could always
fall back on it. It didn’t demand great skills and the money was good, but my
heart wasn’t into it.
“I don’t know…we’ll see.”
He dropped the subject and asked, “How long are you staying?”
“Six weeks…well, six weeks minus four very boring days.”
He raised his brows. “You’re not having fun?”
I gave him a flirty look. “I wasn’t until now…”
His eyes twinkled. “So, am I your savior?”
“You are today. This is the most fun I’ve had since setting
foot in Portugal. Thank you very much.”
“So you’re glad we met?” he teased.
I cocked my head. “Fishing for compliments again?” I
He laughed, throwing his head back. “You’re starting to know
me too well.”
I laughed with him, thrilled with how easily we were getting
along. But when our gazes met, the intensity of his made my heart go
He lifted his hand and stroked my face. “You’re so
beautiful, Sarah.” His feathery fingers pushed a strand of hair behind my ear
and trailed down my neck and naked shoulder. “So exquisite.”
“Thank you,” I murmured, hypnotized by his dark eyes. The
combination of his gentle caress and quiet words sent a wave of heat rippling
through me from head to toe. My breath seized and I began tingling in places I
didn’t think possible.
Then he leaned forward and kissed me, his lips firm and warm
as they slid over mine in such an arousing manner my lids flickered closed. Oh,
oh, this was wonderful. He kissed like a man—experienced and in charge—and I
just wanted him to keep on kissing me forever.
He thrust his tongue in my mouth and the kiss became harder,
more demanding. He took my face in his strong hands, tilting my head, seeking a
better angle as he stroked every inch of my mouth. When my knees became weak I
slid my hands up and covered his wrists, not to pull his hands away—God no—but
to hold on and return his passion with my own. Caught in a swirling vortex of
desire, I hardly knew my own name, though in the back of my mind I realized
where we were rapidly heading.
When he finally lifted his head his breathing was as
unsteady as mine. The heat in his eyes scorched through me all the way to my
wobbly knees, and the dampness between my thighs gave way to genuine wet heat.
His thumb idly traced the line of my collarbone. Uncontrolled throbbing pulsed
at the base of my throat. Finding the wild beat, Diogo bent his head and kissed
me there. I shuddered and whimpered, goose bumps covering my entire body as
arousal shot through me like molten lava. I stood on tiptoes and shimmied
against his hard body.
What am I doing?
I had completely lost my mind.
this rate I’ll lose my virginity.
So, it’s bound to happen sometime.
“Let’s go in the water,” Diogo said, pulling away and
reaching for the back of the collar of his polo shirt, he slid it over his
Struggling to catch my breath and still my pounding heart, I
tried not to look too worried when I realized he expected me to remove my top.
When I frowned he raised an eyebrow.
“What’s the matter?”
I blushed. “Um, uh, I’m not wearing a bra.”
He grinned and I couldn’t help the crooked twist of my lips
at the gleam in his eyes. “Why is that a problem?” he asked, his face a picture
I didn’t want him to find me lacking, though to act childish
and unsophisticated wouldn’t give him a better image of me. But he’d said I was
beautiful, maybe a tiny flaw such as small breasts could be overlooked. I
removed my tank top and stood bare to his lustful gaze.
“God, you’re so gorgeous!”
I smiled shyly. “So are you.”
Our gazes locked for a long moment and heat raced to all my
nerve endings, igniting a fire. When I thought he was going to kiss me again he
leaned down and got rid of his boots and pants. Dazed, I followed his example
and removed my espadrilles and shorts, then I faced him in my underwear, my
nipples hard and dark from arousal, his erection bulging in his white briefs,
contrasting against his darker skin.