Because of his betrayal, Phoenix walks away from the only man she’s ever wanted. Can Robin find the strength to fight for their love?
Phoenix Lambert doesn’t have time for men. She’s too busy running pop star Van Birch’s empire. But she can’t get a certain silver fox out of her head. One night together turns into two which turns into sneaking around to be together, because oh yeah, that silver fox is also her best friend’s dad.
Twice widowed Robin Birch isn’t in the market for a third wife. He has a busy law practice to run and a bid for Congress to win. But when Phoenix falls into his arms, he can’t make himself let her go–or confess to his daughter that he’s been sleeping with her best friend.
When Phoenix refuses to be his dirty little secret, Robin thinks it’s over. But their relationships with Van keep pushing them back together. Can proximity and the promise of love bring them back from the brink of betrayal?
The Betrayal Incident is the third and final installment in The Incident series. Read this steamy age gap, best friend’s father romance with a guaranteed happily ever after by Marla Holt today.
The Betrayal Incident
by Marla Holt
(The Incident Series, #3)
Publication date: September 14th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
“This is a surprise,” he said, nuzzling his nose over her neck.
“I’ll say. A bid for Congress, who knew?” Phoenix said.
“We only started putting the team together. Do you think it’s a bad idea?”
“No, I think you’d be brilliant at it. Just surprised. You haven’t mentioned it since that night.” She let the part about him being a complete asshole be implied. To his credit, he didn’t back down.
“I always meant to get into politics eventually.”
Robin raised his head to meet her eyes, she saw heat and desire, and just the barest hint of vulnerability. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him in for a light kiss on the lips. “It makes sense.” And it did, only Phoenix dreaded what it would mean when he was living on the East Coast and she was back to living in L.A. most of the time.
But maybe she was thinking too far ahead. The election wouldn’t be for another year. It was anybody’s guess what would happen between then and now. And Phoenix hadn’t even told him about the baby yet. She’d had half a mind to do it now, to ply him with roast beef and spicy pickles and tell him he was going to be a father and that despite all the bullshit they were wading through now, she was excited—ecstatic even. Their nursery theme was going to be gender neutral. Whales, she’d already decided, but she would let him suggest names if he wanted.
Instead, Robin pressed Phoenix into the door with his body as his lips brushed over her jaw. “Did you have urgent business or . . .?” he asked, and she could hear the plea in his voice that told her he just needed a break. Which was fine. They had plenty of time to talk about the baby.
“I missed you, but I can probably come up with something if you’d like to work.”
“I’d rather not,” Robin’s voice was gruff, hard.
“Good, because I’ve always wanted to go down on you in your office.” Then she pulled him in for a hard kiss.
Robin sighed against her lips, brushing his tongue out to meet hers as his hands landed on her hips and squeezed. Phoenix managed to shove him out of his jacket. Then, with a rub of her cheek over his bearded chin, she grasped his tie and pulled him around his desk and pushed him back into his leather desk chair.
He grinned as she leaned over him. “Are you feeling bossy today?”
“I’m feeling bossy every day, Birch.” She kissed him once more, then concentrated her attention on his fly. His suit was a light gray today, made out of a breathable fabric that was soft and cool beneath Phoenix’s fingertips as she traced the ridge behind his zipper.
Robin had been giving her the tingles since July, and she was dealing with it by pretending it hadn’t happened.
Now, if only she could forget it.
He hadn’t done anything in particular, just spent an afternoon by Phoenix’s pool with Van and a few industry friends. Everyone had been showing off their designer swimwear, and the results of their long hours at the gym. It had been the first time Phoenix had seen Robin without a shirt on. He’d always been tall and lean and well dressed, but she’d never noticed his body composition before. She hadn’t expected to be so fascinated by the subtle motion of long, lean muscles under tanned skin. He even had a spray of silver chest hair she found herself wanting to run her pointed nails through.
The discovery that Van’s dad was a man had left her feeling stunned for the rest of the afternoon. She’d had to take a dip in the pool to clear her head. When she’d hopped out and headed toward the bar, Robin had dropped a fresh towel over her shoulders.
It could have been a fatherly gesture, but it hadn’t been.
For the first time all afternoon, Phoenix was aware of how much of her body her navy blue bikini left bare. She was not a self-conscious woman, and she worked hard to remain toned and lithe, but she hadn’t been trying to impress anyone. All Phoenix had wanted was to take a break before they hit the road again. She’d been trying to fly under the radar if anything, but the second the fluffy white towel had settled on her shoulders, Phoenix had known that Robin had seen her. Not just her body, but her.
Phoenix wasn’t sure anyone had ever properly seen her like that. That’s what had been dangerous about it, because the man who saw her was supposed to be the man she spent the rest of her life with, not her best friend’s dad. She wasn’t supposed to get the tingles over someone who could never be more to her than a fling. So Phoenix’s mind disregarded what her body had to say and kept as far away from Robin Birch as she could.
Avoiding him wasn’t that difficult when they lived 1500 miles apart most of the time. But the few times they had met in the last six months, Robin had given her the tingles. Every. Single. Time.
Not just he-could-be-a-good-time tingles, but put-a-ring-on-it tingles, because that connection is once in a lifetime. Which of course meant she’d completely stopped feeling the tingles for anyone else. Which also meant that Phoenix hadn’t had sex in the last six months, because her love life lived and died by the unconscious reactions in her body.
Marla Holt believes in second chances, romance, and the radical notion that everyone deserves a happily every after. She’s living her own fairy tale, writing contemporary romance novels in her Kansas farmhouse with her husband, three boys, three cats, and flock of imaginary sheep. Follow her at marlaholt.com or on Instagram as @marlaholtauthor
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