Today the spotlight is shining on an author who has become a good friend over the past year or so.
Kristina Knight who is here to show off her latest Crimson Romance release…
The Saint’s Devilish Deal
Esmerelda Quinn has been looking for a place to belong since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was young. The closest thing to home has always been Aunt Constance’s villa in Puerto Vallarta, so after a string of dead-end hotellier jobs, she’s coming home to run the villa.
Santiago Cruz has called the villa home for as long as he can remember. In between surfing events, Constance has always had a room for him. Color him surprised when Constance decides to retire – and leaves a joint interest in the villa to both Santiago and Esme.
Esme isn’t thrilled to share ownership of the villa with the the youngest Cruz brother – especially when she learns Santiago’s brother has been after the villa for years. But Santiago has grown up while she’s been away at school and soon she finds herself falling for the rich boy down the hall.
“Dios, you were never this uptight before you left Mexico for your fancy boarding schools and university,” Santiago said. “We’ll read our letters as Constance requested, after three months.” Then he firmly grasped Esme’s elbow, pulled her to her feet, and frog-marched her out of the stuffy office before she could protest.
The air on the street was blessedly cool, a brisk breeze blowing in from the ocean, but that did nothing to cool Esme’s temper.
“How dare you? You do not speak for me, Santiago. You didn’t when we were kids, you didn’t in Napa, and you won’t now.” She jerked her arm from his grasp and turned back to the door but he stopped her.
“You still do not listen, pequeña. Constance has asked you to give her three months to recuperate, do you not see that? Three months and then you’ll understand what she wants. Maybe we both will.” The last words were barely a whisper, but before Esme could wonder what he meant, Santiago stepped forward, crowding her against the adobe wall. Making her five-footseven frame feel absolutely dainty next to his six-foot-three of toned, taut muscle. “You have not been here as I have.” The words lashed at her heart but Esme refused to let Santiago see that he had the power to hurt her.
“No, I haven’t been here, watching her condition deteriorate without doing anything as you have,” she said acidly. “How would you react if your father pulled a vanishing act, leaving me to run Cruz Resorts while you sat on your thumbs in the corner?”
“Leave the worrying to Tobias.” He shrugged. “My brother was always more interested in Eduardo’s dealings than I.”
“Truth, Saint, not more posturing.”
“If I were still involved with Cruz Resorts, I would welcome the additional time to enjoy the finer things in life.”
She scoffed. “Like you did in Napa?”
“I did enjoy you, pequeña. As for my not wanting to be here, not working for Cruz Resorts doesn’t mean I’m uninterested in your. . .property.” His eyes ran a languid race from her sleek chignon to the tips of her fire-engine red toenails.
Esme bit down on her tongue to stop the heat tingling over her body and just managed not to shift under his intent gaze. Did he think he could charm her into bed and out of Casa Constance with a simple look? Knowing Santiago, he thought just that. “How did you do it, Saint? How did you trick Constance into giving you the villa?”
“If you had listened you would understand she’s done nothing of the sort. She’s given you three months to prove you’re able to run Casa. If you’re not, she already knows I am.” His expression softened as he gazed into her eyes. “She was sick long before she allowed us to take her to el hospital. Can you not now give her what she needs to recover in exchange for management of the villa? Is it too much of her to ask her only family for that?”
His words struck her like body blows, reminding her that she hadn’t paid enough attention to Constance. Maybe if she had been more available she would have seen the signs of fatigue and illness. Maybe Santiago would not have insinuated himself so securely into the only home she had ever known.
“You’re just like them,” Esme said, the words barely a whisper. She straightened her spine and looked him in those luscious brown eyes. “I realize you see Con and I as little more than chamber maids, but Con’s business is just as viable as yours. Is that why you want to take what is rightfully ours?” A flicker of something surfaced in his gaze but was gone too quickly for her to decipher. “How long do I have before Tobias or your father is on my doorstep with bulldozers?”
“I have my own reasons for wanting Casa. My family does not run my life or my business any longer.”
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police – no, she wasn’t a trouble-maker she was a journalist. When the opportunity to write what she wanted – business and family/parenting articles – and to focus more energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it.
And she’s never looked back. Now she writes articles for magazines and such by day and writes romance novels with spice by night. And any toddler-free, five minute break she has. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and 4 year old daughter. Happily ever after.