About Academy of Love
Are you ready for this boarding school?
Love smolders and the sex is red hot when Cassianna Baxter leaves behind a glamorous teaching career in Italy to return to her old Alma Mater, Lewiston Academy for Girls as the Deputy Head Mistress. No sooner does she arrive at the Academy than she walks smack into sexy Lawrence Taylor, her first love and ex-lover. He’s been looking for her ever since he was forced to leave her and now that she is back at the Academy he knows he has to win her back. And not just in his bed.
Cassianna looked around her impressive wood paneled office and went right to the row of leaded windows that looked out on the Quad. She found herself searching for the ‘disappearing man’ she had seen a few minutes before. She could have sworn it was Lawrence. That was crazy. He had left Lewiston years ago and obviously had no intention of returning, judging by the speed at which he’d abandoned her so many years ago.
Across from her office was Mackenzie House, her old residence. The Virginia creeper had grown over most of the front of the building but she remembered her room well, it had a clear view of the riding arena and she used to rise early each day just to catch a glimpse of Lawrence as he went about his morning duties at the stables. She’d sit in her window late at night, reliving the intimate moments they had shared that day tucked away in his loft far from the prying eyes of the school. Those memories were best left unremembered, she told herself.
A knock at the door startled her.
“I hate to interrupt,” Millie said with hesitation as she stepped inside the office, “I know you’ve just arrived but there’s a family at the office, The Stevens family, and they’d like a tour of the school.” Millie paused, then whispered, “The girl’s parents are very generous benefactors of her brother’s school up in Newhaven.” Cassianna was well aware that benefactors were what funded private schools and were not to be taken lightly when they requested a tour. Jet lag or no jet lag, she took her first official school duty seriously and went off to meet the family.
Cassianna greeted the Stevenses and their daughter Penny, showing them around the grounds, the best she could remember. She wished now she had read up on the academy, so many things had changed since she was a student. Answering a multitude of the prospective family’s questions, they toured the Student Block, the cafeteria, the residences, and the sporting arena. Penny’s main interest was horses so Cassianna had saved the best for last.
“Would you like to see the Equestrian Center?” Cassianna asked the young girl.
“Would I? I love horses, Miss Baxter.” Penny beamed back at her and started to walk faster. Had it not been for her parents’ watchful eyes, she was sure the girl would have launched into a full gallop down the Equestrian Path.
Cassianna was as impressed as Penny and her parents with the brand new Equestrian Center. They admired the extensive stables and the new indoor and outdoor riding rings. Leading them to the outdoor Dressage Ring, Cassianna recalled stories of her horse, Raphael, and the painstaking hours she had spent practicing with him. She omitted the part about her torrid affair with Lawrence and her abrupt departure from the academy.
They stood ringside, the smell of hay and sawdust filling the sunlit air, watching a student being coached through a difficult dressage routine. At the far end of the ring a man called out instructions. Cassianna was glad there was such a high level rider in the ring to impress Penny and her family.
“Hello, can I help you?” A deep voice startled them from behind. Cassianna’s chest tightened and a spark shot through her heart.
Slowly, she turned toward the voice.
Those sensuous green eyes, that wavy sandy blonde hair. Her heart stopped for a moment.
“Lawrence?” Cassianna squeaked, in a voice that was definitely not her own. His eyes held hers and her body trembled.
“Cassianna?” Lawrence asked, a stunned look on his face.
Silence hung in the air.
She had not seen Lawrence in almost twelve years, but there he was before her. His rugged, handsome good looks unchanged. His muscled body evident with his shirtsleeves rolled up, she could see those strong forearms and his adept hands. Oh, what he could do with those hands. She was unable to take her gaze from his. Words would not form in her mouth as she stared at him.
Lawrence stepped forward, extending his hand to Mr. Stevens. “I am pleased to meet you. I’m Lawrence Taylor,” his voice deep and confident, “chairman of the board of trustees for the academy.”
Cassianna’s jaw dropped, but she quickly closed it, struggling to regain her professionalism. She hoped she appeared cool on the outside, inside her mind was racing even faster than her pulsing heart.
She tried to center her thoughts; averting her gaze from Lawrence’s. She struggled with her composure and found her voice.
“The Stevens are here for a tour of the school and were just admiring the Equestrian Center,” she said in Penny's direction. She feared that making eye contact with Lawrence would have her completely unglued. “And Penny is keen to join the riding team,” Cassianna stuttered, nodding to the young girl.
“Is that so?” Lawrence smiled encouragingly at Penny. “I’m a bit of a horse man myself.”
That’s an understatement, Cassianna thought, given the hours he’d spent coaching her years ago. And not just in the ring. Lawrence had been a talented and devoted lover, but now was not the time to think about that. She couldn’t help but notice that devastatingly charming grin that hadn’t changed, the way one corner of his mouth raised slightly higher than the other. She knew every nook and cranny of that mouth. A hot flush rushed between her thighs as her eyes lingered on him, remembering just how strong her attraction to him was all those years ago. Struggling to ignore those thoughts, she smiled at the eager young girl as Lawrence discussed the riding program in more detail with Penny and her parents.
Cassianna tried to gather her wits as she watched Lawrence, disbelieving that he was really there in the flesh. How could he be here? At Lewiston? And what is he doing being chairman of the board? That was what he said, wasn’t it? Now she couldn’t even think straight. She was trying to pull herself together, but she kept staring at his green eyes, as they flashed with animation.
There was an awkward silence as Lawrence and the Stevenses finished their discussion of the riding facilities while Cassianna just stood there lost in her thoughts.
“Well we’d best be getting back to the office,” Cassianna announced, rejoining the conversation. “Thank you, Mr. Taylor,” she said politely as her eyes met his, a bolt of intense heat rippled through her from head to toe.
4.5 Hot Steamy Stars
If you are looking for a hot steamy read then this is the book for you. It's a story of first love that was lost, but then, you find yourself once again staring it in the face. Cassianna and Lawrence are two wonderful characters that interact with each other with steamy witty dialog. Let me just tell you, the sexual tension in this book is through the roof! The plot is well written and characters are well developed. This story has a little bit of something for everyone!
KATE DEVEAUX is a contemporary, erotic romance writer and die-hard romantic. It was after reading Jane Eyre in high school, that she became hooked on the idea of writing about romance, excitement and drama. Kate has been penning stories, from the sensual to the sinfully sexy, ever since!
A former wedding planner, Kate has always been "in love" with love! She was inspired to transition from writing racy short stories to full length manuscripts after meeting other authors in the romance world at industry workshops, conferences and events. Now a multi published contemporary romance novelist, Kate is a member of Savvy Author, Romance Writers of America (RWA) as well as their erotic romance chapter, Passionate Ink. Born in London, England, Kate has lived in both the U.K. and the U.S. She and her husband currently reside in Arizona. When she’s not writing or reading, Kate can be found on the tennis court—yes, there’s even "love" in that game too!
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