Sangria Nights: Luke & Lara
Sangria Nights (Book One)

Beverly Cialone

Best friends Lara and Marissa are inseparable - even more so now that Marissa has introduced Lara to her handsome cousin Luke during a couple of glasses of Sangria. Luke & Lara hit it off immediately, but things get complicated when Lara meets Mark, Luke's equally attractive twin brother. When tragedy strikes for Marissa, it brings all of them crashing together in this first book of the Sangria Nights trilogy; a twisting tale of love, sex, friendship and family.

ISBN ebook: 978-1-926760-24-7
FICTION | Romance Contemporary
Word Count: 93,000
List Price: $2.99
Published: December 2009

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“Hi, Lara,” Marissa said as Lara sat down at her desk. Lara gave her friend a wan smile and replied, “Hi, yourself. Got big plans for the weekend?”

“Actually,” Marissa said with a mischievous smile, “what do you have planned for the weekend?”

“Nothing - actually. Why do you ask?”

“Because I’m throwing a dinner party tomorrow night. You’re officially invited.” Lara smiled and inquired, “Ah, Marissa. Up to your usual matchmaking again?”

“What do you think?”

“I think you’re in the wrong profession.”

“And why’s that?”

“You should’ve been Cupid.”

“So will you come?”

“Who’s the unlucky fellow this time?”

“Now, Lara, I wouldn’t go that far. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you.”

“Yeah? Tell that to my last five dates.”

“They were jerks anyway. Hardly worth your time. So will you come?”

“Sure. What should I bring?”

“Just yourself and that sunny disposition of yours.”

Lara almost laughed out loud at that statement. She knew better than anyone how painfully shy and cautious she was, and although she considered herself average looking, she wasn’t planning on winning any beauty contests any time soon. Still, it was that sweet shyness about her that attracted the men to her like a magnet, or so Marissa said. Marissa said a lot of things. Lara gave her friend a smile and repeated, “So who do you have in mind, Marissa?”

“The next great love of your life.”

Lara snorted and replied, “Good luck. There hasn’t been a first yet.”

“Trust me on this one, will you? This guy’s a real keeper. Tall, handsome, smart, successful…”

“Then why haven’t you snapped him up for yourself?”

“He’s just not my type, honey.”

“Then what is your type? Short, ugly, and stupid?”

“Very funny. This guy happens to be my cousin.”

“Oh. Now I get the picture.”

“Just be at my place at seven. OK?”

Lara nodded. “I’ll be there unless this toothache flares up again.”

“When are you going to get brave and go to the dentist?”

“It’ll probably be a while.”

“You silly, silly girl. I have another cousin who’s a dentist. Practices that new sedation dentistry, as a matter of fact. I’m sure he’d be happy to see you.”

“Really? Why haven’t I heard about all of these cousins before?”

Marissa shrugged. “It just never came up.”

“You’re always full of surprises.”

Marissa simply gave her a mysterious smile and got to work.

Lara sighed and nervously brushed imaginary lint from her black pants, then straightened her royal blue silk blouse before ringing the doorbell to Marissa’s apartment. Moments later Marissa flung the door open and gave Lara a wide smile, then said, “Well look at you. You look positively stunning.”

Lara blushed and replied, “Thanks. Is he here yet?”

“Not yet. I figured I’d invite you a little early so you wouldn’t be so nervous.”

“Translation--you intend to get me a little tipsy before he gets here.”

Marissa grinned. “Maybe. Come on in.” She shut the door behind Lara and led her into the kitchen, where the mouthwatering aroma of stuffed Cornish hens wafted from the oven. There were fresh yeast rolls in a wicker basket on the table, and homemade onion and chive mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts completed the meal. Lara’s stomach growled at the sight and smell of the food, and Marissa grinned and said, “Skip eating today, did we?”

“Of course not. Didn’t want this guy thinking I’m a pig. What’s his name, by the way?”

“Luke. Luke Hampton.”

Lara’s mouth dropped open in surprise. “You mean as in Doctor Luke Hampton?”

Also by Beverly Cialone

Sangria Nights: Mark & Lacy | The Gift | Coming Home | True Confessions | Song of the South | In The Eye of the Beholder