SYNOPSIS Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, he’s confident that they can face any challenge. And he’s eager to become a father. But Julianne’s graduate program threatens Gabriel’s plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront her about the subject of her presentation – research that conflicts with his own. And in Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including an old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriel’s darkest secrets. In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents, beginning a chain of events that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.
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The next morning Julia awoke to the sound of Gabriel snoring. He rarely snored, but when he did, it was a force of nature. (Even Dante specialists snore, on occasion.)
She’d slept soundly all night. He’d given her a gift—the knowledge that she was the sexual pinnacle for him as he most gloriously was for her. A delicious feeling of anticipation and uncertainty filled her at the prospect of repeating the previous evening’s activities.
Gabriel loved her. That fact gave her confidence when it came to ceding control to him. But as C.S. Lewis had once written about Aslan, Gabriel was not tame. There was always a hint of danger and unpredictability surrounding him.
With caution in mind, she elected not to wake him and inform him that he was snoring. Instead, she decided to brave convention and skinny-dip in the hot tub.
The hot tub sat on the balcony just outside their bedroom. Since their closest neighbor was several miles away, Julia didn’t worry about dropping her bathrobe. She merely climbed into the tub and allowed the sun and gentle wind to caress her face, while the water soothed her tender spaces and sore muscles.
She’d almost fallen asleep when she heard the sound of Gabriel’s voice. She opened her eyes to find him clad only in his boxer shorts, talking on his iPhone.
She took a moment to admire the rugged beauty that was her untamed professor.
With her eyes, she traced the curves of his muscles, the lines and tendons that etched his arms. She watched the strands of hair that decorated his chest, and their cousins that led from his navel to the band of his underwear.
Julia glanced at their surroundings—at the hills and valleys surrounding their villa. No one could see them.
Without warning, Gabriel ended his conversation and put his phone on a table nearby.
“Can I join you? Or are you simply interested in a show?” He flexed his biceps theatrically.
Julia swallowed noisily. “Um, what’s included in the price of admission?” He smiled slowly.
“Whatever you desire. I’m here to please, Mrs. Emerson.” He dropped his voice. “So name your pleasure.”