Today we're having coffee with Sixto Doria at his home in Miami, Florida. Besides strong, black coffee, he's set out a plate of pastelitos, traditional Cuban pastries dripping with guava jelly. Thank you for having us in your home today, Mr. Doria.
It's Sixto, please, and the pleasure is all mine.
Q: Will you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
I'd be happy to. I'm a second generation Cuban-American. I'm finishing my masters degree in psychology, and am looking forward to working with marginalized youth as a social worker.
Q: Impressive. Are you a full-time student?
No, part time. I work a few side jobs for income and…side benefits. *grins*
Q: Would you like to explain the 'side benefits'?
I work as a model. It's easy work and lucrative. And I work a few weekends a month as a bartender at a bar on South Beach. The side benefits are the interesting women I meet.
Q: Ah, yes. I can just imagine. What's one thing about you that would surprise us?
I'm also on the payroll of a very profitable, but controversial, enterprise.
Q: Controversial? Would you care to explain that?
No. *laughs* The business model has been in the news lately. It's being called 'immoral', but as of right now, it's still legal. *shrugs* I'm not proud of it, but I have my reasons for needing the extra revenue.
Q: I won't pry any further into that. So, what happened the day you met Bree?
*smiles* I walked in on her as she'd just come out of the shower. I thought she was my roommate, her sister, Cloe. We both received a shock that day.
Q: Really? That sounds like a good story.
It is. Bree had inherited half of the house her sister owned, and I lived in the other half. I didn't know Cloe was dead, and Bree didn't know that I was a man. It's a crazy, amazing love story that really began…with a dance.
Q: What a lovely story, Sixto. What was your first impression of Bree?
Bree lived her while life in a small town outside Seattle, Washington. You can imagine the culture shock of moving to Miami. *wiggles eyebrows* Especially moving in with a very culturally-rich guy like me.
Q: You are definitely rich in something. What was Bree's first impression of you?
Well, she was wearing a towel, I walked in wearing the clothes I'd worn at a photo shoot for a motorcycle company, and I'm sure she was close to fainting. *chuckles*
Q: Tense moments, I bet. What happened that changed your mind about her, and hers about you?
We talked. Long, deep talks about why she was estranged from her sister, about why she was waiting for the right guy to come along, and about why I though she should take advantage of her sexy roommate - me - while she waited for that perfect man.
Q: Did everything go smoothly after that?
Oh, hell, no. Pardon my language. *winks* She dated, with appalling consequences, I dated with some bizarre results, my family got involved and made a mess of things. It wasn't smooth by any definition of the word.
Q: So then it was happily-ever-after?
Not for a long time. It took a major fight, a bad separation, and my finally coming to my senses to get there.
Q: But the story ends well?
I am the happiest man in the world. *smiles*
Q: Thanks for being with us today, Sixto, and we all hope you and Bree have lots of dances and a few mild hurricanes in which to enjoy them!
Thank you, and enjoy the hot Miami nights while you're here.
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EXCERPT: Sixto's photo shoot ended early. The lighting wasn't right on South Beach, but he got to keep the swim trunks. He pulled into the garage at 1:30 and saw the Miata. Bree had the contents of Cloe's desk and if she'd found what he thought she might find, she'd be waiting inside for him. With a shotgun.
The management company listed his name as an employee. He hadn't mentioned anything about it to her. Maybe he should tell her about his role in the business. It might save his ass later, if she dug deeper into the company structure. He could still play ignorant about the moneymaker in the east warehouse.
He tossed the mail onto the table and picked up a used plate and fork. Okay, so she was that kind of roommate. Walking toward the kitchen, he glanced out at the pool and stopped so suddenly, the fork slid off the plate onto the carpet.
He blinked to clear his vision, but it was as perfect as he first saw. Bree, in a skimpy bikini, floating on a flat raft, her long, blonde hair swirling in the water like waves of silk. Her big, red sunglasses covered half her face. With her arms out to her sides, he could see every inch of her perfect breasts. He swallowed, felt himself move in his trunks. Her little pooch of a stomach was his undoing and a full woody grew.
The bikini bottom barely covered between her thighs and her legs went on forever, so long, they overshot the raft and her feet trailed in the water. He had a difficult time catching a complete breath. Her face was the only thing on her that resembled her sister. Where Cloe was hard, Bree was firm. Where Cloe was concave, Bree was round and soft. And personality. Bree had one, Cloe didn't.
He picked up the fork and set the dish in the sink. The smart thing to do would be to take a cold shower and do some studying.
He wasn't in a smart mood.
Sixto went into his bedroom and opened the patio door. He heard the noise. The Beatles played on the outdoor stereo and Bree sang along. Not well.
"Hey, Ringo! Mind if I join you?"
She lifted her head and visored her hand over her eyes. "Oh. Hi." She slid off the raft into the water, got out and grabbed her towel, and wrapped it around her.
For a long moment, all he could do was stare at her fine booty and incredible legs. Then her actions registered. "You're leaving?"
"I'll be right back." She walked into her bedroom.
He dove into the deep end and stayed down, enjoying the cool quiet under the water. He surfaced and tread water, looking into her room to see what she was doing.
She walked out wearing a long, white t-shirt over her suit.
"You don't have to cover up for me."
She shook her head and descended the steps into the pool. "Oh, yes I do." She struggled to climb back onto her raft.
He would have helped, but he still had a high hard one and she didn't need to see that.
She made it aboard, lying on her stomach. Pulling her hair off to one side, she crossed her arms on the raft and rested her head on them. "What happened to your modeling?"
"Cancelled. They want to do a morning shoot instead." He swam to the stairs and sat. He needed his sunglasses, but it would be a few more minutes before the cool water helped get his body under control. "They let me keep the trunks."
"Ah." She was quiet for a few minutes. Was she checking out his muscles from behind her sunglasses?
He smiled, tightened his chest and fisted his hands, effectively bulking up his arms.
She jerked and after a moment, laughed. "Ick. Stop it. You're all steroided out."
"Hey, I've never taken a 'roid in my life."
"Mmm hmm. Just your strenuous work as a bartender and model that keeps you pumped up like a hot air balloon." She laughed. "Or is it lifting all those heavy textbooks?"
"Chica, you're a ball buster." He nodded toward his bedroom. "You've seen my weight equipment. I work out every day." He posed, looking at his pecs. "My body is my instrument," he teased.
"Oh, please spare me." She splashed him.
He chuckled and jumped out of the pool, walking toward his bedroom to get his sunglasses. Turning, he asked, "Would you like a drink."
"What sounds good?"
"Mmm. Something fruity, refreshing, with an umbrella."
"So, I'm your personal bartender now?"
"I tip very well."
He laughed. "I've gotten fifty dollar tips before. Think you can match that?"
"Fifty bucks? That must have been an incredible drink."
He shrugged. "She was trying to buy my affection."
"Really. What kind of a bar do you work at?"
"Perfectly respectable." He wagged his brows at her. "With a few exceptions. It's on South Beach. Come with me some night. My friends are usually there and if you don't want to stay all night, I'd trust them to give you a ride home."
"I'll think about it."
"Right." He went into the house. He'd learned long ago that, coming from a woman, "I'll think about it" meant "no." In the kitchen, he stirred up a concoction of tequila, cassis, lemon and ginger ale, found a paper umbrella and stuck a slice of lemon on it. He'd also learned that liquor made women easier and he reached for the tequila bottle to fortify her drink. At the last second, he pulled back. What the hell was he thinking? He didn't get women drunk.
He brought her drink and all the ingredients out to the pool bar, grabbed a beer from the fridge, poured it into a plastic glass, and slid on his sunglasses.
She still floated on her stomach and the way the t-shirt clung to her ass should have been illegal. So round and irresistible, it made his mouth water. Keeping his eyes off the temptation, he waded in and handed her the drink.
"Thank you. I'll get the next round."
The image of her standing up and walking around in a wet t-shirt gave him a heart palpitation. "To our friendship."
"Friendship." She touched her plastic glass to his and sipped. "Oh, Sixto, this is really good. If I had a fifty on me, I'd definitely tip you."
"Chicks like that drink."
"Mmm. What do you call it?"
"Sixto on the Beach."
She laughed, that crazy, snorting, loud laugh that made him warm inside.
BLURB: A Seduction as Overpowering as a Hurricane
When her twin sister dies, Bree Prentis moves from Seattle to Miami to inherit a shadowy business, an upscale house, and her sister’s sexy Cuban business partner and housemate, Sixto Doria. She adjusts to the vivid culture of Miami, but constantly bumping into Sixto is straining her hands-off vow. Bree is looking for a man to give her a happily ever after, and Sixto has sworn off relationships. He knows it’s wrong to want her, but she makes him forget why he's not right for her, makes him crave her natural honesty and wholesome beauty.
When he teaches her to dance the Salsa Cubana, then suggests she spend the night in his bed, Bree is shocked—and tempted. In the midst of a hurricane, Bree surrenders to her reckless desire and makes love with Sixto. Could Bree be the one Sixto's been waiting for? If she finds out he’s hiding a nasty truth from her—their company is a façade for a semi-legal business—she will shut it down, and Sixto will lose the income his family depends on. And more frightening for Sixto, he would lose Bree.
When she researches their company’s outrageous revenue, she sees a pattern of untruths leading back to Sixto. The word ‘love’ enters their relationship, and she prays his duplicity is all a misunderstanding, and his seduction is not merely a distraction to keep her from discovering the truth.
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Thanks, and have a wonderful day!
~Smart Women ~Sexy Men ~Seductive Romance
~Dancing in a Hurricane is available in digital formats at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble and in paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Createspace