ALTHOUGH SHE BLOSSOMED INTO a lovely young woman, Megan wasn’t much of a social butterfly. It wasn’t that she was apathetic about having a relationship, she was a romantic at heart, but she found most men her age were misled by her frail beauty and acted accordingly. They assumed she was in dire need of male protection, which usually resulted in excessive testosterone posturing and the mistaken belief she required a man to take charge. Nothing could be further from the truth. She was repulsed by overly macho behaviour, annoyed by the false assumptions. Her rejection of a parade of boys and men throughout high school and college earned her the reputation of being rather lofty in her ideals or shy, depending on which gossip source was to be believed, and fastidious to a fault.
The truth of the matter was less complex. Megan had never been in love before, nor had she been completely bowled over by a man. Not until she met Luke Castaneda.
Luke was different. He was older, for starters. He was confident without being arrogant, polite without being condescending, dazzling without being self-absorbed, and clever without being intellectually overpowering. And he was a man who desired her. She saw the appreciative light in his eyes every time they met. He wanted her. Luke had the ability to reveal his desire for her without appearing as a panting, wild animal intent on his prey. He had charming finesse, a sense of ageless maturity she wasn’t accustomed to. The knowledge that such a handsome, worldly man wanted her above others, including her sophisticated and beautiful cousin Diana, thrilled Megan to her toes.
Her inexperience led her to ponder his motives. Luke might be an exceptional man in a stunning package, but he was still a man nonetheless. If she allowed him to get close to her, would he use his plentiful charms to have his way with her and then move on? While a distinct possibility, she felt he would never treat her that way. It wasn’t just that he was living in Larkin City and acquainted with her family, and perhaps intimidated by a few of them, specifically Kevin, but at his core Luke was a decent, honest man. If he was
looking for a quick fling she was almost certain he would be honest with her about it, rather than deceive her with false declarations that would ultimately lead to her heartache.
Her worries set aside, Megan decided to give Luke a chance.