After nearly two years following a devastating breakup, Clarissa becomes a borderline recluse who avoids romantic stimulation at all costs. Determined to prove that she’s recovered, she attends the annual New Year’s Eve Masquerade Gala in San Francisco; alone. She’s exhilarated by the 19th-century costumes and enchanted by the perfected waltzes and sexy rumbas. Unbothered by the seductive drug-induced romance that surrounds her, Clarissa claims her healing victory. A familiar scent then overpowers her senses and threatens her recovery. Clarissa soon comes face to face with her ex-boyfriend, her soulmate, the man she only refers to as the beautiful one, and he has a message for her. As midnight approaches, will Clarissa choose to protect the solitary life she’s created for herself, or take another chance at love?
The warmth of his breath sent chills down my neck, and deep from within, my soul let out a scream. Was it from the thrill and excitement of him being so close? Or was it my recaptured strength and firm resolve leaving my body? The heat radiating from him and the yearning in his voice kept me frozen while his left hand slid down my gloved arm and took up my hand.
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