About the Author:
Willsin Rowe falls in love with a scent, a playful expression or an act of casual intimacy more easily than with physical beauty. When confronted by any combination of those elements he is a lost cause. He has done many things over and over, done even more things only once, and half-done more things than he cares to admit. He loves to sing and doesn’t let his voice get in the way. He is intelligent but not sensible. He is passionate but fearful. He is not scruffy enough or stylish enough to be cool.
About the Book:
Douglas Blackwood stands to inherit a lot of money...as long as he takes over the family textile business. Desperate to find his own path in life, and to clear his head, he has taken an impulsive sabbatical to Mexico. A sabbatical that cost him his materialistic girlfriend.
With funds running low, he talks his way into some casual work at a vanilla plantation, run by siblings Domingo and Isabel Melendez. Douglas finds Domingo dismissive and angry. Isabel, on the other hand, is beautiful, fiery, passionate...and off-limits. It’s not just that she’s engaged to Patricio, possibly the most beautiful man on the planet. She’s also treated like a princess by all the plantation’s workers. Whether she likes it or not.
Isabel’s dream in life is to remind the world of the delightful intensity of Mexican vanilla. No mean feat in a world that has come to believe “vanilla” is synonymous with “dull”.
When Douglas’s ignorance raises her ire, Isabel initiates the handsome American into the sensory power of pure vanilla. Using some unconventional, yet memorable, methods. But what is the secret that makes—and keeps—Domingo so angry? How does that secret affect the engagement of Isabel and Patricio? And where does that leave Douglas?
“Many, many years ago, people called Papantla the City That Perfumed the World. The streets would be covered with these pods, sitting in the sun to dry. The aroma of Heaven filled the air. What you are smelling right now? Why, back then, it was the rarest spice on earth. Now your people are telling the world it is plain? The most common flavor? Boring?”
“It’s just…just a saying.” I felt a tiny bit lightheaded, but it seemed to be as much from Isabel’s passion as from the intensity of the vanilla pod. “Besides, it’s not my people. It’s just…people.”
“The problem is you Americanos don’t know what this can do. You think my baby is only good for sweet dishes.”
“Well, it’s a sweet spice, yeah?”
“Remember, I have been to your country. I have tasted your food. Your bread, your burgers—it all tastes sweet to me. But my vanilla…Oh, she can do so much more.”
She curled her mouth into another smile, so small, so nuanced I could easily have missed it.
“Close your eyes again.”
Of course, I did. More movement, then I felt Isabel’s finger on my lips. She pressed and rubbed, and I realized she’d spread some of the vanilla pod’s heart on my mouth. Almost involuntarily, I snaked my tongue out to taste the gooey treat. It had a touch of sweetness, but also a sharp edge of bitterness and a dark musk. It had so much more complexity than I’d imagined.
Isabel traced my lips with her scented finger. I followed her with my tongue, chasing until I caught up. At first I flicked lightly at her skin, until she pressed forward, dipping the tip of her finger inside my mouth.
The spice of the vanilla pod certainly aroused me, just as she’d said it should, though it was mainly due to the way it mixed with her soft skin. I traced her finger, searching for every last iota of flavor. Her breath washed over my neck, creeping down into my shirt.
She drew her finger from my mouth and rubbed the pod onto her skin, where her neck met her shoulder. “Try this, Douglas.” She speared her hand into my hair and pulled my head downward until my lips met the silken heat of her skin. “This is where your American girls wear perfume, yes?”
“Oh, yes.” I opened my mouth to suckle on the heavenly concoction of Isabel’s velvet throat coated with the aromatic wonder of the vanilla pod. Her tiny moans seemed to vibrate through my body as I curled my arms around her, holding onto her in case she fell. Or I did.
Buy Link: Secret Cravings Publishing