The ace photographer and the supermodel, they should have been a match made in heaven. Instead, they fought like the demons of hell.
Complicated, surly, and sexy, Manav Apte was probably the only photographer who resented his muse. From the day he’d seen her, there had been no other. Unfortunately, she was the one woman he could never have.
Passionate, talented, and gorgeous, Diana Severes refused to give the temperamental ass behind the camera the satisfaction of knowing he got under her skin. It was, however, impossible not to notice him or his glowering disapproval that trailed her everywhere she went.
Their dislike and distrust of each other is legendary in the fashion industry and yet, the sparks that fly when they come together for work are enough to light the sets on fire.
Will the Golden Girl of India’s fashion scene be able to see beyond his hatred to the love he’s desperately trying to mask? And will the country’s most talented photographer realise that his true talent lies not in what he views through his lens but what he sees through the filter of his heart?
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Read an Excerpt from Twilight's Temptation
“You can’t come.”
I squinted at my watch in the dark of my room. “It’s three o’clock in the fucking morning,” I croaked into the phone.
Beside me, Kunal moaned in his sleep and slung a leg across my thighs. One hand made its way under my shirt. I slapped it away and shoved him back to his side of the bed. Clearly, he was having some very good dreams.
“You can’t come to Goa.” That sexy, sultry voice insisted in my ear. Diana. Of course, it would be Diana. She wouldn’t think twice about drunk dialing me in the middle of the night, would she?
“You don’t get to tell me what I can or can’t do,” I told her, propping myself up against the headboard. Kunal let out a suspicious sounding grunt. I used my leg to propel him further away from me.
“Look,” the hellcat hissed in my ear. “I have a shoot in Goa that week. That’s how this whole godawful plan came up. I have to be there. You don’t!”
“So?” The retort was more to rile her up than it was to actually make a point. I yawned and stared into the relative darkness of the room. Thankfully, Kunal had fallen silent though I was going to have to change the sheets tomorrow. Not taking chances with those weird noises he was making.
“Don’t come,” she wailed suddenly almost puncturing my eardrum. I winced and pulled the phone back from my ear.
I took a deep breath and tried to will that weird twinge of hurt in my chest away.
“You’re going to have to tolerate my presence, sweetheart,” I told her. “I promised Dev I’d come.”
“Like you never break promises,” she snarled.
I heard her scream on the other end of the phone, loud and feral. Never let it be said that I didn’t know how to make women scream.
“Was there a reason behind you making this call in the middle of the freaking night?”
“Yes,” she said, sulkily. “Three vodkas.”
I laughed, the sound wrenched from me. “I’ll bring you an entire bottle to sustain you through the trip.”
“So we’re still going on this stupid trip, huh?”
She sounded like a spoilt, petulant child and all I wanted to do was scoop her into my arms and cuddle her.
“We’re still going,” I confirmed, strangely looking forward to it now.
“Why?” The three year old on the other end of the line asked.
I exhaled heavily. “Because we love our friends.”
“I know,” she groaned. The sound went straight to parts of my body that I really didn’t want to think about while talking to her.
I leaned my head back against my pillow and shut my eyes. Her voice floated out of the phone making the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up. If this was supposed to be my fight or flee moment, all I wanted to do was roll over in submission. This woman always had that effect on me.
“Why do we love them so much?” she groaned again making my eyes roll back in my head. She was going to be the death of me someday. Sooner rather than later.
“It’s a mystery,” I replied, although in my heart I knew. The guys were my family as much as the dumbass snoring beside me was and so were the women they loved.
“Why are you calling me, Diana?” I asked, the endless need I felt for her churning in my gut. I kept my eyes closed. I wasn’t sure I could face what I felt for her if I didn’t. Or face myself for feeling this way about another man’s woman.
“I wanted to talk to you.”
The simple answer had my gut clenching.
“Why?” The hoarse desire in my voice was impossible to hide. The silence on the phone had my hand vising around it.
“Why, Diana?” I repeated, burying my pride along with my long lost self-respect.
“I don’t know,” she whispered. “I don’t know why.”
I kept my eyes closed, my heart thundering like a runaway train. I wasn’t going to read anything into this strange conversation. She wasn’t even going to remember it tomorrow.
“Why do you hate me?”
The whispered question had my eyes snapping open.
“I don’t hate you, Diana,” I whispered back. “I just hate how you make me feel.”
About the Author:
Shilpa Suraj wears many hats - corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.
An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.