Rhythms of Love. Beverly Jenkins
You Sang to Me
“You’re the only woman who’s ever made me fly back like this.”
“And I suppose you’re looking for a reward,” she said.
“Any bone will do.”
Rising up on her toes, she kissed him, and it was all the incentive he needed to wrap her in his arms and drown.
They fed on each other with a lazy fervor that left them both breathless. He brushed slow heated lips over the warm scented skin of her neck and savored her soft gasps of response. As he blazed a meandering trail back to her lips, he knew that if he didn’t make love to her sometime tonight he might explode.
Beats of My Heart
Suddenly, he felt warm, gentle hands sliding over his rib cage as she pressed herself against his back.
Tristan felt his slow heartbeat begin to accelerate once again, as her busy fingers continued their exploration of his body. Using all the willpower he could muster, Tristan covered her hands to stop their slow progression, opened his eyes and looked at her beautiful reflection in the mirror.
As if sensing his question, Rayne said, “Tristan, I know what I’m doing. I want you.”
Beverly Jenkins is an award-winning African-American writer. She has lectured at such prestigious universities as Oberlin University, the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan. She speaks widely on both romance and nineteenth-century African-American history. Beverly was first published in 1994 and has published twenty-one novels. This is her first novella for Kimani Romance.
Elaine Overton resides in the Detroit area with her son. She attended a local business college before entering the military, and serving in the Gulf War. She is an administrative assistant, currently working for an automotive industry supplier. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America.
Rhythms of Love
Beverly Jenkins Elaine Overton
MILLS & BOON
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To my good friend Regina Belle—Beverly
I hope you enjoy Reggie and Jamais story. Although the school where she volunteered is fictional, the woman for whom the school was named was very real. Madame Sissieretta Jones was an icon of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and sang all over the world. Billed as the Greatest Singer of Her Race, she was the first African-American woman to sing at Carnegie Hall. Although her name has been lost through time, she helped pave the way. In commemoration of Black Music Month this June, please honor her by learning more about her.
Thank you for taking the time to read Beats of My Heart. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Tristan and Rayne. I love music and during the writing of this book, I swear I could almost hear Tristans soulful voice in my ears! I hope you can hear it, as well.
Beats of My Heart is my first novella, so I hope I was successful in expressing the love between the main characters and the obstacles they had to overcome in order to be together. Please feel free to let me know what you think—my e-mail is [email protected]
Regina, aka Reggie, Vaughn turned the key in her ten-year-old Escort and prayed the car would start. The plea was a daily ritual. The present state of her finances made replacing the aged vehicle impossible, so she relied on divine benevolence instead.
After two tries, the engine finally rumbled to life. The rusted green body shook and vibrated as if it was going to fly apart, but with her prayers answered, Regina backed down her grandmother’s snow-lined driveway and headed off to her job at one of Detroit’s most prestigious riverfront hotels.
She’d been on the hotel’s staff for five years. Initially, she’d worked at the concierge desk, but when the economy hit bottom two years ago, so did the hospitality industry. Her position was eliminated, and it was either be laid off or take any opening the hotel had. She found a spot in housekeeping. It was good honest work and she made a point of doing it well. However, being downsized also meant bringing home a smaller paycheck, one that didn’t pay enough to handle both her bills and college tuition, so finishing school had to wait. Having to withdraw had been disappointing, especially since she was just a few credits short of obtaining her bachelor’s in Music Education. She wanted to become a music teacher. In her heart she knew her dreams would come true, but right now, she was just glad to have a job.
At the hotel, she parked in the employee lot and entered the building. Housekeeping was run out of a small office in the basement. Ms. Harold headed the operation and had been doing so for fourteen years.
As Reggie entered and punched in, Ms. Harold called out, “Morning, Reg.”
“Hey, Ms. Harold. How are you?”
“I’d be better if Trina hadn’t called in sick again. You’ll have to cover her floors today. Sorry.”
Reggie wanted to jump up and down and throw a tantrum at the idea of all the extra work, but because she was twenty-seven and not seven, she said simply, “Okay. I’ll see you later.” Sighing, she left Ms. Harold and headed off to start her day.
On the way to the room where the housekeepers changed out of street clothes and into their uniforms, she gave a wave to the waiters, valets and other service employees she passed. The hotel’s underground hive was already up and running, and she felt good still being a member of such a dedicated and award-winning staff.
Trina, however, was another story. She was Reggie’s best friend. They’d been close as sisters since fourth grade. Where Reggie’s dream was to be a music teacher, Trina’s was to become a beautician with her own shop. Reggie rooted for Trina’s dream just like Trina rooted for Reggie’s, but when it came to work outside of a beauty shop, Trina was not the most diligent employee.
Reggie entered the changing room, pulled on the shapeless gray dress that was her uniform, buckled the shiny belt and went to grab one of the carts that held all the towels, bedding and other necessities she’d need to spend the next eight hours cleaning rooms.
Upstairs on the twenty-fifth floor, multi-award-winning music producer Jamal Reynolds checked himself out in the mirror. Tall and dark skinned, he knew he was a good-looking man, but that wasn’t what drove his