Author: Annabella Michaels
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer (Simply Defined Art)
Book: Constructing the Soul
Series: Souls of Chicago #5
Release date: June 27, 2017
Akio Forrest loved his life. He had an amazing job, great friends, supportive parents and was recently given the responsibility of heading up the Agape House project, the construction of a new facility for the Chicago-based center that helped LGBTQ teens. He knew it would be a huge undertaking, but being able to help more kids in need was something he and all his friends were willing to work hard for. Excited to begin the project, Akio was taken by surprise when he came face to face with strong, sexy and self-assured, Morgan Greene, the new contractor for the job.
Morgan Greene had always considered his life a good one. Born and raised in a small town in Tennessee by two loving parents, he owned a successful construction company. When circumstances in his personal life left him desperate for a change, he decided to leave his home and move to Chicago. The move would allow him to finally, live closer to his favorite cousins while also expanding his business. Never one to shy away from an adventure, Morgan was excited about starting the next chapter in his life. What he wasn't expecting was meeting someone like Akio Forrest.
Working together to make the Agape House project a reality, Akio and Morgan soon realized that what was happening between them was much more than just a simple attraction. When outside forces bring past hurts and doubts to the forefront, the two men are left to wonder if the foundation they'd laid was strong enough, or if everything they'd worked so hard to build come crashing down around them?
A knock on the glass beside me made me scream and I clutched at my chest, attempting to keep my heart from jumping out. I turned and glared out the window, wanting to know who was responsible for trying to send me to an early grave when I was met with the most amazing pair of sea-green eyes I’d ever seen in my life. I was mesmerized by them for a few seconds, until I realized that they were also accompanied by a laughing mouth. It didn’t matter that the mouth had a full bottom lip or that the teeth were perfectly straight and it didn’t matter that the skin around it was perfectly golden. I saw red.
Who did the guy think he was, sneaking up on me in that kind of a neighborhood and scaring the bejeezus out of me, only to turn around and laugh about it? I should’ve stayed in my car because I had no idea who he was or what he might do to me, but I was too pissed off to think logically. I narrowed my eyes, hit the unlock button, and swung my door open, making him jump back or risk getting hit.
“What the hell? I don’t know what you’re doing in this area, but you have no business sneaking up on people and scaring them half to death,” I screeched, poking my finger into his chest. I admired the fact that his t-shirt stretched nicely over his broad chest and the hardness of his pectorals under my finger tip, but that was only because I was very good at multi-tasking. His eyes widened in surprise and he held his hands up in surrender.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I thought you saw me pull up beside you. I’m here for our meeting,” he explained.
His words broke through my anger and it was then that I noticed the bright red Ford F-250 truck pulled up alongside my car just as he’d said. I’d been so lost in my thoughts that I hadn’t even seen him. I could feel my face heating up with embarrassment when I realized that I had just yelled at the man who could possibly end up being our new contractor. Please don’t let me have screwed this project up already.
“No, I’m the one who should apologize, I should have been paying better attention and then I wouldn’t have been so surprised. Let’s start over, shall we?” I pasted my most winning smile on my face and offered him my hand to shake. “I’m Akio Forrest.”
Luckily, he didn’t seem too upset because he smiled at me and slid his hand against mine. A tremor went through my hand and traveled up my arm when our skin made contact and I glanced up at his eyes, startled. He looked shocked and I wondered if he’d felt it too.
“It’s nice to meet you, Akio. I’m Morgan Greene.”