BWWM Books by Orlena James never fail to disappoint. The Landlord's Baby is one of her short interracial romance books that lives up to the high standard she's set with her previous works. If you enjoy steamy romance books and well written contemporary romance with pregnancy, you'll enjoy this story too…
The protagonist Zora is an attractive black woman who happens to be short on her rent and she's looking for a way to make it up to her landlord. It's not what you think… Sylvan isn't that sleazy and he charges Zora with the task of cleaning his apartment up for two weeks to make up for the rent.
Throughout the week, Zora sees a string of bimbos going in and out of Sylvan's apartment and her little crush on her landlord starts to fade.
One night, Zora gets back from a bad date and Sylvan offers to comfort her. Is he the man she thought he was, or does this dashing playboy have a sweet side too?
Sylvan Ricardo was living in the top floor of his father’s apartment building to save on rent. In exchange for the discount, his father had left him in charge of managing the building in his free time. This meant collecting rent checks from the tenants or wads of cash, depending on how much the tenants could pay. It wasn’t a bad deal, just the occasional inconvenience once a month. Sylvan hated dealing with most of the tenants; there wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with them, but there wasn’t anything interesting either.
There was only one tenant who Sylvan even remotely wanted to get to know and she was so full of mystique that Sylvan was almost intimidated to get to know her. He knew it was a little odd for a woman to intimidate him but there was just something about Zora Mayberry. Zora was young and lived in a tiny half studio adjacent to Sylvan’s apartment which took up most of the top floor.
Zora was an attractive, thick woman with toffee colored skin. Her thick black hair was long and kinky, often wrapped up in a thick bun on the top of her head. Zora’s eyes were a vibrant amber color with flecks of green shooting out of the middle. She was soft spoken whenever she interacted with Sylvan and she had just the lightest touch of an accent as if she were from a foreign country. Sylvan didn’t even know how old she was.
In her small apartment, Zora was mentally preparing herself to go talk to her landlord. For all intents and purposes, Sylvan was far more of a landlord to her than his father was. She gave him the rent every month, sent him text messages when her toilet was broken and called him when the guy in the downstairs apartment had gotten into a brawl with his girlfriend. Zora always felt nervous when she had to talk to Sylvan. He was the type of guy she had always been intimidated by in her adulthood.
As a teen, Zora had never been one of the “hot” girls in school. She was chubby, too dark, her hair was too nappy and she had big ole buck teeth. Back in those days, white boys used to ask Zora out as “a joke”. The wounds from childhood hadn’t completely healed and even if Sylvan was gorgeous, Zora still felt anxious just looking at him. He brought her back to those hurtful days on the playground too easily. Now, Zora didn’t have buck teeth, she had learned to love the melanin in her skin. Zora’s kinky hair had become a point of pride — she refused to let anyone tell her to hate her natural black features any longer. Still, Zora had some healing to do.
Meeting with Sylvan this month would be especially difficult for her because Zora was a couple hundred dollars short on her rent. She’d tried her best but with an unexpected rush to the emergency room that month, she just couldn’t come up with the money. She’d been a reliable tenant for almost two years now so she hoped that Sylvan would let it slide just this once. It wasn’t like his family was hurting for money anyways.
Zora figured she should at least dress nicely to cajole Sylvan into letting her get away with being short on rent. She threw on a curve-hugging pair of jeans that highlighted her nice round butt. Then, she put on a black crop top that fit around her breasts snugly and fell right over her navel where she had a tiny silver piercing. Zora left her apartment and knocked on Sylvan’s door.
“Mr. Ricardo! It’s me! Zora!” She yelled out.
She heard some shuffling and waited patiently for Sylvan to come to the door. When Sylvan appeared he was shirtless, with just a pair of boxers on. He looked like he’d just woken up even if it was late in the afternoon. All the same, he looked hot. Sylvan’s chest was broad and strong. His arms were thick with bulging biceps and he had a perfectly chiseled stomach. Zora was almost rendered speechless.
“Good afternoon Zora, can I help you?”
“Uhh… sorry… Didn’t mean to wake you.”
“It’s fine,” Sylvan said wiping his eyes, “Why don’t you come in and I’ll get us some coffee. I need to wake up.”
Zora tentatively stepped into Sylvan’s apartment. She’d never actually been inside the top floor apartment before but it was absolutely gorgeous. A cool breeze wafted through, ensuring the apartment would never succumb to the afternoon heat. Sylvan’s design tastes were eclectic and new age — everything was modular and chrome. She followed Sylvan into his living room and sat on his black, L-shaped couch while he french pressed some coffee.
“This coffee is from Jamaica you know.”
“Cool,” Zora replied awkwardly. Was he telling her this because she was black?
Sylvan laughed, “Sorry if that seemed odd, it’s just that I’m really passionate about my coffee. Why should you care…”
“No, it’s fine.”
Sylvan poured her a cup of coffee which Zora promptly sweetened with cream and sugar.
“So, why are you stopping by Zora?” He asked as he joined her on the couch and began sipping his black coffee.
Zora sighed — she’d rehearsed this speech a thousand times but she still felt hot shame at the idea of asking her landlord for a break on the rent.
She began, “Well Mr. Ricardo, I’ve brought you my rent money… It’s just that I’m a couple hundred dollars short.”
“Oh?” Sylvan said raising his eyebrows.
Zora felt so nervous she could have died.
“I know… It’s just, things snowballed out of control and I couldn’t pull it together in time. If there’s anything I can do… Pay a little next month… Please… Just please don’t evict me. I have nowhere else to go and I…”
Sylvan interrupted her.
“Listen Zora, it’s alright, I won’t kick you out of the building. Perhaps we can figure something out.”
A loud crash emanated through the house.
“Girlfriend?” Zora asked instinctively.
Sylvan smiled, “No, my cat… My girlfriend left me three weeks ago.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“No worries. Let’s get back to the rent issue. If you’re short, perhaps there’s something you can do…”
“I’d be willing to do anything,” Zora said, looking into Sylvan’s eyes.
Sylvan smiled, “I think I know what you could do. I need lots of work done around the house… It’s been hard since Emma left. Do you mind coming in every day for the next couple weeks?”
“Yes! Oh my goodness thank you! I can come in any time.”
“Perfect. Then that’s sorted I guess,” Sylvan said.
This story will be available in the Kindle store soon as well as on nook.com. If you'd like to enjoy another BWWM book similar to this one, you should check out my free excerpt of "The Trucker's Baby" (another Orlena James short). Click here to read more!
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