Come share your New Year’s Eve plans! Or at least drop by to see a pic of me in a Snuggie.
Happy Holidays, everyone! Get your family, friends, and food on!
Long ago, Delanie made one gigantic mistake. Or committed one small felony, depending on how you look at it. Stealing a coin from a sexy stranger was just a prank to help a sorority sister get revenge. The sleeping with him part was totally unplanned. Yet she holds the memory of that one intense, passionate connection close to her heart—like the coin she still wears around her neck.
Six years later, she’s invited to a beautiful resort in the San Juan Islands to not only accept a donation for an abused women’s shelter, but to consider a job opportunity as well.
Instead, she finds herself face-to-face with her past.
Grant has always suspected Delanie stole his rare, lucky coin. He just never knew why—or why she disappeared the morning after their hot night together. After spending years looking for her, he’s lured her right where he wants her. He’ll have his answers, come hell or high water.
“Lanie? Did you hit something?”
She nodded dumbly, unable to tear her gaze from incoming water.
The tone of Grant’s voice changed from irritation to alarm. “Is there water in the boat?”
She nodded again, her stomach churning with the realization she was in a boat that could very well sink. And she’d brought this on herself. Why had she thought it a good idea to try to drive a boat back to the resort when she had zero experience? Idiot.
“Listen to me, Lanie. I need you to grab the oars and row the boat back toward shore,” he said, his voice calm and coaxing, as if he were talking to a child. But then, her behavior pretty much warranted it.
“Oars?” She looked around, not quite sure what kind of oar would fit in such a small boat, but pretty sure there were none here. “I don’t see any oars.”
“They’re the long wooden things on the floor. I…” He trailed off. “Forgot to put them in the boat, didn’t I?”
“It kind of looks like it.”
Water swirled around her now numb feet and the boat seemed to be lower in the water.
“Of course I did.” Grant cursed, pacing back and forth on shore, his fists clenched. “This damn bad luck streak will never end.”
“Umm, can we deal with the bad luck part later?” she yelled, her voice shaking. “Because I’m starting to have Titanic visions here, and not the fun ones with Leonardo drawing me naked.”
“Okay. How fast is the water coming in?”
“I think pretty fast. I mean there’s an awful lot of water in here. It’s above my ankles.”
To say the least. Panic clawed her belly as she noticed the shoreline grow farther away with each passing second.
“Grant, what should I do?”
“Okay.” Grant waded out into the water. “Lanie, I want you to jump from the boat and swim back to shore. You’ve still got your life jacket on.”
“Swim?” she croaked.
“You can swim, can’t you?”
“The longer you wait, the farther away from the beach you’re getting. You’re almost in the current and then it’s going to be damn hard to swim,” he shouted. “I’ll meet you halfway. Jump in now, Lanie!”
She dove off the boat, the fear of God instilled in her.
The icy water ripped the air from her lungs, incapacitating her as she sank an inch lower in the water. Her hat floated off her head and got swept up into the current.
Shit. It had sure looked pretty, but this was so not the same temperature as the California coast.
“Swim, for God’s sake, swim, Lanie!” he yelled again.
With a shake of her head, she forced herself into a crawl stroke. Every inch of her body burned from the frigid water as she swam against the current back toward the beach.
Well, I had an interesting week. Some ups and downs. Some really downs. But I think it’ll end on a good note. Tomorrow I get to drop off donations and a check from our local RWA chapter to a domestic abuse shelter in the area. We support them annually and it’s a great cause to be involved with.
Speaking of domestic abuse, that’s a thread that ties in with my Chances Are series. The heroine in each novella works at a shelter and you learn how domestic abuse has touched her life. Three friends, three struggles they all overcome to find love. And I just received another great review for the last book in the series, Protecting Phoebe.
I wanted to thank Noelle from Romance Junkies for the great 5 Blue Ribbon review! Here’s a snippet, and you can read the rest at Romance Junkies.
“With a creepy villain, an emotionally damaged heroine, and a hero willing to do anything to keep her safe, PROTECTING PHOEBE is a fast paced red hot read from start to finish.”
Protecting Phoebe is available at MBAM as well as other sites that sell ebooks!
Anyway, I’m off to bed, so I hope you all have a great weekend!
I’m blogging over at The Bradford Bunch and giving away an ebook! Come on by to discuss your favorite holiday movie and for a chance to win!
Somethings hot in Seattle, and its not just the espresso. The Seattle Steam series. Madison’s needs are simple. All she wants are two things: Make Ooo La Latte the newest trend in espresso, and seduce the sexiest cop in Seattle. But things arent going exactly as planned. First, Gabe’s a little hung up on the fact that shes his best friends little sister, and he’s determined to keep his hands off. Second, her shop gets robbed by the increasingly violent Espresso Bandit, and now shes the only one who can identify him. Gabe whisks her into hiding for her own protection, but soon finds his heart is under assault by the luscious and persistent Madison. But no matter where they hide, danger follows. On such dangerous grounds, the trick will be to live long enough to keep the flame alive.
Seeing all those couples had also brought up some other feelings. The realization at just how long she’d gone without sex. Though Bradley had just dumped her two days ago, they hadn’t done the wild thing since Valentine’s Day. Four months without getting laid should be considered a crime. Talk about a constant state of horniness.
“Hey, kid.” Eric caught her just before she stepped outside. “Thanks for the party.”
Her annoyance faded, replaced by a warm affection for her brother. Ignoring the kid label, she murmured, “It’s the least we could do.”
“Did you behave yourself while I was gone? Not doing anything too dangerous or crazy, are you?”
Even after just returning from a war zone, her brother’s concerns were about her. He was so damn protective. Always had been.
She lifted an eyebrow. “I’m always on my best behavior, remember?”
“Wait, are we talking about the same Madison Phillips?” He tweaked a strand of her hair. “I worry about you, kid.”
“I know you do. And it’s very sweet. Have you made the rounds socializing with all the relatives?”
“Most of them. I’ve been avoiding Stacia, though. Never could handle her.”
Her lips twitched into a smile. “Yeah, good call on that one.”
“Well. I guess I’d better get back to the party. Be inside in about an hour, okay? I’ve got a surprise.”
“All right, have fun.” She gave him a quick hug, and slipped outside onto the balcony.
She rested her arms on the stone railing and stared out into the night, taking a moment to consider her new status as a single woman. She needed to move on, and fast. What was that saying? The best way to get over someone was to get under someone. Easier said than done, though.
Her thoughts were momentarily distracted by the view in front of her. She’d never get used to it. Her parents’ home sat atop Queen Anne Hill and looked out over the Seattle skyline. Tonight the buildings twinkled through a clear night, and the Space Needle seemed close enough to touch.
She sighed and inhaled the warm spring air. Her mind turned back to the idea of meeting a man just for fun. Rebound sex. Hmm, not a bad idea, but could she actually do it? Having casual sex had never been her thing.
Though it was inevitable that the next person she tried to sleep with would pretty much just turn out to be the transition guy. Why not choose the time and the man, and get it over with? She could find someone available, attractive, and with no strings attached. Besides, getting laid would be good for her.
Images flitted through her head. Images of a man’s weight pinning her to the bed while he moved deep inside her. Her sex clenched, wanting something to fill the constant ache.
“You know…I think I’m gonna do it,” she muttered aloud.
She spun from the railing, her eyes widening with surprise as she made out the shape of a man half-hidden in the shadows. He stepped forward into the light and her breath caught.
Thank you, God. Whoever had coined the expression tall, dark, and handsome must’ve meant this man. His eyes were a dark coffee brown, the expression in them closed off and unreadable. He had short hair, just darker than his eyes. Even if the trace of accent hadn’t colored his voice, his features gave away his Latino heritage. And the body? He had Bradley beat hands down.
Her body, already jacked up from the possibility of having sex, grew warm and tingly.
“Are you done?”
Madison’s gaze snapped back up to meet his. Done? She hadn’t even gotten started.
If she planned on going through with this, then he had to be her man. Gabriel Martinez—her brother’s best friend. Her mind compared the Gabe from several years ago to the Gabe now standing in front of her. He was, without a doubt, a sex god. A sex god who would be her rebound. Well, if he could be persuaded.
“Am I done?” She licked her lips. “What do you mean?”
“Giving me a visual inspection.”
His voice ran deep, with the slightest bit of abrasiveness to it. You knew right away this was a man you didn’t want to piss off. Good thing he sounded somewhat amused.
“Well, now.” She stepped forward and tilted her head, giving him a small smile. “What if I said that you require closer inspection?”
“Nice.” He shook his head and then smiled. “Were you always this much of a flirt, Maddie?”
“Sorry, Gabe. I haven’t seen you in a while and am just discovering that being a cop has been good to you.” Her gaze drifted down his body again. Tall, muscular, hard. “Very good to you.”
To other blogs that is…
Drop on by Naughty and Spice where Rob Graham is discussing a double standard in romance novels! (And you may win a book!)
Hope everyone has a great weekend and is staying warm. Brrr! It’s not snowing yet, but I won’t be surprised if it starts soon!
How did I not really know about Good Reads? I’m so behind the game! Anyway, I’m on there now and having fun, so please add me as a friend if you’d like (please, so I don’t feel so pathetically alone!)
So after one week of being healthy, I’m down 4lbs! Gotta celebrate the victories, right? Well I may go underground for a week or so, because copy edits for Need Me arrived today. Gonna be a busy bee with that along with parties, shopping, and the usual holiday stuff.
Hope everyone is having a great December!
I need to know if I’m ugly enough. Come by Naughty and Spice and weigh in!
Hey all! And welcome to another Snippet Saturday. Today’s snippets are Secondary Characters! My excerpt is from my book Take Me and shows another couple whom I just adore ;) Read my excerpt and then click the links below to blog hop to the others!
After years as a slave to the pleasures of the powerful, Talia knows how to make a man mad with lust. But her pleasure counts for nothing—until a handsome, ruthless stranger appears. Ryder dares to look at her… to touch her… to awake in her a desire she’s never imagined. When he kidnaps her to learn her secrets, Talia vows not to let her passion take control. But soon she discovers that her captor’s intense gaze and searching hands can perform their own kind of interrogation, a sweet torture she finds impossible to resist…
Available at all major bookstores or online like here.
How could he? Krystal strode through the hall, her fists balled at her side. He had gone too far this time. Never had he ever done something so foolish. Or if he had in the past, she wasn’t aware of it.
Up ahead, Dillon rounded a corner and headed her way. Oh, she did not want to make small talk with him now. She increased her pace until she was right outside her brother’s office.
“Krystal,” Dillon called out. “I must speak with you.”
“It is not a good time,” she said dismissively and raised her fist to knock upon Ryder’s door.
Strong fingers wrapped around her wrist, dragging her hand away from the door.
“What are you—”
“I told you we must speak.”
“And I told you it is not a good time. I must address my brother.” Her temper flared and she tugged at her hand. “Release me, Dillon.”
Instead of loosening, his grip on her wrist tightened. “We will speak outside.”
He began walking and she had no choice but to follow. Her blood boiled and she glared at his back.
“I don’t appreciate you treating me in such a manner, Dillon. You are completely out of line.”
He ignored her, punching in the code to open the glass door that led to the outside. The warm spring breeze caressed her face as he led her out onto a walking trail.
“What is so pressing that you could not wait to speak with me?” she demanded.
He stopped once they’d moved a few yards into the trees and turned around to face her. His expression was hard, his usual easygoing nature surprisingly absent.
“You will answer me truthfully, Krystal. Are you involved with Trevon Andrews?”
She felt a blush burn her cheeks, but she lifted her chin and gave a slight laugh.
“I don’t see how that’s any concern of yours, Dillon.”
His nostrils flared slightly and his jaw clenched. “I’m sorry, Krystal, but from this moment forth you are to have no contact with that man—”
“What?” She inhaled sharply. “Surely you are kidding.”
“If it is found that you are continuing your relationship with Mr. Andrews, then you will be placed under a chaperoned house arrest.”
“Dillon…” She shook her head, her brows drawing together. “Why are you behaving as such? You can’t tell me which man I can or cannot get involved with.”
He reached out, his hands grasping her elbows and jerking her close. He dipped his head down toward her.
His breath feathered hot across her cheek, sending funny little sensations through her body.
“I need you to tell me that you understand the warning you have been issued.”
She jerked at her arms, but his hands were like vices. “I understand you can take your warning and shove it up your—”
“Krystal, enough. Answer the question.”
Krystal stared at him, fury and confusion flowing through her body. Her lips trembled. How could he do this to her? Forbid her from seeing Trevon?
“You have no authority over me, Dillon,” she called his bluff.
His eyes narrowed and his hands moved from her elbow to her upper arms. “The order comes directly from your brother, but make no mistake, I will be the one to enforce it.”
A slow shiver moved through her body, from anger or…something else, she was not certain.
“Oh really. My brother?” Her lips curled downward. “I would hesitate to trust his judgment at this time. How do you follow orders of a man who fucks a prisoner?”
“Watch your mouth.” His expression turned weary. “Swearing does not become you.”
There was no surprise in his reaction to her confrontation in regard to Ryder. She shook her head in disbelief. “You knew. You knew he forced himself upon Talia?”
“Ryder would never force himself on a woman, Krys. You and I both know that.” His tone gentled as his thumb swirled circles against the bare flesh of her arm. Another warm tremble ran through her.
“It matters not. He had sex with a prisoner! Surely there is some form of law against that.” She tried to focus on the conversation instead of the odd sensations flowing throughout her body that his touch created. “Why do you defend him, Dillon?”
“Your brother knows what he is doing.” He sighed and his expression softened some. “But you do not. You know not what type of man Trevon is, likely know nothing of his reputation. You’ve only just come of age—”
“Do not call me a child.” The hot anger returned, giving her the strength to jerk out of his grasp. She stumbled backward. “I will continue to see whomever I choose, you and your orders be damned.”
“And you can pass that message on to my brother as well.” She gave him one last defiant glare, before turning and fleeing back to the building.