Hop on over to Lime Cello’s blog and check out my interview (and comment) for a chance to win a book and a $10 g.c. to Sephora.

Welcome to another Snippet Saturday. Today’s theme is Living Spaces. Check out my excerpt and then blog hop to the links below!

Something’s hot in Seattle, and it’s not just the espresso.

The Seattle Steam Series

Madison’s needs are simple. All she wants are two things: Make Ooo La Latté the newest trend in espresso, and seduce the sexiest cop in Seattle. But things aren’t going exactly as planned.

First, Gabe’s a little hung up on the fact that she’s his best friend’s little sister, and he’s determined to keep his hands off. Second, her shop gets robbed by the increasingly violent Espresso Bandit, and now she’s 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.

EXCERPT

When they reached her apartment, he took the keys from Madison’s hand and unlocked the door, gesturing for her to keep silent and wait while he stepped inside. He doubted that the robber would be so brazen as to show up right away, but he wasn’t taking any chances.

While she waited in the entryway, he walked around her apartment, his expression growing grimmer by the minute.

“Okay, if you think I’m going to just sit here—” Madison announced, coming up behind him. “What’s wrong? You look upset.”

“He was here.”

“Oh, no…” She looked around her apartment and frowned at him. “How can you tell?”

Gabe turned to her in disbelief. It couldn’t be possible. It could not be possible that someone would choose to live like this.

“It looks like a tornado touched down in your bedroom,” he stated. “Are you telling me that this was your doing?”

Madison’s eyes flashed as she folded her arms across her chest. “I was looking for my black pants.”

“Well, I hope you found them,” he drawled. “I need to use your restroom. Pack a bag and we’ll get out of here.”

“Fine.” She hesitated. “I have some bras and panties hanging in the bathroom—just push them aside or ignore them.”

Gabe gave an inward groan. God, does that mean the bathroom is as much of a disaster as the rest of her house?

It was, he realized a moment later, as he waded through pieces of hanging black lace.

If she’d clean up the apartment a little, one could almost see how much the place must be worth. It was a spacious apartment with a view of the Seattle waterfront.

He glanced back at the bra, his lips curving. Even while telling himself not to do it, he leaned forward to check the tag on the bra.

Victoria’s Secret. Nice. Thirty-four D. Very nice. His fingers glided over the lace before he let the bra fall back against the door. Great, more fuel for his forbidden fantasies.

This would be hell, having her stay with him. To be sleeping a room away from her. He’d already been praying that his self-restraint would be on par with Maddie’s bad intentions.

Eric had been right about one thing, though. She would be safe with him. And until the Espresso Bandit was caught, he didn’t want anyone to have to worry about her safety.

Gabe dried his hands on a pink towel and glanced in the mirror. For a minute he fantasized about the idea of him being the one to arrest the Espresso Bandit. Get him alone and show the asshole what it felt like to get the shit kicked out of him.

He finished in the bathroom and went to sit on the plush couch in Maddie’s living room. She still appeared to be packing. He could hear her singing an off-key rendition of a Madonna song. He winced. Very off-key. Good thing she hadn’t attempted a career in music.

“I’m almost done, Gabe,” she called from her room. “Feel free to help yourself to anything in the fridge. I think I have some leftover Pad Thai with tofu.”

“Thanks, but you lost me at tofu.”

She emerged from the bedroom carrying a suitcase three times the size she should’ve needed.

He plucked it from her grasp, aware that she was struggling. “You ready?”

“Almost,” she answered, pulling a rubber band off her wrist and fixing her hair into a ponytail. The band snapped off her fingers and flew across the room.

“Damn.” She hurried over to where it landed, bending over to retrieve it.

For the briefest moment she gave him the most tantalizing view of her tight ass. He stifled a groan, wanting to pull down her jeans and panties and fuck her from behind.

She straightened and finished pulling her hair back. “I’m hungry. Can we go grab dinner somewhere?”

Gabe went from having kinky thoughts to getting seriously annoyed. Where did her budget end? Did she eat every meal out?

“I’ve got food at my house.” He ushered her out the door and locked it behind them. “I’ll cook you something.”

She gave him a dubious look. “You cook?”

“It comes out edible. So try not to complain too much while I’m stuck babysitting you,” he replied, further annoyed by her skepticism.

Her eyes widened and he saw a flash of hurt in them. Shit. That had been below the belt. This situation hadn’t been her choice.

They took the elevator downstairs and walked out to his vintage Chevelle. He unlocked the trunk and heard the tiny gasp that came from Maddie. Her face was pale when he glanced at her; her head turned at an awkward angle, like she was trying not to look in the trunk.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Her tone grew tight. “It’s just…nothing.”

He slammed the trunk, watching as the tension in her body visibly eased. Hmm. That was odd. He thought about pressing the issue, but decided against it.

“I’m sorry, Maddie. About what I said upstairs. I didn’t mean it,” he said instead, gentling his tone and holding the passenger door open for her.

She blinked at him, looking stunned. Then she shook her head as she climbed into the seat and shut the door.

Why did she look so shocked? Gabe gave her another glance and climbed into the driver’s side of the car. He almost asked what he’d said, and then stopped himself. Some things were better left alone.

Emma Petersen
Leah Braemel
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Shelli Stevens
Delilah Devlin

 

I want to say a quick thanks to all the great reviews I’m finding for Negligee Behavior! On Amazon and blogs and the Facebook/Twitter comments, emails! Every time I find out I just get a little giddy. I love this book and am so glad readers are enjoying it as well.

And for those who’ve asked about Sebastian (the Brit) and whether he’ll get a book, well, I’m working on one now!

Also, this is my first book in Audiobook! I’ve tried listening to it, but there’s something about listening to my own book spoken aloud that gets me all giggly and uncomfortable. I just can’t do it, captain!

When lingerie heiress Brandy Summer gets cold feet and runs out on her Vegas wedding, she has nowhere to turn—so she hijacks a hunky biker waiting for a red light and begs him for help. What she doesn’t know is that her instincts are right: the groom has a hidden agenda. He needs her money to pay off his gambling debts and she’s his ticket to the good life.

Marco Vargas isn’t sure what he’s getting himself into when he rescues Brandy, but figures he’ll do the chivalrous thing. He offers her a job in his bar and the chance to sort out her feelings. But it seems that keeping Brandy hidden is easier than keeping his hands off her—and what will happen when Brandy discovers that Marco has secrets of his own?

Order from Carina Press |Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Also available in Audiobook

Welcome to another Snippet Saturday! Today’s theme is BFF. Check out my excerpt and then hop along to the other sites if you’re interested!

 

The line between friends and lovers can get a little blurry…especially when you add tequila.

A Chances Are story.

Gabby is serious about her search for Mr. Right, but no one can say she hasn’t had a good time looking. She enjoys her numerous dates and the sex that comes with them. Until she finds herself falling for the one man she vows to never love. Her best friend and roommate, Justin. A player in every sense of the word—and a reminder of her awful past.

One night, with the help of a bottle of tequila, things get a little too hot for comfort. She moves out, intent on removing him from the line of temptation.

Justin has different plans. The tequila did more than just change how he sees his good friend. It made him realize he doesn’t want to be just friends any more. He’s ready for something more intimate, and he’ll do whatever it takes to find out why she’s running. And convince her to stay.

Buy at Samhain Publishing | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

 

EXCERPT

Gabby rushed into the office, letting the door swing shut behind her, followed by the reassuring click of the electronic lock.

She made her way down the hall to where she, Phoebe and Delanie shared an office. She couldn’t wait to get back to her desk and get some support from her friends.

She spotted Phoebe’s dark curls bent over a stack of papers. Hearing Gabby’s approach, she looked up and sighed.

“You’re back. Did you bring me anything?”

“Heck yeah, I did. I know what you like.” Gabby tossed the chocolate bar onto her friend’s desk and then went to sit down at hers. “Where’s Delanie?”

“In a meeting. She’ll be out in a few. Thanks for the chocolate, you’re the best.” Phoebe unwrapped the bar and took a bite, closing her eyes and groaning. “I needed this. It’s been a crap day.”

“You’re telling me,” Gabby muttered, and pulled out her grilled chicken breast and potato wedges.

“Hmm. What’s going on with you?”

“Nothing.”

“You brought it up. Don’t ask me to drop it now.” Phoebe’s eyes narrowed and she set down her chocolate. “What happened while you were out?”

Gabby stabbed at the chicken breast with her plastic fork and sighed. “I ran into this guy—my old roommate—at the grocery store.”

“And that’s a bad thing because…”

“Umm. Hmm.” She lifted a potato wedge to her mouth and considered how best to answer that. “We were really good friends.”

“Okay.”

“Like, really close. We hung out all the time, could talk about anything with each other.” She paused and twisted off the lid of her soda. “We even gave each other dating advice and would talk about our sexual
relationships and stuff.”

“Yeah, God, I can see why you’re upset that you ran into him,” Phoebe teased.

Gabby rolled her eyes. “I’m not finished, you dork.”

“Evidently. Go on.”

“Anyway. We were roomies for two years. Life was great. Things were perfect…”

“So what happened? He screw you over on rent?”

“No.” Gabby focused her gaze on the bottle of soda. “He just decided he wanted to screw me.”

There was a moment of silence and she lifted her head. Phoebe stared at her with pursed lips and brows drawn together.

“I don’t get it,” she said after a moment.

Gabby shifted in her chair. “Don’t get what?”

“Well, if things were so perfect between you two, why is it a bad thing that you guys fell into that romantic level?”

“Because there is no romantic level with Justin. He’s a player—a serial dater. I mean, he makes George Clooney look like the marrying kind.” Gabby groaned and stabbed at her chicken again. “It never mattered to me, though, because I wasn’t interested in him that way.”

“Or so you thought.”

“Or so I thought,” she agreed, her stomach twisting. “Everything changed the moment he kissed me…”

Phoebe’s expression softened with sympathy. “What caused the change? Why after two years did he suddenly decide to kiss you?”

“I’m sure the bottle of tequila we were knocking back helped a bit.” She shrugged. “We were watching a fantastic Giants game, talking about relationships and stuff…then it just kind of happened.”

“Tequila’s a bitch.”

“Heck yeah, it is.” Gabby gave a soft laugh and pulled the rubber bands from her hair, unthreading her braids.

“You said he tried to have sex with you. Does that mean it didn’t happen?”

“It didn’t happen. I stopped him before he could get my shirt off.” Gabby drew in an unsteady breath.

“I’m sorry. That’s probably TMI.”

“Not at all. You know I live secondhand through your love life.”

Gabby leaned back in her chair and gave her friend a considering glance. “You know…you need to date more.”

“We’re not talking about me.”

“Actually, you need to date, period.”

“We’re still not talking about me.” Phoebe shook her head, black curls bouncing as her lips twitched.

“So you didn’t have sex. What happened next?”

“Well, things got weird. Like really weird.” She shook her head, letting the loose waves fall over her shoulders. “We wrote the make-out session off to being drunk and never discussed it again. But I couldn’t deal. At all. If he went out on a date, I was nauseous all night. If I thought about him getting it on with another girl—hell, even kissing another girl, I’d about throw up my last meal.”

“Wow. Gabby, you really like this guy.”

“Gabby really likes what guy?”

They looked up as Delanie sailed into the room and dropped a file on her desk. She sat down, ran a  hand through chin-length blonde hair and lifted an eyebrow.

“Come on, don’t hold out on me. What did I miss?”

“Gabby is in lust with her old roommate,” Phoebe murmured. “They made out and then she moved out.”

“Huh.” Delanie leaned back in her chair, crossing one long leg over another.

“Stop it.” Gabby groaned and took another sip of soda. “I had to move out. He owns the house—his
grandparents left it to him, so it wasn’t like I was breaking a lease.” She lowered her gaze and picked up
another potato, but barely tasted it. “I moved out when he went down to Cabo with some of his buddies for
the weekend. I left him a check for my last two months and then split.”

Delanie cocked her head. “What explanation did you give him for leaving early?”

“Explanation?” Gabby snorted and then bit her lip before admitting, “Well, I really didn’t give him
one.”

Phoebe winced. “Ouch.”

“Ouch?”

“Well, personally I would have tried to explain. Or something—”

“I know. I didn’t handle it very well. And maybe I should have returned his calls or answered his emails.”

“Wait, you didn’t even answer his emails?” Delanie shook her head.

“I just couldn’t deal with it, okay?”

“Okay, so what happened in the store?” Phoebe prodded and glanced at Delanie. “They ran into each other at the store this afternoon.”

Gabby’s cheeks burned. “Err, I tried to hide. But he saw me. Then, only after promising to call him later, I finally got out of there without looking like too big of an idiot.”

“And are you going to call him?” Delanie asked.

“Hell, no!”

“So, apparently you still can’t deal with it,” Phoebe drawled.

“Hey. You just don’t get it. We passed the point of no return. There’s no going back.”

“A little dramatic, don’t you think?” Phoebe murmured.

“I’m not calling him,” Gabby grumbled and shot a defiant glare at Phoebe. “I’m just not. So don’t even try to convince me to, ladies. In fact, let’s just drop the whole subject.”

“Okay.” Phoebe waved her hands in the air and took another bite of her chocolate bar. “I promise, I won’t try to convince you. I’m dropping it.”

“Me too. I need lunch.” Delanie stood up and went to the mini fridge in the corner.

Gabby grunted. Justin had probably gone through a slew of girlfriends in the six months since she’d moved out. The man loved to argue that celibate had the same meaning as celebrate. Which made absolutely no sense.

“I mean, there’s just no point in calling him,” she said to defend herself. “It’d just be weird. And I don’t do weird.”

“Oh, are we still talking about this? Sorry, I thought you said something about dropping it. I must have misunderstood.” Phoebe’s eyes widened in mock innocence and she crinkled her chocolate bar wrapper, tossing it into the waste bin. “I’d say the point would be salvaging two years of friendship you had with this guy.”

“It’s too late.”

“It’s never too late,” Delanie argued, returning to her desk with a yogurt and a sandwich.

“Trust me on this one.” Gabby grabbed the rest of her lunch and went to put it in the fridge, muttering under her breath, “It was too late the minute he touched me.”

Emma Petersen
Leah Braemel
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Sasha White
Shelli Stevens
T.J. Michaels
Delilah Devlin

Welcome to another Snippet Saturday! Today’s theme is ‘work’. Check out my excerpt below from Negligee Behavior, and then visit the blogs listed for other excerpts!

When lingerie heiress Brandy Summer gets cold feet and runs out on her Vegas wedding, she has nowhere to turn—so she hijacks a hunky biker waiting for a red light and begs him for help. What she doesn’t know is that her instincts are right: the groom has a hidden agenda. He needs her money to pay off his gambling debts and she’s his ticket to the good life.

Marco Vargas isn’t sure what he’s getting himself into when he rescues Brandy, but figures he’ll do the chivalrous thing. He offers her a job in his bar and the chance to sort out her feelings. But it seems that keeping Brandy hidden is easier than keeping his hands off her—and what will happen when Brandy discovers that Marco has secrets of his own?

Order from Carina Press |Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Also available in Audiobook

 

EXCERPT

The bar was crowded as all hell. Marco kept half his attention on Brandy, while working behind the counter taking money and making drinks.

She held her own, though just barely. Running around like her ass was on fire, eyes bright with excitement.

Fortunately for her, half the crowd came to the bar and ordered drinks directly from the bartenders; she only had to worry about the customers who were seated at the tables or people who came up to her. Even with those it was strictly drink orders since the kitchen had closed two hours ago.

“Hey, I’ll take a light beer.” A regular sidled up to the counter and grinned. “So what’s with the waitress in the cat shirt? You pick her up at a library convention or something?”

Marco bit back a smile as he slid the beer toward the man. “Something like that.”

“Yeah, she’s kind of cute. Got that whole innocent look about her.” He leaned across the bar. “But you know those are the same girls who’ve got a kinky streak a mile wide. Probably has one of those dominatrix outfits at home or some shit.”

“You think so, huh?” He gave a silent harrumph and looked past the customer to see Brandy making her way back to him.

“How’s it going?” Marco asked her.

She shook her head. “I’m so tired. But I’m having a great time.”

“How are you doing on tips?”

She shrugged. “I’ve gotten a few dollars here and there. But it doesn’t matter. I’m not here for the money.”

Valerie usually scored big on tips, but then again she was a seasoned flirt and dressed in a provocative way that was guaranteed to turn men on. Brandy struck out on both of those counts.

He’d actually been kind of worried about the backlash from some of the regulars. Thought they might get annoyed with an inexperienced waitress dressed like she was attending a church picnic. But besides a couple comments, no one seemed to care much.

“You’ve got two more hours, princess. Think you can make it?”

“Sure.” She didn’t protest or seem the slightest bit annoyed by the princess reference this time. A yawn popped her jaw and she raised a hand to cover her mouth, giving him a guilty smile. “So I’m a little sleepy, I can make it.”

“You want an energy drink?”

She wrinkled her nose, but before she could turn him down he pushed on.

“It’ll wake you up.”

She narrowed her eyes and gave him suspicious look. “Do you even have an energy drink?”

He gave a deep laugh and shook his head. She didn’t have a clue what was in half of the drinks she was serving.

“Of course we do. Though usually we’re mixing them with Vodka.” He grabbed one of the drinks and cracked the can open. “Pound it. It’ll wake you up a bit.”

“Are you sure? What about the tables—”

“They’re good for now. You can take a minute to drink this.”

“Okay.” She snatched the can out of his hand and slammed it back, swallowing a bunch of times before she dropped it back on the counter.

Damn, she’d taken pound it seriously. He gave a slow nod of admiration.

“Yikes.” She blinked and shook her head. “I think I’m going to get a sugar high.”

“And then some. Good, that’s what you need to get through the night. Now get your butt back out there now.”

Giggling, she spun away and went back to check on the tables.

“That was nice of you,” Sebastian said to Marco.

“What are you talking about?” Of course he knew exactly what his friend was referring to, but Marco kept his expression unreadable as he topped off a glass of beer.

“What with the way you were treating her earlier, I would have thought you’d be thrilled if she keeled over from exhaustion.”

“I might be an asshole, but I’m not that big of one.”

“Really? Where’s she staying tonight?”

The same question had crossed his mind a few times throughout the evening. Where would she be staying? They hadn’t talked about it since breakfast. This morning—before she’d become the newest employee at Dante’s Place—he’d just assumed he’d drop her off at a hotel in town.

Now the entire game plan had changed. It was going on one in the morning and now the idea of her getting a room in a small off-Strip motel didn’t seemed like a real shitty one.

But he didn’t want to admit his thoughts to Sebastian. The guy already thought he’d slipped off the deep end over the choir teacher.

“I don’t know where she’s staying, and it’s not my business.” The words left a bitter taste in his mouth. You’re an asshole.

Marco spotted the flicker of surprise and annoyance in Sebastian’s eyes, but he didn’t say anything and just shook his head.

Emma Petersen
Leah Braemel
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Sasha White
Shelli Stevens
T.J. Michaels