Monday, December 30, 2013

BTB-Jackie Ashenden Talking Dirty With the Boss Author Spotlight & Giveaway!!

I'd like to welcome everyone to For Whom The Books Toll. Today is my stop on the Buy The Book Tours Jackie Ashenden's Talking Dirty With the Boss Author Spotlight & Giveaway. So have a lot of fun reading the blurb and excerpt and learning more about Jackie. Thanks for stopping by today Jackie.

Ten Great Things About a Kiwi Christmas:
Hi and thanks for having me on the blog. Since it's the season for it and I'm still on my summer vacation here in New Zealand, I thought I'd do a post about how great a real Kiwi Christmas is.

No, we don't have snow or mistletoe. And we don't have a fire to curl up in front of. But here's why Christmas in summer is the best.

1. You can have a BBQ for Christmas dinner – hey, if you're me, you're having
Christmas at the beach.

2. After your Christmas dinner, you can go for a swim in the pool or the ocean if you're by the sea. Hey, you don't even have to wait until after dinner!

3. Christmas Day lasts extra long because it's in the middle of Daylight Savings.

4. You don't have to wear a sweater – as long as you've got sunblock, you're
good to go.

5. Christmas is in the middle of our summer vacation so even when it's over,
you're still on holiday.

6. You can have your Christmas dinner and work on your tan at the same time.

7. Having a nap afterwards is almost mandatory because it's hot.

8. You don't have to worry about whether your flight will be snowed in before
you reach your family for Christmas day because there isn't any snow (doesn't
help with baggage handler strikes though).

9. You can get your winter fix by watching Christmas movies on TV or buying
spray-on snow, then go outside and sit in the sun.

10. We still have Christmas trees and tinsel, mulled wine and Christmas cake,
presents and Santa – except our Santa wears Bermuda shorts and flip flops.

What do you all think about having Christmas in the summer? Not the same or you'd like to try it once maybe?

Title: Talking Dirty with the Boss (A Talking Dirty Book)

Author: Jackie Ashenden
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing - Indulgence Imprint    
Length: 150 pages
Release Date: December 9, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62266-324-8

Marisa Clair wants to get her artist dreams back on track after a life detour. That means no partying, no shopping…and definitely no men to distract her. Should be easy, but there’s something about her hot and exceedingly uptight boss and she can’t seem to stop herself from ruffling Mr. Tall, Dark and Irritating.

Financial consultant Luke McNamara lives his life strictly by schedule – his OCD simply won’t allow him to do anything else. And the very last thing he needs is a sassy blonde putting lipstick on his collar and messing with his routine. She annoys the hell out of him so why can’t he stop thinking about the color of her panties…and how free he feels when he’s with her?

Marisa and Luke’s plans to steer clear of one another are shot to hell after a hot office encounter. Now the two of them will have to learn to get along as they face a much more permanent reminder of their lack of self-control – a pregnancy.

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Chapter One
“So. Would you like to dance?”

Marisa, leaning up against a pillar in the hotel ballroom, didn’t turn around. She knew exactly who that deep, dark masculine voice belonged to. The man Caleb had just dumped on her before he walked off not ten minutes earlier. The man she’d been trying to avoid for the past few hectic days leading up to Christie and Joseph’s wedding.

The man with the biggest stick up his butt she’d ever seen.

Luke McNamara, owner of the media company that had bought Total Tech, the magazine where she worked, only last month.

She’d tried to make nice after Caleb had abandoned her because (1) since Compass Media had boughtTotal Tech, that made Luke the big boss and she couldn’t ignore him, and (2) he was Caleb Steele and Joseph Ashton’s friend and since this was Joseph’s wedding, she couldn’t blow him off, no matter how awful the conversation.

But after five minutes of feeling as if she were playing a one-way tennis match, where she kept serving conversational balls without any answering volley, she’d given up and turned around to watch the dance floor instead.

The guy might have been sexy as all hell, but quite frankly there was only so long a girl could stand there admiring him.

The waterfront hotel where her best friend, Christie, and her tech billionaire husband were having their reception was beautiful. The lights of Auckland’s harbor were visible through the big windows that lined one side of it, small twinkles of color that echoed the fairy lights strung around the interior of the ballroom.

Not far away from where she stood was the head table where Christie was sitting, currently sending meaningful glances her way.

Probably wanting her to dance with Luke. Bah. She didn’t want to dance with Mr. Smiling-Will-Kill-Me. He’d given a very stiff and not particularly engaging speech the day his company had taken over Total Tech. A speech that mainly seemed to be concerned with all the new rules he was going to institute. Such as crackdowns on e-mail and Internet usage. On punctuality. Some completely stupid restriction on workplace relationships. She hadn’t paid much attention initially—at least until the tersely worded e-mail from HR had arrived telling her to cease and desist the mild flirtation she’d been having with one of the seriously hot IT guys. Then to make matters worse, a couple of days earlier he’d instituted regulations about skirt length and “revealing attire.” And sure enough, another tersely worded HR e-mail had found its way into her in-box, detailing her “breach” of the new regulations with the cute dress she’d bought only last week. Sure, maybe it was a little short and maybe the neckline was a bit low, but i
t could hardly be termed “revealing.”

The first e-mail had been annoying. The second had been more personal and that in itself was enough to make her dislike him.

Then they’d been formally introduced at Christie’s little pre-wedding get-together and her initial dislike had cemented into disdain. He’d been so formal and unfriendly. And now she couldn’t really be bothered with making an effort. She was only a tiny cog in the vast wheel of his company anyway, and life was too short to spend time with a guy you didn’t like, right?

Then again, you didn’t say no to the bride.

Behind her, Luke McNamara let out an impatient breath. “I said, would you like to dance?”

Christie’s expression was pleading. Clearly all the “the guy’s a tool” comments Marisa had made to her friend didn’t count.

She rolled her eyes and Christie mouthed, “Do it. For me.”

Dammit. Christie was the only real friend she’d ever had. And sometimes you just had to suck it up and deal for your friends.

Even do something she didn’t want to do, such as dance with Luke McNamara.

Marisa braced herself. Pasted on her trademark sweet-with-a-touch-of-sauce smile and turned around.

Luke was standing behind her, looking as if he’d been born in a three-piece suit. The tux he wore was pristine, not a speck on it. Every lock of his ink-black hair in place. His bow tie straight, immaculately placed.

He was as perfect as a doll just taken out of its box and not yet played with.

Her fingers itched. For all his stiffness, he was damn sexy. All broad shoulders and lean hips, with a dark, brooding kind of vibe going on. It made her want to play with him just a little bit. Because she did like men in suits. Especially tall, powerful, buttoned-up type of men. Men just begging to have their ties tweaked, their hair ruffled. Lipstick on their collar…

Dear God, girl. You don’t like him, so quit it with the ruffling fantasies. And anyway, he’s your boss.

Good point.

Luke’s attention was on the phone he held, long fingers working the screen. Each time she’d seen him, he’d had that thing in his hands. Maybe it was surgically attached.

“Perhaps you’d like to dance with your phone instead?” Marisa observed sweetly.

Black brows twitched and he lifted his gaze from the phone. His eyes were gray. Cool and crystalline. He gave her a glance that took in every inch of her, from the top of her blond head to the green silk high-heeled sandals that matched her bridesmaid’s dress. Normally when men looked at her like that it meant something like “you’re hot.” Or “I want to take you home.” Or “I want to see you naked.”

Luke’s was more like, “What is this…thing?”

It made her feel ten inches tall.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Luke said flatly. “Why would I want to dance with my phone?”

“Sarcasm. I presume you’ve heard of it?”

“Oh, was that what it was?” With a quick movement, he put the phone away in his pocket, then twitched the cuffs of his jacket. “Do you want to dance or not?”

“A please would be nice.”

Irritation crossed his—it had to be said—rather ridiculously handsome face. Marisa tried not to scowl at the awareness that lingered in the back of her mind.

Handsome. Sure. If you liked perfect cheekbones. And straight noses. And beautifully carved mouths. Which she did. Just not on her anally retentive, rule-loving new über-boss.


“Way to go. You remembered my name.”

“Of course I remembered your name. I remember everything.”

“Yeah. Right.”

“Why would I lie?”

“I dunno. To get me into bed?”

He frowned. “I don’t want to sleep with you. You’re with Total Tech. Which makes you an employee of mine. And I don’t sleep with my employees, especially junior ones.”

That he’d somehow remembered just how minor her role was in his organization didn’t make her any more inclined to be nice to him. “Well, that’s good. Because I don’t sleep with people I work with, either.”

His brows descended. “I have to dance with you.”

Marisa folded her arms. “Have to?”

“The groomsmen and the bridesmaids have to dance together at least once.”

Damn. She’d managed to avoid it so far—couldn’t she just keep on doing so?

Christie was getting up from the table, her arm around her new husband. She glanced over at Marisa and gave her a discreet thumbs-up. Marisa could also see Caleb and Judith, Joseph’s sister and Christie’s other “best woman,” already dancing together, too, Judith scowling at Caleb.

Bugger this. Why couldn’t they have swapped partners? Judith probably wouldn’t have minded, and Marisa would have much preferred to dance with Cal. He was fun to be with. Gorgeous, too. But oh no. She had to get stuck with Luke.

Lucky her.

“Come on. The music’s starting.” His fingers wrapped around her wrist. A gentle but irresistible force tugging her toward the ballroom’s dance floor.

“Hey,” she began.

But before she could really protest, she found herself swept in among the dancers, his arm around her waist, his hand at her hip, her fingers laced with his.

It all happened so fast. One minute she was standing there wishing she could dance with just about anyone else. The next she was in his arms.

She glared up at him. “What. The. Hell. McNamara?”

His attention wasn’t on her—as per usual—his gaze fixed on some point over her shoulder. Frowning in fierce concentration.

“Hello?” Marisa persisted. “This is your partner speaking. What the bloody hell are you doing?”

Luke gave his head a minute shake and said nothing. His movements were a touch wooden, the expression on his face becoming fiercer.

Jesus, what was wrong with him? He didn’t seem like the type of guy who danced, anyway. Come to think of it, given the jerky way they were moving, he wasn’t the type of guy who danced at all.

“Hey,” Marisa said. “What are you—ow!” A large foot knocked her ankle and she stumbled.

The arm around her waist tightened to stop her from falling and she was suddenly pressed hard up against six foot three inches of solid male. One of her hands was trapped between them, her palm against his chest.

“Be quiet,” Luke said. “If you talk, I can’t count.”

“You can’t count? What—”

“If I can’t count, I can’t dance. And if I can’t dance, I’ll stand on your foot again. So be quiet and let me count.”

Marisa opened her mouth to argue. Then thought better of it. What was the point? Better just to be quiet and yeah, suck it up. A dance was only a few minutes and then it would be over.

She let out a breath, stared at the pristine whiteness of his shirt. Beneath her palm, squashed against his chest, she could feel hard muscle.

Wow, the guy was seriously built. He almost felt…good. And he smelled quite nice, too. Not at all like the guys she normally dated, the ones who drenched themselves in expensive aftershave. Luke smelled clean and fresh. A hint of soap. The lightest of aftershaves. Like water, or the ocean. Or rain.

She became suddenly aware of his hand sitting in the small of her back. The heat of it. The pressure of it through the silk. The sensation of his body against her front. So tall.

Muscular through the wool and cotton of his groomsman’s tux.

A flush swept over her skin.

Oh no. No way. This could not be attraction. Not to him. Not to Mr. Controlling Über-Boss. No effing way.

She glanced up, hoping a glimpse of the guy’s too-handsome face would annoy her so much she’d forget about it.

He was still frowning and he looked sort of like an angel. The really stern kind that usually sat on the top of tombs. The ones with swords in their hands that seemed like they’d cut you down without a thought.

Why is that hot?

Yeah. Seriously. Why?

Luke happened to glance down right at that moment, meeting her gaze.

His eyes were an amazing color. A pure, clear gray, darkening toward the center, becoming charcoal. There was an intentness to them, a focus that sharpened the longer he stared at her. His frown deepened.

And she realized two things. One: they’d stopped moving. And two: she was staring at him like a moron. Which she mostly never did. And she’d been with a lot of guys.

Nothing much flustered Marisa, especially men. But hell, she was all blushing and breathless now.

Luke’s expression had become ferocious. As if he’d felt this heat between them, too, and liked it as little as she did.

“Why have you stopped?” he asked.

“Because this dance is over.” She tried to push him away but it was like pushing against a wall. A brick wall.

“No it’s not. The music’s still playing.”


“We can’t stop in the middle of a dance,” he said with finality. Then he moved again, pulling her closer.

Struggling would be undignified. As would letting physical attraction get the better of her. Weird. Just weird. Why was it this guy, out of all the dates she’d had over the course of the last couple of years, who had to be the one to make her break out in a sweat? Not only was he her boss, but according to office gossip, he was a bit of a womanizer, too. Two weeks, that’s all his girlfriends lasted, and if the uptightness of the man wasn’t red flag enough already, that certainly was. The whole thing just pissed her off.

“You don’t want to dance with me, just like I really don’t want to dance with you,” she muttered. “Why not call it quits now?”

“Because the dance isn’t over,” he said with maddening logic. “We can’t stop till it’s finished.”

“That’s stupid.”

He glared over her shoulder. “I don’t care whether it’s stupid or not, we don’t stop until the dance is over.”

“You don’t like me.”

“No, I don’t. But that’s got nothing to do with it. Joseph wanted us all to dance together so that’s what we’re doing.”

Marisa set her jaw. She didn’t care whether he liked her not, of course she didn’t. “Why not? Oh, wait a second, I know. It’s my clothes, isn’t it?”

“Your clothes?”

“Apparently they’re ‘not appropriate for a workplace environment.’ And I suppose I get another black mark for flirting with Leonard in IT, right? Since the ‘interaction’ doesn’t ‘promote collegial relationships.’”

Luke scowled. “Workplace rules haven’t got anything to do with me liking you or otherwise. Can we have this discussion at another time? I have to—”

“Count. Yeah, I get you have to count. Why don’t you let me lead and I’ll do the freaking counting.”

He glanced down at her again, his expression all intense glare and stern mouth. And she had the insane urge to pull his bow tie. Mess him up. Rumple him in some way.

“I’m leading,” he said in a tone that suggested the conversation was over. “So unless you want your foot to be stepped on again, I suggest you keep quiet and let me count. At least until this is over.” A pause. “Please.”

The please did nothing for her temper. She didn’t want to stay dancing with him, pressed up against him. His hand on her back. Hers on his chest. Touching.

This attraction was already making her breathless, and the longer she stayed like this, the more uncomfortable it was going to get. When it came to men, she preferred to be the one in control because there was only one end to chemistry like this. She’d been there before and it was bad. Very bad. Attractive, womanizing men were right at the top of her list of things to avoid like the plague. Especially attractive, womanizing men who were also her uptight boss.

Marisa stared at his shirt, contemplating her options. The cotton was very white. Snowy, it could be said. Her gaze followed the line of buttons to his throat, where his bow tie rested, straight and begging to be tweaked.

She slid her hand up his chest. Took one end of the tie in her fingers. Pulled.

Luke instantly looked down. “What are you doing?”

Maris ignored the demand in his tone. Slowly she flicked open the buttons of his shirt, one by one, exposing smooth, brown skin.

Oh yeah. Hot. So hot.

He’d come to a dead stop. “Marisa? What are you—”

She rose up on her tiptoes, leaned forward, and pressed a kiss onto the lapel of his shirt. Her signature deep red contrasted beautifully with the white cotton.

Abruptly, Luke let her go, and she wasn’t slightly disappointed at the loss. Oh no, she wasn’t.

“What the hell?” He was staring down at the mark her mouth had left, growing horror on his face.

Ah, finally, signs of life. “I’m making sure you look like someone’s been playing with you.”

Anger flashed in his eyes. “You put lipstick on my goddamn shirt.”

“It’s just a little lipstick.”

“Just a little—”

“Hey, I told you I didn’t want to dance, okay? So when I’m done dancing, I’m done dancing.”

Luke opened his mouth, probably to argue, but she’d made her point. She was over it.

And the quicker she got away from him the better.

Marisa smiled, blew him a kiss, then turned on her heel and walked off the dance floor.

There was lipstick on his collar. Lipstick. On his collar.

For a minute Luke just stared at Marisa Clair’s retreating green figure, too angry to do anything.

He hadn’t paid much attention to her since they’d been introduced at the pre-wedding party, although he already knew who she was since Compass, his media company, had taken over Total Tech and he didn’t forget a name. He hadn’t seen any real need to get to know her. She was the PA to the Total Tech editor in chief, far down in the pecking order, and besides, she seemed to be the pretty blond type who sometimes threw themselves at him. The kind who got off on his money or the fact that he was CEO of one of Auckland’s biggest financial companies. He didn’t pay those kind of women much attention.

He preferred serious, intellectual women, and Marisa struck him as neither serious nor particularly intellectual. She’d already been caught breaking several of his new rules, including the one against workplace relationships, which showed him exactly how seriously she took her job. Which was not at all.

She was irritating.

Irritating. Yes. But you weren’t thinking irritating just a moment ago.

No, just a moment ago she’d felt soft in his arms. The curves of her body fitting his in a way…

Luke forced the thoughts out of his head.

Attraction to Marisa Clair was not only highly inappropriate, it was also extremely unwelcome. He’d been dancing with her only because Joseph had asked him to. Because it was expected at a wedding.

Dancing was the very last thing he wanted to do, anyway. He loathed it. The only way he could manage was to count the beat so he wouldn’t stand on her feet. The problem was that once he started, he had to finish.

Not finishing offended every single one of his compulsions.

Luke started after her, following her lush green-clad figure as she dodged the other couples, heading back toward the head table to sit with the rest of the wedding party.

She’d gotten there by the time he caught up, and was picking up a glass of champagne and taking a good, healthy sip.

He stopped right behind her. “Why did you do that?” he demanded.

She muttered a curse, paused, then turned around. Wide, lapis-blue eyes framed by thick, dark lashes stared up into his. Those lashes fluttered. Her full red mouth turned up in a smile that could only be termed seductive. “Do what?”

Luke didn’t respond to blatant sexual overtures from women. Flirting was, in his opinion, a pointless exercise. If you wanted sex you found someone who wanted it, too, and then you went to bed. You didn’t spend hours circling around the subject or talking about it endlessly.

He frowned. “Do what? You put lipstick on my collar.” He didn’t look down. He could almost feel the stain ruining the clean whiteness of his shirt. It was slightly off-center too, which made the whole thing immeasurably worse. Looking down would make him have to go home and change it. And then he’d have an even tougher dilemma—complete the dance first or change?

“Oh yeah.” She leaned back in the chair. “So I did.”

The music was winding down and soon the song would be at an end. The dance would be unfinished.

Dammit, he couldn’t leave anything unfinished. He stepped forward, reached for her, tugged her back into his arms.

Marisa’s hands pushed against his chest, her body stiff. “Hey, stop it.”

People were beginning to cast glances in their direction. Joseph, whirling around with Christie, raised an eyebrow at him from the dance floor. God, now they were attracting attention, exactly what he didn’t want. “We have to finish the dance,” he growled. “For Christie and Joseph’s sake, at least.”

She flashed a quick look toward the dance floor, her mouth tightening at the sight of the happy couple staring pointedly back, then she muttered another curse. Her seductive manner had dropped. Now she looked as pissed off as he was. “You promise you’ll leave me alone?”

“Gladly.” Yes, he wouldn’t be able to get away fast enough.

For the next minute, they danced grimly and silently beside the table, while he tried not to notice that the silk of her back had warmed up underneath his palm. And that she smelled like…musk and spices. An earthy scent. One that he shouldn’t like, but did all the same.

She also had a way of moving that he couldn’t ignore. Liquid and graceful, especially in comparison to him.

He didn’t want to look at her, not with that red stain on his collar, but he couldn’t help himself. Her hair wasn’t plain old gold, it was a mixture of tawny and gilt, with darker undertones of caramel and toffee. She had one hand on his chest, her fingers curled into her palm. She was a lot shorter than he was.

It made him feel…odd.

“Stop looking at me,” she said, her gaze fixed on his chest.

Irritation wound through him. How aggravating to be caught staring like a teenage boy. Especially at a woman he had no interest in.

“How do you know I’m looking at you?”

“Because I can feel it. It’s annoying. Just get on with your damn counting.” She lifted her lashes, a flash of blue peeping from underneath them. “Or do you want another lipstick mark on your collar?”

The weirdest urge gripped him to lean down and kiss her. Silence that smart red mouth of hers. Disturb her the way she’d disturbed him.

He wasn’t a man who gave in to random impulses. Control was of paramount importance—especially control over the demands of his OCD. Yet this urge was almost as irresistible as the ones that had him living life by a strict schedule.

Marisa’s eyes widened, as if she knew exactly what he was thinking.

“Hey, you’re not—”

He didn’t know what possessed him. She was an employee and that should have rendered her immediately off-limits. His rules against workplace relationships were there for a reason. Rules maintained order and order was important.

Perhaps it was the one beer he’d allowed himself. Perhaps it was the red stain burning a hole in his shirt. Perhaps it was because he was angry with her.

Or maybe it was because he wanted to see what would happen.

But for an instant, his precious control slipped and he bent his head, brushing her mouth with his.

Lightning. Sparks like a match being struck. The leap of static electricity. Intense and sudden and burning. Desire, sharp as the snap of a whip, flickered through him.

He’d never experienced anything like it.

He dropped her, the pair of them springing apart like repelling magnets.

“Holy shit,” Marisa whispered. She stared at him, one hand to her mouth. A hand that was trembling.

He knew the feeling. The effects of the kiss resounded through him, bouncing off the walls like sonar, mapping the interior of him. Spreading the vibrations of it through his whole body, tuning him.

“Marisa—” he began, knowing he had to say something.

“Don’t you ever do that again.” Her eyes were intent, a furious light in them.

Dammit. What the hell had he done that for? What the hell had come over him? “Don’t worry,” he said, stiffly. “I won’t.”

“You’re damn right you won’t.” Her creamy skin had flushed and she turned her head to check out the dance floor. He noticed the blush extending all the way down her neck. “Oh, thank God, I don’t think anyone saw. Which means you’re not going to say anything to anyone about it either, okay?”

“Of course not.” He cleared his throat, his hands automatically moving to do up the buttons of his shirt. Then he realized. His shirt. The lipstick. He was going to have to change. “We won’t speak of it again.”

Her hand dropped from her mouth as if she’d only just become conscious of what she was doing. The blush on her cheeks deepened further. “We really need not to be around each other. So after this wedding stuff is done, we stay away, right?”

“Agreed.” He wouldn’t argue. She was right. Completely apart from the fact that they didn’t like each other, he couldn’t be kissing an employee. Especially one in a junior role. No matter that the kiss was a minor aberration. A moment of insanity.

One that he would make damn sure he forgot.

Her gaze had fixed on something. His mouth.

“You’ve got…” She stopped, touching her lips again.

Lipstick. He had lipstick. On his goddamned mouth.

Luke growled. Then, without a word, he turned and made his way out of the ballroom. He had to get home. Get this bloody shirt off. Wipe his damn mouth.

And forget about kissing Marisa Clair.

Jackie has been writing fiction since she was eleven years old. Mild mannered fantasy/SF/pseudo-literary writer by day, obsessive romance writer by night, she used to balance her writing with the more serious job of librarianship until a chance meeting with another romance writer prompted her to throw off the shackles of her day job and devote herself to the true love of her heart – writing romance. She particularly likes to write dark, emotional stories with alpha heroes who’ve just got the world to their liking only to have it blown wide apart by their kick-ass heroines.

She lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr Jax, two kids, two cats and some guppies (possibly dead guppies by the time you read this). When she’s not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.

Contact Jackie:

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Monday, December 30, 2013
For Whom The Books Toll {Guest Post}                           
Author Rose Wynters Uncensored {Spotlight}                
Books, Books the Magical Fruit {Guest Post}                   

Thursday, January 2, 2014
Simply Ali {Guest Post}                                    
Joyfully Reviewed {Guest Post}                         

Friday, January 3, 2014
M.J. Schiller, Romance Author {Guest Post}               

Monday, January 6, 2014
[Insert Clever Quip Here] {Spotlight}                
Sarah Ballance {Guest Post}                                 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Authors’ Cafe {Author Interview}                 

Thursday, January 9, 2014
LeAnn’s Book Reviews {Guest Post}                   

Friday, January 10, 2014
Kristy Centeno {Spotlight}                                    

Monday, January 13, 2014
Talk Supe {Character Interview}                     

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
What Readers Want {Guest Post}                 

Friday, January 17, 2014
Ramblings From This Chick {Guest Post)          

Milly Taiden A Mate's Bite Cover Reveal!!

Mission: Don’t fall in love

After an explosive night of passion during a scenting ceremony, Karla Alves is sure she was just a one night stand for the man she'd been crushing on for years. She teased him and pleased him, and Nate hasn't been around since. Her fear of becoming clingy kept her from risking her heart and asking for 
more than a few hours of skin sin.

Mission: Crack her walls

She. Is. His. Nathan Wolfe marked Karla. His mate. Deeply involved in pack politics, Nate has had to stay away. When his sister warns that Karla needs him more than he thinks, he'll discover a bundle of secrets only his wolf can sniff out. But getting the woman he cares about to let down her guard may prove to be his undoing.

Mission: Embrace the bite

With Karla's wayward sister wreaking havoc and friends needing more of his time than ever, Nate will have to rearrange his priorities if he ever hopes to earn Karla's trust. But will time with her be enough? Only true love and a wolf's promise can hold together a relationship created with a bite, a scenting, and a hope for tomorrow.

Hi! I'm Milly (AKA April Angel) I love to write sexy stories. They're usually either paranormal or contemporary with a large dose of heat. My paranormal stories can be anything from wolf-shifters (my favorites) to witches, demons and anything in between. My contemporaries are usually anything from soldiers to corporate romances.

I was born the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. Currently, I live in New York City with my hubby, the bossy kiddo and our little dog "Needy Speedy". Don't ask.

When I'm not working some really long hours at the day job, or hanging out in the awful life-sucking invention known as Facebook, messaging my bestie in the UK or shopping with my sis Julie, then I can be found watching scary movies. Buuut when I'm not doing that, I'm usually writing because the voices 
won't shut up.

I am addicted to shoe shopping, chocolate (but who isn't, right?) and Dunkin' Donuts coffee.Come on over and visit me! I love to meet new readers!
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Friday, December 27, 2013

BTB- 'Tis The Season Book Bundle Authors' Spotlight Tour!!

Today is my stop on the Buy The Book Tours 'Tis the Season Book Bundle Authors; Spotlight Tour. All of these books look so very yummy, so take your time reading about all the books and authors.

 Title: Tis the Season Bundle 
Authors: Kate Hardy, Heidi Rice, Amy Andrews & Aimee Carson
Publisher: Entangled Publishing – Indulgence Imprint    
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 177 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62266-429-0
Publications Date: December 2013

'Tis the Season to Kiss Santa by Kate Hardy
With the help of a sprig of mistletoe and some snow angels, a recently single pastry chef teaches a highly successful and sexy Scrooge the true meaning of the holidays on a snowy Christmas Eve that quickly heats up.

Excerpt – ‘Tis the Season to Kiss Santa
“So that was your dream when you were a kid? To be a PR man?”

“Maybe.” Mitch couldn’t remember his dreams as a kid. Other than the need to get away as soon as he could. “Was that your dream—to be a pastry chef?”

“Yes. I always loved cooking, but especially cakes and desserts. I loved it when Betty came over to stay with us in the summer. She taught me how to make a proper gingerbread house.” Ellie smiled. “I made one for her to take into the hospital with her earlier this week.”

It didn’t surprise him. He’d already worked out that she was the sort who’d think of others.

He parked in the street as close to her place as he could. It looked as if it was one of the traditional Philadelphia row houses: three stories, with a flat roof and a bay window on the ground floor.

“I guess this is home, then,” he said.

“Yes. Well, my godmother’s.” She looked out of the window. “The snow’s getting worse. I didn’t see a snowplow all the way here, and I don’t like to think of you driving in this. Why don’t you come in for a while and wait it out? It’ll give the snowplows time to come and sort out the roads and make them safer for you to drive on later.”

What she said made perfect common sense—but it also gave Mitch an odd feeling. He wasn’t used to anyone being concerned about him. “I don’t want to inconvenience you.”

“My family’s all in London and my godmother’s in hospital. I don’t have any plans other than visiting her tomorrow, so you’re no inconvenience to me.”

She wrinkled her nose. It was incredibly cute, and it made Mitch want to lean over and kiss her.

He stopped himself.?Just.?“Though I guess you need to get in touch with your family to let them know where you are and that you’re okay,” she said. “They’ll be worrying about you.”

No, they wouldn’t. He’d been gone too long. He shook his head. “There’s nobody to worry about me.”

“Nobody? But—won’t you be seeing your family or friends for Christmas?”

“Not everyone celebrates Christmas.”

She flushed deeply, looking mortified. “Oh, no. What with you being Santa, I made the wrong assumption. I’m sorry. Obviously you’re Jewish.”

“No, I’m not Jewish. I just don’t celebrate Christmas.” “Why not?”?“Just call me Ebenezer,” he said lightly.

“Ebenezer Scrooge wouldn’t help out at a kids’ party and donate the gifts,” she pointed out, frowning.

He couldn’t take credit that definitely wasn’t due. “I helped out because my boss asked me to, and he’s the one who paid for the gifts.”

“Even so. Scrooge still would’ve said no.”

“I just don’t like Christmas. I don’t have particularly good memories of it when I was growing up.” The words came out before he could stop them.


She was practically a stranger and here he was, spilling his guts to her.

Big mistake. He needed to get going. Like now.

And yet there was no pity in her face when she looked at him. Just warmth and understanding. “I apologize for being pushy and nosy. Come in and have some coffee and warm up.”

He should say no. Make an excuse. Drive away as fast as the snow would let him? But there was something about her he couldn’t resist, and he found himself saying thank you, locking his car, and following her into the house.

‘Tis the Season to Get Lucky by Heidi Rice
When a Christmas Day blizzard strands an up-and-coming marketing manager and her boss’s very off-limits, very hot playboy son in his department store, the two toe the line between naughty and nice as they unwrap their holiday presents—and each other!

Excerpt – ‘Tis the Season to Get Lucky
When Kate disturbs Ryder while he’s in the toy department having just accidentally knocked over a display of Dolls. Unfortunately for Kate she’s been forced to wear a rather tight Santa’s Little Helper outfit because her own clothes got drenched on the way to the store, and Ryder’s just spent two months in a war zone — so he ‘subdues’ her first and asks questions later. At this point she’s on the floor, with Ryder on top of her and her hands held down above her head… But still trying to maintain her dignity: 

“Will you get off me, Mr. Sinclair?” Kate said in the most commanding voice she could muster while she was being pressed into a mass of jagged cardboard by a man who felt like he weighed several tons.

She swallowed down the lump of mortification in her throat as his gaze dipped down to her cleavage again.

Bloody hell.

Why had she come out here? She should have just stayed in her office and ignored the almighty crash from outside. Especially as her ethics had prevented her from “borrowing” anything from the clothing department while her wet clothes dried on her office radiator. Consequently, the only thing she’d been able to find to wear was the prototype for this year’s Santa’s Little Helpers outfits—which was two sizes too small.

“How the hell do you know who I am?” Lake-blue eyes glared at her accusingly.

She glared back at him, ignoring the spectacular blip in her pulse from the man’s face. With a day’s worth of stubble shadowing a strong jaw, blunt features darkly tanned from what she suspected was several months spent in some glitzy Caribbean resort, unruly hair that curled around his ears, and brows drawn into a sharp frown over those unfathomable blue eyes, he looked more like a marauding pirate than the pampered playboy she’d expected.

“I know who you are because I’ve seen your photo in Vanity Fair.” Although the chiseled, pretty-boy features of that man looked nothing like the ruggedly handsome face above her.

‘Tis the Season to be Kissed by Amy Andrews
A down-on-her-romantic-luck kindergarten teacher plans to drown her New Year’s Eve sorrows in a gallon of spiked eggnog, but the arrival of her best friend’s sexy brother threatens to melt the snow piling up outside the tiny Vermont cabin.

Excerpt – ‘Tis the Season To Be Kissed
Sergeant Luke Jackson had gone straight into combat mode at the sound of the blood-curdling banshee yell, and it took several seconds for the adrenaline spike to release him from its grip long enough to compute the fact that there was no danger. He had no idea who was beneath him, but the landing had been too soft to register it as a threat.

Still holding firm to the attacker’s splayed wrists, his father’s old putter discarded and well out of reach, he looked down into stormy gray eyes. He may only have been able to see an oval cut-out of her face from the confines of the hood she had pulled tight around her head, but it was definitely a woman. No man owned such delicate bone structure and had a nose as cute as that.

“What the hell?” he demanded back at the woman moving ineffectually underneath him. He’d just trudged two miles through a freaking blizzard from the bus depot to be greeted like this?

“Get off me right now you…giant…ass!”

“Who the hell are you?”

The woman stopped struggling and glared at him. “Hey buddy, this is my house. I get to ask the questions and you”—she struggled some more—“are”—more interesting squirming, shoving, and pushing—“squashing me!”

Luke pushed away immediately and stood towering over her. She looked like a felled Eskimo in full winter regalia. “Ma’am, I don’t know who you are, but I think you’ll find that this is my house.”

She gave him an indignant look as she lay there waving her arms and legs like a stranded beetle. “While I appreciate your manners,” the beetle with the elfin nose and pixie cheekbones said, “I’ll have you know that this cabin belongs to the Jackson family.”

Luke nodded. “Yes. Edward and Sophie. My parents. I’m Luke. Luke Jackson.”

He offered her his hand to help her up, fearing that with all those clothes thwarting her attempts she would never make it unaided.

The angry pixie’s eyebrows knitted together as she glared up at him, but reached her mittened hand for his anyway. “Nice try. Luke Jackson is in Afghanistan and I think impersonating a US soldier on active duty is”—she paused as Luke pulled her to her feet—“beneath contempt.”

Luke didn’t bother to look at the portrait of him and Georgia that he knew hung on the wall to his right. He just jerked his thumb toward it and waited patiently for the penny to drop. The woman blinked at the picture as if she was having trouble seeing it. She peered at him, then back at the wall, then back at him, squinting and scrutinizing it carefully, as if she’d been asked to pick him out of a lineup.

The picture had been taken a few years back on his return from his first tour to Afghanistan, but he hadn’t changed that much.

Not anywhere that was visible, anyway.

And then he heard her gasp and watched as her face fell. Yep. Now she was with the program.

“Oh God,” she groaned as she lurched away, heading for the low table next to the couch, picking up a glass, and taking a hefty swig before facing him again. “I’m so, so sorry. I thought you were a looter…or a burglar…or at the very least up to no good. I didn’t know you were home. Georgia was so disappointed you were going to miss her thirtieth birthday party and if I had known, I would never have yelled and attacked you with a golf club. I teach kindergarten…we use our inside voices, we keep our hands to ourselves…”

Luke folded his arms across his chest, amused at the horror on her face. She obviously wasn’t a violent person. Which only made her actions at defending his family cabin that much more endearing. “You’re Tamara, aren’t you?”

The pixie raised her glass in salute. “That would be me.”

“Pleased to meet, you ma’am,” he said.

She nodded then stopped abruptly. “Wait.” She frowned. “How do you know about me? Georgia and I haven’t known each other that long.”

He shrugged, noting the way her gaze traveled over the contours of his shoulders. Interesting. “Georgia writes a lot of newsy e-mails.”

“Ah,” she said and swayed a little.

Luke reached out a hand. “Ma’am?” he asked, looking at her a little closer. Pink cheeks. Red nose. Unsteady on her feet. A waft of …eggnog?  “Are you…drunk?”

‘Tis the Season to be Tempted by Aimee Carson
After the worst year ever, a jilted music manager rings in the New Year alone, swearing off men forever. But things get complicated when her brother’s best friend, the perfect man with the perfect body, tempts her to break her vow—if only for one hot night!

Excerpt – ‘Tis the Season To Be Tempted
Chapter One

The urgent ping of the call button broke through the first-class cabin as the airline passengers prepared for takeoff, some bringing their ongoing New Year’s Eve revelry attitudes on board, others clearly nursing hangovers from the night before.

The last to board, Wes Campbell handed his winter coat to the waiting flight attendant. Ringing in the New Year with his newest client hadn’t been his first choice. Neither had the multiple rounds of Dom Perignon.

He sank wearily into his leather seat, grateful that the nasty winter weather had cleared long enough for his flight home. The second call-button ping came just as he closed his eyes. Determined to catch some much-needed z’s, he ignored the male flight attendant as he passed to assess the problem.

Until Wes heard a female voice address the man from a few seats back.

“I hate to complain, dude.” The vaguely familiar tones reached through the sleep-deprived, muddled mess of Wes’s mind as the woman continued. “But I think we have a problem.”

“The name is Bob,” the airline employee said. “And how can I help you?”

“Well, Bob, my seatmate still has his cell phone on,” she said.

Wes cracked a lid open. He definitely recognized the voice.

An outraged male, undoubtedly the rule-breaking neighbor, said, “Hey, look lady—”

“If having all electronics turned off means the difference between living and dying in a fiery crash,” the woman pushed on, “shouldn’t you have been confiscating them as we came on board?”

Full comprehension finally hit, and Wes sat up straighter in his seat. He’d recognize that enticingly husky, frustratingly persistent voice anywhere. Because Evie Lee Burling rarely stopped for anything, including red lights. But beneath the hint of sarcasm in her voice, Wes detected a note of panic.

“Surely that would be the safest plan?” she said, as if the idea made total sense.

And despite the determined tone and the sliver of fear beneath, the sexy voice resurrected never-quite-forgotten memories. The remembered desire shimmied down Wes’s back and settled in, as if determined to stay, competing with the fatigue for his total attention.

Bob sounded less than appreciative of Evie’s help. “Miss, you have to buckle your seat belt.”

Wes sympathized with the man. Evidently Dan’s free-spirited little sister hadn’t changed much since high school, offering her opinions freely.

Whether they were welcome or not.

“How do you know all the electronics have been powered down?” The panic in Evie’s voice grew a bit stronger. “I mean, I don’t think you should be leaving our safety up to the cooperation of the passengers.”

Amused by the soundness of her logic, Wes leaned in to look down the aisle, anticipating catching a glimpse of the woman he hadn’t seen in ten years. But all he could see was an irritated, balding passenger in the aisle seat five rows back—no doubt the cell-phone offender—and the less-than-stimulating view of the backside of Bob. From the airline employee’s posture, it was obvious he was irritated, too.

“I can assure you, Miss,” Bob said, “you are quite safe.”

The scoff that followed sounded unconvinced. “Really?” Evie said, and Wes was disappointed the seat in front of her blocked his view of her face. “We all know how inherently uncooperative most people are.” Her voice took on a reasonableness that communicated she was about to spell out her point. “Just look at Congress—”

“I’m sorry, Miss,” Bob said firmly, and Wes doubted the man’s blatantly annoyed voice was triggered by a need to defend the elected members on Capitol Hill. “You need to buckle your seat belt,” he said. “Now.”

Evie ignored the escalating tension and plowed on, the hint of panic growing thicker. “But I think I saw that lady over there with her iPod on.”

Wes bit back the smile. Evie never could keep her mouth shut. Wouldn’t take direction, either. As a matter of fact, the word contrary came to mind. Deliciously, delectably contrary. Not that Wes had ever done more than secretly appreciate the sassy mouth he had found both frustrating…and fascinating.

But Evie Lee had been off-limits from day one.

She went on. “You should check to make sure—”

“Seat belt,” Bob bit out before signaling his female colleague in the galley. “Marge, can you get this lady a drink?” He turned back to Evie, his smile tight, his voice deceptively smooth. “What would you like?”

The fear in Evie’s voice was briefly replaced with doubt. “I downed two drinks just to screw up the courage to board the plane, and I don’t think another one is a good idea—”


“I’m pretty sure the suit in 5A still has his laptop on, so I’m not really in a celebrating mood—”

“Vodka and tonic?” The attendant spoke in a tone that made it clear he was about two seconds away from grabbing a drink for himself, pulling the emergency slide, and shoving the annoying passenger out the door.

After a brief pause, Evie said, “Fine.”

Wes’s amusement abruptly died, and he suppressed a groan. Ever since he’d woken for this morning’s flight, he’d longed for more sleep. A few minutes of relaxation. After the whirlwind business trip, and being forced to celebrate his latest coup for his company with a champagne-guzzling client, all he wanted was to snooze in peace. Up until now, staying out of the current Evie Predicament—a phrase her family had coined years ago—had been easy to do. But her agreement to the vodka and tonic was sure to end in a disaster.

He knew that from personal experience.

Damn, he didn’t want to feel responsible. He didn’t want to get involved. He just wanted a couple of hours of shut-eye. But she was still the little sister of his best friend and former Harvard University roommate. Hell, Wes had practically grown up at the Burling house, especially during the terrible teen years stained by his father’s embezzlement scandal. Not only had Dan been the only friend to remain true throughout the ordeal, Wes also owed Evie’s brother an enormous debt for loyally signing on as his client during the infancy of Campbell Investments, Inc.

Not that Wes had a clue how to handle Evie Lee; the black sheep had perplexed her family for years.

Blowing out a breath, Wes stood and finally spied Evie, his gaze meeting her dark chocolate eyes. Long, brunette hair framed her misleadingly delicate features adorned with a small eyebrow piercing, and the vibration that had been pulsing through his body gained strength. Apparently her affection for grunge fashion hadn’t changed. She wore an ugly knit hat with a tiny brim in front and a white T-shirt with the words “Conformity: the surest form of death.”

The pretty, rebellious teen had matured into a beautiful maverick.

Wes stepped down the aisle to address Bob with a smile. “Light on the vodka, please,” he said. Ignoring the exasperating, and wholly inappropriate, attraction dogging him since his teens, he glanced at Evie meaningfully. “She doesn’t hold her liquor well.”

The soft snort from Bob as he passed by was barely audible, and Wes’s brow crinkled in restrained amusement at Evie’s expression, memories of his senior prom filling his mind. From the look on her face, it was obvious she was remembering, too.

Wide brown eyes locked with his as Evie hiked her chin a touch. And the wild, glossy waves of dark hair were just as tempting as he remembered. “Hello, Harvard Boy,” she said drily. “I see your pointless habit of bossing me around hasn’t changed.”

He bit back a smile. “Neither has your annoying need to be bossed.”

“And how do you figure that?”

He leaned an arm against the back of a seat. “I told you eleven years ago that you don’t handle your liquor well.”

Her balding neighbor glanced at Evie with concern.

“Lots of people drink too much at their first prom,” she said, pointedly ignoring her seatmate.

“Yes,” Wes said wryly. “But most don’t attend simply to protest the event.”

He suppressed a smile at the memory. Being elected Prom King had been a noteworthy turn of events that evening, but nothing compared to the memory of the attendees filing past a seventeen-year-old Evie in grunge attire holding a Down With the Monarchy sign.

“We fought a freakin’ war to overthrow royal oppression,” she said. “Why should we subject high school students to a royal court? Most people hate the exclusionary tradition.”

He lifted a brow. “And I’d venture to say that most prom-goers don’t end the evening vomiting on the chief of police’s desk as she’s telling the man to go to hell.”

Evie’s chin hiked higher, the sudden color on her cheeks bringing out the lovely olive tones of her mother’s distant Italian ancestry. She’d inherited the passion in spades.

And an impulsiveness that had worried her brother sick.

“I had every right to be on that sidewalk,” she said. “It was all just a…” She paused, as if searching for the right word. “It was simply a miscommunication.”

Wes couldn’t help it. He let out a laugh. “Oh, I think you communicated your displeasure well enough.”

During the pause that followed, Wes realized Evie had stopped arguing. Which was a change. But the spirited spark in her eyes remained the same—the very look that had set him on fire during his youth. Wes was never sure which had attracted him more, her beauty or her spunk. Whenever she was near, the air snapped with the charge of a pending electrical storm. He suspected her off-limits status had lent an air of the forbidden, increasing her appeal. And yet now, years later, the same prickle of energy spread up his spine and across his neck.

Staring at her lovely face, the buzz of awareness grew stronger, leaving him on edge. Feeling restless.

He’d warned the flight attendant to go light on the vodka. His duty was done. So he should be returning to his seat, catching up on the sleep he’d been craving for days. But it had been years since he’d had the pleasure of admiring her delicate features, the mesmerizingly smoky eyes, and the wide, impertinent mouth. So he allowed himself one more question before returning to his seat.

“What brings you to Boston?” he asked.

“My parents’ thirtieth wedding anniversary party.”

He’d received an invitation to the event himself, so the news wasn’t a surprise. That she’d decided to gowas.

He cocked his head. “I’m amazed you elected to make an appearance.”

Something flashed across her face, angst or an ache or a fragment of fear, and she dropped her eyes to her hands. “Of course I’m going,” she said. “They’re my parents.”

He patiently waited for her to return his gaze again, leaving his knowledge of her tumultuous history with her family unspoken. Fate had played a cruel joke on Evie Lee, the free-spirited nonconformist born into a traditional, upper-crust family heritage that reeked of old money. And she’d resented the silver spoon her family had repeatedly, and insistently, tried to stuff into her mouth.

“You haven’t been home in years,” he said.

She blinked, and Wes finally recognized the emotion brimming beneath her usual bravado. Although the set of her chin still screamed stubborn, there was a new hint of vulnerability in her eyes. Which only made her all the more alluring.


“My father bought me a ticket,” she said simply.

“First-class seats, too,” he said. “I’m surprised you didn’t insist on going coach.” When she didn’t respond he studied her distressed jeans, the holes offering an enticing glimpse of creamy skin. The white T-shirt clung to breasts he diligently ignored as he went on. “Maybe you’ve finally learned to appreciate the finer things in life.”

Evie let out a delicate snort. “I hate to disappoint you, but I haven’t changed. My affections still can’t be bought. And I refuse to participate in the Burling sibling race for my father’s approval.” Her expression briefly reflected the earlier fear in her voice. “I hate flying,” she said before letting out a quiet sigh. “I just figured if I puke in first class I’d spray fewer people.”

Evie’s neighbor bolted upright and into the aisle—forcing Wes to step back and make room lest the man land on his feet—and said, “Would you like to switch seats and sit with your friend?”

Every muscle in Wes’s body tensed. Briefly speaking with Evie was fine, but sitting next to the woman was a bad plan. How could he rest while seated beside the tempting, off-limits blast from his past?

Wes said, “Thanks, but that’s not necessary—”

“No problem at all,” the balding man said as he reached for his briefcase under the seat. He forced his way past Wes, not giving him time to protest further. “Wouldn’t want to get in the way of your reunion.”

Before Wes could say another word, the man plopped himself into Wes’s assigned spot, shoving his briefcase beneath the seat in front of him. It appeared that the mention of vomit had been the straw that cracked the camel’s back. Wes swung his gaze back to Evie, who was looking at him warily. And, for a moment, all he could see was the alluring swell of her breasts beneath the defiant shirt and the attractive flare of her hips. All features he’d regularly admired while growing up.

How could he get any sleep with that tempting body only an arm’s length away?

Unfortunately, his seat was now taken by a man who looked as if he’d sooner be tossed off the plane at ten thousand feet—minus a parachute—than be parked next to Evie.

Wes cocked an eyebrow. “I guess we’re sitting next to each other.”

The twisted smile she sent looked less than pleased. “Lucky me,” she said as Wes dropped into the seat and buckled his belt. “Now you can spend the next two hours engaging in one of your favorite pastimes.”

He simply hiked an eyebrow higher in question.

She shot him a brilliantly false smile. “Telling me what to do.”

Wes couldn’t restrain the ghost of a grin.

Her gaze clashed with his until the prerecorded message boomed over the PA system, beginning the routine safety instructions. Instantly, Evie’s stubborn expression faded. And Wes swore she lost a little color in her face. Marge, the female attendant, arrived with Evie’s drink and shot him a grateful look, as if he could somehow control the wacky passenger who was driving the staff crazy.

When had he been assigned caretaker of Evie Lee?

As Bob demonstrated how to put on the oxygen mask, Evie’s face grew paler. She tossed back the vodka and tonic as though a crash were imminent and she planned on feeling no pain on impact.

Evie handed her glass to the passing female attendant. “Another one, please.”

Marge’s smile was tight. “Of course.”

Wes’s heart sank. But the desperation in Evie’s face must have convinced the lady it was best to comply or risk ruining their chances for an on-time departure, all because of one uncontrollable, freaked-out passenger.

He sent Evie a look, ignoring the big Bambi eyes. “Don’t you think you should slow down?”

“I’m not a teen anymore, Wes. I know how to drink responsibly.”

“The odds of the plane crashing are incredibly slim.”

She blew out a breath. “If you were familiar with the year I just had, you’d be running over little old ladies to escape.”

Against his will, his heart softened a touch. “Tough one, huh?”

“You have no idea,” she murmured.

Actually, he did. Dan had told him about her breakup with her heavy metal guitarist boyfriend of ten years. Rumor had it, Chuck had cheated. Wes’s chest hitched in sympathy. Unconventional relationship or not, she’d remained a steadfast supporter of her boyfriend’s dreams until he’d succeeded, so it was a lousy way for things to end.

Evie seemed relatively calm until the announcer gave instructions in the event of a water landing and Bob placed the life vest over his head. Her face took on the color of the undead.

Marge returned with Evie’s refill, and the safety demonstration continued with the two methods for inflating the life vest, including the manual option in case the automatic system didn’t work. Evie muttered something about the inevitability of her equipment failing and tossed back her second drink without pausing to breathe.

And suddenly, despite himself, Wes felt sorry for the petrified Evie. “There aren’t any oceans between Minneapolis and Boston.”

“I’m sure there are plenty of lakes,” Evie said, clutching her empty glass as if desperate for a refill.

Unfortunately, the obliging Marge returned to exchange the empty glass for a full.

“The odds of a water landing are almost nil,” Wes tried again.

“Which is just far enough away from zero to make me nervous.” She sent Marge an overly bright smile before downing the entire contents of her glass.

Wes bit back the groan, sensing the situation slipping further out of control.

Safety demonstration complete, the flight attendants took their seats, and the plane taxied across the tarmac. A few seconds later and they were hurtling down the runway. The plane lifted off, pulling Wes’s heart and stomach more firmly into his body.

“You know, I’m an enlightened woman,” Evie said, her tongue sounding thick, her voice radiating sheer terror. But now, her words were slightly slurred.


“I’m sure you are,” he said with a sigh, gently tightening her seat belt.

“I change the oil in my car. Well, I did until it died on me. I squish my own spiders—”

Another stomach-dropping swoop occurred.

“I’ve always admired women who slay their own bugs,” Wes said, hoping to distract her.

She turned those heavily lined, heart-melting eyes toward him, her words sloppy. “I even take charge of my sexuality.”

Wes’s heart shifted to somewhere around the level of his groin. But this time, the adjustment had nothing to do with their rapid ascent and everything to do with the erotic images her words brought to his already primed mind.

He gripped his armrest, his pulse escalating. “I’m sure you do.” He was proud he managed his best businesslike voice, as if not aroused by her fantasy-inducing words. “You’ve never been the type to take direction,” he said, praying the woman wouldn’t take the current topic any further.

But apparently her bad luck was catching.

Her honest yet slightly glassy eyes on him, she said, “And I certainly don’t need a man to have an orgasm.”

The heated flush in Wes’s body burned higher, and he longed for a cool drink. He’d even partake of the dreaded champagne. Anything to douse the fiery blood now coursing through his veins. She studied him closely, making him shift uncomfortably in his seat, amused. Disturbed. And incredibly turned-on.

He cleared his throat and aimed for a noncommittal tone. “Good for you.”

And he wondered how his peaceful, worry-free commute had descended into the flight from hell. Being delegated keeper of the frustratingly tempting Evie Lee, unwillingly reassigned to sit next to the only woman he’d ever considered off-limits. Made worse by a fresh vulnerability that would worry her brother more. But it was a simple three-hour flight.

He could handle anything for a short three hours. Couldn’t he?

Maybe he’d get lucky and she’d pass out soon.

The color on her cheeks had nothing to do with embarrassment and everything to do with being tipsy. “I’ve always wondered what it would be like.”


“Sleeping with you.”

Wes froze, his libido pounding out its approval as Evie went on. “Tell me, Harvard Man,” she said. “Do you make love with your dress shirt on?”

Evie leaned closer, her breast pressed against his arm, short-circuiting his brain and sending his heart rate higher. Her scent was rich, like a decadent dessert, and her eyes simmered with a heat that was impossible to ignore. If she’d had full command of her faculties and wasn’t on the rebound—and had been anyone other than Dan Burling’s sister—he’d have been hard-pressed to refuse the offer in her gaze.

But sex with Evie couldn’t get any more wrong. He owed his friend that much. “Even in high school you had an authoritative air.” Her words were more slurred than ever, but her tone betrayed both awe and sympathy, as if his personality was something to be both admired and pitied. “So tell me, Mr. Responsible…”

Gaze now dreamy, she plastered her soft body against his. Wes’s heart paused along with her as he studied the liquid brown eyes and the beautiful, flushed face, waiting to hear what she’d say next. The words weren’t reassuring.

“Is there was a wild man beneath that do-right exterior?”

And suddenly, three hours with a tipsy Evie sounded like a lifetime in temptation hell.

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                                                   AUTHOR BIOS:

Kate Hardy is an award-winning author of over 50 books for Harlequin and is thrilled to be writing now for Indulgence. Her novel ‘Breakfast at Giovanni’s’ won the RNA Romance Prize in 2008 and she’s been shortlisted three more times for the award, as well as for two Romantic Times awards. She lives in Norwich in the east of England with her husband, two children, springer spaniel, and too many books to count. She’s a bit of a nerd who loves cinema, the theatre, ballroom dancing history and cooking (which is why she has to go to the gym five times a week!), and adores anything Italian. Reviewers say that her books are full of warmth, heart and charm – and also that you’ll learn something new and interesting from them! Kate also writes bestselling local history books under the name of Pamela Brooks.

Contact Kate:

USA Today bestselling author Heidi Rice lives in London and is married with two teenage sons (which gives her rather too much of an insight into the male psyche). She also works as a film journalist but loves being a romance writer because it involves sitting down at her computer each day and getting swept up in a world of high emotions, sensual excitement, smart feisty women, sexy tortured men and glamorous locations where laundry doesn’t exist … Not bad, eh.

Then she gets to turn off her computer and do chores (usually involving laundry!)

Contact Heidi:

 Amy is an award-winning, best-selling Aussie author who has written thirty + contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. She has written for Harlequin Mills & Boon, Entangled, Harper Collins and Momentum.

To date she’s sold over a million books and been translated into thirteen different languages including manga.She loves her kids, her husband, her dogs, cowboys, men in tool belts, cowboys in tool belts and happily ever afters. Please, DO NOT mess with the HEA! Also good books, fab food, great wine and frequent travel – preferably all four together.

She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.

Contact Amy:

The summer she turned eleven Aimee left the children’s section of the library, entered an aisle full of Harlequin Mills and Boon, and pulled out a book.  That story sparked a love affair that has followed her from her life in Florida to Alaska, Seattle, and finally South Dakota.

Armed with a fantastic job working part-time as a physician in the Alaskan Bush (imagine a combo of Northern Exposure and E.R., minus the beautiful mountains and George Clooney), she enjoys being home in the gorgeous Black Hills, riding her dirt bike with her three wonderful kids and beyond-patient husband.  But every morning she gets to play God and flirt vicariously through her characters, who all just happen to reside in one of her favorite vacation destinations . . . South Beach, Miami.

Her motto? Life is too short to do anything less than what you absolutely love.

Contact Aimee:

Monday, December 23, 2013
Tome Tender                                            
Christine’s Words                                  
Rose Wynters                                              

Thursday, December 26, 2013
Simply Ali                                                     
Rage, Sex and Teddy Bears                      
Joyfully Reviewed                                         

Friday, December 27, 2013
LeAnn’s Book Reviews                              
For Whom The Books Toll                       

Monday, December 30, 2013
Girl meets Books                                          

Thursday, January 2, 2014
Authors’ Cafe                                              

Friday, January 3, 2014
Romance Me                                                    

Monday, January 6, 2014
What Readers Want                                     

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Margo Hoornstra – Writing Inside & Out                

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Loralee Lillibridge – Blogging Across the Back Fence           

Friday, January 9, 2014
Finding Fantastical Books