I got my official RWA PAN pin this morning,another thing to brighten my day.
On Monday, Just For The Weekend was released as part of the Tall, Dark, and Wealthy Collection, a group of 8 full-length novels with rich men as heroes. We do like a man with money.
Here’s the blurb.
Dashing, handsome, and with money to burn . . . It’s a devastatingly sexy combination for these eight successful and commanding heroes as they search for the women who make their lives richer with laughter, passion, and love.
- The Tycoon’s Wager: To boost ratings and save her radio show, agony aunt CJ Stratt has no choice but to agree to a series of publicity dates with London’s renowned playboy, Jack Harper. Jack knows seduction, but he has no idea how to love. Love is CJ’s business, yet she’s never been seduced. Can they find their way to a happily ever after?
- Just for the Weekend: Multimillionaire Sam Mason is sick of gold diggers. When he meets a role-playing kindergarten teacher at a sci-fi convention in Vegas, she seems like the real thing. Then – surprise! – he wakes up married to this sexy stranger . . . only to find his new bride has vanished. Is he looking for a swindler or the love of his life?
- An Inconvenient Love: To expand his real estate business, Luca Castellioni needs an English-speaking secretary and a wife, so he strikes a bargain with the first pretty face to cross his path. But now Sophia Stevens fascinates him, and he wants more marriage and not so much convenience in their agreement. Too bad his wife has reconstructed her own life, without him. Can love overcome the obstacles between them?
- Heart of Design: Hollywood playboy Ian O’Connor has women falling at his feet, but interior designer Sophie Hartland refuses to be one of them. Sophie’s a refreshing change from the actress wannabes trying hop aboard Ian’s new gravy train of success. But is her disinterest just an Oscar-worthy act?
- Hiding from Hollywood: When movie producer Ethan Walker walks into Abby’s diner, she’s terrified. The last thing she wants is her name connected with his when her life is now about hiding from the tabloids. But when she’s left without a safe place to stay, Ethan offers her sanctuary in his home, and Abby must decide whether she can finally stop running and trust Ethan with her secret.
- The Spanish Acquisition: When multibillionaire business mogul Carlos meets struggling art student Lily on vacation in the Dominican Republic, sparks fly. But can they overcome their differences as well as a mix-up of mistaken identity?
- Fearless Love: Jake Colt has no interest in handling the Carmichael winery acquisition, but he has little choice considering the business agreement he made with his father. Madison Carmichael refuses to let this interloper take what belongs to her family, no matter what passions he stirs in her heart. When two opposing forces clash, sparks are bound to fly . . .
- High Octane: Fueled: Maddux Bates’s Formula One career needs an overhaul this season – not the scandal of an affair with a multimillionaire sponsor’s girlfriend. But there’s more to Brynn Douglas’s story – and motivations – than meets the eye, and the flame between them burns hot. Falling in love on the F1 circuit is a crash course in adrenaline.
Right now, the bundle is on sale for only 71 cents US and available from all Amazon outlets.
A tease from Just for the Weekend.
Cleo left the relative security of the booth, intensely aware of the eyes tracking her progress as she crossed the exhibit hall and headed to the concourse. She knew her Cardassian’s gaze was among those she felt, but other leers made her cringe and want to wrap herself in the nearest tablecloth. Just because her costume was revealing didn’t give those men the right to judge her and make some of the assumptions they obviously had.
As soon as she could get away from the convention, she’d go back to her room and get dressed. Who says clothes don’t make the woman? She’d moved freely through the hotel yesterday and had never felt as vulnerable as she did tonight. Even when she’d been by the pool in her new bikini, she’d felt more in control than she did now. This costume was a pain. Her feet were cold and no doubt filthy, the paint itchy, and to make matters worse the damn outfit seemed to bring out the worst in men. While she’d been warm enough in the booth, she was freezing out here.
She squared her shoulders, swallowed her annoyance, and followed the signs pointing to her destination. She felt uncomfortable in the isolated, narrow hallway. When the she reached the washroom and entered it, she breathed a sigh of relief and closed herself into a stall.
Afterward she tried to rearrange herself, stuffing her boobs back into the skimpy top and praying they’d stay there. She stared at herself in the mirror. If someone knew her, she supposed they might recognize her, but the shimmering green make-up did make her look otherworldly. Although she’d seen dozens of girls in costumes similar to her own, none of them seemed to attract the attention she did.
It has to be the shimmer Mitch has sprayed on me; that’s really the only difference.
She bent over, shook out her hair, and ran her fingers through the curls, trying to tame them into place. She reapplied her lipstick and stopped halfway through, remembering the touch of a stranger’s lips on hers. Men didn’t walk up to her and kiss her like that. That only happened in the movies.
She shook her head and finished fixing her lipstick. She capped the tube and returned it to its hiding place. She took a deep breath. Time to get back out there before Mitch wondered if she’d bailed on her. The idea of sneaking up to the room and hiding there had an appeal of its own. Coward. She stuck her tongue out at her reflection and walked toward the exit.
She opened the door and moved quickly along the short hallway. She hadn’t realized how dark it was. She’d almost reached the concourse when a tall man dressed as a Romulan stepped in front of her. He had to outweigh her by a hundred pounds and stood a good five inches taller than she did. He moved closer to her, too close, invading her personal space, and the discomfort and anxiety she’d felt earlier filled her once more. Cleo stared into the man’s eyes. Show no fear. She worked on controlling her breathing.
“Excuse me.” She tried to move around him. The men’s room was down here too. Maybe he just needed to go.
“Not so fast, sweetheart. I’ve been waiting to get you alone all night. I was going to talk to you earlier, but that Cardassian moved in on you before I could. You seem to have quite the fan club. Listen, how about you and me blow this place, and go have a little one-on-one fun?”
She smiled and hoped he couldn’t see the panic creeping up on her. She could smell the booze on him. He’s just a bully, a big drunken bully. If you don’t show fear, he’ll back down. The words she’d repeated to her students echoed in her mind. She looked around. There were people nearby; if she screamed, someone would come to help her, right? Damn, this place needs security guards or something to keep these jerks in line. She swallowed and bit her lower lip nervously. Humor him. Treat him like you would a difficult student.
“That’s a tempting offer, but I have to get back. Please let me by. My friends are waiting for me.” No harm in letting him think she had more than one.
He laughed. “Friend, singular, and she’s busy with her books right now. I saw the way you reacted to the Cardassian’s kiss. You won’t convince me you play for the other team. I watched you playing gopher for the author. I’ll settle for a tonsil-licking like you gave that guy earlier.”
He moved even closer to her, and she backed away until she couldn’t move any farther. He put his arms against the wall on either side of her face and leaned into her.
Cleo, trapped between the wall and this stranger swallowed her terror, frowned, and assumed her strictest teacher glare, the one she reserved for older kids fighting in the schoolyard.
“I asked you to let me by. Don’t make me call for help.”
She hated the way her voice had started to tremble on the last word. Her heart pounded so loudly he could probably hear it.
“Like anyone would hear you with all this noise.” He reached out a hand, grabbed her by the neck, and pulled her close. “Okay, we’ll do it your way. I don’t mind rough play. Come on. Let me show you how much fun we could have. I’ve got money if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“How dare you! Get your filthy hands off me!”
Furious Cleo struggled, but the man was strong. Terror filled her. She kicked uselessly at his legs, but her bare feet couldn’t inflict any pain. He was too close for her to knee him in the groin. He bowed his head, filling her nostrils with the scent of his sour breath.
“Hold still, bitch.” He growled, angry she was trying to fight him.
“I may not be the most observant man on Earth, but even I can tell the lady’s not interested. Let her go.”
The man’s voice was calm and cold, each word clearly enunciated, and the fury in it was palpable.
Cleo’s eyes flew open as the giant holding her relaxed his grip and turned around. The minute he did, she tried to pull away and see who’d come to her rescue. Her Cardassian stood within reach of the man and placed his hand on the Romulan’s shoulder. There was no mistaking his rage.
The Romulan immediately released her, and Cleo took a few steps away from both men. Her captor looked from the Cardassian to her and back again, and then smiled, probably sober enough to realize he wouldn’t win a fight with the man who stared at him. Her hero was at least two inches taller than he was, and where the Romulan’s weight was from fat, the Cardassian’s body bespoke muscle and strength.
“So that’s the way it is.” The Romulan laughed. “You can’t blame a guy for trying.”
“Are you all right?”
Deep brown eyes filled with concern looked into hers.
Cleo nodded, unable to speak with her throat clogged with conflicting emotions. It was the second time tonight he’d come to her rescue—the first time, when she’d been separated from Mitch on arrival, she hadn’t needed rescuing; after all, she’d only been across the room. He’d claimed a kiss as his reward. This time, she’d clearly needed his help. Still, she hated women who played the damsel in distress card even if it was warranted. She’d gladly give him another kiss now. She wouldn’t mind being in his arms regardless of the mistaken message a jerk like this guy might read in it. Sometime a girl just needed a hug.
The Cardassian looked at her would-be assailant. “I suggest you go to your room and sleep it off.”
“Relax, buddy, I just wanted some of what the lady’s been offering all night.”
“I must be blind. I didn’t see the lady offering you anything. What I do see is a woman in a costume, like any other costume tonight—yours and mine included—doing a job and trying to have a good time, which you’ve ruined.” The hostility in his words were unmistakable.
“Hey, relax. I didn’t see a do not touch sign anywhere.”
“I take it you see it now?” His voice guaranteed violence if he didn’t get the right answer.
“I do, I most certainly do. My apologies.”
“Not to me, asshole. To her. If she wants to press charges for assault, I’ll back her up all the way, as will any number of people here who saw you maul her.”
His words drew Cleo’s attention to the crowd that had gathered around them. Mortified she looked from one man to the other. If looks could kill, her Cardassian’s were doing just that.
The Romulan blanched and looked at Cleo. “Sorry.” He quickly turned on his heel and pushed his way through the crowd.
Shaken by what could have happened, horrified by the throng gathered at the end of the short hallway, Cleo straightened her spine. Put on your big-girl panties. It’s over. None of this was your fault.
Now, please check out the other teasers for this week.