Good morning! Wow, it’s been ages since I teased with you. The last few weeks have been incredibly busy, but I’m back today with another tease from Just For the Weekend, my contemporary romance set in Vegas. Fall plans include writing a sequel to this story.
Many thanks to Angelica Dawson and the rest of the lovely authors here who provide this weekly blog opportunity. Here’s the blurb:
It’s time to play with the grown-ups.
Kindergarten teacher Cleo James needs a change. Three years at her widowed dad’s beck and call are enough. A weekend in Vegas at a sci-fi convention with her best friend will do for now, and the hot guy who wants to spend time with her only adds to her excitement. After all – it’s just for the weekend. What can possibly go wrong?
Multimillionaire Sam Mason is sick of gold diggers. He’s looking for someone who’ll fall for him, not his wallet. When he meets a shy, green-skinned slave girl, she pushes all his buttons – the best part is she has no idea who he is and mistakenly believes he’s a Chippendale. Between the sexual attraction and too much alcohol, he wakes up married to his green-skinned beauty, but the bride has vanished. Finding her will be a lot harder than he thinks.
Here’s the tease. Enjoy!
They entered the salon decorated in an outer space theme giving the impression of a nightclub on a distant planet. The ceiling was covered in fabric behind which white twinkle lights shone, simulating stars. Tables were covered in black cloths and featured exotic flowers in vases lit from underneath, giving them an out-of-this-world look. Cleo recognized bird of paradise, orchids, banana, ginger flowers and a few others. Each flower was accompanied by greenery, some of which had been sprayed every color of the rainbow.
In the far corner, a three-dimensional mural of the eight planets from the sun’s perspective had been set up, and a photographer waited to snap pictures of couples who wanted a permanent souvenir of the occasion—for a price of course.
A band dressed like the one from the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars, played Europe’s The Final Countdown while costumed dancers of all ages gyrated to the music. Cleo looked around, trying to spot a Klingon/Cardassian couple.
“I don’t see Charlie and Mitch. I guess they must have gone into another room.”
Now that her indignation at being treated like a piece of meat had cooled, she wasn’t sure what else to say. She didn’t want to ask what kind of ideas Sam was getting—the kind he’d have to ask permission to act on—she’d rather just imagine those. Mitch was the one with all the glib lines. Cleo might be dressed like a temptress, but seduction was way out of her comfort zone. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been left alone with a virtual stranger. The few dates she’d had were with colleagues who shared a common interest. Why did small talk always look so easy the movies? She struggled for something interesting to say, praying Mitch and Carlie would show up to rescue her soon. She could always make an excuse and leave, but, truth be told, she didn’t want to leave her Cardassian just yet.
“I can’t imagine where they found all these flowers. Look at that one. It looks like something Cruella Deville would love.” Damn. Kindergarten speak.
Sam laughed. “They do have some rather weird ones here tonight. That is a Dalmatian Orchid, and you’re right; it would please Cruella. I’m up on my Disney movies.” He winked. “That blue one over there is called Love in a Mist, and that orange and yellow one is Beehive Ginger—all very exotic, and all very earthy.”
“How do you know so much about flowers? I’d love to photograph some of them.”
“Just a skill I picked up over the years in my line of work.” He chuckled. “So, are you interested in flowers or photography?”
The band began to play Liz Phair’s Supernova, one of her favorite songs, and she relaxed. “Both, but mainly photography—nothing professional. I just like to take pictures and play around with them on the computer.” This isn’t so bad; maybe I can pull it off.
“I’d love to see some of your work. You going to invite me up to your place later to look at your “etchings?” He wiggled his eyebrows and pretended to be smoking a cigar, his voice a bad imitation of Groucho Marx. She was a huge fan of mid-twentieth century comedians and burst out laughing. She liked this guy.
“Cool your jets, Groucho, I never reveal my etchings on a first date.”
Sam looked at her and suddenly it felt as if they were the only ones in the room. He bent his head and she thought he was going to kiss her again. Instead he spoke softly, pulling her close to him to ensure she could hear his voice over the music.
“I can arrange for you to take pictures in here tomorrow, when’s there’s light. No one’s supposed to come into the room, but I have connections.” He indicated a white orchid set apart from the others. It was attached to the wall as if it were growing out of the sky. “That white one over there is a Ghost Orchid, very rare and protected. The casino had to get permission from the Governor of Florida to ship one here. It has to be returned to its natural habitat on Monday. Part of the reason it’s on the endangered list is because only one insect, the giant sphinx moth, has a long enough… feeler… to penetrate the long nectar spur and pollinate the flower.”
The huskiness in his voice sent sexual desire rushing through her. How can talking about insects pollinating flowers make me think of hot sex? The music was fitting. She felt like a star about to explode.
Sam smiled as if he’d read her mind, and Cleo took a sudden interest in an orange Jamaica orchid until she realized this flower wasn’t cooling the sexual images at all.
Want more? https://www.amazon.com/Weekend-Crimson-Romance-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B00J0HEAL4
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