Weekend Excerpt–Back To The Beginning

I’ve always thought that the best job in the world would involve traveling the world, experiencing different cultures, and seeking adventures in every new city. That’s where the premise for my first-ever book LUKE & BELLA had its beginning.

It became the first book in my Dream Dominant Collection, a series of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring sexy Alpha males and the redhaired submissives they can’t resist. There are currently four books in the collection, but at least one more is in the works.

Curious about LUKE & BELLA?

When television reporter Bella Grant is hired to create a brand-new travel show, she believes she’s landed the job of a lifetime. She’s paired up with veteran photojournalist Luke McGillicutty and they head off to their first destination.

Sure, she’s attracted to him, and she’s pretty sure the feeling is mutual, but they’re capable of keeping things professional, right? But with days of touring exciting cities and nights spent in romantic hotels, they fall hard and fast.

So fast, in fact, that Luke hasn’t taken the time to tell Bella the truth about himself. If he tells her now, he could lose her forever.

Here’s a (spoiler alert) snippet from LUKE & BELLA.

The bedside clock blinked 5:12 am.  Bella couldn’t wait any longer.  What little sleep she’d gotten had been fitful, troubled.

She looked over at Luke who was snoring softly and her heart skipped a beat.  She loved him so much.  He’d been kind the night before, not mentioning her breach of protocol, recognizing her need to be at his feet.  After her knee time, he’d taken her to bed, holding her tenderly to his chest, allowing her to let go of her concerns for a short while.  She knew he assumed she was having her period and she hadn’t bothered to correct him.  Plenty of time for that, she thought.

Quietly, she got out of bed and went into the bathroom, carefully closing the door behind her.  She switched on the light and located the brown paper bag she’d gotten from the pharmacy the day before.  Opening the box, she removed the flat plastic stick from its wrapper.  She reread the instructions, then followed them meticulously, knowing she couldn’t bear to get this wrong.  She placed the stick carefully on the counter of the vanity and set the timer on her phone.  Don’t look until the time is up, she instructed herself.  Thirty seconds in she broke her own rule and glanced at the test.  A blue plus sign in the circular window near the end of the stick appeared to her like a neon sign.

Her pulse pounded in her ears.  It does that at first, she thought desperately.  Then the plus disappears when it’s negative.

You know better than that.  She hadn’t heard her father’s condemning voice since she’d left his grave weeks before.  Now he was back, Nathan Epperson Grant, II, as the voice of Reason.

The timer chimed and with a shaky hand she picked up the stick.  The plus sign was still there, only now it was a darker blue.  That’s it, she thought.  I’m…Shit!  She stuffed the test back into the box, the box back into the paper bag, and shoved the whole thing into the drawer of the vanity.

She met her own terror-stricken gaze in the mirror.   I need air, she thought.  I can’t breathe.  Panicked, she hurriedly threw on black yoga pants, a white t-shirt, and a jacket.  Luke didn’t stir as she quietly opened the door and left the room, heading for the hotel lobby.  In the elevator, she realized she hadn’t left him a note.  I’ll be back before he even wakes up, she decided.  Then, we’ll have to talk. She felt nauseated and her eyes filled with tears.

The elevator doors opened to the lobby and she strode purposefully toward the revolving door to outside.

“Good morning!  You’re up early,” she heard a familiar voice say.  It was Ann, one of their dining companions from the previous night.  She and the other women were dressed for the gym.

Bella tried to pull herself together.  “Um, yeah, I was in the mood for a walk,” she replied, smiling brightly.

“Are you alright?” Tanya asked.

“Oh, yes, needed a little air is all,” Bella said.  “I’m just heading out…” she indicated the door.

Tanya spoke quietly to the others, “You go ahead.  I’m going to see what the matter is.”  She followed Bella out into the early morning.

“What’s wrong, Bella?” she asked sympathetically.  “Did you and Luke have a row?”

Bella turned and looked at her in surprise.  “God, no!” Bella answered quickly.  “He’s not even up yet.  It’s nothing, really, just…”

Tanya gave her a quizzical look.

“I’m pregnant,” Bella said quietly, a tear rolling down her cheek.  “I just did the test.”

“Congratulations!  That’s brilliant,” said Tanya.  She hesitated for a moment.  “Isn’t it?”

Bella sighed.  “It’s just so…unplanned.”  She wiped away a tear.  “Luke doesn’t know yet.  I don’t know…”

Tanya put her arm through Bella’s.  “Come.  Let’s go find some tea and have a chat.”

They ended up across the street from the Hotel Miramare, in a tiny cafe, one of the few open so early in the morning.  The historic district was stunning in the light of the sun rising over the water.  Bella sat at a heavy antique wooden table near the front window while Tanya ordered for them at the counter.

She returned to the table shortly with a pot of tea and two cups.  They sipped in silence for a few minutes.

“So you’re having a baby?” Tanya said, breaking into the silence.

Bella breathed deeply.  “Yeah.  I guess so.”

“Or not,” Tanya probed.

Bella looked at her.  “Unplanned as it is, I’m having this baby.  Definitely!” she said determinedly.  “As to whether or not Luke will be involved…” she trailed off.  “He made it pretty clear that he wasn’t interested in marriage.  I can’t think he’d be interested in a baby.  I owe it to him to tell him, I suppose.  But I’m afraid he’ll think I did this on purpose, to trap him or something.”  The tears were back again.

Tanya reached for her hand.  “That man loves you.  He may surprise you, you know.”

Bella was about to reply when her phone rang.  “Speak of the devil,” she said nervously.

LUKE & BELLA by Pandora Spocks

LUKE & BELLA is available
at your favorite online bookseller:
books2read.com/LukeAndBella1

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