Weekend Excerpt–RESISTING RISK

pandoraspocks2I am beyond thrilled!  This week, RESISTING RISK, the first book in the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy, received two more 5-STAR reviews!

The book has been out since December 2015, so I’m always happy when people discover it. Rannigan’s Redemption is a three-novel contemporary erotic romance/law drama.

Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan is great at what he does.  As the high-profile face of the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, he dazzles juries and charms the press.  He’s also an inveterate player, shunning relationships in favor of shallow trysts with vapid blondes.

Enter smart redhead Maggie Flynn, the recent law school grad Michael hires to join his elite 50th floor team.  She’s been in love with him from the beginning, and she has no illusions about his character.  But she’s seen glimpses of the man he could be.  So for now, she’s content to work alongside him.  What would happen if they ever crossed that line?

For this week’s excerpt, here’s a little teaser from RESISTING RISK.

“Maggie, is the turkey ready?” Casey asked.

Maggie checked the clock and shook her head.  “No way, it has at least another hour, then it has to rest.  We can put in the beans and the stuffing when it comes out.  Nate, how do we reheat the red beans and rice?”

As Nate answered Maggie’s question, Ben wandered over to the window.  The buzzer rang again.  Ben glanced at Maggie in the kitchen.  “Somebody’s buzzing downstairs, Flynn.”

Casey was helping Maggie turn the turkey around in the oven.  “Well can you please buzz them in?  I’m a little busy here.”

Ben pressed the buzzer but made no move to open the apartment door.  About a minute later there was a knock.  The others were engrossed in the football game.  Ben stayed put.  “Somebody’s at the door, Flynn.”

“Oh for God’s sake, I’ll just drop everything and get it myself,” said Maggie, tossing down pot holders in exasperation.

Maggie flung open the door to find Michael standing in the hallway.  He grinned sheepishly.  “Merry Christmas, Mags.”

She blinked, confused.  “Michael, I…I mean, Merry Christmas.  But what…Shouldn’t you be in St. Bart’s?”

“I got snowed in.  My flight was cancelled.  I have a charter later on, but I thought I’d stop by here.  Do you have room for another orphan?”

A slow smile spread across her face.  “Of course, there’s always room.  Come on in.”

Maggie turned to find that everyone in the apartment was watching the two of them.  “Everyone, this is Michael.  Michael, everyone.”

“Hello, Merry Christmas,” he greeted the group.  To Maggie, “I brought wine.  I wasn’t sure…”

“Wine is perfect, thanks,” she told him.  Waving toward the kitchen she said, “Help yourself to something to drink.  We’ve been enjoying the munchies out of your gift basket.  Dinner will probably be another hour or so.”  She smiled at him.  “I’m so glad you’re here.  Shocked, but glad.”

After he dropped his coat and his suitcase in Maggie’s bedroom with the other coats, Michael got a beer for himself and settled in the living room, striking up a conversation with the guys watching football.  Casey sidled up to Maggie in the kitchen.  “You didn’t tell me Mr. Wonderful was coming.”

“I didn’t know Michael was coming.  He’s supposed to be in the Caribbean.  With someone, you understand, nobody goes to the Caribbean alone.”

“Maybe.  But he’s here now.”

Michael relaxed on the couch and looked around appreciatively at all the activity.  Maggie and Casey were in the kitchen along with a couple he didn’t know.  There was an older woman chatting with Nate from the firm.  Several others were watching football.  Everyone seemed happy and at home.

“This is nice,” he commented to Ben.  “It feels like a scene from Rent.”

Ben smirked.  “Viva la vie Boheme!” he raised his beer.

Michael chuckled and raised his beer as well.  “La vie Boheme.”

Dinner was served on three tables pushed together in the middle of the living room.  Plates were filled buffet-style in the kitchen.  Ben insisted that Maggie toast before they ate.

She raised her glass of wine.  “I feel like the luckiest girl.  I’m here celebrating the holiday with my most favorite people in the entire world.  There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.  Merry Christmas!”

After everyone ate as much as they could, the guys agreed to do all the clean-up.  Maggie supervised returning the tables to their proper places then sank onto the sofa, resting her feet on the coffee table.

“What about the dessert, Flynn?” Ben asked when the leftovers were packed up.

“Let’s be informal.  Grab some if you want some.  I want to do presents,” Maggie said.  Michael brought her a fresh glass of wine.  She looked up at him, grinning in appreciation, and patted the space beside her.

“I’ll sit on the floor, I don’t mind,” he said, sliding to a spot beside her feet.

“Now the way this works is, everyone takes a number.  We go in order starting at 1.  Number 1 picks first.  Number 2 can pick a new present or steal from Number 1.  Everybody got it?” Ben asked.  Maggie watched in amusement as some played shyly while others were cut-throat.

“What’s this?” Michael asked quietly.  She looked down to see him holding an ornament from the tree.  It was a small red glass ball held by a green paper cone.  Her name was spelled out in glitter.

“I think I was about six when I made that,” she smiled.  “The Christmas ornaments were some of the few things I took from my dad’s house.”

He grinned.  “I like it.”

When the gifts were over, Maggie had a new hand-crocheted toilet-roll cover.  Michael had a $10 gift card to Starbucks.  “Guess somebody didn’t get the memo,” he quipped so that only Maggie heard, and she giggled softly.

He winked and leaned close.  “Mags, I should be making my way to the airport.”

“Okay,” Maggie sighed.  “I’ll walk you out.”  She got her coat and hat while he said his goodbyes.  “I’ll be right back,” she said to Casey as they headed out of the apartment.  They walked down the stairs without chatting.

Once out on the sidewalk, Michael turned and faced her.  “I had a great time, Mags.  Thanks for inviting me.”  He glanced up.  “We have an audience, by the way.”  He waved at the crowd gathered in Maggie’s front window.

She looked up at them, scowling.  “Come on,” she said, turning right and heading down the sidewalk.  She stopped just around the corner.

Michael smiled.  “Thanks.  I just wanted to say goodbye privately.  I brought you a gift but I didn’t want to give it to you in there.”  He pulled a small flat box from his pocket.  It was light blue, tied with a white ribbon.

Maggie’s eyes widened.  “Sean Michael Rannigan, you did not!”

“How did you know the S stands for Sean?

She shrugged.  “Everyone knows it’s Sean.  I can’t believe you went to Tiffany…”  She stopped and looked up at him, smiling sadly.  “This wasn’t for me.  This is supposed to be for someone else.”

“No, Mags, this is for you,” he said earnestly.  “I mean, to be honest, I went there yesterday looking for something for Jana.”

“What, Toys R Us and GapKids were closed?” Maggie quipped.

“Ah-hah-hah, you’re very funny.  I found a little trinket to give to Jana, but then I turned and saw this.  All I could think was that you should have it.  It’s for you, Mags.”

Curious, Maggie slowly pulled the white ribbon and lifted the lid.  In the box resting on light blue velvet was a delicate silver bracelet.  It had a vintage look to it with large rectangular milky white cabochons alternating with trios of small round diamonds surrounded by platinum filigree.  She looked back up at Michael, eyes wide.

“Those are moonstones,” he said proudly.  “This was in the vintage case.  It was made in 1915.”  He gazed at the bracelet.  “It’s graceful and classy, just like you.”

“I don’t know what to say, Michael.  I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.  Will you help me put it on?”

He lifted the bracelet from the box and as Maggie held out her left hand he fastened it around her wrist.  She held it out and watched it catch the natural light.  As she did, she noticed a tiny platinum tag hanging from the clasp.  Peering closer she saw that it was engraved.  To Maggie, From Michael. 

“See?  I told you it was for you.”  She looked back up at him, eyes shining, and as she did, a gust of wind caught some stray hair, blowing it across her face.  Michael gently moved the errant strands, tucking them behind her ear.  Without planning it at all, he planted a tender kiss on her lips.

He moved back slightly as Maggie looked up at him, eyes shining with desire.  He leaned into her again, the kiss this time all heat and passion.  She brought her left hand up to cradle his right cheek, her desire matching his.  When he stopped kissing her, he pulled her close, tucking her under his chin and they stood like that for a moment.

Finally, he gently set her back from him.  She looked up, the sad glint once again in her eyes.  After all, he was leaving her to go to someone else.  “Merry Christmas, Mags.”

“Merry Christmas, Michael.”

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Weekend Excerpt–Just One Night

JON new coverIt’s the middle of July.  Which seems the perfect time to share an excerpt from my naughty little summer novella, JUST ONE NIGHT.

Teacher Katie Parker is on a Caribbean cruise with her best girlfriends from high school.  Fresh off a humiliating break-up, Katie is determined to forget about her disastrous love life by having an anonymous shipboard fling with a handsome stranger.

By chance, she meets Mac Coleman, traveling with his brothers to Mexico for a wedding.  He’s more than happy to go along with Katie’s plan.  But he soon realizes that what they’ve found is worth more than just one night.  Can he convince Katie to give them a chance?

Read a teaser…

Hours later, Michelle led the foursome as they made their way toward the main dining room.  “I’m starved,” commented Jayma.  “Who decided that we wouldn’t eat until the 9:00 seating?”

Michelle rolled her eyes.  “Don’t be so Nashville.  Civilized society doesn’t eat until late.”

“You live in Dallas, not Paris,” Katie quipped.

“Anyway, most of the families with little kids eat earlier,” Chelsea added.  “We should have a nice serene dining experience.”

“I just want some grub,” Jayma giggled.

Immediately before they reached their destination, they passed a small alcove where photos taken during the day were displayed for purchase.  “Hey, you guys go on ahead to our table.  I want to look at the pictures,” Katie said.

In the ten years since they’d graduated from high school and gone their separate ways into college and life, Katie had been the self-appointed documentarian of their annual outings, taking photos and gathering mementos, sending them off to be made into a photo scrapbook.

The one of us on the gangplank would be just right for the cover of this year’s album.  She scanned the hundreds of pictures already hanging on the racks, looking for the one of the four of them.

Finally, she saw it and reached for it, smiling.  As she did, her hand collided with a large masculine one reaching across in front of her.  Startled, she looked up.  “Oh, I’m so sorry!”

Soulful brown eyes gazed down at her.  “No, it’s my fault.  I was rudely reaching in front of you.  I was paying attention to the photos and not to what’s going on around me.”

Katie laughed lightly.  “That’s exactly what I was doing.  Again, I’m sorry.”  She felt her face redden as she reached again, snapped up the photo, and hurriedly turned away.  Quickly, she charged the picture to her cabin and left the alcove, glancing back over her shoulder as she did.  The man was still watching her.

I’m going to get laid, she says, Katie thought miserably.  Not like that I’m not.  What the hell just happened?  That was a perfect opportunity.  But she knew why she’d blown the chance meeting.  Casual sex was not who Katie Parker was, it wasn’t how she operated.  Flustered, she entered the dining room and found the others already seated at their table.

Jayma smiled as she sat down.  “Did you find it?”

“I did.  It came out great.”

“What’s wrong with you?  You seem all out of breath,” Michelle observed.

“I’m just starved,” Katie replied in mock seriousness.  “We’re eating in the middle of the night.”

Conversation around the table was about their respective years since the last time they’d been together.  Of course, they kept up on everyone’s latest via email, text messages, and social media so there was little news.  It wasn’t until halfway through dessert that Katie looked across to see the man she’d run into in the photo alcove.  He was seated about three tables away facing her direction.  And he was looking right at her.

She felt her eyes widen before she moved her gaze back to her plate.  A flush crept up her neck and across her cheeks as she tried to casually look across the room again, only to find him still watching her.  As their eyes met, he smiled.

Holy heaven.  If you looked up ‘tall, dark, and handsome’ in the dictionary, his picture would be there.  Topping the soulful brown eyes were expressive dark eyebrows.  Framing a gorgeous face was tousled dark brown hair.  There was a shadow of stubble over a strong, square jaw and lips that looked imminently kissable.  Katie reached for her wine and slugged back the remainder.

“More wine, madam?”

“You betcha!”

“So Katie, what’s new with you?  How’s your love life?”  Chelsea gazed at her expectantly.

Katie sipped her wine, stalling for time.  “Oh, well, you know…”

“No, we don’t know, that’s why we ask,” said Michelle.

Katie sighed.  “I dated a guy for a while and he turned out to be a shit.  I met him on a dating website and—“

“A dating site, really?”  Chelsea grinned.  “I don’t think I’d ever be brave enough to try one of those.”

“Or desperate enough,” Michelle muttered.  She looked up at Katie, wide-eyed.  “Not that you’re desperate, that’s not what I meant, I just meant…”

Refusing to bail her out, Katie sipped her wine and narrowed her eyes, waiting to see how Michelle would untangle the mess she’d created.

Jayma came to her rescue.  “Oh, you know, as a teacher, Katie doesn’t have the opportunity to meet guys at work.  Honestly, I think meeting someone online is way better than picking up some guy in a bar.”

“You know what I think?” Michelle flagged down the waiter for a refill of her wine.  “I think that teachers should stay single.  You know, like Miss Beadle from Little House on the Prairie.”  She grinned before sipping her wine.  “Completely dedicated to the kids.”

Katie was sure she felt actual steam coming out of her ears.  “Really?”  She nodded sharply.  “That’s what you think?”  She could hear her voice growing louder.  “You think that teachers should just forego a personal life and live like nuns, nobly pouring out their lives for kids who don’t care, and parents and administrators who blame them for everything?  And for low salaries and shit benefits to boot?  Or maybe they should just work for free.”

Again, Jayma was the peacemaker.  “No, I’m sure that’s not what Michelle meant.”

Katie stood abruptly.  “I need some air.”  She turned and left the table heading for the same doors they’d entered.

***

Meeting a woman had been the last thing on Mac’s mind.  He was moving across the state just to get away from the last one he’d dated.  But the redhead in the photo shop intrigued him.  She’d been as startled as he’d been.  Truthfully neither of them had been watching what they’d been doing, as occupied with looking at the photos as they’d both been.  But when she’d looked up at him with those grey-green eyes, he’d felt a spark.

So when he’d realized that she was sitting a few tables away he couldn’t resist watching her.  She was unbelievably pretty, almost like a fairy or something with her red hair and her fair skin.  He wondered briefly how she’d fare for a week in the intense Caribbean sun.  She was chatting animatedly with the women at her table.  And don’t think he hadn’t noticed.  She was traveling with a group of women, not a man.

“So what’s the deal with this restraining order?”

Mac pulled his eyes from the gorgeous redhead and focused on his brother.  “It’s a long story.”  He shook his head.

“Well, we have a couple of days before we hit Mexico.  Will that be enough time?”  Danny had always been the sarcastic one.

Mac sighed, shrugging.  “I went out a couple of times with a girl from my apartment complex.”

“What was her name?” Tommy wondered.

Mac frowned.  “Erin.  What difference does it make?”

“I just wondered, is all.”

“Anyway, she seemed like a pretty nice girl but after a few dates, I knew she wasn’t the one for me.  I just didn’t feel that…I don’t know, spark.”  Instantly the redhead popped up in his mind, and he couldn’t resist a glance in her direction before he continued.

He looked from one brother to the other.  “So I very gently suggested that although we’d had a good time going out, I felt that we were not completely compatible and it would be better if we didn’t go out again.”

“And she didn’t take it well,” Danny summed up.

Images of his tires slashed to ribbons and a deep, jagged groove keyed down the side of his black Jeep popped into his head.  “No.  No, she did not.”

“I can’t believe you had to take out a restraining order.”  Tommy’s eyes were wide.

“Dude, I’m moving to a new city.  I have a new job and everything.  Do you really think a piece of paper will keep away a psycho?”

Danny shook his head.  “I assume you fucked her.”

Mac rolled his eyes.  “Well, yeah, we slept together.  Who knew she was batshit?”

“Ya see, this is why you need to settle down with a nice girl, get married, and have a family.”  Danny had married his college sweetheart and was now raising three little girls.  He was forever trying to persuade his brothers to join him.

“Well, that’s what Tommy-boy is doing.”  Mac playfully punched his baby brother’s arm.  “I’m happy for you, bro, really I am.  Gretchen is a great girl.”

“Thanks man, I appreciate it.”  Tommy grinned ear to ear.  “I love her, I truly do.”

As dessert was served, Mac’s attention was drawn back to the table across the room.  The redhead suddenly looked right at him and he felt his automatic smile, which widened as she snapped her eyes away.  He continued to watch as she raised her gaze casually as if to see if he was still looking.  This time he smiled deliberately.

At that moment, her head turned and she spoke to someone at her table.  Her face changed and she seemed to be speaking passionately, an angry flash in her eyes.  He watched as she removed the linen napkin from her lap and dropped it on the table, pushed back from the table, and stalked out of the dining room.

Impulsively, he knew he needed to follow.  “Gents, I can’t eat another bite,” Mac said as he pushed away from the table.  “I’m going to walk off a little of this dinner.  I’ll meet you two later.”

By the time Mac made it to the door of the dining room, the redhead had disappeared.  He glanced to his left and then to his right, trying to guess her more likely route.  The woman at the photo checkout cleared her throat discreetly and he looked in her direction.  She nodded meaningfully to her right and smiled.

He grinned at her wholeheartedly.  “Thanks!” he proffered as he hurried off in the direction the clerk had indicated.  Mac made his way through the door that opened onto the deck and he saw her leaning against the railing, looking out over the dark water.  Her skirt ruffled lightly in the breeze and the full moon overhead gave her hair a fire-like glow.

Ignoring the slight case of nerves he felt, he approached the railing, stopping by her left elbow.  “Hey, you,” he said casually.

She startled slightly, whipping her head to her left, eyes wide.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.  I just saw you standing here and I thought I’d say hello.”  He held his hands in front of himself in surrender, pasting on what he hoped was a charming smile.

The redhead continued to stare at him wordlessly.  “I don’t mean to bother you.  I can go if you’d like.”

She shook her head.  “No, I don’t want you to go.  I was just surprised, that’s all.”

Mac smiled gratefully.  “Well, it’s a beautiful night.  And dinner was fantastic.  I don’t know about you, but I had the lobster and it was amazing.”

She smiled back.  “I had the mahi and it was delicious.”

They stood awkwardly for a moment.  “Listen, would you like to get a drink or something?” Mac offered.

She looked out at the water, then back at him, nodding.  “I’d like that a lot.”

His grin was genuine.  “Good.  Great.  Let’s go find a drink.”

JON 99 cents

Originally a Kindle exclusive,
JUST ONE NIGHT
is available for only $.99 at your favorite online bookseller.

Just use this Universal link: books2read.com/JustOneNight

Weekend Excerpt–RANSOMING REDEMPTION

RR3 promo

Rannigan’s Redemption is an epic 3-novel contemporary erotic romance/law drama.  It’s the story of the complicated relationship between hotshot Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and Maggie Flynn, the smart, talented redhead he hires straight out of law school to join his prestigious firm.

RANSOMING REDEMPTION is Book 3 of the trilogy.

[Beware: Spoilers ahead!]

Maggie is so far from Michael’s usual taste in women, the vapid bottle-blondes he keeps on speed dial.  He can’t figure what it is about Maggie that he can’t quite get out of his mind.  After a night of passion ends in disaster, the pair go their separate ways, each of them making questionable decisions both professionally and personally.

In the process, Michael burns all the bridges he had left, so when his world comes crashing down, he doesn’t know where to turn.  Only Maggie is willing to stand beside him.  Michael’s all wrong for Maggie, he knows that.  He could never be the man she needs.

But he’s met someone who might fit the bill.  If only Maggie will give him a chance.  Putting Maggie and Bobby together is part of Michael’s attempt at redemption.  But is it enough?

Here’s an exclusive new excerpt from RANSOMING REDEMPTION, the third and final volume of Rannigan’s Redemption.

Spent, Bobby tenderly kissed Maggie’s temple, separated his body from hers, and collapsed beside her on the bed.  Following their union on the couch, they’d moved into the bedroom, making love for hours.

“Now the bed is much fucked-upon,” Maggie giggled.

He gave her a wry look and linked his fingers with hers.  “Lucky bed.  Lucky me,” Bobby murmured.

Maggie rolled onto her stomach and propped her chin on her hands.  “I’m pretty sure I’m the lucky one.  Sore, in a good way obviously, but lucky.”

“We’ll compromise and say we’re both lucky,” he said, lightly tracing the tiny sun tattoo on her hip.  A smile played on his lips.  “Tell me about this, cher.”

She glanced over her shoulder to the yellow and orange sun before looking back at him, a sly smile spreading across her face.  “Casey and I went to Daytona for Spring Break one year during law school.”

Bobby grinned as he imagined young Maggie on the loose for Spring Break.  “We were kind of drunk and I wanted to go back to the hotel, but on the way we passed a tattoo shop and she dragged me inside.  She got this really stupid unicorn.”  Maggie laughed.  “I can’t ever tell her it’s stupid.  She probably realizes it by now anyway.”

She looked back at Bobby.  “So there we were and I couldn’t decide what to get.  Then I saw this.”  A pensive look crossed her face.  “Casey didn’t realize that it was the anniversary of my father’s death.”

She breathed out and paused.  Bobby waited patiently.  “My dad used to sing this song to me when I was little.”  She looked up at him through her lashes.  “When I saw the sun, I knew.  It’s kind of weird, I suppose, getting a tattoo on my ass to remind me of my dad.”

“It’s your hip, not your ass.  And I think it’s a beautiful reminder of special times with your father.”  He gave her a look.  “I sing that song to Savannah.  Must be a father/daughter kind of thing.”

She watched him steadily, her eyes sparkling in the half-light.  “I never told anyone that before.  Even Casey doesn’t know why I chose the sun.”

“I’m honored that you shared it with me.”  He stroked her cheek, and she turned to plant a kiss on his palm.  “Speaking of sharing intimate things, you mentioned something over the phone that I found interesting.”  She waited, brow furrowed, to hear what he would say.  “You said you might be interested in having my cum on you?”

“Oh, God!” Maggie muttered, covering her face with her hands.  “I’d had some wine and you were far, far away.”

Bobby grinned, arching an eyebrow.  “Maggie Flynn is something of a kinkster,” he teased, twirling a lock of her hair around his finger.  “I love it.  Cum on your tits, don’t mind being a little sore…  What else might you be interested in?”

She blushed deeply.  “I don’t know, I was just talking.”  Uncomfortable, she chewed her lower lip.

He lightly stroked from her shoulder down to her tattoo and back up again.  “You can tell me.  Blindfolds?  Cuffs?  Toys?” he asked softly.

She chewed her lip harder and nodded sheepishly.  Bobby laughed.  “Oh, cher, you are such a hellcat.  Have you done those things before?  Why are you shy to tell me what you like?”

Her eyes widened and she pushed herself up, sitting on the edge of the bed with her back to him.  “Because I don’t want you to think…”

“Think what?”

“I don’t want you to think I’m a whore,” she whispered.

Baffled, Bobby sat up behind her, his hand on her back.  “Jesus, Maggie, why would I think that?  Is this about your fiancé?  You told me before that he wasn’t good to you.  I didn’t mean to open up old wounds.”

She waved him off.  “It’s no big deal.”

He pressed his lips to her shoulder.  “You can talk to me, cher.”

Maggie sighed and allowed him to pull her back against his chest.  They rested against the pillows and he wrapped her in his arms, tucking her under his chin.  Absently she stroked his chest.  “I met Mike when he was the arresting officer on one of my cases.  After I met with him and his partner at their precinct, he followed me out and asked me to have a drink with him that night.”

“Mm-hmm,” he encouraged.  She felt the vibration through his chest.

“Well, so I did meet him for drinks that night after work.”  She breathed out sharply.  “And I slept with him.”

Bobby waited but she seemed finished.  “And?  Cher, you met a guy you were attracted to and you had sex with him.  Consenting adults do it all the time.”

I don’t.  I don’t do it all the time,” she said.  “But I was lonely and he seemed nice.  The next thing I knew we were dating, and then we were engaged, for fuck’s sake.  I didn’t really even like him.  And he was crap in bed.”

She looked up at him trying to decide how much more to say.  “I never came with him.  Not once.  I tried to, you know, suggest a few things.  But he just shut me down.”

Thinking about the multiple times she’d come since they’d been together, he pulled her closer, kissing her forehead.  “So what made you finally end it?”

“We went to Rance’s wedding.  It turned out that Michael was there, too.  I was surprised.  I hadn’t seen him in over a year.  So he and I talked for a few minutes and that was it.  When Mike and I got home he went ballistic, practically accused me of fucking Michael right there at the wedding.”

Bobby’s mind went to his own insecurities that had been on display earlier in the evening.  He sighed as he lightly caressed her upper arm.

“He told me that nobody but a whore would sleep with a guy on the first date,” she whispered.  “I felt so ashamed.”

“Oh, ma ‘tite cher,” he hugged her tightly.  “Remember what you said earlier about scars?  You’re a sensual, passionate woman.  You enjoy making love.  That doesn’t make you a whore.  He’s an idiot.  You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.”

Maggie looked up at him solemnly, unsure whether or not to believe him.

“You scared him, cher.  He didn’t know how to handle a smart, hot blooded, sexy woman like you.”

She seemed thoughtful.  “Do you know how to handle me?”

He gazed at her lovingly.  “Learn what you like and give you a lot of it.  It’s not that complicated.”  Leaning down, he placed a chaste kiss on her lips.

rannigan3

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RANSOMING REDEMPTION
at this link:
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Rannigan’s Redemption Collection
is available in one boxed set. books2read.com/RannigansRedemption

 

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Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE

Rannigan 2 promo

Rannigan’s Redemption is an epic, 3-novel erotic romance law drama.  It’s the complicated story of arrogant Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and Maggie Flynn, the smart, redhaired lawyer he hires to join his elite defense practice.

Their friendship is instant, as is their mutual, but unexpressed, attraction.  They come from vastly different worlds.  Michael is vain and shallow, leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake.  Maggie is a realist, but she sees the man he could be.

RUNNING ROGUE is Book 2 of the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy, picking up where RESISTING RISK left off.

Michael and Maggie have gone their separate ways following a night of passion that ended badly.  Now they’re both making questionable choices, professionally and personally.  Once colleagues in criminal defense, they find themselves on opposite sides of the courtroom.

Here’s an excerpt from RUNNING ROGUE.

It was finally time for closing arguments and Michael couldn’t be happier.  This trial had taken too long.  The jurors were tired, he could see it in their faces.  Was it a mistake to use all that expert testimony?  It had irritated him that Maggie didn’t bother to question his witnesses.  She was playing it smug.  She’d find out that taking that tack was folly.  He was almost certain.

He launched into his summation, fixing each member of the jury with his signature smile.  He charmed them as he recounted pertinent testimony, reminding them of the mountain of scientific evidence he’d laid out before them.  They were smart, reasonable people.  His client was being unfairly scapegoated, accused of being responsible for a terrible accident that was not his fault.

Michael glanced back dramatically at his client.  “Jean-Luc and I want to thank you for your time and for your thoughtful consideration of all of the facts.  We know that you’ll see that the only reasonable verdict is ‘not guilty.’  Thank you.”  He grinned at them appreciatively and returned to his seat.

Maggie watched him walk by and sit beside Jean-Luc.  He flashed her a knowing look and she saw the challenge in his eyes.  She slowly stood and walked to the jury box, standing before them with her hands gently clasped in front of her.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for your patience.  This has been a long trial.  Mr. Rannigan has presented an impressive amount of evidence.”  She gestured toward the defense table.  “We’ve heard testimony about tire tracks, needles of different sizes, weather conditions…  I’m surprised we haven’t heard about sunspots and astrological signs.”  She smiled, as did some of the jurors.

Aw, shit, Michael thought.

“The facts of this case remain the same.  That night, Jean-Luc LeRoi drank copious amounts of alcohol, a fact backed up by eyewitness testimony.  He got behind the wheel of an expensive high-performance automobile.  He lost control of that vehicle due, in part, to the fact that his blood alcohol level was several times over the legal limit.  When that car hit the water, he was concerned only about his own safety, never bothering to assist Julie Baker, who according to expert testimony was alive and well following the crash.  Jean-Luc LeRoi made sure he got to safety, even secured a ride to another bar where he callously continued to drink, while Julie Baker drowned.”  She shook her head piteously.  “All the rest of the evidence…is just smoke and mirrors.”  Maggie turned away from the jury and crossed to the table where Malik sat, letting that thought sink in.

Returning to face them a moment later, she continued.  “We heard Gail Evers, the ER nurse, tell us that out of concern for Mr. LeRoi’s comfort, she used a small-bore needle to perform the blood draw.”  She looked at each juror.  “If it had been me, or you, there wouldn’t have been any special consideration.  I mean, we’re just regular people, working hard every day to put food on our tables and shoes on our kids.  People like Jean-Luc LeRoi are accustomed to receiving special consideration.  They come to expect it, feel entitled to it.”

Michael saw the frowns on the jurors’ faces.  This was going very badly.

Maggie continued.  “And they feel entitled to behave in any manner they see fit, regardless of how their actions impact others.  Jean-Luc felt entitled to drink as much as he pleased, to drive that Maserati as fast as he pleased, and when that went south, he felt entitled to leave that accident and to leave Julie Baker to fend for herself.  He’s guilty, at the very least, of DUI manslaughter, if not felony first degree murder.  That is for you to decide.  You have the opportunity to send the message that nobody is entitled to break the law at someone else’s expense.”  She softly pounded the rail in front of the jury box to emphasize the last sentence.  “Thank you.”

Maggie returned to her seat, her eyes meeting Michael’s with a triumphant gleam.  If I didn’t win this thing, I did my absolute damnedest.

The judge gave instructions to the jury and they were sent to deliberate.  Jean-Luc was taken back to his cell.  Maggie and Malik began to gather up their things.

“Food on our tables and shoes on our kids?”  Maggie looked up to find Michael standing beside her.

She grinned.  “Did you like that?  I just wanted to create camaraderie.”

Michael laughed softly.  “Not too shabby, Mags.”

“Good luck, Michael,” she said honestly.

He gave her a look.  “I’d say the same but I’m not sure you need it.”

Three days later they were all called back to hear the verdict.  Maggie sat anxiously clasping her hands together under the defense table.  Michael sat across the aisle chatting confidently with his client but she saw the tightness in his face.  The jury passed their verdict to the bailiff who handed it to the judge.  He glanced at the slip of paper before handing it back, instructing the defendant to rise.  Out of the corner of her eye, Maggie could see Michael, Jean-Luc, and Amy stand.

The jury foreperson read aloud.  “As to count one, felony first degree murder, we the jury find the defendant, Jean-Luc LeRoi, not guilty.”  Maggie breathed out forcefully and out of the corner of her eye she saw everyone at the defense table relax a bit.

“As to count two, DUI manslaughter, we the jury find the defendent, Jean-Luc LeRoi, guilty.”  Maggie closed her eyes.  We did it.  He’s going away for a long time.

The judge addressed Jean-Luc.  “You’ve been found guilty of DUI manslaughter by a jury of your peers.  I hereby sentence you to sixteen years in prison.”  As the judge banged his gavel, there was a buzz of voices throughout the courtroom.

As two deputies approached Jean-Luc to handcuff him for the return to jail, Michael was speaking into his ear, but Jean-Luc’s eyes were on Maggie.  He suddenly scrambled over the table and leaped on Maggie, knocking her to the floor.  “You useless cunt!” he growled, gripping her around the neck.

The deputies were quick to grab Jean-Luc by his arms, pulling him off Maggie and dragging him backwards.  Malik knelt down beside Maggie, who lay gasping for air.

As they dragged his client away, Michael leaned over her.  “Are you okay, Mags?” he asked, his deep brown eyes wide with concern.  He and Malik helped her sit up.

“I’m fine,” she croaked as she moved to stand.

“Ms. Flynn, do you require medical attention?” the judge asked.

Maggie stood shakily.  “No, your honor, I’m alright.”

Late that afternoon Maggie and Malik joined the rest of the office at Pete’s Tavern for celebratory drinks.  Unlike Murphy, Rannigan, Rance’s office rarely had official gatherings after work, but this was an exception.  Maggie wasn’t sure she was in the mood to celebrate, but she was pleased that Jean-Luc would be separated from the rest of the world for a long time.  Truthfully, she was still a bit shaken from his attack, but she’d have chewed off her own arm rather than admit it to anyone.

Rance was pleased with Maggie’s work and told her more than once that he should have trusted her instincts from the beginning.  “I’ll remind you of that next time,” she promised as she sipped her Guinness.

A server approached their table with a single drink on a tray.  She set the glass of bourbon in front of Maggie.  “From the gentleman at the bar,” she told her.  Maggie glanced over.  Michael smiled and raised his glass.

She shook her head and suppressed a smile.  “Excuse me a moment,” she said, picking up the glass and pushing back from the table.

She crossed the room and took the stool beside Michael.  “Thanks for the bourbon.”

“You’re welcome.  How’s your neck?”

Maggie shook her head dismissively.  “No worries.”

Michael squinted his eyes and watched her skeptically for a moment.  “Well, congratulations,” he smiled.  “You soundly kicked my ass today.”

Maggie grinned into her glass, sipping slowly.  “Your client was guilty.  I just pointed out the fact.”

“I’m filing an appeal,” he said softly.

She shrugged.  “I expected nothing less.”  They sipped companionably.

Michael nodded thoughtfully.  “You built your case and you kept it simple.  You appealed to the jurors as people.”

He stood.  “I don’t want to keep you from your party.  I just wanted to say…”  He looked down uncomfortably.  “I wanted to say that you did a good job.  You’re a great lawyer.”

“I learned from the best,” she said quietly.

Michael smiled, eyes crinkling.  Then he reached up and squeezed her shoulder gently before he turned and left the bar.

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Use this LINK to get your copy of RUNNING ROGUE.

 

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

All through the month of June, I’m celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the publication of LUKE & BELLA, Dream Dominant Book 1.  All month, both Dream Dominant novels, LUKE & BELLA and LOST & BOUND are on sale for just .99 each!

For this week’s excerpt, I’m giving you a teaser from LOST & BOUND.  But first, let me tell you a little about the story.

Blake Walker is no stranger to tragedy. Immediately following a horrific event years earlier, he was lost for a while until he embraced his Dominant nature and found his true calling. But things change and now he’s back where he started, helping to run his family’s secluded lake lodge.

When pampered Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law, she’s sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario to cool her heels for a few weeks. There she meets sexy bush pilot Blake, who is tasked with seeing to her needs as the sole guest at the lodge.

Initially, Blake isn’t impressed with the spoiled actress, but he’s happy that her visit allows for his sister Jackie and her kids to go on a much-needed vacation. Try as he might, he can’t figure out what the hell Shasta Pyke is doing so far out of her element.
Shasta’s attracted to Blake’s obvious good looks, but there’s more to him than that. He sees through her armor to the vulnerable little girl she hides from the world. The Daddy Dominant in him craves to shelter her, to make her his own.

Is there any way Shasta will agree to submit to Blake’s Dominance?

Lost & Bound is Book 2 of the Dream Dominant Collection, a series of stand-alone novels featuring sexy, Dominant men and the strong, red-haired submissives who find them irresistible. It is a contemporary erotic romance novel with a light BDSM theme, and features a DD/lg relationship. It is intended for mature audiences.

Sound interesting?  Read a snippet from LOST & BOUND.

When they entered the Blue Moon Café, every head turned.  Rather than taking his usual seat at the counter, Blake led Shasta to a window table in the corner.  He seated her opposite himself as he sat with his back to the wall.

A waitress in a blue uniform greeted them with menus and glasses of water, and left them to decide on their lunch order.  “What looks good to you?” Blake asked.  “You should know, they make killer milkshakes.”  He grinned at her.

“Milkshakes?” she laughed.  “I haven’t had a milkshake in…forever.  I’m always in training for one role or another.”

He arched an eyebrow.  “You aren’t in training now.  You want a milkshake, don’t you?  Aw, come on.”  His face was mischievous.

“I don’t know…”

“Mm-hmm, let’s see.  Vanilla?”  He laughed.  “No way, my kitten’s not vanilla.  How about mint chocolate chip?”

Shasta chewed her lower lip as she tried to suppress a smile.

“Ha, mint chocolate chip it is!”  Blake smiled happily.  “I’ll order for you, kitten.  I like to do that.  I’ll get to know your tastes and make the choices, but for now, help me out a little.”

She giggled.  “Well, I guess a milkshake really doesn’t go with a salad.”

“Nope, I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of provincial law against milkshakes and salads being paired up.  I’m thinking a nice burger with fries.  Or maybe onion rings?”

Shasta laughed again.  “You are so bad!”

His chuckle was dark.  “You have no idea.”

“I think I have some idea.”

He grinned at that, taking her hand and kissing it.  “You do have some idea.  But I’ll keep you guessing.”

A different waitress approached their table.  “Hi, Blake.  Why are you way over here today?”  It was Donna, the flirt who worked the counter.

“We’re having a nice quiet lunch today.  Donna, this is Amy.  Amy, meet Donna.”  Blake watched the waitress’s eyes narrow.

“It’s nice to meet you, Donna,” Shasta murmured.

Donna just stared at her.

“Okay, we know what we’d like,” Blake plunged ahead.  “The lady will take a burger, well done, with provolone cheese, a side of onion rings, and a mint chocolate chip milkshake.  Make my cheese cheddar, a side of fries, and a chocolate fudge shake.”

Donna’s eyes flitted from Shasta to Blake and back again.  Shasta narrowed her eyes and leaned forward on the table, frowning.  The waitress hesitated for a moment longer, then turned and rushed away from the table.

“Don’t try to stare me down, bitch, because I will win every time,” Shasta muttered.

“Hey!”  Blake’s voice was low but stern.

“You saw her.  I don’t put up with that.”  She sat back and crossed her arms in front of her.

“She’s just jealous.  Donna flirts with me when I come in here.  I’ve never brought a woman in here before.”  Blake leaned across the table.  “She couldn’t be my kitten.  She’s not nearly strong enough.”

Reluctantly, Shasta smiled.  “No?  She’s not strong enough?”  She chewed her bottom lip again.  “And you think I am?”

“I know you are.”

Shasta giggled happily.  When their food arrived a short time later, it was brought by a different waitress.  Shasta groaned when she took her first sip of milkshake.  “Oh, my god, this is amazing!”

“Who’s your Daddy?” Blake laughed.

Shasta laughed, too.  They enjoyed their food without conversation for a few minutes.

“I appreciate you being willing to do the blood tests.  It’s just not safe to forego those.”

“I understand.”

He looked down.  “I’ve been with my fair share of women.  I’m a member of a club in Toronto.  Getting tested on a regular basis is required.  You really never know who will be there.  It’s rare to play with the same submissive more than once.”

“Submissive?  It’s a BDSM club?”  Her eyes were wide.

Blake nodded.  “You can imagine how difficult it is to find play partners out here in the boondocks.  The club makes it easy—everybody is there for the same reason.”

“So you…slept with…a lot of different girls?”

“We played, kitten.  Kind of like what you and I did last night.”

Shasta absorbed this information.  “Before you, I was with three other guys ever.”  He was watching her intently so she continued.  “I was sixteen when I lost my virginity to Jamie Duncan.”

“The pop singer?”  He leaned forward on his elbows.

Shasta nodded miserably.  “That was such a stupid idea.  I thought I knew everything.  Then, I dated Chip Felder, the guy from that crime show?  We were together for a little over a year.”  She sighed.  “And then, of course, there was Jeremy.”

“Do you ever go out with regular guys?”  His eyes sparkled with curiosity.

“I don’t meet regular guys.”

“Lucky me.”

“You’re not regular.”  She looked at him meaningfully.

Blake looked down at the table and laughed.  “No, I suppose not.”

They finished their lunch and paid the tab, heading out into the bright sunlight.  Blake regarded her curiously.  “I want to take you one more place before we head home.”

Rather than heading to the car, he led her in the opposite direction to the door of Kink Ink.  “Are we getting a tattoo?” she wondered.

“Not today, but I’m not ruling it out for later.  I want you to meet someone.”  He held open the door for her.

The shop was empty when they walked in, bell over the door tinkling to announce their presence.  Shasta wandered over to study the tattoo samples on the wall, poring over the vast array of colors and shapes.  Blake settled, leaning against the glass case.  They heard a female voice from behind the black curtain separating the front space from the back.  “Coming!”

The curtain flipped open, and a disparate couple emerged, petite goth princess and mountainous First Nation god, both with jet black hair and covered with tattoos of all shapes, sizes, and colors.  “Blake!  You’re back so soon!” the woman cried.  “What’s…”  She stopped at the sight of Shasta.

Blake grinned.  “Eve, Sam,” he gestured toward Shasta, “I’d like you to meet Amy.  Amy, this is Eve and Sam.”

Shyly, Shasta made her way to Blake and grasped his hand.  “Hi, nice to meet you,” she smiled.

Both Eve and Sam blinked, unspeaking.  Finally, Sam found his voice.  “It’s nice to meet you, Amy,” he nodded.  “Welcome to the shop.”

She smiled demurely.  “Thank you.  It’s very nice.”

Eve was still blinking and shifting her gaze between Shasta and Blake.  Blake chuckled.  “We’d like to browse in back.”

“Uh, sure,” Eve finally said, “come on back.”

Blake winked at Shasta and, still holding her hand, followed Eve through the curtain toward the back of the shop.  Eve swung open the door and gestured like a gameshow model.  “Here you go, knock yourselves out.  Let me know if I can help you find something.”

“Thank you,” Shasta murmured.  Stepping into the room, she gazed around at the displays, eyes widening as understanding began to dawn on her.  “What is this place?”

Blake pulled her to himself, lightly kissing her temple.  “Eve and Sam run the tattoo shop but they also do kick-ass business online selling kink gear.  They keep a little of it back here for local customers.”

“You mean they know about you being a Dom and all?”

“Of course.  It’s no big deal to them.  Eve’s a Domme, too.  Sam is her sub.”

Shasta’s mouth dropped open.  “No!”

He had to laugh.  “Yes.  Although they have more of a ‘Master/slave’ kind of thing.”

“But he’s huge!  And she’s so tiny.  How does that work?”

“It’s not about size, kitten.  It’s about who you really are, in your soul.  As big as he is, Sam is a submissive soul.  Although, he’s a switch.  He can Dom when they play with a third.”

“A third,” she echoed softly.  She fixed him with a desperate look.  “Would we ever have a third?”

He shook his head.  “No, kitten, I’m pretty sure you’re all I can handle.”

“Well, good.  I wouldn’t want to share,” she said definitely, crossing her arms.

He pulled her to himself and kissed her tenderly.  “I would never share you, kitten.  Rest assured.”

He released her and watched as Shasta reached to touch a silver chain collar hanging on a hook.  She pivoted her face toward him.  “Is this where you got the pink cuffs?”

He nodded.  “Mm-hmm, and the mask and the paddle.  I thought maybe we could pick out another couple of things to take home with us today.”

A slow smile spread across Shasta’s face.  “Really?” she giggled.

“Really.  How about you look around and see what strikes your fancy?  I’m going to go talk to Eve and Sam for a few minutes.  When I come back, I want you to have something picked out.”

Shasta glanced around the room.  “Anything?”

“I want you to pick something you think will please me.”  He watched her thoughtfully.

“Something that will please you…”

“I’ll be back,” he said over his shoulder as he left to find his friends.

Sam and Eve were huddled over the glass counter in the front of the shop when Blake emerged through the black curtain.  “So what gives?” Eve demanded.  “That’s Shasta-fucking-Pyke!”

“Yeah, man, I’d know her anywhere.  Two Days Until Sunrise?  I saw that movie three times,” Sam added.

Blake shrugged uncomfortably.  “Her real name is Amy Malone.  And she’s staying at the lodge for a few weeks.”

“Which is why you’re closed, isn’t it?” Eve added.

He nodded.  “Which is why we’re closed.  It’s very hush-hush.  I know I can count on you to keep it quiet.”

“But why is she here?” Sam wondered.

“It has to do with some trouble back in California.  She’s just getting a little R&R.”

Eve laughed.  “And a little BDSM while she’s at it.”

Blake blushed slightly.  “That just…”  He trailed off, shaking his head.  “One minute she’s throwing rocks at me, the next thing I know, I’m kissing her.  She’s amazing, really, and a born baby girl submissive, there’s no doubt in my mind.”  He gazed out the window of the shop.  “It doesn’t feel casual to me.  I think I’m really falling for her.”

“Good for you, man.”  Sam clapped a giant hand on Blake’s shoulder.  “It’s about time you found the right one.”

“How about I go check in on your kitten?” Eve offered.

Here’s the book trailer for LOST & BOUND.

Hurry and get your copies of LOST & BOUND and LUKE & BELLA while they’re .99 each!

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Weekend Excerpt–JUST ONE NIGHT

Spring is in the air!  Days are longer and warmer, and summer’s just around the corner.  For this edition of the Weekend Excerpt, I’m featuring my naughty little summer novella, JUST ONE NIGHT.

On summer vacation, teacher Katie Parker is happy to leave behind her latest dating disaster as she joins her best friends from high school for their annual group outing.  This year, they’re going on a Caribbean cruise, and Katie is determined to find a hot guy for just one night of anonymous passion.

On board the ship, she meets hunky Mac Coleman, cruising to Mexico for his brother’s wedding.  He was more than willing to go along with the sexy, mysterious redhead’s plan for forgetting her ex.  But now, can he convince her they’re worth more than just one night?

Here’s a little teaser.

“So where is your redhead going?” Tommy wondered as he and his brother watched the women leave the dining room.

Mac shrugged lightly.  “She said something about karaoke tonight.”

Danny watched him for a moment.  “Aren’t you going after her?”

“Nah, she wasn’t really up for getting together.”

“Dude, that dress is killer.  She’s all dressed up for somebody,” Tommy observed.

“Yeah, well…”  Mac sipped his water for an excuse to stop talking.  “Hey, aren’t we hitting the casino tonight?”

Seated between his brothers at the roulette wheel, Mac watched the tiny white ball skitter around and come to rest on the thirteen.  Of course, he’d bet on the twelve.  After three rounds, he’d lost forty dollars.  Tommy had the best luck, winning with every spin.

“Gents, I’m going to have to stop while I’m behind,” Mac said, pushing back from the table.

Tommy gathered his chips and Danny joined them.  “What do you want to do now on your last night as a free man?”

Tommy grinned impishly at Mac.  “I’m kind of in the mood for karaoke.”

Mac’s expression was dubious.  “Karaoke?  Since when are you into karaoke?”

“Since my older brother started mooning over some sexy redhead whose name he doesn’t even know.”

The brothers pushed their way through the crowded lounge searching for an empty table.  Not finding one, they lucked out with three stools at the bar.  Settled on his stool, Mac scanned the room and found her nearly immediately at a table fronting the stage.  Her red hair stood out in the crowded room.

She looked up and her eyes widened in surprise before her lips curled in a suppressed smile.  He raised his beer that had just been served and she smiled wider, lifting her shot glass and overturning it dramatically.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the emcee announced, “up next, we have the Heartbreakers!”

A squeal rose from their table and the four women made their way onto the stage.  Mac watched in fascination as they took their cordless mics and stood with their backs to the audience.  Wondering what they might sing, he heard the opening disco beat and bass of Hot Stuff and laughed out loud as they women began a slinky choreographed dance routine.  He watched as the four took turns singing lines.  When it was her turn, she locked eyes with him.

“Dude, your girl is hot!” Tommy commented.

“Yes, she is,” Mac agreed.

“I’m guessing they’ve done this before,” Danny opined.  “God bless’em!”  He raised his beer in salute.

***

Much like that first time back in high school, the end of the song was met with thunderous applause and the four friends returned to their table flushed with the exertion.  “That never gets old,” Michelle laughed.  “Do you remember the look on old man Adams’ face?  He couldn’t decide whether to kick us out of the talent show or give us first prize.”  The women laughed at the memory.

“It took forever for our turn,” Chelsea commented.  “I want to go blow some money in the casino.  Are you in?”  She looked around the table.

“You guys go on.  I’m enjoying the music,” Katie hedged.  “Maybe I’ll just stay here a little longer.”

“Yeah, her mystery man and his brothers are here,” Michelle laughed.  “She wants to blow something, just not money.”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake!”  Katie blushed furiously.

“Come on girls,” Jayma said, “let’s give Katie a little space.”  She kissed Katie’s cheek gently.  “Good luck, hon.  Have fun!”

Katie waved goodbye to her friends as they left.  Another group was onstage, working their way through Paradise by the Dashboard Light.  She saw his brothers stand and leave the bar.  He sat smiling at her and she smiled back.

Taking a cocktail napkin, she wiped the water rings from the table in preparation for his joining her.  Except that he didn’t join her.  When Katie looked again, he was watching the singers with rapt attention, even swaying a bit on his stool.

She frowned a bit.  His brothers left.  He saw the girls leave.  What gives?  She crossed her right leg over her left and jiggled her foot restlessly.  No way am I going over there.  If he thinks I’m going over there, he’s got another think coming.

She glanced his way again.  He was watching her with that same amused expression.  The one that made the butterflies in her stomach go bungee jumping.  Oh, fine!

As the group onstage finished and another singer was announced, Katie left her table and made her way to the bar, relieved to see an empty stool beside him.  As she approached him, the corner of his mouth curled slightly and his eyes sparkled with the smile he suppressed.

“Hey, you.  Would you mind if I joined you?” Katie asked.

“Hey, you.  I’d mind if you didn’t.”

She accepted his hand and he helped her onto the stool next to his.  “Thanks!”

“My pleasure.”  He surveyed her appreciatively.  “That’s a really nice dress.”

She flushed with pleasure.  “Thanks.  I wanted to be dressy for Formal Night.   You look very handsome yourself.”  She reached to touch the cuff of his shirt sleeve, pushing back his jacket.  “Cuff links?”  She fingered the textured silver squares.

He watched her with curiosity and nodded.  “Is that okay?”

She looked back to his face.  “I love cuff links.  They’re so…civilized.”

Mac laughed out loud.  “Something I’ve never been called: civilized.”

Katie’s brow furrowed.  “So why?  Why didn’t you come to my table?”

His eyes smiled.  “Because you said ‘one night only’.  I respect your boundaries.”

“Yeah.”  She idly fidgeted with a cardboard coaster.  “About that…”  She looked up at him through her long lashes and began to lightly caress the inside of his wrist as it rested on the bar.

He watched her another moment, a knowing gleam in his eyes.  “You can’t resist me.”

She looked back down to his hand.  “You’re pretty cocky.”

He gave an exaggerated snicker.  “You said ‘cock’.”

Katie giggled and rolled her eyes.

The next singer came on and began a spot-on version of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On.  They both laughed.  Mac grinned and joined in, his cheek brushing hers as he sang along softly.  Katie felt goose bumps as he crooned into her ear.  “Let’s get it on…”  Lightly, he nibbled her earlobe.  He planted a gentle kiss on her bare shoulder.

Katie took his hand and he looked back up.  “Come on, let’s go,” she said softly.

Originally, JUST ONE NIGHT was available exclusively on Amazon.  Now, it’s on sale everywhere, and it’s only .99!

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Weekend Excerpt–Just One Night

JON 99 cents

Great news!  Just One Night is now available everywhere, and it’s only .99!  Yes, it’s no longer available on Kindle Unlimited.  But now, whether you read your ebooks on a Kindle, an iPad, or a Nook, you can get Just One Night for the low everyday price of .99.

In Just One Night, teacher Katie is on a summer cruise with her best girlfriends from high school.  Fresh from a bad breakup, she’s determined to find a man for just one night of anonymous passion.  She meets Mac, traveling to Mexico for his brother’s wedding.  He’s in, more than willing to go along with her plan.  But can he convince her that what they have together is worth more than Just One Night?

Here’s a little teaser…

     The pair parked themselves at a tiny table at the edge of the piano bar, the first place they’d come to in their search for a cocktail.  Katie watched him as he approached the bar and ordered for them.  She couldn’t get over how handsome he was, how he’d come outside looking for her.  This was exactly what she needed to take her mind off of her man problems back home.

She smiled up at him as he returned to their table carrying a margarita for her and a Scotch for himself.  “Cheers,” he said, raising his glass to hers.

“Cheers,” she murmured in return, and she sipped gratefully, counting on the liquid courage her glass offered.

“You know, we’ve gone about this all backwards.”  He rested his drink on the table and offered his right hand.  “My name is—“

“No!  No names,” Katie quickly interrupted.

Mac blinked in surprise.  “No names.  Why no names?”

“Just…because,” she stammered.  “No names, no personal information, we’ll just…keep it casual.”

“Keep it casual.”  Mac frowned.  “Okay.”  He gave her a curious look.  “Do you want me to leave?”

She shook her head, red curls swinging.  “No, I’d like you to stay.”

He gave a relieved smile.  “Good, because I’d like to stay.  So…no personal information.  Do you want to talk about work?”

“Oh, hell no!”

“Um, how about that weather?  That’s some pretty great weather out there tonight.”

Katie laughed lightly.  “I don’t mean to be a pain.”

Mac smiled back.  “You’re not a pain, exactly.  I just have to figure out the rules.  And you’re here with three other women?”

“You could see that in the dining room.  Where you were staring,” Katie observed.

“You know that because you were staring back,” he countered.

“And you’re here with two other men.”

Mac nodded.  “My brothers.  Oops!  Was that personal?”

“Now you’re making fun.”

He smiled ruefully.  “Maybe just a little bit.  This is kind of a bachelor party.  My kid brother is getting married.”

“A bachelor party?”  Katie laughed lightly.  “Shouldn’t you be getting back to the debauchery?”

Mac laughed.  “Not much debauchery with those two.  My older brother’s been married for years and Tommy’s head over heels for his fiancée.”  He glanced up at Katie.  “Oops!  More personal information.”

Katie sighed and sipped her drink.  “My friends and I get together for a week every summer.  We’ve known each other since high school.”

“There now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Katie nodded firmly.  “We’re even, that’s all.”  She rested her forearm on the table and toyed with her glass.  Mac did the same, and as he did, his arm brushed against hers.  She made no effort to move away from him.  He intentionally rested his arm against hers, noting the electric charge he felt, wondering if she felt it, too.

Glancing up, he saw that she was watching him intently.  “So…you don’t want any personal information.  You don’t want to talk about work.  You don’t want me to leave.”

Katie shook her head.

“Okay, well we’ve got that settled.  What do you want?”  He watched her expectantly.

She stared at her glass as she swirled the remainder of her margarita.  Her buzz from the dinner wine combined with the icy cocktail made her feel bold.  She looked back up at Mac.

“Do you really want to know what I want?  I want just one night.  Just one night of anonymous, no-holds-barred, red-hot, no-strings-attached sex.  That’s what I want.”  She fixed him with a challenging stare.

“Whoa,” he breathed, eyes wide.

Katie looked down at her glass again.  “Too blunt?”

Mac leaned back in his chair, lips forming an O.  “That was blunt, all right, but I can respect that.  I’ve gotta ask, though.”  He sought out her eyes.  “Is there some guy at home waiting for you to come back?”

Katie shook her head.  “I’m not cheating on anybody.  You?”

He shook his head, too, and laughed humorlessly.  “What was it you said earlier?  Oh, hell no.”

She lightly stroked his arm as it rested on the table, delighting in the goose bumps that appeared there.  Her gaze traveled from there to his lap, which seemed to be taking an interest in the proceedings if the growing mound there was any indication.  She shifted her focus, sliding her gaze up his torso to those lips she’d noticed earlier.  God, I just want to suck on that lower lip.

She met his eyes again, saw the fire there, and knew it matched her own.  “So what do you say?”

“I say, have another margarita.  I just need to run to the little shop and pick up some…  Well, I didn’t actually expect that I’d need…”  He smiled apologetically.

Her voice was soft.  “I’ll wait right here.”

He took her hand and gently brushed his lips across her knuckles, gave her a wink, and left the bar.

Just One Night is available at this link: books2read.com/JustOneNight

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