I want to give a big shout out and word of thanks to Jayne for opening up her blog to allow me to talk about a new book I have releasing on Tuesday, November 7 called Bachelor’s Bait. On my website (www.maricarr.com), I’m holding a weeklong “Cocktale” party to celebrate. There will be drink recipes, excerpts, and a contest! I hope you’ll stop by and check it out.
As part of the party fun, I’m telling “cocktales” about some of the crazy times I’ve spent with my friends. I’ve visited Jayne’s house several times over the past few years, but I think the first trip provided one of our most memorable moments. If you’ve ever read the joint author bio Jayne and I have included in our Compass series books, you’re probably be familiar with her claims that I tried to poison her with tequila.
Well, the story is true, but I will say—in my defense—I didn’t realize at the time she was allergic to alcohol! Heck, she didn’t even know she was. I’d created these shots that I called Dream Machines with a lick of salt and a shot of Patron Silver that are then chased with cotton candy. As Jayne is a cotton candy freak, I named the drink after one of her books and looked forward to sharing a shot with her.
Let’s just say…it ended with Jayne turning beat red and laughing maniacally for several minutes before passing out. It was her intense reaction to the drink that caused our friend Valerie Tibbs to INSIST Jayne talk to her doctor about it. It was then we discovered…yep…she’s allergic to alcohol. Oops.
The friends in Cocktales remind me a lot of my International Heat writing pals. You never know what chaos we’re going to cause. Bachelor’s Bait is number three in the series that is about a group of four friends who open a bookstore-slash-bar called Books and Brew together. Party Naked and Screwdriver, the first two books, are available now.
Cocktales, Book Three
Sophia Kennedy is determined to chase her own success, rather than ride her father’s coattails. She’s devoted herself to Books and Brew, the business she owns with her three best friends. She doesn’t feel the need to explain herself to anyone, least of all the free-aid lawyer who’s determined to judge her as a society princess. She’d ignore him altogether…if it were up to her mind. But nooooo. Her body just has to have its say—and it’s using words like “gorgeous”, “hot” and “sexy”. Soon, annoyance turns to attraction, verbal sparring to physical satisfaction as the couple is drawn together by a common cause.
Marc Garrett has no time for a relationship. And he certainly doesn’t want a rich society fixture, though the damning evidence below his belt suggests otherwise. The more he comes to know his hardworking princess, the more he wants her, again and again. Marc’s falling hard, but after holding Sophie’s wealth against her, how will she react when she learns of his own rather prosperous roots?
“Charlotte?” Sophie was annoyed to find the coat-check room unattended. She’d been an idiot to trust Charlotte to keep an eye on it. The woman was too flighty to take the task seriously. She was a regular at the bookstore and when Sophie had foolishly mentioned her problem finding volunteers to help work the event, Charlotte had stepped forward. Sophie had accepted the offer, ignoring the voice telling her Charlotte only wanted to help so she could ogle the cream of society’s crop in a glitzy setting.
Now she was staring at an unprotected room full of expensive shawls and jackets.
“Shit,” she muttered. “Can anyone say liability?” She stepped behind the check-in counter and into the room, intent on finding the extra flyers. Then she’d track down her “volunteer” and read her the riot act for leaving her post unattended.
Spotting the box in a corner, she crossed the small space and bent to retrieve it.
A wolf whistle sounded from the doorway.
Sophie rose quickly but the damage was done. Clearly she’d given someone an eyeful of her ass wrapped in its tight skirt.
Marc leaned against the doorframe, looking far too pleased with the view she’d offered.
“Wow. Sexist much?”
He gave her a seductive grin. She wished her body would stop responding to him so forcefully. Her stomach clenched, her pussy dampened and she was grateful for the box in her hands or Marc would see them trembling.
He was unapologetic. “When I see something beautiful, I feel the need to appreciate it.”
“And being the classy guy you are, you thought you’d whistle at me like a construction worker.”
“I thought you might prefer that response over the first idea that popped into my head.”
“Stroking my hands over that gorgeous ass you just displayed for me.”
The battle between Sophie’s head and body flared. Her ass cheeks clenched, longing for that caress. Her less visceral side offered a reply. “Then you made the right call because I would have kneed you in the balls. Hard.”
He nodded. “That’s what I thought. Hence my whistle from all the way over here.”
His tone was light and friendly, making it impossible to take offense at his comments. The closet wasn’t that large but his assessment was correct. Several feet protected his balls from her knee.
Sophie subtly pressed her legs together and tried to force air into her lungs. Apparently the space between them wasn’t that safe after all. She flushed as her body heated at their proximity—and semi-privacy.
The observant man’s dark-blue eyes narrowed.
He must be hell on juries. He notices far too much.
He stepped into the room. She tried to hide her shock when he closed the closet door behind him. The darkness was cut by a mellow glow provided by the low-watt fixture hanging in the center of the ceiling, and instantly she was reminded of nights spent beside a dying fire in her family’s large living room. She was a sucker for a fireplace.
Marc’s deep voice cut through the silence. “Maybe I was wrong.”
Her eyes tried to adjust to the dim lighting as he continued to move closer. “About what?” Her throat tightened, making her words sound thick and far too loud in the small room.
Marc didn’t answer immediately. Instead, he took the box of flyers out of her hands, setting it on the floor. “You know I’m going to start coming by the bar, right? I feel the need to become a regular.”
“Why? You get some sick pleasure out of annoying me?”
He shook his head, his voice laced with humor. “No. That’s just a bonus.”
The answer was completely unsatisfactory, even though Sophie liked the idea of him stopping by. Despite her better judgment, she wanted to see him more too. “Then why?” she repeated.
“Because I’ll want to do this again.”
He leaned forward and kissed her.