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Courting Gossip / Courting Suspicion – Parallel Books

Courting Gossip_s192x300CourtingSuspicion_300x458I came up with a really interesting concept when I proposed these last two books in my Courting series.  Usually books in a series are sequential, but inspiration took me to a different place.  What if I did two books that ran parallel to each other in time?  The main story line for Courting Suspicion is what happens to Nina and Luxxor when one of her escorts is caught in a political scandal.  But the question kept hitting me… What happens to the escort, Genieve, while all the hubbub is happening?  It’s as much her story as it is Nina’s.  So I decided to write two partner books that look at same events through different characters’ points-of-view.

This was a really intriguing concept from a writing perspective.  I had scenes where both Nina and Genieve were present.  That meant that they had to be in both books (or referenced somehow), but told from each heroine’s viewpoint.  I loved that challenge.  Loved it.  Sequencing everything up, though, wasn’t so fun.  The time line had to match!  I couldn’t go off on any tangents, because Genieve had to get from Point A to Point B and be in the right state of mind when she got there.  Yet, I also wanted the technical elements of the story to be invisible.  Courting Gossip had to be able to stand on its own.  The focus had to be on Genieve and Brody’s romance.

It was a brainteaser for sure, but I’m really happy with the way both books turned out.  I can’t wait to hear readers’ feedback to this unique way of storytelling.  Just two more weeks, and I’ll know if I succeeded.

Courting Gossip Excerpt

CourtingGossip 300x450Coming July 7!

Gunderson rubbed his hand up and down Genieve’s side, tucking her up close. ‘Let’s get you home, darling.’

‘No.’ Brody caught her by the elbow, and her big green eyes turned on him. ‘She’s with me.’

Gunderson’s mouth dropped open in surprise.

‘Go home and don’t take any calls,’ Brody instructed. ‘I’ll contact you in the morning with instructions on how to handle this.’

The senator nodded. The moon had lowered on the horizon and his hair looked gray now, instead of silver. His adrenaline was waning and the stress of the night showed in the drooping set of his shoulders.

He patted Genieve’s waist. ‘Brody knows best, darling.’

Brody drew her away. ‘My car’s down here.’

* * *

Genieve hesitated, digging in her heels. Wait. What had just happened? ‘I’m coming with you?’

‘Yes, and tonight, if you don’t mind. I’d like to be gone by the time the real reporters show up.’

But… But… She was going to be alone with him?

She looked at his stern, handsome face until the light finally came on in her tired brain. Of course. He wanted to yell at her and tell her how this was all her fault. But no… Brody didn’t yell. He frowned and scowled and clenched his fists a lot. She always knew something was up when his fingers started tapping.

Like they’d been tapping when she’d been talking with the detective…

The senator’s car pulled away from the curb, and the decision was made for her. If she didn’t want to get left behind, she’d better get walking.

Her heels sounded loud on the sidewalk as Brody led her down the block. His hand was warm on her arm, and he felt tall beside her. Tall and solid as he walked between her and the street.

He held the passenger door open for her, and she slid into the bucket seat. Was this his personal vehicle? The leather was butter soft, and it took away some of the chill. She sank deeper into the cushioned seat. She couldn’t stop shivering. Shock, no doubt. She plugged in her seat belt and watched him walk around the front of the car.

He always got doors for her. Odd. Samuel never thought to do that, and he was of the older generation.

Brody fired up the engine, and they were soon putting the Emissary Hotel in their back window. She watched as he checked the mirrors. He was still worried about being followed. Silence settled inside the smooth-running car. Finally, he settled back in his seat and glanced at her. The tell-tale muscle in his jaw was twitching.

‘Did they touch you? Were you hurt back there?’

‘No.’

‘Would you tell me?’

She rounded her eyes at him. ‘Yes. I’d tell you, I’d tell Nina, and I’d tell the lawyer who would sue to get lots of money for me.’

His gaze went back out the front windshield. The muscle had stopped its nervous dance. ‘When you said the senator was fighting with them, I didn’t think you meant physically.’

She smoothed her dress over her thighs. It felt strange sitting with him in such close confines. ‘He surprised me when he did that, but it let me call the front desk. And you.’

He paused a moment. ‘You came out of the—’

‘Because the hotel manager had a key! Ah! I knew you were going to blame me for that. Was I supposed to make them drag me out, kicking and screaming?’

He didn’t answer, but he settled easier into the driver’s seat.

Genieve folded her arms over her chest.

‘You made up for it with that move with the detective,’ he said. He reached over to the dash and turned on her seat warmer.

She let an eyebrow lift. Was that a compliment from Brody Haynes?

‘Wish I could say the same about your not-so-smooth move with my panties,’ she returned. ‘Did you have to go searching for them in front of everybody?’

‘I wasn’t going to leave them there for evidence or for some hotel employee to auction off online.’

Genieve shivered and snuggled against the heat she felt emanating all around her. She hadn’t thought of that. She didn’t like either option.

‘So are you going to give them back, or are you some kind of panty perv?’

She knew she was needling him, but her nerves were stretched thin. He’d ridden to the rescue, but he’d shown up in a suit and tie, looking stern and official. Did nothing ever ruffle him? Did he have a human side?

His finger began tapping against the steering wheel, but he dug into his pocket and passed the scrap of silk to her. For the second time that night, Genieve felt embarrassment hit her. She’d tried to make him uncomfortable, but what was she supposed to do now? Put them in her purse? She didn’t have any pockets in the close-fitting dress.

She cast him a secret glance. There was one other place they really should go – and she was suddenly overly-conscious of being naked underneath her dress in his car.

What the heck?

Working against the seat belt, she leaned forward and slipped the panties over her shoes. She began sliding them up her legs, but she bumped against the door when the car suddenly swerved.

Brody’s gaze snapped to the front windshield, but then back to her again. ‘What are you doing?’

‘Putting them on.’

‘Here? Now?’

‘You’d rather I wait?’

Again, his finger began tapping, but he didn’t say anything. She didn’t hear a yes. She took her time sliding the black panties over her knees, but things got interesting as she began to work them up her thighs.


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Courting Gossip Available for Pre-order

Courting Gossip_s192x300High class escort, Genieve, gets caught in the act with a politician and gossip goes wild. Flame-haired and curvy, Genieve is used to attracting attention, but her employer, Luxxor Limited, can’t stand the heat. They task her with lying low until the scandal blows over, in the protection of the one man she’s never been able to charm: Brody Haynes.

Power player Brody fixes politicians’ problems, but keeping Genieve out of sight is a challenge. The sexy redhead is smart and her sense of humor disarms him. Brody tries to concentrate on cleaning up the mess around Senator Gunderson, but his new housemate is a big distraction. And a bored Genieve is also a handful.

Stuck alone together, the stern fixer and the vivacious escort discover that opposites do attract and the best way to stay out of the spotlight is to stay under the covers. But when the whispers about Luxxor only intensify, maybe it’s time for them to give people something else to talk about.

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Courting Suspicion – Weekend Warrior Writers Blog Hop #8Sunday

Welcome to those of you on the Weekend Writer Warriors Blog Hop.  Here’s a short excerpt from my new book, Courting Suspicion.

 

Nina felt refreshed. She’d slept dreamlessly, the whole night through. The dull ache behind her eyes was gone. She stretched and felt a soreness that actually felt good. 

Her cheeks warmed. She might be a madam, but she didn’t have hot sex every night.

Warily, she turned her head on the pillow. She was still tucked up against Josh, only they’d shifted positions over the course of the night so his big, muscled body spooned hers. He was like a heating blanket all along her back.

A heating blanket with a very alert morning erection tucking up against her bottom . . .

CourtingSuspicion_300x458

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To read excerpts from other great authors, vist the blog hop at http://www.wewriwa.com/.

Courting Suspicion Release Day! #newbooks

Review – “Courting Suspicion is the book I’ve been waiting for in this series. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in 2016, and I loved both Nina and Josh.” ~ Lime Cello at Heroes and Heartbreakers.com

Courting Suspicion

CourtingSuspicion_300x458It’s difficult to run when you want to get caught. Book Four of the Courting Series.

Washington DC’s elite escort service, Luxxor is known for its beautiful companions and its discretion. Nina Lockwood — classy, gorgeous, and whip-smart — has spent years building this risky business, but everything is put in jeopardy when a bull-headed, sexy detective starts poking around.

Josh Morgan is the last man on earth she should be attracted to, but Nina can’t help it. A romance with a member of the Metro Police would be reckless, but she fantasizes about taking on her role of a D.C. madam in a more personal and pleasurable way.

Josh has always been suspicious of Luxxor but is more intrigued by the mystery of the woman who runs it. He knows she’s hiding secrets and he wants to discover each and every one of them — in uniform or not.

But when a Luxxor escort is found in a compromising situation with a prominent politician, the true cat-n-mouse game begins. Can Josh and Nina lower their guards to trust one another and give in to the attraction they both feel? Or will their suspicious minds keep them from seeing the true conspiracy going on behind the scenes?

Courting Suspicion excerpt

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Courting Innocence Amazon Giveaway Contest #contemporaryromance

CourtingInnocence_webI’m running an Amazon Giveaway.  12 copies of Courting Innocence will be given away to random winners.  Enter now for your chance to win.

Courting Innocence

Even Nice Girls Have Needs.
Erin starts using matchmaker Luxxor Limited, not realizing that
the company is truly an escort service. But she gets more than
she bargained for when Luxxor sets her up with her big brother’s
best friend.

Excerpt from Courting Suspicion

CourtingSuspicion_300x458Josh and Nina’s story is coming next week!

His dealings with Nina were personal now.

He was bold enough to park in her guest spot in the garage beneath her building. He’d thought about stopping by Luxxor, but his gut told him she’d be here. He planned to be here for a while, too, but doubt passed through his head when he pushed the buzzer for the penthouse.

She was still a puzzle to him, one he hadn’t fully solved.

He waited for an answer. One thousand one, one thousand two

He braced his hand on the wall by the stupid thing and glared at it. Patience was one of those virtues that came and left him. He was just about to squash the call button again when he heard her voice.

‘Hello?’

‘It’s Josh. Let me up.’

He stared at the speaker, waiting for a slicing denial… A laugh… Anything… He shifted and stared at the ground. Come on, Nina. One thousand one, one thousand

His head snapped up when the buzzer sounded.

He grabbed the door before she could change her mind and let himself in. He nodded at the doorman, but his heart was pounding as he pushed the call button for the elevator. It was another merry one with sing-song dings, but the thing was so slow, it nearly made him lose his mind. At last, it opened on the top floor.

His heart rate spiked, and the tension in his neck and shoulders grabbed. He stepped out into the empty lobby and turned towards Nina’s apartment.

She was waiting. She held the door halfway open, using it as a shield. She watched him warily from behind it. She was still wearing that classy white dress and those killer shoes, but she looked softer. More approachable. His gaze locked with hers, and her big brown eyes nearly slayed him.

He stopped and waited.

Her fingers around the edge of the door. Those pink fingernails looked innocent and dangerous all at once. Without a word, she stepped back and pulled the door open wider.

Hallelujah.

He strode down the hallway, hooked an arm around her waist, and was kissing her by the time the door banged shut behind him.

———————–

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Courting Suspicion Excerpt

 

Coming March 29!

CourtingSuspicion_300x458‘So what big scandal is going to pull me out to Luxxor next?’ he asked. The crack of the bat against a ball reverberated around the park as the Phillies’ catcher smoked a line drive down the third base line. The action stopped just as suddenly when the ball smacked into the third baseman’s glove.

‘Nothing.’ Nina could feel the detective’s gaze on her rather than the action on the field.

She diligently wrote the out in her scorecard. On paper, all the fuss seemed like nothing. A simple out, the end of the inning – no sign of a close call.

‘There’s always something going on over there,’ Morgan said, not letting the subject drop. ‘Why is that?’

She felt that sizzle of danger again, riding along her nerve endings.

‘I couldn’t say, but we’ve appreciated your diligence. There’s no reason you should have to visit us again.’

‘So give me one.’

Her pen stopped, frozen on the paper.

‘Go to dinner with me tomorrow,’ he said softly. ‘My treat this time.’

Her brain stalled out, too.

The invitation was unexpected. It shouldn’t have been tempting . . . but it was. The plan tonight was to thank him for his efforts and then walk away. He was too close already. He’d seen more than he should.

But the words just wouldn’t come.

She could feel his gaze on her like a heavy weight. She knew she couldn’t see him again, inside her office or out of it. Yet, with every inning that passed, she was dreading the end of the night more and more.

Silence loomed between them. He wasn’t letting her off the hook. She felt like everyone in the park was looking at them and began to imagine murmurs. People in the stands close to them even turned to watch.

Suddenly, Nina realized she wasn’t imagining it. Looking up, she caught their reflection on the scoreboard. She and Josh were posted in stunning clarity on the big screen.

Her stomach dropped. Oh, dear Lord, no.

The Kiss Cam.

———————–

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Courting Suspicion Up for Pre-order

Nina and Josh’s story is almost here! Coming March 29

 

CourtingSuspicion_300x458It’s difficult to run when you want to get caught. Book Four of the Courting Series.

Washington DC’s elite escort service, Luxxor is known for its beautiful companions and its discretion. Nina Lockwood — classy, gorgeous, and whip-smart — has spent years building this risky business, but everything is put in jeopardy when a bull-headed, sexy detective starts poking around.

Josh Morgan is the last man on earth she should be attracted to, but Nina can’t help it. A romance with a member of the Metro Police would be reckless, but she fantasizes about taking on her role of a D.C. madam in a more personal and pleasurable way.

Josh has always been suspicious of Luxxor but is more intrigued by the mystery of the woman who runs it. He knows she’s hiding secrets and he wants to discover each and every one of them — in uniform or not.

But when a Luxxor escort is found in a compromising situation with a prominent politician, the true cat-n-mouse game begins. Can Josh and Nina lower their guards to trust one another and give in to the attraction they both feel? Or will their suspicion minds keep them from seeing the true conspiracy going on behind the scenes?

Pre-order ebook :  Kindle Kindle UKNook Google PlayiBookKobo