I’m participating in the Color of Love Blog Hop which is a celebration of multicultural and interracial love. If you enjoy romance novels featuring people of color, then you’re participating in the right hop. If you follow the hop, not only will you hopefully find some new books to enjoy, but you’ll also get a chance to win some great prizes. Below the excerpt from my latest book, Love Me As I Am, is the list of grand prizes and the Rafflecopter link to enter. Happy hopping!
Every decision Renee Caldwell makes is for the good of her family’s business, including the type of men she dates. Her current goal is to grow her image as a business leader by developing a prized piece of land in the Upstate of South Carolina. Her only obstacle is Jonathan Wright, a man who makes her want to forget all her long held dating requirements and experience the passion she’s been afraid to dream about. If only he wasn’t accusing her of stealing his inheritance.
Jonathan Wright is no stranger to being written out of his grandfather’s family tree. But when the house and land his grandmother promised him is sold to Renee Caldwell, he’s ready to fight for what’s his. What he isn’t ready for is the feelings Renee stirs within him whenever they call a cease fire. As her icy shell melts away, he finds it hard to resist the caring woman behind the calculating veneer. Except the business driven beauty is the last woman he should trust with his heart.
Their attraction is hard to deny, but neither is ready to make concessions on the land or for love. When their hearts are on the line the real choice becomes going for what they want or being open to accept the love they need.
His hand brushed her arm as she rose to stand. A jolt of electricity shot across her skin. Something she hadn’t felt in years. His hand was warm, rough. A working man’s hands. The men she dealt with had smooth, manicured hands. She liked the roughness of Biker Guy’s.
Her gaze rose to his. He watched her with desire, yes, but he didn’t gawk or make her think he was imagining her naked. He steadfastly maintained eye contact. The focused attention made her struggle for words, where leering would have had her jumping from the couch and marching to her room.
He dropped his hand, but the spark remained in his eye. “Can I buy you a drink?”
“I don’t drink.”
“How about I buy you a meal?”
She narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms. He didn’t follow the movement and lower his gaze to her cleavage. Impressive, but not surprising. Her breasts weren’t much to drool over. Not for the first time, she wished her breasts were bigger. A man his size must love big breasts. She gave herself a mental shake. This guy’s breast preference didn’t matter.
“Look, sir, I realize you overheard a rather awkward conversation, but I’m not looking for company. I’m not going to fall in bed with you.”
He crossed his arms and mirrored her. “Good thing I’m not trying to sleep with you.”
“Oh, really? Then what are you trying to do?”
“I saw a beautiful woman checking me out. Don’t bother denying it,” he said before she could open her mouth to argue. “And I thought I’d take a chance and see if she’d have dinner with me.”
She’d been called beautiful most of her life. She spent enough money on clothes, makeup and personal training to keep looking good. She knew men found her attractive, but after working so hard to live up to being the beautiful, perfect daughter of Philip and Victoria Caldwell, the compliment had lost its luster. Yet, something about the way the word rolled off his tongue in that damned sexy drawl made her want to flip the bangs of her short cropped hair and giggle like a school girl.
“I was not checking you out. Your bike was loud. It caught my attention.”
His smile said he thought she was lying, and he rubbed his hand across his chin. “Is that a no?”
It really should be. “I don’t know you.”
“We can get to know each other over dinner.”
“You could be a serial killer.”
“I promise I’m not.”
“What serial killer would admit it?”
His head tilted forward as if to acknowledge her point. “Follow me.” He stood and strolled away. Renee blinked to make sure she wasn’t hallucinating. He stopped at the sign in desk and motioned her over. With a raised brow, Renee followed him across the room.
“This woman is going to dinner with me. Please take a good look at her, and me, and if she turns up missing you can identify the person she was with.”
The hotel clerk looked between the two with a raised eyebrow. Renee shook her head and smiled. Okay, he was slightly amusing.
“My shoes are broken.” She held up the shoes in her hand.
He chuckled then pointed to her feet. “Forget the shoes. You’ve already changed into something else.”
“I haven’t even been to my room yet. I’ll go upstairs to change and put away my shoes.” She turned to leave, but he stopped her with another light touch on her arm. Attraction sizzled across her skin. She sucked in a breath and tried to hide her reaction by smoothing the back of her pixie cut.
He didn’t appear phased by the touch. “If you go upstairs, you’ll talk yourself out of it.”
“You don’t know that.” Though that was exactly what she would have done. Two minutes away from him and she would second guess her decision, remember that she was crazy to go out with a strange man, and spend the night forcing all thoughts of him from her head.
“I won’t take you far. A place right around the corner. The wings are hot, the jazz seductive, and I promise I’ll dance with you all night. Come on, have dinner with me.”
His sexy eyes, killer smile, and seductive drawl combined to bring to mind heat-filled stares and whispered promises in the middle of mind-blowing sex.
Would she have to pretend if she slept with him? Something about this man made her think he would pull a very real response out of her. For a man this sexy to be no good in bed would be a terrible disappointment.
She wanted to know. Badly. Wanted to ignore the voice in her head that said bad boys were off limits, forget Daniel’s ice tray insult and melt in Biker Guy’s arms. She glanced down at her purse. The Woman of the Year nomination letter was in there. The perfection required to achieve that goal didn’t involve fantasies with unsuitable men.
Renee took a step back from temptation. “Thank you for the offer, seriously, but I’ve got a long day ahead of me. I’m going to call it a night.”
“Are you sure?”
She was sure, but she was also surprisingly displeased with her decision. Turning away a man had never seemed like a missed opportunity before. “I am.”
Disappointment clouded his gaze but his smile didn’t waver. “I can’t say I’m not sad to hear you say no, but maybe I’ll run into you another day.”
“I’ll give you a rain check. Just in case we meet again.”
“Be careful with a promise like that,” he said. “You may actually need to keep it one day.”
For the first time that she could remember, Renee actually hoped for the opportunity to fulfill a promise to a stranger.
Blog Hop Prize Information!
- 1st prize $75 GC + 7 ebooks
- 2nd prize $50 GC + 7 ebooks
- 3rd prize $30 GC + 7 ebooks
- 4th prize $15 GC + 7 ebooks
- 5th prize $10 GC + 7 ebooks
- 6th prize $5 GC + 7 ebooks
My own giveaway: I’m giving away a $5 Amazon gift card. To enter, simply comment below and tell me why you’re participating in this blog hop. The winner will be announced on my social media pages after the hop.
To continue hopping along go to the table below and visit the next participating blog!