I would like to send out a big word of thanks to the wonderful Lila Dubois for allowing me to shanghai her blog for the day so that I could issue an invitation. I have a new book, Bachelor’s Bait, releasing on Tuesday, November 7 and my dear friend, Lila, is helping me get the word out.
Starting today on my website (www.maricarr.com), I’ll be holding a weeklong “Cocktale” party to celebrate Bachelor’s Bait’s release. There will be drink recipes, excerpts, and a contest!
To kick off the party in style, I’m telling “cocktales” about some of the crazy times I’ve spent with my friends at various conferences. As for Lila, I suspect she wouldn’t be impressed with the drinks (no, I wouldn’t – Lila) I would choose to serve should I ever have a real life cocktail party. Lila and I seem to have very different tastes. One of my favorite stories is the night Lila and her lovely Farm Boy invited a bunch of author friends out for dinner in L.A. during the Romantic Times conference a couple of years ago.
Lila took us to this very cool, trendy microbrewery/restaurant. Well, if y’all know me, I’m a simple girl with simple needs and most of them begin and end with Miller Lite. This restaurant did not do domestic. When the waitress came around for our drink orders, I very nicely pointed to the drink menu and asked if she could tell me which micro brewed beer would taste the most like Miller Lite. I thought Lila was going to crawl under the table! (I haven’t been back to that restaurant since.) She still gives me hell for it and I still brush her off with a laugh. After all, the waitress was lovely about (Looked confused as hell, but was very nice) it and actually gave me an excellent drink selection.
The friends in the 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.