Happy Saturday!! Millionaire Under the Mistletoe is currently on sale for only 99c across retailers. It’ll be discounted for a limited time only, so if you’re looking for a sexy and emotional holiday romance then one-click away!
“With the beauty of a white Christmas, some funny encounters, and a little holiday magic, MILLIONAIRE UNDER THE MISTLETOE is a charming romance that will warm you up this Winter. ” – Books of All Kinds
Stella Jackson would rather stab herself in the eye with her own stiletto than return to England. Especially in winter. But to fulfill her grandfather’s last wish, she has to spend Christmas at the estate she inherited from him…with the one man she wishes she could forget.
Self-made millionaire Evan Foss wants one thing from Stella—her estate. But thanks to their rocky past, he’s the last person she’ll sell to. So when she takes him up on a bet, with the estate as the prize, Evan can’t believe his luck. The only problem is that seeing her now, sexy and all grown up, tempts Evan to finish what started years ago between them.
An excerpt from Millionaire Under the Mistletoe…
“We’re having fun now, aren’t we?” She sipped her wine, trying to figure out how to handle the situation.
You’re on thin ice right now. What are you going to do if you get back to his apartment and he puts the brakes on again?
There was a big difference between now and four years ago—she had something he wanted: the estate. Which meant she had the upper hand.
“I am.” He carved off a piece of his steak and chewed. “But that wasn’t exactly the type of fun I was talking about.”
The way his lips moved as he ate was startlingly erotic. The man was talented with his lips, he’d given her a kiss hotter than the depths of hell—a kiss that’d been branded into her memory and continued to replay over and over in the back of her mind like a needle skipping at the end of a record.
“And what kind of fun were you talking about?”
“The primitive kind.”
The close ceilings and dim lights of the restaurant gave a false sense of intimacy, but she’d have to remind herself that they weren’t alone. Not yet. There was still time to back away, before she started sliding into bad decisions.
Would it be so bad? Sex is just sex, you can keep it separate.
“The carnal kind,” he said. “The kind that’ll leave you aching tomorrow morning.”
She was already aching from the low tone of his voice. The sound rubbed over her, creating sparks against her nerves and causing a tight bundle of heat at the apex of her thighs. At this rate, the fancy lace knickers she’d purchased today would be soaked through before they got done negotiating terms.
“What’s changed?” she asked, stalling.
“We’re adults now.” He leaned forward. “We’re free to make our own decisions.”
Her stomach fluttered, and she couldn’t seem to tame the pulsing deep within her. Hearing the invitation in Evan’s voice was doing nothing to help her gain control of the situation.
“And how do you know I’m attracted to you?”
“It’s obvious.” He laughed, the low, gravelly sound made goose bumps break out along her skin. “I knew it the second you kissed me back.”
Her face grew hot. Had she been that transparent? He had kissed her, not the other way around. “You’re overconfident.”
“You’re bluffing.” The words came out as a growl. There was something about it that roused her primal side, the side that wanted to take control. “Tell me, I want to hear you say it.”
“Tell you what?”
“How much you enjoyed it.”
“Do you want me to lie?” She tipped her chin up at him, desperate to put him off his game the way he’d done to her. But Evan was a master at upsetting her grip on solid ground—he had her slipping and sliding, her heart thudding in her chest. This game of cat and mouse pleased her far more than it should have.
You can’t keep up. He’s better at this than you are, he has more experience.
But she wanted to play. She wanted to best him…and then she wanted to be taken to bed.
I’m SO excited to share a sneak peek at my upcoming romantic comedy release, Trouble Next Door. It features a larger-than-life makeup artist heroine, a introverted yet sexy IT nerd hero and a box of wayward sex toys.
Trouble Next Door is out on November 13th!
McKenna Prescott stared at the invoice on her phone, her eyes narrowed at the Real Skin Whoppers eight-inch vibrator, and had two questions. One, was there such a thing as too much veining on a vibrator? And two, why would they name it after a hamburger?
Hungry Jack’s associations aside, it didn’t look half bad. It certainly had a little extra length on her previous model…but she couldn’t really blame her ex for that. He could only make do with what God had given him.
You’re just angry because you didn’t pull the pin first. But you’ve learned your lesson—no more guys for the foreseeable future. It’s time to focus on you.
McKenna was engaging in what she’d decided to call Operation Self-Love. There was no point crying over douchebags. Two nights ago that had been hammered home for good. Her eye makeup had been on point—a smoky dark sapphire blue with glitter and the most kick-butt set of false lashes ever—but by the time she’d come home she looked like Britney Spears circa 2007. Total hot-mess meltdown.
And to think she’d worn blue because she knew Gage loved it and then he’d gone and tossed it back in her face by saying he wanted a classy, elegant woman on his arm. Like she was trash because she liked shiny things.
Ugh, Gage. He wasn’t the man of her dreams, by any means. But he’d impressed her parents and given her a brief taste of their approval. His rejection last night hadn’t hurt her heart the way it should have, but it had shown her that she’d been setting the bar so low that she barely had to lift her foot to step over it. And then, once again, she’d failed. Failed to hang on to a man like Gage, failed to be impressive enough that he would want her by his side for the next step in his career.
But what about the next step in her career?
Screw Gage. Screw all men, actually. And screw her family, too.
McKenna was sick of being the sore point in people’s lives. She was sick of choosing men who treated her like a disposable makeup wipe. It was time she started living for herself. This was the last time she was ever going to waste mascara on a man.
McKenna cringed as she glanced at the empty bottle of Red Hill Pinot Noir she’d consumed last night sitting on her desk. It was a fancy wine. A gift from her parents after they had visited a friend’s vineyard. Probably not intended for wallowing in post-breakup pity while drunkenly shopping for sex toys. But it certainly explained the eye-bulging total amount of her order. Three hundred bucks wasn’t too much, was it? Who the hell cared? At this point, her browser knew more about her life than any man who’d drifted in or out in the last few years. So, she was going exclusive. She could be in a committed relationship with her laptop…and Mr. Whopper, as she’d decided to call him.
Unfortunately, the drain on her credit card wasn’t her biggest worry. It was the email saying her package had been delivered even though she hadn’t received a notification from the building’s concierge. Those guys were like clockwork when something arrived.
McKenna grabbed her keys and decided to go investigate. If she was going to spend Friday night alone, wallowing in her newly single status—again—then she may as well have a battery-operated friend.
She headed downstairs and caught the attention of the person manning the concierge desk. A small trolley behind him was piled high with packages, which meant the mail had definitely been delivered today.
“Ms. Prescott.” The gentleman beamed. “How can I help you?”
This was the one time she hated the fact that the guy somehow managed to remember everyone’s name and what floor they lived on. A little anonymity would not have gone astray on this occasion.
“I’m trying to find a missing parcel. According to the tracking information, it arrived today.” McKenna frowned. “It’s, uh, quite a…valuable parcel.”
God, of all the bloody packages to go missing…
She scanned the email with the tracking information, then told him, “It says it was delivered at three forty-two p.m.”
“I’m sorry,” the older man said, scratching his head. “I haven’t had anything arrive for you and I’ve logged all the packages that came in today. Nothing had your apartment number on it.”
The universe must have her name on a hit list somewhere. Who up there had she pissed off so royally? Not only could she not keep a guy around for more than five minutes, but she was also destined not to have an artificial replacement, either.
She braced her hands on the concierge’s desk and leaned forward, giving him her most charming smile. “Please, Matthew. If you could do some digging, I’d really appreciate it.”
“Let me look up the freight company.” He tapped at the computer screen. “We had three parcels come in from them today. Delivered at three forty-two p.m.”
“That’s the right time.”
“They were logged under apartment 601, 312, and 110.” He cocked his head. “You’re on level one, right? What apartment number, again?”
“101,” McKenna said, a sinking feeling settling into the pit of her stomach.
“What name was on the parcel? Yours?”
She cringed. “Noelle Smith.”
It was her alias for any time she didn’t want to give her real name out—like if a creepy dude wanted her number…or if she happened to be ordering several hundred dollars’ worth of sex toys online. If the box gave anything away, she could claim ignorance and blame it on her “friend,” Noelle.
“It’s a gift for a girlfriend,” she added, meekly.
“Looks like it was logged under apartment 110. The shipping company must have gotten the address wrong.”
McKenna checked her email with the shipping confirmation. Shit. Looks like she was the one who got the address wrong—clearly, drunk typing was not her forte. Great, now she’d have to convince him that it was her parcel…and that meant showing him the invoice with all her dirty little secrets in black-and-white print.
“Uh, actually, looks like that was my fault.” She put on her best sheepish expression. “I typed the number in wrong. Fat fingers, I guess.”
Matthew nodded. “It happens.”
“If I show you the invoice will you still let me have it? I know it doesn’t have my name on it, but I have proof of purchase.” McKenna sucked in a breath when he frowned. “I really need my parcel.”
“I’m afraid that’s out of my control, Ms. Prescott. 110 already picked it up.”
Double shit. Can this day get any more embarrassing?
“Looks like I’ll have to go knock on their door then.” And hope to God that they hadn’t opened her parcel. “Who’s in 110, again?”
She tried to think. Who was on her floor? There was the sweet older couple with the adorable terrier who always wore a tartan coat. They weren’t at 110, she was sure of it. Then, there was a father and daughter a few doors down, a guy who only seemed to be around a week or so everything month. And…
She knew exactly who was in 110. The only guy in the building who’d ever made her look twice—Mr. tall, blond, and handsome who had an equally tall, blond, and gorgeous girlfriend. Or was she his wife? She’d only bumped into him a few times and he’d always had this broody, far-away look about him like his brain was operating on some other level. On the few occasions she’d said hello, he had done little more than grunt a barely passable return greeting.
Not him. Please, anyone but him.
“Beckett Walsh,” the concierge said.
Of course it was him. The universe was not going to cut her a break today. As if it wasn’t bad enough that her ex had dropped by her work today to “check that she was coping” after their breakup two nights ago—seriously, who did that?—and she’d had to play nice because her area manager was visiting, when all she’d wanted to do was grab Gage’s face and mush it into the lipstick rack.
“Thanks for your help,” McKenna said.
She headed toward the elevators, her shoulders slumping. Maybe she should cut her losses and move to the outback where she could live as a hermit. It wouldn’t be all bad. She could adopt a dingo and be some kind of local urban legend. The girl who turned her back on a box of vibrators.
Ugh. Three hundred bucks wasn’t that much…was it? On a retail wage, it was. A few freelance jobs would help her make it up, but work was hard to come by at this time of year. Late July was miserable in Melbourne, oscillating between windy and cold, and rainy and colder. Not exactly peak bridal season. And the school formal calendar wouldn’t kick in for months. Not to mention they were in the public holiday dead zone.
Yeah, and your hopes of giving up shitty retail work to be a real makeup artist will be all for nothing if you keep it up.
This was what she got for “wasting money on frivolous things,” as her mother had once said to her. Maybe she wasn’t entitled to sexual pleasure.
McKenna stepped into the elevator and jabbed at the button for the first floor, tapping her chunky black boot. Screw it, she’d go to apartment 110 and claim back her box of debauchery. Then she could start hunting for a new place to live.
The elevator pinged and she strode down the hallway, deciding not to go home first for fear of chickening out. When she got to apartment 110, she stood in front of Beckett Walsh’s door. The gold numbers glinted at her, as if reveling in her forthcoming mortification.
Hovering, McKenna pulled her compact out of her bag to check her makeup. If she was going to throw her dignity to the wolves, she may as well look good while doing it. The plum and black eye makeup she’d worn to work had the right amount of don’t-fuck-with-me vibes. Plus, she’d swapped out her matte nude lipstick for a more exciting wet-shine gloss at the counter today, which made her look even more fierce. She might get out of this unscathed.
This really is the book that keeps on giving. I am absolutely floored to announce that I’m a Ruby finalist this year!!!!! *kermit flail*
For those not in the know, the Ruby is the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romance Book of the Year competition. It’s like the Logies but for books (shout out to my Aussie friends who’ll know what the Logies are haha).
My book has finalled in the Short – Sexy category along with some authors whom I truly admire. You can see the full list of finalists here.
Winners will be announces at the Romance Writers of Australia conference in August. Sadly, I’ve already made my trip to Australia for the year and so I won’t be able to make it back for the conference, but I’m holding out hope that one of my buddies will be willing to Skype me in ;)
I honest had a ball writing this book. Paul ad Libby are characters that really spoke to me and, of course, I love the whole Behind the Bar world. I love it so much, in fact, that I’ve planned two more books in the series which have been purchased by Entangled!! So for those who are caught up, Noah WILL be getting his HEA and there will be a hunky new hero at appearing in the Behind the Bar world very soon.
If you’re keen to dive in ahead of the new books, you can meet the Chapman brothers in this order:
The lead up to release day is always an exciting time. There’s lots to do, reviews are starting to roll in and I get all the exciting rewards like the the cover, blurb and a finished version of the book.
Pretend It’s Love is book #2 in the Behind the Bar series. If you read The Rules According to Gracie , which came out earlier this year, you’ll recognise a few characters in this book. Gracie and Des make an appearance and you’ll get the see them in the lead up to their wedding day!! (I LOVE bringing back old characters) and you’ll also get to meet more of Des and Paul’s family.
Here’s the blurb:
Bar manager Paul Chapman is sick of his family’s traditional ideals. Marriage, babies, and a white picket fence? Not his gig. But now that his ‘golden child’ big brother is tying the knot, Paul’s screwed. His ex will be there…and she’s having his cousin’s baby. Unless he wants to show up to the wedding alone and face his family’s scrutiny, he needs a girl on his arm. Now.
Cocktail specialist Libby Harris has spent her life earning the nickname Little Miss Perfect, all to win the love of her wealthy, controlling father. But she deviated from his plan, and now her business is on shaky ground. If it fails, she might as well kiss his respect—and her dream—good-bye. Her only hope? Convince the hottest bar in town to take on her product.
Luckily for her, the owner’s brother is sexy as sin and in need of a perfect girlfriend…
Keep on reading for a sneak peek at chapter one, or if you just want to go straight ahead and pre-order a copy that’s awesome as well ;)
There were plenty of other things Paul Chapman would rather be doing than watching two people make googoo eyes at each other. He could stab himself in the eye with a steak knife. Or listen to his mother talk ad nauseam about the intricacies of the floral arrangements.
Either would be preferable.
“Man, you’ve got to lighten up.” Noah Reid, his best friend and soon to be fellow groomsman, elbowed him in
the ribs. “You look like you’re about to go all Friday the Thirteenth.”
“I hate pretentious parties.” He shoved a bite-size piece of toast with smoked salmon into his mouth. “And I hate this stupid, tiny food.”
“What did you expect?”
Noah had a point. Paul should have known what he was in for the second his brother announced the engagement party would be held in his fiancée’s family home in Toorak, aka the “old money” part of Melbourne. The Greenes were rolling in it. It was fitting that they’d be drinking the fanciest champagne on the market and eating food that looked fit for a dollhouse.
“Is it so bad that I want a burger and a beer?”
Noah laughed. “If you’re still hungry we’ll do a Macca’s run on the way home.”
Paul watched the happy couple. His big brother looked more satisfied than he’d ever seen him, and Gracie, his pintsize wife-to-be, wore a smile that managed to out-sparkle her impressive engagement ring.
“Reckon that will be us one day?” Noah asked, studying Des and Gracie as though they were an alien species.
“No way. Marriage is for chumps.” Paul screwed up his nose. “I’m only here because of Des.”
Stomach grumbling, his eyes roamed, already on the hunt for something else to eat. The current options were miniscule sushi rolls and pieces of raw fish. What was the point of eating something if you weren’t going to bother cooking it first?
He brought a champagne flute to his lips and knocked back the remainder of his drink. It wasn’t his poison of< choice but it was alcoholic. Better than nothing.
A gloomy funk had descended over Paul ever since the engagement had been announced. He was happy for
his brother, of course. Gracie was good for him and they’d worked hard to get past the early hurdles in their relationship. But it was just another opportunity for Des to prove to their family that he was the favorite. The golden child. The chosen one.
The son who would live up to all their expectations.
Des ran the restaurant and bar, First, where Paul worked. His big brother’s success in business would be
further complemented by a wedding. Then it wouldn’t be long before the bambini arrived, and Paul would never have a hope of catching him.
A waiter walked past carrying a tray of freshly filled champagne flutes. Paul switched his empty glass for a full one and downed half of it in a single gulp.
“Whoa there. You’re drinking like an eighteen-year-old girl at O week.” Noah shook his head, laughing. “I don’t want to be holding your hair back later tonight when that all comes back up.”
Paul opened his mouth to retort, but Des and Gracie were coming their way. He put on his best “happy brother” face and held his champagne flute up in salute. Gracie launched herself at the two guys, collecting them both in a hug that was impressive for a girl her size.
“How are my future brothers-in-law?” she asked.
Noah might not have been a flesh and blood brother, but the Chapman boys—and now Gracie—treated him as if he were part of the family.
“Enjoying the festivities. Paul here has taken a liking to the champagne.” Noah smiled innocently as Des rolled his eyes.
“Me, too.” Gracie leaned forward and winked at him, her cheeks flushed.
“Too many drinks, not enough dinner,” Des said with a frown. “We should get something into your stomach.”
“Don’t be a bore. I haven’t drunk like this since university—it’s a special night!”
“Can I get that in writing so when you’re glued to the bed all day tomorrow I can remind you the hangover is worth it?” She poked her tongue out at him before turning to Paul. “Was he always this straight-laced growing up?”
“Uh, yes,” Paul replied. “Hard to believe it, but he was worse.”
“Yikes.” Gracie giggled, covering her mouth with one hand.
When she wandered off to dance with her sister, Des shook his head. “The wedding planning has been a little…tense.”
Noah frowned. “Because of Mrs. Greene?”
No one ever referred to Gracie’s mother as anything but Mrs. Greene, although Paul had been led to suspect her name might be Cecilia. Despite sharing her daughter’s petite stature and flair for style, she lacked any of the warmth and charisma that Gracie exuded, and had a reputation as being a bit of a dragon.
“Yeah.” Des raked a hand through his dark hair. “She’s driving Gracie bananas, but I can’t get involved. She gets worked up if I mention it. Good thing it’ll be over in a few weeks.”