I'm sure it's becoming apparent that I've stacked this contest with my friends, but I can't help it-- they're so fabulous I have to tell you all about them! Today's guest blogger is Emily McKay, a dear friend of mine from my local RWA chapter. She's one of the absolute coolest ladies I know and a terrific writer-- and I'm not just saying that because we're in the middle of writing a YA together called The International Kissing Club (although she is a fantastic writing partner). Today, Emily is giving away a copy of her January release, Tempted into the Tycoon's Debt.
Excerpt: His Accidental Fiancee
Stepping up as the fake fiancé: Connor Stone could not forget his one night with Brittney Hannon. And when they were unexpectedly reunited, he had to have the senator’s daughter once again.Yet Brittney had to avoid all scandal...forcing Connor to play the role of pretend groom.
Connor Stone looked up from his drink and saw the next woman he was going to take to bed.
He knew it the instant he saw her standing by the bar in Riffs, the jazz bar where he was sipping away his Thursday night. The fact that she was there with a date didn’t particularly worry him.
He had met his buddy Tim for drinks. Connor had been watching the gorgeous blonde since she’d first arrived ten minutes earlier. Based on the way the guy was acting, they were probably on a bad blind date. He kept glancing at his watch and tugging at his tie.
Though why a guy would try to ditch a woman like her, Connor couldn’t guess. Her face had an extravagant beauty that made her impossible to ignore. Her movements had a grace and sensuality to them, as if she moved in rhythm to the quartet playing standards in the corner. Through the constantly moving crowd, he could see her well enough to tell her body was made for sin. Unfortunately, all those lush curves were encased in a demure navy dress. Why would a woman with a body like that shield herself in a layer of protective armor meant to hide her most appealing attributes?
Connor was debating whether or not to wait for her date to leave before approaching her when Tim nudged him. “If you’re thinking about hitting on her, I should warn you, you’re going to strike out.”
Something about Tim’s tone irritated him. Tim was a work friend, and frankly, Connor had always thought Tim skated by on family connections rather than hard work.
“Don’t tell me you know her.”
Tim smiled smugly, then leaned closer to be heard over the music. “Brittney Hannon. Daughter of Senator Jonathon P. Hannon. Just last week, New York Personality magazine did a big interview with her. Called her ‘The Last Good Girl in America.’”
Connor eyed his target. She did have a certain puritanical quality to her. She wore her blond hair long and straight. If Marsha Brady had come to the bar directly from Sunday school, this is what she’d look like.
He’d always had a thing for Marsha Brady.
“You think good girls can’t be tempted?”
As he asked the question, Brittney looked up from her nervous date and met Connor’s gaze. The awareness between them arced across the room. He felt it like a strong kick to the gut.
“I’ll bet you a thousand dollars you can’t get her into bed by the end of the summer,” Tim said.
Brittney looked down at her drink, clearly disconcerted. Connor smiled. “I’ll have her in my bed by the end of the week.”
Tim just laughed. “You’re going to have to work fast then. From what I’ve heard, she’s a polo fan.”
“Boy, you really don’t follow society news, do you?” Tim looked at him like he was a moron.
“I follow the financial news.”
“Well, she’ll be in Bridgehampton all summer for the polo season. While you’re in town, working.” Tim gave him a punch in the arm. “You should get your head out from under that rock and play a little.”
Easy for Tim to say. His family was old money. All Tim had to do was sit back and make sure he didn’t screw up too badly.
Connor, on the other hand, came from a blue-collar family in Pennsylvania. If he didn’t work his ass off, his clients lost millions. And if that happened, his career as a hedge-fund investor would be over. “I gotta work hard so I can play hard,” he explained.
But the truth was, he had been working too hard lately. It was time to cut loose. And Brittney Hannon was just the woman to do it with. As if on cue, her nervous date tossed down a few bills, gestured toward the door and made a run for it.
The guy was clearly an idiot—at least he hadn’t stiffed Brittney with the bill. But his loss was Connor’s gain.
This is going to be too easy.
Ugh! After that excerpt, I so don't want to wait until August to read this book. Marsha Brady, indeed. Since this excerpt is based on instant attraction, I thought I'd ask how you felt about that in real life? Do you believe in love (or lust) at first sight? I used to say no, but when I met my husband, I fell super hard. He asked me to marry him one week after we met, and though I turned him down, when he asked me five days later I threw practicality to the wind and gave him a resounding yes. We've been married fourteen years now, so I guess there's something to the old lightning bolt ...