Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Teaser from Dangerous Surrender

First another peek at my favorite cover--

Ahh, first books--nothing will ever be quite the same. Speaking of firsts, here's a excerpt of the Zach and Ciara's first meeting for your reading pleasure--

An hour later, Zach tucked a bottle of his sister’s favorite zinfandel under his arm, strode up the walk, and then rang the doorbell.
The door opened, revealing a long legged goddess with red hair. His heart accelerated into action range. Then he noticed that she wasn’t his ex-girlfriend, Joanne. His pulse eased back to lazy appreciation.
The evening took on new possibilities as he drank in the scenery. He’d always had a weakness for redheads. Her eyes were big, but they were brown instead of green and she had way fewer freckles. Like none. A fast glance south, revealed perky breasts. Not that he considered size the only mark of a good breast, not at all. No ma’am. Further south, a narrow waist, and a sweet curve of hip lured him on to amazing legs.
“Hi. You must be Zach.” A cool water voice issued from a plump mouth, touching zones he’d thought permanently frozen. He tore his gaze away from that x-rated mouth only to fall into the caramel eyes shimmering with sexy secrets.
“I’m Ciara, a friend of Regan’s.” She sounded tentative, as if she wasn’t certain he’d believe her.
He liked her name—soft, feminine, like the rest of her.
“May I take that for you?” She smiled a heart-flipping arc of perfect lips that zinged straight through his body armor. Then he noticed that she was holding out her hand, presumably for the wine.
It dawned on him that he wasn’t holding up his end of the conversation. His sister’s entrance into the room covered his lapse.
“Hi, you made it,” Regan said as she moved toward him. Then she turned to smile at Ciara. “I see you’ve already met my brother. Come on in, you two. Nick just came in the backdoor.”
Zach followed Ciara into the living room.
His sister kept the ball rolling. “Nick, you remember my brother Zack?”
“Of course I do. And Ciara, too, another beautiful woman, I’m developing hetero-envy.” Nick smiled, casting a sad glance in Regan’s direction.
Regan gave Nick’s arm a pat. “Pretty, but it won’t get you out of kitchen duty.”
Ciara smiled at Nick. “Nice to see you again, I love the gray-blue of that shirt. It’s perfect with your eyes.” She kept the smile, when she glanced at Regan. “Can I help with anything?”
“No, I think Nick and I’ve got it covered.” Regan glanced at him over her shoulder as she towed Nick toward the kitchen. “Why don’t you fix Ciara a drink?”
“What would you like?” Zach crossed the living room to the chrome bar cart where Ciara had deposited his contribution to the party. Normally tucked behind the overstuffed sofa, the portable bar now gleamed proudly in front of the fireplace.
He itched to touch Ciara. She was so fresh, clean, and feminine in a sleeveless dress that reminded him of sunsets. She smelled as good as she looked, like summer, warmth, and woman.
Thank God, he had a face that didn’t reveal his thoughts. He could see she was already edgy. She was as easy to read as a rap sheet. His appearance had that effect on some women. The nice ones. As he stared at the pulse beating in the hollow of her throat, color raced up her slender neck to light her face. Maybe his thoughts weren’t as hidden as he’d assumed.
“A glass of that wine you brought, please.” Big brown eyes met his, and then locked. She issued a challenge on some primal level, which he couldn’t access or explain.
He felt as if he’d been sucker punched. He tried to tell himself that she’d hit him so hard because his love life was the pits. A rotten mood and a killer work schedule had combined for the longest celibate period of his adult life. Even before that, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d looked forward to a woman’s company.
Considering his sister’s matchmaking record, he’d expected nothing tonight beyond good food, a few awkward moments, and getting away without any hard feelings.
Now he had new problems, but none of them involved getting away from Ciara.
“So you’re a police officer too?” she asked.
“Yeah.” That’s the ticket-- dazzle her with your wit.
“Regan said you work undercover. Narcotics-- right?”
“Usually but I’m on loan right now ....” He shut up just in time. Damn, he’d almost forgotten he was talking to a civilian.
“It must be exciting work.”
He noticed that she was watching him with caution, which was at odds with her friendly warmth toward Regan and Nick.
“Nah, its ninety eight percent boredom and two percent adrenaline rush.” Zach tore his gaze away from that sinful mouth.
“So what do you do when you’re not bored or rushing?” Ciara asked.
“Blend in, keep in shape for the next rush.” Damn, he’d missed a chance to say something good, like—wait for a beautiful woman to show up. No, he could do better. Hang out at my sister’s hoping like hell one of her girl friends would turn out to be you. No, coming on too strong. Just as well he’d kept quiet. Getting involved with one of his sister’s friends was a bad idea on lots of levels.
Still, he could see she was studying him and he would’ve given a fair price to know exactly what she was thinking.
Using the wine as an excuse, he brushed her arm with his knuckles. An electric spark arced between them, and she whirled toward him, eyes wide with alarm.
He offered her the glass. “Your wine.”
“Thank you,” she said softly, blushing. She was very careful not to touch him as she took her drink. He decided to view her reaction as a compliment.
He almost smiled. The blush did nice things for her pale skin. Just watching her was entertaining. Before he had a chance to take the game any further, his pocket buzzed and vibrated. Stifling a crude expression, he pulled out his cell and clicked receive.

Want more? Gee, I hope so! I'll be guest blogging at Sizzling Pens--http://www.sizzlingpens.blogspot.com/ on Thursday, which will include another excerpt.


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