Sultry Nights. Sounds like an accurate description of these warm, humid August nights when tall cool drinks and a light breeze on moist skin feel heavenly. Sultry Nights – when the sun finally sinks in the sky, taking with it the heat and the lethargy it brought all day. Sultry Nights when our hearts and minds linger on the sensuous roughness of sand between our toes, the cooling effect of warm water on hot skin.
I think of all of those when I hear the title of the first collection I have participated in. Sultry Nights is the perfect title for a collection of 22 steamy romances by a diverse group of talented authors coming out later this month because that’s what you will discover when you begin reading – 22 sultry, love stories featuring strong sexy men and stunning, sassy women.
Speaking of sassy women, throughout July I shared the works and words from four of the wonderful authors I have come to know through the Sultry Nights collection. Today is about more of the girls, and about giveaways.
First meet Charlotte.
My contribution to Sultry Nights is Bedeviled, my full-length, third installment in The Beguiling Bachelor Series. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, each is about one of four millionaire friends, handsome, smart, successful and confident – confident that is, until each finds themselves chasing a fiery beauty who initially rebuffs their charms. In Bedeviled, our confident bachelor, Alex, gets his comeuppance from the brilliant Charlotte, a Harvard graduate, a marathon runner and a women with dark secrets.
Here’s a short excerpt from Bedeviled:
“I am not going to your place,” Charlotte countered without missing a beat. “I am going home. People navigate stairs on these stupid things,” she pointed at the heavy black boot on her leg, “and if they can do it, I certainly can.”
“I don’t doubt you could, Charlotte,” Alex responded. “I am confident you could do anything you set your mind to, but you have the bruised ribs and hand and you need a little help. I can provide that. I am happy to provide that.”
“I don’t know you well enough, Alex, and I absolutely cannot take advantage of you like that. Besides, you will be out of town all week, so I would still have to care for myself, just in a strange apartment.”
“It’s not strange, Charlotte, it’s flat, and comfortable. You would have everything you need there. Oh, and I cancelled my trip. I want to be here, for you.”
Charlotte blushed at the last few words, silenced for a moment. “Alex, you didn’t need to do that. I am embarrassed by all this attention. I can’t let you do this. I just can’t. I have only known you a few short months and it’s not like we have that kind of relationship.” She was blushing furiously, unable to make eye contact.
Lifting her chin and looking deep into her tawny eyes, Alex made sure she would hear and understand what he told her next. “I am your friend, Charlotte. I can do this and I want to do this for you. I am your closest friend in Chicago and I have the space, the ability,” Alex paused for effect and chose his words carefully, “and the desire to care for you.” He stressed the word ‘desire.’
She must understand what I am telling her. I couldn’t have been more obvious, even if she is in a medicated fog.
“You are being so generous and I am so appreciative…”
“Great, I will just go get the car.”
“…but I really can take care of myself, Alex. I still have to say no thank you.”
“It’s too much, Alex,” she explained. “You are so thoughtful and I appreciate it, really I do, but I simply cannot impose on you. Go to California. I will be fine.”
“It’s a secure building,” Alex reminded her, hitting her where he suspected she was most vulnerable. “You can trust me Charlotte. I will keep you safe.”
Charlotte’s head shot up and he knew he had struck a nerve. Sometime in her past she had been badly scared. It made so much sense now – her need to be strong and independent, her skittish behavior if a man got too close.
“Why did you say that?” She looked more frightened than he had ever seen her. “What would make you think you have to keep me safe?”
www.madisonmichael.net/books – for buy links
Meet Sloane – BEHOLDEN ****GIVEAWAY****
Want more beguiling Bachelors? During the month of August I will be giving away 100 ebooks of Beholden, book 2 in the Beguiling Bachelor Series. Here’s your chance to meet the manipulative beauty Sloane, toppled from her perch at the apex of society she gives our Bachelor, Randall, a merry chase. Randall, determine to woo Sloane by helping her regain her position underestimates her fury at being Beholden
Meet Sierra London
Navy veteran, Siera London writes stories about sizzling heroes, sassy heroines, and seat of your pants suspense. After a day in her writing cave, she can be found in a sunken tub of honey-scented bubbles, walking the water’s edge, or veggin’ out in front of the television.
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