Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
I hope you get to enjoy the day with someone special who makes your heart go pitter-patter. It’s a work day for me, but I’m looking forward to celebrating with my hubby in the evening, including a nice dinner out.
Since it’s Valentine’s Day and romance is on everyone’s hearts, I thought I’d share a glimpse of my upcoming contemporary romance, TWELFTH SUN. This is the blurb I’ve been using:
At thirty-five, Reagan Cassidy is settled in her life with a thriving interior design firm, an upscale condo, two cats, and a goldfish. Then she meets Dr. Elijah Cross, a brilliant but quirky twenty-five year old with a doctorate in marine archeology. When she and Elijah team together to retrieve an nineteenth century journal reputed to have been written by a passenger aboard the doomed schooner, Twelfth Sun, they become embroiled in a treasure hunt hosted by a reclusive billionaire.
Against her better judgment, Reagan falls for the hunky, young Ph.D. who is as skilled in matters of the heart as he is behind the lectern. Throw in several odd-ball competitors out to win the journal, a series of cryptic clues, a saboteur, and a lavish seaside mansion, and Reagan has enough trouble keeping her head straight, let alone her heart. She’d just as soon forget Dr. Gorgeous and his smoldering kisses, but Elijah has other ideas. The only treasure he wants to claim is Reagan’s heart, and he isn’t going to let something as trivial as age stop him.
In the scene I’m sharing, Reagan and Elijah have only recently arrived at the estate of Eric Sothern. Sothern has several other guests for the weekend which Reagan didn’t expect. After introductions and a brief period of socializing, Reagan and Elijah are escorted to their rooms by Sothern’s staff manager, Felix Pellar.
Reagan looked straight ahead. They’d reached the top of the stairwell, giving her the opportunity to shoulder past Elijah. It was in her best interest not to discuss anything further, unless it concerned Rook’s journal.
Pellar led them across the loft and down a shorter hallway, eventually halting before side-by-side rooms. “I trust you’ll find everything acceptable.”
Both doors stood open. Reagan glanced inside, finding them near-mirror images with differing color schemes.
“Mr. Sothern calls them the twins,” Pellar explained, noticing her glance. “They share a Jack-and-Jill bath. For privacy, I suggest you make certain the opposite door is locked when you use the facility.” He departed with a slight incline of his head.
Elijah rolled his eyes. “The facility. Can you believe that guy?”
Reagan paled. The thought of sharing a bathroom with him, even one with locking doors, left her queasy. After the humiliating circumstances of their initial meeting, it was too much like tempting fate.
“What’s the matter?” Elijah propped a shoulder against the doorframe of his room. “Want help unpacking? I could color coordinate your lingerie. Pink and pink.”
She steeled herself, tempted to slap him. The return of his casual cockiness smothered her anxiety. It galled her to think she’d actually thought she might be attracted to him. “You really are a despicable man, Dr. Cross.”
“Is that why you can’t keep your eyes off me?”
Slapping be damned. He needed to be drawn and quartered, then dumped headfirst into a vat of boiling oil. Reagan scrunched her hands into fists. “You arrogant, self-centered, egotistical–”
She wanted to scream. He was toying with her, playing a game of aren’t-I-the-calm-clever-one? Exasperated, she shook her head, intending to leave before her composure cracked. Elijah surprised her by grabbing her arm and tugging her against him. He was all muscle and sinew, deliciously lean, wondrously sensual male. Shocked by the unexpected feel of him, she froze.
He lowered his head and claimed her mouth in a soft, exploratory kiss. Warm, gentle. Nothing like she would have expected. Before she could fully comprehend what had happened, he released her with a smile.
“See you at dinner.”
The door snicked closed. Stunned, Reagan stared at the wood. A minute passed before she felt the slow burn of heat on her face. He’d done it again. Made a fool of her; and she’d let him. What was she thinking? The man was a–a–child!
With a Ph.D., a silent voice mocked. He was damned attractive, and she knew it.
Disgusted, she dug her fingernails into her palms. Is this how he planned to charm Livy Franklin? It wasn’t Brody with his blond good looks and suave manner she had to worry about. It was Elijah Cross. Despite her better judgment, despite their age difference, she couldn’t get him out of her head.
Or erase the feel of his lips on hers.
Panicked by the realization, she kicked the door as hard as she could. Pain spiked from her ankle to her kneecap. She spat an unlady-like curse and hobbled in a circle. A glance down the hall told her no one had witnessed her ridiculous fit of temper. All she needed was the arrival of golden-girl Livy or model-perfect Monica to make her humiliation complete. Muttering, she limped into her room and slammed the door. A painting wobbled on the wall.
She glared at it, as if it had questioned her integrity. She could still feel the heat of Elijah’s lips on hers, a sensation that left her unnerved. Did she want to wring his neck, or invite him for an encore? The resurrection of her bewildering attraction sent her over the top, and she did the only childish thing she could think to do. Stomping into the bath, she locked the adjoining door, permanently barring him from the shared room.
As they say, the path to true love is never smooth. I hope you enjoyed this small glimpse of TWELFTH SUN. It’s a departure from the paranormal for me, straight contemporary romance with mystery tossed in for good measure. If you like a treasure hunt with riddles, a hunky brilliant hero, opinionated heroine, and a cast of characters with hidden agendas, I hope you’ll join me in August for its release. Personally, I can’t wait!
Happy Valentine’s Day!