Yes! Friday, November 30th, Ellora’s Cave Publishing is releasing Stroke of Midnight, the first book in my Breathlessly Ever After series! It is a re-release and I’m so excited about the new cover, the publisher and the story! Check out the blurb, excerpt and trailer!
No-nonsense, less-than-warm Rowyn Jeong cannot compare to her bubbly stepsister Cindy. But hey, everyone has their niche, right? And hers is a keen eye for business and the bottom line. Being labeled the plainer, wicked stepsister never bothered her…until Darius Fiore reappeared. Six months ago, they indulged in a hot one-night stand and the sexy business tycoon did more than just get under her skin. He branded her body like no man before. But his return jeopardizes her position at her stepfather’s company, and he’s the man Cindy has within her sights—and hands.
Behind closed doors, Darius discovered more lay beneath Rowyn’s hard exterior than the ice queen persona she presents to her family. The sultry vixen left him in a tight spot—literally. Now he’s back and understands—her family’s disregard has her hungry for love and acceptance. But breaking down her defenses won’t be easy. Especially since his presence risks everything she’s worked so hard to achieve.
Shit. She was late.
The Harrisons’ long-time housekeeper Margaret opened the front door at Rowyn’s knock. When the older woman smiled and stepped back for her to pass, it occurred to Rowyn the housekeeper might be the only person pleased to see her tonight. Her mother Pamela Wright Harrison would be pissed because she’d arrived late. Daniel Harrison, her mother’s second husband and Rowyn’s stepfather, would be irritated because of the interruption her arrival would cause. And her stepsister Cynthia—or Cindy as they all called her—would wear her usual pretty smile and add a vapid comment or two.
Fun, fun, fun.
Yeah. Like a stake in the eye.
“They are in the small living room,” Margaret said, taking Rowyn’s purse.
“Thanks, Maggie.” Rowyn inhaled and released the breath in a low gust of air. She stretched her lips into the brightest, phoniest smile she could manage. “Here’s my social smile,” she murmured through clenched teeth and a stiff mouth. “How does it look?”
Margaret chuckled and shook her head. “Lovely, Ms. Rowyn.”
The older woman turned and headed toward the hall closet, still laughing softly. Rowyn stared after her. The hair contained more gray strands now than black. The drill sergeant stride that had struck awe and fear in Rowyn’s heart as a child had slowed a bit. It dawned on her like the coming of a new day that if this proud woman were gone, Rowyn would lose the only person who had loved her unconditionally.
She’d entered this home at her mother’s side a scared and nervous eleven-year-old, trying so hard to mimic Pamela’s aloof expression. But Maggie had taken one look at her and detected the fear lurking beneath the adult mask. And through the years the housekeeper had loved Rowyn—even when she’d been unlovable.
Amusement mingled with the pang of sadness. And there were certainly times when she’d been damn unlovable.
As she turned toward the living room entrance, her humor drained away like the alcohol which doubtless flowed too easily down her mother’s throat. With her hand on the knob, Rowyn slabbed layer after layer of mental cement around her emotions and heart. A quick scan ensured no cracks existed and she twisted the knob, pushed open the door and entered.
And walked into Charlotte Bronte’s version of hell.
Daniel faced the entrance, speaking animatedly to the tall man across from him. Her mother—surprise, surprise, with a highball raised to her lips—and stepsister filled in the small circle. At the snick of the door closing behind Rowyn, all four turned to stare in her direction.
The gasp remained trapped in her throat and the world screeched to a halt as if God had slammed his foot on the brakes of time. She sucked in a breath—a difficult task since all the air seemed to have been vacuumed out of the room. Perspiration prickled her palms and if she could have moved, she would have rubbed them against her skirt.
It can’t be. She stared, her heart performing a dizzying tap dance against her rib cage. It’s not possible.
Yet meeting the bright blue eyes that had haunted her dreams for the past six months, Rowyn couldn’t deny what her gaze refused to accept.
She’d convinced herself he couldn’t possibly have been as beautiful in reality as he’d appeared in her dreams. After all, when a man gave a woman the most intense, just-this-side-of-death orgasms she’d ever experienced, she could be forgiven for imagining him larger than life. But no, as he stood mere feet away, staring at her with his impenetrable gaze, Rowyn realized her dreams hadn’t been exaggerations.
The same deep cobalt eyes that reminded her of the heart of the ocean. The same olive-tinted skin that reminded her of Italian villas perched on craggy cliffs and romantic beaches. The same beauty that, if he’d been born centuries earlier, would have had Michelangelo drooling to sculpt him for his “David.” His dark-brown, closely-cropped curls enhanced the image of a Greco-Roman work of art. And Jesus, the body…She shivered. Tall, elegant and hinting at the almost-primitive power that existed under the civilized black jacket, slacks and maroon shirt.
She’d been on the receiving end of that power, unleashed and wild.
The intense stare held her immobile and might as well have been a length of steel chains wrapped around her body. She couldn’t move, couldn’t avoid the hard questions in his penetrating gaze.
Happy Release Day!!
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