The book releases October 24 in print and November 1 in ebook.
I love the cover, don’t you? Take a look at this excerpt, to get a feel for the unbelievable chemistry between Marco and Joi!
Marco stared at the woman standing in front of his desk, torn between disbelief and irritation. Could the woman who’d abandoned his friend Ernesto at the altar really be there, in his office?
“I, um. I…” she stammered, as if she were still attempting to identify herself.
He folded his arms over his chest, taking in the sight of her shapely, smartly dressed form. “Like I said, I know who you are. Why are you here, Joi?”
She seemed to recover her professional demeanor then. She tucked her shoulders back and stood tall. “It’s two o’clock. I am the owner of Citadel Security, and we have an appointment.”
“Is that so?” He felt his brow furrow. If someone in full makeup and a clown suit had shown up for the appointment, he would have been less surprised.
“Yes, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to make my presentation.” She handed him a dark blue folder. When he opened it, he found several pages of neatly typed facts and figures.
His eyes drifted from the carefully prepared report and back to her face. Her earlier discomfort had disappeared, leaving behind nothing but confidence. If she were intimidated by his standoffish manner, she didn’t let on.
He returned to his seat, straightened his tie. “Yes, Ms. Lewis. Go ahead.” If she could keep things strictly business, then so could he. Based on her demeanor, his expectations for her proposal were very high.
Mindful of the edict he’d received from Sal, Marco paid close attention to Joi’s presentation. He took a few moments to leaf through the pages inside the folder she’d given him, which provided a written representation of everything she was saying. He noted how astute she was, and how thorough a vision she had for serving Royal’s security needs. He also noticed the way the soft fabric of her suit hugged the lines of her body, which was far curvier than it had been six years prior. Looking at her now made it seem as if that had been a lifetime ago.
Feeling a building warmth in the room, he loosened his tie. He watched her glossy, cherry-red lips move as she spoke.
Her mouth stopped moving, and she watched him, an expectant look spread across her face. Suddenly, he realized she’d asked him a question. “Pardon me?”
“I asked if you had any questions for me, Mr. Alvarez.” Annoyance registered in her expression, only for a moment, before she returned to her convivial smile.
Drawing his focus away from her appearance, he sat back in his chair and tented his fingers. “You’ve given a thorough proposal, and I’m impressed. The only thing I need to know now is your bid.”
She quoted him the amount.
His brow hitched in surprise. Her bid was within a few thousand dollars of the budget the board had approved for him. Only one other company had bid today, and their offer had so far exceeded the budget, Marco already knew he wouldn’t be calling them back. By his own honest assessment, if Citadel could deliver all the benefits that Joi had promised, Royal would be getting them for a steal.
“How does that sound to you, Mr. Alvarez?”
He was thrilled, but he knew better than to reveal that in a business negotiation. Tempering his reaction, he offered a slow, noncommittal nod. “I think it’s a reasonable offer.” Since she was still standing, and he planned to draw the encounter out a bit more, he gestured to the guest chair near her. “Please, have a seat.”
With a curt shake of her head, she replied, “I prefer to stand.”
He had to assume she was making a show of dedication, or of stamina. Something told him that even with the specter of their past history hanging between them, she was too serious about her business to let anything petty interfere with their interactions.
Deciding he’d test that, he asked her, “What have you been up to these past few years, Ms. Lewis?”
Her lovely brown face crinkled a bit. “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what that has to do with my proposal.”
He shrugged. “I’m simply curious as to what path you took after we parted, and how it brought you into my presence again.”
She blinked a few times, her soft brown eyes darting around the interior of his office. “I took a few continuing education classes, studied mixed marital arts and opened an office for my security firm. Basically, I’ve been working on my dream since the last time I saw you.”
He thought back on those days, when he’d known a totally different Joi Lewis than the one standing before him now. But she’d always been tough, and that hadn’t changed. “I see.”
So, what y’all think? Are you ready to read all about where things will go for Marco and Joi? You’ll have to get your copy to find out. Use the buttons below to pre-order your copy at your favorite retailer.
Until Next Time,