If you don't see me for a few days, it's not because I'm holed up in a hospital somewhere giving birth - hopefully! - but because I'm on the downhill stretch to finishing my next Harlequin Romance.
So here's a piccie of Mitch and Veronica for you to peruse as I go about the process of telling their fun and fabulous tale. Don't you think they're too cute? Mitch is charm itself and Veronica has him stumped.
Or, you can go out and pick up a copy of my latest Harlequin Romance, MILLIONAIRE TO THE RESCUE, which is out now in the UK and across North America. Here's another little taste test of Brooke & Danny's story to wet your appetites:
‘Down boy,’ Lucille said.
Danny spun to find her sliding back behind her desk with a steaming cup of odd smelling tea in a mug that read ‘World’s Best Receptionist’. Needless to say he had not been the one to buy the mug for her. She’d been a temp a couple of years back. He couldn’t actually remember hiring her but neither had she ever left.
He glared at her. ‘Are you talking to me?’
‘No need for all that frowning,’ Lucille said before shoving a stick of gum in her mouth, taking a big gulp of tea, then clacking away merrily on her keyboard with fingernails so long he had no idea how she managed to do anything without poking herself. ‘I think you’re in there. And you don’t want any more wrinkles. Not unless you’re seriously thinking of Botox.’
Danny turned his feet to catch up with his hips. He chose to ignore the Botox comment, though he did rid himself of the frown. ‘I’m in where, exactly?’
Lucille’s frantic fingers stilled. She looked him in the eye, not in the least bit intimidated by his hiring and firing rights. ‘Don’t look at me like that. I call it like I see it, and that’s what you love most about me.’
Danny blinked, not quite knowing where to begin. In the end he went with, ‘Are you intimating I don’t call it like I see it?’
‘Not as often as you like to think you do. See that was me calling it like I see it. Now tell me exactly how many times you’ve pictured the blonde up to her neck in hot tub bubbles.’
Danny said nothing, all the while trying to find the words needed to send her out on her ear. But though they gathered in fast abandon beneath his tongue he found he couldn’t do it. He thought it his greatest character flaw. ‘Think yourself lucky I do hold my tongue at times,’ he growled.
Lucille smirked, then went back to her typing.
Danny sauntered over to her desk, wiping a finger across the edge looking for dust, chocolate crumbs, anything to chide her over but he found nothing. ‘Do you know who that was?’
‘Sure,’ Lucille said, ‘she’s that big blonde guy’s wife. The motorbike racer who did a Thelma and Louise off that cliff in France or wherever with the model. He was splashed all over the magazines a couple of months back. He’s been in here once or twice too.’ She smiled at him then typed some more.
‘Calvin Findlay,’ Danny said, ‘was the big blonde guy. He won more MotoGP championships than any one else in history. He won Australian Sportsman of the Year three times.’
‘Right,’ she said, flicking a handful multi-coloured fingernails in his general direction while still typing with the other hand, ‘him. Was he a client of ours?’
Danny shook his head in amazement. Everyone in Australia knew Calvin Findlay. He was a larrikin, a superstar, and a classic Aussie bloke. Now of course they would soon know him as a bastard for leaving his family high and dry.
Though he had been in the business long enough to know that none of it would tarnish Cal’s image, in fact it would only add to the legend. While poor Brooke would be left behind to deal with the consequences of being cast as the poor deluded wife. It wasn’t fair. But then again it had been some time since he thought it was.
‘Why are you still here if you care not a lick about this business?’ he asked, his voice gruff.
‘I type a million words a minute, make the best cappuccino this side of Lygon Street, and your clients are so shocked to see a girl like me here when they get off the lift they think you’re a genius and I am your secret weapon.’
Danny wondered for the umpteenth time what atrocities he had performed in a past life to deserve this woman. ‘Are they right?’ he asked.
‘That you’re a genius? Well of course they are.’ Lucille batted her eyelashes and grinned, showing off a decided gap between her large front teeth.
Despite himself, he laughed. He reached down and grabbed a handful from the bowl of M&Ms she always kept on her desk. She tried to slap him but he was too quick.
‘So stop yabbering and prove me right,’ he said as he walked away.
‘Yes boss,’ she called out, and he grinned some more.
Danny retired into his office to try to get some work done and not think about the fact that a single, newly vulnerable, endearingly unsteady Brooke Findlay would be moving in with him.
Showering in his shower.
Sleeping in his house.
Constantly in his line of sight, and thus rarely out of his thoughts, which is where he had purposely tried to keep her for a good eight years.
Nope, he wouldn’t think of any of that. Even though he would be spending the rest of the afternoon in his office which now smelt entirely of apples and sunshine.
"MILLIONAIRE TO THE RESCUE"
Harlequin Romance, North America October 07
Mills and Boon Romance, United Kingdom October 2007
Sweet Romance, Aus/NZ December 07
Available now online!!! @ eHarlequin NA & @ Mills and Boon UK
Read an excerpt here!
Labels: harlequin romance, millionaire to the rescue, Ring-A-Ding-Ding