It’s my great pleasure to host Jessica Lauryn, an author of romantic suspense. Today, Jessica is discussing her new release Dangerous Proposal, the first in The Pinnacles of Power series. She’s provided us with a fabulous excerpt and is giving away a beautiful leather-like notebook similar to the one used by Lena, the heroine of Deadly Proposal. (See Rafflecopter below to enter the Giveaway.)
Author: Jessica Lauryn
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Heat Level: Steamy
Published: July 2012
A Short Note from Jessica
I love bad boys, and for my debut series I wanted to create a group of five heroes who like living life on the edge. In Dangerous Proposal, Alec Westwood, who is driven strongly by his ambition and his envy of his older brother Colin, finds himself thickly embedded in a world of danger and suspense. If you like a story full of twists and turns, danger and excitement, passion and great sex, then I highly recommend this very unique story!
Thanks so much for having me, Kristine! Best of luck to you all in the drawing for the giveaway!
For ten agonizing years, Alec Westwood has been keeping a secret from the world. At nineteen, he nearly committed the most horrific of crimes—murder in cold blood—and narrowly escaped the assigned task with his life. When a stunning young woman crosses his path wearing the insignia for the underground organization that recruited him, he vows not to let fate get a second chance. But when the enchantress gives him a kiss that leaves him spellbound, Alec realizes the power she holds is greater than all his strength and fortitude combined…
On the run from her psychotic fiancé, Lena Benson vows to forge a new life, even if that means befriending a witch, and practicing the craft of the devil. But when her new friend Jack tells her to stay away from Alec Westwood, the man she believes her fiancé hired to track her down, and the handsome stranger she kissed in a tavern, Lena vows to take matters into her own hands. Alec may have the charm, but she’s calling the shots this time, even if that means resisting the man responsible for giving her the most intimate kiss of her life, a man who’s eyes and touch rob her, literally, of sense…
Excerpt from Dangerous Proposal
As he opened the door to his office Alec realized that papers were rustling. He stopped, blinking in disbelief. Shock turned to anger. Anger turned to rage. Lena was there, her back turned toward him, her hands in his filing cabinet. She was going through his files!
The papers in the cabinet said nothing about him whatsoever. But it was obvious enough what she’d been looking for. And she was about to find out there were consequences to her actions.
Alec slammed the door, causing the pictures on the wall to shake. The files slipped from Lena’s hands. They scattered as they hit the tiled floor.
Fear quaked in her hazel eyes as he walked toward her. God, he could just lay her back and take her right there on the desk…
“What the hell are you doing in here?” he demanded. He watched with fascination as she swallowed, her Adam’s apple moving lightly against the curve of her neck.
“I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I didn’t think—”
“Didn’t think what, that you’d get caught? I’d imagine not, or you wouldn’t have broken into my office. I’m calling security.” He reached for the phone.
“No, wait!” Her soft hand came against his. “Please don’t do that. Please.”
Alec winced. The desperation in her Lena’s voice struck him somewhere within. The tempting view of her cleavage didn’t hurt either. No, he hadn’t just spent the last ten years trying to escape the past only to be destroyed by it now.
He captured her wrist. “Do you have any idea what you’ve just done? Those files are confidential! I guess whoever trained you failed to inform you that you just broke about five different laws. I hope it was worth it.”
“Trained me?” There was surprise in her soft voice. “No one trained me. I came here on my own.”
Stunned by her statement, Alec released her. Was she serious? What reason could she possibly have for coming there aside from the obvious? The woman was either the greatest liar on the planet or else the world’s worst underground spy. Either way, those quivering lips of hers were just demanding to be kissed. He slid the phone back into the receiver.
“You came here on your own?” He stalked toward her. “No one sent you?”
“No one. I sent myself.”
“Is that right?” he said, smiling as she backed into his desk. “And just why would you go and do a thing like that?”
“Because.” She looked at the floor. “I don’t know. I was curious. About you, I guess. I’m sorry.”
Alec smiled. It was oddly thrilling to hear that she had gone to so much trouble to gather information about him. Even if it was only part of a plan to take his life.
“You broke into the private office of a doctor because you were curious? Of course it means nothing to you that my diplomas are hanging around the room. Tell me, Lena, what is it about me that’s gotten you so curious?” He put his hands at her sides, pinning her in place. “Had I been in the same position as you, my dear, I suppose I might have been just as tempted. I am a rather fascinating subject matter, aren’t I? But I guess that’s just the difference between you and me. I have something called ethics. A good thing to have when you’re in my line of work.”
Alec found himself regretting his last statement. Why did she have to look at him that way? What reason could she possibly have to be hurt? “Lena, I—”
“You have the nerve to lecture me about ethics? You lure me into a hallway, kiss me against my will, and you have the nerve to say I’m unethical? Perhaps you ought to be looking in the mirror when you say a few of these things, Dr. Westwood!”
“Perhaps I should.” His voice rose. “But I’m not the one investigating people. Am I?”
“Investigating people?” She blinked.
Alec drew a breath. Not only was she an excellent liar, but he never dreamed he’d succeed in getting her as steamed as he was. He wondered if she was equally aroused.
“No, of course not.” He leaned in close. “A sweet, innocent woman like you investigating a dark scoundrel like me? You and I both know that’s not what’s going on here. Don’t we, Lena?”
“What do you mean?” Her hazel eyes sparkled with question.
“You play it like you’re so naïve. You play it very well, in fact, but you and I both know it’s just an act.”
“An act?” She bit her lip. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He ran his fingertips down the length of her sleeve. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. The way you become so flustered every time I get close to you. You try to hide it, but it’s written all over your pretty face. You weren’t satisfied by our last encounter, and you thought you’d come over here and try again. Only this time”—he looked into her eyes—“I believe you want more than just to be kissed.”
“Who the hell do you think you are?” she demanded, fighting to slip free of his grasp.
He held her in place. “You’re a smart woman, Lena. If you didn’t want to be here, you wouldn’t be. Go ahead. The door’s right there.”
Alec bit his tongue. He’d definitely gone too far with that one. He’d all but offered her a way out. Releasing her, he watched and waited. But to his astonishment, Lena didn’t move.
A smile crept upon his lips.
She wanted him. Wanted him as much as he did her. There was no denying that now. She wanted him, and he was going to give her exactly what she’d asked for. Not to worry, my sweet. No reason for either of us to be ashamed about something we both want so much…
He brought his face to hers so that their lips were almost touching. But he didn’t kiss her. Not yet. Lena believed she didn’t want him, thought herself immune to his charm. He was going to make sure she knew exactly how much she wanted to be there.
As a romance novelist and a reader alike, Jessica is most intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer…but little trouble enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances are those where the hero is already seducing the heroine from that first point of contact. “Isn’t it the hero’s job to seduce?” she says with a grin.
Jessica loves to see the sparks fly when a stubborn, domineering hero crosses paths with a bold, feisty heroine, and uses the combination frequently in her stories.
When she’s is not writing, Jessica enjoys listening to as much 80’s music as possible, watching the same re-runs of Smallville over and over, shopping for exceptionally unique cameos, and taking long walks in nature where she can daydream about anything romantic. Though she resides in Central New Jersey, her heart belongs to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.
Enter via the Rafflecopter below to win this beautiful leather-like notebook, similar to the one used by Lena, the heroine of Deadly Proposal. You’ll love writing your poems, stories, or even grocery lists in it 🙂
How to Contact Jessica
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jessica-lauryn/2a/9ba/761
I’d like to extend a big thank you to Jessica for joining us today and sharing her wonderful new story. And, of course, thank you to everyone who stopped by – best of luck with the giveaway!