The Billionaire's Matchmaker: An Indulgence Anthology
Authors: Shirley Jump, Susan Meier, Jackie Braun, Barbara Wallace
Publisher: Entangled: Indulgence
Release Date: 14 October 2013
Can a feisty four-legged matchmaker help four best friends find the romance of their dreams?
Driving Mr. Wrong Home by Shirley Jump: When a handsome man from Gabby’s past agrees to a cross-country road trip, her master plan to re-launch her art career quickly morphs into an unexpected, romantic reunion.
The Sheriff’s Secret by Susan Meier: Marney’s 9-1-1 emergency help arrives in the form of a rugged, blue-eyed cop. Now she has the perfect bodyguard to keep her safe during those dark, steamy nights…
Love Unleashed by Jackie Braun: The last thing Mia wants is a relationship…yet the headstrong florist can’t keep her hands off her sexy-as-sin ex-boyfriend. Will she open her heart before he leaves town for good?
Love in the Shadows by Barbara Wallace: Jenny is a woman on a mission – she’ll even resort to dognapping to make her point! But can she teach a reclusive, emotionally-wounded tycoon that love heals all thing?
Excerpt from Love in the Shadows by Barbara Wallace“Would you like my driver to take you home so you wouldn’t have to travel alone?”
She told herself it was relief, not disappointment, falling heavy in her stomach. “I wouldn’t want to put you to any trouble.”
“You’re not putting me to any trouble, and my driver does what he’s told. Besides, it’s the least I can do. It was nice to be able…to have the company.”
“I enjoyed it, too.” She wondered what he was originally going to say before changing his words. “Plus you got a dog out of the bargain.”
“So I did.” Again, she caught the flash of a smile in the dark.
“Thank you for bringing Charlie back.”
“Thank you for not pressing charges.”
“I wouldn’t have anyway. You made some valid points this afternoon. I’ll see to it Charlie gets more attention.”
“He’d like that,” she replied with a smile.
A thick silence settled between them. Jenny wished she could see Nick’s face. She swore she could feel his gaze searching hers. His eyes zeroing in on her lips. Why else would her mouth run dry?
“You really should install some outside lighting,” she said, swallowing hard. “I can barely see my hand in front of my face.”
She didn’t need to see to feel his body come closer. The air around her hummed with his presence. “That so? I can see just fine.” His voice was rough, intimate.
“That’s because you like the dark,” she told him.
“Who says I like it?”
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe the fact you’re out here without a flashlight or the fact you insisted on meeting in a dark room this afternoon.’ She tipped her face upward. “Why did you act all mysterious today? Were you trying to frighten me?”
She figured he might dodge the question; she didn’t count on his hand reaching out to caress her jaw. “You have such pale skin,” he murmured. “I bet in the moonlight, it would glow silver.”
“I—I—I wouldn’t know.” Jenny suddenly couldn’t think. The seductive growl in Nick’s voice should frighten her. She was alone in the woods with a man whose wealth and power allowed him to take and do whatever he wanted. The realization should not send a thrill shooting through her body. But it did, and that scared her. His feathery touch left her trembling. Had her wanting more. Dear God, if he were to close the gap between them, she would…
She gasped as his arm reached out and yanked her close. Her flashlight and leash tumbled to the ground. Knocked off balance, she had little choice but to grip the front of his jacket with her free hand, fingers twisting in the worsted wool. She felt his erection against her hip. Instead of setting off warning bells, the knowledge he was aroused fueled her own arousal. The hunger unfolded from a place deep in her soul, as though the lessons from five years ago never happened. She was once again wanton, needy.
“So long,” she heard him whisper. He might as well have been reading her mind. When his lips brushed hers, she sighed and allowed him access. His tongue swept into her mouth without warning. Jenny moaned. He tasted of mint and coffee. She clutched his jacket tighter, pulling close, her hips seeking friction. In the back of her mind, she knew this was a mistake, but the voice of reason couldn’t be heard above the rush of blood in her ears. Unable to stop herself, she mewled and clung to him as his hands slid down her back, cupped her bottom.
From far off, she heard a dog barking. Lulu. Charlie. Their baying reached where common sense couldn’t and she came back to earth. What was she thinking? She broke free of Nick’s grasp.
Unable to form words, she turned her attention to fumbling for Lulu’s leash. If it was any consolation, Nick appeared to be as dazed as she was. The minute she pushed away, he’d stepped to the edge of the path. He stood there now, silently watching her while Charlie weaved around his legs. Jenny could hear his ragged breath mixing with hers.
What had she been thinking? For years she’d managed to behave herself, to keep the needy, desperate side of her personality in check, and now here she was, practically climbing up a stranger in the woods. She couldn’t get off the property fast enough. Finally, she located the end of Lulu’s leash. Forget getting a ride from his driver. Calling him would take too long.
Grabbing the leash as well as her flashlight, she stood up. Her legs were still shaking, and she had to hold her arm out to steady herself. This caused the light’s arc to swing wide. The beam shone straight at Nick.
For the first time, Jenny saw the face of the man she’d so wantonly kissed.
About the Authors
About Shirley Jump:
About Jackie Braun
Jackie Braun is the author of more than 30 contemporary romance novels. She is a three-time RITA Award finalist, a four-time National Readers’ Choice Award finalist and was nominated for Series Storyteller of the Year by RT Book Club in 2008. She lives in Michigan with her husband, their two sons and a former shelter dog named Pip.
Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blogging 2 Tuesdays each month on The Chocolate Box: www.chocolateboxwriters.com
About Susan Meier
In 2013 Susan Meier lived one of her career-long dreams. Her book, THE TYCOON’S SECRET DAUGHER was a finalist for RWA’s highest honor, the Rita! The same year NANNY FOR THE MILLIONAIRE’S TWINS was a Book Buyer’s Best Award finalist and National Reader’s Choice finalist.
Susan is the author of over 50 books for Harlequin and Silhouette, Entangled Indulgence and one of Guideposts' Grace Chapel Inn series books, THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS.
One of eleven kids, Susan never lacks for entertainment or amusement from her over thirty nieces and nephews. Her family’s Wednesday Morning Breakfasts are the highlight of her summer. And with lots of her nieces and nephews now in their twenties, wedding season is in full swing!
Susan lives in west central Pennsylvania with her husband, son and two crazy cats.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter
About Barbara Wallace
Barbara loves writing sweet, smart, ‘it-could-happen-to-you’ style romances. She lives in Massachusetts with her other loves – her husband, their teenage son, and three very spoiled pets (as if there could be any other kind). She also loves hearing from readers.