#SampleSunday and Cover Reveal

#SampleSundayDani Collinsexcerptharlequin presentsmills and boonMore Than A Convenient Marriageno longer forbiddenWriting Sample

I've been a bad #SampleSunday-er, I know. I'll call it a summer break and try to get back into it.

One of my problems is that my most current release, Shared Whispers, is actually an anthology of short stories. If I sample too much from Heart Of A Rebel, my contribution to it, I'll wind up vampiring the entire story and I'm pretty sure the publisher, Champagne Books, would frown at me for that.

I do have a new Presents/Modern coming out in December, however. Since I was sharing the cover for the Modern release, I decided I should start putting up teasers from the book too. Here's the setup:

More Than A Convenient Marriage? starts with Adara going to look for her brother, Nic (the hero from No Longer Forbidden?) Adara's husband, Gideon, thinks she's meeting a lover. She's convinced he's having an affair with his PA. (Neither is cheating, don't worry!) But in the beginning, they're pretty testy with each other.

Here's the opening pages in Gideon's point of view:

~ * ~

Gideon Vozaras used all his discipline to keep his foot light on the accelerator as he followed the rented car, forcing himself to maintain an unhurried pace along the narrow, island road while he gripped the wheel in white-knuckled fists.  When the other car parked outside the palatial gate of an estate, he pulled his own rental onto the shoulder a discreet distance back, then stayed in his vehicle to see if the other driver noticed.  As he cut the engine, the AC stopped.  Heat enveloped him.

Welcome to Hell.

He hated Greece at the best of times and today was predicted to be one of the hottest on record.  The air shimmered under the relentless sun and it wasn’t even ten o’clock yet.  But the weather was barely worth noticing.

The gates of the estate were open.  The other car could have driven straight through and up to the house, but stayed parked outside the gates.  He watched the female driver emerge and take a moment to consider the unguarded entrance.  Her shoulders gave a lift and drop as though she screwed up her courage before she took action and walked in.

As she disappeared between imposing brick posts, Gideon left his own car and followed at a measured pace, gut knotting with every step.  Outraged sweat stung his skin.

He wanted to believe that wasn’t his wife, but there was no mistaking Adara Vozaras.  Not for him.  Maybe her tourist clothes of flip-flops, jeans chopped above the knees, a sleeveless top, and a pair of pigtails didn’t fit her usual professional élan, but he knew that backside.  The tug it caused in his blood was indisputable.  No other woman made an immediate sexual fire crackle awake in him like this.  His relentless hunger for Adara had always been his cross to bear and today it was particularly unwelcome.

Spending the week with her mother.  This ain’t Chatham, sweetheart.

He paused as he came alongside her car, glancing inside to see a map of the island on the passenger seat.  A logo in its corner matched the hotel he’d been told she was booked into.  And now she was advising her lover where to meet her?  Walking bold as you please up his million-dollar drive to his billion-dollar house?  The only clue to the estate’s ownership, the shields welded to the gate, were turned back against the brick wall that fenced the estate from the road.

Gideon’s entire body twitched with an urge to slip his reins of control.  He was not a poor man.  He’d got past envying other men their wealth once he’d acquired his own.

Nevertheless, a niggle of his dock-rat inferiority complex wormed to life as he took in what he could see of the shoreline property that rolled into a vineyard and orange grove.  The towering stone house, three stories with turrets on each corner, belonged on an English estate, not a Greek island.  It was twenty bedrooms minimum.  If this was the owner’s weekend retreat, he was an obscenely rich man.

Not that Adara needed a rich man.  She had grown up wanting for nothing.  She had a fortune in her own right plus half of Gideon’s so what was the attraction here?

Sex.

The insidious whisper in Gideon’s head formed a knot of betrayal behind his breastbone.  Was this why she hadn’t shared that stacked body of hers with him for weeks?  His hands curled into fists as he tried to swallow back his gall.

Dreading what he might see as he looked to the front door, he shifted to see down the drive. Adara had paused halfway to the house to speak with a gardener.  A truck overflowing with landscaping tools was parked midway up the drive and workers were crawling like bees over the blooming gardens.

The sun seared the back of Gideon’s neck, strong enough to burn through his shirt to his shoulders, making sweat pool between his shoulder blades and tickle annoyingly down his spine.

They had arrived early this morning, Adara off the ferry, Gideon following in a power boat he was ‘test-piloting.’  She’d been driving a car she’d rented in Athens.  His rental had been negotiated at the marina, but the island was small.  It hadn’t surprised him when she’d driven right past the nose of his car as he had turned onto the main road.

No, the surprise had been the call thirty-six hours ago when their travel agent had dialed his mobile by mistake.  Ever the survivor, Gideon had thought quickly.  He’d mentioned that he’d like to surprise his wife by joining her and within seconds, Gideon had had all the details of Adara’s clandestine trip.

Well, not all.  He didn’t know who she was here to see or how she’d met her mystery man.   Why was she doing this when he gave her everything she asked for?

He watched Adara’s slender shoulder fall.  Disappointed.  The bastard wasn’t home.  Grimly satisfied, Gideon folded his arms and waited for his wife.

~ * ~

More Than A Convenient Marriage is available for pre-order on Harlequin.com. You save a buck if you order now AND it's a 2-in-1 with No Longer Forbidden? So if you haven't read that, you need to. It's the first in the Makricosta series. Click to buy now. I'll wait here.

If you're in the UK, given the pattern I've seen to date, More Than A Convenient Marriage? will likely be on sale on the M&B site in early November.

It's also available for pre-order on Amazon where you save a bit if you buy now: US (save 50 cents) | CAN (save 30 cents) | UK (no discount)

I hope you're as excited about Adara's story as I am to share her with you. She breaks my heart and Gideon is to die for. I'm currently revising their brother Theo's story. He needed a special heroine and I'm pretty sure I found her in Jaya and just wait until I get to Demitri. He's a brat, but I won't get to write his story until sometime next year. Too many other commitments!

Happy Sunday.