#SampleSunday - More Than A Convenient Marriage

#SampleSundayautographed copyContestDani CollinsGoodreadsharlequin presentsmills and boonMore Than A Convenient Marriageno longer forbidden

Hello all,

I'm traveling for my day job thus missed #ThursdayThirteen. I was going to write 13 items to pack when traveling in a hurry. I should do it now, but I'm already yawning so will get my excerpt up and blog more once I'm home. I'll have photos from this trip, so please check back in a week or so to see them.

Meanwhile, we left Adara and Gideon each thinking the other is having an affair. If you haven't read the first two excerpts, they're here:

  1. Cover Reveal
  2. More Than A Convenient Marriage?

Here's the excerpt:

~ * ~

Her heart gave a kick. Gideon rarely got angry and even more rarely showed it. He certainly never directed dark energy at her, but his accusation made her unaccountably defensive.

She told herself not to let his jab pierce her shell, but his charge was a shock and she couldn’t believe his gall. The man was banging his secretary in the most clichéd of affairs yet he had the nerve to dog her all the way to Greece to accuse her of cheating?

Fortunately, she knew from experience you didn’t provoke a man in a temper. Hiding her indignation behind cool disdain, she calmly corrected his assumption. “He has a wife and new baby—”

Gideon’s drawled sarcasm cut her off. “Cheating on one spouse wasn’t enough, you have to go for two and ruin the life of a child into the mix?”

Since when do you care about children?

She bit back the question, but a fierce burn flared behind her eyes, completely unwanted right now when she needed to keep her head. The back of her throat stung, making her voice thick. She hoped he’d put it down to ire, not heartbreak.

“As I said, Lexi assured me you had appointments in Chile. ‘We will be flying into Valparaiso,’ she told me. ‘We will be staying in the family suite at the Makricosta Grand.’” Adara impassively pronounced what Lexi hadn’t said, but what had been in the woman’s eyes and supercilious smile. “‘We will be wrecking your bed and calling your staff for breakfast in the morning.’ Who is cheating on who?”

She was proud of her aloof delivery, but her underlying resentment was still more emotion than she’d ever dared reveal around him. She couldn’t help it. His adultery was a blow she hadn’t seen coming and she was always on guard for unearned strikes. Always.

Somehow she’d convinced herself she could trust him and if she was angry with anyone, it was herself for being so blindly oblivious. She was having a hard time hiding that she was trembling she was so furious, but she ground her teeth and willed her muscles to let go of the tension and her blood to stop boiling.

He didn’t react. If she fought a daily battle to keep her emotions in reserve, his inner thoughts and feelings were downright non-existent. His voice was crisp and glacial when as he said, “Lexi did not say that because it’s not true. And why would you care if she did? We aren’t wrecking any beds, are we?”

Ask me why, she wanted to charge, but the words and the reason stayed bottled so deep and hard inside her she couldn’t speak.

Grief threatened to overtake her then. Hopelessness crept in and defeat struck like a gong. It sent an arctic chill into her, blessed ice that let her freeze out the pain and ignore the humiliation. She wanted it all to go away.

“I want a divorce,” she stated, heart throbbing in her throat.

For a second, the world stood still. She wasn’t sure if she’d actually said it aloud and he didn’t move, as though he either hadn’t heard, or couldn’t comprehend.

Then he drew in a long, sharp inhale. His shoulders pulled back and he stood taller.
Oh God. Everything in her screamed, Retreat. She ducked her head and circled him, aiming for her car door.

He put out a hand and her blood gave a betraying leap. She quickly tamped down the hunger and yearning, embracing hatred instead.

“Don’t think for a minute I’ll let you touch me,” she warned in a voice that grated.

“Right. Touching is off limits. I keep forgetting.”

A stab of compunction, of incredible sadness and longing to be understood, went through her. Gideon was becoming so good at pressing on the bruises closest to her soul and all he had to do was speak the truth.

“Goodbye, Gideon.” Without looking at him again, she threw herself into her car and pulled away.

~ * ~

Watch for a chance to win a signed copy of More Than A Convenient Marriage? on Goodreads. The contest starts October 15th.

Okay, have a great week. Mine will be busy. I'll check in as time allows.