Would you like one of these signed postcards?
To celebrate the release of the fourth and final book in my Makricosta Dynasty series, I'm sending out these pretty postcards to anyone who asks. Just email me your postal address and let me know you'd like one. I'll be sending them in the next week or so and would love to include you.
I'm starting a new series of #SampleSunday excerpts from Seduced Into The Greek's World today. I'm late posting it, I know. I'm laughing at myself when I say that. I usually prepare these on Friday nights so I can hit publish on Saturday, but I still call them #SampleSunday. This is how my brain works. You should feel pity for my husband.
I didn't have a chance to prepare this one ahead of time, though. I was at the RT Convention in Dallas all last week and on an airplane all day yesterday--sleeping! The Convention was so fun, but exhausting. I was up late talking, talking so much. Which is not hard for me. I love talking. Ask anyone who's met me.
I was also able to catch up with a friend of my parents' while I was in Dallas. I hadn't seen her since I was in grade school. We're Facebook friends and she's on my Christmas Letter list, but we don't stay in touch regularly. That didn't matter! Isn't it amazing when you can sit down with someone and start talking like you were just together yesterday, even when it's been over thirty years? I love that.
I'm sure I'll have more on the convention as the week goes on. To be honest, my brain is pretty fried and I have about eight million emails to answer and--eek--the sorting of receipts from my trip.
I'm feeling a bit of a failure on the shopping score, actually. MrC likes to try new tequilas. When we travel out of Canada for more than 48 hrs, we're allowed to bring back a bottle of spirits so I promised him I'd look for something new for him. I only left the hotel once with friends for dinner, though. He'll have to make do with sampling one of these nice romance novels I brought back from the convention, I guess.
Before I post the excerpt, I wanted to remind you that the Montana Born Bride series authors are hosting a Facebook Bridal Shower on Monday the 18th.
Here's the opening from Seduced Into The Greek's World, when Demitri catches his first glimpse of Natalie.
~ * ~
HER LAUGH WAS so pure and spontaneous it caused Demitri Makricosta to look away from the Italian beauty flirting with him and seek out the source of the sound. As a connoisseur of fake laughter, often given to offering imitations himself, he found the naturalness of the woman’s chuckle utterly engaging. It was feminine without being girlish or giggly, warm and sexy without being a put-on.
For a moment he didn’t take in anything else but her. Short blond hair swung and fell as she tipped the precision cut backward. Her skin held a pale, translucent quality that made him think her cheek would feel cool but downy soft against his lips. He wondered how her skin smelled. Like summer fruit, maybe. Her profile was feminine and cute, right up to the tilt of her nose, while the rest of her was a study in mouth-watering curves.
Encased in a Makricosta uniform.
Damn, damn and damn.
The disappointment that flooded through him was surprisingly acute.
He took a more thorough tour of her uniform, wishing he didn’t recognize it. It wasn’t the pencil skirt and wispy red jacket over a bowed white top that the French staff wore here in Paris, which gave him a beat of hope. But if she’d been corporate, she’d have only a scarf or tie in company colors as part of her business ensemble.
Unfortunately, those long pants and the warm blazer belonged to one of the Canadian outfits. The Makricosta Elite in Montreal, if he wasn’t mistaken—and he shouldn’t have any doubt because he had final say on every marketing decision in the family hotel chain right down to the front line image of the staff.
He didn’t want to recognize it. That was the problem. His male interest was seriously piqued by the woman wearing it.
Which wasn’t like him. Women were fairly interchangeable for him. He never wondered Who is she? What’s her story? Especially when he already had a female hand resting on his cuff and a voice murmuring, “Bello? What is it?”
“I thought I recognized someone,” he prevaricated, sending his companion a placating smile before glancing once more at the laughing woman—his employee—across the lobby.
She was nodding at someone, tucking her hair coquettishly behind her ear, saying something about email that he read on her lips as noise from different sources echoed across the foyer’s marble floor and pillars.
Curious what kind of man was keeping that bright look on her face, Demitri leaned back on the velvet settee, losing the touch of his prospective afternoon delight as he did.
Shock went through him as he recognized his brother-in-law. Not that Gideon looked as though he was encouraging the woman, but Demitri still rose to his feet in brotherly indignation. His sister had been through a lot, especially a few years ago when Gideon’s PA had intimated to Adara that she and Gideon were having an affair. Demitri wasn’t going to sit here while some fresh tart made a play for Adara’s husband.
“I do recognize him,” he stated grimly. “Excuse me.”
But Gideon and the blonde were already parting ways by the time he rounded the colonnade and approached. The woman swung away with a brisk walk toward the front desk while Gideon glanced up in time to catch sight of Demitri. His expression hardened with determination.
That’s when Demitri remembered he was avoiding the man.
“Good,” Gideon stated as he approached. “I was going to find you before I left. Adara’s birthday. You’ll be there.”
The eye-to-eye, man-to-man directive was annoying, but vaguely reassuring. Demitri liked seeing that Gideon was determined to make his wife happy. When that PA had set her sights on Gideon, Demitri had been on the verge of taking her for a tour himself to keep his sister’s marriage intact. In the end, Gideon had salvaged his own marriage. He’d fired the woman before anything more than a few false and snarky claims had been made. Despite Adara’s worries that Gideon was straying, in reality his devotion to her had never wavered and still appeared rock solid.
Which was good, Demitri supposed. He didn’t wish any more strife on his sister than she’d already weathered, but she was so annoyingly happy. So determined to bring him into the fold of Happily Ever After she’d created for herself. The whole situation with his brothers and all their kids, the number of secrets kept from him… It grated in a way Demitri didn’t like to dig into, so he slid his attention back to the blonde threatening his sister’s happiness and latched on to ensuring she didn’t try anything further with Gideon.
Better that than dealing with Gideon’s demands.
“The date is in my calendar. I’ll try to make it.” Demitri dismissed lightly.
Gideon folded his arms. His roots as a dock rat sailor were visible in the piercing glint of his eye. “Is there a reason you won’t make it a priority?”
Given that Gideon had been part of the family for several years, Demitri didn’t think he had to explain why these reunions Adara kept trying to organize were about as appealing to him as an impacted wisdom tooth.
“I’ll do my best,” he lied.
“Would you?” Gideon said flatly. The words just for once were silently tacked onto the end, loud and clear.
And here came Reason One why he had no desire to be around his family. What are you doing with your life? Hold the baby. Isn’t he adorable? When are you going to quit chasing skirts and settle down?
Demitri mentally projected two words back at his brother-in-law, punctuated them with a tight smile and walked away. Wasn’t it enough that he had stepped up when Adara was pregnant? Hell, the only reason he’d gone into the family business was for her and Theo. Maybe he’d kept his own hours in the early years, but these days he showed up all the time, and kicked ass, if none of them had noticed. They could all play white picket fences with their new babies if they wanted to. He had zero interest in becoming a family man—and would make a terrible one—so they could all back the hell off.
Irritated, he glanced toward the Italian starlet watching him like a spaniel that had heard the car keys. As much as he would welcome the diversion of sex right now—lovemaking was his go-to coping strategy for any sort of tension—he was oddly disinterested in taking her upstairs. The blonde filled a bigger space in his mind, niggling at him.
Maybe she hadn’t meant to cause this brief altercation with Gideon, but animosity toward her still bled into him like adrenaline. He wasn’t so immature he couldn’t figure out that he was blame-shifting. Every time familial obligations tugged at him lately, a wave of anger and rebellion had come over him. Dark, miasmic thoughts sent him in search of self-destruction on one level or another.
Usually he subscribed to being a lover, not a fighter. Forced himself to stay on the sane side of violence, too aware of the streak of it in his father. But nameless rage sat in him whenever he confronted the fact that his only real family, his brother and sister, the two people he trusted unequivocally, had kept him out of the loop on the existence of their oldest brother.
Had they not trusted him? Why had they cut him out like that? The betrayal sliced down the center of connection he felt toward them and pushed him out in the cold. If he didn’t keep a lid on his emotions, his temper would mushroom out like a radiation cloud. It made for a lot of pressure. A cold, hard, dark feeling deep in his core that he refused to deconstruct, afraid of what he might find.
Instead, he channeled it into a wave of icy energy that carried him past the curious looks from the registration desk through to the administration offices where he found the blonde Canadian in a chair cozily nudged up against the hotel manager’s. The guy wasn’t looking at where she pointed on the computer monitor. He was gazing down to where her breasts strained against the fabric of her shirt.
“I need to speak to you,” Demitri said.
~ * ~
Seduced Into The Greek's World releases on Amazon on May 18th and will be on shelves June 1st. You can pre-order from any of these links here:
Do you belong to my newsletter? You can read Dani's May Newsletter here for a sample, to see if you like it. I've heard that I should send it more frequently than once a month, but I think that's enough. What do you think?
I must dash. Today is also unpacking day and buy groceries day and maybe get a walk in with my daughter who leaves tomorrow morning. I definitely need to get back to routine after this whirlwind week. Have a relaxing Sunday.