Good morning! I almost forgot #TeaserTuesday. I'm writing my next Harlequin Presents so my brain went straight to Italy this morning and did not pass go and did not collect two hundred words for a blog post.
How was your weekend? Did you watch the Saturday Night Live special? I was very fortunate as my sister and her husband had come into town and brought my daughter with them. She's home for reading week. Even my sixteen-year-old son came out of his gaming cave to watch with us. I burned dinner, we were so caught up in the show and I was exhausted from laughing afterward.
Now I'll spend the week watching Jane The Virgin with my daughter. We started it last night and it's very fun. Have you tried it?
But you're here for another instalment of The Bachelor's Baby, aren't you?
Did you see last week's? I posted simultaneously with the first two authors in the series, Sarah Mayberry and Kate Hardy and we've had such a great response. Readers sound as excited for this whole series as we are!
You can read their posts here:
The Bachelor's Baby is the third in the Bachelor Auction series and also the third in my series of novellas for Montana Born. Here's my post from last week:
And here's the bidding war at the auction for your
~ * ~
Linc ambled onto the stage while Buck kept his leathery face directed at the card he held. “Says here this Renegade From The Oil Rigs is new to Marietta. You took over the Circle H a few months ago? Where from?”
“Most recently Texas—”
“Got us a long horn here, ladies,” Buck said in a suggestive aside.
A ripple of laughter when through the crowd.
Linc offered a tolerant smirk.
“How did you come to join our auction, Linc?”
“I believe it was a bait and switch technique.”
Most tittered at his laconic joke. Meg felt the glance of his gaze like a swooping magpie, talons catching in her hair and giving it a yank.
“Being new in town, I’m sure you’re anxious to meet some of our single women,” Buck continued smoothly. “And I know how priceless and exotic out-of-state breed stock is to them,” he drawled, then read from his card. “Ladies, a date with this bachelor will include champagne and chocolate in the limousine that picks you up, a helicopter tour of the area, piloted by Mr. Brady, lunch at a five star restaurant in Great Falls, and maid service to clean your house while you’re out. Who wants to open with three hundred dollars?”
The bidding went up to five hundred very quickly with Buck’s smooth patter working the crowd. Meg waited until it wavered at six seventy-five then threw out, “Seven,” figuring she owed him after getting him into this.
“Seven from our celebrity guest.”
Meg hid her cringe, always annoyed when people here made a big deal about what she did for a living.
“Do we have seven-fifty?” Buck coaxed.
“Eight,” a male voice said.
It took everyone a moment to realize Linc had spoken.
“Did you just say eight? You can’t bid on yourself,” Buck told him. “Never in my career have the cattle done this to me, folks.”
“I can do whatever I want.” Linc tucked his hands in his pockets, rocking back on his heels, as he waited out the chuckles. He was completely at ease as he took control of the room and held it in thrall. “As it was pointed out to me when I offered to write a generous check and skip this silliness, it’s a good cause and people are here for a show. Let’s make it interesting.”
He wasn’t being sarcastic, but there was a dig in there toward her, Meg was sure. At the very least, it was a challenge.
“We’ve barely covered the cost of fuel at this point,” Linc added. “I could write the check myself, stay home and get in a good day’s work. If you want me to go through with this, let’s make sure we’re getting this boy what he needs.”
“Fair enough,” Buck said, then prompted, “Ladies? Do we have nine hundred?”
“Nine,” Meg stated.
Linc sharpened his gaze on her. “A thousand,” he said blithely.
“Eleven hundred,” she tossed, equally unconcerned.
The air in the room began to pressurize as breaths were drawn in with anticipation.
“Twelve...?” he invited.
“Thirteen,” she called flippantly, nodding at Buck that she was serious.
“Fourteen,” Linc said. “And I can stay silent when you say...”
“Fifteen,” she pronounced deliberately.
Everyone clapped. Meg started to grin with triumph.
“But I won’t,” Linc said. “Sixteen.”
The room silenced.
“Really?” she asked.
“It’s a good cause,” he reminded. Taunted.
“Seventeen,” she allowed.
“Two thousand,” he said.
“What?” His leap over three hundred dollars startled her. He was doing this on purpose. Punishing her. She rose to her feet. “Twenty-one,” she said in a strong voice, firm with warning.
“I’m getting the feeling I’m not needed here,” Buck joked. “In fact, I think we should all leave the room.”
Meg blushed hard. “You’re just—” she started to blurt at Linc.
He lifted his brows in a prompt for her to finish her statement. Getting back at me, is what she wanted to accuse. The corners of his mouth were digging in, smugly enjoying her discomfiture.
“Twenty-five hundred dollars,” she said. It was as high as she would go and screw his helicopter tour. That was her signing bonus that she had set aside for an all-inclusive when she got tired of winter. He was going to provide a lot more than lunch if she was giving it away.
“Two thousand, five hundred...and one,” he declared precisely.
Jerk. The entire room was laughing at her.
“You know what?” she said as the noise died down. “You write your check and I’ll write mine. We’ll call this date done because you obviously don’t want to go through with it.” Not with her, at any rate. She was burning with humiliation and just wanted this hideous scene over.
He lost some of his self-assured demeanor. His expression blanked with surprise, but he recovered quickly. His eyelids came down in a shuttered blink and he nodded. “Deal.”
~ * ~
Want to know what happens next? The Bachelor's Baby comes out March 6th. All the books in the Bachelor Auction series will release on all digital platforms, but you can pre-order on Amazon and iBooks here:
Have you been reading my other Montana Born novellas? The Bachelor's Baby follows Blame The Mistletoe. My series goes like this:
- Hometown Hero (now on all platforms)
- Blame The Mistletoe (coming soon to all platforms)
- The Bachelor's Baby (releases March 6th, all platforms)
- His Blushing Bride (scheduled for May 11th)
Bundle of Brawn - Hometown Hero and More!
Tule Publishing has put together this amazing bundle just for February. Pick it up and you'll get Hometown Hero and twelve other romances with it, all for just $3.99.
Buy His Only Valentine Bundle Here:
Please visit my contest page while you're here and check back for other chances to win signed copies of my Harlequin Presents.
I'll post another snippet from The Bachelor's Baby next Tuesday. I hope you'll come back for it.
Have you read my #SampleSunday for The Sheikh's Sinful Seduction? I'll be posting my final excerpt in that series this weekend.
I'm heading back to Italy now. Have a great week!