Excerpt from Olivia's current WIP: The Sheikh’s Match
The dry desert heat of his ancestors’ lands stung his nostrils and he nodded at the silent figures on the other side of the car’s open door. It wasn’t their fault his father was who he was. They had had their orders, they just weren’t his.
Malik’s footsteps echoed through the red stoned courtyard, dust threatening to rise and settle on the pristine designer shoes at his movements before falling back to the ground, the stone slowly giving way to the thick green foliage and dried roots of a garden. A garden that seemed to house a very distinct female voice.
Wild plants greeted him, the stylized boarders overflowing with unkempt greenery free to grow for years without order and in the middle, the female owner of the voice in a pair of beige trousers with dirty shoes and a white t-shirt, a pale blue scarf not keeping the black hair in any style or order. A woman whose hands where pointing in all directions around the gardens and whose voice was issuing orders to his men who had frozen at the sight of him and were now bowing low. Despite her small stature among his men, she now stood tall among the bent heads, their actions around her making her pause and turn too.
Large blue eyes widened in a small heart shaped face, reddened lips opening in a small ‘O’ making the smattering of freckles more pronounced on the pale skin. Skin he guessed didn’t have much in the way of sun cream judging from the redness highlighting the tip of the button nose.
Any further surprise on her part was hidden well and he watched as the full lips closed quickly. Why had he noticed them? Nothing like that would ever matter he reminded himself sharply. When the time came it would be duty, not attraction that would matter.
Oooooh...I'm intrigued, aren't you guys? Okay, Olivia, give us a sneak peek into your newest book!
The Tycoon's Wager
To boost ratings and save her radio show, agony aunt CJ Stratt has no choice but to agree to a publicity proposition from London’s renowned playboy Jack Harper. They’ll go on eight dates, which she’ll tweet about to prove he’s not the unreliable wastrel he’s been painted as in the press.
Jack’s desperate to squelch his irresponsible image to insure that the business deal that could make or break his career goes smoothly. He’s willing to do anything, including dating this quirky DJ with pastel-colored hair and a sassy mouth.
Jack knows seduction, but he has no idea how to love. Love is CJ’s business, yet she has never been seduced.
Somehow, this business just got personal …
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Clearing her throat, CJ pushed her glasses further up her nose, swiveling around to face her guest. “So, Mr. Harper ...”
“Jack, and you, I take it from your show’s introduction, are CJ. Short for ...?”
Short for none of your business, but she pasted a saccharine smile on her face. “Well it’s nice to meet you, Jack, and it’s just CJ. So are you telling us, London that is, that Ms. Shoes was wrong and you are a loving, devoted guy after all?”
Ha! That got him. She smiled victoriously, pleased to see his mouth open then shut firmly again. “And just so I’m not accused of missing some facts, how long did you and Ms. Shoes date?”
“One month.” This time the smooth drawl belied his tightening jaw.
“So let’s say four weeks in a month, average that to about one date a week ... that is a reasonable enough time to get to know someone.”
Her heart skipped in her chest as his eyes, a deep navy she could see now, narrowed.
“In this busy, modern world of dating, I believe that is the only time people have available. In addition to which, Ms. Stratt, in that one sentence, you have solved the dilemma for anyone wondering if they should get married or not.”
“And by that you mean?”
“If they don’t know them after four dates, they never will.”
“I never meant that,” she replied. Grrr. If she could, she’d give her whole monthly paycheck to wipe that smirk off his face!
“So what did you mean? Just for the clarification of your listeners,” he prodded, moving forward. The rough softness of his trousers grazed the bare skin of her knee through the ripped denim, sending sparks of electricity shooting through her, and she pushed the creaking chair back, its soft clunk against the desk mobilising her thoughts out of the physical and into action.
She knew what he was trying to do. He was trying to discredit her on air. She could feel the blood thunder through her body at the victorious look on his patrician features.
“People can fall in love after four dates as well as they can after forty,” she began, hurrying on quickly at his raised sandy blond eyebrow. “Depending on the individuals involved. Don’t you agree?”
“No.” She pressed her lips together tightly at his laconic answer. “However, let’s run with your idea of knowing true love after four dates. What then is your professional opinion of passing judgement on an individual based on a 140-character tweet from a third party and, in your own words, based on roughly an average of one date per week for a total of one month, each date lasting only a few hours?”
Grrr! Darn him and his quick comeback. She was going to have to be quicker than she thought with this one.
Olivia Logan lives in the ever sunny UK where if she’s not writing her latest romance, she’s planning the next one.
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