Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Thirteen!



Thirteen Reasons To Buy My Hot, New, Paranormal Erotic Romance Animal Attraction!


1. It has a hunky werewolf for a hero!
2. It has a sexy, but skeptical heroine!
3. It showcases the beauty of Alaska!
4. It has lots of romance!
5. It has tons of humor!
6. It has loads of adventure!
7. It's a great story and a fun, exciting read!
8. It received 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies!
9. It's called an Outstanding Read by Simply Romance Reviews!
10. It's on the "Hot Titles" list at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid!
11. It has smokin' hot sex in the great outdoors!
12. It has smokin' hot sex indoors, too!
13. It has an absolutely gorgeous cover!




Links to other Thursday Thirteens!(Leave your link when you comment, and I'll add you here!


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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Animal Attraction - New from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid!


I'm thrilled to announce that I have a hot, new paranormal erotic romance out with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid called Animal Attraction! When I first read that Whiskey Creek Press Torrid was coming out with a new line of books called the Men of Alaska Series, I totally knew I had to write a book for it. I mean, what's more exciting than a hot, hunky, outdoorsy hero, right?!

I played around with a lot of different storylines, but I kept coming back to the idea of werewolves. Wolves just seemed to fit so well into the Alaskan theme, so I decided to go for it. Once I did a little bit of research on Fairbanks, the story just started to write itself.

I thought it would be more fun for my heroine to be a skeptic, so I made her a reluctant reporter for a paranormal magazine. I figured that would lead to lots of amusing interaction with the hunky hero, who just happens to be a werewolf, of course! Take a look at the blurb and excerpt below, and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.



Synopsis:

Frustrated when none of the real newspapers will hire her as a reporter, Eliza Bradley takes the only job she can get – at a paranormal magazine. Her first assignment takes her to Fairbanks , Alaska to investigate the possibility that a werewolf has killed two local hikers.

She forgets about the story, however, when she meets Hunter McCall, a local college professor and an expert on wolves. The man is an absolute hunk, and she finds herself spending more time in his bed than worrying about werewolves. That is, until Eliza finds out that Hunter isn’t just an animal in the sack, he’s an animal out of it, too - of the werewolf variety! Talk about a complicated relationship!

But Eliza can’t dwell on Hunter’s little shapeshifting issues. There’s another werewolf out there with a taste for human blood, and she and Hunter are the only ones who can stop him.




Excerpt:

“Anything else I can get for you folks?” the waitress asked.

Eliza glanced down at the table before looking up at the waitress again. “Ketchup?”The woman nodded. “There’s a bottle on the table right behind you, sugar. Enjoy your dinner.”

Eliza had expected the woman to bring her a new bottle of ketchup, or at least grab the one off the other table for them, like waitresses in most restaurants would usually do. Maybe it was a diner thing, Eliza thought. Or an Alaska thing. Either way, it seemed she would be going to get her own bottle of ketchup.

Taking her napkin off her lap and placing it on the table, Eliza pushed back her chair and got to her feet. When the waitress had told her that there was a bottle of ketchup on the table behind theirs, she had naturally assumed it was unoccupied, so she was surprised to see a man sitting there. And not just the average, run-of-the-mill guy she’d expect to find in a diner either, but a mouth-watering specimen of a man. Her breath caught as she found herself stopping right there in the middle of the diner to stare at him She had read in Cosmo once that there was something different about Alaskan men, that living in the great white north made them more masculine and sexy. Staring at the man seated at the table, she could well believe it.

Thank goodness he was intent on whatever he was reading on the laptop in front of him, because he would surely think she was a freak standing there staring at him with her mouth hanging open. But good heavens, with that thick, dark hair, chiseled, hair-roughened jaw, and wide, sensual mouth, how could any woman not be mesmerized?

Abruptly realizing how idiotic she must look just standing there, Eliza finally forced her feet to move. As she neared his table, the man looked up from his laptop and she felt her breath hitch as his gaze met hers. She’d never seen eyes like his before. Not quite brown, but not really hazel, either, the only way she could think to describe them was gold. And the sexiest pair of eyes she’d ever seen. The heat from them mesmerized her, pulling her into their depths, and suddenly she found it very hard to breathe.

When he lifted a brow in question, she finally managed to break out of her trance. “I, um, was wondering if I could steal your ketchup,” Eliza stammered, her face coloring. “We don’t have any,” she added, glancing back at her table.

The man followed the direction of her gaze, his gold eyes settling on the photographer for a moment before he gave her a smile. “Sure.”

Picking up the bottle, he held it out to her. As she reached for it, her fingers brushed his and she almost gasped as the most amazing sensation swept through her. It was like she’d just gotten completely and thoroughly kissed. Her knees felt weak and there was a delicious little flutter in her tummy that left her breathless.

It was then that she realized she hadn’t actually taken the bottle of ketchup yet. She was just standing there touching him like a dufus. She tried to cover her bizarre behavior by grabbing the bottle, but all she did was almost knock it out of his hand. They both fumbled with the thing for a moment before she finally gained control of it.

Could she be any more lame? She could already feel the heat rushing to her face.

“I think your boyfriend’s waiting for the ketchup,” he said when she continued to just stand there.

Eliza’s brow furrowed in confusion at the word “boyfriend,” but then she realized he must be referring to the photographer. She forced her attention away from the pleasant warmth that still swirled between her thighs and gave him a smile. “Oh, you mean Andy. He’s not my boyfriend. We just work together.”

One eyebrow rose. “Really.”

Oh God. Did he think she was trying to come on to him? Crap, she really needed to go back to her table before she did something else to embarrass herself. But she couldn’t seem to make her feet move. She had a crazy urge to reach out and touch him again to see if that same sexual spark would happen. Resisting the impulse, she instead reached up to tuck her long, dark hair behind her ear. “But you’re right. He is probably waiting for the ketchup.”

Giving the man another smile, she forced herself to turn and walk back to her table. Halfway there, however, she couldn’t resist glancing over her shoulder to take one more look at him. He was regarding her with those incredible golden eyes of his, and her pulse fluttered wildly at the intensity in his gaze.

What was going on with her? She’d never experienced anything like this in her life. She had to get control of herself. Giving him one more look over her shoulder, she turned and stumbled back to her seat in a daze, clutching the bottle of ketchup in her hand.

Across from her, Andy lifted a brow as if to ask, what the hell is wrong with you? When she didn’t say anything he prompted, “You just going to sit there and hold that all night or can I use the ketchup?”

She blinked. “What? Oh, yeah. Sorry,” she mumbled, handing it to him.

Eliza watched as the photographer dumped ketchup on his onion rings, and then began to dig into his meal. She knew she should be doing the same, but she couldn’t stop thinking about what had just happened. Her heart was still racing as if she’d just come back from a run. Or had just gotten done having some really great sex. Good heavens, and all of that was from a mere brush of the fingers. She couldn’t keep herself from wondering what it would have been like if he really had kissed her.

It was a long time before Eliza could focus on her food, and by then, she realized she wasn’t really hungry anymore, at least not for food anyway.








For more of my sexy erotic fiction, visit my website at http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com

And to get the scoop on all my new releases, as well as what I'm currently working on, just email me at
paigetyler@paigetylertheauthor.com with "add me to your mailing list" in the subject line!

Oh, and by the way, I'm already working on the sequel to Animal Attraction, so keep checking my website for details!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tasty Tuesday!

Talk about hot! Yum! And he's exactly how I picture Hunter McCall, the hunky werewolf from my hot new paranormal erotic romance Animal Attraction! I could totally see him having a wild side!


For more on Animal Attraction, click here!
*hugs*

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Thirteen!



Thirteen Mini-Excerpts from my hot, new, contemporary erotic romance Protective Custody!



1.


When Gray arrived at the station twenty minutes later, he went directly to the captain’s office. The door was closed and he knocked once before opening it to stick hishead in.

“You wanted to see me, Captain?” he asked the man seated behind the desk.

Gray would have walked right in, but then he noticed that the head of the Burglary Detail, Captain Ted McCoy, wasn’t alone. There was a dark-haired woman seated in front of him, her back to Gray. “Oh, sorry,” he said to his boss. “I didn’t know you were with someone. I’ll come back later.”

But when Gray started to close the door, Captain McCoy motioned for him to enter. “That’s all right, Inspector. Come in.”

Nodding, Gray walked into the office, closing the door behind him. As he did so, he glanced casually at the woman and did a double-take. Damn. She was one hell of a knockout! Long, dark hair, cheekbones high enough to make the top models envious, and full lips that looked like they were just made for kissing. Not to mention the most impossibly blue eyes he’d ever seen. Then there was that amazing body. Even though she was sitting down, Gray could tell she was tall and slender with curves in all the right places. It didn’t hurt that she was wearing a fitted sweater and short plaid skirt, he thought, his gaze lingering on her shapely legs.

Down, big boy, he told himself when his jeans started to tighten uncomfortably
around his cock.

Gray was almost relieved when the captain spoke. “Inspector, I’d like you to meet\my daughter, Paisley,” he said. “Paisley, this is Inspector Gray Beckham.”

Daughter? Gray’s eyes went to the beautiful bombshell again. Ah, hell. I should have known.



2.


Glancing in the direction of her father’s office, Paisley saw Inspector Beckham making his way over to where she stood. Now that she had a chance to get a good look at him, she was starting to think maybe this arrangement wasn’t such a bad idea. He was kind of sexy, in a rugged sort of way. Actually, dressed in those tight jeans and leather jacket, he was hotter than any cop had a right to be.




3.



Shoving the dress into an evening purse, Paisley picked up her shoes in her free hand and darted from the room. She had barely made it past the bathroom when the door opened.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Gray demanded from behind her.

Paisley stopped in her tracks at the commanding tone in his voice. Crap! She had hoped to slip out before Gray finished taking his shower. It just wasn’t fair that guys could clean up so fast.

Squaring her shoulders, she whirled around to face him. And blinked. Though he had put on jeans, he hadn’t bothered with a shirt, and all she could do was stare at him in feminine appreciation. She had known he was built, but she hadn’t realized just how well. Broad shoulders, a chiseled chest, and rock-hard abs. Daaaaammmn! He had a body that just wouldn’t quit.



4.



She clenched her jaw. “I wasn’t asking for your permission, Inspector. I’m leaving and you can’t stop me.”

With that, Paisley whirled around and started for the door. She didn’t even make it halfway before Gray caught her arm and turned her back around.

“You’re not going anywhere.”

She glared up at him. “Oh, really?” she countered. “And just how are you going to stop me? Handcuff me to the bed?”




5.



To her surprise, Gray didn’t sit her down at all, but instead took a seat himself. Totally perplexed, she was just about to ask what he was doing when a tug on her arm sent her sprawling over his knee. She had no choice but to drop the purse and shoes so she could put her hands on the floor to keep herself balanced.

For a moment, Paisley was so stunned she just lay there. She recovered quickly enough though, and when she did, she immediately tried to push herself upright. But a strong hand on her back held her firmly in place. Furious at being manhandled, she glared at him over her shoulder.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

He returned her glower with one of his own. “Teaching you a lesson.”

Paisley opened her mouth to retort, only to let out a startled little gasp when she felt him smack her upturned bottom. He did not just spank her!




6.



Then, just as suddenly as the spanking had begun, it was over, and she was back on her feet. Gray towered over her, all six-foot-four-gorgeous-half-naked inches of him!

They were standing so close that Paisley could actually feel the masculinity pouring off him. It was all she could do not to jump him!



7.



Paisley closed her eyes and melted against him. Gray’s mouth was gentle and
demanding at the same time, and she let out little sigh of pleasure as his tongue invaded her mouth to claim hers as its own. She had been kissed by a lot of men, but he was definitely in a class all by himself, she decided, as he slid his hand in her hair and began to explore her mouth even more thoroughly. Unable to stop herself, she ran her hands up his bare chest. He was a wall of solid muscle beneath her fingers, and she murmured her approval against his mouth.

She was so caught up in touching him that she barely even realized he slid one of his hands beneath the hem of her sweater until she felt his fingers lightly caressing her bare skin. Her eyes flew open. What the heck was she doing? Not five minutes ago, the brute had put her over his knee and spanked her, for heaven’s sake! She should be slapping his handsome face, not kissing him!




8.



Gray’s lips were hot on hers, his tongue insistent as it swept into her mouth to find hers. She kissed him back just as urgently, her tongue tangling with his. Damn, she had never been with a guy who could take her breath away with just a single kiss!

“God, you taste good,” he breathed, drawing her lower lip into his mouth and gently suckling on it.

Paisley could only moan in reply.

Closing his mouth over hers again, Gray slid his hand along her hip, urging her
closer so that she was lying half on top of the console. Damn thing, she thought.

Dragging her mouth from his, Paisley hiked up her short skirt and climbed over the console separating them to straddle his lap.

“That’s better,” she said.

Gray ran his hands up her bare thighs. “Much,” he agreed.




9.



“There’s just one bedroom, so I’ll get you a pillow and some blankets so that you can…” She turned to face him, but the words trailed off as she realized just how close she was to the handsome inspector.

They were standing only inches apart and suddenly all of the sexual desire she had felt at the club came bubbling to the surface. Before she could even think, the tiny distance between them evaporated and she found her mouth on his once more. This was getting to be a really bad habit.




10.



Paisley’s breathing quickened in anticipation as the material parted to reveal the muscles of his bare chest. Why Gray was wasting his time in law enforcement was beyond her. He should be on the cover of Muscle and Fitness or something. On second thought, make that Playgirl, she corrected, as her gaze dipped to the bulge in his jeans. She could already see the centerfold.




11.



“So,” she said, reaching out to toy with one of the buttons on his shirt. “Do you have your handcuffs with you?”

His golden brown eyes glinted in the darkened bedroom. “As a matter of fact, I do.”

She smiled. “Then how ’bout we play a game of good cop/bad girl,” she suggested in a husky voice. “What do you think?”

Gray chuckled, the sound a deep, sexy rumble that made her tummy flutter. “I think that if we’re going to play that game, then I’m going to have to frisk you first.”

Oooh, she liked the sound of that!




12.



To Gray’s surprise, Paisley was actually a pretty good poker player, and after about thirty minutes, they were about even.

“This is fun,” Paisley said, as she popped one of her winnings into her mouth. “But you know what would be even more fun?”

Gray’s mouth twitched. He could think of several things and all of them involved her getting naked. “What’s that?” He glanced at her as he shuffled the cards.

She leaned forward to give him a sultry look. “Strip poker.”

He paused in the act of shuffling to look across the table at her. Inside his jeans, his cock was already getting hard. He gave her a slow, sexy grin. “I like the sound of that.”

She sat back in her chair and reached for another M and M. “I thought you might.”




13.



She turned in his arms to gaze up at him. “I’m sorry I was such a pain that first night at my apartment. I know you were only trying to do your job.”

His mouth quirked as he reached up to brush her hair back from her face. “Don’t worry about it. But since you’re apologizing, I suppose I should, too. I shouldn’t have spanked you like that.”

Paisley felt her face color at the mention of the spanking he’d given her. Dammit, why did she blush so much around him?

“Probably not,” she agreed. Since he’d brought it up, it was the perfect opportunity to tell him exactly what she thought about it. She looked up at him from beneath her long bangs. “Though it was kind of a turn-on.”

Gray lifted a brow, clearly surprised by her words. “Really?”

She ran her hands up his bare chest to loop her arms around his neck. Beneath the pajama bottoms he wore, he was already hard. “In fact, I was thinking that maybe we could do it again sometime.”






Links to other Thursday Thirteens!(Leave your link when you comment, and I'll add you here!)



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The Midnight Moon Cafe
Elle Fredrix
Heather
Kissa Starling
Jennifer McKenzie
Poetic Genesis
Debbie Mumford
The Menagerie Authors
Rhonda Stapleton
Robin Rotham
Ivette
Amelia June
Angeleque
Ashley Ladd
LA Day
Adelle Laudan
Shelley Munro
Apooo Books
Savvy One
Savannah Chase
Tara Nichols
Stephanie Sullivan
Alessia Brio
Kate Willoughby
Kaige
Robin Renee
Jane Jones
Pamela
Alice Audrey
Gina Ardito
Lisa Andel
Kathleen Oxley
Gwen Mitchell
Chloe Devlin
Eden
Savanna Kougar
Tamy
Nina Pierce

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm at Coffee Time!


That's right! You can now find me at the Coffee Time Romance Forum! I have my own mini-forum, where you can find a listing of my books, as well as excerpts! You can also keep up with the latest news, like where I'm blogging and when I have a new release out, as well as read reviews of my books!


See you there!




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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday Thirteen!



Thirteen Reasons To Buy My Hot, New, Contemporary Erotic Romance Protective Custody!


1. It has a hunky hero!
2. It has a sexy heroine!
3. It has some naughty spanking scenes!
4. It has handcuffs...and a guy who knows how to use them!
5. It has pulse-pounding sex up against the wall!
6. It'll keep you guessing!
7. It has non-stop adventure!
8. It has a yummy skinny dipping scene!
9. It has invigorating outdoor booty!
10. It has a gorgeous cover!
11. It has romantic lovemaking in front of the fireplace!
12. It's from Liquid Silver Books!
13. Did I mention that it has red-hot sex in it?









Links to other Thursday Thirteens!(Leave your link when you comment, and I'll add you here!



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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Protective Custody - New from Liquid Silver Books!


I'm thrilled to announce that I have hot, new, contemporary romance out from Liquid Silver Books called Protective Custody! If you like books about guys that come with their own handcuffs, then you'll love this sexy story!

If you're familiar with my other books, then it's probably no surprise that I love to write about strong, sexy, alpha males, and Gray Beckham, the hero in Protective Custody is about as strong, sexy and alpha as they come!

Check out the synopsis and excerpt below to get an idea of what Protective Custody is all about. It has romance, adventure, humor, and obviously, lots of hot, steamy sex! I think you're going to love it!



Synopsis:

Paisley McCoy is a sexy reporter who writes about the San Francisco club scene for a local magazine. Having a dad on the force has led to one hard and fast rule – she doesn’t date cops. She likes her men sensitive and intellectual, two qualities in short supply in any cop she’s ever met. But now she’s stuck with this standard-issue cop – aggressive, opinionated, and sure he’s always right. In short, the complete opposite of the kind of man she usually goes for.

Gray Beckham is a no-nonsense cop who's peeved about being taken off a major burglary investigation to babysit the captain’s bratty daughter, even if she is gorgeous. To make it even more annoying, she acts like the whole thing is a joke and insists she doesn’t need his protection. And while she might be sexy as hell, there’s no way he’s going anywhere near the captain’s daughter.

Despite their differences, though, Paisley and Gray can’t deny the chemistry between them. But as that connection turns into romance, they find out that the stalker is a far greater threat than they had originally thought. And that if he can’t have her, no one will.



Excerpt:

They spoke little on the ride to her apartment. Once they got there, Gray told her to wait in the entryway while he took a look around. It seemed like overkill to her, but she didn’t argue. However, she didn’t stay where he’d told her to, either. Instead, she went into the kitchen to open her mail. That earned her a dark scowl from Gray when he came out of the bedroom several minutes later. Paisley pretended not to notice.

“I’ve been on a stakeout for a couple of days,” he said after declaring the apartment clear. “Do you mind if I use your shower?”

She glanced up from the Victoria's Secret catalog she had been flipping through. “No, go ahead.”

“Thanks.” He picked up his overnight bag from the floor where he’d left it. “I won’t be long. Keep the door locked and don’t open it to anyone.”

Yeah, yeah. She went back to flipping through the catalog, only to pause when she heard the shower turn on a few minutes later. She had looked for a way to give Gray the slip ever since they’d walked out of the police station, and she decided she wasn’t going to get a better opportunity than right then. While she had to admit she really didn’t mind having the hunky inspector around, she hated being told what to do, especially by her father. Time to exercise her independence.

Tossing the catalog on the counter, Paisley hurried out of the kitchen and into her bedroom. Knowing she wouldn’t have enough time to do more than pack a few things before Gray came out, she decided to forget about the basics and instead, just grab a dress and a pair of high heels to wear that night. Everything else she could borrow from whichever friend she stayed with. At least until it was safe to come back to her place. By safe, she meant when there wasn’t some cop hanging around it.

Shoving the dress into an evening purse, Paisley picked up her shoes in her free hand and darted from the room. She had barely made it past the bathroom when the door opened.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Gray demanded from behind her.

Paisley stopped in her tracks at the commanding tone in his voice. Crap! She had hoped to slip out before Gray finished taking his shower. It just wasn’t fair that guys could clean up so fast.Squaring her shoulders, she whirled around to face him. And blinked. Though he had put on jeans, he hadn’t bothered with a shirt, and all she could do was stare at him in feminine appreciation. She had known he was built, but she hadn’t realized just how well. Broad shoulders, a chiseled chest, and rock-hard abs. Daaaaammmm! He had a body that just wouldn’t quit.

Gray crossed his arms over his chest. “Well?” he prompted when she said nothing.

Paisley tore her gaze from his perfectly sculpted arms to look up at him. She hadn’t realized he was so tall. Even in heels, she was still almost a head shorter than he was. She lifted her chin. “Out.”

His golden brown eyes narrowed. “Not without me, you’re not.”

She let out a sigh. “Look. Like I told you before, this isn’t going to work. I’m going to stay with some friends until this whole thing blows over. You can just tell my dad that I gave you the slip. He won’t hold it against you.”

“I don’t think so.”

She clenched her jaw. “I wasn’t asking for your permission, Inspector. I’m leaving and you can’t stop me.”

With that, Paisley whirled around and started for the door. She didn’t even make it halfway before Gray caught her arm and turned her back around.

“You’re not going anywhere.”

She glared up at him. “Oh, really?” she countered. “And just how are you going to stop me? Handcuff me to the bed?”

Her words hung in the air between them for a long moment before his mouth finally quirked.

“Though I’ll admit that’s tempting,” he said, “I have something more effective in mind.”

Before she could ask what he meant by that, Gray led her over to the couch. What was he going to do, sit her down and lecture her?

To her surprise, Gray didn’t sit her down at all, but instead took a seat himself. Totally perplexed, she was just about to ask what he was doing when a tug on her arm sent her sprawling over his knee. She had no choice but to drop the purse and shoes so she could put her hands on the floor to keep herself balanced.

For a moment, Paisley was so stunned she just lay there. She recovered quickly enough though, and when she did, she immediately tried to push herself upright. But a strong hand on her back held her firmly in place. Furious at being manhandled, she glared at him over her shoulder.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

He returned her glower with one of his own. “Teaching you a lesson.”

Paisley opened her mouth to retort, only to let out a startled little gasp when she felt him smack her upturned bottom. He did not just spank her!


Protective Custody is available from Liquid Silver Books!


Watch the trailer here!




For more of my sexy erotic fiction, visit my website at http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com

And to get the scoop on all my new releases, as well as to keep up on what I'm currently working on, sign up to receive my newsletter. Just email me at
paigetyler@paigetylertheuthor.com with "add me to your mailing list" in the subject line!


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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tasty Tuesday!

Now, he's just yummy! And exactly how I picture the hero, hunky SFPD Inspector Gray Beckham, in my new book from Liquid Silver Books, Protective Custody! He totally looks like he knows how to use a pair of handcuffs!


For more on my hot new contemporary erotic romance, Protective Custody, click here!
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New in Print and Kindle - Samantha and the Detective!


I'm thrilled to announce that I have a sexy, new, contemporary spanking romance out called Samantha and the Detective! It's available in eBook, print, and Kindle!



Gotta love a guy who come with his own handcuffs!

Detective Hayden Tanner hates reporters, especially when they interfere with a police investigation. So why is he so drawn to saucy reporter Samantha Halliwell when she does nothing but interfere with his current investigation of a college student's murder? And why does Samantha continue to provoke him when he's already made good on his promise and put her over his knee her for getting in his way? Perhaps because despite her dislike for authority figures, she finds the handsome detective's willingness to take her in hand surprisingly sexy. But despite his repeated warnings and over the knee spankings, Samantha continues to investigate the murder heedless of the danger, putting not only her future with Hayden in jeopardy but her very life as the killer closes in on her.



Excerpt:

It was only ten-thirty in the morning and it had already been a long day. But that was because Hayden Tanner had been up since four AM when he’d been called down to the university after some early morning joggers had found the body of a fellow student dumped beside one of the fitness trails. A half dozen members of the track club had been getting in some cross-country work before class and had seen a bare leg sticking out of some shrubs.

From the looks of it, the naked body had been tossed from a car parked on the road up the hill from the trail. There were cuts, scrapes, and bruises on the body that the ME had said were post mortem, which fit with the theory that the body had been dumped after the murder. Preliminary cause of death was strangulation since there were heavy ligature marks around the man’s neck.

The combination of the naked body, rope marks on the wrists, and the college campus dumpsite gave the murder all the indicators of a sex crime, but Hayden was reserving judgment until he and his partner got the results from the autopsy. At least one thing was sure, though; they could definitely rule out suicide.

As it happened, one of the joggers had recognized the vic and identified him as an art major that had a part-time job at one of Seattle’s small bookstores, which was where Hayden and his partner were now.

“So, when did you say you saw him last?” Hayden asked the store’s owner.

The man was well past middle age, with a thin, angular face and wire-rimmed glasses that hid unremarkable gray eyes. He was just the type of man that Hayden would imagine owning a bookstore.

Before the man could answer his question, however, the door to the shop opened. Hayden turned to find a woman entering the store. She was young, probably no more than twenty-five or so, and pretty, with ash blonde hair that she had loosely pulled up into a clip and sunglasses perched atop her head. She was petite, too, he noticed. In fact, if not for the stacked heels she was wearing, she’d probably barely reach his chin.

But it was her eyes that fascinated him. They were the clear, blue-green color of the Caribbean. And, no doubt, just as easy for a man to drown in.

Her gaze immediately locked on the badges he and his partner wore, and she hurried over to them eagerly.

“What are you doing here?” she asked even as her blue eyes took on a knowing look. Slipping on a pair of reading glasses, she took a spiral notebook out of her handbag. “This must be about Rick Elliot, right?”

Hayden’s eyes narrowed. Damn, she was a reporter. He should have known. “And how do you know about that?” he asked crossly.

She barely spared him a glance as she fished a pen out of her huge shoulder bag. “My scanner,” she said, as if that should have been obvious. “What happened?”

Hayden’s dark brows drew together. With a quick look at his partner, who was regarding him with amusement, he abandoned his questioning and took her arm. “I’m Detective Hayden Tanner and since this is a police investigation, I’ll be the one asking the questions. In fact, I think I have a few for you,” he said, hustling her out the door.



“Let go of me! I’m sure even a Neanderthal like you has heard of the First Amendment. I have every right to be here.” Samantha Halliwell wrenched her arm from the detective’s grasp once they were outside and glared up at him. “Who taught you manners? The Marquis de Sade?”

His mouth twitched in wry amusement at her quip. “Who?”

“Forget it!” she snapped. “I'm sure it's above you.”

His jaw tightened slightly at the insult. “Who are you?” he asked. “I’ve never seen you around a crime scene before.”

Samantha was glad she’d worn her chunky sandals. Even with them, she barely came up to his chin, and she lifted hers defiantly. “Samantha Halliwell from the Post.”

Gold eyes narrowed and his voice took on an accusing tone. “I never heard of you.”
Samantha looked up at the handsome man before her. He would have been what her younger sister called “a hottie” if he weren’t so damn arrogant, which was why she wasn’t the least bit affected by his broad shoulders, rugged good looks, or incredible amber-colored eyes. “And you know all the reporters that work for the Post?”

He lifted a brow. “Just the good ones.”

She flushed and looked away. “I work in the arts and leisure section,” she said softly.

The detective had to bend his head to hear her words. “The what?”

Her gaze snapped back to his. “Arts and leisure,” she said stiffly, louder this time and carefully punctuating each word.

To her surprise – and intense irritation – he burst out laughing. “What? You're not even a real reporter!”

“I am too, you jerk!” How dare he say that to her! Just because she wrote about gallery openings and movies didn’t mean she wasn’t a real reporter. “So, what can you tell me about Rick Elliot’s murder? Do you think Jack Kendall was involved?” she asked, referring to the dour faced man who owned the bookstore.

Hayden Tanner’s mouth tightened. “If you were a real reporter, you would know that one, Rick Elliot’s death has not been officially ruled a murder and won’t be until the final autopsy report comes in, and two, I wouldn't be able to comment on who might or might not be involved.”

She folded her arms and gave him a contemptuous look. “Oh, please! His naked body was found with rope marks around his neck. What did he do – stumble and choke himself on a tree limb while out jogging in the nude?”

“Where did you get that information?” he demanded.

She smiled sweetly at him. “Anonymous source. Are you confirming the cause of death, then?”

He scowled. “No comment.”

She sighed. “Come on, give me something I can use. What’s Kendall got to do with this?”

“No comment.”

“How typical!”

“Look, there’s no story here, so why don't you run back to your desk at the Post.” He smirked.

“I’m sure there's some new movie out needing a bad review or something.”

Her hand itched to slap that sardonic smirk off his smug face. Lifting her chin, she secured her bag more firmly on her shoulder and gave him a scathing look. “If you’ll excuse me, I need to ask Mr. Kendall some questions.”

She made as if to push past him, but he caught her arm. “I don’t think so, Ms. Halliwell. Not unless you want me to arrest you for interfering in a police investigation.” His mouth quirked. “Though the idea of you in a pair of handcuffs does hold a certain appeal.”

Samantha simply stared at him, speechless and blushing as something warm and tingling coiled its way around her. Surprised by her reaction, she quickly tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and made a show of putting her notebook back into her bag.

“Tell Mr. Kendall that I’ll be back to talk to him,” she said, trying to maintain as much of her dignity as she could.


This time, Hayden let her go. But as his gaze followed her down the street, he felt himself grow hard, and he swore under his breath. What the hell was the matter with him? She was a reporter and he hated reporters, even beautiful reporters with incredibly blue eyes and the sexiest ass he’d ever seen.






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*hugs*

Tuesday, September 2, 2008