I’m ecstatic to welcome fellow Harlequin Kimani author Lisa Marie Perry to my blog today. I enjoy chatting with her on Twitter and I hope to meet her one day in person. She’s sharing an excerpt from her sexy new release, Mine Tonight, the fourth book in the Blue Dynasty.
After being dumped by her fiancé and losing her shot at TV stardom, Bindi Paxton just wants to get out of town. But there’s no escaping the past—not even on the beautiful Seychelles Islands. And when her attraction to former Las Vegas Slayers heir Santino Franco culminates in a night of sizzling passion, she has to fight her feelings for a man who could hurt her deeper than any other has before.
Santino came to the islands to find the man responsible for the injury that ended his pro-football career. Ending up in bed with Bindi is a mistake they both regret. Except he now needs her help to find his fugitive father. And—heaven help him—he’s starting to fall for the stunning Sin City reporter. He can’t change their history…but he’d give anything for one more night, and maybe forever, in her arms.
“I’m not here to ruin your party.”
She hadn’t expected that, and it took her a moment to regroup. “Why are you here?”
People scooted past, wormed around them in search of refreshments. Nudging, jostling, they created chaos—yet Santino didn’t budge. Until he leaned close to Bindi. “If we were alone, I’d tell you why. Can I do that? Get you alone?”
Absolutely not. “Yes.”
“And that’d give you a head start? Your mind got busy figuring out an escape route the second you realized I was here.”
“Dare you to lie.”
Damn you, Franco. “I won’t take off,” she decided. “Eat. Drink. See this?” Bindi ensnared his key pendant, tangling her fingers in the chain. “Go find a few locks to put this in. That’s how the game works. You want a connection? Time with someone tonight? Unlock her first.”
“Including me.” He was just taunting her, right? He hated her. Bindi let the key drop, because it suddenly felt hot against her skin. Or had the heat only transferred from his chest to her fingers?
Walk away, she commanded her feet. But they were working against her. In fact, her entire body was. Whiskey in hand, she froze right there in front of the man she didn’t want on her island or anywhere in her temporary dream world.
Santino said her name again, but she felt it more than heard it. The word was an abrasive vibration in her ear, because he was close …
Too close, yet, somehow, not close enough.
Tanned, large-knuckled fingers brushed her as they sought her necklace. A tug on the silver lock jerked her out of her stupor, but it brought her forward, into his heat.
Had he always been so … hot? Not just a wicked heat source on a February island night, but darkly sexy?
Dressed as though he’d purposely stopped short of polished, he wore designer clothes, but the shirt’s open collar and rolled sleeves offered teasing peeks at crisp chest hair and tattooed, vein-crisscrossed arms. His wavy silver-at-the-temples dark hair was tamed into a short ponytail that she ached to work loose.
The low set of his brow and that crooked nose? She couldn’t imagine him without them. Framing his narrow, dangerous mouth was a beard that loitered at the midway point between five o’clock shadow and deliberate scruff—just enough whiskers to leave behind a rosy sting on her throat, breasts, thighs ….
Don’t go there. Bindi abandoned that train of thought before her mind began drawing erotic pictures of what his strong hands might be capable of. But his key was already nestled tight in her lock.
And she was his. Sort of. It was only a game, and in her reality, fair gameplay didn’t exist.
Disentangling their necklaces, she whispered, “This is the master lock, you could say. Every key unlocks this lock.”
“Who unlocked you?”
As if she’d divulge that he’d been the only man she allowed close enough to try? “You’re here to discuss Al. Your father. My ex-fiancé.” That man had burst all of Bindi’s illusions and had almost taken Santino’s life. He’d brought them together but would always stand between them.
“Bindi, he’s gone. Where is he?”
Casting a sharp glance about them, she growled, “I don’t know.”
Al had disappeared from Nevada over two weeks ago, something she’d found out when investigators had approached her for questioning. Every time someone attached her to his wrongdoings she’d more firmly regretted that she’d let herself fall for his money.
If she could hazard a guess, she’d suggest he was holed up in a safe house on some Mediterranean island, sleeping soundly through heavenly sunrises and toasting the sunsets with wine and fluffy Italian pastries.
“Maybe I don’t believe you.”
“Feel free to not believe me all the way back to Mahé and back to the US.” She turned.
She stopped when he said her name as though it were a plea or a prayer. The word was ironically firm yet gentle, his voice completely broken down.
“Yeah. My temper and yours were meant for each other.”
But she wasn’t meant for him, or any man. She was too much trouble, had too many—what was it her mother frequently said?—issues. She had too many issues.
Desperate to settle her focus on anything but Santino, Bindi started to cross the room but saw the man she’d been drawn to earlier tonight—before crunk music and Santino Franco had turned her ’round and ’round.
She put down the whiskey, followed his Afro to the veranda. A temperate breeze and dozens of twinkling tea lights embraced her. “Are you leaving?”
Pausing, the man started to smile—
“I unlocked her.”
Bindi whipped around. Santino!
The stranger gave a lackluster bow and mumbled a polite good-night, then hauled ass off the veranda.
“Why did you interfere?”
“I unlocked you,” Santino said slowly. “If we’re playing your game, that means you’re mine tonight. You owe me time.”
“We’ll discuss Al after the party reaches its natural conclusion.”
“When is that?”
“Usually parties fizzle when either the food or liquor is gone,” she said, selecting a pillar to drop against.
The tea lights teased the shadows as he entered her space.
Countering, “Would it conclude early if I were to walk back in that house and start telling your new friends why I’m here?” he waited for a reaction.
If he wanted fear, he wouldn’t get it. No man would wield that power over her again. “You’re not going to do that,” she predicted. “You already said you wouldn’t.”
“How can you trust that I didn’t lie?”
“Lying isn’t in your repertoire,” she said. Lying was an art her parents and their minions had taught her, but recently she’d decided to start telling the truth. Though she reported to tabloid bloggers, she presented perceptions of the truth that were difficult to discredit. She didn’t invent scandal where there was none. Often, there was enough legitimate scandalous material in Nevada and California to make fabrication a wasted effort. “I always liked you for that—your honesty.”
“There are things I always liked about you, too, Bindi.”
“I won’t ask you to list them.”
“Great, because I’m going to, and I don’t want you to think it’s because you asked.”
Lisa Marie Perry writes sizzling, deep fiction featuring sexy guy-next-door heroes and larger-than-life alphas who are brought to their knees by the love of complicated women. She’s received high praise from USA Today and has been nominated for an RT Book Reviews literary award. She lives in America’s heartland, drives a truck, enjoys indie rock, collects Medieval literature, watches too many comedies, has a not-so-secret love for lace and adores rugged men with a little bit of nerd.