Excerpt Monday

No featured authors this week, although I do have  another great line-up of guests and giveaways coming up in July.  So this week on the blog I’ll be doing something a bit different.  I’ll be posting some excerpts from my new contemporary romance, Hardball, co-authored with my husband under our pen name of V.K. Sykes.  Although obviously not historical romances, I can assure you that my contemporary romances as just as fun and sexy as my historicals!

Here’s the blurb for Hardball:

After years of hard work and keeping her nose firmly to the grindstone, Dr. Holly Bell has finally achieved her dream:  a position as a pediatric surgeon at a prestigious teaching hospital.  Children’s lives rest in her skilled hands.  That means total dedication to her work and her patients without letting anything or anyone get in the way.  And a hot affair with a superstar athlete is most definitely getting in Holly’s way.

Nate Carter, star pitcher for the Philadelphia Patriots, has the world in the palm of his baseball glove.  He’s at the height of his game, a west coast team is about to lure him with even greater riches, and the most gorgeous women in town are in full pursuit.  Nate has everything he wants, or at least he thinks he does, until he meets the beautiful and brainy Dr. Holly Bell.  He’s totally up for a hot affair, and Holly turns out to be the hottest.

But will Holly be willing to play his game?  When the lovely doctor starts changing the rules, Nate realizes he just might be playing for keeps.

And here’s the excerpt, when Nate meets Holly for the first time:

Nate entered the room.  Two steps inside, he stopped short, brushing up against a woman in a white lab coat.  She must have been standing at the foot of the bed, fully hidden by the door.

The woman took a small step backward, clearly startled by the brief physical contact.  As their eyes met, Nate felt all the air sucked from his lungs in one whoosh.

Sweet Mother of God.

He had to pull in a deep breath.  What a babe.

The woman’s brow creased.  “I’m Dr. Bell.  Can I help you?”

He couldn’t stop his gaze from quickly traveling the full length of her body, from her face to her ankles and all the way back again.  Though not nearly as tall as he was, this doctor was one seriously long drink of a woman.  Close to six feet, he reckoned.  Her unbuttoned lab coat revealed a lean but curvy figure, and long, elegant legs.  She had a naturally beautiful face, too, with big, hazel eyes, a full, sexy mouth, and a peaches and cream complexion.  Still, he suspected she tended to hide her light under a bushel.  She wore no makeup that he could see, and her auburn hair was pulled back into a ponytail.  Glasses were perched on the end of her nose, secured by a fine gold chain around her neck.  They added to her unadorned, resolutely professional look.

The doctor extended a slender hand.  Her fine eyebrows arched as she waited for him to find his voice.

Her outstretched hand finally registered in his brain and jolted him into action. “I’m sorry,” he apologized, “I was a little surprised for a moment.  You were hidden by the door.”

He took her hand and held it a few seconds.  It was long and fine-boned, but her firm grip told him it was strong, too.  The kind of hand he’d like to have doing surgery on him.  In fact, he mused, he wouldn’t mind that hand doing all sorts of things to his body.

He introduced himself.  “I’m Nate Carter.  I come around whenever I can to visit with the kids.”

She still looked puzzled.  It dawned on him that she had absolutely no idea who he was.  It didn’t bother him, though.  Actually, it felt like a nice change of pace from the constant fan recognition.

“I’m a pitcher with the Patriots,” he said.  “You know.  Baseball.”

Her mouth relaxed into a half-smile. “Oh, I see,” she replied.  “You’re one of our celebrity visitors.”  Her crisp tone told him she was far from awed by his presence.  Looking down at the little girl, she said, “Mr. Carter, this is Morgan McDaniel.”

Morgan shyly put her little hand in his big one.

“Dr. Holly, I know who Nate Carter is,” she said in a whispery voice.  “He’s the Patriots’ best pitcher.  Everybody knows that.”

Dr. Bell seemed to hold back a smile as Morgan skewered her.  “I don’t think I’ve told you yet how new I am to the city, Morgan,” she said, her serious voice at odds with the amusement in her eyes.  “If I’d been here for more than just a few weeks, I’m sure I would have recognized a man as famous as Mr. Carter.”

Nate smothered a chuckle.  What a perfect response.  She validated what the little girl had said, and made him feel good at the same time.

“That’s why I didn’t recognize you, either,” he said.  “I’ve met most of the doctors here over the past few years, and I know I would have remembered if I’d ever seen you before.”  He made no attempt to keep the appreciation out of his voice.

“Well, then, I suppose we might run into each other again.”  Her smile was hesitant but intriguing.  “Since you’re a regular visitor here.”

“You bet,” he said.

As if he didn’t already have enough motivation to keep doing this“Doctor Bell,” he continued, wanting to keep the conversation going, “do you mind my asking where you’re from?  I detect a bit of a southern accent.”

She sighed, her expression conveying rueful resignation.  “You’re probably hearing the north Florida in my voice.  I grew up in Jacksonville.  But for the last nine years I’ve been studying and working at the University of Virginia.”

“You’re from Jacksonville?  No kidding?  I’ve got a condo in Ponte Vedra Beach, and I’m in Jax all the time when I’m down there.”  He looked over at Morgan, staring at the adults with big, round eyes, and winked.  The little girl giggled.

Nate glanced back at the doctor.  “That’s got to be some kind of karma, right?”

Dr. Bell registered his flirtation, and her eyes widened in surprise.  A slight blush colored her smooth cheeks.  He could feel his smile broaden as she somewhat defiantly returned his look, and it occurred to him that perhaps the good doctor was issuing a challenge.

Well, he’d be more than happy to oblige her.  He knew without a shadow of a doubt he was going to find out just what this lovely doctor was all about.

Hardball is available in e-book format from Amazon and Smashwords for just $2.99.

Have a great day, everyone!

 


A Blizzard of Books

The handsome fellow posing with Santa is Yukon, the book-loving Norwegian Elkhound.  As you can see, he’s got quite the pile of presents there, and I can guarantee that some of them will be books.

My family loves giving and receiving books for Christmas.  I’ve already checked out everybody’s haul, and there are a few that I’m going to be “borrowing” for myself.   My step-mother has one particularly interesting book in her pile: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  Henrietta Lacks was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who, without her consent, made medical history.  The book has been getting great reviews, and it sounds both important and fascinating.

I also got a few swell books under the tree, ones I had been hoping Santa would bring me to help with my research.  The first is the revised edition of The London Encyclopaedia. This tome – and I do mean tome – can tell you anything you ever wanted to know about London, seemingly from the dawn of time.  It’s lucid and beautifully written, and full of cool stuff.  Want to know about the Kensal Green Cemetary?  It’s in there.  About the history of electricity in London?  That’s in there too.  An invaluable research tool, and it’s also just plain fun to read.

The other book I got was Georgian and Regency Houses Explained.  It’s not a very big book, but it’s meaty.  Not only does it give details on things like the kinds of building materials used during the period, it explains the socio-economic factors that influenced the development of style and function.  Another very cool book.

What books did you get this holiday season?  Tell me what you got, and one commenter will win an e-book copy of my VK Sykes contemporary romance, CaddyGirls.


Yukon’s Holiday Wish List

 

If you’ve ever stopped by my website, you know that Yukon is a Norwegian Elkhound who loves to read.  He’s very fond of thrillers, books about mountain climbing, and, of course, romance.  He’s been diligently compiling his reading wish list for Christmas in the hopes that Santa will drop at least a few of his requests down the chimney.  Along with a few dog bones and chew toys, just to round things out.

Yukon’s reading wish list:

WHISPER FALLS by Toni Blake

SOMEONE LIKE YOU by Susan Mallery

STONED KISSED by Keri Stevens

LYING EYES by Amy Atwell

CADDYGIRLS by VK Sykes

Okay.  Yukon does have a confession to make.  He’s already read CADDYGIRLS.  After all, my husband and I wrote that book under the pen name of VK Sykes, but Yukon figures it never hurts to have another copy of a book he really enjoyed (honestly, I didn’t pay him to say that!).  And because Yukon is such a loyal reader of mine, he’s also asked his mommy not to forget to pre-order my next historical release, which is a novella in the anthology, AN INVITATION TO SIN. You can read an excerpt from my novella on my website.

So that’s what Yukon is looking forward to reading in the next little while.  How about you?  Leave a comment and tell me what you’ve got on your wish list for the holidays.  One commenter will win an e-ARC of my novella from AN INVITATION TO SIN.


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