Thursday, July 10, 2008

Seduced in Shadow Releases Friday

The second book in my Magical Seduction series from Ellora's Cave, SEDUCED IN SHADOW, released tomorrow, and I'm so thrilled to be able to introduce Ellie and Antonin. Ellie is the sister of Justin from my first book, SEDUCED BY MAGIC.

Ellie is about to have her world turned upside down. And Antonin is the only man who can set it right when evil comes to take her away.

Here's their first meeting

EXCERPT:

Oh holy shit. This was it. This was what they warned women about in those running magazine articles.

How could she have been so stupid? Alone in the woods at six o’clock in the morning with no one around to hear her scream for help.

The man looked long and lean, a little over six foot tall she guessed. With those legs, he’d catch her easily if she ran. His arms bulged with muscle under the short-sleeved green t-shirt that clearly defined his broad shoulders and flat stomach, while his thighs filled out his worn jeans.
Despite her fear, she could appreciate the sheer masculine appeal of the man. He was gorgeous.
Straight, shaggy-cut black hair hung to his shoulders, long bangs off a side part nearly obscuring light-colored eyes…maybe gray. He wasn’t close enough for her to tell the exact color and, if she had her way, he wasn’t getting any closer.

His face was all angles—chiseled cheeks and chin and straight, pointed nose. Hell, she thought she even glimpsed pointy ears beneath that silky-looking hair. A slight smile turned up the corners of his wickedly sexy mouth, but it was the scattering of freckles on that nose that capped his appeal for her. Hell if she knew why.

The real question was why he was lurking in the woods, stalking innocent women. With his looks, he’d be able to seduce any woman he wanted.

Which made the situation all the more surreal.

Okay, play it cool. You can get out of this. “Wow. You scared the hell out of me. I wasn’t…expecting to see anyone out here this early.”

“You’re right.” His smile kicked in again and this time her breath caught in her throat at his pure masculinity. “There shouldn’t be anyone out here this early.”

Right. Maybe she was reading this situation completely wrong. What if this guy was a park ranger? She’d gladly take a ticket for trespassing instead of rape and murder any day.
Playing on her blonde, violet-eyed looks for all she was worth, Ellie fluttered her eyelashes at him and turned on the bright smile that had gotten her out of many high school scrapes.

“I am so sorry. I didn’t realize… I mean, the sun is up and I just wasn’t thinking. Am I in trouble?”

His smile widened and she felt heat that had nothing to do with the air temperature begin to pool low in her stomach.

How inappropriate was that? From terrified to horny in two minutes. She really must be losing her mind.

“No trouble from me,” he said. “I don’t work for the park service.”

Okay, there went that idea. She took another step back. He stayed where he was.

“So then what are you doing out here?” she asked.

Cocking his head to the side, he seemed to consider his answer.

In the horror films she’d loved to watch as a kid, the villain almost always said, “Why, I’m after you.” Which of course gave the ditzy heroine time to run into the forest, get hopelessly lost and manage to find the killer’s lair, making it easy for him to hang her on a meat hook.

Finally, when she thought for sure he was going to pull a machete from behind his back and slash her to bits, he shrugged. “Taking a walk. I’m an early riser.”

It sounded so plausible. Almost too plausible.

She tried her smile again. “Okay. Well, I’ve had my break. I’m just going to get moving then. Nice to meet you.”

He smiled again and nodded. “Nice to meet you too.” Then he turned and walked back into the forest, barely making a sound, as he appeared to melt into the trees.

Ellie took off down the hill, running all out. By the time she reached her car, she was gasping and cursing herself front, back and sideways for her stupidity.

She’d let her imagination get away from her…again. Just as she had in Philadelphia when she’d left her job. Fear had been part of the reason she’d run all the way home to Berks County four months ago. Fear that she was losing herself in her job, that she wasn’t cut out for a high-paced career in public relations.

Today she’d just run to the car. It seemed she was always running away from something.

She was such a freaking coward.

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