I would call this a longish short story. It was also a little frantic and frenetic, I thought. Written in the first person, I honestly never got a feel for Pete, the main character. And consequently I never got a feel for his partner, Carver. Pete is a Treasury department agent and Carver is an artist.
There was a lot of banter between the two, but I wasn't overly fond of it. Some of it sounded a little mean-spirited and too snarky. And I wasn't sure exactly why Pete had fallen for Carver and vice versa, aside from the physical attraction - which was mightily indulged in throughout the story.
So I was disappointed, because I like Mary Calmes' work. And it illustrates why I tend to shy away from works of this length.
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Cover Design: Kellie Dennis / Book Cover by Design
Word of advice: don’t come out to random guys in public restrooms. Even if they’re charming and adorably nerdy and offer to help. My family believe I can’t be happy if I’m not out to the world. I have a bitter ex-boyfriend and an unstable NHL career to show for it. A fake boyfriend seems like an easy and quick solution to get my family off my back, and this guy is volunteering. I take him up on it without asking his name. I really should’ve asked for his name.
Word of advice: learn how to introduce yourself properly. In my defense, I don’t recognize Ollie Strömberg right away. I cover football, not hockey. I’m not supposed to see him again, and he’s never supposed to find out I’m a reporter. That all changes when my editor reassigns me. It’s a lesson I should’ve learned by now. Nothing’s changed since high school. Jocks still hate nerds. But even worse, athletes hate journalists. Especially ones who know their secret.
Fake Out (Book Boyfriend - Book One)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2pnjh27
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2FWRFtY
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2phmXSD
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2pjyJv9
Trick Play (Fake Boyfriend - Book Two)
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2tvwkR0
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Ks0XAi
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2tEc4f7
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2KrmoP2
One of Five ARC's for Deke (Fake Boyfriend Book 3)
Eden Finley is an Amazon bestselling author who writes steamy contemporary romances that are full of snark and light-hearted fluff.
She doesn’t take anything too seriously and lives to create an escape from real life for her readers. The ideas always begin with a wackadoodle premise, and she does her best to turn them into romances with heart. With a short attention span that rivals her five-year-old son's, she writes multiple different pairings: MM, MMF, and MF. She's also an Australian girl and apologises for her Australianisms that sometimes don't make sense to anyone else.
Newsletter Sign Up: http://bit.ly/2owAsgY
Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2GMjfag
Facebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2t1KqM4
Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2ouFzya
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2EV9Roi
BookBub Author Page: http://bit.ly/2ouhBDq
Hello, Readers! I’m glad you are here with me today as we visit with Lisa Weaver to learn about her newest romantic suspense – the fourth book in the Secret Sentinels series – Bargaining with the Billionaire!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: BARGAINING WITH THE MILLIONAIRE BODYGUARD
Author: Lisa Weaver
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Having miraculously survived the bombing that blasted his private jet out of the sky, billionaire Donovan White has dedicated his life to the pursuit of justice. Now a covert operative for the Sentinels Agency, he is closing in on the man responsible for the crash. When his mission is nearly botched by a spunky reporter with a score of her own to settle, he reluctantly strikes a bargain with the one woman who just might be capable of decimating his love proof armor.
Reporter Madison Tremaine will do anything to nab the exclusive she must write to secure the promotion she desperately needs—even if it means bargaining with a devilish billionaire. Once burned, twice shy, she has serious reservations about partnering with Donovan, but there’s more than a career upgrade at stake. Her ability to unearth the truth surrounding a newly discovered family secret hinges on the sexy billionaire.
When their quests collide, will their dangerous deal lead to love or will it cost them more than either of them bargained for?
AVAILABLE in ebook
She was going to self-combust. She was sure of it.
Downing a gulp of strawberry spritzer from the chilled glass in her hand, Madison Tremaine resisted the urge to fan her face to cool the heat rising there. It was bad enough she was the only woman at the bar in this glitzy nightclub without a date, the last thing she needed to do was draw more attention to herself.
Against her volition, her gaze drifted back to the stranger who was responsible for setting her aflame. Those piercing blue eyes, though! And the man’s perfection didn’t end at those show-stealing, mesmerizing windows into his soul. From the top of his head of stylishly-tamed curls to the tips of his Ferragamo shod toes and every millimeter of chiseled muscle in between, the dark-haired guy standing alone at the far end of the bar was the epitome of scrumptious.
Too bad she was on a strict yumminess-free diet, courtesy of her ex-fiancé’s betrayal. She’d adored Eric, but he’d thrown her love for him back in her face and turned her heart into a crime scene.
She was over him, now. Her days of treading the serious relationship path were over, too. But if there was ever a man worth breaking her love embargo over it was this one.
Thankfully, common sense roadblocked her driving inclination to get to know the sexy stranger. She couldn’t afford that indulgence. She was here for business tonight, not pleasure, and Mr. Dreamy Eyes would only splinter her focus.
Actually, ‘splinter’ was putting it mildly. She was quite certain the handsome stranger was capable of blowing said focus to smithereens.
As though he knew exactly what she was thinking, the owner of those deliciously sexy peepers raised his glass in salute, shooting her a grin that had her hormones whimpering in eager surrender.
Reluctantly tearing her gaze away from the intriguing planes and angles that made up his sculpture-worthy face, Madison shoved aside the driving compulsion to explore where the blatant interest his body language was telegraphing might lead. There was no way she could go there. Both professionally and personally, there was too much riding on the assignment she was here to carry out.
A reporter for the Daily Commentator, she was here tonight to secure an interview that could very well be career defining. Her shot at landing the promotion she so desperately needed hinged on convincing one of the state of New York’s most speculated about billionaires to share the story of his rise from abject poverty to rolling-in-it riches. She was here to track that billionaire down, but Mr. Dreamy Eyes made her want to back-burner the task at hand and skip directly to playtime.
She promptly stamped down the urge to take him up on the invitation simmering in his gaze. No one on her paper’s payroll—or any other paper’s for that matter—had managed to garner a sit-down with media-shy business mogul Alan Sonetti. She had every intention of succeeding where they hadn’t.
For her brother’s sake, she had to.
Alan Sonetti had ignored her fellow reporters’ attempts to connect with him via phone calls and e-mails, so she was employing a different tactic to try and secure an interview with the elusive playboy billionaire. If the mountain wouldn’t come to her, then she would go to the mountain.
The only downside to her plan was that this particular mountain happened to reside in a mansion that was more secure than most fortresses, and his corporate headquarters was a stronghold, as well. With zero chance of getting face-time with him at either location, she decided to seek him out at the flagship of his chain of clubs where it was rumored he surfaced on rare occasion.
After getting a tip that tonight might be one of those rare occasions, Madison had shared her plan with her editor, Felicia, who had given her stratagem her wholehearted backing.
More than just her boss, Felicia was also a good friend. Earlier today, Felicia had called her into her office and handed her a shopping bag emblazoned with the logo of a high-end retailer.
“A little something for you to wear tonight when you visit the club,” she’d announced, looking immensely pleased with herself.
A peek in the bag had revealed a slip of black silk nestled in a bed of tissue paper. “A scarf?”
“Very funny. It’s a dress.”
“There’s not enough yardage here to qualify as a dress.”
“You can dispense with the eye rolling. Trust me on this.
Senetti’s caters to the silver spoon set, and designer micro-minis are de rigueur there. Besides, if you want a face-to-face with the man himself you need to get his attention. I guarantee he won’t be able to take his eyes off you in that outfit.”
“There is no but. Just wear the dress. That is unless you don’t want the promotion?”
Oh, she wanted it. She’d never wanted something so badly in her entire life. The new position would super-size her paycheck, which meant she’d be able to help Matt. Since she was the reason her brother was in a bind in the first place, failure wasn’t an option.
It was that drive to succeed that had her shimmying into the wispy garment that was the polar opposite of her usual office armor of tailored slacks and blouses, and joining the crowd queued up to gain entry into the nightlife hotspot that carried Senetti’s surname as well as his personal stamp of posh.
It wasn’t until the doorman ushered her inside that it struck her just how far out of her element she truly was. Felicia’s gift served as terrific camouflage, but it didn’t prevent her from suffering from one mega case of fish-out-of-water-itis. Sonetti’s catered to the rich and famous, a demographic she was light years away from meshing with.
It was some consolation that she wasn’t the only square peg trying to fit into this round hole of a nightclub. Even though this realm of the mega-rich might as well be the planet Mars in her book, she’d bet her last dollar the real-life Artemision bronze at the bar was as much of an outsider here as she was.
It wasn’t that Mr. Dreamy Eyes didn’t fit in with the clientele here when it came to net wealth. His clothing and demeanor were the epitome of refined and urbane, and he carried himself with an easy grace and sophistication that spoke of a bank balance that matched or exceeded those of the affluent partiers in this exclusive hot spot. His smoldering gaze, however, telegraphed something altogether different. Something primal, dangerous, and untamed—something that made it clear he wasn’t cut from the same cloth as the others.
She found that something irresistibly compelling.
Shaking her head, she reminded herself that she wasn’t here to get this sexy stranger’s story. It was Alan Sonetti she was after. Unfortunately, she wasn’t making any progress towards that end. If Alan was here tonight, she’d yet to spot him.
Curling a strand of her hair around her pinkie, she tried to ignore the bitter disappointment burning a hole in the pit of her stomach. Her deadline was looming. If she didn’t land this story soon, she could kiss any chance she might have of earning that promotion goodbye.
Resuming her search with renewed determination, she scanned the club for her quarry. Moments later, her gaze inadvertently tangled with the sexy stranger’s again.
The accidental eye contact sent a bolt of impossible-to-ignore chemistry zipping between them, and a wave of heat rushed to her cheeks. As the sensual pull of attraction wove through her, it struck her that tonight wasn’t the first time she’d seen this man.
Drinking in the details of his perfect features, she only grew more certain she’d seen those high cheekbones and that classically aquiline nose before. But where?
She’d discounted half a dozen possible reasons why he seemed so familiar when her cell phone chimed, announcing an incoming text from Felicia.
“Find him?” the text read.
“Not yet, but I will.” she texted back in reply.
“That’s the spirit. R U behaving?”
Madison’s mouth curved in a cat-caught-the-canary smile as she keyed her response. “Sort of. Might be guilty of indulging in an eye candy fest.” Discretely using her cell phone to snap a photo of the visual treat in question, she sent the picture off to her friend.
“OMG,” Felicia texted back.
“I know, right?” she typed in reply.
Felicia’s response pinged back immediately. “Do you know who that is?”
“He looks familiar, but…?”
“He’s a billionaire, just not the one you’re chasing down.
He made headlines two years ago. Plane crash.”
Felicia’s prompt was all it took for the ‘ah ha’ moment to dawn. Small plane crashes rarely became the focus of national news, but when the disaster involved a private jet piloted by one of the inamoratos of the rich and famous the story definitely merited prime billing. The newsworthy-factor doubled when word leaked that the only other person on board the plane was a popular young Hollywood actress, Vanessa Ashcroft.
Madison’s fingers quivered with excitement as she keyed her reply. “Donovan White!”
Her editor’s enthusiastic confirmation flashed across the phone’s screen. “Yes!”
Madison couldn’t believe her luck. She’d come here in pursuit of one story and another one had quite possibly just fallen into her lap. Donovan White hadn’t been spotted in New York since shortly after his accident two years ago.
When his aircraft had gone down over the ocean near a remote Brazilian jungle, rescue crews hadn’t been able to locate the wreckage. It had been assumed there were no survivors, but a last-ditch search effort had led to the billionaire’s discovery on an uninhabited island miles from the presumed crash site.
Donovan White had miraculously beaten the odds. Vanessa Ashcroft hadn’t been so fortunate.
After attending Vanessa’s funeral, Donovan had retreated from the social scene he’d held court over and left New York. From that point on, the billionaire playboy who’d once featured regularly on almost every society page had pulled a vanishing act. Rumor had it he’d joined in the operation of his family’s California vineyard.
Then why, after withdrawing into utter seclusion, had he suddenly surfaced here at the apex of the social spotlight he’d abandoned? Madison had a feeling if she could answer that question, she would have the makings of a scintillating headline.
Donovan White rubbed at eyes that were gritty from too much caffeine and too little sleep. Two years ago, clubbing had been one of his go-to pastimes. He’d reveled in the throbbing beat of the music and fed off the energy of the crowd.
He wasn’t that man any longer.
Now the strobing lights, ear-drum-busting din of the band, and the obnoxious clashing of a myriad of warring designer perfumes only grated on his nerves—nerves that were already stretched thin by the dire nature of the mission he was here to carry out.
A covert operative for the Sentinels Agency, he’d invested countless hours over the past few months knitting together a tenuous bridge to Alan Sonetti. It was believed that Sonetti was doing business with master mobster Lawrence Mendacci, and the bridge he’d cobbled together just might bring the agency one step closer to putting an end to Mendacci’s reign of terror.
Gaining Sonetti’s trust hadn’t been easy, but he’d managed to convince the man he was every bit his match when it came to treading in the gray. He was here to rendezvous with the club owner after being granted his first face-to-face meeting with him.
So far he’d been left cooling his heels.
He despised waiting. It gave him too much time to think about things he wanted to keep tucked away in the ‘do not disturb’ section of his mind—too much time to dwell on the way lives had been irrevocably changed in the aftermath of the crash he’d been unable to prevent.
He was determined to do everything in his power to prevent future tragedies. Tonight’s meeting would open the door to doing just that. Liz Meyers, the dynamo at the helm of Sentinels who’d recruited and trained him, had tasked him with entrenching himself within Sonetti’s organization. He wasn’t about to let her down.
And so he would wait. He could be patient if this temporary inconvenience brought the Sentinels Agency one step closer to quashing Lawrence Mendacci’s blood trail and bringing an end to the mobster’s reign of terror.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that his wait came with an unexpected reward—an enticing distraction from the tedium of being on Sonetti’s stand-by list in the form of a blue-eyed, ebony haired angel at the bar. The pulse-stutteringly beautiful woman practically vibrated with barely suppressed energy. She’d captured his attention the instant she’d swept into the club.
He wasn’t the only one who’d taken notice of her. Despite the fact that he and the bartender were the only men in the establishment without a woman hanging on their arm, that didn’t stop the other male patrons from checking the sexy siren out.
And who could blame them? The beauty wore a flashy designer mini dress that highlighted her curves, paired with sky-high stilettos that accentuated her long, shapely legs. Her stunning face was framed by a cascade of dark hair that glinted with burgundy highlights.
The urge to thread his fingers through those seductive strands of ebony silk flared hot and insistent, surprising in its intensity. He chalked the craving up to not having had a woman in his life since Vanessa, but he knew it was more than that. There was something about this woman that called to him. She looked like she was here on a mission, and he couldn’t help but wonder what her quest might be.
Noticing his interested perusal of the beauty, the bartender quirked an eyebrow in masculine solidarity.
“Not hard on the eyes, is she?”
“That she’s not.”
“Why don’t you do yourself a favor and buy her a drink?”
It was a shame he didn’t have time for such a pleasant distraction at the moment. If he did, he wouldn’t need the bartender’s urgings to connect with the woman.
“I would if I wasn’t here on business,” he replied. “I’m waiting to meet with Alan Sonetti.”
“Business, huh? Too bad.” Rubbing the teak countertop with his polishing cloth, the bartender paused mid-swipe and regarded him intently.
Donovan saw the exact moment recognition dawned.
“Say, you’re Donovan White, aren’t you?”
Nodding, Donovan took a swallow of his drink in preparation for the volley of questions he knew would inevitably follow.
“It was a miracle you made it off that jungle island alive. I imagine it couldn’t have been easy being stranded in the middle of nowhere, not knowing if or when you’d be rescued.”
“It wasn’t. It’s an experience I don’t like to rehash.” A half-hearted smile took the bite out of his response.
Not at all dissuaded, the bartender ploughed on. “A shame about that actress you were dating. Tragic that she didn’t survive the plane crash.”
“Yes,” he agreed, taking another drink in hopes of anesthetizing the sharp sting of guilt. But the bite of the brandy couldn’t dispel the painful memories, and the world’s supply of alcohol wouldn’t ease his crushing despair over what had happened in the aftermath of the accident. Nothing could.
Leaving the bartender’s curiosity unquenched, he steered the conversation back to the topic at hand. “The woman…is she a regular?”
“First time I’ve seen her. A lot of purebred peacocks gather here, but this one is a ray of sunshine. I just wish she wasn’t here poking around looking for trouble.”
“She was asking about Mr. Sonetti, earlier. Not to disrespect the boss, but nothing good ever comes of that. Beautiful women are in here all the time, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. He’s got that RHS factor, you know? Rich.
Handsome. Single. On the rare occasions one of them is lucky enough to find him, they inevitably throw themselves at him hoping he’ll fall for them. He doesn’t throw them back—just uses them until he tires of them.
The relationships all end the same, and it’s not with him putting a ring on their finger.”
Donovan raised an eyebrow at the man’s candor. “I see.
Well, I’ll be keeping your boss tied up with business for a bit. Maybe she’ll get tired of waiting.”
For her sake, he hoped she did. Alan Sonetti was into shady up to his neck, and he’d hate to see her get mixed up with the man. If the bartender was right, and the dark-haired beauty was on a hunting expedition to bag Sonetti, odds were good she had no idea she was tracking dangerous game.
Lisa Weaver’s love affair with all things literary was sparked the moment she opened the cover of her first book and The Pokey Little Puppy captured her heart. Her tastes have matured since then, but whenever she delves into the pages of a new novel she experiences the same thrill of discovery. Every book is a glorious safari into a world of endless possibilities and inexhaustible inspiration. Since romance is Lisa’s favorite genre to read it was inevitable that, when she was bit by the writing bug, she would choose to pen stories of strong, sexy heroes and bold, beautiful women finding their happily ever afters. She thinks of her stories as fun and flirty romantic romps—like decadently rich cupcakes, heavy on the frosting. She hopes her readers will find her novels every bit as satisfying as dessert.
When she isn’t reading, writing, or plotting more romantic treats, she can be found behind the lens of her camera, in front of a canvas with a paintbrush in hand, or spending time in her garden. She also loves exploring her beautiful home state of Maine. Lisa loves to hear from readers! Please drop by and visit her anytime at her website, www.lisaweaverromance.com. You can also keep in touch with the latest Weaver Romance happenings via her Facebook and Twitter pages.
Lisa’s latest book is the romantic suspense, Bargaining with the Billionaire Bodyguard.
Website Address: https://www.lisaweaverromance.com
Blog Address: https://www.lisaweaverromance.com/blog
Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/Dreamweavings7
Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/Dreamweavings
THANKS FOR JOINING US, LISA! SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT READ & I AM SURE READERS HAVE FOUND ANOTHER GREAT BOOK TO ADD TO THEIR SHELVES!
THANKS FOR VISITING EVERYONE!