by: Naima Simone
Series: Bachelor Auction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 10, 2015
She may be the highest bidder, but this bachelor’s price is blackmail and passion…
Billionaire Lucas Oliver is hell bent on revenge. And his plan begins when Sydney Blake—the stunning daughter of his enemy—is tricked into bidding on Lucas at a bachelor auction. Then he serves up a little blackmail...followed by a marriage proposal Sydney has no choice but to accept.
Sydney has been controlled by her family her whole life. When Lucas threatens to reveal her father's shady business, she is once again forced to do her duty for her family. But worse—oh so much worse—is the rush of lust that Lucas ignites in her blood.
Lucas is determined to make Sydney suffer, but it’s tough when he can’t keep from touching her–or thinking about touching her–all the time. She’s not fairing much better since she’s engaged to a darkly handsome beast intent on destroying her entire family...along with her heart.
“Regrets already, Sydney?” Lucas asked, the question a low ripple in the silent room.
“No.” Once more Sydney studied him. The piercing green-blue eyes that had blazed with scorching heat less than an hour ago but were now shuddered, impassive. The almost lush, sensual curve of his mouth that contrasted with the sharply hewn planes of his face. The hard, strong line of his jaw. The harsh imperfection of the scar that was perfect on him.
Confusion commingled, mated with the blush of arousal. Questions and concerns—she had dozens of those. But regret? No.
“Does it bother you?” He plucked up a slice of chicken and popped it into his mouth. God, it wasn’t fair that he made eating with his fingers sexy, too.
She blinked, refocusing on their conversation. But couldn’t follow. He’d lost her.
She frowned. “That we had sex?”
“No. The scar. You were staring at it. Does it bother you?” No emotion or inflection in the question, just a flat monotone that he could’ve used to ask the time of day.
Like the first time he’d asked that question three weeks ago—God, had it only been three weeks since he’d exploded into her life?—the quick “Not at all” rose to her tongue, hovered there. But at the last instant, she didn’t utter the three words. Because they would be a lie.
“Yes,” she murmured. Something flared in his gaze—something old and dark before it became as opaque as before. “But not for the reasons you probably think.” She turned more fully toward him, tucking her foot under her thigh. “When I first met you, of course I noticed the scar. But I wasn’t repulsed. I ached for you. For the pain you must’ve endured. It bothered me that you suffered.” A scowl started to crease his brow, and she shot up her hand, palm out. “I don’t pity you. No one who looks at you could ever feel sorry for you. You’re too…dangerous for that.” She huffed out a short bark of laughter. “I remember thinking you resembled a panther. Dark. Stunning. But predatory. The mark isn’t a sign of your weakness but your strength. Your power to fight and survive. I find it…” She paused, weighed the judgment of revealing this particular truth.
He watched her like the animal she’d mentioned, his scrutiny steady, unblinking, as if searching her for any hint of a lie. Sighing, she rose from the bed, careful not to jostle the tray. She approached him, moved between his legs, and cupped his face.
“I find it beautiful,” she whispered. Then laid a gentle kiss to the ridged flesh beneath his right eye before placing another on the twin scar that bisected his eyebrow. “I find you beautiful,” she confessed against his skin.
His hands clutched her waist. Other than the tiny flexing of his fingers, he remained as still as a statue. No, that wasn’t true. His eyes blazed with a fire that burned her.
Purchase Beauty and the Bachelor from:
Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bulletproof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Places to find Naima Simone:
a Rafflecopter giveaway Follow