Here’s a little snippet from my upcoming new series, DIRTY MONEY! Book one, HARD RULES is out on Aug. 9th and available for pre-order everywhere! NOTE on pre-orders! The EBOOK is on a limited time pre-order sale of $4.99 (it WILL go up to $7.99 soon!) and the PRINT version will have an exclusive alternate POV scene and it on sale for 50% off at AMAZON (this is an Amazon sale, so I have no control over it and please be advised it could end at any time so check the price before you buy!)
ADD HARD RULES to your GOODREADS SHELF: http://bit.ly/HardRulesGoodreads
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Other buy links: http://lisareneejones.com/books/hard-rules/
GIVEAWAY:I’m giving away gift cards and tote bags for every 100 shelves added on Goodreads for HARD RULES! Enter here and see the list of winners already drawn!http://lisareneejones.com/2016/06/09/hard-rules-gift-card-giveaway/
“I understand the Lost and Found is locked up for the night,” I say to the stoic, gray-haired guard behind the security desk. “But surely you can make an exception for a cellphcell phone expecting a very important call. I can’t be without my phone.”
“I understand, miss, but there are rules.”
Rules. There’s a concept that hits a raw nerve. “Fine,” I concede. “I’ll come back. How early can I be here?”
“Seven in the morning.”
“Six forty-five it is,” I say, rotating to depart, yelping as I smack into a hard body, and a pair of large, manly hands settles on my waist, steadying me. “I’m sorry,” I say, glancing up in shock to realize the hot man from the coffee shop is standing in front of me and my palms have landed on his incredibly hard, broad chest.
“We meet again,” he says, his voice a soft purr of seduction, and his eyes are still a perfect steel gray, just like the tie that matches his suit.
“Yes, I…” I swallow hard. “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”
“I’m not sorry and I did see you.”
“You…what?” I step back, his hands falling from my waist. Mine slide away from his
chest, where I wouldn’t have minded them lingering a little longer, but that would be bad. And inappropriate, which is exactly what I’m trying never to be again.
He glances at the guard. “Is there a problem, Ralph?” he asks, and good gosh, no wonder I ended up in that exchange with him this morning. The man defines the term, “tall, dark and handsome.”
“The lady is looking for her cellphone,” Ralph explains, “and Lost and Found is closed for the night.”
Shane arches a brow at the man. “Closed? How does Lost and Found close?”
My thoughts exactly, but I bite my tongue, considering “Ralph” had actually displayed quite a lot of patience with me, considering I’d asked the same question in a far more pushy way. And Ralph is actually looking quite uncomfortable, his reaction indicating that Shane is more than a random hot guy in this building who likes his coffee ridiculously strong.
“I’m the only guard on duty,” Ralph explains. “I can’t leave the desk.”
“I’ll watch it for you,” Shane states, and it’s not an offer. It’s an expectation. Everything about this man is a smooth command that manages to be sexy, not obnoxious. A rare skill few men, or women, successfully harness, though I’ve known many who tried, and failed.
“Yes, sir,” Ralph says. “I’ll be back in five minutes.”
The guard rushes away, leaving me stunned at his quick departure while Shane rests an arm on the counter and faces me. “You ran away today.”
My eyes go wide. “That’s the way to get right to the point. And for your information, I had someplace to be.”
“You didn’t even take your coffee with you.”
“I didn’t have time to drink it,” I say quickly, no stranger to thinking on my feet.
“You ran,” he repeats.
“You’re kind of intimidating,” I counter.
Amusement lights his gray eyes. “You aren’t intimidated by me.”
“Are you saying you are intimidating to others?” I challenge.
“To some I am, but not to you.”
“You base this assessment on what, exactly?”
“Anyone intimidated wouldn’t be brave enough to say they are.” He closes the distance between us, the scent of him, autumn leaves and spice, teasing my nostrils. “Are you intimidated now?” he asks, the heat in his eyes blistering hot.
“No,” I say, suddenly warm all over, when lately, everything has made me cold. “I’m not intimated.”
“Good news,” the guard announces, jolting me back to a reality that does not include hot strangers who could find out more than I want them to know, and I quickly take a broad step backward, distancing myself from Shane to face Ralph.
“You found my phone?” I ask hopefully.
“I found a phone,” he confirms. “I need you to confirm the first number in the auto-dial.”
I hesitate, but having no other option, admit, “There are no numbers in my phone at all.”
“You are correct,” the guard says, sliding the phone onto the counter. “I’ve never known anyone to have no contacts in their phone.”
“It’s new,” I explain, picking it up and slipping it inside my purse, and realizing it’s a lame excuse, I add, “I need to sync my numbers. “Thank you.” I rotate to face Shane to find him staring at me with the kind of interest and curiosity I’m not in a position to invite. “And thank you,” I add, motioning toward the door. “I should go.”
“I was about to go grab dinner and a drink at one of the restaurants nearby. Join me.”
“I really should get home,” I say, trying not to sound as regretful as I am. I’m flattered, but then, what woman wouldn’t be with this man?
“I won’t keep you long.”
“I have plans in the morning,” I counter, and it’s true. I’ll be waiting for the phone to ring and thinking about how much I wish I’d said yes to this man.
He glances at the guard, who quickly takes a hint and murmurs, “Good evening,” before stepping back behind his post and busying himself.
The instant he’s gone, Shane once again closes the space between us, this time bringing us intimately close, and I think he might touch me. I want him to touch me. “Here’s how I see us meeting again. The odds are next to zero. That means you have to have dinner with me.”
“Have to? Is that some rule or something?”
“Not just a rule. A hard rule I just made up.”
“Does making up rules work often?”
“Yes. Is it working now?”
Yes, I think, but instead, I say, “I wish I could.”
“You can. Just say yes, Emily.”
Emily. I hate that name, but he has somehow not only remembered it, but made it silk and seduction. He is silk and seduction, a magnificent man who no doubt has so many women lining up that I am a mere flicker on the screen. And actually, that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s freedom. This is about tonight. Just tonight. He won’t want to know my past or my future. He’s looking for a diversion, and the truth is, if I spend one more night alone, trapped in guilt, worry, and my fast-looping replay of how I got to this point, I might go insane.
“Emily,” he prods, using that name again, my name, and I swallow hard. “Say—”
“Yes,” I supply. “Yes, I’ll have dinner and drinks with you.”
Satisfaction fills his eyes and he waves the guard forward, handing the man his bag. “I’ll pick it up on my way out,” he tells him. The other man nods, and a moment later, Shane’s full attention shifts back to me, and I’m jolted by the way I feel the impact, or rather, I feel him, a warm spot forming in my chest and spreading low into my belly. He offers me his arm. “Shall we?”
I hesitate a few beats, reminding myself that “alone” promises safety, but I can’t live that way forever. This dinner with this man is a no harm, no foul way to practice being the new me. I accept his arm.