|Buy Once A Rebel|
(only avail in UK edition)
Shy teenager Shirely Marr fell for her mother's most brilliant student: the charismatic rebel Hayden Tennant. Wen her mother passed away, both vowed to keep her memory alive by fulfilling her 'bucket list' wishes. Ten years later, Shirley's nearly done, but Hayden has yet to begin. And Shirley wants to know why.
Hayden is happily set on a path to self-destruction, and is not best pleased to find his late mentor's daughter judging his choices. The blushing girl he remembers was easy to resist, but this Shirley is older, curvier and--worryingly--far more formidable.
What has happened up until now: Hayden Tennant has a Masters degree in ‘Influence’ and has used it to teach some of the world’s biggest corporations how to subliminally affect their customers. Social campaigner and low-end Goth, Shirley Marr isn’t a fan of his line of work but is undeniably curious about his methodology, especially his claim that love is just a series of strategic steps to secure and then exploit someone’s buy-in. She challenges him: if it’s true that everyone does it then no-one would fall for it. But Hayden believes that knowing something is happening does little to reduce the effectiveness of the technique. He challenges Shirley to a demonstration…
‘For instance, I find myself very interested in the shape and taste of your lips,’ Hayden said, theatrically. ‘And I’m declaring that you so you’re aware of the direction of my thoughts and so you can plan to resist when the moment comes.’
He reached down and pulled Shirley to her feet. She rose to stand before him, pushing extra hard to get words past her suddenly tight chest. ‘This is a hypothetical, I assume?’
His smile reminded her of the Huntsman-wolf in Red Riding Hood. All the better to eat you with…
‘If that makes you feel better about your chances of resisting,’ he said.
He pulled her a little closer. Closed his arms around her, hot and strong. Her heart went berserk. ‘So the question is, Shirley…knowing what I’m doing and knowing what my goal is—’ he breathed down on her ‘—are you any less inclined to let me kiss you?’
She licked her lips. Struggled for air. ‘You’re assuming you already have my buy-in?’
Hayden blinked; slow, confident. That caused Shirley’s own lids to follow suit, growing heavier. She tried to glance away to break the contact.
‘A kiss is the touching of flesh on flesh. You started buying-into me touching your flesh months ago, the first time you let my glance rest on your porcelain skin. Then later, when you let my fingers graze your hair. Then take your hand. Even now…my eyes are roaming where my lips cannot and you’re allowing it.’
Sure enough his veiled gaze browsed her mouth and made it part in breathless anticipation. She forced it closed.
‘And now, even knowing what I plan to do and why, you’re still in my arms. I think I’d call that buy-in.’
‘Pretty clever,’ she breathed, desperate to preserve some dignity. ‘Assuming it’s going to be any kind of kiss at all.’
His teeth flashed white and dangerous. ‘And there it is. Full commitment.’
He took her weight on his arm and leaned her back into it, his mouth pressing down confidently onto hers, sliding against it, still half-smiling in his victory. She held firm against the heavenly feel and smell of him so close, refusing to give in.
She would have loved to stand, unmoved in his hold. To let him kiss her senseless and then to emerge untouched. Indifferent.
But that wasn’t going to happen.
Not in this lifetime.
The moment she resisted, holding her own—barely—against the breathless spin of her mind, he upped the ante. Plying her with the technique that must have unzipped many a skirt in its time. His mouth glided over hers, alternating pressure, his tongue teasing the firm line she maintained where her lips met. His flesh blazing against hers. Her head spun wildly.
He pulled back a little, breathed words against her flaming skin, and something about the shift of colour in his eyes told her he wasn’t playing a game anymore.
‘I’m going to kiss that dark gloss off until I reveal what’s underneath it.’
To be in the draw to win a copy of Once A Rebel, tell me which item on your bucket list are you planning on doing in 2013. Do you even have one? Or have you finished it already?
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from The Nanny who Saved Christmas by Michelle Douglas will be posted.