Jul 19, 2015

Sunday Smooch with Rachel Bailey


Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!


Today we have a smooch from  Rachel Bailey's Bidding on Her Boss but first 


... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Mary Preston.



Can you please contact stefanie (at) stefanie-london (dot) com to receive your copy of A Kiss in Kite Harbour.



And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Bidding on Her Boss.






What happens when an ambitious employee buys her boss at a bachelor auction? Find out in this story from USA TODAY bestselling author Rachel Bailey! 


Florist Faith Crawford has a brilliant plan—win her company's CEO at a bachelor auction and use their "date" to show him her designs. But her plan backfires when the focus of their meeting shifts from flowers to a floor-tilting kiss. 

For Dylan Hawke, it's time for damage control. Promoting the talented Faith is a no-brainer, but fraternizing with her is strictly forbidden. Dylan must remain professional—the fate of his business rests in the balance. Too bad Dylan won't rest until he gets another kiss…



Scene set-up

Faith Crawford has been working in one of Dylan Hawke's florist stores but has never met the big boss. So when she sees that there's a package of three dates with him available in a charity auction, she uses all her savings to buy them. Dylan expects to be going on an actual date, but Faith takes him to her store -- his store -- and shows him her floristry skills, hoping to get one of her designs in the catalog all the stores work from. 



Smooch  -


Faith added another peony to the arrangement and tried to ignore the prickles on the back of her neck that told her Dylan was watching her again. Of course, that’s what the whole night had been engineered to achieve, but he was only sometimes following what her hands were doing. At other times…


Heat rose in her belly as she thought about the way he’d been staring at her mouth a few minutes ago. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had looked at her with that much hunger. Especially a man she’d been wanting to wrap herself around and kiss as if there was no tomorrow ever since he’d stepped out of his sex-on-wheels car.


And that it had to be Dylan Hawke, the CEO of the company? Well, that was fate playing a cruel joke on her. So she pretended that she wasn’t wildly attracted to the man in front of her and that he wasn’t sending her the same signals. She focused on the flowers. Which was working out fairly well, except for the prickles on the back of her neck.


But she needed to concentrate, to stop letting herself be distracted. Ruthlessly she reminded herself of what was at stake: getting this right could mean a fantastic boost to her career. She turned the arrangement with quick flicks of her wrist, checking for symmetry. Just a few stray leaves to trim. She snipped them away carefully. It looked good, balanced in color and form…but was it special enough to go into the catalog? She’d controlled her wilder artistic urges and gone for a safer conservative arrangement to impress. Butterflies fluttered mercilessly in her stomach. For the first time, she realized how much Mary’s criticism had dented her confidence in her creativity.


She reached out to touch a crisp green leaf. This arrangement was finished—but still she hesitated.


“All done?”


She jolted at the sound of Dylan’s voice so close to her ear. Last time she’d been aware of him, he’d been on the other side of the bench. She tried to move to the side. Her foot caught on something and she felt herself begin to fall. A hand closed around her arm, and her almost certain tumble was averted. She closed her eyes, and then opened them to find Dylan staring at her. The picture of him on the company website was nothing like the living, breathing man before her.


With him so close, no more than a hand span away, his scent surrounded her. It was dark and mysterious, surprising. She’d have expected something lighter, more recognizable, perhaps one of the expensive name-brand colognes. Yet this had undertones of a night in the forest—earthy, secretive and alluring. A shiver ran down her body to her toes. Dylan stilled.


Her breath caught in her throat. She could feel the heat from his body reaching out to envelop her. The world receded around her and all she could see, all she could feel, was Dylan. His eyes darkened and she swallowed hard. She should step away, not let her body lead her into temptation. But, oh, what temptation this man was. She could feel her pulse thundering at the base of her throat and saw Dylan’s gaze drop to observe the same thing.


“Faith,” he murmured, his breathing uneven.


She closed her eyes, fighting the effect of hearing her name on his lips, and when she opened them again, he was closer than before, his breath fanning over her face. Her hands found their way to his chest, so solid and warm.


A shudder ran down his body at her touch.


“Please—” she said, and before she could finish the thought his mouth was on hers. A small part of her mind told her to pull away, but instead, her hands fisted in his shirt, not letting him go.


He groaned as she opened her mouth to him, and his arms wrapped around her, holding her close while pushing her back against the workbench. His tongue was like nothing else as it stroked along the side of hers, leaving her wanting more. To be closer. So much closer.


She was lost.



I had a lot of fun writing a bachelor auction story! Tell me, have you read a good bachelor / bachelorette auction story before? I'd love to hear some recommendations! I'll send a copy of Bidding on Her Boss to one commenter.


Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from Louisa George will be posted!


Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

26 comments:

  1. As I've already mentioned on FB, this title is already on the reading list, but the cover is so fantastic that I want to read it now, and that smooch just makes me more eager to read the book.

    I know I've read bachelor/bachelorette auction books before but the only ones I recall are Slow Hands and Heated Rush, both Hqn Blaze titles by Leslie Kelly. Both are actually started from the same bachelor auction. One of them was actually a freebie for Harlequin's 60th celebrations a few years back.

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    1. Lyn, I haven't read those, but Slow Hands is familiar - I wonder if I downloaded it back when it was free and didn't get around to reading it? But I've liked Leslie Kelly's Blazes before, so I should hunt these down. Thanks!

      Glad you enjoyed the smooch! And I love what the Desire Art Dept did with this cover too (though I think I love His 24-Hour Wife's cover even more - maybe it's the purple?).

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  2. Ooh, I love this excerpt, Rachel. I can see now that Faith and Dylan are in for a wild ride.

    Annie West's novella BOUGHT BY THE ITALIAN has the hero bidding (and winning) the heroine for a date. I haven't read it yet, but it's on my Kindle calling to me. :-) And I've always loved that scene in Groundhog Day where the heroine spends every cent in her purse to buy the hero at auction. It such a fun scenario.

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    1. Hey, I think I have BOUGHT BY THE ITALIAN on my kindle already. Score! I don't remember that scene in Groundhog Day - clearly it's time to re-watch it. I do remember loving the movie when it came out, so this will not be a hardship. :)

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  3. Oh Rachel

    I love the sound of this one and can't wait to read it I have just got home from a romance reader lunch in the city which was fun and now to read this smooch way to go :)

    I am with Michelle I loved Annie's Novella Bought By The Italian what a story that one was :)

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Helen, I'd love to make it to one of your romance reader lunches one day - they sound *so* much fun!

      Another vote for Annie's novella. I really must bump that one up my reading list!

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  4. Rachel, I loved 'she was lost'! Sigh. Love too the idea of the heroine as a florist - my mother's old profession. How ingenious to buy your boss to get his attention!

    Thanks for the kind words about my novella, Helen! So pleased you enjoyed it.

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    1. Annie, how very cool that your mother was a florist! I watched heaps of videos on youtube as part of my research and started to think I'd missed my calling because it looked like such a gorgeous job. Until I remembered I have no hand-eye coordination, so I probably wouldn't last a week!

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  5. Incredibly beautiful, powerful and sensual scene! I'll die if I can't read more! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Devika! You've made my day. :)

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  6. Fabulous smooch, Rachel. Loved it. Joanna Dannon, who just published her first novel, has written a fun auction story.

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    1. Jen, I saw Joanne's book and thought it looked interesting, but didn't realise it was an auction story. Thanks, I'll check it out!

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    2. Oops, yes that was a little misleading. One of Joanne's previous books was a auction story.

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    3. No worries, Jen - it means I have even more Joanne Dannon goodness ahead of me!

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  7. Thanks Jen for remembering - amazing!!!!! Thanks for posting :)

    **Rachel - the book that's just been published - Falling for Mr Wrong - isn't the auction story but I hope to publish it at a later date :)

    BTW - I loved the smooch and excerpt. Like Annie, I also loved the final line about her being lost - brilliant!!!!

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    1. Thanks for clarifying, Joanne. I'll definitely keep an eye out for the auction story when it comes along. I think I'll need to collect all of your books as they're released!

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  8. I know I've read some, but I have read over 250 books every year since 1973 (with 165 so far in 2015), so I tend not to remember titles (or sometimes authors)!
    I DO know that I have Lori Foster's FANTASY and Leslie Kelly's SLOW HANDS on my list, and they have auction themes (so now I'm wondering if Blaze books tend to feature auctions, based on the above recommendations!).

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    1. Laney, I'm the same! I read so many that I can remember the stories and the characters but often forget the titles and authors.

      Though I do remember a great one by Emily McKay auction story that I loved - the Billionaire's Bridal Bid. http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=34487&cid=

      And there was a fabulous Emilie Rose one as well - Bending to the Bachelor's Will http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=47480

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  9. I have to add my favourite auction book (that I've read so far) is Sandra Marton's - http://www.sandramarton.com/books/more-than-a-mistress/ which is still one of my favourite all time reads :)


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    1. Oooh, Joanne, I haven't read that one. Thanks for the tip!

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  10. I have read many Harlequin Bachelor auction stories. Loved them all. yenastone at aol dot com

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    1. Tammy, you're like me! I've loved lots of Harlequin bachelor / bachelorette auction stories too! If I see a new one come out, I always at least read the back and usually buy it. :)

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  11. do you get all your ideas for romances from your mind of do friends and family throw ideas at you all the time ?

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    1. Diana, the ideas come from all over the place. It might be something I read in the newspaper which combines with an idea I've had in my mind already to make a story. Other times I brainstorm with other writers and we throw all sorts of ideas around until one feels really exciting to write. :)

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