Jul 23, 2017

Sunday Smooch with Clare Connelly

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!


 
Today we have a smooch from Clare Connelly but first 


... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Jan Vanengen


Can you please contact louisageorgeauthor (at) gmail (dot) com to receive your prize.


And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Clare's debut Harlequin Presents - Bought for the Billionaire's Revenge!





 Sold to the ruthless tycoon! 

Innocent socialite Marnie Kenington was devastated when her parents forced her to spurn Nikos Kyriazis. She's never forgotten him, nor his raw sensuality. So years later, when Nikos insists on a meeting, Marnie's heart leaps…until Nikos strikes a cold, hard deal. Her family is on the verge of bankruptcy and he will rescue them—if she becomes his wife! 

Marnie's rejection drove self-made billionaire Nikos to unimaginable success. Now, he'll take his revenge. Marnie's poise is legendary, but he knows in the bedroom he can take her apart, piece by sensual piece…



Scene set-up



Marnie and Nikos are newly wed in their marriage of convenience, something Marnie has entered only to save her father from bankruptcy. They’ve just arrived at his mansion on the outskirts of Athens and Nikos is showing Marnie around. She’s told him she’ll need an office and he’s surprised – he didn’t know she worked and begins to wonder what else he doesn’t know about his bride…After all, it’s been six years. Is she still the same woman he once thought he loved?



Smooch  -


‘Does it matter? Do you care? Or are you just surprised that I haven’t been rocking in a corner over the demise of our relationship since you left?’

Though frustrated by Marnie’s reticence to speak honestly, Nikos liked seeing the spark that brought colour to her cheeks and impishness to her eyes. It intrigued him. He far preferred it to the obedient contrition she’d modelled in the kitchen.

Instantly he thought of other ways in which he might inspire a similar reaction.


He nodded, concealing his innermost thoughts. ‘Fine, have it your way. I do not need to know about your employment if you do not wish to speak of it.’ He shrugged, as though the conversation was now boring him. ‘I’ll have a room made available. Just let my assistant know what you need in terms of infrastructure and he’ll see you’re set up.’


He? You have a male assistant?’

It was Nikos’s turn to act surprised. ‘Yes. Bart. He’s been with me five years.’

She laughed quietly and shook her head. ‘I guess that makes sense. I can imagine you’d run through female secretaries pretty damned fast, given your track record for taking any woman with a pulse to bed.’


‘Jealous, agape?’


She’d been jealous, all right. For years she’d followed his exploits in the gossip columns. Like watching a train crash, she’d been powerless not to stare at the pictures. They’d come to life in her over-fertile imagination so that she hadn’t simply looked at an attractive couple coming out of some hot spot so much as imagined them in bed, or perhaps on the dining table, or the kitchen floor, while she lay in her own bed. Alone, untouched, able only to dream of Nikos rather than feel his hands on her body...


‘Oh, yes,’ she simpered, with an attempt at false sincerity. ‘I’ve spent the last six years desperately waiting for you to reappear in my life. I’ve been missing you and dreaming about you and praying you’d turn up and blackmail me into a loveless marriage. This is pretty much the high point of my life, actually.’


‘And we haven’t even slept together yet,’ he said, in a voice that was honey and dynamite.  

Her breath caught in her throat. She spun away from him, her cheeks flushed.

‘What is it, agape? Suddenly you are shy? It is our wedding night.’

She lifted a hand to her throat and lightly rubbed her skin. ‘I... Of course not.’ She squared her shoulders. Hadn’t she been dreaming about this for as long as she’d known him?’

‘Relax.’ His hands on her shoulders were firm. He spun her in the circle of his arms so that they were facing one another, his warmth offering some comfort to her. ‘You are shaking like a leaf.’

Tell  him the truth! She fluttered her eyes closed, her lashes dark circles against her pale cheeks.

‘You are my wife.’ He pressed a finger under her chin, lifting her face to his. His eyes were troubled, tormented. ‘Are you...afraid of me?’

It was so uncharacteristic of him to show doubt that she raced to reassure him. ‘Of course I’m not.

She shook her head, inhaling a deep breath that flooded her system with his spicy scent. ‘I’m afraid of
myself, and of what I want right now.’

He nodded, silently imploring her to continue.

‘You hate my father. I think you might even hate me.’ She lifted a finger to his lips to stop him from speaking. ‘But I don’t hate you.’ Her eyes were enormous, loaded with fear and desire. ‘I don’t hate you...’

Her finger, initially placed against his mouth to silence him, dragged slowly across his lower lip. Her eyes followed its progress as if mesmerised. She knew he was going to kiss her. The intent was in every line of his body. If she’d wanted to she could have stepped away. She could have asked for more time. Instead she lifted herself up on tiptoe, crushing her mouth to his.

In that bittersweet moment all Marnie needed was to right one of the biggest wrongs of her past: she wanted Nikos and, damn it, she was finally going to have him.

To hell with the consequences. They’d be waiting for her afterwards.

Her body flashed like flame when his mouth crushed down on hers with the kind of intensity that spoke of long-held desire. She was powerless to swim against the tide of need: powerless and unwilling.

Her feminine heart was hot and wet, slick with moisture and need. Unfamiliar but instinct-driven urges were controlling her body. Her hands pushed under his shirt, seeking skin and warmth. She traced her fingertips up his hair-roughened chest, splaying her fingers wide. She felt the beating of his heart beneath her touch; it was as frantic as her own.


His body weight pushed her downwards—not to the bed but to the floor, to her knees. He knelt with her, kissing her, his tongue clashing fiercely with hers as his hands pulled through her hair then pushed at her head, holding her against his mouth. She groaned into him, marking their kiss with the desperation that was scrawling a painful tattoo across her being—inking her as his in a way that would never be erased.


He pulled at her as his body pushed at hers until she fell back onto the carpet. His weight on top of her was divine. She curved her hands to his back, digging her nails into his warm skin as she felt the power of his arousal for herself. Hard and firm through their layers of clothing, a bodily ache was spreading through her. She lifted her hips, silently begging him for more. To mark her once and for all.


‘Nikos!’ She cried his name into the room and he groaned in response. ‘Please!’


For a chance to win a signed paperback of Clare's debut, she'd like you to have some fun with the question below in the comments section!

"If you absolutely had to enter into a marriage of convenience, who would you choose to marry? (Not including real-life spouses of course!) I'll go first... it would be a tough choice for me between Tarzan and Captain Von Trapp... you?"



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


Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

39 comments:

  1. Woohoo Clare what a smooch and what a story I loved this one and can highly recommend it :)

    That is a good question I am not sure although Hugh Jackman comes to mind ??

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Hugh Jackman would be lovely. I adore him! Yes, I approve of this choice ;)

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  2. Awesome stuff, Clare!
    I suppose I could hack "having" to marry Prince Harry....
    :-)

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    1. Amazing. He is so gorgeous! Excellent choice.

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  3. Great smooch, Clare. Looks like Marnie and Nikos are in for some interesting times.

    Gosh, if I was forced, I'd marry Henry Cavill - he was superman after all.

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    1. Ooooh! And did you see him in The Tudors? He was so utterly divine - I can definitely understand this choice! Yum!

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    2. Oh yes - that's the first time I saw him!!

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  4. Hey, Clare, great to see you here! And what a smokin' excerpt -- can't wait to read this one. :-)

    Hmm...if I *had* to choose, I'd take Lord of the Rings' Aragorn. Swoon. And if he wasn't available I'd settle for Colin Firth's Mr Darcy. ;-)

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    1. Michelle, I'd have to fight you for Mr. Darcy, but I could settle for 40 year old Hugh Grant or a younger Lachy Hulme.

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    2. LOL, Laurie. All right, you can have Mr Darcy...as long as I can have Pemberley. ;-)

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    3. YES! Aragorn is amazing and yet I have no corresponding crush on Viggo Mortensen. I mean, he's handsome, sure, but Aragorn... Oh! The scene at the end of RETURN OF THE KING: My friends, you bow to no man. SWOON. And when he first sees Arwen behind the elves' banners. Completely love this!

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  5. Hi Clare, congrats on your first sexy book and can't wait to read it. Great smooch. Marriage of convenience - well there has to be a Sheikh in there somewhere. Thor as in Chris Hemsworth if there were no Sheikhs close by. :)

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    1. Hi Jan, thanks so much! Thor is super sexy (as played by Chris Hemsworth) and I adore his relationship with Natalie Portman!

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  6. Just bought this book so I closed my eyes as I scrolled down so as not to ruin the surprise :). Can't wait to read it!!!
    Ally
    xxx

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    1. Ah! Too funny. Well thanks for commenting and I hope you love it! :D

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  7. I can't wait to read this! My marriage of convenience would have to be 40 year old Colin Firth, Hugh Grant or a younger Lachy Hulme. I will fidht Michelle for Mr. Darcy.

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  8. I love marriage of convenience stories. I'd marry Thor aka Chris Hemsworth. (I'm just total ignoring the age difference.)

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    1. Ooooh! Another Thor! Yes, he's just so gorgeous. I love his wry witticisms. Such a lovely character.

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  9. Congratulations on your Sexy/Presents debut, Clare. How exciting! And what a super-hot debut you have. Put me down as another who adores the marriage of convenience trope, especially when there's a history and a healthy dollop of unrequited desire.

    As for your question... Since this is fiction, I'm going to choose a fictional hero. Darcy seems to have been well and truly claimed, so I'm going for a favourite from one of my favourite old stool marriage-of-convenience stories. That would be the dark deeply-wounded cowboy Chase Tyler from Sandra Brown's Texas:Chase!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bronwyn,
      Thanks so much! Wounded heroes are my catnip!! Seriously, I love a broken man (especially when the heroine brings him back to life again!). Swoon! My favourite broken hero - other than Heathcliff (yes, I LOVE him) would have to be Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle. I know he's not broody but he's so vulnerable!

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    2. Mine too, Clare! A broken hero just begging to be put back together by the right woman. *Sigh.*

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  10. Hi Clare - mega congratulations on your debut Presents! the book sounds wonderful and the excerpt is sizzling. Hmmm...who would I pick for a marriage of convenience (thinking long and hard about this one) Hands down, Bruce Banner - because I am weak at the knees for a tortured man (who oozes integrity) and he's about as tortured as a man could get. And I know that sometimes he is an odd shade of green, but I could live with that. :)

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    1. Lol! I don't know! When he Hulks Out things could be a bit wild! But yes, angsty tortured hero alert - we love them!

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  11. Mine would simply be Chris Evans.

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  12. Huge congratulations on your first Harlequin Presents book, Clare. I'm looking forward to reading his one.

    Ah, too hard to choose one MOC groom when there are so many potential ones. I think that's why I love reading romance, I can pick a different, fascinating hero every day. But since Michelle mentioned Colin F as Mr Darcy I'd have to second that choic.

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    1. Hi Annie,
      Thanks so much! I'm super excited. And yes, Mr Darcy is an always-acceptable answer. Mmm.

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  13. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful smooch with us, Clare!! So excited to see your book on shelves here in Canada too :)

    Oooh fantasy MOC...well, I'm in total GOT mode at the moment so I would have to say Jon Snow! Or maybe Jamie Lannister...or Kahl Drogo :D

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    1. Thats sooo funny Stefanie, I think I'd chose Peter Dinklage - think he's totally hot :-)

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    2. Jon Snow! He has been my hero inspo for so many books. He's sooo brooding!

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  14. My marriage of convenience pick would have to be Channing Tatum. I love his body, his energy, and the way he dances. . .Wow. . . his lips, his lopsided smile his dimples, and he is a nice guy, with a good heart. So Channing can rescue my family and insist on my hand. . . and any other parts of me he desires. . . any time he wishes. :o)

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    1. YES! I love him - in real life. He's the only redeeming part of Dear John, to my mind. Loved his sort of strong, broken warrior in that!

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  15. Definitely Superman. Just the thought of a man taking me flying - without a plane!

    Back in the Mid-'90s I was working in an art gallery and one lunch time the gallery director - my boss - had a visit from her husband and their son and daughter. Having never met her children who were around eight and ten at the time I popped out to say hello. They greeted me politely when my boss introduced us then stared at me, not responding to a thing I said. At a loss I excused myself and wandered back to the office to continue my work. After they left, my boss stuck her head around the door. "My kids think you're Lois Lane!" she laughed. However, I was thinking it might be enough to seal the deal, then again that was some time back, still ...

    Thank you for the wonderful Smooch and congratulations on your debut Harlequin Presents, lovely lady!

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    1. That sounds like a pre-destined match made in Krypton. ;)

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  16. Hi Clare, congratulations on your first Harlequin Presents! Such a steamy smooch full of conflict and passion.
    My MOC pick might have to also be Mr Darcy - not just for him but for Pemberley.

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    1. Thank you! I'm super excited. Ah, yes. I'd have settled for Mr Collins if he had Pemberley to add into the bargain... ;)

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  17. How about 'Gru' from 'Minions',I think he'd be good for a laugh :-)

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    1. I actually have a weird non-sexual crush on Gru. His vulnerabilities in Despicable Me are handled so well!

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