One of the hottest summer nights I ever experienced was in Las Vegas in July. Some friends and I were there on vacation and we decided to do an impromptu bar hop. The night was literally hot, and seemed even hotter to someone used to colder climes.
But that wasn’t all. Along the way, I met a guy–cute, funny, sexy. We hit it off right away. And while we didn’t end up together long-term, it was very hot while it lasted.
What is your hottest summer night?
I hope you enjoy the excerpt below from my newest release, Aurelia and the Three Bodyguards. Then be sure to enter my giveaway and comment in order to enter the grand prize for the hop!
Excerpt from Aurelia and the Three Bodyguards
If Aurelia thought Drake was crazy after they slept together, it was nothing compared to how he’d be once he found out she escaped. She perched on the edge of her gilded cage, the door hanging open. She could still close that door. He’d never know she’d ever gotten it open.
And she’d never be free.
She jumped out of the cage and ran.
Her cage was in the corner of his bedroom. For days, he’d kept her locked in there, raging that she was his and he would protect her, keep her safe from everyone else. She liked a protective man as much as the next woman, but this was way over the line.
The bedroom was about the size of her entire apartment, and done in white and red. The bed dominated the room, swaths of red fabric falling from the canopy over the white linens. Her golden cage with its plush pillows and little table for refreshments fit in nicely with the decor.
When she’d met Drake, she’d thought she’d lucked out to have such a wealthy man interested in her. Such luck.
Her clothes and purse were hung neatly in the walk-in closet. She grabbed her purse and shoved her feet into a pair of sneakers. The clothes she had on would have to do.
When she got to the door, she eased it open, peeking down the hall to make sure no one was around. One good thing about Drake’s possessiveness was that he didn’t want any men around her at all. Not even guards. He assumed the cage was enough to keep her where he wanted her. Heck, half the time he acted like she should be happy and willing to be in the cage. It wasn’t hard to tamper with the lock so it didn’t catch the last time he closed it. But if she didn’t get away this time, he’d make sure she didn’t have another chance.
No one in the hall. Aurelia crept down this hall, then the next. Then she was at the top of the stairs. She wished she knew the mansion better, wished she knew where the servants’ staircase was. Instead, she’d have to descend into that huge foyer and hope he was nowhere around.
She paused on each step to look around the foyer and into the rooms whose doors she could see. Light streamed through the windows next to the door. Against the light stone-colored floor and glass table, it made everything look a little translucent. There was no motion and no sound. She just hoped she wouldn’t get caught in the middle of the steps with nowhere to hide.
Another step. Another. The front door was so tantalizingly close.
And Drake was so strong. When they’d started dating, she’d thought he was human. If she’d known he was a dragon, she wouldn’t have gone out with him at all. God, could dragons be possessive. Still, she’d never heard of one putting his lady love in a cage. Drake had simply gone bat-crazy.
At the bottom of the steps, she heard a sound. It seemed to come from behind her, so she hurried around the corner and hid behind the door of the front parlor. She could just see the foyer through the crack between the door and the frame.
Drake walked into the foyer, his servant Marie next to him. He was as tall, dark and handsome as he’d been the first time they met. Even knowing how crazy he was, she felt drawn to his masculine good looks.
Then she noticed that Marie held a tray of food which was probably meant for Aurelia. Damnit, they’d know she was gone before she had a chance to get very far.
“I’ll take it up.” Drake took the tray from Marie.
Marie turned and walked back toward the kitchen while Drake ascended the steps. As soon as Aurelia couldn’t see him anymore, she raced for the front door.
Thank God it didn’t need a key. She twisted the deadbolt and yanked the door open. Then she ran.
She had made it to the street, past the hedge and the row of tall trees, before she heard Drake bellowing. He’d discovered her empty cage.
A tingling raced across her skin. Crap, was he using magic to find her? How could she escape that?
Aurelia jogged down the street while fishing her cell phone out of her purse. Dead. Not surprising, considering how long it had been sitting in the closet. At least she’d been here a few times and knew which way to go for the more populated roads. Maybe she could catch a cab.
All the houses were huge. It took minutes to pass each manicured lawn. She had forgotten how far away the closest main street was.
Not that she could go home. That’s the first place he’d look for her. A hotel, then. At least she had her credit cards.
She felt another tingle slide down her body.
Maybe she should head straight for the airport.
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