Hope things are going great for you. As for me, I'm counting the days until the release of ONE NIGHT WITH YOU, book # 3 in the Grayson Friends Series. I can't believe that in 15 days the book will be in stores. I'm always nervous when a new title comes out. It doesn't matter that this is book # 41 for me. I won't relax until I hear from my readers.
ONE NIGHT WITH YOU is Duncan McBride's story. Faith and Cameron might have escaped the McBride family curse, but Duncan doesn't hold out much hope for himself. But, then, he hasn't met Raven La Blanc. Readers met Raven in IRRESISTIBLE YOU when Ruth Grayson used her to push Pierce toward Sabra. I wonder if Ruth is up to a little match-making between Raven and Duncan. If so, this time she might need a little help. One guess who that help is coming from. You'll be happy to know that the book will provide you with an update on Blade and Sierra, and Faith and Brandon, and you'll learn a bit more about Rio. And, yes, Rio will have his own story.
Please check my web site at http://www.francisray.com/
in the coming days for the book trailer for ONE NIGHT WITH YOU. It will be released on November 2, 2009. On my web site you'll also find my tour dates/locations. I have a blog at www.francisrayblog.com
where I've posted one excerpt and plan to post another one..
Enjoy Chapter One of ONE NIGHT WITH YOU below:
Duncan McBride knew trouble when he saw it and he was looking at it in spades. He could handle sudden snowstorms, droughts, brush fires, and ornery or sick livestock with grit and determination. He planned to leave his mark on the land, and for that, he knew he had to work hard.
However, no matter how he wished otherwise, there were times he'd come out on the losing end. He didn't like it, but he accepted the harsh truth and worked harder so that the next time he'd walk away the winner.
Standing on the front porch of his ranch house east of Billings, Montana on a beautiful summer morning, Duncan dispassionately watched a woman emerge from the driver’s side of a dusty black Jeep that had seen better days. Before her booted foot hit the paved driveway, he knew trouble had come again to the Double D Ranch.
Long-legged, elegantly shaped with generous breasts, she had a small waist and come-hither hips that gently flared in body-hugging jeans. Those features alone would have been enough to bring any man to his knees, but added to that stunning combination was a breath-taking sculptured face with high cheekbones and a generous mouth painted berry-colored. The explosive package sent a punch straight to his gut.
He didn't have to watch his foreman, Ramon, a renowned ladies’ man, and his newest hand, Billy, almost trip over themselves rushing to meet her to know he was right. Unmoved, Duncan folded his arms and leaned against a stone post on the porch. Whoever she was, she would be leaving in a hurry.
He'd learned the hard way that beautiful women didn't like isolated ranch life and they weren't happy unless a man was fawning over them, catering to their every whim. He didn't have the time or the inclination to do either. He had a ranch to run.
“I'm Ramon Vasquez, and this is Billy Johnson, welcome to the Double D,” Ramon greeted, tipping his black Stetson, his white teeth flashing in his olive-colored face. “Good morning, Ramon, Billy. Raven La Blanc,” she returned, extending her small hand, a smile curving her sensual lips.
It took Ramon’s elbow in Billy’s side to get him to stop staring with open-mouthed fascination and remember to speak. “G-Good morning, Ms. La Blanc. Welcome.” “Thank you,” Raven said, gently disengaging her hand when Billy continued to hold it. “Could one of you please direct me to Duncan McBride?”
Ramon and Billy turned to Duncan, their twin expressions openly envious. The woman stared at him as well. With the face of a man’s most erotic and forbidden fantasy, Duncan found he wasn't immune to her obvious allure anymore than his two ranch hands. However, he controlled his body, not the other way around.
He easily dismissed the stirring of his lower body. He wasn't dead, just selective. And it was just his bad luck for his body to remember he hadn't been with a woman in two years. “I'm Duncan McBride.”
The smile that slowly spread over her golden-hued face caused his gut to tighten for an entirely different reason. Her slender hand swept the thick mass of long black hair out of her face. For one traitorous moment Duncan could imagine too well him doing the same thing for her, his mouth following.
She was definitely leaving, he thought as she started toward him. The admiring gaze of his two ranch hands followed. Straightening, his eyes narrowed in anger. His men were staring at her butt. Several feet away, she paused, her head tilting to one side, studying him. She surprised him by not running back to her Jeep. His men had certainly taken off. He could almost admire her for standing her ground. Almost.
“What can I do for you, miss?” he prompted, wanting to get rid of her as soon as possible so he could get to work. There never seemed to be enough time to complete the endless jobs needed on a ranch the size of his. Today, they were bringing in the calves to start branding. One of his prize mares was taking her own sweet time about foaling, and the Angus cows he'd purchased were due to arrive soon. He didn't have time for a woman.
Raven La Blanc did her best not to stare at the gorgeous man on the porch. He was broad shouldered with smooth, creamed-coffee colored skin, a tempting mouth, and piercing onyx eyes beneath a worn black Stetson.
She'd seen handsome men before, dismissed them without a moment’s hesitation, but something about the unsmiling man intrigued her. From the way he was staring at her in his defensive stance, he clearly didn't share her interest. He wanted her gone, but she hadn't driven over a thousand miles to turn around and go back to Santa Fe.
Being a woman with a mixed heritage of Native American and French, Raven was used to challenges. Her smile widened as she closed the distance between them, stopping at the foot of the steps to stare at up at his unwelcoming face. “Good morning, Mr. McBride. I'm Raven La Blanc, the archaeologist Ruth Grayson spoke to you about. I'm here to authenticate the ca--“ “What?” Unfolding his arms, he quickly descended the steps. Raven had to back up to keep him from plowing into her. “You can't be the one I'm expecting.”
Raven had heard it before. People tended to look at her face and quickly decide there was nothing but air in her head. She'd fought the battle repeatedly in her collegiate days and throughout her academic career. She'd fight again if needed. This was too important. She needed an edge to put her on the fast track to tenure at St. John’s College. The goal of obtaining one had brought her to the Double D.
“I assure you, Mr. McBride, I am. I am very interested in—” “Mrs. Grayson said the woman she was sending had experienced he said, cutting her off once again. Patience, Raven reminded herself. This is your chance. “I might be young since I earned my Ph.D. at twenty-two, but I've been a professor at St. John’s with Ruth Grayson for the past year. Before I accepted the position there I was on several digs in America and Europe.”
“Doing grunt work no doubt,” he hurled. “I wanted someone capable of getting the job done.” Raven’s blunt tipped nails dug into the palms of her hands. Condescending men irritated the hell out of her. “My credentials speak for themselves. I don't plan to stand here and argue with you. According to Mrs. Grayson, you were pleased to learn that someone of my experience was free and willing to come here. You wanted the authentication done quietly and secretly.” Black eyes narrowed on her face. “That was then.”
Raven’s chin jutted. “Think what you will about me, but you've given your word that I could study and authenticate the find and that’s exactly what I plan to do. If you don't want me staying at your ranch as planned, that is your right. I'll get a room in town and be back at eight in the morning to start. Goodbye.”
Spinning on her booted heels, Raven stalked back to her jeep. With an irritated flick of her wrist, the motor ignited. Shifting the vehicle into gear, she spun around in the wide driveway, lamenting she wasn't on dirt so the tires could spit dust in Duncan’s condescending face. He'd just thrown a monkey wrench into her plans. She'd counted on staying at the ranch to conserve time and money. That was out of the question now, but she had no intention of leaving Elks Ridge. If the drawings were authentic, and they certainly looked that way from the sketch he'd sent to Ruth, it was important that they be preserved and studied.
The fly in the ointment was that she needed the owner’s permission to study them. The government jurisdiction didn't extend to private property unless there were human remains. Raven’s hands tightened on the steering wheel. She refused to think he might be a big enough jerk not to show her the cave. Ruth had spoken highly of him. Just goes to show that a man could fool even the most intelligent woman. That was one lesson she'd learned the hard way and didn't need a refresher course on.
Comment on this blog and you could win a $15.00 gift card to Bath and Body Works as well as a copy of THE WAY YOU LOVE ME, book #1 in the Grayson Friends Series.
| || || ||