September 11, 2016

She waved at him like a demented cheerleader. "See you tomorrow!"

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Delia Woodson was desperate. That’s why she’d agreed to it.

Because she was a painter, no one was buying her paintings, and she was desperate.

She had bills to pay, food to buy. Someday she might actually want to live in her own apartment instead of on her friend’s couch.

Crashing on a friend’s couch when you were all young and stupid was one thing. Crashing on a couch when you were most definitely not young and the only one still stupid was something else entirely.

Delia’s friends had stayed in college, and she’d painted. Delia’s friends had gotten jobs and moved away, and she’d painted. Delia’s friends had bought houses, taken out mortgages, and Delia... crashed on their couches.

She’d followed Justine from San Francisco to Boston when Justine had gotten a great new job with a great new paycheck. Delia had followed because a free spirit who painted was a dime a dozen in San Francisco. And maybe a free spirit who painted in Boston was just different enough to be successful. Right now, she was just hungry.

Justine propped her hip against the kitchen counter and said, “Are you going?”

“I’m going.”

“Painting a ceiling is not beneath you.”

Delia had heard this before. Michelangelo, yada yada yada. Sistine chapel, blah blah blah.

Delia said, “I’m painting clouds and baby-faced angels on an executive’s ceiling. I’m happy for the work. I’ll be happy for the money. It is beneath me.”

“You could go get a real job.”

“I said I’m going. You don’t need to be mean.”

Delia stared at the ceiling. If she was going, and despite what she’d just said she hadn’t quite talked herself into it yet, she probably needed to get up. Get dressed.

Delia said, “How do you get up and put on a suit and go to the office every morning? I don’t know how to make myself do it.”

“I get roaring drunk every evening. That’s how I do it.”

Delia looked over at her. “Tonight?”

“Of course. We’ll have to celebrate your first paying job in Boston.”

“I guess drinks are on me, then.”

“Which means you’d better get up so you can pay for it.”

Delia stared at the ceiling some more. A ceiling she wasn’t going to paint. “Rip-roaring drunk?”

“The rip-roaringest drunk two thirty-six-year-olds can get without feeling like losers.”

Delia slid one leg off the couch and let her whole body follow bonelessly to the floor. “Too late. I feel like a loser and I’m not drunk at all.”

She crawled to the bathroom, her head hanging, every movement slow and tortured.

Her friend said, “You’re thirty-six, not sixteen. Go put on your big-girl panties and pretend you’re an adult.”

Delia stood. She straightened her shoulders. She didn’t sigh again, she didn’t slam the bathroom door. She would be an adult. Because doing crap you didn’t want to do was what being an adult was all about.

Delia would go paint an indecently rich, corporate shill’s ceiling. Because he couldn’t think of any other way to spend his money, and she couldn’t think of any other way to make it.

And hey, maybe she’d get hit by a bus on the way.

She could always hope.

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By the time Delia made it downtown, her mood had improved. She loved this city. Loved the accent, loved the history. Loved the cobbled streets.

She’d even enjoyed the commute. Enjoyed getting pulled along with busy people late for work.

Granted, it was fall. The gorgeous yellow and red leaves crunched satisfyingly under her boots, and the air was chilly but not miserable.

She’d yet to experience a New England winter, and maybe she’d change her mind about this whole Boston thing come the middle of February, but for now it was fun. It was different.

She got pulled up the subway stairs and she went with the flow until fresh air hit her face again. She stared up at a tall, new building with gleaming glass windows and her shoulders sunk.

No history here.

But there was money. And uptight business execs.

Delia rode the elevator to the top. She stopped to look out the full-length window and wondered why those who had these kinds of views didn’t stop to look. Too busy making money to enjoy what it brought them, she guessed.

And, she knew, repetition dulled the splendor. Beautiful and awe-inspiring turned to normal turned to invisible.

It was why she hid things in her paintings. Why someone would see one thing when they looked at it one way and see something else when they looked at it another. Why they could look for years and still find something new, something fresh.

At least, that was her hope. For someday. You know, when people bought her paintings.

Mr. Cabot’s scary-efficient secretary nodded when she saw Delia. The secretary rose, motioning Delia to follow her into the double-doored office.

Ms. Charles said, “The scaffolding was delivered and set up yesterday; the paint is here as well. Mr. Cabot is in a meeting this morning; now would be the time to organize.”

They’d already argued about this. Delia had lost.

Mr. Cabot didn’t want to vacate his office; had in fact, wanted her to paint at night when he wasn’t there.

Delia had only won that argument because she couldn’t paint at night. She needed natural light. She needed to paint in the light her work would be seen in. Call her a prickly artiste all you want, it didn’t change that fact.

And that was only what the secretary had called her. Delia didn’t want to know what the man in charge had called her.

She was hoping he’d decide to move on out once he got a whiff of the paints.

Delia surveyed the office. It was as big as Justine’s one-bedroom apartment, half of it cleared of furniture and covered in painter’s cloth. The large desk was still sitting in front of a floor-to-ceiling bookcase on the other side.

The secretary handed her a check and said, “Please don’t bother Mr. Cabot. If you need anything, come to me.”

Oh, Delia was going to bother Mr. Cabot. She wouldn’t be able to help it.

She’d never met the man and he already bothered her. You didn’t get to sit in this office unless you worshiped at the altar of efficiency and liked squeezing blood out of stone.

But Delia nodded at the secretary and watched her leave. She looked down at the check and decided she wasn’t selling her soul. She was doing what had to be done. There could be pride in that.

Then she took off her coat, rolled up her sleeves, pulled booties on over her boots, and started opening paint cans.

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Delia organized, tested colors on the ceiling, and finally began to see in her mind what the ceiling would look like. By the time she had started rolling out the base coat, she thought she could make this ceiling something decent. Instead of a clich├ęd nod to the master.

The door opened behind her and a deep, annoyed voice said, “What are you doing?”

She didn’t turn around, just kept painting. “Base coat. I hope the fumes don’t bother you.”

She didn’t smile but it took effort.

Mr. Cabot didn’t say anything, just went and opened the windows.

She turned then and said, “They open?”

And then her stomach clenched and she forgot how to think.

He was beautiful. Put together by a master, his light brown hair streaked with gold, his brown eyes framed by long lashes. His nose was straight, his jaw strong and sculpted.

His body was toned beneath his dark suit. Not too musclebound, not too skinny. Just right.

But he wore an expression of disdain as if everything he saw did not meet with expectations, and since he was looking right at Delia, she could guess what she looked like.

Red corkscrews would be waving wildly around her head. Her hair could be tamed but it took a long time and a lot of effort and she’d made peace with it years ago. Paint-spattered clothes that even without the paint wouldn’t have looked like much. It was hard to get into fashion when you didn’t have much money and everything you owned eventually got paint on it anyway.

Delia didn’t care much what she looked like, her paintings showed the world who she was, but next to him she felt unkempt.

Next to him, Martha Stewart would feel unkempt, so Delia laid the blame where it was due. At his feet. He said, “How long will this take?”

She’d only ever met with the scary-efficient secretary before and suddenly Delia was missing her. She said, “It will take less time if I don’t have to work around you.”

He sat down at his desk and waved behind him at the bookcase. “This bookcase was built in this room, it doesn’t fit through the doors. And every time my mother redecorates my office, I move out. Every time I move the contents of this bookcase, something goes missing. I’m not moving it again.”

Delia stared at him, her eyebrows knitted together. “Why does your mother redecorate your office?”

“It used to be hers.”


“So, again, how long will this take?”

Delia looked up at the ceiling. “I was hired to paint the whole thing. It’s going to take a while.”

When she looked back at him, his eyes were closed, his face pained.

Delia said, “Does your mother redecorate your office just to get you out of it?”

He opened his eyes and said, “The ceiling will take less time if you actually start.”

She turned back to the roller, filling it with light ochre, and muttered, “Gee, why didn’t I think of that?”

“The ceiling will take less time if you don’t speak.”

She said over her shoulder, “Do you think so? I’ll have to try that.”

Delia rolled the base coat across the ceiling, finishing half of her half before she couldn’t stand it anymore and turned back to him.

“You don’t care at all what I paint on your ceiling, do you?”

He didn’t look up from his work. “No.”

“So I could paint Lucifer’s brothel up here and you wouldn’t say a peep?”

“Don’t paint Lucifer’s brothel on my ceiling.”

“You just said...” She trailed off when he raised his head to look at her. It wasn’t a mean look, a mad look. It was just his attention was focused on her.

He stared at her and she stared back, not thinking, until he finally said, “Just what exactly does Lucifer’s brothel look like?”

Delia shook her hair and turned back to the roller. “Now you’ll never know.”

“And that truly is a shame.”

She finished the half of his ceiling she had access to without talking to him again and started cleaning up for the day. When her paints were stored, when she’d cleaned her roller in the bathroom down the hall because she wasn’t allowed to use his, she turned to find him watching her.

He said, “Done already?”

“It needs to dry. I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon.”

He nodded. “You’ve signed the confidentiality agreement? You know anything you see or hear doesn’t leave this room.”

She’d signed the confidentiality agreement. She wasn’t a lawyer, hadn’t even had it checked by one, but she was pretty sure it had said that if she blabbed about anything regarding Mr. Cabot or his company that he would own her. Her, her children, her children’s children.

She said, “Would I be here if I hadn’t?”

His eyes sharpened as he looked at her and she said, “Believe me, I don’t care what it is you do here.”

His eyes ran up to her hair, then down to her bootie-covered boots. “I believe you. Do you even know what we make?”

Her face blanked as she thought about it. She said slowly, “You make something? Here?”

His lips twitched. “We don’t make it here, we just run the business from here.”

“What is it you make?”


She turned away. “Yeah, I don’t care.”

She took her booties off, checking her boots for paint carefully.

When she turned back around, his lips were still twitching.

She shoved her arms through her coat and waved at him like a demented cheerleader. “See you tomorrow!”

He said, “I. Can’t. Wait.”

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April 14, 2016

Boring Is The New Black (The Fashionista and The Geek)

Finally, a new book is here! The first book in The Fashionista and The Geek series is now available!

Famous name? Check.
Famous face? Double check.
A life locked up tight? Lock and key.

The daughter of a famed supermodel, Nicole Bissette has unwillingly lived her entire life in the spotlight. And she's learned that to keep unwanted attention from herself, it's best if she never smiles, never laughs. Never lets anyone close.

Especially her employees. Especially that one employee who lives to make her laugh, who loves to see her smile, and who doesn't seem to realize that he works for a fashion designer. Does he not know? Can he not see? Is that really what he's wearing?

This fashionista is about to discover that love really is blind...

Buy from: | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

November 8, 2015

To Wed The Widow now in audio

To Wed The Widow is now available as an audiobook!

Available at:
Audible  |  iTunes  |  Amazon

March 26, 2015

To Tempt The Saint - The Reluctant Bride Collection

Many years ago, George St. Clair loved and lost— his heart, his faith, his future. Now, he is content to watch not-so-silently as life happens to his friends, secure in the knowledge that no woman could tempt him again. Absolutely certain that no woman is worth the risk. Confident that he is protected from the pain...

Honora Kempe lost everything after her fall from grace— her family, her life, a future. Now, Hell hath no fury like a disgraced vicar's daughter and she is determined to get back what was hers. By hook or by crook. Man by man. Lie by lie. Until one man makes her wonder if love really can heal all pain. And if too late really is too late...

Coming this Tuesday and available for preorder at:

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BUT! I said I would be giving away advanced copies of this book and now they're here! As a thank you to my family, friends, and fans for the last (almost) 3 years, I have made available now 30 free copies of To Tempt The Saint at my ebook store. Go get 'em because they won't last long!  They're gone.

And, again and really, thank you. Eight books and two series in three years, and it's been better than I could have ever imagined.

December 14, 2014

The Reluctant Bride Collection - Audiobook and Pre-order

To Tame A Dragon is now available in audiobook at:

Audible  |  Amazon  |  iTunes

I have twenty free promo codes available for use at Audible. If you want one, send me an email at and put audio code in the subject. When they're gone, they're gone. They're gone.

And, the fourth and final book of the series is now up for pre-order!

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I'll be giving away advanced copies of this book, so look for more information about that coming in February.

October 9, 2014

To Wed The Widow - The Reluctant Bride Collection

A man with a Future, the Honorable George Sinclair would rather poke his eye out than take his place beside his brother and learn How To Be An Earl. But when an earl orders, a brother obeys. And when an earl tries to make his brother steady and responsible and old and gray, well... it just might kill them both.

A woman with a Past, Lady Haywood is a scandalous distraction no honorable gentleman can ignore. Especially one who's just been told that his very happy life is changing irrevocably to the boring. But even if a scandalous distraction is what George wants, what he needs is a wife. A virgin wife. A scandal-less wife...

The earl would be the first to say that his brother has always had a problem choosing what he needs over what he wants. Lady Haywood would say that very few women who have buried five husbands would bother with a sixth. And George would say... why, this sounds like fine fun.

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