Hi Joanne and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Her Texas Renegade!
Hello! I’m glad to be here to talk about books! I know many of us are reading more than ever lately.
Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:
A divorced heiress must set her ex-husband’s estate to rest, but she needs the help of a sexy cybersecurity expert who walked away from her long ago.
Please share the opening lines of this book:
Miranda Dupree Blackwood took deep breaths before the meeting with her ex-stepchildren where they would learn the contents of Buckley Blackwood’s last will and testament. Miranda had flown from her home in New York City to Royal, Texas, because of Buck’s highly unorthodox last wishes. Knowing what her wily ex-husband had planned for today made her ill, but she understood the role he wanted her to play, and she wasn’t going to turn her back on it.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- This is the final story in the Texas Cattlman’s Club: Inheritance series
- My heroine, Miranda Dupree, has an Alexis Carrington appeal– she was the woman you loved to hate in the earlier books in this series.
- The hero in this one– Kai Maddox– is a sexy, motorcycle-riding, tattoo-sporting bad boy.
- The reality TV show that my heroine is a part of is a “Real Housewives” inspired show.
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
This is a second chance romance, so we don’t get to see the *very* first thing that attracted these two… their affair is long in the past. But I do reference it, and they were attracted by their equal commitment to pursue their dreams/ambitions.
Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?
Sexy, tense, forbidden, emotional, inevitable.
The First Kiss…
“As temporarily satisfying as it might be to indulge ourselves, Kai, I think we have too much painful and complicated history for any good to come from falling into old patterns. We can’t just pretend the hurtful parts didn’t happen.”
Had it been hurtful for her, too?
Her expression seemed to confirm it, but at the time, he’d viewed their breakup as one-sided. She’d moved on without him, turning her affections toward someone more successful. He’d thought he’d been doing her a favor by giving her up. The idea that there might have been more to it gnawed at him.
“You think renewing our affair is too risky.” He summarized her point, winnowing it down to the bottom line. He paced away from her as he thought it over, his gaze shifting to the silent spill of water at the edge of the infinity pool on the patio.
“Yes.” She sounded relieved that he seemed to understand.
But a good negotiator always had a backup plan.
“I disagree.” He strode toward her again, liking the vision of her here, in his home. “We’re both older and wiser. We wouldn’t fall prey to the false illusions we had about one another ten years ago.”
He stopped just short of her, his chest so close to her he could feel the heat radiating off her, the heat of their desire for each other. Except she looked ready to argue again.
“What about a compromise?” he suggested, before she could speak, still not touching her even though the ache for her was a tangible thing inside him.
She arched an auburn brow, questioning.
“One last kiss,” he suggested, presenting his real agenda.
“I think that’s a bad idea,” she said quickly, reaching for her water glass again. She took a sip, then kept the cut crystal in one hand, a barrier between them.
Her lips glistened with moisture. His heart slugged faster.
“Is it?” He leaned closer, but didn’t touch her. “Let me tell you why I think it’s the best idea.”
“Um.” She shifted, her knee grazing his as she moved.
The brief feel of her stoked a fire inside him, but still he didn’t touch her, needing her to make the decision. “It would let us end on a good note. Give closure to that chapter.”
She set her glass on the counter, the tumbler clinking unsteadily on the granite. “I don’t think so. And I’m not sure this is a fair discussion.”
“Good debate calls for supporting arguments.” He eased back enough to look into her eyes, a far deeper blue than the pool outside. “But if you’re not interested in hearing how a kiss might clear away the thoughts that cloud my head when you’re around—”
She closed her eyes for a moment, and he thought she was trying to shut down the conversation. But then she nodded. It was a gesture so slight it was almost imperceptible, but he’d seen it. Somehow that nod told him she was conceding the point. His pulse sped.
“If we’re going to do this, make it count.” Deliberately, she curved a palm around his neck and lowered his mouth toward hers.
She began by brushing her lips over his with a feather softness that made him groan.
Or maybe it was the feel of her luscious curves pressing into him that tore the sound from his throat. Either way, the sweet satisfaction of her hands on him, urgently gripping his shirtfront to draw him closer, was the best possible outcome.
Her lips parted, welcoming him, and he took his time savoring her, licking his way inside. He lingered in the places that made her breath hitch, remembering what she liked, reminding her what they could do to one another. He wrapped her in his arms, sealing her to him, positive no man could make her feel the way he could. The orange-jasmine scent of her skin fired through his senses while her fingers skimmed over his shoulders and down his back.
He tried telling himself it was just a kiss. That he couldn’t take any more than that. But the soft swell of her breasts against his chest, the shift of her hips muddled his thoughts. Her hips rocked, seeking, and he was lost.
The kiss went wild. Out of control. The needy sound she made in the back of her throat undid him. Her hands slid over his shirt and then her fingers made quick work of the buttons. She slipped one hand along the heated flesh of his bare chest, her nails lightly scoring. He forced himself back, knowing he needed to end this. Remembering she hadn’t signed on for more than a kiss.
Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?
I liked this scene set at a community center the hero built in his hometown. It lets us see what he’s done with his life since he first met the heroine long ago…
Kai had just finished helping one of the kids in his coding class at the community center when a teen in the back of the room let out a quiet wolf whistle.
“Is there a problem, Rhys?” he asked the boy seated closest to the window. The teen’s eyes were fixed on something outside in the parking lot.
Normally, Kai had the blinds lowered since the first-floor tech room had a view of people coming and going from the building, but today he’d opened one to let in some natural light.
“Sorry,” Rhys muttered, swiveling in his chair to face his laptop screen. “Got distracted.”
The teen went back to work without Kai having to say anything else, and Kai was about to dismiss the class when he spotted a feminine figure striding closer to the building’s front doors.
Anticipation fired through him, even as he experienced a moment of understanding for the teen student’s loss of focus. No doubt, Miranda had the power to distract. She entered the community center’s front doors, out of sight once more.
“We’ll finish our projects next time,” Kai announced. “The tech lab will remain open for another hour if anyone wants to keep working.”
Kai nodded his thanks to the lab’s afternoon monitor, a local graduate student earning some internship credits. About half of the students gathered their backpacks and dispersed to the gym or the game lounge, but the rest stayed behind, including the wolf whistler.
Kai clapped Rhys on the shoulder before leaving the class. “Whistles and catcalling can make women uncomfortable,” he reminded. The kid was working on a sophisticated program for someone his age—but when it came to emotional maturity, he still had a lot to learn. “A definite no-go.”
“It won’t happen again,” Rhys assured him quickly, straightening in his chair.
Nodding, Kai let the kid off the hook, then headed toward the door to find Miranda. He could only assume she was here because she’d taken him up on the offer to put the past behind them in the town where they’d met. The town where their affair had set them both on fire.
He spotted her just outside the tech lab door, her fitted blue suit skimming her memorable curves, the skirt revealing toned legs. Hunger for her stirred. Not just because she was an extremely attractive woman. Some of his best memories were with her at his side.
“Hello, Kai.” She tucked a slim handbag under one arm, her gaze fixed on his.
“I wasn’t sure you’d come.” He’d been waiting for days, wondering if he’d overstepped by suggesting they had unfinished business between them.
“I wasn’t either,” she admitted, her gaze taking in the huge common area of the community center. Couches were filled with groups of teens talking and laughing. The area was ringed by meeting rooms, a game room, gym and a snack counter. “When it comes to a business decision, I’m sure of myself. But the way forward in my personal life never seems quite as clear.”
He appreciated her honesty, and repaid her in kind. “I’m glad you’re here.”
While it might be easier for them both, from a business perspective, to ignore their history for the sake of Blackwood Bank, Kai found himself wanting more resolution with Miranda. Or did he just want to bring her home with him and forget all the animosity to lose himself in her one last time? He couldn’t deny that his thoughts about her ranged from sensual to explicit, and those thoughts were more and more frequent.
“You’ve done an amazing job with this place,” she observed, not paying attention to the small commotion she was creating with her presence. A few girls seemed to have recognized Miranda’s famous face, and the news spread in audible whispered conversations from group to group.
“Thank you. But it seems I’ve underestimated your show’s popularity with the teen crowd. Looks like I created quite a stir by inviting you here.” He slid a hand under her elbow, guiding her away from the lounge toward an unused meeting space in the back of the building. “Would you consider continuing our discussion at my house? I live close by.”
She glanced over her shoulder briefly, as if to gauge how much of a commotion she was causing. Yet she never slowed her step, allowing him to lead her away.
A surge of misplaced possessiveness—or perhaps it was simple desire—made him want to wrap her in his arms. Tuck her even closer.
“Perhaps that would be for the best,” she agreed, her voice quiet beside him so that he had to lean nearer to hear. “I’m parked out front.”
“I’ll drive you,” he assured her, as he quickened his pace through the empty room sometimes used for local speakers or book clubs. There was a back entrance that opened onto a separate parking area. “My vehicle is right outside.”
Today, no one else was in the rear lot as there were no special events planned for the evening, so they arrived at his Jaguar quickly enough.
“This is the second time I’ve seen you without a motorcycle,” Miranda observed lightly while he unlocked the passenger door and opened it for her. “I will confess I’m surprised to see you behind the wheel of a car.”
Watching her lower herself gracefully into the leather seat, Kai latched onto the topic of discussion to distract himself from her legs.
“While the Bluetooth systems available in helmets have come a long way, it’s still easier to conduct a business call from a car,” he admitted, closing her door and then letting himself into the driver’s side. He started the engine once they were buckled in, heading west toward his house through the relatively quiet streets. “However, if you have an urge to roam Deer Springs on the back of a bike, it would be a pleasure to take you for a ride. I still keep two of them in the garage for when the restless urge strikes.”
He shifted into a higher gear, remembering the feel of her arms wrapped around him, her breasts pressed against his back when they used to ride together. As her throaty laugh floated between them, he wondered if she was recalling some of those same times.
“I thought we were going to put the past to rest, not relive it.” She slanted a glance his way, blue eyes assessing.
That’s what he’d thought, too.
But his relationship with Miranda had never lacked for complications. And he found himself tossing out a far thornier solution.
“There’s more than one way to fix a simmering awareness.” He knew better than to label the chemistry “awkwardness” this time. She’d been very clear about that. “We could appease it.”
Just saying the words made the idea shimmer with real possibility. If she agreed, they could indulge themselves as much as they wanted. Let the heat consume them both. Visions of her naked and eager for him practically crowded out his view of the road.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?
The hero and heroine first cross paths in this scene, and I think it is a good one to show the way they challenge each other-
Damn, but she still had a potent effect on him.
Her fiery-red hair was cut just above her shoulders, with her curls tamed so that her hair swooped over one eye. She was dressed in a fitted black suit that showed off her figure—although not quite as much as the strapless red dress he’d seen her in last time. That dress had been…damn.
Fantasy worthy. He was grateful to today’s suit for covering more of her. She remained toned and athletic thanks to her lifelong commitment to yoga, and she had the lean limbs of a dancer. But her generous curves were more the pinup variety, giving her a silhouette that made men of all ages stop and stare. Including him, damn it.
He forced his gaze to her ice-blue eyes.
“Hello, Kai. Thank you for seeing me on such short notice.” She smiled warmly at Amad before Kai’s assistant left the room.
“You didn’t leave me much choice,” he informed her shortly, gesturing to one of the two wingbacks in front of his desk. “Please, have a seat.”
She disregarded the offer, remaining on her feet as he did. Even in heels she was half a foot shorter than him, but her cool demeanor still commanded attention and exuded authority along with her smoking-hot sexiness.
She’d gained confidence along with over-the-top wealth from her marriage to Buckley Blackwood. Besides a national fitness empire and popular television series, he was certain that Miranda had access to a level of financial support that Kai had to wrestle and scrabble for from investors. The Blackwood name had unlocked a whole world for her. Kai’s courtship, on the other hand, had consisted mostly of diner dates and motorcycle rides whenever he’d had a free moment from the endless stream of work that had claimed most of his time.
“You could have ignored me, the way you’ve snubbed my phone messages.” She peered around the office.
He’d purposely kept it clutter-free and impersonal, a mostly soundproof haven for him to think. The walls were gray stone except for the windows behind the desk. Lights ringed the tray ceiling, hidden in the molding to mimic the effect of daylight at any hour. His desk was glass topped with steel underneath. Industrial and functional. He wondered briefly how it looked through her eyes.
If he was being honest, he wondered how he looked through her eyes, too. Ten years ago, he’d been knee-deep with the old hacker crowd, and skirting the law as he unraveled the most complex facets of data encryption. Miranda had been older than him, with a drive and ambition he admired and an ease with her sensuality that he’d found sexy as hell.
But she’d turned her back on him the moment she met Buckley Blackwood and his millions. And he wasn’t about to take a trip down memory lane with her, even if memories of that rogue kiss in New York had put her in his thoughts all too often lately.
“Deer Springs is a small town, Miranda.” He rounded the desk to stand closer to her, noting the way her eyes followed him. “I wasn’t about to feed the local rumor mill with stories about me refusing to see the town’s most illustrious native.”
She laughed but it was a brittle sound. “Please. Deer Springs is practically Silicon Valley compared to Sauder Falls.”
He’d forgotten she was technically from the next town over, a fact never referenced in her bio since Sauder Falls was a dingier town that had never recovered from a mill closing many years prior. When they’d met, Miranda had been working part-time at a diner in Deer Springs while she ran a local yoga studio and gave classes at another fitness center in Royal. Her big dreams and hard work to achieve them had captivated him since he understood that thirst to do something more.
“Nevertheless, your name is well-known around here.” He was close enough to her to catch a hint of her fragrance, the same scent that made him think of night-blooming flowers. The sooner he sent her on her way, the better. There wouldn’t be any surprise kisses this time. “And now that you’ve got your audience, what is it you want from me? I thought I made it clear I wasn’t interested in doing business with you the last time we met.”
Her lips compressed into a thin line at the reminder of their last meeting. After the kiss that had been so damned unexpected, he’d recovered by assuring her he wouldn’t so much as cross the street for her anymore. Harsh? Not considering the way she’d dumped him.
No sense pretending they had much to say to one another anymore.
“I’m temporarily managing Blackwood Bank,” she began, coming straight to the point as she tilted her chin. “And I need to update the security before I pass over the reins to the Blackwood heirs. You wouldn’t be doing business with me so much as with the Blackwoods.”
Surprise registered. He’d thought maybe she wanted help with Goddess, her line of fitness studios. Blackwood Bank was a client of a whole different caliber. Encryption for a financial institution was extremely complex. It might have been tempting, if not for the woman who made the offer.
She was tempting, too. But in all the wrong ways when he needed to focus on his business.
“But as you pointed out, you’re managing the bank right now. You honestly expect me to work for you?” Folding his arms, he leaned against his desk. Waiting. Willing his thoughts to stay on business and his boots to stay firmly planted.
No touching. No thinking about touching.
Even though the pulse at the base of her throat leaped frantically, drawing his eye, and making him wonder what would happen if he ran his tongue over that very place. He’d be willing to bet she’d burst into flames. But then, he would too, and he’d be damned if that happened.
“Not for me. For the bank.” Opening her purse, she removed a manila folder and placed it on his desk. The movement put her body in dangerously enticing proximity to his. “I have a contract ready, but if the terms aren’t to your liking—”
“No.” He didn’t need to look at the terms.
“No?” She left the folder on the desk and her blue eyes met his. “Kai, this is a very good offer. The bank deserves the kind of data protection your company specializes in, and since you’re local—”
“Madtec is busy.” He was being abrupt. Borderline unprofessional. But he didn’t like the way she affected him and didn’t intend to tempt fate by spending any more time together than was absolutely necessary.
She gripped the leather of her designer purse tighter, her short nails and simple French manicure oddly reminding him she wasn’t quite as high maintenance as the other women on her reality television show. There was still something more down-to-earth about Miranda.
Not that he’d ever watched more than a two-minute clip.
“I understand,” she told him finally, inclining her head with the grace of a medieval queen. “But I’ll leave the contract here and hope you’ll reconsider. Perhaps Dane would feel differently.”
Dane would kick his ass for turning down a client like Blackwood Bank. But Kai said nothing.
Realizing he was probably staring her down like a street thug, Kai shook off the frustration and straightened.
“Thank you for thinking of us,” he said with too much formality, ready to get back to his work. “My assistant can show you out.”
Not that Miranda Dupree had ever needed help walking away.
“I could assign someone else to be the point person for the bank.” She tossed out the compromise, clearly sensing he wasn’t going to budge. “You’d never have to see me once you agreed to the job.”
He wasn’t about to let her see that the offer had appeal. He managed a cool smile. “Afraid you’d end up in my bed again if we worked together, Miranda?”
“Not at all.” She folded her arms and peered up at him like she knew exactly what he was thinking. “Are you, Kai?”
Readers should read this book …
For the sizzle and drama! Harlequin Desires offer lots of both, and I think the Texas Cattleman’s Club stories really highlight the soap-opera feel of stories that showcase the lives of the wealthy and powerful.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
I’m starting a new series for Desire tentatively called Brooklyn Nights with heroines trying to get their start in the competitive worlds of fashion, makeup and theater in New York City. My next releases will be in January and February of 2021 when my Mesa Falls series wraps up with The Rancher and The Heir.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Two prizes- signed print copies of Joanne Rock’s Rule Breaker and Heartbreaker, plus book swag to one winner (open US) and digital copies of the first four Mesa Falls books for one winner (open INTL)
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Kai Maddox, the hero of Her Texas Renegade, rides a motorcycle. If you had to choose between a ride on a motorcycle or a horse, which would you choose?
Excerpt from Her Texas Renegade:
Lying on her belly in cobra pose, Miranda arched her spine and pulled her shoulders back while she moved through her afternoon yoga workout in the studio of the Blackwood Hollow guesthouse. She inhaled deeply and slowly, matching her breath to her pose. The cycle of postures in the sun salutation was grounding for her during times of stress, and it took all her effort to focus on her breathing when memories of Kai clung to her thoughts.
With her mat positioned near the studio’s big front window overlooking the grounds, she held the pose for five deep breaths, turning her head to one side and then the other as she tried not to think about how it had felt to stand near him. She would force his smoldering image from her mind by sheer will.
Except, was that him pulling into the driveway of the guesthouse? Parking a sleek silver sports car in front of the double bay detached garage?
She forgot all about her breath in a scramble to her feet as Kai emerged from a Jaguar F-Type coupe. Dressed in a deep blue jacket with a light blue shirt underneath, he looked more casual than the day before and every bit as compelling. Awareness and anticipation tingled over her skin. She had to remind herself that her sexy dream about him hadn’t been real. That she couldn’t afford to indulge those kinds of thoughts around him. She hurried toward the door, dismayed that instead of being dressed to impress, she wore capri-length leggings and a drapey tank shirt for her workout.
Not that there was any help for it now.
Slipping on a pair of beaded sandals by the front mat, Miranda opened the door of the studio attached to the rest of the guesthouse by a covered breezeway. The smooth stone path connected the buildings, outlined by native plants and shrubs. When she stepped outside, Kai’s green gaze swung toward her.
He changed the trajectory of his stride, turning away from the main house toward the studio building. She hadn’t realized until then he carried a small box with an all-too-recognizable logo on it.
One that stirred nostalgia.
“Hello, Miranda. I hope I didn’t interrupt you.” He stopped a few feet from her under the shade of the breezeway, the spring air still fragrant with almond verbena.
Her breath caught to be close to him again, her heart rate picking up speed.
“I’m surprised to see you.” She remembered how curt he’d been the day before, but if he was here to tell her he’d reconsidered, she couldn’t afford to refuse. Still, there was no reason to make it too easy for him. She’d had to scarf down humble pie the day before—it wouldn’t kill him to have a bite or two of his own. “I got the distinct impression you didn’t want to cross paths again when I left your office yesterday.”
“For that, I apologize.” He lifted the white box in his hands. “I brought a peace offering.”
Her gaze shifted to the parcel with the Deer Springs Diner label, a million memories bombarding her all over again. She used to waitress there, depending on the money to finance her first yoga studio. She’d met Kai there. They’d spent time plotting to take over the world from their favorite booth in the corner, and had shared many breakfasts there after long nights of lovemaking. Tentatively, she lifted the lid.
She suspected what would be inside before she even peeked under the top.
“Half lemon meringue, half caramel apple,” she confirmed, the scent of their two favorites stirring nostalgia and longing she couldn’t afford to feel around this man. Part of her wanted to send him away, escape what he made her feel. But she still needed him on a professional level. “Would you like to come in for a slice?”
She peered up at him and realized how close they stood. Close enough for her to touch the short bristles he’d always worn along his jaw. Close enough to breathe in the light spice of soap on his olive-toned skin and remember the taste of him. Hastily, she released the box top and took a step back.
“Thank you. I’d like that very much.” His green eyes missed nothing. “We can celebrate our new venture together since I have a signed contract to give you.”
The surprises continued.
“That’s excellent news.” For the bank, of course. But for her, the prospect of working with him proved equal parts tempting and daunting. “Although I’ll admit I’m curious what made you change your mind after you seemed so adamantly opposed yesterday. Was it the prospect of me stepping aside?”
Turning, she led the way to the front door of the guesthouse, aware of his nearness every step of the way.
“No. That won’t be necessary. I can separate my personal life from my business obligations.” He sounded sincere. And yet both times she’d visited him recently, there had been enough sensual tension simmering to burn them both. Did he plan to ignore it?
Giving herself a few heartbeats to shore up her boundaries, she entered the cool interior of the guesthouse and paused in the entryway as he pulled the door closed behind them. The dark wood floor and white walls were simply furnished with rustic elegance. Sturdy leather couches and heavy iron pendant lamps were softened by an abundance of natural light, pale rugs and oversize yellow throw pillows. Drinking in the calming effects, she glanced at him.
“I didn’t expect a warm reception after how we parted ten years ago,” she admitted, pulse skipping erratically as she continued toward the open kitchen to retrieve plates and forks. “And how you reacted to seeing me in New York.”
She hoped discussing it would dismiss the elephant in the room. They needed to put their old relationship behind them, so it didn’t interfere with the bank’s business.
Kai joined her at the kitchen island, setting the pie box on the white quartz countertop.
“That’s all in the past now. I was needlessly abrupt yesterday, especially when you came to discuss a significant opportunity for Madtec.” He reached into an interior pocket of his jacket and retrieved a folded packet of papers. He laid them on the counter, as well. “Dane and I look forward to a thorough review and revamp of the bank’s digital security.”
Miranda retrieved two bottles of sparkling water from the refrigerator and placed them on a bamboo serving tray along with the plates and silverware. While it would be easy to eat indoors at the kitchen counter, she thought sitting under the pergola in the backyard would help her keep boundaries in place. Especially when lemon meringue and caramel apple pie slices had the power to catapult her back in time to that diner with Kai. Feeding each other bites. Sitting so close her thigh pressed against his.
She would not think about his thighs.
“Dane convinced you to give this a chance?” she guessed aloud, her cheeks warm from the vivid thoughts she was trying to stifle.
“He was livid I hadn’t already signed the papers,” Kai acknowledged. As she moved to pick up the tray, he took over the task, his warm hand brushing hers momentarily. “Lead the way.”
She felt that brief touch long afterward. Breathe in. Breathe out. She opened the French doors to the patio where coral honeysuckle hung from the deep pergola. Hummingbirds bobbed around the vibrant trumpet-shaped blooms. Kai set the tray on the wrought iron dining table, then pulled out a cushioned chair for Miranda.
“Thank you.” She tried to recall the thread of the conversation to distract herself from all the ways his nearness affected her. “I hope that Dane’s insistence doesn’t mean you’re conflicted about working with us.”
“I have no trouble opposing my brother when the situation calls for it.” Kai took the seat next to her at the round table. “But in this case, Dane’s instincts were correct. The software we’re developing is tailor-made for a complex financial platform like Blackwood Bank.”
Grounding herself in mundane tasks, she laid out napkins and divvied up the waters while Kai opened the pie box and slid thin slices onto their plates. One of each kind for each of them. But rather than soothing her with routine, the familiarity of that simple act, something they’d done countless times and yet not for so many years, crowded her chest with feelings she wasn’t ready for. Swallowing past the swell of emotion, she took her time smoothing the napkin over her lap.
“I have followed the rise of Madtec with interest. I suspected your company was a good fit for this role, Kai, or I wouldn’t have approached you.” She appreciated how the conversation anchored her in the purpose of the meeting. Because this was just business.
Something they both excelled at. Unlike personal relationships.
“I know that,” he conceded, lifting his water bottle and clinking it lightly to hers. “Thank you.”
Her gaze flicked to his as he held the pale green bottle in midair. She followed suit, clinking hers to his in a friendly toast that felt like a fresh start.
At least, professionally speaking.
“Here’s to a successful partnership.” Kai’s green gaze lingered on hers, and she couldn’t help but think she saw something simmering in their depths.
Old frustration over how things had ended? Or a hint of the lingering attraction that she’d been grappling with all day?
Neither one boded well for their venture. But she licked her lips before raising the bottle to her mouth. One way or another, she would figure out how to work with Kai Maddox for the sake of Blackwood Bank. “To new beginnings.”
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Mixing business and pleasure with a former flame, she’s bound to get burned…
Wealthy widow and business owner Miranda Dupree needs a security expert, and her ex, bad-boy-hacker-turned-security-magnate, Kai Maddox, is perfect for the job. But can they keep their steamy, tumultuous romance in the past when the renegade billionaire is so darned tempting? Miranda can’t help herself, and soon an innocent business proposition leads to a replay of passion beyond their control…
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Meet the Author:
Joanne Rock is a USA Today bestselling author. She’s written over one hundred books, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small-town family sagas. She enjoys romance for prioritizing relationships and encouraging readers to follow their dreams. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel to gather new ideas.
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