Monday, August 4, 2014

Even Marriage has its benefits

The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride...and Baby
by Shoshanna Evers
After her brother and his wife go missing and are presumed dead, Lauren Peters plans to raise their infant daughter. Her brother’s will, however, stipulates that baby Callie can only be raised by a married couple. Lauren’s as single as they come.  

Mack Hansen can’t stand idly by while his business partner’s baby is thrown into a foster home. As he sees it, there’s only one solution—he and Lauren will marry for the sake of the baby—and he’ll keep his attraction to her at bay.  

Lauren knows that Mack is all about business, including their marriage of convenience. But her unexpected feelings for him have her turned upside down. With passion sizzling between them, can Mack keep Lauren from stealing his heart…and becoming his wife for real?  

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Excerpt from
The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride...and Baby
by Shoshanna Evers
Copyright 2014 Shoshanna Evers
Entangled Indulgence Publishing, All Rights Reserved
“I know you love that little girl, Lauren. And I know you love your brother enough to not want his daughter to leave this family. Joe wanted us to take care of her. He said so in his will.”

“He didn’t mean us, together,” she said. “In fact, I’m pretty sure Joe would freak out if he thought you were making a move on me. He’s been warning me away from you since you guys were roommates in college.”

Mack waved his hand as if to clear away her concerns. “I’m not making a move on you. This is business. And Joe would understand that extraordinary circumstances warrant unusual solutions.”

“But we’re not married, Mack.”

 “It’s just a piece of paper,” he said, shrugging. “We can go down to the courthouse this very afternoon and make it official. It won’t be a real marriage, of course. It would be in name only.”

 “It wouldn’t be a marriage in name only, Mack,” she said. “Don’t you see? If we’re living together to raise Callie, it’ll be…it’ll feel very real. At least to me.”

He leaned in so close she had to tilt her head up to keep looking into his eyes. “Is that a problem? We’ve known each other for a long time. I think we could take care of Callie together, at least until Joe and Marisol return. We don’t need to really be in love to get a piece of paper that says we’re man and wife.”

Hmm. What he said made sense. They didn’t need to be in love to get married, not really. Love. It would be so amazing to find a man who’d love her, who’d want to stay with her forever. Not someone like her ex-boyfriend Steve who had waited until his sister had a baby to realize he wanted his own children, something she could never give him. Or any man. Could this be her only chance to get married?

 “For as long as I’ve known you,” she said, “you’ve always said you’d never settle down. Ever.”

 “I never thought this would happen, either. Things change. I have a penthouse in Manhattan—plenty of room for you and Callie to move in. We only need to be married until her parents come back. Then we’ll have to be legally separated for a year before we can divorce.”

Divorce? “How do you know about that?”

He laughed. “Thomas schooled me on the legalities of marriage when Joe and Marisol got together, and what it would mean for our joint assets. But it shouldn’t be a big deal,” he said, “unless you have some boyfriend I don’t know about waiting in the wings, wanting to marry you, instead?”

She blushed. Damn him, he always made her blush. “No. But—what about Callie?”

 “We’ll share joint custody, of course.” Mack smiled at her as if that solved everything.

 “No.” Lauren shook her head resolutely, tearing her eyes away from his handsome face. “This is crazy. People don’t do this kind of thing anymore.”

 “What kind of thing?” he asked, amusement creeping into his voice. Why did he have to be so good-looking?

“A…a marriage of convenience.”

 “Stop thinking of it as a real marriage,” Mack said. “Joe was my best friend. I have an obligation to do what he would have wanted me to do. So just marry me and help me raise Callie, like your brother wanted.” He tilted her chin up, forcing her to look in his chocolate-colored eyes. “Please,” he said softly. “Marry me, Lauren. For Callie’s sake. Put up with me for one year.”

 “Everything’s just business with you, Mack.”

Mack’s lips curved into a small smile. “It sounds like you don’t want to miss out on the other benefits of matrimony.”

 “Other…benefits?” The words came out breathlessly as images from her dream of him ran through her mind. He ran one large hand down her cheek, smoothing her hair behind her ear. The light touch tickled her senses, lighting a fire deep within her.

“You know,” he murmured. “Benefits.”

 “I can’t…I can’t think of any benefits.” Her skin tingled where his hand lingered. His mouth, mere inches from her lips, became the focus of her world.

“I can.”  

Sexy Excerpt

He loosened his tie. “This is the living room,” he said, as if she couldn’t see for herself. “Kitchen’s through there. If you’re hungry, help yourself. My housekeeper keeps the fridge stocked. I think she said there’s lasagna prepared, too.”

“I’m not hungry,” she said. “Thank you.”

He tossed his suit jacket on the couch with the nonchalance of a man who knew someone would pick it up for him and have it dry-cleaned the following day. “Home at last,” he said, a smile finally breaking over his face.

Mack stepped toward her, suddenly so close she had to tilt her chin up to look into his eyes. His hand reached around her waist, the heat from his palm searing through the thin cotton of her dress to her skin.

“You might not be hungry…but I am.” His gaze on hers made it clear he wasn’t talking about the lasagna.

Oh God. Everything she’d ever fantasized about. Here. Now. The room spun.

“You look scared,” he said. “Do I frighten you?”

She felt breathless. His presence, so close to her, had taken up all her oxygen. “Were you serious about…? You know.”

“Consummating this marriage?” he asked, dipping his head, his mouth just a breath away from hers. “Yes.”

Her heart pounded, the sound so loud in her ears she was sure he could hear it. “I barely know you. I can’t sleep with you.”

“You’re my wife. But I won’t force you to do something you don’t want to do.”

Relief flooded through her at the same time as disappointment. This was crazy. What was she thinking? If she slept with Mack, how long could she keep her heart safe?

Knowing her, she’d fall for him and be left broken-hearted when he didn’t return her feelings. Could she really handle looking at him, knowing he thought of her only as a means to an end, as a way to meet his obligation to her brother?

“I won’t force you,” he murmured, sliding his hand past her waist, cupping her bottom. “But I’d like the opportunity to see if I can’t convince you to come to the marriage bed willingly.”

“The marriage bed,” she laughed shakily. “You’re insane. What sort of marriage is this, anyway?”

But she couldn’t help but gasp as he dropped his touch lower, slipping one finger up past the hem of her dress, pushing the material out of the way.

“If we’re going to be married,” he said, “we may as well enjoy the perks associated with it.”

“Such as?”

He kissed her neck, pressing his mouth against her throbbing pulse. “Such as having a willing sex partner, every night.”

Every night?

She moaned, unable to hold back. She hadn’t had sex in ages. There was barely enough time in the day to run her daycare and heat herself up a microwaveable meal, much less go out bar-hopping to find a suitable partner. But Mack?

What would it mean to have Mack at her disposal, whenever she felt in the mood?

He kissed lower, licking a trail down her décolletage, pulling her bra down with her dress until her nipple peeked up past the low neckline. She arched her back into his kiss as he twirled his tongue around her areola, hardening the taut peak into a tight bundle of nerves before sucking it full into his mouth.

“Take the dress off,” he whispered.

She looked around the open living room, with all the floor-to-ceiling windows. Central Park was visible right across the street. “But…shouldn’t I do that in the bedroom, maybe?”

“The windows are tinted,” he said with a smile. “No one can see in. The housekeeper is gone for the evening. And I want you naked.”

“And you always get what you want, don’t you?” she asked, pulling the thin material up and over her head, letting it fall to the floor in a heap. Before she could second-guess herself, she pulled her panties off as well.

He stared at her as if he were drinking in her nudity and she felt open, exposed, and incredibly desirable all at once.

“Yes,” he said finally. “I always get what I want.”

About Shoshanna:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Shoshanna Evers has written dozens of sexy stories, including The Man Who Holds the Whip (part of the bestselling MAKE ME anthology), Overheated, The Enslaved Trilogy, and The Pulse Trilogy (from Simon & Schuster Pocket Star). Her work has been featured in Best Bondage Erotica 2012 and Best Bondage Erotica 2013, the Penguin/Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstasy, and numerous erotic BDSM novellas including Chastity Belt and Punishing the Art Thief from Ellora's Cave Publishing. The non-fiction anthology Shoshanna Evers edited and contributed to, How To Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors, is a #1 Bestseller in the Authorship, Erotica Writing Reference, and Romance Writing categories. Shoshanna is a New York native who now lives with her family and two big dogs in Northern Idaho. She welcomes emails from readers and writers, and loves to interact on Twitter and Facebook.


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