She married him to save face, but will it be at her heart’s expense?
Megan Coffman needs to put her divorce from one of rock and roll’s biggest womanizers behind her—fast. Dubbed “Poor Meg” by the music media, she’s sick of being pitied and thinks the best way to show the public she’s moved on is to flash her brand new engagement ring. But now she needs a man and a wedding to go with it…
Thirty-five year old Russian expatriate Seth “Red” Rozhkov likes the idea of an instant family and agrees to play husband for a year for a virtual stranger. Women just want him for one thing anyway, and it’s not happily-ever-after. A mutual friend swears if Red plays his cards right, he could have Meg for keeps. He’s willing to try.
Meg finds Red an enigma. He’s a gentle giant, solicitous almost to a fault—and the no-strings-attached sex is amazing, but she’s used to being used. What’s Red getting out of the deal? How can she trust a man who hasn’t asked her for anything in return?
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“Megan, you’re shaking. Are you cold?”
He wrapped his arms around her, drawing her into his warm, spice-scented chest and rubbing her back just way she liked. When he wasn’t there, his scent seemed to permeate everything around her. Her bed, in the fabric of her sofa, her towels. It drove her crazy and sent her rummaging through her old, reliable box of tricks. The collection she’d started during Spike’s third world tour—the first one he’d left her behind for.
She pushed Seth back, or tried to, anyway, but his hold was too strong. Too sure. Not this time, he seemed to be saying.
“I’m not cold. Let go of me.”
“Then you’re angry. Tell me why you’re angry.”
“That should be obvious.”
“I’m a scientist, not a psychic. If there were something observable and classifiable there for me to glean, I would have noticed, and therefore not asked.”
“Maybe I just think you’re an asshole and I regret doing this. Marrying you.”
His heartbeat against her ear sped, but his hold on her didn’t loosen. “I see.”
The words were tart, but she didn’t regret uttering them.
“So what do you want? Are you done? Ready to start our year’s separation before you file your paperwork?” he asked.
“Is that what you want?”
“What I want is obviously irrelevant.”
She leaned back and craned her neck up to see his dark expression. “Excuse the hell out of me? You entered this agreement willingly.”
“I did. Just as you entered kicking and screaming.”
“You haven’t seen kicking and screaming yet.”
All of a sudden, the angles and planes in his face looked sharper, more shadowed. His enlarged pupils made his hazel eyes dark, and the slight flaring of his nostrils gave her warning that she’d pushed some button he’d never before exposed to her.
She was gonna push that button again. She jutted her chin up and said, “That’s right, Red. I spend every waking moment looking for an avenue out of this thing.”
“I see.” In one second, he had her hauled up over his shoulder, and before she could register direction or intent, her tennis shoes were yanked off one by one, and he didn’t lose his stride one bit. By the time he slapped on the bedroom light, she’d lost her socks, too.
He tossed her onto her own bed like a sack of laundry, still wearing that cold expression that was so alien and unfamiliar to her.
“What are you doing?”
He didn’t answer. Just hooked his fingers into the waistband of her yoga pants and gave them a purposeful yank downward, taking her panties along for the ride.
He sat her up, and she complied as he pulled her sweatshirt and T-shirt over her head. Was he really doing it? Picking up the leash?
He laid her back down, wadded her clothes into a shapeless blob, and tossed them over the edge of the bed.
Time to poke the button again. “Should I just lie here and moan at all the right times, or do you want to feed me some lines to recite?”
No response to that either. He just dragged her by the legs so her ass was at the edge of the bed and dropped to his knees. “Going to help you with your kicking-and-screaming problem.” He draped her legs over his shoulders and stared up her torso at her, waiting for her to rebut.
“You’re welcome to try.”
About the author
Holley Trent writes contemporary and paranormal romances ranging from sensual to erotic. Seeing Red is the third book in her Hearts and Minds series published by Lyrical Press. It follows Saint and Scholar and Calculated Exposure, both published in 2013. For more information about the series and other erotic romances by Holley, please visit holleytrent.com.
Also by Holley Trent
Interview with Holly Hewson
HH: Holley, thank you for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Seeing Red. What can you tell us about this exciting new release?
HT: Seeing Red is the third installment of the Hearts and Minds series. Each book is about a geek falling in love (sometimes reluctantly, in the case of Curt in book 2). Seth, the hero of Seeing Red, has always had a special place in my heart because he’s refreshingly unfiltered and doesn’t have to try hard to be kind because he just is.
HH: What do you like best about Megan and why will readers identify with her?
HT: Meg’s a hard nut to crack. She’s endured a lot of embarrassment and heartache, and she typically deals with it by closing herself off. She doesn’t want her messy life to cast a shadow over her friends and families. She doesn’t ask for help as much as she should, and I think that’s something a lot of women struggle to balance.
HH: What can you tell us about Red and why will readers love him?
HT: Seth (aka “Red”) is pretty much alone in the world. His parents set out for adventure when he was too young to remember them, and he was raised by his Roma grandmother. He left Russia soon after she died and has never been back. He’s sort of been adopted by his group of friends in the US, but he’s a man with a lot of love to give and needs more than a few strong platonic relationships. He’s wired to love someone completely, (even if she’s a bit of a brat).
HH: What did you enjoy most about writing this story?
HT: Definitely the banter. Seth holds his tongue a lot because he doesn’t want to rub Meg the wrong way, but she has no such hesitations. 😉
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
HT: The next story in the Hearts and Minds series—featuring Meg’s brother Stephen—will be out next year. Each book in this series gets a bit hotter, and I can tell you what I have planned for that story will make you sweat.
HH: What do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?
HT: Fruity alcoholic beverages and a fully charged Kindle.
HH: What parts of your life most influence your writing?
HT: Really, just witnessing the trials and tribulations of the people around me. I’m a people watcher, and little quirks fascinate me. I can take the tiniest little conversational tidbit and turn it into a book. That frightens my friends.
HH: What are you reading now?
HT: I just started Samantha Ann King’s Tempting Meredith, and will probably have to put it aside soon to do some contest reading.
HH: Are you making any appearances this year in person or online?
HT: I’ll be at the big literacy signing event at RWA and also at the Kensington author signing where I’ll have some digital samplers that include an excerpt of the first Hearts and Minds book Saint and Scholar. I keep an updated list of my upcoming appearances on my website at http://holleytrent.com/blog/appearances/
HH: Where can readers find you online?
HT: Website: http://www.holleytrent.com
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