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An Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway from Seven Nights of Surrender by Jeanette Grey!
Kate stayed firmly planted in her seat as he offered to help her up. Trying her best to appear unaffected, she arched one eyebrow. "Does this usually work for you?"
The guy didn't pull his hand back or in any other way appear to alter his strategy, and Kate had to give him points for that. "Yes, actually."
The sad truth was, his offer was beyond tempting. The attention was nice, especially after her self-esteem had been beaten down the way it had in the past year. Hell, in the past twenty-two. It wouldn't hurt to have someone who spoke fluent French showing her around, either. That he was as attractive as he was just made the deal sweeter.
"Not working so well on you, then?" he asked as she considered him.
"Not so far."
His smile only widened. "Good. I like a girl who's hard to crack." Standing up straighter, he held his palms out at his sides. "Come on, what have you got to lose?"
"I'd say my wallet, but that's already gone."
"See? Low stakes. Listen, you don't trust me." That was an understatement. Was there a man left on Earth that she did? "I don't blame you. Devilishly handsome man wanders into a café and buys you a drink without asking? Offers to show you around town? Very suspicious."
"So let's make this safe. You said you wanted to see the Louvre? Let's go to the Louvre. I'll show you all my favorites, and then if I haven't murdered you by supper time, you let me take you someplace special. Someplace no guide book in the world would
She was really running out of reasons to say no. It was a good plan, this one. They'd be in a public place. She'd have time to feel him out a little more. And if he wasn't too much of a psycho, well, everyone had to eat, didn't they?
Still, she kept up her air of skepticism. She rather liked all his efforts to convince her. "I don't even know your name."
The way his dimples shone when he lifted up one corner of his mouth was completely unfair. Extending his hand again, he offered, "Rylan. Pleased to make your acquaintance."
Rylan. That was unusual. She liked it.
"Kate," she volunteered in return, and with no more real excuse not to, she accepted the handshake, slipping her palm into his. Warm fingers curled around hers, his thumb stroking the side of her hand, and oh. The rake. He bent forward as he tugged on her hand, twisting ever so slightly so he could press his lips to the back of her palm.
"I'll bet you are." But her pulse was racing faster, and the kiss felt like it seared all the way to her spine.
This man was dangerous.
He straightened up but he didn't let go. Sweeping his other arm toward the door, he asked, "So?"
She hummed to herself as she gazed up at him, as if there was any question of what she was going to do. His blue eyes sparkled, like he already knew her answer, too.
"Well." She rose from her seat, feeling taller than usual. More powerful. Maybe it
was all the flattery of a guy like this hitting on her. Maybe it was the headiness of making this kind of a decision. Either way, it made her straighten her shoulders and insert a little sway into the movement of her hips.
"Lead on," she said.
He didn't let go of her hand. "That's what I was hoping you'd say." With a squeeze of her fingers, he took a step toward the door. "Let's go look at some art."
External pressures aside, she had come to Paris to be inspired by beauty. She could find it on the walls of a famous museum. And she could find it in the lines of this man's shoulders and throat. The latter might not have been what she'd had in mind when she'd set out, but what was a little bit of a diversion?
You couldn't find yourself without taking a couple of side trips, after all.
About the Author:
Jeanette Grey started out with degrees in physics and painting, which she dutifully applied to stunted careers in teaching, technical support, and advertising. When she isn't writing, Jeanette enjoys making pottery, playing board games, and spending time with her husband and her pet frog. She lives, loves, and writes in upstate New York.
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