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About the author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Francis Ray is a native Texan and lived in Dallas. INCOGNITO, her sixth title, was the first made-for-TV movie for BET. Her literary fiction series- Taggart and Falcon, the Invincible Women, Grayson Family of New Mexico, and Grayson Friends have consistently made bestseller’s lists, and are enjoyed by readers world-wide. She has written fifty-four books with awards that included Romantic Times Career Achievement, EMMA, The Golden Pen, Atlantic Choice, Borders 2008 Romance Award for bestselling Multicultural Romance for NOBODY BUT YOU. IF YOU WERE MY MAN was selected as Written 2010 Book of the Year, 2013 African American Literary Awards Show-Best in Romance and Building Relationships Around Books 2013 Woman Literature- WHEN MORNING COMES
What inspired you to write your book?
Rio was always a fan favorite. It was a pleasure to write this book.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Skylar Dupree wasn’t the risk-taking type, but neither was she the type of woman to falter once she’d made up her mind. The only other time in her twenty-six years she dared do anything remotely defying tradition was leaving law school. Yet that had been more for self-preservation. Her parents were pragmatic; she tended to be more easygoing and laid-back.
Skylar paused on the curved stone staircase of the thirty-five-room castle. Easygoing wasn’t going to cut it this time, not if she wanted to grab Rio’s attention.
Just the thought sent her heart rate skittering out of control. Rio could look straight through you with hard, unblinking black eyes. He exuded danger. Nothing seemed to bother him. She could count on one hand the number of times she’d seen him smile, and those times had been when he was with his closest friends, Blade and Shane. As far as Skylar knew, he’d never bestowed upon anyone else a smile, let alone his laughter.
The task she’d chosen for herself was scary. Since Shane’s marriage, Rio was head of security for Blade’s business as well as Blade’s personal bodyguard. Even Rio’s security team had a healthy fear of the man reported to be deadlier than a viper, and just as stealthy. She’d heard one of his men refer to him as “smoke” because of his elusiveness.
Skylar had flown in that Sunday afternoon from Navarone Resorts and Spas’s headquarters to go over the final preparations for a charity auction and ball to benefit the Music Department of St. John’s College, where Mrs. Grayson was chair. The auction was two weeks away. The big draw to get the right people to come was that the auction would be held in Navarone Castle, near Santa Fe, a place heretofore off limits to anyone but close family and friends.
Much had been speculated about the home of the billionaire, which had a real moat, a working drawbridge, a helipad, and a lake. Sierra, Blade’s wife, might have owned the castle before her marriage, but Blade ensured their privacy by buying up all the surrounding property within fifty miles. You might get on the property, but with its constant patrols, you were quickly escorted off, which gave Navarone Castle even more of an air of mystique.
Continuing down the stairs with her iPad clutched to her chest, Skylar stepped into the comfortable great room. Sitting in sky-blue leather chairs and love seats were Blade, Sierra, and her mother on one side. On the other were Shane and his wife, Paige. Rio, arms folded, standing by the immense stone fireplace, glanced up. Her heart did a fast jitterbug.
Rio looked incredibly handsome in a long-sleeved white shirt with the cuffs rolled back to show strong wrists. He had a silver watch on one arm and a wide silver band on the other. His jeans delineated the long, sleek muscles of his thighs and made Skylar’s mouth dry.
In Tucson he’d always worn tailored clothes, the same as Blade. Here, Rio was more casual. The curly black hair she’d dreamed of running her fingers through was held at the base of his neck with a silver clip. His bronzed, hard body was honed to perfection.
There was nothing in his midnight-black eyes that indicated he desired or felt anything at all for her. Skylar stared back at the flat eyes that seemed to see right through her and stiffened her spine.
One day he’d look at her with desire…….