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About the author:
Lacey Alpha writes steamy happily ever after romances about kickass alpha males that will break your bed before they break your heart.
Here is a short sample from the book:
The room I enter is vast. Floor length windows run along one wall which I imagine would give a stunning view across the grounds if it weren’t nighttime. A long table sits at the centre of the room. Red drapes hang on the other wall and candles light the space, dotted along the table and nestled in candelabras on the walls.
At the far end of the table sits a man. I gulp, pausing as I catch sight of him. He’s wearing all black and a shiny black mask conceals his face. It has nothing but eye holes.
Shit. He really is a monster. What the hell is underneath that mask?
He stands as he spots me. He’s tall. At least six feet. He’s broad too, pure muscle pushing against the inside of his shirt.
“Mr Cane?” I ask, finding my voice. Though apparently a squeakier version of it.
He nods in confirmation. “Please, take a seat.” He gestures to the chair at the opposite end of the table to him. His voice is as deep and sexy as it was on the voice call so it’s definitely the same guy.
I sit, gazing down the long, mahogany wood directly at the man. My stomach turns over. I am in serious trouble.
Harold enters through a door near to Mr Cane, carrying a tray with two drinks and a bottle. It takes him a while, but he eventually places one glass in front of Mr Cane and the other in front of me. I thank him quietly and take a large sip of the liquid which I suspect is port.
The room is all too silent as Harold leaves the bottle at the centre of the table and exits.
Crap. What the hell do I say?
I’m saved the bother of coming up with something as Mr Cane says, “I always like to have a drink before these evenings commence.”
“These evenings?” I question, my voice a little high. Jesus, my heart is desperately trying to climb up my throat.
I take another large gulp of the port. It sinks into my tummy, dulling some of my fears.
“Yes. You’re aware that I do this fairly regularly?”
“Oh. I see,” I say. How much does this guy date?
“You sound disappointed.” He tilts his head to one side. That mask is freaking me out.
I shake my head. “No. Just curious. Are you looking for something serious then, Mr Cane?”
The lights are too dim to tell but I think he narrows his eyes at me behind the mask. “Serious?” He sounds as baffled as I feel.
“As in, a serious relationship?” Do I really have to clarify that? Maybe I’m out of touch with dating.
He laughs – it’s a deep chuckle that makes my toes curl. God, why is having this effect on me? I think it’s the mask. I really need to see what’s beneath it.
“Something…funny?” I question, sipping the port again. Crap, I’ve finished my glass already.
He stands, moving with grace down the table, taking the bottle and bringing it towards me.
I swallow as he approaches. He pulls the cork out and refills my glass, watching me the entire time.
I squirm under his gaze. I grasp the glass as he finishes pouring and take another sip to distract me.
“Easy,” he says in a low voice, “I want you sentient for what I have planned.”
“And what’s that?” Why is my voice so small? I grip the edge of the chair, my palms moist with sweat.
He places the bottle on the table and the noise makes me jump.
“Skittish?” There’s a smile in his voice.
I shake my head. I can handle this. Come on Evelyn. “Not at all.”
He leans against the table, evidently having no plans of returning to his seat. I wish he would. He’s looming over me and making me feel so vulnerable. I think he’s enjoying it. Bastard.
“You’re not a murderer, are you?” I blurt. Shit, the port’s melted my filter.
“I can be whatever you want me to be,” he says, his voice silky smooth.
“Well…I don’t want you to be a murderer.”
He laughs again, standing fully and returning to his seat to retrieve his drink. Swirling it around in the glass, he lifts the mask slightly so he can sip it. His chin is covered in a layer of stubble and his mouth is very…normal. There’s no sign of any scars. No boils or burns to speak of. He drops the mask back into place and turns to me. “There’s no need to be nervous, I won’t hurt you. Not unless you want me to, that is.”
“And why would I want you to?” I snap. Hurt me? What’s up with this guy?
“There’s a fine line between pleasure and pain.”
I stand abruptly. “What’s going on here?” My heart pounds in my ears.
“I’m not sure what game you’re playing…but I’d like to play along.” He stalks toward me, slow and surveying.
I step backwards. “I’m not playing a game. I thought this was a date.”
“I don’t date, Iris, I fuck.”
Holy crap, he’s got the wrong person. I almost laugh. Somehow there’s been some major, major cockup. “I’m not Iris.” I sound so relieved. Jesus, I am so relieved.
“You’re not?” He’s thrown. I’ve actually thrown this masked lunatic! Ha.
“I’m Evelyn. Evelyn Ash. We met online.”
He whips his mask off and holy shit he’s gorgeous. He’s hollywood, god-like hot. He’s all dark ruffled hair and perfect symmetrical features. His eyes are ebony pools, dripping with gold.
He snatches the red mask from my face and I open and shut my mouth, my stomach fluttering madly. My cheeks heat up and I suddenly feel like he’s seeing me for the first time. And in a way he is.
“Evelyn? Fuck.” He runs a hand into that perfectly rugged hair, scraping his nails through it. And then he laughs like he’s made some joke I don’t get.
I pull myself together and fold my arms. “What the hell is going on here?”
“I’m sorry, Evelyn. Truly, I am. Harold has been quite forgetful of late. He must have double booked me.”
“Double booked you?” Okay, now I’m offended. “Jesus. How many girls do you date?”
“No wonder the dress is on the tight side,” he mutters to himself, ignoring me. He reaches out and pinches the material at my waist.
I slap his hand away and actual, genuine electricity pulses up it. What the hell was that?
His eyes roam over me, hungry.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” My voice sounds small again. Dammit, Evelyn. Woman up.
“You actually put on the dress. You’re plucky.”
“Foolish, more like.” I turn away from him and he touches my arm to stop me.
If he’d grabbed me, I would have run. But it’s a gentle gesture, showing me he means no harm.
“Let me explain,” he pleads and I can’t believe this gorgeous guy is actually pleading with me.
I almost relent, then stiffen. “No.”
His jaw hardens and there’s that hungry look again. “Yes,” he growls.
I say nothing, giving him permission to go ahead. He has about ten seconds to talk himself out of this before I run out of this room as fast as my legs can carry me. He doesn’t. Instead, he steps closer.
“Maybe I can show you…” A smile dances on his lips.
“No,” I snap. No freaking way.
He bites the inside of his cheek. I don’t seem to be turning him off me at all.
“You’re very uptight.”
I glower at him. “And you’re very presumptuous.”
He smiles again like I’m amusing him. Funny am I? I’ll give him funny. I move away from him and find myself near the port. I whip out the cork and take a swig from the bottle. Ha. It probably costs a fortune. Instead of looking annoyed, he follows me and takes the bottle from my hand, swigging from it himself.
“You’re very intriguing…” He watches me, making my stomach tie itself in knots.
Before I can answer with something smart – not that I had anything smart to say – the door opens and Amelia enters.
“Sorry to interrupt, sir. But you have another guest. Miss Iris Twain?” She looks a tad baffled.
I roll my eyes and Mr Cane keeps his gaze on me, looking mildly irritated. “Tell her to go. We’ll rearrange another day.”