Excerpt & Guest Post: Dangerous Proposition by Jessica Lauryn

Dangerous Proposition

By: Jessica Lauryn
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Published: June 25, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Goodreads

When Julia Dyson learns her father has been abducted, she believes his hidden profession may be to blame. But when she discovers a man’s name in her dad’s caller history, a man suspected of shady business activity and also her teenage crush, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She confronts her father’s presumed abductor, resulting in an unforgettable kiss.

In the course of one disastrous evening, diamond smuggling kingpin Colin Westwood learns that his best recruit is missing in action, and that the man has been keeping a secret for years—he has a twenty-six-year-old daughter. Determined to protect his identity, Colin vows to find the young woman, and keep her silent at any cost. Later intrigued to learn that she is actually the attractive woman he kissed, he makes Julia an offer. Come to New York City with him to search for her missing father…as his mistress.

Keeping Julia firmly within the groove of his arm, Colin stepped inside the hotel room and flicked on the light switch. After shutting the door, he double-bolted it behind them.

Short of a pale complexion, Julia didn’t appear to be injured. At least, it didn’t look as though she had any bruises. But he knew he wouldn’t feel better until he saw this for himself. Though it was completely unethical, he had half a mind to give her a physical. And if he actually believed he could perform one on her and control himself, he would do just that.

He led a trembling Julia to the bed. Looking into her tearful eyes, he knelt beside her, cupping her cheek. It killed him seeing her like this, killed him even more knowing that he was completely to blame.

Speaking as gently as he could manage, he said, “You’re safe now. It’s all right, sweetheart. You’re safe. I’m right here—no one’s coming after us. No one’s going to hurt you ever again.”

Julia nodded, but she said nothing, causing him to have a horrifying realization. Maybe something had happened between her and Dylan Rossler in that room. She’d been dressed when he found her, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t put her clothes back on afterward, or that Rossler had bothered to remove them at all.

Feeling as though he were on the brink of an explosion, Colin said, “Did that guy—I mean—Dylan Rossler didn’t…you and he didn’t—”

“Of course not! Holy crap, Westwood. What kind of girl do you think I am?”

“One who clearly has a death wish,” Colin muttered under his breath.

“Me?” Julia exclaimed. “I went over there to save your ass. Not the other way around.”

“Which you were obviously doing a phenomenal job with while you were locked inside that bedroom.”

Her chin squared. “You may have been the one to kick the door down, but I would have gotten out of that room with or without your help.”

“If you really believe that, Julia, then you really are naïve. Do you realize what Dylan Rossler would have done if I hadn’t gotten there when I did? Allow me to clue you in, since you’re obviously not aware. Because it’s the same thing every other red-blooded bastard at that party wanted to do to you!”

“You mean”—she bit her lip—“that he—”

“Was planning on having sex with you? Of course, Julia. Of course those guys thought you were sexy, of course Dylan Rossler wanted to have sex with you! I’m not blind. I can see what’s right in front of me. Any man at that party who didn’t want you was either gay or in a drunken coma!”

Her blue eyes narrowed, and Colin bit his tongue. He hadn’t intended to say all that out loud. Hadn’t intended to say any of it, in fact. But he was glad it had happened because he was done holding back.

There was something between him and Julia. A need that ran deep and had been building since that night in his bed. Sometimes it seemed as if it had been longer, particularly at moments such as this when he wanted nothing more than to toss her onto the bed, rip off that damned cocktail dress she was wearing, and sample every last inch of her skin.

He’d wanted to keep his desires to himself, wanted to keep things simple between them. The complications they were risking were great, and God knew he hated the idea that he might be taking advantage of Julia when her father was missing. But right now, he couldn’t seem to think about those things. And after everything they’d been through tonight, he was no longer sure that holding back was going to be possible.

“Does ‘every other red-blooded bastard’ include you?” Julia asked, blinking her blue eyes furiously.

Colin took a staggered breath. Narrowing his gaze, he approached her with two hastened steps. “If you didn’t want me to behave like a red-blooded bastard, Julia,” he whispered, “then, you shouldn’t have worn this dress.”

A great book can do wonders for the soul. It’s there for you when you need a friend, or a distraction. It can serve as an escape, or a fantasy in which to indulge. Books comfort us, and they take us to places and times we’d otherwise never know. There’s only one thing I love more than a great book. That is, a great series.

When I was an adolescent, I loved reading Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High. Twin sisters Jessica and Elizabeth served as the perfect contrast to one another. One is introverted, smart, and studious, while the other is the life of the party. At the age of 12, I had no idea why I was so drawn to the duo, other than the obvious fact that I wanted to be living the life of a teenage girl myself. But looking back, I realize the draw actually stemmed from something much deeper than that.

Series writing can take on a life of its own. In a romance series, the author creates her very own world. She starts with a setting: a time, a place in which her characters will exist in. Then, she gets to work building. Hero and heroine’s story is told in book 1. And in book 2, a new couple typically takes center stage. I think the most exciting part of doing this, for me, the author, is figuring out how I will connect the characters from one book to the next. They don’t necessarily need to know one another, but I’ve found it can be a lot more fun when they do. Writing a series is very different from writing a stand-along book because you have a lot more time and space to play around with. You (the reader) get to see how a family, a group of friends, maybe even an entire town affects the lives of the people around them, possibly for years to come.

My debut series, The Pinnacles of Power, was never supposed to be a series. While I was writing what eventually became my second release, Dangerous Proposal, I was creating what I intended to be the one and only book of its kind. I was, as writers do, spending hours inside the characters’ heads, trying to get to know them. Something I wasn’t expecting struck me while I was doing this. That was, there were several characters in the story besides my hero and heroine who had a story to tell. I already had a setting I loved (several settings, actually), and I had characters who had the potential to become couples, lovers, and soul-mates. They were screaming for me to tell their stories, and so I began doing just that. Barely realizing what I was doing, a series was soon born.

Reading book 1 in a series may not feel much different than reading a stand-alone novel. Doing so, you’ll discover a plot, characters, conflict, and, as is the way with romance novels, a happily ever after. The real fun (at least, for me) comes in book 2, when you already know something about the authors’ world. In books 3 and 4, you know even more, and you’re likely to recognize the main characters as well. You may feel as though you sort-of know them as people, and the setting and time have become all-too familiar to you. This is when your imagination can really take over, because you can completely immerse yourself in the author’s fantasy world—the greatest thing a reader can experience!

I love books. But given the choice, I prefer that they be part of a series. The imagination is one of the greatest things in existence. And I find it easier to put that machine to use when there is a world of stories and characters crafted and bound for my reading enjoyment!

 

 An author of Contemporary Romantic Suspense, Jessica Lauryn is most intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer…but little trouble enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances are those where the hero is already seducing the heroine from that first point of contact.

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4 Thoughts on “Excerpt & Guest Post: Dangerous Proposition by Jessica Lauryn

  1. Oooh love the little piece of this book you shared! Want to read it now 😀

  2. I love romantic suspense. It keeps you on your toes. Love that excerpt. She’s stubborn.

  3. I loved the excerpt and the guest post! Very insightful!

  4. So glad you all enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by, guys!!

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