Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. Readers have the chance to jump from one author to another who share hooks from their current WIP (work in progress) or any previously published book.
For this week’s edition of Book Hooks, I give you a teaser from Dressed for Success, now 40% off at eXtasy Books.
Two wounded-in-love go-getters must decide if they’ll break their personal rule that cost them so much in the past by mixing business with pleasure.
Divorcée Bebe Boshey flees her Ojibway community for the city of Thunder Bay to begin anew, landing a great job that affords her an independent lifestyle she covets and a great condo. Best of all, her silver fox boss thinks the world of her. She can’t help her attraction to him, but office dating is a huge no-no.
Divorcé Alden Campbell is tired of spending his nights alone. And he’s also quite uncomfortable about his feelings for his ace real estate agent, Bebe. Even though they are strictly professional in their daily dealings, the sizzling chemistry ready to boil over between them is enough to shake him with fear, because he’s been there and done that.
While they’re on a business trip together, a crafty playboy pushes Alden into making a big decision that might cost him dearly—pursue Bebe and break his rule of business-only, or let Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome work his charm on the one woman Alden wants to call his own.
Genre(s): Interracial, contemporary, May/December romance, adult.
Heat Rating: Level 3
Publication Date: February 21, 2020
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Alden led Bebe to the fleet of taxis lined up along the front entrance of the airport. He motioned at the first cab. Thank fuck their three-hour torturous flight was done. Keeping her calm during the takeoffs and landings had left a print of hot excitement on his palm from constantly placing it over the back of her hand. Even worse, he liked the person beneath the professional mask a little too much.
He never should’ve suggested they speak on an intimate level. But what choice had he been left with? They couldn’t have very well stared at their feet from Thunder Bay to Sault Saint Marie.
The driver set their suitcases into the trunk.
Bebe got in, and Alden joined her. At least she sat on the other side, allowing him to set his carry-on between them. If he’d had to endure being this close to her again, he wouldn’t have stood a chance at containing his erection this time. Her scent was too feminine, the sexual allure emanating from her too potent, and the sound of her voice a breath away from his ears, too sultry. Maybe he could rearrange to have his seat far from hers on their return flight. Better yet, catch a whole different flight.
The cabbie peeled away from the curb.
Now they had a twenty-minute to a half-an-hour drive to the hotel, depending on traffic. At least they’d be traveling one of the main highways, since Luxury Suites was located on Great Northern Road, a mere hop away from the Five-Fifty.
“They didn’t have a shuttle?” Bebe asked, staring out her window.
“I inquired. It’s not arriving for another forty-five minutes.” And he sure hadn’t planned on sticking around the airport, keeping her amused. He ran his finger inside the collar of his shirt where a line of sweat had formed.
Staring out the window sounded like a good idea, but there wasn’t much to look at. The outskirts of Sault Saint Marie was the same as Thunder Bay—a big town in the Shield with lots of trees, nature, the odd business and house to look at.
A boring straightaway.
Taking this route meant the city was south of them. But the closer they got, the more houses and businesses popped up. The same as Thunder Bay. Eventually, the highway became four lanes, leading them into more traffic and activity.
It didn’t matter that Alden was sitting far away. He was too aware of Bebe. And his eyes kept wanting to shift to the side to sneak a peek at her instead of Burger World. Fast food restaurants were everywhere. Not quite his dining experience. But this was a great hotel for conferences.
Much to his mortification, his eyes did find a will of their own and slid in Bebe’s direction. She rested her elbow on the armrest, narrow chin cupped in her palm, still gazing out the window. Or was she? A warm film coated his face because she was doing the same thing—sneaking a peek from the corner of her eye at him.
He adjusted his tie.
“Here we are,” the driver said. He made a left turn into the parking lot of the hotel and stopped.
Alden grabbed his carry-on, slung the strap over his shoulder, and exited the vehicle. He reached into his wallet to pay the driver.
Just as Bebe grasped her rolling suitcase, Alden shoved the money at the driver and hurried over. “Allow me.” Yes, old-fashioned, but he’d been raised to help a lady. “I’ll get the luggage.”
“Are you sure?”
“More than sure.” He managed both handles.
“Then I’ll get the door.” Bebe hurried ahead. Her heels clicked along the pavement.
The spring air and sun shining down on them were present. Thank God winter was stored away for another year. The same for his long underwear, scarves, parka, toque, and gloves. May always brought flowers after April’s showers.
He rolled the suitcases into the lobby, smiling and nodding at Bebe for her gallant gesture. Having always stayed here in the past for the conferences, he’d let Bebe take in the hotel’s nice luxuries while he secured their rooms. Lucille, their receptionist, had made the arrangements.
The clerk went through the routine of checking them in. “Here we are, Mr. Campbell.” She handed over the key cards. “The rooms are adjoining, as requested.”
Alden almost sputtered. But he couldn’t fault Lucille, because he’d asked for adjoining rooms in the past with Morgan so they could talk business at the end of the day and then he could saunter off to his own room. What if Bebe got the wrong idea? He didn’t want her to assume the worst about him. It was why he’d worked hard to keep their relationship professional.
“Thank you…” He took the key cards and glanced over his shoulder at Bebe admiring a painting. How to explain himself without offending her?