I’ve now begun the process of working with my editor to tweak my next scheduled release. Erica’s Choice now has a release date of August 21. At the moment that seems like ages away but I know the time will be upon me before I know it. I’m thrilled this book is going to be published and thought I’d share a teeny-tiny sneak peek of the first chapter. NB: This has only been partially edited at this stage, the final version may vary slightly.
The beveled glass doors of the Sovereign Hotel swung back with a whoosh as Erica Shannon shoved them open. Stalking through the breach, she was assailed by noise and light, the typically boisterous ambiance of Friday night revelry at an inner-city Brisbane pub.
She halted in the foyer, taking a moment to catch her breath. Glancing around, she realized no one seemed to have noticed her theatrical entrance. The crowd of mostly men stood in groups talking and laughing, drinking beer from brown-tinted bottles and arguing jovially over a game of rugby being played out on a massive plasma screen in the corner. Nobody turned to look at her.
Perhaps her arrival hadn’t been dramatic at all. It simply felt that way because she’d never come to a pub by herself, and her agenda was pounding in her ears like the rush from some illicit drug, amplifying every sound, every smell and every sight.
Or at least that was how Erica imagined the rush from an illegal substance would affect her. She—sensible English teacher, loyal niece, staunch obeyer of road rules—had never done anything taboo in her life, chemical or otherwise.
That was about to change. Tonight.
Heart pounding impetuously in her chest, she weaved her way through the crowd, heading for the area at the back of the establishment that housed the pool tables, dart boards and juke box. This was the section of the Sovereign where her quarry tended to hang out, as though the tables were permanently reserved for the firefighters of Ashton Heights.
Through the throng, Erica easily spotted the familiar outline of Corey Wachawski’s wide shoulders and the dark swatch of silky hair on his head. His back was to her, but she knew his eyes were as warm and blue as the summer sky. She’d snagged his gaze once or twice in the past few months—or rather, Corey had caught her staring. If he’d detected the longing in her scrutiny, it had never prompted him to approach her.
Tonight, Erica was not in the mood to be dismissed. She would make a move on him, no matter the potential for embarrassment.
The very thought made her heart rate triple. Her palms grew slippery against the tweed fabric of her skirt. Tweed. Erica would have laughed if her lungs were capable of expelling air. She was the kind of woman who wore tweed and modest button-up blouses, who stayed home most nights rereading her favorite Jane Austen novels instead of venturing out to experience life. Was she out of her mind even to daydream a man like Corey Wachawski—local hero, calendar model, Adonis—would want to take her up on a sexual proposition?
Steeling her resolve, Erica relentlessly pushed forward. After all, she had little left to lose now.
A large hand clapped Corey’s back. The sound of the other man’s laughter moved through Erica like a fast flowing tide, the sight of his lean, muscle-packed body in a navy blue T-shirt and faded jeans made something wicked and needy pass through her erogenous zones.
There were photos of him all over the pub walls. Some in which he wore his firefighter’s uniform, in others he was listed as a member of a local football team. One was a framed clipping from the newspaper which detailed his heroics in saving a local man from a fire. And on the ladies’ room wall, his picture from an old Queensland Firefighter’s Charity Calendar was pinned, right beside Corey’s more recent one.
Erica was both exhilarated and terrified to see Griff—whenever she’d heard one of his colleagues call out to him above the usual cacophony of pub noises, they always called him Griff—here as well.
There was nothing to stop her living out her ultimate fantasy.
Nothing except it required her to sexually proposition not just one man, but two.