Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date of Publication: July 18th, 2013
Number of pages: 263
Word Count: 81,403
Cover Artist: Danielle Barnard
Daphne Foster is a substitute teacher stuck in an English class, waiting for that dreaded parent-teacher conference. With much preparation and anxiety, she encounters the unforgettable Charlie Cross. His charm and good looks, win her over but rumors of his involvement with organized crime make his continued disappearances disturbing.
In walks Heathcliff Vanderpool, creating a love triangle of unusual sorts. Unknown to Daphne, Heathcliff and Charlie are old friends: Older than she could have imagined. With Charlie away on business, Daphne and Heathcliff discover a passion between them lying beneath the surface. As their souls link, pulling away from Charlie becomes next to impossible. Will his involvement in organized crime consume them both before she’s able to get free? When you become “linked,” the choice may not be your own.
“Mr. Cross,” I started, leaning into him so that no one else could hear me. “What are you doing here?”
“It’s nice to see you too, Miss Foster.”
“I think we’re passed the formalities now, don’t you?” I asked.
“Daphne, then.” My name played so softly on his lips that I shuddered, and embarrassingly so. He smiled. “Then you must call me Charlie.” He kissed the backs of my hands. “I see I already have a positive effect on you.”
“Don’t read too much into it,” I told him. “It’s just a chill.”
“Or maybe a warm sensation,” he whispered, putting his finger on my face and tracing it down to my lips. I swallowed hard and I know my face was yet again bright red.
I looked over at Janice who was having a pleasant conversation with his brother. Then I looked back at him. “Does your wife know you frequent schools to pick up teachers?” I asked.
“You mean substitute teachers,” he answered. I stuck my tongue out at him. “I like when you do that.”
“Stop it,” I whispered harshly. “Look. I’m sure I’m not the type of woman that you’re used to. Especially since I know first hand that you’re married, and I think I already mentioned that I don’t date married men.”
The waitress showed up with four shots of tequila. I looked at him in amazement. “Really?” I asked.
“Come on, Daphne, let go a little,” Janice added, shining like a brand new diamond.
We downed the shots and Charlie got a little too close. “I find you irresistible, Daphne.” He leaned in so that he was almost whispering in my ear. “I don’t know what it is about you, but I must have you.” He took my hand and brought it to his cheek.
“What is it that you do, Mr. Cross?” I asked.
“I thought we were past formalities.”
“Charlie,” I corrected. “Sorry. What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a businessman,” he answered. “Acquisitions are my specialty.”
“And what exactly do you acquire?” I asked. “And please do not say women.”
“I do not buy and sell women,” he answered, his voice getting suddenly harsh. “But when I see something I want, I go after it until it yields to me.”
I pulled my hand away from his face and looked at him. He was most unsettling. “You think I’m just going to fall right into your arms, don’t you, Charlie.”
“Not into my arms, necessarily,” he answered. “but certainly into my bed.”
Judy Serrano graduated from Texas A&M University, Commerce with a BA in English. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Dallas Area Romance Authors.
She is a substitute teacher at the local school district and writes for various on-line publications. She is the author of Easter's Lilly, Brother Number Three, Relatively Close and Memoirs of a Mobster, which are romantic thrillers and part of The Easter’s Lilly Series.
Judy currently resides in Texas with her husband, four children (all boys) and five dogs. She is also a singer/songwriter in her spare time.