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The Millionaire Makeover
Bachelor Auction #2
Bachelor Auction #2
By: Naima Simone
Releasing February 8, 2016
Plain-Jane computer programmer Khloe Richardson needs a date—one to make the prince of her dreams jealous. Maybe then he'll finally see her as a desirable swan and not the ugly duckling in the second office from the left.
But when she bids on a bachelor at a charity auction, the man she wins is millionaire Niall Hunter—who once made intense, passionate love to her and then left without a word. She's determined not to let her guard down again—among other things—around the infamous Irish lothario.
Niall never imagined his penance for one hot-as-hell night with his best friend’s little sister would be transforming her from a shy wallflower to a sultry siren. Helping her attract another man is torture...especially when he promised his friend he’d stay away. Plus, she wants forever, and he's not a forever kind of guy. But Niall can't stop wanting her. Can't stop touching her. Can't stop, period. And damn if he can remember why he has to...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Naima's love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Linda Howard many years ago. Though her first attempt at writing a romance novel at 11 never saw the light of day, her love of romance and writing has endured. Now, she spends her time creating stories of unique men and women who experience the dizzying heights of passion and the tender heat of love. She is the wife to Superman - or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent - and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
TOP 5 SCENES WITH MINI EXCERPTS
How’s THAT for alliteration, huh? *fist pump* J I’m so thrilled to be here at Book Magic and introduce you to my Ugly Duckling book. Well, if the Ugly Duckling had an Irish hottie and sex…*snicker*In THE MILLIONAIRE MAKEOVER, my new contemporary romance from Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence line, Niall Hunter’s penance for one hot-as-hell night with his best friend’s little sister is transforming her from a shy wallflower to a sultry siren to attract her Prince Charming… If only Niall could stop wanting her for himself.
I think every author has their fave scenes that make them say do awkward pirouettes and the Michael Jordan tongue thing-y. I have also been known to do the Jersey Shore fist pump, too. LOL! I’d love to share them with you! So here goes!
Top Titillating Take (TTT) #1:
So each book in the Bachelor Auction series starts at—you guessed it—a bachelor auction! Specifically, the Rhodonite Society’s annual Masquerade Bachelor Auction. Khloe Richardson and Niall Hunter have history—she’s the younger sister of his best friend, who has passed. Khloe and Niall haven’t seen one another in several years…until this bachelor auction. Aaaaaaand scene!
He pulled the mask free.
Holy Mary, Mother of God.
The breath expelled from Khloe’s lungs on a loud whoosh of air. A horde of black and gold dots swarmed her vision. She swayed and grabbed the table just in time to prevent a faceplant to the floor.
She couldn’t see his sharp gaze from her seat, but she didn’t have to. Blue. His eyes were a vibrant blue that rivaled the brightest summer sky. She knew that face. And the man. The last time she’d seen him had been three years ago. When she’d fallen asleep beside him on tangled sheets after he’d made love to her for hours. No. Not made love. Screwed. Because a man who made love to a woman didn’t usher her out of his house the next morning with an indecent—and humiliating—amount of speed, and then never call or speak to her again after taking her virginity.
She’d just allowed her friend to pay twenty-thousand dollars for a man she hated with a passion.
Since this book revolves around a makeover, there’s no way I could leave out the makeover! It was also so much fun to write, too. J This is the beginning of the scene when “the glam squad” arrives!
“Guurl. Tell me. Do you keep your hair this long for religious reasons? Like, will you lose your strength if you cut it?”
Beside Khloe, the make-up artist, Reece, snickered as she dusted a huge brush cross Khloe’s cheekbones.
Reece; Laurence, the wardrobe stylist; and Terry, the hair expert, had shown up at her door within the requested thirty minutes. When they’d marched into Khloe’s bedroom, armed to the teeth with wheeled luggage, clothes, and some things she couldn’t identify, she’d felt her eyes widen. The trio was…uh, unique: Laurence, lanky, gleaming mahogany skin, wearing jeggings and killer heels. Terry, with a sharp, chin-length bob, startling bright hazel eyes—contacts or one of his parents was part cat—and a red leather, fringed jacket. And Reece, the only woman in the group, with her frosty, super-long lashes and jeweled lips—as in crystal lipstick. Separately, they were striking. Together, they were mesmerizing…and just a tad bit scary.
Out of loyalty to his best friend, Niall agrees to help Khloe entice her Prince Charming in any way he can…which includes pretending to be Khloe’s man. But what I love about the fake relationship/engagement trope is that moment when the charade starts to get real. After watching Khloe’sboss and her intended Prince Charming drool over her—and Khloe blush in return—here’s that moment…
“If you’ll excuse us for a moment.” Niall wrapped his fingers around Khloe’s upper arm. “We’ll be right back.”
Leaving Khloe’s bosswith surprise etched across his face, he pivoted sharply, his implacable hold granting Khloe no choice but to follow.
“What the hell are you doing?” she snapped. He didn’t reply, cutting a path through people with determined strides, and not slowing until he cleared the open glass doors at the end of the ballroom. “Damn it, Niall,” she demanded, whirling on him as he ushered her into a shadowed corner.
“Lesson number two,” he growled, curling his hand around her nape and grasping his silk-covered hip. “What a man thinks he can’t have, he wants even more.” And crushed his mouth to hers.
The sweetness of the chocolate soufflé served for dessert. The tartness of the white wine she’d drunk with dinner. And her. The undefinable flavor that called forth memories of her lips clinging to his as he plunged deep and hard into her body, dragging out whimpers not unlike the one she released now.
In every romance I read, I love that tug of war between what the head knows and what the body wants. Below is a snippet of that battle Niall is feeling. He believes he can’t have Khloe, that he’s not good enough for her, that she wants someone else. But his body, his heart, desires more.
“Did you enjoy yourself?” Her soft voice flowed over him, drawing him from his brooding.
Her dark brow arched at his blunt answer.
“Are you?” he pressed.
She frowned. “Yes. I know you were there for me, but I still didn’t want you to have a miserable time.”
Shifting, he leaned forward, and though he granted it was a mistake, grazed the backs of his fingers over her jaw, down the slender column of her neck. Satisfaction burned inside him as he caught the swift intake of breath and the slight flare of her eyes.
“You’re not going to ask why I didn’t enjoy myself?” He brushed his thumb under her bottom lip.
“Niall,” she whispered, and he savored the tremor in his name. All night, she might’ve smiled and laughed at Bennett, but he hadn’t made those gorgeous eyes darken from a bright emerald to a forest green. He hadn’t sent the pulse in her neck racing under her skin.
“Ask me,” he demanded softly. She swallowed, and he followed the motion before lifting his gaze back to hers. “Ask me, Khloe.”
“Why didn’t—” She faltered, paused, then continued. “Why didn’t you enjoy yourself?”
“Because another man’s hands were on you. Because another man sat at your side like you were his. Because I wanted to beat the sh*t out of him for daring to touch you, but I didn’t have the right.”
“Niall,” she repeated his name, a subtle plea. To stop or to continue? Maybe even she didn’t know.
“Just for tonight. Tell me I have the right.” He dropped his hand away from her face.
Her choice. It had to be hers. He could persuade her with a kiss or a touch, essentially taking control out of her hands. When she looked back on this, he didn’t want her to use grief, anger, or lust as excuses for surrendering to him. She wanted him—her soft pants, dark eyes, and trembling body relayed her desire. But she had to own it.
She blinked, confusion skating across her expressive features.
“I need to hear you say the words. Tell me.”
“I—” She closed her eyes, her indecision obvious. Finally, her lashes lifted, and though uncertainty clouded her gaze, strength steadied her voice. “I give you the right.” Pause. “For tonight.”
Every character has that part of him or herself that they build a wall around, guard like a junk yard dog. For Niall, it was his music. He’d been wounded and rejected by his father, and he never played in front of anyone…until this moment. For him, it’s that moment of opening himself to rejection again, it’s his moment of trust, and Khloe recognizes it. So here it goes…
Bow in hand, Niall arched an eyebrow. “What do you want to hear?”
“‘The Irish Washerwoman.’” The song he’d played in his father’s office. The song that should’ve garnered praise and instead won him ridicule.
After a heartbeat of silence, he lifted the bow and strummed it across the cords. A lively jig soon filled the room, the harmony dancing in the air, inviting hand claps and foot stomps. She couldn’t help but smile. His expert hands didn’t falter. Not one melody jarred or clang. The song transported her to a smoky, Irish pub with cold rain tapping on the roof and windows while laughter, beer, and music abounded inside around a welcoming fire.
The last note vibrated in the air, and he segued into a lovely ballad that had tears spilling over onto her cheeks. The lilting, almost sad melody reached into her heart and squeezed. And Niall…he’d never been more beautiful to her with his eyes closed, lips parted, tall, lean frame slightly swaying with the harmony. This was the man he concealed from the world—the tender, sensitive man. The artist.
When he lowered his bow and his lashes lifted, she didn’t bother to hide the moist tracks on her face. He needed to see her reaction. See that she found him—his passion—remarkable.
“Those are good tears, yeah?” he teased, the Irish lilt more pronounced. As if he concealed a deeper emotion behind the gentle banter.
“You are beautiful,” she whispered. “You and your music.”
Surprise flashed across his features, followed by a fierceness that snatched the breath from her lungs.
“Thank you,” he rasped. Two simple words, but then, not simple at all.
So those are my top five scenes! I hope you enjoyed them and the glimpses into The Millionaire Makeover. And thank you, Book Magic, for letting me visit and share them!