Hi! I write contemporary romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance line. My ninth book is now available in both print and eformat from Harlequin and Mills & Boon websites, as well as in eformat from most major etailers. Links below the image for clicky ease :)
Random Thoughts and Useless Trivia
Excerpt from Latest Release
“What happened in your past that you didn’t want people to find out about?”
“Quinn, focus on the papers.”
“No, you’re focusing on things that only mattered when we had a marriage to save. And you said you didn’t want to get married again.” Anais went to finally toss the contacts, but he’d swear it was to shut down the conversation.
And that was too bad. He wasn’t ready; he’d waited years so she could give him more than a few minutes. “I don’t. I married you. Yeah, you left, and we both thought we were divorced…”
“We are divorced.”
“Until I put my name on these documents, we’re still married.” Quinn dropped them onto the coffee table and turned to face her, ignoring the hitch in his chest that came from her words. “Marrying you wasn’t the wrong decision. Maybe I failed at being a husband in every regard, but marrying you wasn’t wrong. You feel it too, or you and I would not have ended up on the floor together within seconds of being alone in a room. You still want me.”
“Chemistry. As I said. And you said that was a goodbye or did you forget that too?”
“We have chemistry and a legally binding marriage. Unless you want to take it to court and let them decide.” He couldn’t focus on the goodbye bit. He’d said it at the time more from anger than because he’d thought it through.
“What could you possibly say in court to make people believe this is a real marriage? You and I haven’t had a scrap of communication in years. You didn’t know where I worked, you didn’t know about my name change, you didn’t even know I was back in the country.” She flung her hands up, as if those sad facts won the argument and he was too simple to see it.
So quiet he could barely hear himself over his own pounding heart, Quinn answered, “I’d say I still love you.”
For a second, he thought she was going to slug him. His words hung there in the air as those blue-green eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared.
Definitely going to do something to him.
Quinn waited, holding her gaze…
“Well, that’s just perfect!” she finally shouted, throwing her arms toward the ceiling, her voice rising with every word. “You still love me. Great. That’s great. Because it worked out so well last time. Not that I believe you. You’ve tarted your way across at least four continents on your leaves over the last few years. Because it gets around, you know. News. Playboy Prince back at it, once unsaddled from his horrible bride. Of course, I’m sure you were thinking of me the whole time!”
“I’m not making excuses for seven years of perceived bachelorhood. You don’t need to explain how you’ve spent that time either—and, for both our sakes, I beg you not to. It doesn’t matter now.” He said the words quietly enough that she had to stop her tirade to hear him. “You should know better than to believe everything you read in the gossip rags.”
“So those pictures were just faked? No cover models?”
Words he’d said just to upset her on that first day had apparently hit their target. He gritted his teeth. Stay on track. What good could come from making her believe the worst of him when it wasn’t true? “There’s never been anyone else. Not in any way that counted. Not in any way that couldn’t happen in public.”
Her head fell back, eyes swiveled to the ceiling as she breathed out. It only lasted long enough to name it: relief. Long enough for her too, by the tension that rocketed back through her.
Relief to rage.
Her still lovely features twisted and, with a sound caught somewhere between a scream and a sob, she took three wide steps across the room and returned with the wrought iron poker which had been leaning beside the fireplace.
He tensed, ready to defend himself, even if the very idea that she’d actually attack him was so alien it made the world tilt.
She lifted the thing and brought it down with all her might on the glass-topped table where the unsigned divorce documents rested. Once. Twice. Again. Again. Punctuating each swing with a word either grunted or screamed. “I. Hate. This. Table.”
White spots in the shape of the poker appeared with each swing until finally a resounding crack announced a split in the top. He flinched and leaned back as she brought the iron rod down again.
Another smash shattered it, leaving the documents lying amongst the broken shards.
He made it up and around the table’s remains as she shifted her attention to the metal base and brought the weapon down again. “I. Hate. This. Table. Hate. Hate. Hate.”
When she changed her swing, Quinn took the opening and shot out his left damaged hand, stopping her swing. The force of the impact sent a spike of pain spreading through what remained of his palm and up his arm.
The shock of hitting something living made her let go, and she froze on the spot, looking at him, looking at his hand. He flung the rod down and then swept her up in his still aching arms to track away from the coffee table carnage.
“What are you doing? Put me down!” She squirmed until he released her across the room, away from any shattered glass spray. Before she could get any distance, he locked his good hand around her wrist, and felt her fist ball.
The pit that had opened in him as he saw her destroy the coffee table began to make his guts swirl. “More violence? This is not you.”
Anais was gentle. Tender-hearted. She didn’t go on destructive rampages when upset. She got very quiet, she spent time alone. Sometimes she cried. She didn’t break things.
At least this smashing spree was easier on his equilibrium than watching her cry had ever been, but he still felt the need to stop it. He raised his voice. “Stop fighting. I’m no danger.”
“Every second I’m with you I’m in danger!”
Reactive words to make him back off. Part of him even wanted to, but the biggest thoughts echoing in his mind refused to let him leave.
She hadn’t broken them. She’d just been the one to walk away from his mess.
“I could never be a danger to you,” he said softly, holding her gaze, praying she actually heard him. He’d heard her—even if it’d taken nearly eight years if he counted their marriage.
He’d always known they’d been in trouble, but he’d also thought they’d have more time. He’d thought he’d be able to get her to stay until the tide turned, that something would happen, that opinions would change. Because they had been in trouble, but he’d still wanted her with every piece of him.
He still did. Yes, they’d changed. She was a doctor now. He was a man, not just walking around in a man’s body. Surely the people wouldn’t see them the same way.
“Let me go.”
The demand came, and neither of them pretended it didn’t mean more than a simple request to release her wrist.
“No,” he said, keeping eye contact and his hold on her arm. “It was a mistake last time.”
“I don’t want to be your wife.”
“I didn’t want to go into the military. Or get divorced. Amazingly, both of those things worked out well for me. I’m not the same man I was, Anais. Tell me what you were afraid of.”
“That’s nothing you need to know anymore,” she said through gritted teeth. “What I’m currently afraid of? Staying married to you. I don’t want to be part of the PR parade that is being a princess. I hated it the first time, and this time it will only be worse.”
She swung her arm up to her face and, with her free arm, grabbed his wrist in return. Without missing a beat, she turned out to the side, twisting his arm at the shoulder.
He wasn’t ready for it, and the twist and sharp stab of pain made him let go of her wrist. Just as she’d wanted.
“I never fit. I could never fit or be accepted—it was futile. All I ever was, all I could ever be, was a stain on you and your family. That’s still what I’d be.”
Stepping away from him, she grabbed her bag and swung it over her shoulder, but paused when she looked at him, at the shock he could feel written on his face. She’d easily slipped his hold and, more importantly—she could’ve really hurt him if she’d wanted to. Did Gray’s Anatomy include a section on self-defense and the best way to dislocate a shoulder? What, in God’s name, had she been up in the States?
“You never fought for us, Quinn,” she said, plucking his thoughts in his face. “You never fought for me. You never even met me on the damned battlefield. After you, I had to learn to fight for myself.”
She was nearly at the door. Leaving a conversation she didn’t want to be part of—something she’d probably learned from him. Fighting might make her stay. “Looks to me like you learned to hide yourself.”
“I did that too.” She swung the door open and looked back at him. “Do yourself and your whole family a favor. Sign the papers.”
She didn’t blink, and there was a warning in her stare: get ready for a fight.