I have two new stories coming out in the next few months, after a very long absence from publishing anything. Both books are under contract with Eirelander Publishing, a paranormal novella called Blood Wine Kisses, and a short, sexy piece written with a friend of mine. We’ve done edits, and are awaiting any final changes to be made before the tale is ready to go into final production for release. I thought I’d give everyone a first look at the couple from Turnabout, the sometimes battling but always passionate Cade Maddox and Isabeau Renault. I hope you’ll want to get to know them better once you’ve met them!
Blurb: When Cade Maddox interrupts a meeting that is underway in the offices of Isabeau Renault, owner and CEO of Renault Publishing, the lovely Isabeau decides it's time to teach her security specialist who is the boss. It's time for a sexy bit of turnabout! Now Cade is at her mercy, and loving every minute of it.
She rose and met him just inside the door, smiling when he lifted her hand and brushed a quick kiss across her knuckles. She liked Jason Adair more now than when they’d first met, his easy-going manner was genuine, his business acumen well-established. He was a nice-looking, affable man who kept things profession but friendly. “Would you like to join me for coffee, Jason?”
She led the way to the sitting area of her office, and went to the bar while he made himself comfortable. The soft creak of leather was accompanied by his first question.
“Have we sold all the tickets we anticipated for this Gala, Isabeau?”
She brought him his coffee and sat a short distance from him, turning to face him as she leaned into the couch. “More, actually. I just checked the figures and seating, the catering service has had to add several more tables.”
“Excellent,” he enthused, and tasted the coffee she’d prepared for him. “Perfect, you remembered.”
She smiled, then took a sip of her almost cold latte before answering. “I think this event is going to be well covered by the press, too. It’s looking like a million dollar gala, and once the auction is over, I fully expect we’ll meet our goal.”
“Are you still going to allow yourself to be auctioned off?” Jason asked, his tone light but layered with curiosity.
The door to her office swung inward, and she looked up to see Cade Maddox standing still as stone, only the glitter of anger in his dark eyes betraying that he’d heard Jason Adair’s question.
Isabeau stared at him, uneasiness sparking along her veins. “Cade, I’m in a meeting, can whatever you need wait?” Cade Maddox could foul her mood without even trying, though the honest part of her acceded it was because she was too aware of him for her own comfort. Cade made her conscious of herself and her life, most especially what it lacked without him.
Maddox smiled and strolled over to join them, dropping into a seat across from Jason. He leaned forward and extended his hand. “I’m Cade Maddox, Chief of Security here at Renault. I’m afraid Isabeau is not on the auction block.”
She gaped at him, torn between real surprise and rising irritation.
Jason Adair shook Cade’s hand and turned to look at Isabeau. She smiled, knew the expression was tight and strained. She stood, adding, “Mr. Maddox and I clearly have to discuss a few things, Jason. I’ll call you later, maybe we can go for a drink? I’ll have the final figures ready by then, as well.”
“I’d be happy to take you both out for a drink,” Cade interjected.
Isabeau froze, but she didn’t react more visibly than that. Jason stood, his puzzled glance moving between them before he leaned over and kissed Isabeau’s cheek. “I’ll call you this afternoon to set up a time.”
She nodded and watched as he left. The seconds gave her time to rein in the explosion of anger rocketing through her.
Once the door shut behind him, she glared at Maddox. “Just what the hell do you think you’re doing, Cade? I don’t need security to conduct meetings, so get out!”
“Where are we meeting your pal for this drink?” Cade asked blandly, unfolding himself from his seat in a fluid motion.
She stopped mid-step, a few feet short of her desk, and slowly turned. “We?” She repeated with acerbic sweetness. “We are not meeting anyone. I am meeting a colleague to continue the discussion you interrupted. I have no idea what you’re doing, but you won’t be doing it with me!” Her mind raced so quickly she didn’t have long enough to analyze precisely why she was so angry, only that she was. Cade danced to his own tune, and usually had damn good reasons for it, but she wasn’t part of his world anymore. She liked it that way.
“I’ll stop by at five and we can go from here,” Cade said as he reached the door, then left her before she could answer him.
Isabeau gaped at the closed door, then started to pace. Each step increased her anger at Maddox. They’d known each other for years now, and their relationship was never simple. Long after they’d gone their separate ways, he’d returned unexpectedly, with a book he wanted published. It hadn’t taken her long to work out that it was more than a book he wanted. He was in the middle of a covert operation, one he wanted her to stay away from. When he’d told her he was coming into her company as her security specialist, she’d laughed. His stubborn insistence on protecting her from potential complications with his current mission had ended in their battle of wills resurfacing.