Title: Seeing Red
Series: Hearts and Minds
Author: Holley Trent
Word/Page count: ~50,000 words
She married him to save face, but will it be at her heart’s expense?
Megan Coffman needs to put her divorce from one of rock and roll’s biggest womanizers behind her—fast. Dubbed “Poor Meg” by the music media, she’s sick of being pitied and thinks the best way to show the public she’s moved on is to flash her brand new engagement ring. But now she needs a man and a wedding to go with it…
Thirty-five year old Russian expatriate Seth “Red” Rozhkov likes the idea of an instant family and agrees to play husband for a year for a virtual stranger. Women just want him for one thing anyway, and it’s not happily-ever-after. A mutual friend swears if Red plays his cards right, he could have Meg for keeps. He’s willing to try.
Meg finds Red an enigma. He’s a gentle giant, solicitous almost to a fault—and the no-strings-attached sex is amazing, but she’s used to being used. What’s Red getting out of the deal?
How can she trust a man who hasn’t asked her for anything in return?
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She pushed Seth back, or tried to, anyway, but his hold was too strong. Too sure. Not this time, he seemed to be saying.
“I’m not cold. Let go of me.”
“Then you’re angry. Tell me why you’re angry.”
“That should be obvious.”
“I’m a scientist, not a psychic. If there were something observable and classifiable there for me to glean, I would have noticed, and therefore not asked.”
“Maybe I just think you’re an asshole and I regret doing this. Marrying you.”
His heartbeat against her ear sped, but his hold on her didn’t loosen. “I see.”
The words were tart, but she didn’t regret uttering them.
“So what do you want? Are you done? Ready to start our year’s separation before you file your paperwork?” he asked.
“Is that what you want?”
“What I want is obviously irrelevant.”
She leaned back and craned her neck up to see his dark expression. “Excuse the hell out of me? You entered this agreement willingly.”
“I did. Just as you entered kicking and screaming.”
“You haven’t seen kicking and screaming yet.”
All of a sudden, the angles and planes in his face looked sharper, more shadowed. His enlarged pupils made his hazel eyes dark, and the slight flaring of his nostrils gave her warning that she’d pushed some button he’d never before exposed to her.
She was gonna push that button again. She jutted her chin up and said, “That’s right, Red. I spend every waking moment looking for an avenue out of this thing.”
“I see.” In one second, he had her hauled up over his shoulder, and before she could register direction or intent, her tennis shoes were yanked off one by one, and he didn’t lose his stride one bit. By the time he slapped on the bedroom light, she’d lost her socks, too.
He tossed her onto her own bed like a sack of laundry, still wearing that cold expression that was so alien and unfamiliar to her.
“What are you doing?”
He didn’t answer. Just hooked his fingers into the waistband of her yoga pants and gave them a purposeful yank downward, taking her panties along for the ride.
He sat her up, and she complied as he pulled her sweatshirt and T-shirt over her head. Was he really doing it? Picking up the leash?
He laid her back down, wadded her clothes into a shapeless blob, and tossed them over the edge of the bed.
Time to poke the button again. “Should I just lie here and moan at all the right times, or do you want to feed me some lines to recite?”
No response to that either. He just dragged her by the legs so her ass was at the edge of the bed and dropped to his knees. “Going to help you with your kicking-and-screaming problem.” He draped her legs over his shoulders and stared up her torso at her, waiting for her to rebut.
“You’re welcome to try.”
Holley Trent writes contemporary and paranormal romances ranging from sensual to erotic. Raised in rural, coastal North Carolina, she currently resides in the Rockies on the Colorado Front Range. Her Hearts and Minds series, which includes Seeing Red, is available from Lyrical Press. She also has books available from Crimson Romance and Musa Publishing.
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