So I realized today that I can now start a one-week countdown to the release of Escape Magic, the novella that is book 2 of my Sleight of Hand series, and I got really excited! I actually love this book. The characters are fun, the storyline is fun, and the ending…well, it wouldn’t be a romance if it didn’t have a happy ever after, would it? Plus, I got to revisit Stacey and Andre from Book 1, Close Up Magic, and there’s even a glimpse of my tragic hero from Book 3, Island Magic (see if you can spot him!).
Next week you’ll be able to purchase Escape Magic for 99 cents for the Kindle or in paperback (can’t remember how much, but it’s less than my others because it IS a novella). Which means short. Both paperback and Kindle versions include the first chapter of Close Up Magic, just in case you missed it. And, for a limited time, Close Up Magic is only 99 cents for Kindle, so if you want to read Book 1 first, get it right away!
But for now, I thought I’d give you a little taste of why I love this little book. For your exclusive reading pleasure, here’s an excerpt from Escape Magic:
Lydia was not easy to find. Tony finally located her in a knot of cheering men. She was seated on a table with her legs crossed and her arms bound behind her. A handsome, dark complected man teased her with a wine glass. “C’mon, Lady Lydia! Get loose and it’s all yours.”
Lydia pretended to have trouble with the knot. “Oh, you might just have me with this one.”
The dark man smiled a little lasciviously and leaned on the table so his body half covered hers. “Oh, I really hope so. But give it a try anyway.”
Lydia remained perfectly calm. Tony knew she’d probably already worked her way out of the knot, or at least knew how to, but she gave no indication of it. “How on earth could I possibly—oops!” She held up her hands with the rope dangling from one and gave him a little push away from her. “Did you lose something, Samir?”
“Just his pride.” Tony recognized the little toadlike man who spoke as Phil, an illusionist. He frowned, searching his mind. Had Phil even been invited? Before he could speak, Phil made a beckoning motion. “Everybody pay up.”
“Not the right venue, Phil.” Tony stepped forward as Lydia took the wine from the handsome magician’s fingers. Tony noticed a line of empty wine glasses on the table next to her. It wasn’t the first bet, then. His resolution to put a stop to the illicit activities strengthened into an almost protective resolve. “Lydia.”
She glanced at Tony as she sipped the wine. “What? You want to go next?” She dangled the rope in front of him. At his disbelieving look, she laughed. “Sorry, don’t have any cuffs. You have to bring your own.”
He gave her a suspicious look. “Are you drunk?”
“Probably not nearly enough.” Her voice sounded clear, but her words made him uncertain.
“Well, I’m not playing, and neither are any of you.” He glared around at the others in the group as he took Lydia’s arm and half helped, half lifted her off the table. “You’re not messing up my brother’s wedding day this way. And Phil, were you even invited?”
“I figured my invitation got lost in the mail.” Phil grinned toothily.
Tony understood. Dear God, there but for your grace… He stopped himself. “Get out. Quietly. And the rest of you should call it a night, too, probably.” He gave them all a scathing glare then turned away, pulling Lydia along with him. “Stupid sons of bitches. And what the hell, Lydia? I thought you had better sense.”
They were in the lobby by this point and she yanked her arm away from his grasp, turning to glare at him. “What’s your damage? I wasn’t doing anything wrong. It was just a little fun.”
“A little fun that looked like it was well on its way to being a gang rape.”
“It was no such thing. You’re projecting.” She glared at him, her hands on her hips.
“Projecting what? Disgust?” He faced her.
Just then, a door opened to the side and a couple came out. Lydia’s head swiveled to watch them and they both ducked, half hiding their faces. Tony frowned at the cloakroom door as it swung closed behind them. “You’re joking.”
She chortled. “Nope. Looks like they were having a little fun, too. C’mon.”
“What?” He held back as she grabbed his hand and started that way.
“Come on.” She tugged at his hand. “If they’ve just come out, it’s available. Let’s go.” She grinned, waggling her eyebrows at him. “I’ll show you what you were projecting. You can’t tell me you don’t want to.”
Her words brought on a surge of unexpected desire. “Jesus.” He hesitated a second more. Why the hell am I hesitating? He let her pull him in the door and shut it behind him.