So today I've turned the blog over to Mona Risk whose second title, French Peril, is now available from Cerridwen Press. Everyone loved Risk's first title with Cerridwen, To Love a Hero, and now her second book is proving to be an equally stellar work.
What could be more exciting for a young American architect than to live in a French chateau owned by a young count and to work on the restoration of a chapel in the Loire Valley?
But when her professor is poisoned because he knew too much about a missing statue, Cheryl's summer job changes into a dangerous treasure hunt and Count François is faced with a difficult choice: Are the statue and his chateau worth endangering the life of the impetuous young woman who's turned his life upside down?
He almost bit his tongue to avoid reminding her she was sobbing her heart out when he interrupted her. He followed her glance to the digital display of the radio-clock on her night table. “It’s already eleven thirty.”
She raked her fingers through her hair. “Yeah, but… ”
From the dubious way she puckered her lips and gazed with longing at her mentor’s laptop, François guessed that sleep would elude her until she felt she’d done something productive to fulfill Professor Howard’s thwarted goal. “Well, if you want to check things on your computer and start planning, do you mind if I stay and brainstorm with you?”
Without hesitating or questioning his presence in her bedroom at such a late hour, she nodded.
“Unless you prefer to chat and reminisce about the professor,” François said, determined to gain her cooperation.
An appreciative glow sparkled in the blue of her eyes. “Thank you for being so understanding.” She sat in front of the computer and clicked on a folder.
François brought a chair next to her and settled, comfortably leaning against the back as he watched her lovely profile and the silky strands cascading over her shoulders. His fingers slid on the back of her chair, itching to play with the curls, streaked with gold and rust by the bright light of the crystal chandelier. Inching toward her, he stole a glance at her décolletage and breathed her jasmine perfume and the sweet scent of her skin.
Nom de Dieu, had he lost his mind? He clenched his hand and backtracked to a less tantalizing position.
The poor girl had just lost a surrogate father. She was mourning while François indulged in his shameful yearnings. Unaware of his battle to control his lust, she continued to concentrate on her task, typing the password and opening files.
Hurry up, chérie, find the damn file. Say something professional. As if he would understand a professional theory right now, when his gaze caressed her jaw and her cheek, and his mind suggested a dozen ways to taste her mouth. He swallowed and sighed and squirmed in his chair.
“I will get us glasses of cold wine,” he said as he suddenly stood to give a break to the awkward tension of his muscles.
Good God, she’d trusted him. Enough to let him stay in her bedroom.
Seriously, what was he thinking about when he suggested he work with her? He shook his head and questioned his mental sanity at staying so close to her. At midnight.
She seemed so vulnerable at the moment and she was a guest in his house, he reasoned with himself to justify his unacceptable attitude. Of course, he owed her his help and protection. Come on, François. He knew damn well his body’s reaction to her proximity had nothing to do with duty to a guest.
Cheryl turned her head toward him and frowned. “Wine? No way. I need something to clear my head.”
“Me too, believe me.”
“I’ll appreciate a cup of coffee, if you don’t mind going downstairs.”
“No problem. I will be right back.” After he dabbed his face with ice water.
Thank you for inviting me to your blog. French Peril is a available at Ceridwen Press. OR you can buy it by going to my blog and click on the bookcover. OR to my website and click on: click here to buy: