Today I’m pleased to announce that Jasmine Betrayal, the third story in the BeauTEAful Summer series is now available in audiobook format! You can pick up your copy either on Amazon, Audible or iTunes, and it’s narrated by David C. Fisher, who narrated Deadly Chai as well. Today’s excerpt is from Jasmine Betrayal, of course…enjoy!
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Excerpt: Jasmine Betrayal
Resigned for the moment, Genevieve followed Max back out and past most of the doors at ground level until they reached the last, closest to where he’d parked the truck. They went inside and he locked the double-keyed deadbolt, pocketing the room key. Genevieve looked around.
“There are probably bed bugs in that mattress,” she remarked, headed toward a door she assumed led to a bathroom. Poking her head in, she moved back just as quickly, wrinkling her nose. “I’m pretty sure the maid quit a long time ago too. Are you sure we can’t just get our money back and go somewhere the inanimate objects won’t try to kill us?”
Max sat down on the edge of the bed and swung his legs up, laying his head on a pillow and closing his eyes. “You really want to get our hostess out of bed again? Be my guest. And we won’t be here long. I’m pretty sure you’ll survive, which is the whole point. Come lay down and get some rest.” He patted the space beside him, and it finally dawned on her.
“There’s only one bed.”
He cracked one eye open, regarding her with a look that said he thought she might have a screw loose.
“You’re smart. This room was closest to the truck, and cheap. Get over it.” He closed his eyes again, letting a breath out long and slow as he relaxed into the comforter.
Just the sight of it made her itch.
The only other furniture in the room was a small square television stand with an equally square TV, and a pair of square wooden chairs with tan leather-look backs and seats that looked only slightly more comfortable than those in the office had. She glanced at the bed, and then at the chairs again, finally pulling one chair to face the other, and stretching out as well as she could between them.
“You’re gonna have a kinked neck,” Max warned. “Not to mention serious back pain.”
She shot him a dirty look, but he hadn’t even opened his eyes. Bastard.
“We’re not going to be here that long – your words.” She crossed her arms over her chest and scooted around to find a semi-comfortable spot as his breathing slowed, evening out.
She wasn’t sure how long she’d dozed, but at some point she twitched, jerking her head up and barely suppressing a cry of pain when the predicted kink in her neck materialized. Rubbing it with one hand, she looked over at Max, who had shifted onto his side.
The keys to the room and the truck – her truck – were lying on the bed beside him, apparently having worked their way out of his pocket.
She chewed her lower lip. Contrary to what both Max and the goons chasing her probably thought, she hadn’t been staying in her father’s old trailer. She couldn’t, not while she was sorting through his things, trying to make sense of his life. Instead, she’d subletted an apartment in Little Rock, and that’s where she’d been working on all the accounting and legal paperwork.
The deed was there too. It would be hard for anyone to track her down there, since the lease wasn’t actually in her name. If she could just get there, she could lay low, talk to a lawyer and figure out some way to get Jenkins off her back.
It would depend a lot on how sound Max was sleeping, and whether the stabbing pain in the center of her lower back was going to be a big issue or not.
Deciding a test was in order, she carefully pushed the chair her feet were resting on away a few inches, making a slight scraping sound on the low, industrial carpet. Standing up, she winced at the pain as her body protested. Hands on her hips, she leaned back, then forward, trying to stretch out the knot, but even though it loosened slightly, she knew it was going to be a long drive back to town.
If she could figure out which way that was.
Max still appeared to be sleeping and she studied his face for a moment. The hard, square jaw, thick black eyebrows and small, slightly crooked nose reminded her of a quintessential mobster. A pinstripe suit and fedora, and he could easily step back into the New York twenties without even attracting attention. His lips were full and oh-so-kissable, and for the second or third time since they’d met, she wondered what they would feel like against hers.
Doing her best to move naturally, she leaned over and grabbed the keys, one at a time so they didn’t jingle together. Two steps got her from the bed to the door, and she spent way too much time trying to quietly fit the key into the sticky deadbolt, and yet more precious seconds trying to coax the key to turn. Whoever had installed these locks sure wasn’t worried about safety, but since she wouldn’t be back, she saw no point in complaining.
Finally getting the door open, she left the room key hanging in the lock and carefully pulled it shut. Then she jogged around the corner to the truck, got behind the wheel and moved the seat forward.
Fired up the engine. Shifted into drive. Put her foot on the gas.
The passenger door opened and Max hopped in, his door closing forcefully as she pulled away from the building.
“So,” he said, as if she hadn’t just tried to ditch him cold. “Where are we going?”
Want to read the rest? Get your copy of Jasmine Betrayal in digital and audio formats from these fine retailers: