Thursday, March 26, 2015

In Bed with the Bachelor by Megan Crane Excerpt


Barnes and Noble

Our latest bachelor has enough family in Marietta to qualify as an honorary native, but hails instead from Seattle, WA, which is where he’ll fly you for a glamorous weekend on the shores of the sparkling Puget Sound. Jesse Grey will treat you the way a local boy turned construction tycoon should: five star accommodations, gourmet dinners, and celebrated Washington wines. We just can’t promise he’ll smile much. Or at all.

Sold to the highest bidder!

Jesse Grey, notorious bachelor and one of Seattle’s foremost construction tycoons, has been roped into participating in the Marietta Bachelor Auction thanks to an expertly executed guilt trip laid out by his family.

Michaela Townsend already has a fiancĂ© and certainly doesn’t need another man in her life. So when her family buys her surly, sexy Jesse at the auction and wrangles him into driving her from Montana to Seattle, she’s appalled yet disturbingly attracted.

As far as Jesse is concerned, Michaela is forbidden fruit. Even though he knows her fiancĂ© isn’t all he seems, Jesse would never take what didn’t belong to him. But how long can he resist the one woman he shouldn’t touch?


Jesse Grey was taking over the whole of the front hall as if he was a black hole, light and air and energy collapsing into him and simmering there in the set of that mouth of his, that glitter in his milk chocolate gaze, neither of which—she told herself stoutly—affected her. At all.
“I’m your ride,” he said, after a long pause that Michaela thought might have lasted several years.
She stiffened, while her head toppled off into the gutter. She was certain he could hear it. “I beg your pardon?”
Jesse smirked. “I’m your ride,” he said again. “To Seattle.”
When she only stared back at him he sighed, and then jerked his head toward the door behind him and, she supposed, the world outside it she’d completely forgotten about since she’d set eyes on him. Again.
A big storm’s about to hit,” he grated out. “I’m driving west because I can’t get stuck here and they’re grounding planes at the Bozeman airport. Your aunt and my uncle decided you should come along, but you’re more than welcome to stay here snowed in until later this week. Your call.”
She should have some kind of response to that. Michaela knew she should. She should say something, nip that crazy suggestion in the bud, assure this odd and unfriendly man that she absolutely did not need him to drive her anywhere, much less some seven hundred miles west to Seattle.
But instead, she stared. Every vivid thing she’d dreamed about traipsed through her head, kicking up heat and making her face go red, and what little air was leftover in the space Jesse Grey didn’t take up seemed to sizzle.
“I’m not packed,” she said, like the idiot she was in this man’s presence and nowhere else.
And that marvelous mouth of his curved then, as something that might have been humor, if much harder, moved through his gaze.
“You have five minutes.”
Michaela took more like twenty-five. She confirmed that her flight out of Bozeman that evening really was likely to be cancelled, she texted Amos to inform him that the weather might keep her away from the office longer than she’d planned and he should try not to freak out, and she threw her things into her small, carry on roller bag. Then she paused to make the usual series of mild death threats to her meddling, irritating, cackling relatives gathered around her aunt’s kitchen table, until her mother cut that off midstream. Bonnie Townsend sipped at her coffee in that delicate way of hers that made Michaela feel like some kind of lumbering wildebeest in comparison, the perfectly-shaped eyebrows Michaela had been envious of all her life high on her forehead.
“My goodness, Michaela,” she murmured in repressive tones. The same way she’d chastised Michaela for her impatience with her family’s inability to understand every last one of her life choices only last night. They want to know these things because they love you, not because they want to annoy you. I don’t think it would hurt you to try to remember that. “If you’re not interested in having a favor done for you, I’m certain there are more gracious ways to say so.”
Feeling suitably chastened and about an inch tall, as ever, Michaela buttoned her lip and wheeled her suitcase out into the hall, where Jesse Grey was making like a column of granite. Except less approachable and far less sunny of disposition.
“Okay!” she chirped at him like some kind of psychotic kindergarten teacher, as if that might soften him up. “I’m ready!”
He exuded grittiness without seeming to do anything but stand there, and she felt that tugging thing low in her belly again, even more insistent today than it had been the night before.
There was human, she thought than, and then there was straight up destructive, and she wasn’t sure she could tell the difference. It had never been an issue before.
“Are you sure?” he asked in that low rumble of a voice. “Maybe you want to say goodbye to everyone down on Main Street, too? The outlying ranches? The whole of Montana while you’re at it?”
“What’s interesting about you, Jesse,” she said, and it was a bit of a fight to keep hold of her not-entirely-polite smile, “is that you’re possibly the most unfriendly man I’ve ever met. Why did anyone think you’d make a good Bachelor Auction item?”
“Must be you,” he replied, with an almost-smile that didn’t ease the bite of his words at all. “This is the friendliest I’ve been in years. To anyone.”
“Childhood trauma?”
His mouth was lethal then. “Something like that.”
“What fun,” she said, and beamed at him like she meant it. “And we have hours upon hours trapped in a car together! Hooray!”
He moved then, which was something a little more than surprising, or at least that was how she interpreted that liquid thing that washed through her and that jolt that catapulted from her heart to her feet and back up again.
“Be nice,” he growled. “Or I’ll make you carry your own damned bag.”
She couldn’t breathe. Or process that.
“I always carry my own bag,” she informed him, on auto-pilot. “I’m a liberated woman, thank you. My partner isn’t a bell hop. What does that even mean?”
He muttered something that sounded filthy, which Michaela told herself was further evidence that he was terrible in every way, but that wasn’t what that swirling, heated thing inside her felt about any of this. Definitely not.
“It means your man is a douche,” he growled at her.

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