Welcome to best-selling author of Urban-Fantasy and Romance, who enjoys writing stories full of shadow with hints of light. Her favorite tales involve anti-heroes and determined heroines. She finds strong coffee with cream a must for late night writing. If you linger awhile she may bring up kettle bells.
A Excerpt for The Romance Reviews Anniversary party:
A cool breeze floated over Laurie again as she tried to cash out. This time, it smelled of snow and wood smoke. Her skin tingled, and she held back a scream of frustration. Instead, she took a deep breath and looked up, knowing he’d be there.
Petrov sat on a bar stool, his trench coat draped over the one beside him. He scraped a match along the underside of the counter, and the stench of sulfur touched her nose as he lit another of his slim cigars. His strange eyes focused on her, his expression unreadable.
He blew out the cigar smoke and studied her through the blue haze, letting the silence stretch between them. Feeling about as awkward as she’d ever felt in her life and wanting to say something that would give her the upper hand, Laurie started to tell him he couldn’t smoke in here. His lips curled upward into the most wicked and knowing grin; its blatant sexuality left her speechless. For a moment she stood poised at the edge of a precipice, wanting to leap off and return his smile with a wicked one of her own, to lean across the bar and connect with him on a level she didn’t even have words for. The feeling terrified her.
Instead, she stepped away from the edge and sought refuge in annoyance. What the hell was this guy’s problem, anyway? She was no beauty queen.
“Smoking is a filthy habit, and I don’t appreciate you blowing it in my face.”
He was amused. With a teasing lift of his eyebrows, he carefully blew his next exhalation away from her, but didn’t stub out his cigar. “I am Mikhail Sergeivich Petrov, and I humbly apologize for being filthy.” His tone was flirtatious and charming.
Laurie didn’t want to be charmed. “You could be fined for smoking in here.”
“Is this so?” He shrugged. “I think you worry too much about silly things. What is a fine, after all? I pay it, and it becomes nothing. The government gets a little money, and I do what I want.”
Laurie opened her mouth, then closed it. Didn’t he realize they could shut down the restaurant?
“Besides,” he said, his voice mischievous. “Are you going to tell me you’ve never smoked inside this restaurant?”
“Of course not.”
“Not even a little…Laurie?” He said her name like he was rolling it around on his tongue to get a better taste. So he already knew her name. Thanks no doubt to Rick or Jorge or whomever had the loose lips.
She pasted a polite smile on her face. “I’m sorry Mr.…?”
“Call me Mikhail or, if you decide you like me better later, Misha.”