The Devil’s Deal
CEO Billionaire Lucas Marx isn’t used to hearing the word “no.” So when he hits on gorgeous moonlighting waitress Bailey Walters and she coldly turns him down, he becomes focused on finding a way into the captivating woman’s heart.
Bailey knows men are more trouble than they’re worth, and golden boy Lucas is especially dangerous. Turns out he’s not just any guy, but the ex of her boss, who is determined to get him back. Bailey is focused on building her career in interior design, and if her boss finds out she’s stolen her man, she’ll lose everything.
When Bailey’s assigned a design project for Lucas’s home, their attraction soon becomes too hot to handle, and Lucas resorts to bribing Bailey’s best friend into setting up a date for them. But building a relationship on lies and deceit is never a good idea…
Can Lucas crack Bailey’s steely façade to find the vulnerable woman hiding beneath? Or will he discover it’s his own heart that needs defending?
Her eyes zeroed in on the neatly arranged racks of shoes. The tips of her fingers lightly brushed across several pairs of expensive, well-polished leather before picking up one shoe.
“Size fourteen.” Big feet, big hands, big … Bailey, don’t go there. She placed the shoe back on the shelf, gave another quick look around, and decided that the closet was fine. On her way out, she noticed a sneaker haphazardly lying halfway underneath the black leather dressing chair. Looking around for its mate, she got down on her knees and found it wedged far beneath the shelf.
“Almost got it.” The tips of her fingers brushed the heel. She dropped to her stomach and got under a bit farther. The darn sneaker was stuck tight under there. “I’ll get you,” she grunted.
“Brian was right, you’re very thorough.”
“Oh God!” Bailey gasped. That familiar male voice had her quickly rolling over to her back, feeling as though she’d have a heart attack right there on the floor. The organ was slamming against her ribs like a jackhammer as she lay sprawled out with Lucas Marx staring down at her.
“It … I …” Unable to speak articulately between shallow clips of air, she held up the left sneaker clutched in her hand.
“Good evening, Miss Walters.”
Bailey tried to catch her breath, which was sawing in and out as though she’d just run a marathon.
His eyes dipped down and lingered on her skirt raised high up her thighs. She tugged it down and shot him a hard frown.
“May I?” He reached out his hand to help her up and then retrieved the stuck sneaker from underneath the shelf, placing the pair on the bottom shoe rack.
“So you tidy up and design,” he said as he rested back against his dressing island with arms folded across his suited frame.
“I happened to notice the one under your chair. The other one was wedged tight.” When he said nothing, not so much as a flicker in those blue-grays, Bailey cleared the knot in her throat and picked up her notepad from the chair. “I’ve just about completed my inventory of your home.” Needing to escape his stare, she quickly left the closet. “This area is in perfect order. I find the furnishings and decor to be favorable, well-balanced for the space. I wouldn’t change a thing in here.”
Looking over at the custom size bed, Sandra popped into her head. He came up behind her, so close she could feel his body heat radiating against her back, and with it, his scent—a fresh, subtle woodsy and citrus mix. Man, he smells good. Bailey inhaled his scent into her lungs before turning to face him.
Towering over her, he had to be about six feet, three or four inches—and she thought of her shoes in her bag downstairs, wishing she was wearing her heels instead of her sneakers. Those extra inches would prevent her from having to crane her neck to look at him.
His eyes were staring uncomfortably deep into hers, causing her stomach to flutter. Needing to put some space between them, she walked over to the French doors and looked out over the landscape. “Your kitchen, I have some ideas I’d like to share with you on the type and style of cabinetry. Of course, top grade appliances and—” Hearing the bed lightly squeak, she paused, and turned around. He was seated at the foot of the bed. When did he remove his suit coat and tie?
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/9781507204771
Crimson Romance: http://www.crimsonromance.com/spicy-romance-novels/devils-deal/
Google Play: http://www.goo.gl/5UmNOG
Facebook: Facebook.com/michelearris – Author
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I live in the northeast near Washington, D.C., but grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. I love to travel, and I try to plan at least four or five trips a year. I get such great ideas for my writing when I travel. I find airports, particularly, are full of fascinating people.J I’m constantly observing and jotting notes.
I was a very quiet individual when I was growing up and preferred to stand in the back of a crowd. After winning the RWA Golden Heart, I had to stepped out into the spotlight, so to speak, and get on social media. It caused a slight panic. I wasn’t even on Facebook or Twitter and had to learn how to use it. What a challenge that was. I still find myself on occasion fumbling through it.
As a writer, it’s hard to remain an introvert. When attending writing conferences, there are so many great authors I get to meet. I look forward to chatting with other authors and learning about their writing journey.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Devil’s Deal came to me while having dinner with two of my girlfriends. I’d even say it’s “loosely” based on them. Of course, there’s artistic license. J That said, I tried to capture their personalities when I created my heroine and her best friends who are depicted in the book. They get a kick out of knowing that they are the faces behind my story.
Devil’s Deal is a story about a powerful man, Lucas Marx, who is used to getting what he wants at any cost. When Bailey Walters isn’t impressed by his charms, he treats it as he would any other business acquisition where he is sure to come out the victor—find her weak spot. He manipulates Bailey’s best friend into helping him achieve his goal, but it may cost him more than what he bargained.
Bailey has had two cheating exes and is determined to protect her heart from getting trampled on a third time. When she discovers that Lucas dated her boss, who is determined to get him back, she feels the man is more trouble than he’s worth, and she refuses to risk damaging her career by getting involved with him. Resisting him becomes difficult when she is given the design project on his home.
How do you create your characters?
I often create my characters from people I meet. For example, my heroine’s parents are based on a nice couple I had the pleasure of meeting while visiting in North Carolina. They were exactly how I imagined Bailey’s parents—full of sweet, Southern charm.
What inspires you and what got you started in writing?
Like so many authors, I’ve always been an avid reader. When I was about twelve years old, I visited a used bookstore and came upon a shelf of romance books. To a twelve-year-old bookworm, it was like finding a priceless jewel. I became hooked on the HEA.
I love getting into my characters’ heads. When I was young, I would hate when a good book or series came to an end. I’d sit and write more on the hero and heroine to enjoy their world a little longer. Or, if I got to the end and was disappointed, I’d write out a different ending to a book.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I have an office in my home where I can quietly write. It has a nice view of my backyard flower garden. However, I find myself often stationed in an old, comfy chair and ottoman tucked in the corner of my office. I’ll usually have a cup of hot tea (mainly in the winter months) or a glass of wine beside me as I write. Sometimes, I’ll treat myself to freshly baked, chocolate chip cookies…my brain food of choice to help me work through a difficult scene.
Whenever I’m about to develop a new character, I find a song I think he or she would listen to. I put on my headphones and listen to the song over and over as I’m building the character’s personality. I tend to write while listening to music on a whole. Some writers might find that distracting, but it tends to help me focus.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
A lot of good ideas for a scene spring to mind while I’m in the shower or after midnight … not sure why that is.
I’m constantly getting ideas on what to write next. Recently, I was driving and saw a sign that triggered a possible title and premise for my next series. I got so excited that I pulled off the road, got out, took several cell phone pics and jotted a few notes in my phone. I didn’t want to forget what it was that caught my attention. It’s said that writers write 24-7 in their head. I certainly agree with that.
What do you like to read?
My goodness, there are so many books, I couldn’t possibly list them all, but will name a few. In historical, the late Bertrice Small was my all-time favorite author. She’s the reason I decided to dip my toe into the erotic romance genre. I loved how she could develop an intimate scene that expressed so vividly what her characters were feeling in the moment. I’m pretty sure I’ve read every book she’d written. That’s quite a few. I have so many favorites of her books, but Lara, The World of Hetar, and her book, The Twilight Lord, are two that I adore.
I also, love Judith McNaught: Whitney My Love, Once and Always, Almost Heaven … the list is very long. Also Johanna Lindsey: Captive of My Desires, Gentle Rogue … again, many of her books are my favorites.
In paranormal, I love practically all of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books, J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Christine Feehan’s Carpathian Series, and Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series, to name a few. I enjoy the genre.
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
I really feel it’s important to learn/know the genre that you intend to write. My advice for an aspiring writer would be to read. Read many books to help you really understand the genre and the overall craft of writing. Also, get to know other writers. It doesn’t have to be in the same genre. You can learn so much from both new and seasoned authors.
Attend writing conferences. It is a great place to network, and there is so much material available that would help get you on the right path for your writing. I find that it’s also a great place to boost your drive about writing … so much positive energy and enthusiasm. I’m always happily exhausted after I attend a conference and look forward to applying all I’d learned.
Keep in mind, not everyone will burst out of the gate with a NYT bestseller. In other words, be realistic about your career goals. Most of all, write because you love to write, not for money or fame. It can be a long, long road to publication for some, but don’t give up.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m working on the next two books in the Tarnished Billionaires series. It’s been a lot of fun continuing to build and develop their world.