Shamrocks, Shillelaghs, & ShenanigansComing March 17th, 2018
Heat level: Hotter than the Sun
Try saying that five times fast!
I am thrilled to be able to share the cover of our new anthology. Me and some of my friends challenged each other to write short and steamy novellas for St. Patrick's Day, and I I think you'll like the result.
My story is called The Night Shift, and it's about an American woman who breaks into a famous library in Ireland to try to retrieve a priceless family heirloom and the security guard who catches her. Unfortunately--fortunately?--they get locked in the library overnight. What could possibly go wrong?
How about an excerpt?
As Devin left the administrative office of the library, she felt almost weightless with shock.
“I’m terribly sorry, Miss McDiarmuid, but I’m afraid we can’t find your book.”
Devin let out a long breath in an effort to collect herself. She didn’t know whether to scream or cry.
Her grandmother had asked for one thing—one thing—before she died, and because of an administrative error, she wasn’t going to get it.
When their letter had arrived, it had felt like the golden ticket, only printed on eggshell A4 with the university’s fancy letterhead. After months of correspondence, they had acknowledged receiving the book and agreed to return it in four to six weeks. Unfortunately, her grandmother didn’t have four to six weeks, so she had emailed the secretary and asked her to hold it. She needed it immediately and would pick it up in person.
Three days and two flights later, she was standing in a vacant hallway in Dublin with nothing to show for her trouble but a useless letter.
Devin crumpled the letter and threw it down the hall.
Outside, night had settled over the city. Dublin was cold and windier than anywhere she’d been in her life, and she was from Kansas. Her hotel was two miles away on the other side of the Liffey and she was not looking forward to the walk back. The way down had been fine—she had been so excited to pick up the book that she had almost skipped to the library. The sun had been shining on her grandfather’s hometown and everything was perfect.
Until it wasn’t.
A charming Irish lilt floated through the loudspeaker to alert the remaining tourists that the Old Library would be closing in ten minutes. It looked as though most of the staff had already gone. A portly security guard rounded the corner and frowned as he spotted her. “Miss, you’ll have to return to the gift shop.”
“I had an appointment with the secretary,” she blurted.
At his look of suspicion, she grabbed the crumpled letter off the floor, smoothed it out, and handed it to him. He barely glanced at it before he nodded. He didn’t ask why it was in a ball. “This wing is locked for the night. You can exit that way.”
Devin walked the way he pointed and found herself in the gift shop surrounded by genealogy books and half a dozen lingering tourists. A huge banner hung over the cash registers to advertise the latest exhibition, a display of old war diaries from Irish soldiers. Seething, she shoved the letter into her purse. That exhibition was probably where the damned thing was. Was it too much to ask for them to look for it?
“Can’t find it,” she muttered to herself. “I’ll fucking find it.”
Beyond a set of bookcases, the entrance to the Long Room loomed like the gates of heaven. She had peeked into it briefly on her way to the meeting. Three hundred years old and more than two hundred feet long, dozens of bookcases towered on two levels, so high that each had its own spindly ladder. She couldn’t hazard a guess at how many books were inside it. What she wouldn’t give for a few hours behind those green ropes.
It was a bibliophile’s paradise, and guarding the entrance was St. Peter.
He was another security guard, but the sight of him was so startling that he may as well have had wings. He was tallish, leanish, and clean cut as hell in a crisp white button up and a tie. As bored as he looked, he had a presence to him, a kind of magnetism that made her walk into a bookcase of maps and souvenir cookbooks.
As her foot slammed into the bookcase, he looked up. His eyes were pale, pale blue, deep as the Liffey and clear as the sky. She met his gaze and she felt it.
“Shit.” Her heart went into free fall and exploded on impact with her ovaries. She had heard once that attraction is determined within the first ten seconds of meeting. Chemicals and genetic compatibility were less romantic than fate but harder to argue with. If the attraction was there, it would always be there, and if it wasn’t, nothing could inspire it.
It was there.
“Are you alright, Miss?”
No, she wanted to say. I’m about to break my grandmother’s heart on her deathbed but all I can think about is climbing you like a tree.
“I’m okay,” she said, sounding sad even to herself. “Thank you.”
Startled by the sound of her voice, his eyes widened and he swallowed.
Devin fought a satisfied smile. He felt it, too.
It was a shame she was probably going to ruin his night.
If she was caught, that is.
She gave St. Peter her sweetest smile. “Could you tell me where the bathrooms are?”
In case you couldn't tell, I had fun writing this one. This will be my first foray into writing contemporary romance, and I hope you love reading it as much as I loved writing it.
Amazon: https://goo.gl/aXPJK8 Barnes & Noble: https://goo.gl/5VYafx Kobo: https://goo.gl/RuYvPh Smashwords: https://goo.gl/aacLBz