Welcome to MFRW Hooks, where the authors of Marketing for Romance Writers share snippets from their stories to entice you into wanting more. Be sure to click on the links at the end to travel!
This week I’m sharing from one of our steamy romantic suspense novels set in the world of thoroughbred racing. All four of them are on sale from now through mid-June to celebrate the race for the Triple Crown. Here’s a favorite snippet from Willow Smoke, Book Three in our Riders Up series.
When the chips are down, there’s nobody there.
Apprentice horse trainer Daisy Matthews grew up on the streets of Chicago, and if she learned anything, it was that she could count on no one to help her, ever. She knows she has to tough it out, protect herself, and when necessary, protect anyone she cares about. All by herself. No one else will do it for her.
Wealthy businessman Nick Underwood receives a thoroughbred in payment for a bad debt and is thrust into Daisy’s world. She teaches him about horse racing; he teaches her about love. When Daisy’s seamy brother-in-law threatens Nick’s safety, she doggedly tries to stop him by herself, but flees to the familiar streets when he attacks. Can Nick find her in time – and if he does, will she still want him?
Set Up: Though Nick intended to sell the horse, he changed his mind and hired its intriguing trainer, paying her up front by making her half owner. He’s just phoned her to work out more of the details:
“I’m going to have a messenger bring by Blaze’s papers for you to sign,” Nick continued. “The sooner we get the paperwork completed, the quicker she can race again.”
“You know where I live?”
“It doesn’t take a private investigator to determine that. Most of your personal information has to go on the ownership papers. As well as your Assistant Trainers License. Right?”
“Right. I didn’t think about that.”
“Besides, I make a point of knowing everything I can about my employees and partners.”
“I’m not your employee, Mr. Underwood.” She knew she must sound harsh, but she couldn’t help it. Sometimes the man really galled her. Like right now. “We may be partners by some strange circumstance, but I work for Sam Gallagher.”
“Whoa there, kid. The lady has a temper. I like that. Shows fire and will.” He paused. “I’ll have to think on that. You may be right. You may complicate my life yet.”
Daisy frowned. “Well, you sure as hell have complicated mine.”
“Yeah, but aren’t they nice complications? A week ago you didn’t even know I existed. You didn’t own a racehorse. And you were probably planning to waste time you could spend educating me playing around with some college guy.”
Brushing hair off her brow, Daisy chewed on her lip. She wasn’t experienced at this kind of repartee. She only knew how to tell guys no, not how to give them a let’s-wait-and-see signal.
“Cat got your tongue, kid? Am I really going to complicate your life that much?”
He sounded far too pleased with himself. “I don’t know. Depends on how much time you require, I suppose. I not only have my job—I do have to study, too.”
“Will I be imposing on your social life? Do you have a steady man in your life?”
“Not hardly. Well, I mean,” she stammered, “not one.”
“Still playing the field, huh? Well, I shouldn’t get in the way too much, then. If you’re a good teacher, this may not require a lot of time.”
“You mean if you’re a good student, don’t you?”
“Now, that’s more like the woman I remember with straw in her hair. Do you realize that you are drop dead gorgeous with a half dozen pieces of straw sticking out of your hair? The guys must be lined up around your block with their tongues hanging out. I’m sure they won’t like my intruding on their time, but I won’t let that deter me. Are you still there?”
“I’m here.” Daisy tried to keep her voice steady while her heart raced wildly.
“Maybe you’ll just have to put some of the guys on ice for a while. I can be quite demanding, and I make no apologies for that. There never is enough time to do everything I want to do. But this horse thing is now at the top of my to-do list. And that includes you. Remember, you’ve been paid in advance.”
“I remember. Owning a part of Rainbow Blaze far exceeds any of my dreams.”
“Listen kid, if you hang around me much you’ll have to get used to expanding your dreams. I don’t dream small. It doesn’t take any more time to dream big than small.”
On Sale now through mid-June for just #99¢
Title: Willow Smoke (Riders Up, Book Three)
Can be read as a standalone
September 1, 2014, B&B Publishing
PRINT ISBN: 978-0-9907476-6-6
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Sports Romance
Tags: Horse Racing, Age Gap
Heat rating: three flames (explicit sex, m/f)
Click on the links to travel to the rest of today’s hooks: