HARD TO RESIST - Scarlet Bay Book 2

You can pre-order now from the links under the cover on the right. Google Play will follow soon.

 

Fireworks from the moment they meet...

Lawyer Josslyn Wynn secretly yearns for a husband and family, but a shocking accident made children impossible, and her sharp manner and workaholic lifestyle make landing a man unlikely. When Cameron Mackay ran out on Jossy’s pregnant housemate, Jossy fought for a Protection Order to prevent him from seeing his son. She couldn’t forgive him for throwing away something she wanted so deeply herself but could never have. Because Cam was the opposing client in the court case, she should have nothing to do with him, but when they meet at a dinner party, his knowing grin and sexy suggestions scrape over her soul like sandpaper and she finds him impossible to ignore.

It sticks in Cam’s gut to be forced to play nice with the bitter, beautiful lawyer, but soon he sees he must re-assess everything he assumed about her, and everything he thought he wanted in his own casual, free-wheeling life.

Can Cam save Jossy? Or will Jossy save Cam?

The collage

Come away to Scarlet Bay - and Cam and Jossy's life. Just a taste of what to expect in the book.

           

 

Excerpt

 

Chapter 1 – Lift-off

Joss sliced the onions with the ease of long practice, enjoying the satisfying way her new German knife sank through their crisp flesh. She tossed the shreds into the expensive pan and gave it a shake to distribute them. Then she wiped the heels of her hands under her eyes to push a few onion-tears aside.

God, her life was rubbish.

For the next few minutes she leaned on her counter top, gazing out over the dining area to the floor-to-ceiling glass sliders at the end of the apartment, oblivious to the magnificent view of the harbour and the clear summer sky with its few scudding white clouds. Why did none of it truly please her?

She had money to spare, cooking gadgets galore, and was making lamb vindaloo to avoid returning to the office and working on the Ashton case on a fine Saturday afternoon. Filling up time. Trying to feel fulfilled. What a cruel joke.

Christmas was now less than a fortnight away – the worst time of year. Having no partner or children to include in her plans, she’d agreed to work until the day the law office closed. Well, agreed once the pressure was put on pretty hard. That was the trouble with family firms. Her boss, Uncle Harry, had taken his wife to an anniversary lunch up the coast today, and with him off the scene the other members of staff had also found reasons to take time off. Mice playing while the cat was away. Bree said their cousin, Ollie, had invited a girl for a scenic flight in his plane. Jossy wondered if they’d get as far as Scarlet Bay where her sister Anna currently was. Lovely Anna – always the first to volunteer when things needed doing. Right now she was sorting out family treasures, or possibly family rubbish, before the old beach cottage was demolished and a much better one was built on the same amazing beachfront land.

And speak of the devil – a text from her, saying she’d decided to drive back to Wellington with someone called Jason. That was a surprise. There’d been no man in Anna’s life for a while now, although nowhere near as long as there hadn’t been a man in Josslyn’s. Hoping for company, Joss texted back ‘Curried lamb for dinner? Bring someone for me?’

Fat chance that would happen. Biting her bottom lip, she turned and gave the onions a stir, added chopped garlic, ginger and chillies, and started on the spices. She pounded away with her granite mortar and pestle as though she was smashing every bad thing in her life. Soon she’d reduced the toasted coriander seeds, cardamom, cumin seeds, whole cloves and black peppercorns to powder, and the amazing aromas conjured up visions of shimmering silk saris, prowling tigers, and lotus blossoms on tranquil lakes.

Panting slightly, she shook her head at such fanciful dreams just as another text from Anna arrived. ‘See you at 7. His name is Cam.’

Joss’s heart did a deep double drumbeat, and she stared at the screen with trepidation. Cam? Campbell? Whoever he was, serious effort was now called for, and the deep enjoyment of preparing an impromptu dinner party warred with the nerve-wracking prospect of meeting a new man who might expect… things.

*

Josslyn Wynn.

The corners of Cam Mackay’s generous mouth pulled down at the thought of her.

The unseen, stuck up, know-it-all lawyer. How often had he planned vivid scenarios where she fell from bridges, or stepped under buses, or was struck by lightning, or chased by packs of rabid dogs?

Josslyn Wynn was the reason he’d spent many thousands of dollars trying to sort out false allegations and the non-molestation order so he’d gain at least some access to his own child. And now that very same lawyer had invited him to dinner? He was itching to surprise and  disconcert the cooking-mad, lesbian feminist who’d wrecked his life. Every letter signed by her had cost him money or peace of mind.

He’d met her sister the previous evening without knowing it. Anna was his friend Jason’s new girl – pale hair, hot body, great legs. It was plain Jase was in, boots and all, even if Anna seemed somewhat out of his league with her diamond ear studs and classy manners. But you couldn’t blame a man for trying.

And now this. A summons – and that’s what it certainly felt like – to fill a dinner party ‘extra man’ role for the sister at very short notice. Unexpected, but far from unwelcome once he’d thought it through. A chance to even the scores, perhaps. To let her know, face-to-face, how much he despised someone like her. Someone who wrecked lives with her over-educated brain and a scrawled signature or two. Cam had always imagined she had a gold- plated pen with a little circle of diamonds around the end. A rich-girl pen. A step even further than her sister’s sparkling earrings.

After dropping Jason and Anna at the front of the high-rise, he shoe-horned the big old car into a park further down busy Cable Street and strolled back to tap the code into the apartment’s security pad. A few seconds later a female rasped, “Yes?” Even that one word sounded abrasive.

“It’s Cam,” he growled.

“Releasing it now. Come up to ten.”

He gave a mirthless laugh. Of course she wouldn’t be down among the traffic fumes. No doubt he’d helped finance the place.

He pushed through the heavy glass door to the lobby and it swung shut behind him with a sharp clunk when the magnetic lock re-engaged.  

‘Ground floor,’ the syrupy elevator voice announced.

Cam had deliberately dressed with what he hoped was offensive casualness. Carrying the bundled-up remains of his birthday cake, and some beers in case he was expected to drink over-dry, mouth-shrinking wine, he stepped out onto the tenth floor. A seriously good acoustic guitar piece replaced the tinny elevator music, and he turned toward the sound. One of the other dinner guests stood at an open doorway. Her dark gold hair was tightly pinned up in a style his fingers wanted to tear down, her face was so perfect it looked Photo-shopped, and her curvy body had been poured into a second-skin black dress.

His cock stirred, and he inhaled sharply. Why the fuck hadn’t he dressed up? Brought flowers instead of beers and a chunk of left-over cake? Had a decent shave?  He’d been so fixated on the thought of finally meeting Josslyn Wynn face to face he’d forgotten there might be other women here tonight who he could make a better impression on.

The greeter’s blue-eyed gaze tracked him as he approached, and she stood a little taller on her precarious heels. This tilted her rack quite deliciously for his inspection, and caused Cam to abandon his casual lope and draw himself up to his full six feet three. She’d do just fine if she wasn’t already spoken for.

“Josslyn Wynn,” she said, still holding his gaze, and offering him a hand tipped with burgundy fingernails.

Cam narrowed his eyes. Not possible. No way. He’d always pictured her as a sour-faced shrew in a prickly tweed skirt and ugly black glasses.

After a second or two he recovered his wits. “Cameron,” he said, taking her hand as lust threaded further through his veins.

“Ferguson,” he added, sliding his big thumb over her much smaller one.

“Duncan…” He paused.

“Mackay?” she whispered. “The Cameron Ferguson Duncan Mackay who was Rosie’s problem?”

Cam swallowed. “And Tristan’s dad. Why the hell are you keeping me from my son, darlin’?”

She tried to pull her hand away, but Cam held on, tugged a little, and she took a small step forward, wobbling on those silly, sexy heels. Legs as good as Anna’s, he’d already noted. She smelled like spice and oranges.

“I was acting for my client,” she insisted, tilting her head back to keep eye contact with him. Confident and aggressive now she’d got over that shock.

About what he’d expected.

“Your client and your pretty little friend.” He put as much suggestive emphasis on the word as he could. “Were the pair of you trying to get a baby out of me?”

A vivid blush spread up her neck. “Dream on, Mr Mackay! Why would I want a baby?” The colour flooded on over her face. “You had your own solicitor. Rosie was single, and made pregnant by a man who then wanted nothing to do with her.”

“You were the perfect couple,” he said, suddenly less than certain about that. “Career woman, tough cookie, noticeably not dating, and living with pretty little Rosie, who was younger and desperate for affection. I do my research too.”

Josslyn Wynn jerked her chin up even higher. “Wrong,” she snapped. “Sister of a friend. New to the city. And it was only for a while until she got settled.”

She yanked her hand out of his with surprising strength and whirled back into the apartment. “It’d be best if you left right now,” she snarled over her shoulder. “Unless you can be more polite than that. The others are already here.”