Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Retreat Guest Blogger Heidi Rice

Website ~ Blog
USA Today bestselling author Heidi Rice is married with two teenage sons (which gives her rather too much of an insight into the male psyche). She also works as a film journalist and was born in Notting Hill in West London (before it became as chi-chi as it is in the film starring Hugh Grant). She now lives in Islington in North London - a stone's throw away from where they shot Four Weddings and a Funeral... (She has asked Hugh very politely to stop stalking her, but will he listen?)

She loves her job because it involves sitting down at her computer each day and getting swept up in a world of high emotions, sensual excitement, funny feisty women, sexy tortured men and glamorous locations where laundry doesn't exist ... Not bad, eh.

Then she gets to turn off her computer and do chores (usually involving laundry!)

A Sneak Peek of One Night, So Pregnant! by Heidi Rice

Thanks so much to Lucy for inviting me to join her Online Reader Retreat. Personally I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than with a bunch of romance readers. Because let’s face it ladies, we’re all smart, savvy, brilliant women who know the value of a happy ending. In other words, we rock!

So with no more ado, I wanted to offer you all a sneak peek of my latest Harlequin Presents Extra which is due out in December 2012. Sadly this is going to be my last book for a line which I love, but happily it’s because I’m moving into the brand new Kiss line next year.

But because One Night is my last PE I wanted to sign off in style.

The story stars Tess Tremaine a San Francisco party planner who appeared briefly as my heroine Eva Redmond’s meddling best friend in The Good the Bad and the Wild. As soon as Tess starting giving Nick, Eva’s hero, a hard time for breaking her friend’s heart, I knew I was going to have to give Tess a hero of her own. And I also knew she was going to be quite a lot for any hero to handle. Luckily for me, billionaire CEO Nate Graystone turned out to be more than up for the task of taming Tess — what he hadn’t bargained on though, was that Tess was going to do her damndest to tame him in return.

Here’s the book blurb:

What to expect when you’re unexpectedly expecting:
Shock: Telling a gorgeous (almost) total stranger that he’s going to be a dad is never easy!

Cravings: The instant chemistry that catapulted Tess Tremaine into the wildest night she’s ever had isn’t
        going to just go away— and no one says no to Nate Graystone when he’s determined to be

Hormones Gone Wild: Surely that’s the only reason she’s failing to keep Nate out of her bed and out
        of her mind…and why she keeps wanting more from the most unattainable man she’s ever met?

And here’s an excerpt from the second chapter, when Tess arrives at Nate’s office to give him some shocking news — which is destined to change their wild one-night encounter in a restaurant closet into a life-changing experience for both of them:

‘Hi Tess, this is a surprise.’

The slow smile that spread across Nathaniel Graystone’s features as he walked across the royal blue carpeting towards her had Tess’s heart beating into her throat — and several more intimate areas of her anatomy.

‘A great surprise,’ he added, gesturing towards one of the large leather armchairs arranged around a coffee table.

Tess perched on the soft leather, and tried to even her laboured breathing. She hadn’t quite prepared herself for seeing him in the flesh again. Instead of the debonair tuxedo of their closet encounter, his broad shoulders stretched over a pale blue shirt. Steel grey trousers fell in pleats around a lean waist and then hung in razor-sharp creases down long legs. His cropped black hair, which she knew was deceptively soft beneath her clutching fingers, contrasted sharply with those striking sapphire blue eyes — which twinkled with mischief, as if the two of them shared a naughty secret. 

Probably because they did.

‘To what do I owe the pleasure?’ he asked, the frank, assessing look he sent her reminding her of the first time his eyes had locked on hers across the crowded bar in the Skyline.

She’d been unable to tear her gaze away then. She was finding it equally tough now. ‘I needed to see you.’ 

He didn’t look surprised by her answer, the easy smile only becoming more assured. 

The fine hairs on her nape tingled. Of course he wasn’t surprised. No doubt he was used to women chasing him, and flinging themselves at his feet. But the indignation quickly passed, to be followed by humiliation. 

Why wouldn’t he think that?

His arrogance on their only night together had been one of the things she had found so irresistible about him, the moment of insight deeply unsettling. She, who had strived for ten years to be the driver of her own destiny, had succumbed far too easily to his dominant, take-charge masculinity that night after two glasses of champagne, some sexy small talk and a few come-to-bed looks. 

He’d made her feel desirable, in a way Dan never had. Dan had never shown anything like the same urgency or dedication when it came to getting into her knickers. No wonder she’d been so susceptible to Graystone that night. It had been a sop to her pathetically fragile ego. 

The sensual smile curved into a rakish grin making his harsh features look almost boyish. She wasn’t fooled. Her heartbeat careered up another notch.

He propped his tall frame against his desk and folded his arms over his chest, making her uncomfortably aware of pale blue cotton stretching at the seams around impressive biceps. Then his gaze took a leisurely trip down to her kitten-heeled pumps and back again. 

‘Let me guess,’ he said, his deep voice rumbling up her spine as the corners of his eyes crinkled with amusement. ‘You came to get your panties back.’ 

Tess cleared her throat as her nipples squeezed into hard aching peaks — and hot blood coursed up her neck. 

 ‘Not exactly,’ she said, her voice coming out on a distressingly breathy whisper.  

‘Are you sure?’ he teased, sounding very sure.

She lurched out of the chair. ‘Yes… I…’ Panic skittered up her spine and the fog of arousal cleared, as she recalled how her whole life had gone into freefall at precisely eight-twenty-two am that morning. ‘I didn’t come here for another quickie.’

The leisurely glance that swept down to her bullet-tipped breasts called her a liar. ‘Then how about we try slow and easy?’ 

Indignation flared, eating away at the supernova of guilt. 

 ‘My apartment’s a few blocks away,’ he continued, without waiting for a reply. ‘While the janitor’s closet was memorable.’ His eyes met hers, the dark arousal in the translucent blue reminding her of the sexually charged moment when he’d grasped her hand and dragged her inside the closet.  ‘A bed would work better.’

Temper burned up her throat and took hold of her tongue.  

‘I didn’t come here to sleep with you, you arrogant jerk. I came to tell you I took three pregnancy tests this morning.’ The words flew out of her mouth gaining force and velocity. ‘And they were all positive.’

Tess’s tiny spark of satisfaction was very short-lived when instead of looking shocked, or even surprised at the news, he simply said. ‘Well, that’s one hell of a passion killer.’

Nathaniel Graystone kept a tight rein on his temper, even though keeping the nonchalant smile on his face was making his cheeks ache. ‘And I suppose now you’re going to tell me the baby’s mine.’

The pleasure at seeing her again had died a quick and painful death.

 She’d driven him wild that night, with her light flirtatious touches, her fresh, funny, forthright manner — and a raw, naked passion that had just about blown his head off. 

But then she’d left him standing in a closet, still dazed with afterglow, his pants round his damn ankles and nothing but a pair of torn silk panties and several sleepless nights filled with sweaty erotic dreams to remember her by. He’d been right to be suspicious of the insane chemistry between them. And right not to have called her — although it had taken every ounce of his will power not to pick up the phone in the last six weeks. The whole thing had been a set-up, from start to finish, just like Marlena, just as he’d suspected when she’d run out on him – without even the decency of a goodbye. 

Baby?’ she yelped. ‘It’s not a baby yet, it’s a collection of cells.’

His gaze swept over her. The sheen of distress in her striking green eyes spoke of someone on an emotional knife-edge. Damn, she really was an accomplished little actress.

‘Whatever it is,’ he said, because she appeared to have missed the point. ‘I’m not the father.’ 

She didn’t say anything. 

‘Look sweetheart,’ he said, keeping the smile firming in place. ‘I wore a condom that night. And we only did it once. And while my sperm might be Olympic swimmers, even they can’t swim through latex.’ 

‘I know you wore a condom,’ she said. ‘But you obviously didn’t put it on as efficiently as you did everything else that night.’ The tartness of the reply surprised him. He’d expected contrite by now, and maybe some wheedling. Instead, her slender frame stiffened, as if she were getting ready for battle. The flush of colour in her cheeks turned the pale skin a vibrant pink and the flash of temper in her eyes made the green sparkle. He forced himself to ignore the residual hum of arousal.

‘I put the condom on just fine,’ he stated easily as a slow-burning resentment settled low in his gut. 

She gave a soft sigh, but the expression in her eyes when they met his again seemed more weary than calculating. He knew it all had to be part of her act, making the strange tightening in his gut kind of annoying.

‘If you say so,’ she said at last, the words barely audible. She gripped the strap of the purse and gave him a stiff little nod. ‘I guess this is goodbye then, Nathaniel. It was certainly a memorable night.’ The wistful tone shocked him, but not as much as the sight of her slim shoulders rigid with tension as she crossed the room and walked out the door without a backward glance.

Let's Chat:
Leave me a comment, I'll be stopping by to chat and answer reader questions. 


brandi said...

Hi heidi, I love harlequin books. What got you started with the company?

Tammie - Night Owl Reviews said...

This excerpt blew me away. So many sentences are memorable.

Since I am limiting my self to just posting one shocker section I went with this.

But then she’d left him standing in a closet, still dazed with afterglow, his pants round his damn ankles and nothing but a pair of torn silk panties and several sleepless nights filled with sweaty erotic dreams to remember her by.

This is on my list. Thanks for sharing.

Heidi Rice said...

Hey Brandi... My first book was written way back in 2007! I got started by submitting a story to Special Edition actually (which got rejected) then I was super excited to get my second story accepted. It was called Bedded by a Playboy in the US and starred a Harley-riding bad boy of no-fixed-abode (he wasn't really a Playboy actually because he had absolutely no money!)... And I've had a ball since then. One Night will be my 12th book and I'm currently writing my 13th..

Thanks for dropping by Brandi.

Heidi Rice said...

Hi Tammie... So glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

And yes, you've gotta feel a bit sorry for poor old Nate after that experience... Needless to say him and Tess are gonna have some serious trust issues to deal with during the course of this book.

PrincessFiona01 said...

I have this book sitting right in front of me and it's killing me not to pick it up and read it. How do you keep disciplined when you have books to write and edits to do and there is a book calling out to you to read it?

Shelly said...

I love this trope - looks like another winner goes on my wishlist!!

Heidi Rice said...

Honestly Fiona... I'm usually a bad girl and pick it up!

I recently got totally blown away by the Outlander books.. And have had to practically tie myself down to stop from reading them all (unfortunately they're each about 800 pages long and I'm a very slow reader so I would probably never write another book if I didn't)... I'm saving Book Four as a reward for when I finish my next book and reading the 50 Shades trilogy in between times.

Heidi Rice said...

Hey shelly

I love this trope too... I've written quite a few accidental pregnancy stories because they really intrigue me. so glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

brandi said...

13 books, wow! I have always wanted to write but i have a hard time getting the thoughts from my mind to the paper. Do you have the same issue at times?

Heidi Rice said...

OMG! Absolutely, Brandi...

The trick is to just get writing. Nothing ever comes out perfect the first time (and usually not the second either) writing is basically a process of writing and then re-writing and then editing, etc.... But the most important thing is to get those words on paper (however awful they feel at first) because as Nora Roberts says: 'You can't edit a blank page.'

Good luck

calstephanie said...

Hi Heidi! Sounds great, I can't wait to read. :)

Heidi Rice said...

cool Calstephanie, so glad you enjoyed it!

calstephanie said...

Books that involve babies and unexpected pregnancies are some of my favorites. I love seeing how they deal with the situation. :)

brandi said...

I do love the suprise pregnancy/baby stories. Especially the ones that start with a fling and turn into something more. My favorite moments are always when the new dad is thrown into the world of baby to fend for himself and see how hard it is.

Heidi Rice said...

Sounds like we're all in agreement, Ladies.. I love them too!

brandi said...

Thanks for coming to chat with us!

mary f said...

OMG a friend and I were talking about pregnancy stories last night. I'll have to direct her to your books!

Heidi Rice said...

Yes please, Mary!

joder said...

I enjoy Harlequin books and whenever I want a book that's a quick and entertaining read they're a go-to for me. The new book sounds fantastic and I look forward to what else you have on the horizon.

gogi1_2 AT yahoo DOT com

Linda Henderson said...

Loved the excerpt, I'll definitely be picking this one up. I've been reading this Harlequin line for years and I've never been disappointed in any of the books.

Heidi Rice said...

Thanks so much Joder and Linda! so chuffed you enjoyed the excerpt.

Laurie G said...

Love to find out what happens to make Nick accept the pregnancy! Tess sounds like a woman I'd like to meet.

Heidi Rice said...

Nate has a lot of learning to do! That's for sure Laurie. And boy did Tess enjoy teaching him.... LOL

Shadow said...

Both books sound awesome! Im a sucker for pregnancy books. I love them! It complicates the romance and i love to see how the couple work out there issues! Thanks!

flchen1 said...

LOL! Thanks for sharing about these books, Heidi--it's fun to get a peek at these couples and see what lies ahead for them!