Happy Book-iversary to Nine Dates!

9dates_coverI find it hard to believe that Nine Dates entered the world three years ago tomorrow. What a ride that turned out to be! Thanks to all the readers who became fans—especially those who left so many positive reviews. Because of you, Nine Dates boasts 10 5-star reviews on Amazon and over 100 5-star and 4-star ratings on Goodreads!

Here’s a snippet to remind you… or whet your whistle if you haven’t given the first book of Desert Ménage Trilogy a try yet!

Trust had never come easy to Beth—life had taught her just how dangerous it was to rely on someone other than herself. But something about John tempted her to take the risk again, even if it meant participating in something outlandish.

Finding herself in her living room without quite realizing it, Beth sank into a seat and tapped her fingers nervously on her dining table before her, psyching herself up to dial the phone.

Nikhil Kapur, the young man whose desk was closest to hers at work, had left a message on her office voicemail earlier that day, his voice low and conspiratorial. “John O’Brien is storming around here in a snit this morning, asking where you are. Did you two have some sort of fight about that presentation of his? I just wanted to warn you, there might be hell to pay when you get back on Monday.”

She cringed when she listened to it for the third time, mortified by the public notice she and John had already attracted to themselves.

Time to bite the bullet. After dialing a number she knew by heart, Beth gingerly held the phone a small distance away from her ear, anticipating a less-than-welcoming response.

The dial tone lasted only two very brief seconds before an irritated voice answered, “Where are you?”

“I’m at home,” she replied calmly.

“Why?”

“I took a personal day.”

“Yes, I got that much from Marilyn,” John clipped. “I’m asking why you needed one today, of all days.”

Beth sighed. After their picnic yesterday, she drifted around the office in a distracted fog. The entire afternoon was wasted because she’d been unable to think of anything but their conversation. The preoccupation persisted throughout the sleepless night that followed. By the time the next morning rolled around, she knew better than to think anything would be different at work, so called off.

“Are you avoiding me?”

“No,” she cried. “I just… needed some space to think. And I find it difficult to think very clearly when you’re around.”

Several seconds of silence answered her.

“John?”

“So you are avoiding me,” he sighed.

Beth winced, realizing he was right, but not exactly right. “Listen, the good news is that I… I’ve thought a lot about what you proposed. And I think I’m ready to discuss it with you. Are you and… and Paul… free sometime? After work, maybe?” She stumbled a bit when saying John’s lover’s name out loud—it felt like presumption on a massive level to assume such familiarity with a man she’d never met and whose boyfriend she was so insanely attracted to.

“He’s off. We’ve got nothing planned tonight.”

Just like that? He didn’t have to check? She realized she’d been counting on having to coordinate several busy schedules. Now that the protective cushion of imagined time had evaporated, she’d have to face the music far sooner. “Okay, then. Tonight. Is seven convenient?”

“That’ll be fine,” John replied evenly.

She detected a hint of something more in his voice, though. Was it nervousness? Or excitement?

He gave her his address. After hanging up, Beth went to take a long, relaxing shower, which was incidentally the third one of the day, and asked herself for perhaps the millionth time: What the hell am I getting myself into?