Monday, June 6, 2011

Release Party: First Excerpt from Blindfold Me by Avril Ashton

Thirteen years ago, Lyric Benson's boyfriend accused her of sleeping with his older brother then disappeared. She never stopped caring, never stopped hoping. Now, all these years later, Lyric is stunned to discover the new owner of her company is one Grayson St. Clair, who never forgot or forgave her transgression.

Grayson wants nothing to do with someone he thinks hurt him so deeply. He can't let go of the past and he can't trust Lyric. It doesn't help matters that while on her watch, the Masonry company she oversaw was hacked into and the company's top secret client list accessed. Reluctantly, Lyric and Grayson team up to find the culprit, with Grayson denying their blossoming feelings at every turn. But when his brother appears, secrets in tow, Grayson will have to choose: live in the past or move on with Lyric.

They faced each other as if on a battlefield, even though they weren’t more than a couple feet apart.
“Explain yourself.” Grayson raked his gaze over her.
“I already have.” She scowled.
“No, you haven’t. You haven’t explained why you allowed me to walk into this situation completely blindfolded.”
“Aren’t you being a bit overdramatic?” she asked.
Is she for real? He stared at her. “Someone hacked the company’s system, accessed our exclusive client list, and is using said list to seduce our clients over to their side.” He breathed. “And the person who should’ve been protecting my company thinks I’m being overdramatic. Am I right?”
“Look, Gray, I’m really sorry.” She touched his arm. Grayson flinched away and she dropped her hand. “I’m sorry, but we can fix it.”
He brushed a hand over his face and paced. “Yeah? How do you propose we do this?”
She took a seat on the conference table and tucked a strand of hair behind her right ear. A move so familiar, memories threatened to overwhelm him. Another time, another place. He shook his head in an attempt to clear it and focused on what she had to say.
“The culprit has to be one of Ilsha’s competitors. There are only three in the New York area who specialize in the same type of products we do. I say we investigate to see which one is the guilty party.”
He stared at her, at the familiar curve of her neck and inviting glow of her skin.
“Did you hear what I said?” she asked.
He blinked. “Yeah, something about looking at the competitors.”
She nodded.
“All right, I’ll have Richard look into it.”
“Why him?” She wrinkled her brow. “I was hoping we could do it.”
“We who?”
“Me and you–us,” she said. “I’m the manager and this happened on my watch.”
“You’re right, of course.” He shifted to the front of her, a move calculated to force her to look up at him. “I can’t fire you because of the sales agreement, so you’ll have to fix this mess,” he said coolly.
“What?” Surprise pitched her voice higher. “What does the sales agreement say?”
“Do you want to leave? Because you can, nothing’s stopping you.” He granted her a mocking smile.
“Like I’d give you the satisfaction. I’m staying put, so answer the question. What did you mean?”
Grayson sighed. “There’s a clause in the sales agreement by the previous owner. He wants me to keep on the current staff for at least six months. Anyone can leave if they want, but I can’t fire anybody.”
Lyric pursed her lips. “If you had your way, I’d be long gone. Wouldn’t I?” She spoke the words quietly, head tilted to look up at him.
“Well, yes. Especially since you practically gave our clients away.”
“Bastard,” she spat. “This has nothing to do with Ilsha.” Her fists clenched in her lap.
Grayson kept his face blank and met her gaze head-on.
“You still hate me.” Her chest heaved. “You still hate me after all these years.”
“What do you expect, Lyric?” Thirteen years of pain and anguish clung to every word he spoke. “You slept with my brother!”

Available at:  

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*Two lucky commenters will each win a copy of Blindfold Me. Read the excerpts as I'll be asking a question about each. I'll post the Qs in a few and pick winners later.

Avril Ashton!/AvrilAsh

1 comment:

Karen said...

Very interesting ....