WHEN THE LIGHTS GO DOWN ~ EXCERPT

WhenTheLightsGoDown (2)Opposites attract, but then what?

Maxie Tyler is Chicago’s toughest stage manager. Her latest gig is just the break she needs, and she’s not going to let anyone get in her way. Not even the producer with dreamy blue eyes and bespoke suits that fit him perfectly in all the right places.

A successful venture capitalist, Nick Drake is used to calling the shots. He doesn’t care about art unless it turns a profit. This show might prove to be a good investment, but he’s not sure if Maxie Tyler will. Her need to control every detail of the show makes him nervous. So does the fact that they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other.

Scandal and disaster threaten her career, his reputation, and the success of the play. Two people accustomed to being in control will have to trust each other if the show will, indeed, go on. And they’ll have to trust their feelings if their passion is going to last after the last curtain goes down and the lights go up.

In WHEN THE LIGHTS GO DOWN, Maxie Tyler gets grilled by Nick Drake, whose mother is the sole backer of new show by a talented young playwright. Despite an intense sexual attraction that has already led to some hair-pulling, public elevator kissing, Maxie has declared that there can be “nothing but business” between them. But late in the night after Nick has helped her race to the hospital where two of her sisters were in labor, it’s proving extra hard for her to resist her own desires…

The insistent electrical trill of his cell phone tugged Nick from the depths of sleep even as he buried his head under a pillow and tried to ignore it.

Unsuccessful, he slid a hand across the bedside table, groping in the dark. Once he found it, he dragged it back under the pillow, tapping blindly until something connected.

“What?”

“James Robinson and Elizabeth Ann.”

“Wrong number.”

“Personally I was rooting for Esmerelda and Diego. I love how sexy that name sounds. Diego—you know what I mean? But I suppose the parents know best.”

He shoved the pillow off his head and sat up in the dark.

“Maxie?”

“You said to call with the good news.” Her laughter rumbled through the phone. She sounded so close, whispering in his ear in the silence of his room. He glanced at the digital glow of the clock next to his bed.

“It’s three o’clock in the morning. Where are you?”

“Downstairs, having a chat with your doorman.”

After calling the desk to okay his late-night visitor, Nick managed to drag on a pair of dark jeans and a gray T-shirt. In his kitchen, he set a coffee mug, a water glass and a wine goblet on the counter.

That’s when the solid knock landed on his door.

He pulled open the heavy wooden door and then stepped back, looking at her framed in the light from the bright hallway. Her clothes were wrinkled and her eyes were tired, but she was bouncing on the balls of her feet, probably still riding an adrenaline high that would have her crashing any minute. He turned to the side, motioning her in.

She didn’t move.

Chin lifted, she stared at him, an almost visible shimmer of energy rising off her skin.

“I don’t sleep with people I work with. Or for.”

An interesting opening line.

“You know, you don’t really work for me.” He shoved his hands deep into his pockets and leaned one shoulder against the doorway. He’d thought about this quite a bit in the week during which he’d kept himself away from the project. “I’m more of an outside consultant.”

Her slow grin slid over him like tiny, licking flames.

“See, that’s just what I was thinking.” She stepped inside and closed the door.

Buy the HarlequinE Contemporary Romance Box Set, Volume 3, with WHEN THE LIGHTS GO DOWN and more terrific books by Sarina Bowen, Rebecca Avery, and Kristina Knight at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo or iBooks. It’s available at this deeply discounted price for a limited time only!


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