The offer: a weekend in paradise with a multimillionaire lover. No strings attached...
Tess Robertson is about to get engaged--to a man she doesn't love. But when she meets dynamic, sexy Derek Nolan, she's thrilled to take him up on his seductive proposal instead!
The fantasy: a lush tropical island filled with sun, sand...and a lot of sexual exploration....
Derek can hardly believe his good fortune. Tess is uninhibited...and totally into their uncomplicated, steamy hot island romp!
The reality: paradise is only temporary....
When real life crashes back in, Tess reluctantly forces herself to leave the island and go back to the uninspired life she'd planned for herself.
Too bad Derek isn't ready for the fantasy to end just yet....
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January 01, 2011
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Excerpt from Into the Night by Kate Hoffmann
Tess Robertson stepped through the doors of the Per-ryman Hotel, nodding at the doorman as she passed. The lobby of Nashville's most luxurious hotel was decorated for the Christmas holidays, although the atmosphere was now buzzing with the excitement of the upcoming New Year's weekend.
She searched the scattered guests, lounging on upholstered sofas and chairs. A few of them glanced over at her and she wondered if they could see right through her elegant facade. Maybe that saying was true. You can take a girl out of the country, but you can never take the country out of the girl.
Her gaze dropped to her shoes, purchased just that morning, along with her dress and the small clutch purse she had gripped in her hand. The sexy shoes pinched and the sleek bag barely held more than money, a lipstick and her cell phone. But she had to admit the dress was the prettiest thing she'd ever owned, worth every penny she'd charged on her credit card. It was important she looked her best tonight. For the first time in the five years she'd worked for the Beale family, she'd been invited to their annual New Year's Eve party.
The Beales, Frank and Nan, and their son, Jeffrey, were Tennessee gentry, their old family money made in industry--cotton, tobacco and shipping--and now invested in commercial real estate and the thoroughbred farm she managed for them outside Lexington, Kentucky. They wintered in Palm Beach and summered at a mountain estate near Asheville, leaving their vast business concerns to Jeffrey, their thirty-three-year-old only son.
Though people like the Beales moved in a very different world from Tess's, their paths often intersected at the farm and at all the important horse races--the Derby, the Preakness, Belmont. Still, there had always been an invisible wall between them--the Beales relaxed in a luxury box while she worked in the stables. They wore beautiful clothes and she dressed in jeans. They traveled on private jets and she rode in a pickup truck, pulling a horse trailer. The rich were very different--except for Jeffrey.
She spun around to find her best friend, Alison Cole, hurrying across the lobby, her heels clicking on the marble floor as she walked.
"Sorry I'm late," Alison said. "Have you been here long?" She leaned close and hugged Tess. "How was your Christmas? And your Dad? Good I hope." She stepped back and gave Tess a quick perusal. "You look fabulous! You clean up very well." She examined Tess's hair and nodded in approval. "No hay. That's a good sign."
Tess's spirits brightened. "Do you really like the dress? It was between this and a blue one. The blue one made my chest look enormous, but I thought this garnet color was more sophisticated."
They both glanced around the lobby, realizing that Tess had spoken a little too loudly. "Good choice," Alison said with a laugh.
"Well, it's true," Tess whispered, silently reminding herself to think before she spoke. It was one of her worst habits, one she was trying to change.
"Now, tell me, why was it so important that I come along with you to this party? You hang around these people all the time. Why are you nervous about tonight?"
Tess grabbed Alison's hand and led her toward the bar. "I'll explain everything over a drink. I don't want to get upstairs too early. I haven't eaten all day and the buffet will be too much to resist. You know I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to crab claws."
Once they'd settled themselves at the bar, Tess took a gulp of her vodka tonic, then drew a deep breath. "I think Jeffrey is going to propose to me tonight," she said, the words tumbling out of her mouth.
Alison gasped, her eyes going wide. "What?"