Welcome Sandra Bunino to the blog today as she brings us on a visit with her characters Jason and Stephanie!
Hello! I’m sitting poolside at Jason Royce’s Las Vegas villa waiting for Jason and Stephanie to arrive. Yes, they seem to be running late so why don’t I give you a little background on their sultry night together during a fierce Miami storm.
Jason Royce, a man successful in business but unlucky in love, sat alone at the bar...
...well, how about I just show you.
Here’s the opening of Marooned with the Millionaire...
A crack of thunder startled Jason Royce from deep thought as he stared into his short glass of bourbon at the hotel’s bar.
“Señor Royce, you’re quiet tonight, is everything okay?” asked Carlos, the hotel’s bartender.
Jason looked up from his glass and gave Carlos a small smile. “Yeah, Carlos, everything’s fine, although I wish this storm would move out to sea. The grand opening of the Pearl Del Mar is in a couple of weeks, and I’m worried about the schedule. I have a new project breaking ground in Salt Lake City a month from now, and I’ll need to move my operations over there soon.”
“I’m sure it will blow over, just like all the other storms we get here in Miami this time of year.” Carlos’ eyes flitted to the lounge entrance. “I haven’t seen Miss Jessica yet during your stay. Is she here with you?”
Jason tipped the glass to his lips and swallowed the last of the liquor. “No, I’m afraid you won’t see Jessica here again. At least not with me.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, señor,” Carlos said and poured more golden liquid into Jason’s glass.
Jessica. Young and beautiful was always a dangerous combination as far as Jason was concerned. Jess had him convinced she was not with him for his money, and he actually believed her. Maybe it was wishful thinking, or he simply let his guard down. That was until a few weeks ago when he came home early from a business trip and caught her in bed with their personal trainer, Rex. Personal trainer my ass. He cursed the decision to hire Rex, not to mention the thousands of dollars of state of the art gym equipment he bought.
He’d just wanted to make her happy and comfortable after she moved into his Seattle mansion two months ago. Jessica burned him, big time. If walking into his bedroom and catching them in the act wasn’t bad enough, what hurt him most was she didn’t even try to explain or ask for forgiveness. Jessica simply packed all of the clothes, jewelry, designer shoes and handbags he’d bought her and left. She even withdrew every dime from their joint checking account without a word. Cold. That was the only word to describe her actions.
Jason pledged to swear off women, at least until he could cool down and clear his head. But Jason was a sucker for high heels and the staccato clickety-clack of heels sounding through the lobby easily distracted him from his conversation with Carlos. Swiveling in his barstool, he first spotted those sexy black stilettos. His eyes wandered up her toned calves to her tight linen skirt. Since she was facing the elevator, he leisurely admired the way her skirt hugged her tight ass. Did he just imagine the outline of thong panties through her skirt? He needed to know more.
“Excuse me, Carlos.”
*clicking heels and heavy footsteps sound down the path to the pool*
Jason: Sandra, you love telling everyone that story.
Stephanie: I’m so sorry we’re late. I made Jason stop at Caesars for a gift for you.
*Hugs both of them before Stephanie hands me a bag.*
Sandra: *raise eyebrows* Is this what I think it is?
Stephanie: Chocolates from Max Brenner on The Strip. *winks* We’ll go for a Chocolate Martini later.
Jason: I’m glad you were able to join us in Vegas for the weekend.
Sandra: Thanks for having me. *looks around the pool and cabana* I’ve missed this place. So tell me, what’s new with you two?
Stephanie: We just came back Miami. It was nice to revisit the Hotel De Santos again. *smiles at Jason*
Sandra: Any storms? Power failures?
Jason: No...unfortunately. *rubs Stephanie’s shoulder*
Stephanie: *giggles* No storms or drama. Just beach and alone time.
Sandra: Speaking of the Hotel De Santos and storms, let’s take a look at the first time you met.
Waiting for the elevator to arrive at her floor, she wondered if he was checking her out. Looking down to brush her hand over an imaginary piece of thread on her skirt, she stole a glance to her left. Mr. Sex on a Stick looked straight ahead with a smug look on his face. Ah, one of those—good looking, rich and arrogant as hell. Doubts of her decision to board the elevator entered her head as the car painstakingly climbed the floors. The elevator’s floor display slowly changed from 2 to 3 when the lights flickered and the car screeched to a stop. Stephanie screamed in terror when the floor lurched from her footing and all went dark. The elevator car only dropped about an inch or so, but it alarmed her enough for her purse and laptop to slip from her hands as she attempted to stabilize herself against the wall.
“Oh my God, we’re going to die,” she choked, on the verge of tears.
“Sweetheart, we’re not going to die. We’re stopped between the second and third floor. The front desk knows we’re in here, just calm down and for God’s sake, please don’t scream again.” His voice poured out slow and deep, like honey.
How could he be so calm and smug at a time like this? “Let’s just get one thing clear here: you stay where you are. I swear, if you take one step toward me, I’ll kick your ass. I know self-defense.” Stephanie tried to muster as much authority as possible and cursed her shaky voice.
“I’m sure you can kick my ass. Those heels you have on are lethal. Not to worry, I don’t need to hold a woman captive. They come to me quite freely, if you know what I mean.”
“Oh wonderful, I’m stuck in here with an asshole.”
He simply laughed as the elevator shimmied.
Tears streamed down her face and Stephanie screamed again. “Oh, God, you really are upset. Shit.” His voiced softened.
“Listen, here’s what you need to do. Sit down.”
Stephanie slid down the wall into a back corner.
“Okay, now with your knees up, lean forward and take deep
breaths,” He said as she tried to stifle a whimper, which came out like a sob.
“Shit,” he said under his breath. “I’m going to come and sit next to you, okay? No sudden movements. I don’t want to be impaled by a heel.”
“Don’t do me any favors,” she said in barely a whisper. “I’m fine,”
“You’re not fine,” he said as he slid down next to her on her left. Warm hands encircled hers, and she immediately felt just a little safer.
“That’s it, deep breaths in and out. Now, what’s your name?” “Stephanie,” she said between deep breaths.
“Nice to meet you, Stephanie. I’m Jason.”
He placed one arm around her shoulders and held her hand
with the other. His warm, hulking presence was indeed comforting, she admitted. As she continued her deep breathing, she became increasingly aware of the warmth that emanated from his body. His musky scent, a mixture of cologne and fresh ocean air, calmed her nerves.
“Better?” he asked softly. His mouth was just inches from her ear.
“Yes, thanks,” she answered breathlessly, turning toward his voice.
“Is your husband here at the hotel with you?”
“Yeah, you’re wearing a ring.” He rubbed the wedding band on her left hand that she still wore while traveling.
In her line of business, clients and vendors constantly hit on her. The ring dissuaded advances, at least to a degree. “Oh—um, no, he’s not.”
“Really? He left a pretty thing like you alone in South Beach?”
Stephanie stiffened and pulled her hand away. “I’m okay now. You can go back to your corner.”
Jason removed his arm from her shoulder, but didn’t move from his spot next to her. “All right sweetheart, did I say something wrong?”
“Do you treat all women like objects? I’m here on business, actually. In fact, I travel all over the country for my job. Alone. I don’t need a husband, or any other man for that matter, to accompany me. I’m fine on my own.” The heat rose in her face, and she was thankful he couldn’t see her flushed complexion.
Silence took over the dark elevator car for a few moments until she heard Jason inhale and exhale slowly.
“You’re right, what I said was uncalled for. Please forgive me.” His voice softened.
“Yeah, whatever,” she called out in the darkness.
He cleared his throat. “Seriously. I know I can act like a pompous jerk sometimes. I misjudged you, Stephanie. Please accept my apology.”
Stephanie opened her mouth to respond when she heard a voice below.
“Hello! We’ll have you out in a moment!”
The car shook and Stephanie held her breath as the elevator slowly descended and finally came to a halt. A faint light came from the space between the two doors and grew brighter as the doors were pried open. Stephanie was never so happy to see two handymen in her life. Jumping to her feet, she grabbed her laptop and purse as she thanked her rescuers. One of the men held his hand out and helped her step out into the lobby. “It’s so good to be out of there! I’ll stick to the stairs from now on,” she joked as she headed toward the staircase.
“Stephanie?” Even though he voiced a question, his commanding inflection caused her to stop in her tracks.
Turning on her heels, her gaze landed on Jason standing outside of the elevator. Damn! To her dismay, her heart fluttered just looking at him. She raised her eyebrows, giving him her best ‘what the hell do you want now?’ look.
“Have a drink with me. It’s the least I can do, and I think you need something to calm your nerves.” He countered with his million-dollar smile.
Sandra: That was quite a first meeting!
Stephanie: *looks at Jason* We didn’t exactly click at first, did we.
Jason: It was love at first sight for me, sweetheart.
Stephanie: *swats his arm* You’re a sweet talker with a million-dollar smile.
Sandra: So, what’s next for you two?
Jason: I have an interesting project here in Vegas. My company is working on the new Vegas location for the Satin Rose Experience. I think you know my client, Asher Cain.
Sandra: Of course! How are Asher and Mia? Since SRE will be conveniently located in Vegas, is it safe to assume you two will become members?
Stephanie: Mia and I are great friends. As far as membership to the BDSM club...I don’t know...
Jason: I think you’ll change your mind when you see the suite I helped design. *waggles eyebrows*
Stephanie: Jay! *smiles as a her face flushes a deep red*
MAROONED WITH THE MILLIONAIRE
from Evernight Publishing
Release: April 9, 2013
A fierce Miami storm bring sexy strangers together at The Hotel Del Santos for a night of desire.
Stephanie, still reeling from a failed marriage, needs a break from the past. Shying away from the convention center crowds while on a business trip, she finds solace tucked away in a secluded hotel on South Beach.
Jason, a wealthy Seattle builder, has the worst luck with love. He swears he will never allow another woman to get under his skin, until the clicking of a pair of sexy stilettos across the hotel lobby floor attracts his attention.
Cut off from the outside world, the lives of these two strangers collide and burn with desire when a storm strands them together. Neither wants anything more than a glorious one-night stand.
Their chemistry is undeniable and propels them to a second meeting in Sin City. However, Stephanie soon learns she has more reason to be wary of her mysterious lover than a broken heart.
“This is an interesting predicament we’re in,” she said softly as she strode to the sofa.
Jason couldn’t take his eyes off her. “How so?”
“Well, there’s no power or cell service, no way to contact the outside world, and there’s you and me. The way I see it, the night belongs to us and we can do with it whatever we want.” She stood directly in front of him now.
Jason rose and took her face into his hands; his mouth was so close to hers that she felt his sweet breath on her lips. “What do you want, Stef? You need to tell me.”
Stef. He spoke the shortened version of her name as though he’d known her forever. She tried clearing the fog in her head. This wasn’t harmless flirting anymore; it was the real thing. Here she was with a random hottie in her arms, not to mention the fact that she was cut off from the rest of the world. It was the perfect storm. It was an ideal opportunity to shed her insecurities and move on with her life. She lifted her eyes to meet his, licked her lips seductively and whispered, “Well, Jay. I want you.”
His eyes crinkled at the edges. “Jay? No one’s ever called me that. I like it coming from your lips.” Grasping her chin between his thumb and index finger, he tilted her face to his and kissed her slow and soft. Pulling away, Jason looked into her eyes. “I don’t want to hurt you. I can’t promise you anything, you know, after tonight. But I can tell that you’ve been neglected, and I get the feeling you’ve not been satisfied in a very long time. I can remedy that situation for you.” He pulled her close and whispered in her ear, “You will not be disappointed.”
Find Marooned here!
About the Author:
Sandra Bunino is a numbers crunching business professional by day who stays up past her bedtime thanks to her oh-so-sexy imagination. Who needs sleep, anyway? Sandra is constantly searching for different ways to achieve a heart-pumping, stomach-flipping, breath-catching reaction from her readers.
Her books include Marooned with the Millionaire and The Satin Rose Experience series including Mia’s Submission, Brooke’s Wish and The Submission of a Mafia Princess.
These days, Sandra lives on a wooded mountaintop not far from New York City with her family. She always looks forward to hearing from her readers and she may be contacted at email@example.com. As a social media junkie in need of a ten-step program, you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@sandrabunino).
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