I’ve got a very special return trip for you this month!
More Than a Night was my first published book. And I still love the story. I was at the forefront of the whole stepbrother genre! For the re-release of the book (after I got my rights back), I wanted to give readers something special. So in Any Way She Wants It, Tricia told everyone how she met Justine Jarreau, the heroine of More Than a Night. And believe me, those two girls got up to some naughty stuff back in college where they met! They were roommates at a time when both of them really needed a friend. And that’s how More Than a Night, even though it was written before, became a part of the West Coast series. I’ve also revamped this version of the book right from page one and expanded it, too, and now there are three extra chapters including a new ending! Okay, it’s a romance, right, so there was an HEA then and an HEA now! So have fun with this brand new version of More Than a Night!
Here’s a blurb for you:
All Justine Jarreau wants in a one-night stand is an uncomplicated, casual, mind-blowing sexual experience. And Lucas No-Last-Name seems like the perfect candidate to fulfill her fantasy. The sex is utterly mind-blowing. But then Justine discovers Lucas has an ulterior motive. Not only does he disclose that her father just had a heart attack, but that he is her new stepbrother and the CEO of Jarreau Wineries, the job Justine coveted until her father disowned her years ago.
Her stepbrother. And her replacement. So much for uncomplicated and casual.
Lucas Falconer wants Justine to come home for good, for her father’s sake, a man Lucas now considers part of his family. And family is the most important thing in the world to Lucas. But Justine isn’t falling in with his plans. His only option is to seduce her into staying. He did it that first night, and he knows he can do it again. The pleasure will be all his.
But can a relationship born with lies and manipulation last more than a night?
Here’s an excerpt!
More Than a Night
© 2018 Jasmine Haynes
Justine Jarreau wanted a man.
But only for the night.
The trendy restaurant on Union Square was perfect for her needs. It overflowed with tourists, businessmen, and clubbers. San Francisco bedlam on a cool Friday night.
She’d found her quarry seated two tables away. Not movie-star handsome. Dark Italian looks, a square jaw, sexy eyes, and short brown hair. She liked short hair. And his tan, definitely natural. No tanning booth for this guy.
He’d passed her table on the way to his, and she’d enjoyed the scintillating rear view. Late thirties, maybe forty. Tailored suit. Totally hot body.
But his looks alone didn’t make him the best catch of the evening. There was something about him, something that made her keep watching, something that made her keep wanting.
Despite the flutters in her stomach and the tingles in her hands, could she really go through with this? Find a man in a bar, go to bed with him?
Their eyes met, they exchanged smiles, her skin heated with erotic images.
Then he sent the glass of chardonnay to her table. Right as she’d finished her first.
A woman likes to be noticed, especially dressed in a short skirt, tight sweater, and four-inch killer heels.
Better yet, a woman likes subtlety. He’d tipped his drink to her. No harassment, no asking to join her, no swaggering dickhead mentality. Just a salute with his drink.
Then his eyes issued an unspoken invitation. If she chose to take him up on it.
It was crazy, it was alarming, it was what she wanted. Wanted badly. And yes, she could go through with it. Despite the nerves rattling her stomach.
He called for his check. She signaled for hers. He laid his money down and rose to leave, with one last smile for Justine.
She paid her bill and left to look for him on the sidewalk. A rich coffee scent drifted from the café next to the restaurant. The December evening had grown colder and goose bumps pimpled her bare legs. She should have worn nylons or leggings, but neither suited her plans for the night.
He was just ahead and hadn’t seen her. She’d have to make the next move.
He turned, smiled. As if he’d been waiting for her.
God. She’d thought him attractive before, but up close, he was melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous. It was the eyes, a deep brown as rich as toffee. Long dark eyelashes and a smile hot enough to make her heart stutter. She was almost afraid to hear his voice in case it ruined her fantasy.
She was dizzied by the sights and the sounds and the people and him. And dizzy because she’d never done anything like this before. She’d struggled through relationships, but they got in the way of her career. Becoming CFO of a million-dollar company—at least a million—was more important than anything.
And the idea of a one-night stand was absolutely liberating.
“Thank you for the wine. Let me treat you now.” It could have been a question, but she made it firm. An expectation.
His eyes darkened to deep chocolate. “It would be my pleasure to accept.”
Justine practically liquefied. He had a phone sex voice, low, deep, tongue-tying and toe-curling.
“My hotel’s across the street.” He paused, as if he knew the effect of that phone sex voice and wanted to see what it did to her. “Good jazz piano in the bar.”
The voice did it. Made her sizzling and shivery. The jazz piano was the whipped cream on top. And she’d let him lick it off. If he was a very good boy.
Being an out-of-towner was also very, very good. She checked his ring finger for the telltale band of white and didn’t find it. She should have checked earlier because she wanted a man with no strings and no wedding ring. She didn’t poach in someone else’s forest, not even for one night.
She smiled, giving him a slow, seductive sweep of her eyelashes. “Sounds goods.”
He took her hand. Warm and unexpected. Then the prickle of pins and needles and desire. She felt naked under her skirt, and hot, oh so hot, hot enough to forget it was winter instead of summer.
“My name’s Justine.” Her voice was too breathy, too needy, too sultry.
But he must have thought it was perfect because he pulled her close, threading through the traffic stopped on the street, his touch protective and possessive.
They reached the opposite curb, and he looked down, at her eyes, her lips, their clasped hands. And her mind suddenly forgot to tell her heart how to beat and her lungs how to breathe.
“Lucas.” He gave her his name with an electrifying smile, as if he were citing flowery poetry or talking dirty.
The effect on her was immediate, hot, wet, right there and ready.
The St. George doorman ushered them through the gold-trimmed entrance and up the stairs to a lobby of lush carpet and plush chairs, elegant women in evening wear and polished men in tuxedos.
Theater-goers filled the bar, drinking and gossiping before the show while the piano player warmed up his fingers and the keys before his set.
Lucas waved a bill, and the host led them to an intimate table in the corner window overlooking Powell Street. Justine curled her legs beneath her on the bench seat and leaned an elbow along the back, her pose relaxed, her insides jumbled.
Lucas ordered the drinks, Campari and soda for him, another white wine for her. She needed to sip this one slowly or she’d lose her head over Mr. Lucas Hot Body.
“I love people-watching. That’s what I like best about living in the city.” Then she turned the talk to him. “Are you here on business?”
“Just for one day. I’m driving back tomorrow.”
Their drinks arrived. Lucas tapped his to hers and drank. She wanted to lick the bitter Campari from his lips.
To hear her better over the din of voices and laughter and music, he pulled his chair closer, his knee resting against hers. The contact pulsed along her thigh. She’d worn a bra, but the peaks of her nipples against the thin lace felt like beacons.
But he looked her in the eye. “I take it you live in the city? And you work here, too?”
“I work on the Peninsula.” That was the thing she hated about the city, the grinding commute south, the endless rush hour. “I’m Controller for a small manufacturing firm.”
His eyes trailed her tight sweater and short skirt in a long sexy onceover. Then the corner of his mouth lifted, not a smile, not a smirk, just an acknowledgement that he’d seen. And he liked. “You don’t look like any accountant I’ve ever met.”
Her gaze followed the muscles of his chest down to the flatness of his abdomen, then onto the black slacks outlining the promise of something very tasty.
She really had let sex go for too long, way too long, if she was noticing a man’s package.
“Well, you don’t look like a toilet paper salesman from Muncie either.”
He laughed, a sound she felt like a kiss low on her belly.
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
If she wasn’t careful, she’d have to start fanning herself.
A man laughed too loudly at the next table, and she thought he’d overheard the toilet paper comment. But no one was listening, and besides, who would be able to hear over the jazz piano? Who would actually care?
And she wanted to know more about this man. A lot more. “So where are you visiting us from?”
“The Central Coast.”
Not very definitive. That could be anywhere from Salinas to Santa Maria, over two hundred miles. She’d lived down there, too, a very long time ago.
But she didn’t try to pry out all his secrets, just made conversation. A prelude to asking him if he’d like to spend a few mutually satisfying hours with her.
If he didn’t turn out to be a dickhead.
So far so good. Very good. He was smart, he was handsome, his technique was understated, he didn’t come on too strong or too fast.
“So what do you do on the Central Coast?”
“CEO for a medium-size manufacturing firm.” He echoed her earlier phrasing.
She sipped her drink, looking at him over the rim. He wasn’t much of a talker. Surprising. Most men she dealt with loved talking about themselves. “Hmmm, a CEO.” She gave his expensively tailored suit a long look, then glanced pointedly at the hotel’s plush furnishings. “Your company must be doing very well.”
“We are.” Not a trace of condescension or conceit, just confidence. He leaned forward, continuing with the getting-to-know-you small talk, but his gaze traveled her face as if there was so much more between the lines. “So, Ms. Controller, what do you want for the rest of your life?”
Not an ordinary question but she gave the easiest answer. “I want to be a CFO.” Before she turned forty. Only two short years away.
“At the same company you work for?”
“Hopefully. But not necessarily. I’m willing to move to get what I want. What about you?”
“Chairman of the Board.”
“I like a man who knows what he wants.”
“And I like a woman who knows what she wants.” A wealth of innuendo smoldered in his hot eyes and simmered in his smile.
She’d never get a better opening. A swarm butterflies flew around in her stomach, but under the short skirt, she was wet. Her body knew exactly what she craved.
And Lucas watched her, as if he could read her mind, as if she’d become the prey and he was the predator.
She’d shaved, lathered, scented, and lotioned. And she had the necessary condoms in her purse. She’d planned, she’d searched, she was ready. Lucas Falconer was so tempting. Do it, say it, ask him.
Her inner voice was a pushy little bugger. But she wasn’t quite there yet, just a little more talk. A little more… something.
“My career is truly what I want. But…” She let the sentence hang there, something he could tag onto.
“What about family?”
That wasn’t what she’d been expecting. “All my family’s dead.” She ran her finger around the rim of her glass as she wrapped her tongue around the lie. The lie she always told when anyone asked.
He stared at her with unreadable eyes, then dropped his gaze to her ring finger. “I’m sorry.”
She answered the unspoken question in that pointed look. “I’ve never been married either. I know women are supposed to handle it all in the new millennium. But I’m pretty sure I can’t do justice to both motherhood and a career.”
“So I take it you’re opting for the career.” His tone told her nothing, not whether he thought she was admirable or she was selfish or she was simply incompetent.
“My career’s important.” She wasn’t ashamed of that. But she didn’t like that she had to keep explaining. Not that he was the one making her defensive.
“CFO’s a lofty goal.” His gaze traced every feature of her face. Again. And heat rose to her cheeks. She couldn’t read this man.
Maybe it was better if she didn’t.
“So, no marriage. How about a steady boyfriend?”
She shook her head. “Men who don’t have marriage on their minds prefer variety.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“You tell me.” She went for bold, tapping his bare ring finger. “Do you like variety?”
“Yes. But that doesn’t mean always having a different woman. Variety can be in the act itself, the creativity a woman and a man bring to it.”
He lifted his glass to his lips. Drank.
All she could think about were the very creative things he could do with that sexy mouth.
It was the worst thing to ask. Or the best. “How creative?”
“As flexible as you want to get.”
“Like acrobatics?” Pause. “Or BDSM. There’s a world of difference.”
His soft chuckle made her sizzle. “Nothing that hurts. Only things that feel good.”
She couldn’t keep her mouth shut. “How good?”
“So good that someone has to scream.”
How had they gotten into this conversation? Oh yeah, she’d started it, going for bold, talking about variety, egging him on. Or he’d started it when he mentioned creativity. His hands, her moans, his mouth, her screams. She could feel it, taste it, wanted it, needed it.
If she didn’t ask him to bed soon, she’d melt right here just listening to his voice.
He waited. Had he said something she hadn’t heard? She was drowning in her own thoughts and his coffee-colored eyes. His glass sat on the table, and the heat of his hand jumped across the three inches that separated their fingers.
Holding his gaze, as hard as that was, she said, “Why don’t we test out our mutual creativity?”
The words fell into the deepest, darkest silence, the kind where all the voices fade, the laughter mutes—the moment between life and death, love and hate, yes and no.
He felt it, too, and drew the long seconds out. Until finally he said, “I thought you’d never ask.”
God. She’d done it. She was crazy. She was euphoric.
She was committed.
Here’s where you can get your copy of More Than a Night!