Each week I welcome a guest author to share a first meeting excerpt. Today, Suz deMello shares a first meeting with a twist of mistaken identity from her contemporary erotic romance, The Wilder Brother. Suz’s fun fact is that she also writes best-selling sweet romance under another pen name.
Setup of scene: Staid scientist Dana Newcombe isn’t often confused with her famous supermodel sister. But when Colton Wilder, one of model Nickie’s lovers comes to town, sparks fly and confusion ensues.
She was about to leave when the door bell chimed. Dana wondered why neither Nicole nor Max used their keys. Both her sister and her almost-fiancé had them. And who else could it be?
She opened her door. A dark-haired male in denim leaned on the jamb. She recognized him immediately.
Her heart stuttered.
Her stomach dropped.
Her palms sweated.
She overheated like an ancient Studebaker laboring up a mountain.
She wasn’t a coward, but she was tempted to slam the door before hiding in her darkest closet. The man at her door scared the starch out of her usually upright backbone. Why, she couldn’t define, and that bothered her all the more.
But for no reason she could pinpoint, Colton Wilder, Max’s younger brother, spooked her right down to the tips of her toes.
“Hey, Nick.” Colt straightened to his full six foot two. “Can I come in?”
Without waiting for permission, he sauntered past her, brushing the coat’s fur trim with his arm. The touch tingled through her as though he’d caressed her breasts, which lay directly beneath the fur.
He didn’t say “excuse me” either.
Maybe that was why he pissed her off, Dana thought. He was the rudest man she’d ever met. Like a predatory hawk, Colt liked to swoop in, take what or who he wanted then fly away again. He was so different from Max that Dana couldn’t fathom how they’d emerged from the same womb.
“Wha-what are you doing here?” she asked. She tried not to stare at his chest, clad in a snug turtleneck that outlined incredible pecs. The cobalt fabric accentuated his brilliant blue eyes.
“I flew into LaGuardia earlier today and called you in Manhattan. After I listened to your phone message, I decided to come rescue you from my brother and your sister. Last time we went out, you told me they bored you to tears.”
Dana’s mouth dropped open. Nick, that traitor, had called her boring? She’d get her.
Colton spread long arms along the back of the couch and eyed her. “Come on over here, Nickie, and say hello properly.” He patted his lap.
Torn between deception and truthfulness, Dana hesitated. For all his faults, Colt was a prime piece of manflesh. He wasn’t a mere boy toy—he was FAO Schwarz, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Santa’s workshop at Christmas rolled into one mouthwatering package.
He’d swooped in last summer and they’d double dated, with Dana and Max showing Boston to Nick and Colt, who’d indulged in a torrid affair lasting all of three weeks. Then he’d flown away in wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am style.
Nicole never discussed Colt, but that really wasn’t odd. She tended to be casual about her affairs, and Dana hadn’t pried, assuming that Nicole had set another notch into her lipstick case and moved on.
But Dana wouldn’t lie. “I’m not Nick.”
Colt laughed. “I love your sense of humor.” He stood. “Okay, if you’re not in the mood, we can go over to the Four Seasons and eat.”
“I’m not dressed for the Four Seasons. Why do you want to go there?”
“They burn a good steak. Why don’t you change your clothes?” Colt eyed her jeans and fisherman’s sweater. “I’m sure you brought more than that from New York.”
Nick had, of course. “What about you?”
“I won’t matter. I’m sure they’ll be delighted to seat the famous Nicole Newcombe whenever and wherever she pleases.”
Dana decided that getting confused with her sister might not be so bad. She figured she could do a credible Nickie imitation for one evening. Why not?
She went to the bathroom to freshen up a bit and stared into the mirror. The long, fur-trimmed coat looked jaunty, rakish and dashing, but her plain-Jane demeanor reminded her that she was Dana the scientist, not Nicole the cover model. No one in their right mind would label her jaunty, rakish or dashing.
How did Nickie do it? Dana wondered for the umpteenth time. Even after she applied Nick’s crimson lipstick and heavy mascara, Dana definitely felt like a pig in a poke. They shared the same DNA down to the ends of their platinum hair, had the same hazel eyes and six-foot height. Yet Nickie had a stellar career as a model while Dana dated staid, dull-as-dirt Max. Dana, an astronomer, studied the stars at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in nearby Cambridge. Glamor girl Nickie danced with them in Manhattan’s trendiest clubs.
Dana immediately berated herself for her disloyalty to Max and her jealousy of Nick. It wasn’t Nicole’s fault that Dana had always felt insecure. Max wasn’t dull. There was nothing wrong with being known as Mr. Meticulous. He was steady, not staid. Reliable.
Like her father.
Dana shunted her mind from that icky thought. She stripped off her clothes then raided Nick’s suitcase for a long, spangled slink of a dress. Of cream and gold jersey, the gown was cut so low that Dana had to take off her bra rather than expose her underthings.
Examining her reflection, she saw the dreaded VPL—visible panty line—ridging the clingy knit.
She bit her lower lip. No undies in this freezing weather? Nick would skip them, she reminded herself. She yanked off her bikini panties, put on pantyhose then rearranged the gown.
Colt leaped to his feet. “That’s more like the Nickie I know and love.” He ran his tongue over his teeth.
“Love? A strange word coming from your mouth.”
He came closer. “Now, darlin’. We said no regrets, remember?” He ran a hand across her bottom, sheathed in snug, cream-colored jersey.
Her flesh rippled. With shaky fingers, Dana wrapped Nicole’s spangled muffler around her neck and picked up her keys, ready to leave her home with Colt.
Forbidden, frightening, scary, exciting Colt.
“No regrets,” she said.
END OF EXCERPT
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We look forward to your questions and comments, so don’t be shy! Make sure to visit again next week, when it is time for J.Hughey to share the first meeting from her long-awaited New Adult release, Eruption.