Wealthy recluse Anthony Lyons offers a mint to lure Marie Maxwell, Atlanta’s most sought-after event planner, to coordinate a wedding and reception for a “very special couple” on his isolated estate in the mountains of North Carolina.
Despite her sophisticated veneer, Marie’s a tough street-smart orphan without a past. Adopted by the owners of the elegant Hotel Maxwell, she’s been raised in the business. Known for her uncanny ability to “make things go right,” Marie accepts the challenge of planning a wedding for 200 guests in 10 days.
Marie soon discovers that an absent bride and groom is the least of her problems. Her arrogant and exasperating employer displays far too much interest in her and her personal life, especially her lost years. Confronted with a vengeful stalker, two thwarted murder attempts, and dark shadows from her shrouded past, she finds allies in an amorous feline of some unknown species and the mysterious Lady Bat. But who’s got it in for her? And what’s with Anthony and all the cats? CLICK COVER TO BUY.
INTO THE LYONS’ DEN, Book 1 of the Lyons’ Tales
Marie Maxwell’s internal warning system went on high alert. Someone was stalking her. That was particularly offensive since she was used to being the predator, not the prey. She sniffed the air, then inhaled deeply. Something peculiar, yet familiar. Dangerous.
Damn! No one could get that close without me knowing it. She spun around to find herself nose to chest with the most gorgeous male she’d ever seen. He was golden, from his close-cut hair to those oh-so-inviting eyes and that luscious tan. Her own ash blond hair and blue eyes paled in comparison.
“Pardon me if I startled you.”
His voice was liquid gold, a baritone for sure. The black Armani tux was a perfect fit, hinting at a kick-ass body. His chiseled features, down to that cleft chin, would be the envy of a male model. He held himself with the assurance that came with power and wealth. He could be thirty, or even forty. Usually, she would be drooling but something about him set off alarms. Best to put some distance between them.
“I am Anthony Lyons.” He offered his hand. “And you are …?”
“Hired help. If you will excuse me, sir, I am needed elsewhere.” She bolted from her observation post behind one of the hotel’s palms, then forced herself to a sedate stroll through the dining area surrounding the dance floor. Her elegant black suit and discreet ear-clip set her apart from the guests swirling around her in designer formals and glittering jewels.
A shortcut behind some props took her to a service area where she could monitor the event’s progress undisturbed. The bride and groom were on their way to Hawaii and the reception was winding down. A popular DJ blasted dance music for the post-reception partying. The couple’s parents relaxed at a table with drinks in hand and smiles on their faces. She breathed a sigh of relief but something wasn’t quite right and that set her on edge.
Her family had been fortunate to book the Carleton wedding. The Carleton family, drowning in old Atlanta money, was demanding but they were willing to pay well for premium service and she made sure they got it. The event-planning department depended on referrals and the Hotel Maxwell survived on its events.
She flexed her toes in her serviceable black leather pumps and wished she were sprinting down the Silver Comet Trail in her favorite Asics or street racing with friends from her sordid past. She turned her attention back to…
“Dance with me, Kitten.”
She almost jumped out of her skin. He’d caught her unaware a second time, a record. How did he manage to follow me?
“It’s not allowed, sir.” She forced herself to step away from him, then took off. She imagined she could feel him inside her head demanding that she return. Fortunately, two hot chicks in slinky outfits flanked him on either side, leaving the field open for her retreat. As she made her escape into the kitchen, she glanced around to see if anyone else had heard his promise of retribution.