Crystal Green lives near Las Vegas, Nevada, where she writes Harlequin Blazes, Silhouette Special Editions and vampire tales. She loves to read, overanalyze movies, practice yoga , travel and detail her obsessions on her Web page, www.crystal-green.com.
Excerpt from book:
Leigh Vaughn sat in a car with one of her best friends, staring at the imposing beach-cliff house where her mystery date was supposed to take place tonight.
As she kept staring, she swallowed. Hard.
Margot spoke from the driver's seat. "'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.'"
Leigh pulled her gaze away from the house. "What?"
"That's the first line from Rebecca." Margot raised a well-manicured brow, turning her light green-blue gaze to Leigh. Her high cheekbones and tousled, layered dark hair gave her a look that fell somewhere between a pixie and a wild child, but her designer knit dress was all high-class. "Don't you get a certain vibe from this place, just like the narrator in that book did after she found out her new husband's first wife, Rebecca, pretty much haunted Manderley?"
Leigh wished she hadn't brought Miss Cal-U English Major with her. Better yet, she just wished that Margot would lay off teasing her about tonight. Some moral support would be nice right about now.
"It's only a date," Leigh said, echoing the words that had been going through her head all day. She wasn't sure if she was just trying to shut Margot up or calm herself down.
"A date," Margot said, a sparkle in her gaze. "In a huge Gothic house. And with a man who won't tell you who he is."
"Why don't you make this sound even more intimidating, Marg? Because I'm not nervous enough."
"Maybe you should be very nervous." Margot gave an "Ooo, how scary" look to the mansion that loomed above them at the end of the gated driveway under the dusk-burnished November sky. "When Mystery Man bought your basket at the charity auction, I didn't think you'd actually go through with this. But you've surprised me, Leigh. Maybe you've got a little adventure in you, after all."
Good Godthat was what she'd come here for, wasn't it?
She followed Margot's gaze toward that gray stone mansion again, with its imposing balconies and arches. The man who was waiting for Leigh in there had spent $5,000 to win her basket about a month ago during a reunion for her college sorority, Tau Epsilon Gamma, and its counterpart, the agricultural business-centered fraternity Phi Rho Mu.
Leigh took in a deep breath. Even back in college, smack in the middle of the rural San Joaquin Valley, she'd never done something this crazynot during pledging, not during all their parties
never. True, she, Margot and their friend Dani had been good-time girls, best friends enjoying their youth, but that was when the silliness was supposed to endafter they graduated and became adults.
But no. She and Margot just had to go and put on that auction at the ten-year reunion. They'd just had to hold out for the highest bids on all those baskets that contained materials for a date with the women who'd created them. Margot had called her basket Around the Girl in Eighty Ways, and after her spicy encounters with the man who'd purchased the baskether archenemy from college, of all peopleshe'd ended up getting engaged to him.
Leigh had taken a sweeter route. She'd stayed true to the wholesome country-girl Tau image and named her basket "A Taste of Honey"; she'd intended to give whoever won it a down-home dinner laced with the main ingredientand maybeAnother basket is up for auction!
This one is filled with sweets
and a whole lot of spice!
Stunner TV chef Leigh Vaughn has crafted a basket that includes a home-cooked dinner for one lucky bidder. Who could resist this sexy sauciere? It'll be a dishand an eveningto savor
But there's a very enigmatic millionaire who won't be outbid on Leigh's offering. He's anonymous. He stays in the shadows, where no one can see his face. Yet his rich, sensual voice is tantalizingand capable of seducing the clothes from a woman's body, before beckoning her into a world filled with erotic mystery and sweet, sinful taboo.