The Color of Betrayal




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Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll Series

Luke Reiser has every intention of marrying Malia Kane, a difficult feat when she refuses to acknowledge his interest. When Malia’s grandmother asks for a doll left in his attic, Luke believes his luck has changed. He summons Malia to his office, but he doesn’t expect her reaction.

Malia doesn’t have time to do artwork for Luke’s company. She’s preparing for an art show to ease financial difficulties looming like a snuffer ready to extinguish a candle flame. But what she finds at Luke’s office is worse than bankruptcy—it’s that horrid doll bequeathed to her at her mother’s death. Malia has found out the hard way the curse breaks any would-be lover’s nose, and worse. Not wanting to risk injury to Luke, she takes the doll and runs.

Can an ancient doll bring the two together…or will Luke end up next in a long line of victims…with a broken nose as well as a broken heart?

Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 68
Word Count: 16631
978-1-61217-198-2 Digital

Excerpt:

“It’s gone.” Seeming oblivious to his presence, her gaze spanned the room before dropping her face into open palms. “It’s old. It’s ugly. Why? Why would anyone want the blasted thing?” She had obviously forgotten his presence as the conversation she carried on was strictly her own. “It’s that damned curse. It has to be.” She raised her head, staring out a window, its sill covered in dust. Her eyes squinted in the sunlight. “Oooh, it would serve him right if he did snatch the stupid thing.” Full lips pressed in a stubborn line had him lusting to trace them with a fingertip. Coax them into a curve.

“Who?” he demanded, but she didn’t answer. Luke decided to take charge of the situation before she completely lost all contact with reality. “What makes you think the doll is cursed? Not that I believe it for a moment.” It felt odd saying it aloud, though the words from the note were carved in his memory.

She shot him a startled glance. Yes, that was surprise covering her features. Annoyed, he promised himself he’d work on forging a less forgettable image later. Right now, however, she seemed to be debating how much to tell him.

Malia opened her mouth to speak, and suddenly Luke’s brain ceased any rational functioning. A pressing need to kiss those parted lips overtook common sense, and he covered her mouth with his. How much more blatant a signal would he have to send for her to realize his attraction?




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