What happens when a landscaper finds herself tangled up in a drug ring and the only man who can save her believes she’s guilty as sin?
Please enjoy this new excerpt from Love’s Bounty the second in the Tilling Passions series available from Liquid Silver Books.
“So, Miss Tilling, tell us again what happened.”
“Do I need a lawyer?”
“You’re welcome to call one, if you’d like.”
“But I didn’t do anything. The drugs aren’t mine. I don’t know how they got in my truck. I was just headed back to Delmont to dump the refuse. I’m a landscaper, and I have a job here in Cutler. I’ve told you all that.”
Ayden paced the little room, watching Deirdre through the window. He had all he could do not to storm into the interrogation room and pull her into his arms. Over the past half hour, she seemed to be shrinking into herself. She’d told the same story a half dozen times, never once wavering about her innocence.
Did he believe her? Or was his opinion colored by their evening together? He scrubbed his hands over his face. This is why you never got involved with women when you were on a case.
“I demand to see her,” a man’s voice bellowed.
The commotion in the hallway happened only seconds before the door of the interrogation room flew open. Shawn Jameson shook off the officer trying unsuccessfully to detain him.
“Mr. Jameson … what are you doing here?” The chief stood up so fast he toppled the chair. It fell with a thunderous clatter.
“This woman is an employee of mine.” He put his arm around Deirdre’s shoulder.
“Shawn, I…” She looked up at him as if her savior had just arrived riding a white horse.
“Don’t say another word, Deirdre. My lawyer is on his way.”
“An employee? We weren’t aware. I don’t think the lawyer is necessary, Mr. Jameson.” The chief sputtered out the words. “We haven’t charged her with anything yet.”
“And yet you continue to interrogate an innocent woman?”
What the fuck? Ayden sat down hard in the closest chair, feeling like he’d just been kicked in the gut.
* * * *
Ayden leaned over the steering wheel of the Saab in the back lot of the precinct. Dark had descended hours ago, and night hadn’t been far behind. He’d been trapped in the little room for an hour, watching the chief fawn over Jameson. But that had been only half the show.
Jameson’s blustery lawyer showed up, shouting and pontificating, and the Cutler police’s big arrest had turned into a circus act, with Deirdre sitting center ring. In the end, they’d charged her with only a misdemeanor possession, no intent to traffic, no court date or jail time. A simple fine that could be paid through the mail.
Who was he kidding? She had pulled the wool over his eyes and led him around by his dick. All fluttery lashes and innocent smiles. “Innocent, my ass.” Ayden slammed back into the seat, banging his head against the leather. “Jameson came to your rescue and offered to post bail a little too quickly for my taste, Deirdre, m’dear. Methinks you’re more than his landscaper.”
He started the engine and backed out of the lot.
“And to top it off, I’m beginning to wonder if the chief’s on his payroll as well. Obviously someone tipped Jameson off about the arrest.” He looked in the rearview mirror. No headlights behind him. He would take a circuitous route back to the 7-Eleven just to be sure.
For the last forty-five minutes, Ayden had been grilling the chief about the citizens of Cutler. He hadn’t let on that Jameson was the suspected drug trafficker the DEA was after, but he’d steered the conversation in his direction several times. The chief assured him he knew Jameson only as a legitimate real estate mogul. It was his business to know the townspeople of Cutler. And Jameson was just that, a citizen who had purchased the rundown estate up on the hill.
Ayden wasn’t sure he believed the story. Not after the way Lafflin had tripped all over himself to make Jameson happy and cut Deirdre loose. It bothered him more than he wanted to acknowledge, when Deirdre walked out of the interrogation room huddled against Jameson. He had no idea where the woman was now.
“Probably cozied up with Jameson at the estate.” Ayden was such a fool.
He floored the pedal of the Saab, racing through the darkness, trying to outrun the prickly unease that had settled itself on the back of his neck.
The night had turned cold, and the thin sports jacket did nothing to keep the chill from penetrating straight to Ayden’s bones as he ran through the house lots back to his condo. The timer had tripped the lights as usual, and Ayden hoped whoever was watching him believed he’d been tucked in since late this afternoon when he’d parked the Jag out front. Slipping through the glass slider, he headed straight for the fridge and a cold brew. He flipped a couple CDs in the stereo just as the knock came at the front door.
This week I’d like to share with you an excerpt from Love’s Bounty, the second book in the Tilling Passions series:
The night air blowing in from the ocean was cool, but not unpleasant, even as the sun slipped lower. The mild September weather was prolonging the usually short Maine summer. Deirdre inhaled a great gulp of the briny mix as she crossed the stately front porch.
“Excuse me, miss, I need to pat you down.” One of the bald twins flanking the massive front doors laid a thick hand on her shoulder, impeding her progress.
“Oh, what the heck, pat away.”
Deirdre threw her arms out wide, feeling every bit as naughty as the glint in the man’s hazel eyes. What was up with the body inspection? She ventured a guess as to what roaming hands was looking for. Weapons? Drugs? Wires? She laughed at her own musings. What, did she think she was in some crime novel? This was Maine, for goodness’ sake, not New York or Miami.
As the broad fingers lightly brushed over her breasts, then down her back, his hand lingered longer than necessary on her ass, and she wondered if he was looking for sex toys and laughed again.
He flashed her a million-dollar smile. She might have stayed to chat, if she was into him. But his biker charm did nothing for her simmering libido, so she batted her long lashes flirtatiously and moved over the threshold into the throng of revelers already enjoying the evening.
The foyer she entered was open. A crystal chandelier cast shimmering light on the partygoers standing at the foot of the stairs and spilling in all directions. The curved banister snaked up to the second floor in a graceful arch that opened to a balcony. People moved about on both levels.
“It’s about time.” Emilio strode up to her. “We’ve been watching for you. Weren’t sure you were going to come.” The collar of his silk shirt fluttered as he walked toward her. Open nearly to his navel, it exposed the bronzed musculature of his torso and the gold chain he habitually wore. Strong pecs covered in silken black tufts accented a well-sculpted abdomen.
He gave Deirdre a hug. “I told you she’d come,” he said, and he elbowed the raven-haired beauty standing next to him. Dressed in a turquoise wrap barely covering the essentials, the woman smiled first at Deirdre, then up at Emilio. They made a handsome couple, or would have if they didn’t bat for the same team.
“Dee, sweetie.” Rachel leaned in and kissed the air on either side of her face.
They both laughed. She’d done it as a joke. Normally, neither one of them acted this high society or attended these types of soirees. Saturday nights usually found them at Duane’s Bar and Grill in Delmont. Relaxed in their jeans and T-shirts, they usually spent the night drinking brews and shooting pool with the rest of the hometown crowd. Maybe do a little bump and grind to the country tunes blaring out of the juke box. But not this night. This night was about hooking up with a total stranger and letting nature take over.
Rachel leaned in close. “It’s about time you allowed yourself to relax and stop mooning over that two-timing bi…”
“Rachel.” Emilio cut her off with a flick of his wrist. Stopping a passing waiter, he snagged them each a flute of champagne off the silver tray. “Tonight is about forgetting and letting go of all our inhibitions.”
“Oh, as if you ever had any, Emilio.” Deidre laughed.
“Okay, not me, but you two.” He pointed a finger at them. “I promised you both a night of fun and fantasy. It will all be at your fingertips if you’re brave enough to let go and fly.” His ebony eyes shimmered with mischief.
“Deirdre, I think the man just issued a dare.”
“I do believe you’re right, Rach.”
The three of them had been friends since grade school. They’d gotten in plenty of trouble over the years, pressing each other to break the rules. It had been a long time since Deirdre had let them goad her into doing something outrageous. But this night, she wanted to forget about the rules, forget about Brianna and all the pain that woman had caused her.
“Only a chump turns down a dare.” Deirdre lifted her glass in a mock salute, before gulping the bubbling liquid like a whiskey shot.
I’m so excited! Lynda at Simply Romance Reviews has taken time to read and review the whole Tilling Passions series! Thank you Lynda!
Not only did she read them, but she loved them! Yay! Just what every writer wants to hear about their babies! If you want to see the reviews in their entirety, scroll down the sidebar until you reach “A review for Tilling Passions” and click on the three separate links for the books. But let me give you just a taste of what she thought of them.
First off, she gave all the books and Outstanding Read!
I enjoyed Blind Love immensely. Nina Pierce has a wonderful style to her writing, she hooks you before you know it and then sweet talks you until the last page. Even knowing that there were two more books in the series I was sorry to see this story come to an end. Blind Love is a perfect balance of steamy love and suspense. I definitely recommend it.
These two are amazing together, actually too hot to handle, they burn up the sheets wherever they are. You’ll definitely need a cool drink after reading one of their steamy encounters. But before Love’s Bounty is over there will be more twists to keep you on your toes until get to the end of the ride – um I mean story. Even though this is second in the series it can stand alone without a problem but I would definitely suggest picking up the entire series!
You can’t ask for a better wrap up to this series. I was impressed with the twists Nina Pierce injected into this story. As the saying goes, “I didn’t see that coming!” I like that she has sweet and innocent Meghan go over to the dark side – at least in the bedroom. The hedonistic scenes where Peter shows his dominance are quite exhilarating. Arranging Love can be read as a stand alone book, but I really do recommend that you read the entire series. After finishing all three I think one story was better than the next, and I will be sad to say goodbye.
Yep, I’m snoopy dancing all over the place!
Thank you again, Lynda.
I love making book trailers. And in case you’re surfing the Internet and looking for a little something to entertain, here are the three trailers for my books. Enjoy 😀
Blue Moon Rising:
object width=”425″ height=”344″>The Healer’s Garden:
I love to write. Really I do. Okay, so not every day, but hey, it’s a job and everyone hates their job a couple times a month.
But then there are the days when everything comes together, the stars align, the characters promise to behave, settings pop off the page and your prose just shines! I love those days. It’s during those times I come up with some gems that make their way to the pages of my books.
So this list is 13 of my favorite lines from my books.
1. But damn, he’d been treading water a hell of a long time while he waited for destiny to change the course of his life.
2. “Are you finished speculating? Because I can tell you the facts if you’re interested or I can just wait here while you try to attempt to put together a puzzle with missing pieces.” He lifted a shoulder. “Either way I’m good.”
3. “A man intent on conquering a woman and adding her to his proverbial notched belt holds no credibility with someone as innocent as Julie.”
4. Damon laughed and held his hands up. “I’ll go willingly. Please, just promise you’ll hurt me.”
5. The hurt tumbled over anger, rolling into an emotional snowball that plunged headlong without regret into Meghan’s feelings.
6. He’d abandoned all pretense and now was as focused on getting laid as he was on collecting information from the bimbo. He figured she swung whichever way the wind was blowing. And the way he was feeling, he hoped she’d think a monsoon had swept in her direction when he found her.
7. Biting back a smile, Ayden watched her glistening tears turn into fury. That he could handle. An angry woman was one hundred times easier to placate than a despondent one.
8. Her long, muscular legs that he’d admired in the great room, started somewhere around her neck.
9. Peter wasn’t sure if the guilt weighed on his facial features like it did on his heart.
10. Heat flushed her cheeks. “Peter, making love in the kitchen is one thing. But playing tortured slave girl to your master fetish, well … I’m just not sure that’s something well-adjusted adults do.”
Blue Moon Rising
11. Jayda Kynslan sauntered into the Whip and Bull Tavern wanting only two things: a cold beer and a hot cock.
12. Men, she’d come to believe, were nothing but scumbags of trouble on the garbage heap of misery.
Shadows of Fire
13. Firemen fought fires as a team. They hung by their balls as a team. Go team!
When people interview me one of the questions that always seems to pop up is “why do you write in different genres?” The question surprised me. I thought, writing a story is writing a story. But then I started reading marketing advice for writers. Branding is a word that continued to be bantered around.
Did I have a brand if I was supposedly bouncing all over the spectrum of erotic writing? I panicked. Who was I?
Then I stepped back and looked closely at the stories I’ve written.
The Healer’s Garden – Takes place in a future earth where a man and a woman are trying to find their way in a world that doesn’t believe they should be together. But riding on that relationship is some mystery that carries through the story.
Blind Love – A contemporary romance about two people discovering who they are and falling in love with each other. But the heroine is working to unravel the mystery behind her friend’s death.
Love’s Bounty – Centers around drug running up the Maine coast, but in the thick of it, two people discover love.
Arranging Love – An engaged couple discovers love isn’t always enough and fights to hold their relationship together. But a stalker infiltrates their lives and threatens everything they’ve become together.
Blue Moon Rising – A woman with a battered heart isn’t looking for love, but she finds it with a man who claims to be a wolf shifter. When a slaughtered body is found on the property where she’s vacationing, he has to wonder if she’s somehow involved.
I relaxed. Those aren’t different genres in my opinion. The thread tying them together is the mystery/suspense part of the plot. I’m all about the puzzle. Weaving the story in such a way that hopefully the reader falls in love with the book while the main characters fall in love with each other. But on the coattails of the romance is something that keeps the danger up, the questions running through the reader’s mind…the mystery if you will. And of course there’s the added heat of the sex. *g*
Not different genres. The same genre with a change of characters. It doesn’t matter to me where the story is set. Future, present or past. (Nope, haven’t done an historical yet … but I’m thinking about it.) The occupation of the character changes, but I can’t see how it matters if my hero is a breeder, a modern day piano player, wolf-shifting cop, or my current … a vampire firefighter. Isn’t it all about the sexy guy falling for the kick-ass girl next door and the life and death situations I throw them into?
So, what do you think? Should an author brand themselves and stay within one genre … say paranormal? Or do you mind picking up books by the same author that have different flavors to them?
Cause now I’m curious.
So I thought I’d do a lazy woman’s thirteen this week. It’s shameless self-promotion again! Here’s thirteen reasons you should buy the second novella in the Tilling Passions series, Love’s Bounty.
1. It’s set in a rural town in Maine. And who doesn’t love Maine?
2. Deirdre, our heroine, was jilted by her lover… she’s given up on love and is now looking for some one night stands to satisfy that sexual itch.
3. Our hero, Ayden Scott is an undercover DEA agent. And really … tell the truth … you love alphabet guys!
4. Shawn Jameson is a very sexy bad guy! You want to hate him, but first you have to do a little drooling!
Okay … now you can hate the sleeze bucket!
5. It’s hot and steamy! What do you expect from a Nina Pierce title?
6. Deirdre is a landscaper who looks out for herself. But sometimes trouble she can’t handle comes in small packages.
7. It’s the second in the Tilling Passions series. You fell in love with Deirdre’s dad in Blind Love … but what’s going to happen to him this time around?
8. It’s an ebook. Not only is it a great deal and you’ll save money … but you’ll also save trees!
9. Anne Cain did the amazing cover. And who doesn’t want to frame Anne Cain’s drool-worthy cover? Okay, so maybe you won’t frame it … but I did! Is that TMI?
10. Baby needs new shoes! Oh, guilt won’t work? How about if I start crying and saying I’d really, really, REALLY like it if you bought my book. No? How about if I give you a CLICK HERE to buy button? Still no? Really, the tears won’t work? *sigh*
11. Did I mention there’s some very hot sex in this book? Oh, now that got your attention?
12. Even Mrs. Giggles, the reviewer, said it was a great suspense story. And she never says anything nice!
13. And if you still haven’t seen it … there’s an awesome book trailer for the series.
Come on over there and leave a comment and have another chance at winning a download of one of our books!
Also … don’t forget to leave a comment below and have a chance to win a download of “Blind Love“.
I love the morning after…
Yay! I’m so excited! The second book in the Tilling Passions series is coming TODAY!
DEA agent, AYDEN SCOTT, is determined to bring down the drug cartel smuggling heroin into central Maine. Undercover as Austin Shaeffer, Ayden is working as lead investigator for the first time since the debacle in Miami that killed his younger brother. He will use any means necessary to extract information, including seducing the feisty red head, DEIRDRE TILLING, who is employed by the suspected drug baron. But can he become embroiled in a sexual liaison while keeping his men safe and his identity secret?
Landscaping in the rural Maine town of Delmont hasn’t always been DEIRDRE TILLING’S only passion. Up until two months ago, it included her lover, Brianna. A bisexual, Deirdre has cultivated romances with both sexes, only to find hurt and disappointment her only bounty. Now, she’d like to give up on love. But with everyone in her family in a committed relationship, will Deirdre be able to find satisfaction in the sexual release offered in one-night stands or will she continue to seek out the emotional stability only a monogamous relationship can offer?
Love’s Bounty unravels the mystery of the torrid relationship between a cop bent on proving himself and a woman struggling with her sexuality and the subsequent discovery of drug running up the Maine coast.
Please enjoy this EXCERPT:
Cautious, and working to keep his jangled nerves from pumping his legs in a dead run, Ayden strolled to the shelter of the dinghy. The noise grew louder. Ayden realized he wasn’t moving away from the sound; he was aimed toward it. What a fool. It was a beautiful fall night. Lovers were using the upended craft for a little sex party of their own.
Turning on his heel, he started to walk away, and the noise came again. It wasn’t the moan of sexual pleasure. It was the keening sound of sadness. Someone was crying. And from the quiet hiccuping, it was female. Christ, he didn’t need this right now.
He pushed at the hair blowing in his eyes. Swiveling his head, he debated between the refuge of the path and the complications in the boat. Chivalry won out. He stepped warily around the bow.
The redhead sat on the wooden slats, her bare feet digging restlessly in the sand, her face cupped in her hands. Between shuddering breaths, she sputtered angrily into her bent knees, but her tears and her fingers kept the words from him.
“Uh-hmm.” He cleared his throat, not knowing how else to get her attention.
“Holy shit–” She tried to jump to her feet, but banged her head on the iron rigging attached to the upside of the boat. She fell down hard. “Crap.” Her hand flew to her head.
“I’m sorry, you okay?” Ayden reached for her, but she shook him off.
She looked up at him. Even in the pale light, he could see the anguish in her eyes.
“Actually, I’m not all right.” She pushed herself up, ducking her head away from the oarlock. She wiped at the sand on her bottom. “You scared the living shit right out of me.”
Biting back a smile, Ayden watched her glistening tears turn into fury. That he could handle. An angry woman was one hundred times easier to placate than a despondent one.
“Again, I apologize.” He held out his hand to her. “Austin Shaeffer.” How easily that name slipped off his tongue.
“Deirdre Tilling,” she said as she slipped her hand into his.
Her grip was surprisingly firm. Ayden liked the touch of her palm against his skin. Not all soft and pliant, but callused and rough. He wondered how it would feel running up his back. His body came to full attention with those thoughts.
She was a beautiful woman. Her breasts swelled enticingly just above the bodice of her dress. Her long, muscular legs that he’d admired in the great room, started somewhere around her neck. No wonder Jameson had been seducing this lovely creature.
Jameson. Right. He mentally shook his head. Focus, Ayden. Tonight was about gathering information, not sexual conquests. But then again, there was that two birds and one stone thing.
“You come to Jameson’s parties often?” His voice sounded more at ease than he felt.
She pulled her hand from his and rubbed at the spot on her head. “What? Jameson? Oh, Shawn. No, never been to one of his parties. I’m one of his employees. Damn, this hurts. It’s already forming an egg.”
Ayden ignored the fact she’d called him Shawn. He urged his cock to relax. Obviously, he wasn’t getting any action from an employee who referred to her boss by his first name.
“Here, let me take a look at it.” He ran his fingers through her hair. It was soft as silk sliding over his hand. How good would that feel on his belly and thighs? His balls pulled up tight to his body. “Oh, yeah. You did a nice job. Probably could use a little ice.” At this rate, so could he, but not on the head on his shoulders.
“I did a nice job? Me? You were the one sneaking up like some pirate looking for a lost treasure.”
She had no idea how close to the truth she was.
I luurrv this couple. They are so broken … each in their own way. But in their brokenness they find one another. But it’s those same flaws that nearly tear them apart.
In a romance, I enjoy reading about strong men with vulnerabilities, especially when the heroine is the one to expose them. I just sigh and fall in love with them even as they fall in love with each other.
What kind of relationships do you like reading about?
Anyone who comments here on my blog between now and 8 pm EDT on Tuesday, May 20 will be thrown into a hat. I will draw a random name and they will receive a free download of the first book in the Tilling Passions series, Blind Love.
So I’m snoopy dancing all over the house, waiting for 7 pm EDT tonight, when Love’s Bounty will be available.
Click HERE to buy your copy!