Monday, June 9, 2014

Excerpt: BLACKJACK & MOONLIGHT by Magdalen Braden @magdalenB

Blackjack & Moonlight (The Blackjack Quartet, #3) by Magdalen Braden is a contemporary romance, out now!

Sex v. Love—a battle in the courtroom and the bedroom!

Hotshot litigator Elise Carroll doesn’t have time for romance—she wants to make partner at her Philadelphia law firm. Despite her mother’s urging, Elise avoids settling down by keeping her relationships short and sexy. Her idea of a perfect date? Beer and pretzels at a Phillies game.

When Jack “Blackjack” McIntyre—Philly’s super-sexy new judge—falls for Elise in court, she’s horrified. He “claims” to be in love with her—but that can’t possibly be true. He doesn’t give up trying to wine and dine her, though, so she devises a new scheme. Like all men, surely he’ll leave after a short and sexy fling.

Only problem—Blackjack refuses to sleep with her! They compromise—she’ll go on his romantic dates if he’ll alternate them with her “just sex” dates. Their contract works surprisingly well—until Elise can no longer find the line between love and sex.

Can Elise get her life back where she wants it—in a partner’s office? Or will Jack McIntyre use his superpowers to win their contest of wits?

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Elise shoved her notes and the motion papers in her bag, squared her shoulders and followed Tony along the hallway to judge’s chambers. When she got there, Blackjack—she really had to stop thinking of him like that—Judge McIntyre was hanging up his robe.

“Would you like a cup of coffee?” he asked her. “Brenda might have some cookies…?”

“No.” She held her briefcase with both hands as if it were a shield. If anything, he looked even taller without the black robe. She added hastily, “But thank you.”

She forced her shoulders to relax. “Could you explain to me what just happened in there? Because we both know that you don’t—that you aren’t—”

“In love with you? I suspect I am. In any event I would like to explore the possibility of a personal relationship. Clearly I can’t do that as long as you appear before me as counsel.”

Possibility? There was no possibility here. He had to be insane. She looked up. He was gazing at her steadily, calm and relaxed.

Then he smiled at her. Really smiled. Even his eyes crinkled.

Oh, God. He was so freaking gorgeous. Warm and friendly and—where had Judge Freeze-Dried gone? If he’d smiled at her like that in court, her backbone would have given out.

She shouldn’t be surprised. She’d seen the coverage of his prosecutions. Hell, he’d been the darling of the media all the time he’d been the US Attorney. Nothing—not the local news coverage, the photos in the newspaper, the quick TV interviews in front of the courthouse—none of it prepared Elise for the sheer power of his smile in person. She prided herself on her immunity to a shimmering-white smile and laughing eyes. On Blackjack, though, that hot man magic was other-worldly. She could feel it weakening her resolve. Which just made her madder.

She sat up straight. “You simply can’t be in—” She refused to utter the L-word. Bad tactics to give his delusion validity. “You don’t know me.”

He nodded. “Obviously I’d like to change that. Dinner this evening, perhaps?”

“No.” She shook her head for emphasis. She had work to do, a deposition to prep for, hours to bill, a partnership to snag. Kim’s home to save. She didn’t have time for some man to push romance at her like it was the secret to happiness.

He moved toward her. He smelled nice, something slightly spicy. The scent of a man’s skin just out of the shower. Damn him for putting that image in her head. She clenched her teeth and took a step closer to the door. She clutched the back of the chair, keeping it between her and the judge. She looked down—it was too heavy to lift for that lion tamer move.

She let go of the chair, picked up her briefcase and held out her hand.

“It’s been very interesting meeting you, Judge McIntyre. Congratulations on your elevation to the bench. I’m sure it’s my loss that I won’t be appearing again in your courtroom.” There. Neatly done.

He just laughed. “Oh, I’m certain we’ll meet again soon.” They shook hands. He released her immediately. Good. She was relieved, of course she was, that he didn’t try to use their handshake as an opportunity to touch her a bit longer. She ignored the lingering feel of his warm fingers on her skin.

He edged a tiny bit closer. His scent pulled at her—it wasn’t just an aftershave, it was his pheromones, wasn’t it? No woman could be immune to that smell. She bet female defendants lined up to confess when Blackjack walked in the room.

Elise steeled herself. That was his Blackjack superpower. She couldn’t get involved with anyone like that—it would be like putting jet fuel in a compact car. She went for the let’s-have-a-few-dates-and-some-fun guys, not legal celebrities who owned their own tuxedos. She had to leave before his good looks and charm worked their evil magic on her. Once she was gone, his delusion would lift, he’d shake his head at his own zany notion, and find a lanky brunette to take to the next charity ball.

About the Author

After pairing up lawyers romantically in her head for fifteen years, Magdalen Braden traded in her job as an attorney to set her inner matchmaker free. Today she draws on her past adventures in a Philadelphia law office to write her sexy contemporary romance series, The Blackjack Quartet.

Blackjack & Moonlight, the third installment in the series, was a finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest in 2012. All four books contain love, romance, and a solid dose of legal humor.

Magdalen connects with readers at her local satellite of the Lady Jane's Salon® reading series, and with fellow writers at her Romance Writers of America® chapter.

When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her crossword-loving husband, their Rhody-mix dog, and two omnipresent cats in the Endless Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania.

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  1. Thanks for Hosting

  2. I love that he is the one that's is chasing after her than the usual way around! He must be pretty convincing to get her to cave...sounds awesome! Thank for the giveaway :)

  3. Great excerpt and cover! Thanks for sharing