IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU
The Bachelorette Pact Mini-Series
Harlequin Temptation
April 2004
ISBN 0373691718

available at

Amazon or Barnes & Noble

I wanted the heroine to work at Fermilab outside Chicago, but I was told no, but I still modeled it after Fermilab, and when I did some booksignings in the area, I got a tour of the facility, and got to see the Tevatron. In fact, the people at Fermilab were so nice, they even included Michelle Coleman and Dominic Corlucci (the name of the hero and heroine) as scientists in the daily logs that came off the telescope in New Mexico. Here's the link to the essay I wrote for one of their publications. It's not every romance novelist that gets quoted in a Department of Energy Publication.

 
   

The entryway was dark, with only a dim streetlight coming in from outside. Still, the light was enough to see him clearly, to see the vulnerability in his eyes. Every now and then, she saw what lay beneath the surface and it was that small piece of him that he kept so hidden that called so strongly to her. Probably another stupid mistake, but she wasn't going to walk away. "You are my hero."

"I kinda like that," he said with a nervous laugh. Then the embarrassment cleared and he tugged gently at her hair. "Don't ever wear a wig."

He looked as if he really liked the way she looked. It wasn't as if she was ugly or anything, but she certainly couldn't compete with Cassandra, or Jessica, or Beth. "It's okay? I mean, well, this is who I am," she said, hating the whiney tone in her voice. She despised women who weren't secure in their own self-image and she had no reason to complain. Her gifts just weren't the usual combination of blond hair and blue eyes, capped with a J Lo butt. Unfortunately, she had no butt at all.

He didn't seem to mind. He shook his head and looked at her, really looked at her. "I want to hear all about Michelle Cushing Coleman. Everything. From the moment you were born, until the time you discovered you could write computer viruses and do all sorts of cool stuff with atoms and the cosmos."

He knew. She stared, open-mouthed at him. It probably wasn't her most elegant look, but she couldn't help it. "How did you find out?"

"I've got my sources," was all he said as he opened the doorway and followed her out. It was a beautiful night, clear and full of quasars that sheared through the black sky.

It was a night when names were forgotten, potential felonies were not to be mentioned, and nothing was allowed but the overwhelming need that was surging inside her. He looked at her like she was the only female in the world. Never -- absolutely never -- had a man looked at her that way. Her heart took over, because her brain had stopped.

It was ten o'clock, and she was more than ready to cross over the line. "Come home with me?" she whispered.

He stopped and pulled her around to face him. "You mean that?"

"Come home with me," she said, her voice more sure.

"Now, tomorrow, anytime," he answered.

Her heart pounded as their gazes locked. Suddenly she realized exactly what she'd done. Pandora's box had come open, and Pandora wasn't about to shut it, either.

"So you like brainy women?" she asked, wanting to make a joke, but failing.

"I think it's sexy as hell and if you start whispering about neutrinos, I think I might just bust my pants right here," he answered, in the same light tone, but the look in his eyes was downright nuclear.

"My vocabulary is pretty unlimited," she said, moving closer, feeling daring and exquisitely female.

Then she was in his arms, his mouth driving into hers, and she didn't care. He had the most perfect mouth, tempting and playful one minute, intent and demanding the next.

There was something dizzying about his desire. It was so raw, so genuine. Her legs went queasy, ceasing to hold her up, and he backed her against the lamppost. There she was, all his muscle - mob-tied muscle - pressing into her.

She should be pulling away, issue a discreet "hands-off" cough, doing something. What did she do? She curled her arms around his neck just so she could bury her fingertips in the hairs that grew at his nape.

Idiot!

His hands wandered beneath her shirt, pressing against the soft skin at her back, exploring the curves of her butt, pressing her even closer.

Moron!

Mickey moaned. Tonight she just wanted to feel. To be swept away in an undertow of passion. Now she knew what it was like. Low, insidious, pulling at her like the most powerful magnetic-field.

When he dragged his mouth away from hers, she groaned. "Don't do that to me," he whispered.

"What?"

"Public indecency. It's a Class A misdemeanor in this city. You go home. I'll follow."

"We could ride together," she said, unwilling to part from him. It was a long ride back to Schaumburg.

He kissed her quickly. "Another dangerous idea. When I get you alone, I want you in a place where naked and willing is not a crime."

Mickey sighed, but obediently spent the next forty-five minutes driving in her car, alone, contemplating the many aspects of naked and willing.

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