Harlequin has just reissued 5 of my Silhouette Desire titles in ebook format, written under my pseudonym of Shawna Delacorte, from my backlist of 21 Harlequin and Silhouette titles.Â Visit my Shawna Delacorte blog for more information on these ebook reissues. http://shawnadelacorte.blogspot.com
Excerpts and reviews of my 5 ebook reissues can be found on the Books page of my Samantha Gentry website.Â All 21 of my Shawna Delacorte titles from Harlequin and Silhouette are listed on my Samantha Gentry website along with covers and blurbs.Â www.samanthagentry.com
AT THE TYCOON’S COMMAND is the third of my five ebook reissues.Â Jared Stevens and Kim Donaldson are my guests today.
Hello, Jared and Kim.Â Thanks for stopping by to chat with us.
Kim:Â It’s our pleasure.
Jared:Â It’s my understanding that you want to talk about how we got togetherâ€¦the rocky road to love.
LOLâ€¦yes, something like that.Â You do have to admit that your story smacks of elements from Romeo and Juliet or maybe the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Kim:Â Yes, indeed.Â The family feud.
Jared:Â Our grandfathers started a feud that had lasted decades.Â And in a small town like Otter Crest, something like that can’t be hidden.
Am I correct in my understanding that neither of you stuck around Otter Crest after graduating from high school?Â You each left in different directions to attend college then stayed away with your careers?
Jared:Â I came back when my father died and I took over the helm of the family empire.Â The company is headquartered in San Francisco and that was my legal residence, but I’d spend a couple of months each summer at the family compound in Otter Crest.
Kim:Â As for me, upon graduation I accepted a teaching job.Â I had returned to Otter Crest when my father diedâ€¦the funeral and then settling his estate.Â I had no intention of staying any longer than necessary.Â But the day after the funeral, the Stevens’ Enterprises corporate attorney showed up at the door of my father’s house with a demand for payment of a long overdue financial obligation he claimed my father owed.Â And that moment brought the feud full blown to the third generation.Â I had perceived the timing of the demand for payment as purposefully designed by Jared as just another unethical Stevens’ tactic.
You said he ‘claimed’ your father owed the debt.Â Was it legitimate?
Kim:Â My father had insisted it wasn’t so, but it turned out to be real.
Jared:Â The corporation had a signed and notarized promissory note.Â I had my suspicions about the ethics of how it came about, but the paper work was in order and legal.Â My concerns were probably what prompted me to make her an offer to work it off rather than paying it off.Â The timing was unfortunate, but it was an attempt to reach Paul Donaldson’s heir while she was in town.
So, Kim, that’s when Jared offered you a means of settling the debt?
Kim:Â Yesâ€¦he offered to let me work it off.Â I immediately interpreted the offer as nothing more than a sleazy propositionâ€”just another ploy by the high and mighty Stevens’ family to belittle and humiliate a Donaldson.
Jared:Â She totally misinterpreted my offer, but I understood why she would have made that assumption.
Kim:Â I had a legal document drawn up stating that my working in his summer office would settle the debt.Â It clearly spelled out a legitimate job situation.
That knowing smile and the glances between you two indicate something a little different than some straight forward office work.
Kim:Â I thought I had been so thorough in covering all the bases by spelling out the work arrangement in a legal document, but he was one step ahead of me.Â It was a job working as his assistant, but there was very little typing or other office type chores involved.Â I picked up his dry cleaning, took his car to be detailed, took his dog to the vet and the groomer.Â Well, you get the picture.Â I was not a happy camper!
That’s certainly understandable.Â How about you, Jared?Â What was your intention with all the menial chores?
Jared:Â Our families had been feuding for three generations.Â I had just met her for the first timeâ€”lots of tension and a definite adversarial situation.Â I had no idea if I could trust her around corporate business.Â I would have simply dismissed the debt if it had been between my father and her father, but it was a business debt and was on the corporate books as such so I needed to make an earnest effort to settle the obligation.Â I had no personal interest in a stupid decades old feud and didnâ€™t want to cause her financial difficulty by demanding she pay the debt.Â The work situation seemed like a good compromise to me.
Kim:Â I didn’t know Jared, but had gone to high school with his younger brother, Terryâ€¦an arrogant jerk who embodied all my father had said about the Stevens’ family.Â That, naturally, made me wary of Jared.
Jared:Â That’s HALF brother.Â My father was married six times and there were also all the mistresses and short term affairs.Â I’m lucky there was only one half-sibling for me to deal with.
You and your brotherâ€¦half-brotherâ€¦don’t get along?
Jared: Â That’s putting it mildly.Â Kim is absolutely right in describing him as an arrogant jerk, but she left out the part about him also being totally irresponsible and believing he was entitled to whatever he wanted.Â My father and I were never close, but he knew there was no way he could put Terry in charge of anything which left me heading the corporation.
Sounds like you and Kim had several ups and downs before you settled into a relationship.
Kim:Â And one frightening incident that made everything else pale in comparison.
That sounds interesting.Â What happened?
Jared:Â You’ll need to read the book to discover that.
LOLâ€¦why am I not surprised?
AT THE TYCOON’S COMMAND, a Silhouette Desire by Shawna Delacorte reissued in ebook format.Â Available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do a search for title).Â Barnes and Noble for NookBooks at www.bn.com.Â And Amazon for Kindle at www.amazon.com.
Employed By The Enemy:
Working for Jared Stevens was not how teacher Kim Donaldson wanted to spend her vacation, but doing so would pay off her father’s debt and end the long-standing feud begun by their grandfathers.Â If only Jared hadn’t matured into a handsome man with a magnetic appeal and a smooth, sexy voice that made concentrating extremely difficult.
Reformed playboy Jared was nothing like his unethical father.Â He was hard working and responsible…and his attraction to his newest employee was immediate and powerful.Â Jared found their passionate battles in the office led to steamy lovemaking in the bedroom.Â But could a woman who no longer trusted find love with a man afraid of commitment?
G-rated excerpt (inside front cover):
“I’d be willing to let you, uh…work off the debt.”
The shock traveled through Kim’s body, followed by a sharp jab of anger, which was compounded by the lascivious gleam in Jared’s eyes and the unmistakable challenge in his face.
“I’d be willing to make arrangements for you to work off the debt this summer while you’re not teaching.”
“That type of ludicrous line might work on the many women who frequent your bedroom, but I’m most certainly not one of them!”
“Whoa!Â Hold on there.Â I don’t know what you’re assuming, but I’m offering a legitimate position, handling the summer office chores.”
It made sense, but did she dare trust what he said?Â He was a Stevens.Â For as long as she could remember, their families had been enemies…
G-rated Excerpt #1 (Jared and Kim meet)
â€˜â€˜She did what?â€™â€™ A shocked Jared Stevens swung his legs off the top of his large oak desk and jumped to his feet.
â€˜â€˜She tore up the letter and threw it at me. Then, before slamming the door in my face, she told me, and I quote here, â€˜It will be a cold day in hell before I pay one penny to any member of the Stevens family.â€™ She also said that any claim by you that her father owed a debt to Stevens Enterprises died when her father died.â€™â€™ Grant Collins stood on the other side of the desk, a sheepish expression marring the attorneyâ€™s otherwise dignified persona. â€˜â€˜Iâ€™ve never had anyone do that before.â€™â€™
Jaredâ€™s unmistakable anger surrounded his words, matching the irritation that shoved at him. â€˜â€˜Just who does she think she is? I want you toâ€”â€™â€™ He stopped and took a calming breath as he ran his hands through his thick dark hair. He narrowed his eyes and wrinkled his brow while turning a thought over in his mind.
â€˜â€˜Never mind. Iâ€™ll handle it myself.â€™â€™ His tone of voice said the meeting was over.
As soon as his attorney left, Jared poured himself a cup of coffee and settled into the large leather chair. He picked up a file folder from the top of his desk, studied the contents for a few minutes while sipping his coffee, then leaned back and closed his eyes. He didnâ€™t have the time or patience for dealing with some old business transaction between his father and Paul Donaldson. The Stevensâ€“Donaldson feud had been going on for three generations. He was tired of it and didnâ€™t care anymore what had started it or why it had escalated. He didnâ€™t have any interest in pursuing the matter with Paul Donaldsonâ€™s daughter, either. He only wanted the past due twenty thousand dollar promissory note paid off so he could close out the matter. It was business, nothing personal.
He took a big swallow from his coffee cup. He had never met Kimbra Donaldson, but now it looked as if he would be doing battle with her whether he wanted to or not. The red numerals on his desk clock showed 4:30 p.m. The Donaldson house was only three miles from the Stevens family compound where Jared spent part of each summer since taking over the reins of Stevens Enterprises, even though he maintained a three-bedroom town house in San Francisco where he lived most of the year. The large estate doubled as his business office for a couple of months each summer when he retreated to his home town of Otter Crest on the northern California coast in an attempt to escape the congestion of San Francisco where Stevens Enterprises was headquartered.
He emitted an audible sigh. The matter of the promissory note had to be resolved as soon as possible so he could put it behind him and get on with real business. And that included the date he had that night with the stunning redhead he had met a week ago at a party thrown by a business associate in San Francisco. A little grin of expectation tugged at the corners of his mouth. It was almost an hour drive into the city, but it would be worth it for the nightâ€™s pleasure he anticipated. But first he had to deal with the troublesome issue of Kimbra Donaldson. He placed the file folder in his attachÃ© case, grabbed his car keys from his desktop and headed out the door.
Kimbra Donaldson had been in the same high school graduating class as his half brother, Terry Stevens. Terryâ€™s mother had been the second of what turned out to be a total of six wives plus numerous mistresses and short-term affairs for Ron Stevens. On many occasions Jared had thought how fortunate it was that his father didnâ€™t have more children by his many wives. When Jared left Otter Crest at the age of eighteen to go to college, Terry and Kimbra were ten-year-olds in elementary school. That had been twenty years ago.
Terryâ€™s opinion of Kimbra had not been very flattering, but Jared didnâ€™t put much stock in Terryâ€™s opinions. They hadnâ€™t been very close before their fatherâ€™s death five years ago, and Terry had been an ongoing problem for him ever since he had inherited the task of keeping an irresponsible Terry out of trouble.
Along with responsibility for Terry, he had also inherited the presidency of Stevens Enterprises. It had been a sobering dash of cold water thrown on his flamboyant social life, yet at the same time a stimulating challenge for someone who had been drifting through life without much purpose.
As he climbed out of the car, Kim Donaldson continued to watch him from behind the edge of the curtain. She had heard the car pull into the driveway but didnâ€™t recognize the silver Porsche. Then the door opened and the occupant climbed out. A hard lump formed in her throat followed by a sinking feeling of dread. Jared Stevens in person. She had allowed her anger to get away from her earlier and said a couple of things she shouldnâ€™t have. She had no idea that her outburst with the attorney would produce such a quick, decisive and definitely unwanted response.
She swallowed the lump, took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. She had never met Jared Stevens, but she had seen him on a few occasions over the years when he had returned to Otter Crest during the summer. One such occasion had burned into her memory. She had been in high school. She had stopped to watch a softball game in the park and had immediately spotted one of the players dressed in cutoff jeans and a tank top. The physical attraction had been like a bolt of lightning.
Kim had fallen instantly in lust with the ruggedly handsome young man in his early twenties without even knowing who he was. The image had remained burned into her consciousness…the long legs, broad shoulders, strong arms and golden tan. Later she found out the man of her dreams was none other than Jared Stevens, Terryâ€™s older brotherâ€”the one the residents of Otter Crest always referred to as a womanizing playboy. She had immediately dismissed any interest in Jared Stevens. Their families had been feuding for generations, and there was no reason to assume he was any different than his brother, who she knew for a fact was an insufferable jerk, but the enticing image had remained with her all these years.
She watched as Jared leaned across the car seat and grabbed his attachÃ© case. His jeans, T-shirt and running shoes belied his position as head of a multimillion-dollar corporation. A wave of anxiety swept through her. Should she pretend no one was home? No, that wouldnâ€™t serve any purpose. She had to face him if for no other reason than to reinforce her comments to his attorney. She had no intention of paying him one penny of a debt her father had long claimed didnâ€™t exist. Besides, there was no way she could raise twenty thousand dollars even if she wanted to.
The ringing doorbell sent a nervous anxiety rippling through her body. She took another calming breath, but it didnâ€™t help. She opened the door to her uninvited visitor.
On Saturday, May 28, I’ll be back here at Coffee Time Romance’s Coffee Thoughts blog again.Â This time I’ll have Paige Bradford and Bryce Lexington as my guests talking about another of my Silhouette Desire ebook reissues, FALLING FOR THE ENEMY.Â I hope to see you then.
Text Copyright Â© 2003 by SKDennison, Inc.Â Cover Art Copyright Â© 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. Â® and â„¢ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.
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I write erotic romance, erotic romantic suspense, romantic suspense and straight mystery under the name of Samantha Gentry. My other pseudonym of Shawna Delacorte has 21 published novels with Harlequin and Silhouette. I worked for 20 years in television production in Los Angeles before becoming a full time writer. See my website for a more comprehensive biography.