Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Highest Bid: A Bachelor Auction... CHAPTER ONE!

Highest Bid: A Bachelor Auction is available for PREORDER!

If you read The Maddox Brothers then you know Lacey Wolfe and I enjoy writing about brothers. These co-written books are unique because we each take one brother and write a full book intertwining the characters so they seamlessly flow. Our latest creation...

Nathan and Dustin have a thriving business because of all the hard work they put into their coffee empire. As the company continues to grow, their social lives cease to exist. Taking part in a bachelor auction for charity might be what these two charismatic brothers need but are they ready for the highest bid?

Part 1 – Nathan by Ella Jade

Lost and Found... Sexy billionaire in need of some disruption. Zany barista seeking some direction. Can they find the balance?

Nathan Wilder gets things done. He and his brother took a small family coffee company and turned it into a billion dollar empire. Success didn’t happen overnight. It took years. And in those years, he missed out on life. He agrees to take part in a bachelor auction as a favor to his aunt but he doesn’t expect anything to come of it. When the younger, sexy barista bids on him, he finds more than he ever imagined possible.

Ivy League graduate Vienna Trent is a bit lost. She moved back home and got a job at a trendy coffee shop. While trying to find herself, she stumbles onto the attractive owner of the coffee chain. Once she stares into his eyes, she can’t seem to forget him. While attending the bachelor auction with her mother, she has no desire to bid on anyone. That all changes once Nathan takes the stage.

Nathan is older and established. His ex-wife isn’t entirely out of the picture either. It’s complicated but isn’t it always? Vienna is struggling to find her place. She’s unsure of her future but she’s determined to prove to him that he belongs in her life. It’s a good thing she’s persistent. They could both use a little destiny.

Part 2 – Dustin by Lacey Wolfe

Can two workaholics find a way to make love happen when something is trying to keep them apart?

With his head always stuck in a book or working long hours at Wilder Coffee, Dustin Wilder hadn’t realized how much he’d been missing out on life. That all changed the night of the charity bachelor auction when the sexiest woman he’d ever seen bid on him for an outrageous amount.

Marilyn Parker owns her own business. One of the city’s top interior design companies. She prided herself always being busy with work and not having to think about the family she tried to distance herself from. She attends the city’s annual bachelor auction, expecting to leave empty handed. But when she sees ‘hot as hell’ Dustin nervous on the stage, she wants him, no matter the price.

Can a one-night sexual encounter turn into more? Dustin thinks so, but Marilyn doesn’t with a family like hers that she’ll ever get the things in life she so desires.

Warning: Adult language and sexual content

CHAPTER ONE (Nathan by Ella Jade)

Wiping down the counter, I glanced out at the buzzing dining area of The Wilder Coffee shop. The early morning rush had settled down, and now the place was left with some stragglers. Some students from the local university studying before class. A couple business types lost in their tablets and phones. A stray hospital worker ending an overnight shift. 
The busiest part of my shift was over. A few regulars would pop in throughout the day but as far as Tuesdays went, this one was pretty normal. I bent down to grab some sugar packets from under the counter and when I came back up the most stunning set of green eyes were staring at me. Attractive men came in all the time but this was not your average hottie. The man standing inches from me, separated only by the counter, was remarkable. His dark hair was trimmed close at the sides, but longer on top. A neatly manicured goatee accentuated his chiseled jaw. The suit he wore screamed money. It was tailored to his fit frame, leaving me to imagine just how muscular he was underneath that crisp blue dress shirt.
“Have I come at a bad time?” He rested his hand on the counter.
“What?” My mouth went dry when I spoke and my stomach did a flip. What the hell was wrong with me? It wasn’t as if I’d never seen a cute guy before. Maybe I’d never seen one as attractive as the man in front of me. There was a definite vibe going on with this guy. One I wanted to get to know.
“You seem distracted.”
“No, of course not.” I was quite certain he distracted plenty of women. I was also certain he knew it. “I didn’t hear the door open. You caught me by surprise.”
“What can I get you?”
“Just a medium house blend.” He checked his watch. “Black, please.”
“Really?” I crinkled my nose. 
“Is there something wrong with that particular blend?”
“Ah, well...”
 “It makes me a little nervous when the barista seems adverse to it.”
“I’ll let you in on a secret, I don’t like it.” I hit his order into the register. “It’s not bad, it’s just bold and you’re brave to drink it black. It’s new this month.”
“I’m not big on coffee.” He handed me a twenty. “Keep the change.”
“Thank you.”
He glanced around the place and back at his watch. He looked important. Maybe a lawyer or a doctor. 
“There are so many cool choices here.” I took the money, cashed him out, and put the tip into the jar on the counter. “You might like to try something else.”
“Just not the house blend.” He smirked. “Maybe another time.”
“If you don’t drink coffee why would you be in a coffee shop ordering the strongest blend we have?”
“I’m having a tough morning.”
“I can relate.” I was having a tough few months.
“If I hadn’t ordered anything, how would I have met such a charming woman?”
“Are you flirting with me?” I smiled, hoping that was the case as I poured his coffee into a large cup instead of the medium he’d requested. Although I doubted he’d be able to finish such a bold choice especially if he wasn’t a caffeine addict.
“Just stating a fact.” He grinned when I handed him his order.  “Thank you.”
“I hope you enjoy your coffee so you’ll come back.”
“I have a feeling I’ll be back.” He looked at my name tag. “Vienna.
He is flirting. He was older than me. I wasn’t sure by how much but age was just a number. Judging from my track record, I wasn’t doing so well with guys my own age.
“I don’t know your name.”
“Nathan.” He removed his ringing phone from his pocket. “Wilder.”
“That’s funny.” I giggled as he checked to see who was on the other end of the line. “Like the coffee.”  I thought for a moment. Oh God! “You’re Nathan Wilder. Like the owner?”
“That would be me.” He glanced at the screen again, ignoring the call. 
Shit! He is important.
“I should let you get back to work.”
“Yeah, but I–” How am I going to fix this?
His phone rang again and this time he seemed annoyed when he checked to see who it was. “I have to take this but it was a pleasure meeting you, even if you think my house blend is too strong.”
“Oh.” My big mouth often got me into trouble. “I didn’t mean...” Well, I did mean it was too strong. “Some of the customers like it.”
“I hope so.” He laughed as he answered his phone. “Hello.” 
When he headed toward the door, I wondered if I’d ever get to talk to him again. I should have been wondering if I still had a job after that ridiculous encounter. I couldn’t have been more wrong about this particular Tuesday. It was anything but normal.

“Hello.” I answered the call as I walked out of the shop, still focused on the conversation I’d just had. “What’s so important, Scarlet?”
“I’ve been calling and texting you for an hour,” my persistent ex-wife said. “Where have you been?”
“I had an early meeting.” I sat on the bench outside the coffee shop, noting the view of the exotic barista who’d brightened my morning in a matter of minutes. “What do you need?”
“Why do you always assume I need something?”
“Because that’s the only time you call me.” Lately, her calls were becoming a habit. “How much is this going to cost me?”
“I’ve gone through this month’s allowance.”
“It’s only the tenth of the month.”
“I know.”
“I told you last month, you can’t make a habit of this.”
“What good is having a billionaire ex if I can’t hit you up for cash?”
“I pay for your Manhattan apartment and your car on top of that generous monthly allowance. I’d say you’re doing fine.”
“I didn’t want a divorce, remember?”
She reminded me every chance she got that the divorce was my idea, but we weren’t working out and it was better for both of us. I agreed to her very expensive terms and she made the separation much easier than she could have. “You didn’t want a divorce because you like spending my money.”
“I’m not going to argue that.” 
“I’ll advance you next month’s payment.”
“That’s not going to work.” 
“Why not?”
“Nathan, please. I could fly to Boston this weekend and persuade you. The way you like to be persuaded.”
After the divorce, I’d made a few mistakes when it came to Scarlet. My mother, who was extremely fond of my ex, passed away, and Scarlet helped me through that tragic time. We hadn’t been intimate in over a month, and I wanted to keep it that way. The way we were carrying on wasn’t healthy for either of us.
“That won’t be necessary.” 
I continued to stare at the beauty inside my establishment. Her long, dark hair was pulled into a high ponytail and when she turned to make my coffee, I noticed the heart tattoo on the nape of her neck. But it was her distinctive, crystal blue eyes that drew me in. Her olive colored complexion and dark hair were a stark contrast to her eyes. She was the most unique woman I’d ever seen.
“Nathan?” Scarlet drew me from my thoughts. “You don’t want me to come this weekend?”
“No, I’ll transfer the money into your account but this is the last time.”
“Thank you.” I heard the relief in her voice. “Are you participating in that bachelor auction on Saturday?”
“How did you know about that?” I had tried to forget about it.
“It’s being heavily promoted even here in New York. It’s a huge charity your aunt is raising money for. I can’t believe she talked you and your brother into it. You’re the two most reclusive men I know.”
“Well, it’s for a good cause and my aunt needed us.”
“Who knows?” She laughed. “If you transfer enough money into my account maybe I’ll come and bid on you.”
“Would having dinner with me really be that bad?”
“Let’s not play games.” She was good at those. “You got what you wanted. The money will be in your account in an hour.”
“You’re more than money to me.”
“I know that.” Scarlet and I had an unusual relationship. After we divorced, she was there for me when my mother got sick. I needed her to get me through the last few weeks of my mother’s life. She supported me through the funeral and for that I would be eternally grateful. Which was why I gave her whatever she wanted even if out marriage was a disaster. “I’ll talk to you soon.”
“Are you still coming to New York next week?”
“Yes.” I paused, trying to come up with a reason why I wouldn’t be able to see her.
“We can have dinner then.”
“It’s a business trip.”
“You can’t spare a few hours for me?”
“We’ll see.”
“Nathan,” she said before I could end the call. “Thank you for the money.”
“You’re welcome.” I disconnected as I stared into the shop. This time, I caught Vienna smiling at me. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had any interest in a woman other than Scarlet. That was how my aunt had talked me into participating in the bachelor auction. I hoped that decision didn’t come back to bite me in the ass.
I sipped my coffee, wincing when the hot beverage coated my throat. I’d have to speak with my brother Dustin about the house blend. It was awful!

Available September 18, 2018

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