“You are delightful company and absolutely beautiful. You take my breath away. I really should tell you now, if I can find any way to convince you to remain with me tonight, I will do so.”
It’s my pleasure today to highlight Ashe Barker and her new book,
Christa Barnes is baffled when the man of her dreams – or should that be her wildest fantasies? – turns up at her sleepy little flower shop and insists she has something he would like to purchase. But Johan Klaas is an international diamond dealer and he is not remotely interested in acquiring a bunch of geraniums, preferring instead to discuss gemstones.
Christa’s next unexpected caller is a motorcycle courier clad in black leather and bearing a package for her. She opens it, expecting the latest seed catalog, and finds instead a fortune in uncut diamonds and a note.
For Services Rendered. See what you can make of these.
Johan Klaas works at the heart of the global diamond trade based in Antwerp, and he agrees to use his contacts and knowledge to help trace the origins of these particular stones. For a price.
As the relationship between Christa and Johan deepens, so does her understanding of the way in which a natural, artless act of kindness years before can start an amazing chain of events.
This book was previously released with a different cover. The story includes sexual scenes and BDSM, and is intended for audiences of 18 and over.
Let’s take a peek at an excerpt from Ashe’s exciting story!
Anniversary, probably. Or an apology.
From her vantage point in the storeroom, Christa eyed the customer entering her small shop. Tall, rather better attired than many of the clients who would pop in to grab a bunch of daffodils or a spray of geraniums, the blond-haired stranger paused to peruse a display of bright orange and red marigolds. The arrangement was in celebration of Halloween, not a particularly lucrative festival for a florist as a rule, but Christa took the view that every little bit helps. The man did not select a bouquet, though. Instead, he abandoned the bright array to pick his cautious way through the clutter of scented blooms and approach her counter. He was careful to avoid brushing against her stock, which Christa appreciated. Flowers are delicate creatures, fragile; they do not respond well to careless handling. Not unlike me, she thought, as she stepped out into her shop to greet him.
Christa wiped her damp fingers down the green cotton of her apron and smiled a polite welcome at the man. He was really very attractive, she acknowledged. She might even go so far as to describe him as stunning. The woman on the receiving end of his floral generosity was lucky, indeed.
The object of her attention wore an expensive dark grey overcoat, which did little to conceal the perfection of the tailored black suit and pristine white shirt beneath. His tie was a subtle mix of reds and purples, which put her in mind of moorland heathers, and the brilliant sheen of his black leather shoes had caught her eye as he came through her door. He carried a dark brown briefcase, the small attaché type, and his horn-rimmed glasses gave him an air of wisdom and experience, though he could not have been much more than thirty. Thirty-five at the most. Dark brown and just slightly wavy hair reached almost to his crisp collar but was expertly styled to ensure it lay smooth and neat against his neck. It was, in Christa’s opinion, just the right length.
She had a thing about grooming, though rarely indulged in much of it herself. There wasn’t much call for cut and blow dries in her line of work, still fewer manicures or eyelash tinting. Even so, she liked her men to be neat and well turned out – not that this man was hers in any but a business sense, and only then if she could manage to part him from some cash in exchange for a bunch of pretty blooms. He reeked of money, and class, and was just the sort of client she liked to cultivate. She hoped his wife had the good sense to properly appreciate an artfully-crafted bouquet.
“How can I help you?” Christa raised her eyebrows, expectantly. She was taking mental bets on the occasion to be marked, a private game she liked to play, and her money was on an anniversary. She was already mentally appraising her stock of red roses.
“Good morning.” He bowed his head slightly. “I believe you may have items I would like to purchase.”
He had an accent. It was slight, but definitely there. His English, so far, was perfect, though. Christa wondered where he was from.
“Of course. What do you have in mind? Is it for a special occasion, perhaps?” Some customers needed advice on what was appropriate. Christa was always happy to oblige.
“Occasion?” He stressed the first syllable. It sounded divine.
“The flowers? Are they for a special occasion? A birthday, perhaps?”
“Flowers? No, I do not wish to purchase flowers.”
“I see.” Perhaps he had something else in mind. A pot plant, possibly, or maybe just a card. Beyond, that his choices here were limited. “What are you looking for, then? I do have some lovely winter-flowering cyclamen in just now…”
He shook his head and bestowed a slight smile on her. “I am sure they are all quite beautiful, but no. I do not require flowers or plants, thank you. I desire diamonds.”
Christa huffed out a wry snort. “You and me both, sir. I’m sorry, but you need a jewelers’ for that.”
About Ashe Barker
USA Today Bestselling author Ashe Barker writes erotic romance and spanking romance in a variety of genres including contemporary, BDSM, paranormal, historical. ménage, gay romance and time travel. She is a #1 Amazon Bestseller and all her stories feature hot alpha males and sassy submissives, often with a lot to learn. Kink abounds, and there’s enough dirty talk to satisfy the most demanding smut lover. However dark and dirty the setting, love always emerges triumphant, and her stories never fail to deliver a satisfying happy ever after.
For more about Ashe, check out these links below!
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