A Dark and Twisted Tale coming your way…

What’s a naughty fairy tale like Red Riding Hood without Red, the Huntsman, grandma and especially, the big bad wolf? If you enjoy twisted fairy tales, Dark Chocolate and Strawberries will definitely titillate your taste buds!

Dark Choicolate and Strawberries - DD cover
DARK CHOCOLATE AND STRAWBERRIES

Note: This book was previously published by New Dawning Bookfair under the title Sexy Red Hood.

Esmerelda ‘Red’ Hood is summoned to her mother’s executive suite only to learn her sweet granny is headed for a romantic cruise with a gigolo. Horrified, Red races off to save her grandma before it’s too late.

On board, Red meets Andrew Woodsman and Willem Olf. One a cutie with the biggest puppy eyes and the other a dark, sophisticated predator. Her grandmother’s warning rings in Red’s ear “Never trust a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Even with the warning, Red has trouble choosing which man could be the big bad wolf, and which could be her happily ever after.

Enjoy the excerpt!

When the elevator doors slid open, Red stepped into the hallway. Before her, the impressive glass and brass doors of Hood’s Chocolatier –the corporate offices of one of the country’s largest independent chocolate makers. She stepped through the doorway and marched toward her cubicle.

Three steps from her destination, the word, “Esmeralda!” broke the silence.

Caught! She sighed, formed a smile, and turned. “Yes, Mother?”

“Where have you been? I’ve called and called.”

“I noticed. Six voicemails and fourteen text messages. Nothing flagged urgent. You seem fine. I’m fine. So, what’s the big deal?” She frowned. What could be the problem? “Oh no, is it Grandma?”

Her mother threw her hands up. “Yes!”

“What? What’s wrong? Is she sick? She didn’t fall and break anything, did she?”

“She’s driving me out of my mind.”

Red bit back the sentence – Oh happy day – and instead managed to say, “What’s she done now?”

“Not here. Come to my office.”

“Can I go put my coat and things—”

Hearing her mother’s sigh of frustration, Red surrendered then remembered that following her mother to her office would mean passing by the office of Stanley Parkinson, VP of Sales. She stood a little taller, pulled in her stomach and strode near his office then deflated at the sight of his closed door.

Red had barely stepped into the office marked R. Hood, when her mother pushed her aside and closed the door. “Your grandmother has booked a stateroom on a cruise ship and is taking a man with her.”

Sensing So what?? was the wrong answer, Red let her mother vent whatever bothered her. This day could still be saved. If her mother stayed focused on the crisis-of-the-moment, she might forget the weekly discussion of her love life.

“A man. Did you hear me?”

“Yes, Mother.” Red unbuttoned her coat, dropped her gloves and scarf onto the seat next to her, then settled in the brown leather chair in front of the desk. Her mother walked around and sat behind her large, hand-carved, oak desk. It provided an imposing barrier between mother and daughter.

“I haven’t told you this before, but your grandmother’s going through your grandfather’s money faster than you can go through a tub of maple walnut ice cream after a breakup.”

“Mom!”

Folding her immaculately manicured hands and placing them on her desk, Red’s mother looked up. “Your flight’s at two.”

“Excuse me?”

“I’ve booked a flight to Miami and a stateroom on The Emerald Forest.”

Red shook her head. “I can’t afford a stateroom on a junior accountant’s salary.”

“The company is paying. I had my secretary send everything to your cell. Now, you have no time to talk. Go home, pack, find your passport and save your grandmother.”

Red’s voice rose an octave, “Save my grandmother? From what?”

Mrs. Hood placed her fingers on her forehead. “Save your grandmother from spending your inheritance on some gigolo. Your grandfather built this company from nothing to a multi-million dollar business. And he had to fight the big boys like Hersey and the Mars brothers to do it.”

Red sighed. “I know the corporate story, Mom. He started by making his chocolate in great grandma’s kitchen and from those humble beginnings—”

“Put you through Harvard Business School,” snapped her mother.

“Only to be dumped in a junior accountant’s position.”

“We’ll fight later. Now go. No. Wait.” Red’s mother pressed an intercom button.

A disembodied voice responded. “Yes, Mrs. Hood?”

“The box for my mother-in-law, where is it?”

“I’ll bring it right in, Mrs. Hood.” A moment later, the door opened and Brittnee entered carrying a silver box. She offered it to Mrs. Hood.

Mrs. Hood pointed to her daughter. The secretary handed the box to Red and left the office, closing the door behind her. Red didn’t need to ask, she knew it was the box. It contained the new samples for next year’s line. Grandma Hood retained the right of final decision on what chocolates were sold at Hood Chocolatier.

“Take those to your grandmother. A taste of home might bring her to her senses.”

Red held back a frustrated sigh. She didn’t want to fly to Miami. If she was away, Katerina would jump at the chance to sink her claws into Stanley. Her man, the stud, the gorgeous VP of Sales who made her body swoon with desire whenever he walked by. The smell of his aftershave made her undies wet. Once, she rode from the lobby to the sixth floor with him and almost had an orgasm before the elevator doors opened. She couldn’t concede this hunk of a man to Katerina. But what could she do?

Her mother snapped her fingers. “Why are you just sitting there? Go. Save your grandmother. Save your inheritance.”

Purchase your copy of Dark Chocolate and Strawberries on Amazon!

Two writers in one. Daryl Devoré writes hot romances with sexy heroes and strong heroines. Victoria Adams is Daryl Devoré’s alter ego when she’s inspired to write sweet romances with little to no heat.

Daryl (@daryldevore) lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a large saltwater aquarium full of fish, a black cat named Licorice, and some house ghosts. Her daughter is grown and has flown the nest. Daryl loves to take long walks on her quiet country road or snowshoe across the back acres, and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth, and a meteorite. She’s been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter, and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life’s an adventure and Daryl’s having fun living it.

Blog – Romance – Sweet to Heat

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Free During the month of December!

Coming home for Christmas means Madison Delaney will have to face the ‘I told you so‘ of Drake Lanyard, the angry cowboy she’d left behind.  Heartbroken and tired, she knows she deserves his censure, and the most she can hope for is forgiveness. Unless someone has a Christmas miracle in reserve for Madison, the man she loves is permanently beyond her reach. But miracles are in short supply. 
You can find I’ll be Home for Christmas on Prolific works. I hope you’ll accept this gift in exchange for a newsletter email. Check it out!

An excerpt for you to enjoy:

Drake was quiet for a moment and then he asked.“Did you care for me at all, Madison?

Madison took a deep breath. “I can’t take any more hurt right now, Drake. I’m not sure what I feel.”

Okay, I can understand that–but did you ever care for me?” He asked the question painfully, needing to know that he hadn’t suffered for three years alone in a love that hadn’t been returned at all.

Madison looked up at him, searching his face. His handsome features seemed vulnerable at that moment and she realized he was very serious. “I…I did care for you, Drake.” She couldn’t admit that she’d loved him. She hadn’t even known it herself at the time. “But…I was also…afraid.”

Afraid? Of me?” He looked incredulous. “I would never hurt you, surely you knew that!”

You were always…threatening me,” she finished vaguely, flushing.

Threatening you? In what way?” He looked genuinely puzzled and Madison shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other.

You know…always threatening to…to…”

It finally dawned on him what she was getting at and he barked a short surprised laugh. “You mean threatening to spank you?”

She nodded as she felt the flush of embarrassment steal into her cheeks. How dare he laugh at her? Turning away, she walked up the sidewalk towards the white wooden house neatly painted and trimmed with holiday garland on the tall front pillars. Her foot was on the first step when a hand on her arm swung her back around to face him.

I only threatened you because you deserved it. You were a spoiled, selfish little brat that needed a good paddling more than once. I should have just done it instead of talking about it. Believe me, next time I will.”

You’d better not,” she yelled, bringing her hand up to slap him instinctively. What was it about this man that had always made her so angry that she wanted to strike out at him—to wipe the smug smile off his handsome face? She’d always felt compelled to defy his dominant nature, and today was no different. Even Tom had not engendered these deep feelings within her.

Grabbing her hand, Drake pinned it behind her back and grabbed her hair with his other hand, much like he had before she’d left.

“I figured the little spitfire was still in there somewhere,” he muttered as his mouth lowered to hers. “There’s only one way to deal with the likes of her.”

His mouth landed on hers in a punishing kiss. He ravaged her soft mouth ruthlessly until she was trembling in his arms and her senses swimming. He might be stronger than she was but there was no way she was letting him get away with this. If she didn’t break their clinch, she’d give herself away and she had no intention of being the jilted lover when he was through with her. Maybe she deserved it after what she’d done to him, but she couldn’t bring herself to believe he might ever care for her again. She’d made a big enough fool out of herself already, she had no intention of making it worse.

Finding the instep of his foot she stamped down hard with the heel of her boot, causing him to curse loudly in frustration.

“Damn! You need the full course this time, don’t you?”

He sat on the steps and swiftly pulled her face down over his long hard thighs. “You’ve been asking for this for a long time, and I’m going to give it to you.”

No, let me go,” she demanded, panicking at the results of her rash actions. Madison knew her worst fears were about to be realized when her glove covered palms met the snow on the wooden steps on the left side of his lap. She’d finally riled him enough that he was actually going to spank her!

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