The except below is from an upcoming tale entitled COURTING THE DRAGON WIDOW and it's the first time Lissandra meets Denarrion before their official blind date. It's long, but it gives you a sense of both of them.
He’s a dragon. A growl of appreciation slipped out.
The male hummed with untapped power as if he hadn’t completely discovered his abilities yet, but his aura’s energy glowed with the quality of maturity. At least a thousand years. His unusual beauty excited her and her breasts tingled as her nipples tightened with awareness. His smile widened and he inhaled as if appreciating the change in her scent.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. I didn’t think anyone would be up here.”
Pleasure sizzled down her back at his sultry Brooklyn accent. Lissandra imagined it could be infused with either bitter sarcasm or dry humor, depending on his mood.
She gave him a one-shouldered shrug. “I followed a path up here. I never could resist the mystery of a good game trail.”
“Yeah, I totally get that.” His lips curled into a boyish smile and she damn near melted.
It’s got to be his handsome, Puckish smile. I’m a sucker for Shakespeare.
Lissandra had once had the chance to meet the playwright, but turned it down to attend Queen Elizabeth I as one of her chambermaids. Chambermaids didn’t get out much, but she would’ve broken free to see that smile.
“You know what they say about curiosity.”
“It killed the cat, but won the prize?”
He laughed and stepped onto the granite outcrop with the natural grace of a hunting predator. He cocked his head, a half-smile on his lips, as his gaze ran over her body. She shivered with the impact like the brush of his hands over her flesh.
Oh, Goddess, yes please. Now she just need Her to listen.
Denarrion couldn’t believe his luck. He’d chanced upon this glorious woman on his favorite rock perch. She’d pulled her dark wavy hair into ponytail, and the tail hung down her back in a silken fall. Arching brows over sparkling lavender eyes captured his attention and utterly stopped his breath. And her scent. She filled his nose with tantalizing vanilla and lilacs.
This is the kind of woman I want. Why did he have to agree to the blind date with the Widow-of-Colorado?
He smiled down at her. “I don’t remember seeing you in town before. Are you here for the holiday?”
She tilted her head and shrugged with one shoulder. “Something like that.”
“It’s a good time to visit this place. Mind if I sit with you?”
“Uh, no. I guess that’d be okay.” She gestured to the rock and he settled beside her.
“I used to come here all the time. You know, every time I wanted to get away from my dad. It wasn’t always a lake, but it was always peaceful.”
“It is nice here.” She turned to look out at the lake. “It’s like the world hasn’t tainted this place with its fears and pollution. It’s beautiful.”
He didn’t see the lake, just her glorious profile. “Yeah, beautiful.”
She glanced at him, meeting his gaze with raised eyebrows and a dip of her chin. He grinned as she snorted.
“Does that line usually work for you?”
“Eh, you know, it’s about fifty-fifty.” His shrugged ruefully, but his heart warmed with her catch. This wasn’t a woman who’d preen and simper for his attention. She’d make him earn every step into her good graces. Usually, that would frustrate him and he’d head for greener pastures. But something about the lavender-eyed beauty kept him willing to try.
“My name is Denny.” He gave her his best lopsided smile and her lips curled in response.
“Lissa.” She held out her hand to shake his in the traditional human greeting. “Do you live in Redfield, or one of the other towns nearby?”
“Yeah, I’m from Redfield.” Close enough in human terms. “My family came here when this was still a river valley instead of a reservoir.”
“So it’s been a little while at least.” She nodded.
He frowned. A little while? In human terms it would be something close to a hundred and fifty years. Maybe she’s referring to the settlers who arrived in the late fifteenth century. He nodded and tried to figure out how to move the conversation along after her strange response.
“So if you’re here visiting, where are you from?”
“Colorado. I live in the Rocky Mountains.” She waved at the vista. “It’s lush here.”
Colorado? “What brought you out here?”
She hesitated just a beat. “I’m visiting extended family.”
“Ah. How long will you be staying then?”
“I don’t really know. As long as it takes, I guess.” She looked away and her shoulders tightened as she drew her knees up to her chest.
He raised his eyebrows at her defensive posture. “That sounds kinda ominous.”
Lissa laughed, but it didn’t sound happy. “I’m trying to start over. My husband died a few years ago, and while I’m done mourning, I’m realizing it’s not as easy as I thought to just get back out there and find someone.”
His gut sank. She was married. He tried to recapture his lightheartedness. “Why? What’s the problem? You’re a beautiful woman. I’d think it would be easy.”
She snorted. “Thank you for the compliment, but I’m a picky person. And most dating sites are full of trolls and misogynistic “nice guys” who feel entitled to my affection because they’re “nice.” It’s been so long since I’ve dated, that I didn’t even know where to look. So I’m here visiting family in hopes a change of scene will help.”
“You couldn’t find a guy near your home in Colorado?”
She grimaced and shrugged. “Like I said. Picky.”
Denarrion blinked as some of the details she’d mentioned came together. Colorado. Widow. Picky. Holy shit, she’s the Widow-from-Colorado!
He nodded but turned his gaze to the reservoir as he swallowed hard. Dammit, I’m not ready to face her. But maybe he had it wrong. There were lots of women who lived in Colorado, and he had to assume that more than one had lost her husband.
“Yeah, me, too.” He nodded, but he’d lost some of the excitement of meeting her. “You wouldn’t be out here to go on a blind date, would you?”
She blinked, losing her smile. Her chin lifted in understanding and her expression turned polite.
“Yes, that’s exactly why I’m in Redfield.” Her eyes widened with surprise. “You must be Denarrion Goldencoat.”
A lopsided smile curled his lips with mocking amusement. “In the flesh. And you must be Lissandra Charforest, the widow from Colorado.”
Her eyes narrowed and her chin came up with challenge. “That’s me. I’m pretty sure Charlorrion said you were too busy to meet with me today.”
Oh, shit, I did say that. He tried to keep his smile easy, but the chagrin made it turn brittle. “Uh, yeah. I’m taking a break.”
The corners of her mouth pulled down enough to show her disdain of his lame-ass excuse. “I’m sorry to intrude on your peace and home. I’ll leave you to it.”
She made to rise and he panicked. He didn’t know why, but he needed more time with her.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” He jumped up and caught her arm. “You don’t have to go. I didn’t mind sharing the rock with—”
He stopped mid-sentence as the jolt of power ran between them and crashed through his senses like a juggernaut. His breath froze in his lungs as brilliant fire shot through every synapse in his brain and the muscles of his body. Yet the sensation included no pain.
Radiant light blew open all the secret doors in his life, offering him glimpses of what the rooms held on the other side. Treasure!
There you have it. Look for the rest of this story coming in 2019 and I've posted the cover below. And be sure to check out what the other authors have posted as their firsts.