Title: Deacon by Cheryl Douglas
Starkis Family Series Book One
Publisher: Cheryl Douglas
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 281 pages
When Deacon Starkis sets his sights on the gorgeous young model gracing the pages of his glossy catalogue, he knows he has to have her. One problem. She’s not available. But that won’t stop Deacon. He’s a man used to getting what he wants and he wants Mia.
Mia is stunned when she receives an email from the elusive billionaire who owns the lingerie company she models for. He tells her he’s intrigued. He’s not the only one. But she knows she’d be a fool to throw away an eight year relationship for a brief affair with the head honcho. He doesn’t do relationships and she doesn’t do casual sex. It seems they’re at an impasse.
Who will come out on top in this battle of wills? The dominant one or the woman intent on teaching him the meaning of submission?
Note to readers: No cliff-hangers! Mature content, 18+
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With the launch party at the forefront of my mind, I made my way downstairs to wardrobe.
Half a dozen women turned, gaping at me. I rarely made personal selections for my models, but I didn’t think my presence warranted such stunned silence.
“Good afternoon, ladies,” I said, trying to hide my amusement.
“Hello, Mr. Starkis,” one of the women stammered. “How can we help you?”
“I’m here about the fashion show this weekend.”
She gestured toward several hanging racks. “Everything’s taken care of, sir. You’re welcome to have a look at the samples. They’re right over there.”
“I’d like to see what Mia Barnes will be wearing.”
Two women exchanged curious glances before one said, “Of course, Mr. Starkis. I’ll get those selections right away.”
I barely noticed the gorgeous models milling about half-naked, being fitted for the upcoming show. Many were trying to get my attention, smiling or giving me sultry looks as they met my eyes in the full-length mirror. They had been hand-selected for their talent and beauty, but none were Mia, therefore none held my attention for long.
“Here they are,” the harried, middle-aged woman with the blond bob and pixie skirt said. “I think these will look fabulous on Mia.” She laughed. “I’ve worked in this business a long time, and I can tell you it’s rare to find a model who looks amazing in everything she tries on. Most have some flaw they wish to hide, but not our Mia.”
I smiled tightly. Our Mia? Wrong. She was my Mia. “I’m sure you’re right, but that one won’t work,” I said, pointing at the lavender silk bra and matching panties on the white satin hanger. “Next.”
Looking stricken, the woman said, “But—”
“It’s lovely, Barbara. Just not what I have in mind for Mia. May I see the next one?”
She held up a black lace bustier with a matching thong, looking apprehensive. She had every reason to be nervous. The only time I expected to see Mia parading around wearing that was when she was modeling it for me.
“I want her to model the bridal collection.” I knew that was sexy yet demure.
“The bridal collection?” Barbara seemed stunned by my request.
“Is there a problem?”
“Um, no, but with Eleni’s darker coloring, I thought she would be perfect for the bridal collection.”
“You thought wrong,” I said, pinning her with a stare that brooked no argument. “Switch them. Eleni can wear these.” I gestured toward the pieces Mia had been slotted to wear. “Mia will model the bridal collection.”
“Of course, Mr. Starkis. Anything you say, sir.”
When one door closes, another one opens. I closed the door to my business for the last time in 2011, which left me with a decision. What now? Find another location and move my nutrition business, go to work for someone else, or take a chance on my dream? I chose the latter and I’ve never looked back!
I’ve always loved reading and writing, but it wasn’t until I jumped in with both feet and decided writing would be my career, instead of just a hobby, that my muse woke up from her deep slumber.
It was like someone flipped a switch inside my head and stories just came pouring out. At the end of the day, I would often look at the keyboard and wonder, ‘Who the heck wrote that? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me!’
I don’t write books. I tell stories, or rather, I allow my characters to tell their stories through me. I’m not a plotter, never have been, never will be. Why? Because I have no idea how the story will evolve and it’s not my place to manipulate it. My job is to get to know these characters, figure out what makes them tick, then follow their journey wherever it takes me.
When I’m not writing, I’m daydreaming. Thankfully, I have an understanding husband and son who know I’ll re-join the land of the living just as soon as my muse decides it’s quitting time. I don’t work for myself. I work for her. She’s the boss. And I’m okay with that.
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