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Synopsis:

All my life I followed the rules. I lived under the iron rule of my father and did what was expected of me.

Until now.

I want to live in the big city. Make new friends. Get a great job. Meet a man that makes me swoon. Fall in love.

Sounds straightforward enough, but making my way in a city of six million isn’t as seamless as I’d hoped. And the man is more sour than sweet.

Something’s got to give. And this time it won’t be me.

A little taste:

prologue

A piercing cry echoed through the delivery room as the baby came into the world.

“It’s a girl,” a nurse cried exuberantly.

Exhausted, the child’s mother collapsed onto the stiff white sheets of the hospital mattress while the father watched on in dismay.

Despite the joyous occasion, the father’s mood was remarkably dour. Another one? he thought grimly. Neither of his daughters would be able to take his place at the head of his Baptist congregation.

There was nothing to it.

They would have to have another child. The plan began forming in his mind even as he went through the motions of drumming up a pleased expression. Father had his attention wrapped so tightly around how to get a male heir to carry on his lineage that he almost didn’t notice the flurry of activity teeming around his wife.

Something was terribly wrong. His eyes darted to where a nurse placed his daughter in a clear-sided case as activity swarmed around him. Another nurse hooked her arm around his elbow to lead him out of the delivery room and into the hallway. Dimly, he acknowledged her words – bleeding, emergency, infection, surgery.

In the waiting area, his escort gently deposited him in a hard plastic chair and then scurried off, promising to return with news. Closing in on two in the morning, he realized the room was nearly empty. His other daughter was at home with one of the parishioners from his church, unbeknownst to the struggle her mother faced. Slumping forward, Father rested his elbows on his knees, dropped his head into his outstretched palms, and waited, silently praying for the life of his wife.

Later – he wasn’t sure how much time had passed – the grim-face doctor strode into the waiting room and called his name.

“My wife?” he choked to the man clad in dark blue surgical scrubs.

“She’s resting comfortably in the recovery room.”

“What happened?” Father wasn’t one to tremble, but at this moment, his voice shook. He couldn’t lose her. No other woman was worthy to fulfill the role of his wife.

The doctor began a lengthy medical discussion of what had occurred. Most of the terminology passed outside his understanding of medicine, but he was too proud to ask the doctor to explain.

He understood one word.

“Unfortunately, we had to perform a hysterectomy,” the doctor said gently. “She will never be able to have children again.”

A silent fury crept through him at the injustice of the situation. But he could not reveal the full depth of his emotion. He was a respected member of the community; as the pastor, the community called upon him for weddings, funerals, counseling … No, he could not scream at the doctor for butchering his wife’s body. He could not wail because he would never have the son that he’d dreamed of his entire adult life.

“Come back and see your wife. We’ll bring your daughter in. She’s doing beautifully. Do you have a name picked out?” the doctor said, reading the pastor’s silence as shock.

The pastor cleared his throat. His lips pressed into a taut line. “My wife selects the names for the girls.” He kept his voice to a murmur; afraid any inflection would betray his disbelief and disdain for another girl. Was it so much for a man of faith to want a son to carry on his family name and heritage? He was a pastor, his father was a pastor, his father’s father was a pastor, and so forth. The only way to control who would take over his congregation would be by selecting a husband for one of his daughters. He wasn’t opposed to the notion, but he would prefer to have a son to mold into the ideal successor.

Fighting a sigh, the pastor dutifully entered the hospital room where his fatigued wife lay with a bundle of pink blanket on her breast. He moved to her side, making the appropriate cooing noises, and stroked his hand over the child’s wispy blond strands of hair. It wasn’t as if he had no feelings at all for the baby girl. She evoked a sense of pride and a corner of softness in his heart, but she wasn’t what he truly wanted.

“What would you like to call her?” His voice sounded rough like sandpaper when he spoke. Thankfully, none of the nurses in the room or his wife took notice, likely assuming his wife’s near-death experience had left him tired and shaken.

“Iris,” his wife said resolutely. “My baby girls are my flowers. I already have a Violet and now an Iris.” She gazed at the child with such love and affection, the pastor momentarily wondered if he was looking at this scenario backward. His wife survived the traumatic birth and held their healthy daughter in their arms. What more could he ask for?

A son.

 

 

 

 

Behind Her Smile is $0.99!

Greed
Lust
Manipulation
Betrayal
Lies
Control
Abuse

Welcome to Karolina Morgan’s world.

Get Behind her smile for $0.99 now!

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Behind her Smile FOR WEB

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Synopsis

David and Karolina Morgan have the perfect marriage. He runs a financial empire catering to Miami’s most influential and she is the darling socialite, adored by her husband and all those that meet her.

But underneath the lavish home, expensive car and exquisite jewelry lies a darkness threatening to consume Karolina. The once vivacious fashion design student has become a shadow of herself at the hands of her manipulative husband.

Then, with the flick of a power switch, everything changes. Karolina must learn to fight back when she discovers her entire existence is one big sham, with dire consequences.

Behind Her Smile #TeaserTuesday

Behind Her Smile is coming January 6. Scroll down for a taste!

Behind her Smile FOR WEB

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Synopsis

David and Karolina Morgan have the perfect marriage. He runs a financial empire catering to Miami’s most influential and she is the darling socialite, adored by her husband and all those that meet her.

But underneath the lavish home, expensive car and exquisite jewelry lies a darkness threatening to consume Karolina. The once vivacious fashion design student has become a shadow of herself at the hands of her manipulative husband.

Then, with the flick of a power switch, everything changes. Karolina must learn to fight back when she discovers her entire existence is one big sham, with dire consequences.

Excerpt 

What could we possibly have in common?” I mean to ask him this with disbelief, but Alec hears something else in my tone. Apparently, my reaction displeases him. I have no malice. I’m stunned to think he sees me this way.

Alec assesses me through cool eyes. “Poverty. Ambition. Fortitude. Is that enough for you?” More descriptions I cannot fathom. How could he possibly know I was raised in poverty? And those other things – it’s as if he read my life story. For some reason, he wants to talk about the person my own husband pretends never existed.
My entire body quivers. A torrent of raw, blistering pain slashes through me. All of a sudden, I want to cry.

I’m so lonely.

Being inundated with work in the absence of his brother and father, David is hardly around. And when he is at home, he is more irritable than I realized. Then there are all the society events – none of those women want to be my friend. More like my rivals to have the latest fashion and most expensive jewelry. I haven’t spoken to Dora in months. I feel like I’m losing control of my life.

Alec rises to his feet and fear rushes through me. Don’t go! I want to grab his hand and beg him to stay and tell me all the stories that made him in to the man standing before me.

“I … I don’t know what to say.”

Alec shoves his hands into his pockets. He displays his strong profile when he gazes off toward the rolling mansion on the opposite side of the Coral Gables waterway. “Don’t say anything. You’re right. I shouldn’t be here.”

This time, I find the nerve to act. Before he can stride off into parts unknown, I jump to my feet and grab his wrist. I feel it then. A connection between us that is strong enough to make me yank my hand back in stunned silence. Alec twists his neck to look down at me, his lips pressed together in a firm line.

Whatever I want to confess – whatever I want to ask dies on the tip of my tongue. Staring at the man I once thought to be the devil, I realize the truth. Alec is a mortal just as I am, flaws and all.

“I’m sorry.” I whisper the words to his throat. The words are to both of us.

“You owe me nothing, least of all an apology,” Alec scoffs. Then he stalks across the stone patio without a glance back. Limply, I collapse into the lounge chair unsure of what just happened.

Behind Her Smile Teaser Time

In case you didn’t hear, I’m feverishly writing a new novel called Behind Her Smile. This story is a little different for me (read: darker and grittier) and I’m having a blast writing it. Before we get into the very unedited teaser, here’s what this book is all about.

Synopsis 

David and Karolina Morgan have the perfect marriage. He runs a financial empire catering to Miami’s most influential and she is the darling socialite, adored by her husband and all those that meet her.

But underneath the lavish home, expensive car and exquisite jewelry lies a darkness threatening to consume Karolina. The once vivacious fashion design student has become a shadow of herself at the hands of her manipulative husband.

Then, with the flick of a power switch, everything changes. Karolina must learn to fight back when she discovers her entire existence is one big sham, with dire consequences.

Add Behind Her Smile to your TBR

Teaser time! This is an excerpt from the very first pages of Behind Her Smile. Enjoy!

Now – Karolina POV 

Tutu. Baby’s Breath. Angelic Musings. Three very different names describing the same thing: a delicate pink varnish that covers my fingernails. Every Monday I have a standing manicure appointment at Breeze. Each week the manicurist, Meryl, and I play the same game. Perched on a black stool, Meryl clucks over my cuticles and then asks, “How about red today? Goes well with your skin tone.” Pretending to ponder Meryl’s suggestion, I gently retract my hands to tug off my engagement ring and wedding band. “Red would match with a gown I’m wearing to a gala next week, maybe we’ll try it then.” But I never switch my request. Pale, newborn baby girl pink adorns my fingernails week in and week out.

Just once I’d like to try something brash like fire-engine or tangerine. However I’ve learned those colors are garish and considered inappropriate by reigning queens of Miami high society. Heaven forbid I make waves.

With a flick or his elegant wrist, David fills the cabin the luxury sedan with the classical music he prefers. Not a single strand of his hair falls out of place. The crisp corners of his heavily starched white shirt peek out from the edge of a black tuxedo jacket sleeve. David’s initials, DM, are stitched on the French cuffs, parallel to the cufflinks he purchased on a trip to the South of France. Every angle on David seems to be chiseled from the image of wealth and sophistication: classic bow-shaped mouth, straight, high-bridged nose and thick lashes framing his ocean eyes. There are no visible imperfections in his appearance. But I know a secret. If it weren’t for the colorist who visits our home each month, flecks of gray would show at David’s temples.

“That dress you’re wearing was quite the sensation.” The aristocratic timbre of his voice works well in seducing potential clients. David Morgan is the driving force being Morgan Financial, a financial planning service catering to Miami’s elite. In a way, the smoothness in David’s voice was one of the first things that drew me to him, too.

David knows exactly how to charm his prey. Complimenting one of my original designs is my biggest weakness. Under his praise, my shoulders straighten. Despite everything, I still blossom under a compliment from David.

All my life I wanted to create beautiful garments. Worked tirelessly in high school to get good grades and earn a scholarship to college. Slung burgers at a fast food restaurant for extra money. Then I got my prize: a partial scholarship to study fashion at the Miami Design Institute. Finally, I went after my dream of becoming the next Coco Chanel.

Life has a heartbreaking way of uprooting dreams, though.

Instead of producing fashion for Bryant Park in New York City, I’ve been relegated to a studio in my home. It’s not so bad, designing for myself. There’s no pressure to please anyone other than my own critical eye. Although my designs aren’t known on the national level, I am able to showcase some of my wears at society events. This evening I’m wearing a gown that took me a month to create – after the initial conception. Silk. Deep plum twisted bodice and a slit in the A-line skirt to allow a large enough range of motion for dancing. It elongates my lean form, displays feminine curves without being overtly seductive.

“Adriana Martinez would like to commission a gown for an inaugural ball,” I murmur. Like my husband, I’ve trained my voice to be gentle, never jarring.

David’s carefully styled eyebrows lift a centimeter – the barest hint of surprise. Adriana is married to Hector Martinez, the king of a real estate empire stretching from Key West to West Palm Beach County. Along with his wife, Hector can be found at every charity gala, important political function and any other events deemed important by Miami society. Now that the former governor of Florida was elected President of the United States, the financially influential Martinez couple will make their move toward Washington, DC. They were big donors to the president-elect’s campaign. Seven figure donors. Adriana wearing one of my original designs to an inaugural event could be a huge coup for what David calls my little hobby.

“Is that so,” David drawls.

“Adriana will be photographed for magazines and blogs. The exposure could do well for Morgan Financial.” Bravely I lift my gaze to David who stares at me impassively. His emotions are getting harder and harder to read with age.

“Hm. Morgan Financial would be a secondary beneficiary. Your design would be the shining star.” David shifts smoothly in the cream leather seat, now one eyebrow cocked in my direction. My heart thuds in my chest. Is he angry because, for once, a sliver of the spotlight may shine on me? “No matter. Let’s see if you can get yourself invited over to the Martinez compound. You’ll present the idea of a couples dinner at our home.”

“Certainly,” I agree.

David’s expression doesn’t betray any underlying irritation that Adriana may garner interest in my work. The tension in my chest abates and I sink further into my seat, good posture be damned. David reaches across the armrest dividing the backseat of the car, places a hand on my forearm. “Soon you’ll be receiving requests from all over South Florida. My wife, the fashion designer.” His lips flicker upward as though the prospect amuses him. “I support it, so long as your career doesn’t eclipse the time we spend together.”

“No, of course not.”

The diamond tennis bracelet clasped around my wrist pinches my skin, drawing my attention to the glimmering jewelry. David slips two fingers between my skin and the stones, stroking the delicate skin there.

“Do you remember when I gave this to you?” He asks huskily.

“How could I forget?” With my free hand, I finagle David’s hand to clasp our fingers together.

“Remind me,” he teases.

“It was right before we were married. You had the wedding planner deliver it to the bridal suite with a note.” Briefly, my eyes shut as I remember the emotions of our wedding day five years ago. Heady anticipation coursed through my veins that day. Never in my life had I known that type of excitement. I blink my eyes open and find David watching me raptly. A stoic mask conceals whatever he remembers of our wedding. Forcing myself to smile, I tug his hand to my chest where my heart rate has slowed to a gentle cadence.

“At the time, this bracelet was the most magnificent gift I had ever received. You’ve managed to outdo yourself dozens of times over.” I allow my expression to soften. “No one spoils me like you do, David.”

A cloud of Armani cologne wafts around me as David leans closer. He releases my hand, only to drag his fingertips along my cheek. David presses his warm lips against mine in a short kiss. “You’re the one who spoils me,” he croons.

It happens when David shifts back into his corner of the car, so quickly I’m sure he doesn’t think I notice. But I see it. David’s eyes flicker to the driver, making sure that he’s watching the show. If I’ve learned anything in the five years I’ve been married to David Morgan, it’s that appearances are of the utmost importance.

Teaser from In Pursuit

How about a little treat on this Halloween?

Here’s a TEASER from my contemporary romance novel, In Pursuit. This is unedited and subject to change.

Remember – when my Facebook page hits 500 likes we’ll do an Amazon gift card giveaway!

kiss

***TEASER***

I wait. The moment keeps dragging on, neither of us saying anything further.It’s like an invisible force is pushing me closer and closer to him until my lips are so close that they would tickle his if I talked.

“Your eyes are purple.” He speaks! And oh how those words feel. Warm, moist lips flicker over mine in a hint of contact.

Desire stirs deep in my belly, churning a feeling I’ve never encountered so thoroughly before: lust. I don’t just want to be with Harris, I need the connection. I squeeze my thighs together, attempting to stifle the growing tingling sensation between my legs. “My mom gave them to me,” I say dumbly. Does that even make sense? There will be time to dissect what I say later, for now I focus on our lips gently brushing back and forth.

In Pursuit Sneak Peek

As you may or may not know, I’m trying to get 500 followers over on the old Facebook page. If you like contemporary romance novels with angst, drama, passion and a little humor thrown in, please come by my page! It’s your one stop shop for all of the latest news on my novel, In Pursuit.

Today I have something special for you. A little while ago I showed you how Harris describes his Eddie. This time around I want you to see how Eddie sees her man.

Before we get to that – want more information? You can always email me, I love notes!

Thor

 

 

 

**TEASER**

The grim Thor-with-a-buzz-cut-lookalike doesn’t respond, just passes stern glares between Claire and me. Tension vibrates between the three of us, a gnawing glacier of anxiety growing inside nearly makes me shiver.

Character Reveal: Claire Grant

With  help from new and old fantastic friends, I met my goal of 200  Facebook likes. So what’s all the fuss with 200 likes? It means it’s time for my dear readers to meet the incorrigible Claire grant.

Want more on my novel? Follow me on Twitter or the aforementioned Facebook or send me a shout! I love getting emails at olivialuckauthor@gmail.com.

Now, let’s welcome Ms. Claire, a main character from my contemporary romance novel In Pursuit.

Candice Swanepoel

 

Name: Claire Grant
Age: 28
Occupation: Attorney when she feels like it
Role: Younger sister of our hero Harris Grant
Look Inspired By: Candice Swanepoel
Relationships Status: In the summer she’s single because the weather is warm, in the winter she finds a boyfriend to occupy the cold nights
Bio: If frustrating her brother was a sport, Claire would have a gold medal. To Eddie, it seems like the younger Grant has no greater joy than infuriating Harris. Vivacious, flirtatious and sometimes devious, Claire’s mood changes rapidly making it hard to pinpoint what’s behind her brilliant smile.

Harris Needs Your Help!

Hello dear readers (is anyone out there?)!

Who’s ready to meet Harris Grant? He’s dying to get his own introduction on my Facebook page– but he needs your help.

He’s not able to visit until I have 100 likes.

As soon as we get there, you’ll meet the brooding Mr. Grant! So please visit the official Olivia Luck Facebook page and follow now so you can get to know Harris.