Please welcome Susannah Sandlin! I’m lucky to see her once a year at Southern Magic’s Romance Readers luncheon every November. It pretty much consists of her waving to me and me waving back. Talk about a busy lady! Wow! That’s what happens when you have two personalities (both nice) as Susannah is also award winning author Suzanne Johnson.
She’s giving away a copy of LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP to a lucky commenter. The winner can choose from print, digital, or audio of the book!!
“Fans of National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code will love this!”
—My Book Addiction
From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes a heart-pounding romantic thriller that pits a quick-witted scientist and a scarred ex–combat diver against a ruthless billionaire treasure hunter with ties to the White House.
When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion. Within days, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of a member of the C7, a secretive international group of power brokers with a dangerous game: competing to find the world’s most elusive treasures, no matter the cost, in money or in lives. To save her family, Gillian teams up with Shane Burke, a former elite diver who’s lost his way, navigating the brutal “death coast” of the North Atlantic to find what the collector seeks: the legendary Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar, stolen by Gillian’s ancestor and lost at sea four hundred years ago.
He wasn’t sure what woke him, but the first thing Shane Burke saw when he cracked open his eyelids was the bottle of Jack Daniel’s, tipped over and resting on its side. He could’ve sworn he finished it off last night but there was at least an inch of rich amber liquid still resting inside.
Good. Now he didn’t have to wonder what he’d have for breakfast.
The second thing he saw was a great pair of legs. Well, technically, a great pair of ankles above a pair of leather sandals, and then the legs.
Obviously, he was starting his Saturday morning with hallucinations.
Only one good solution for that. He dangled an arm off the side of his bed and almost had his fingers wrapped around the neck of the bottle when one of the leather sandals kicked his buddy Jack Daniels under the bed, clipping his hand in the process.
“Ow.” Hallucinations didn’t take his booze and kick him in the knuckles.
Ignoring the throbbing in his hand and the stabs of hangover agony behind his eyeballs, Shane rolled onto his back and squinted at the rest of his nonhallucination.
Shoulder-length hair that fell in a sheen of dark chestnut brown, fair skin, fierce brown eyes, red lips compressed in a tight line, black skirt and white blouse, big briefcase-style purse. Had he picked her up at Harley’s last night? If so, he had to cut back on the sauce.
“Sorry,” he mumbled. “I forgot your name.” Pity, ’cause she was a hot little number, way classier than the regulars at Harley’s. It’s not like he got laid so often that he could afford to forget it when he did.
“We haven’t met.” She propped her hands on her hips and muttered something that sounded like, “And you’re supposed to help me?”
Help her with what? Wait, maybe she was a charter. Had he chartered The Evangeline out to a tour group or fishing party today? Surely he’d remember if there was money coming in.
Color him officially confused. He struggled to a seated position and gave her another look. “What am I supposed to help you with?”
She crossed her arms and raked a ball-shriveling gaze the length of his body. “I came here to offer you a job, but I don’t think you’re up to it.”
He tugged the sheet up in self-defense. “I’m not at my best. Ever consider making an appointment? Not dropping in at the crack of dawn?” He had no idea what time it was but it couldn’t be that late.
“It’s past noon. And I didn’t figure, given your financial situation, that you’d be so picky about what time of day someone offered you money.” She shook her head. “Never mind. This was a mistake.”
She banged her head on the low doorway out of the master cabin, which served her right, the sanctimonious shrew.
Shane eased himself to a standing position and waited to see if last night’s bourbon was going to make a reappearance or if he might topple over. Neither happened. Today would be a good day.
By the time he’d shuffled into the postage-stamp-sized bathroom, taken a leak, and brushed his teeth, he remembered the reason for last night’s bender. Not that he needed a reason, but last night he’d had one. First Bank and Savings, said a guy named Ralph (who bore an uncanny resemblance to a bullfrog), had grown tired of waiting for Mr. Burke to get current on his payments on The Evangeline. First Bank and Savings, so sorry, would need back payments in full within thirty days or the boat would be foreclosed on and put up for sale.
First Bank and Savings, so sorry, could go screw themselves.
Shane splashed water on his face, studied the dark-blond stubble on his chin, and decided not to shave. The bristle looked good with his bloodshot green eyes. Plus, he needed to get used to looking like a beach bum. If the bank took The Evangeline—which wasn’t just his boat but was also his home and his meager livelihood—he’d be doing any future shaving on a park bench or in the community bathroom of a shelter.
Shit. How was he going to put his hands on almost a hundred grand in a month?
He jerked open the bathroom door and almost fell over the brunette. “I thought you left.” He edged around her. “You’re taller than I thought.”
“I reconsidered.” The edge of her mouth quirked. “You’re wearing more chocolate than I thought.”
They both looked down at his boxers, black and covered with images of red foil-wrapped Hershey Kisses. “They were a gift,” he said. A total lie; he’d found them on eBay. “Think you could wait for me on deck?”
“Good idea.” The woman’s cough sounded suspiciously like a laugh. He doubted whatever job she had to offer would pay enough to satisfy the bullfrog at First Bank and Savings, but on the off chance that she was an heiress in need of a washed-up trawler captain, he’d dust off his manners and put on pants.
He watched her climb the steps and disappear through the hatch. Nice ass, but kinda wobbly on those sandals, which had silly narrow heels. Either she wasn’t used to wearing them or the almost-sighting of his man-candy had upset her sense of balance. Stranger things had happened. Probably.
Susannah Sandlin is the author of the best-selling Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, as well as The Collectors romantic suspense series. She’ll start a new romantic suspense series for Montlake Romance in 2016, beginning with WILD MAN’S BLUFF. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from TOR Books. Susannah was a finalist for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards in both 2014 and 2015, and is the 2013 winner of the Holt Medallion for paranormal romance. A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, but is plotting an eventual return to the Gulf Coast.
Author website: www.suzannejohnsonauthor.com
Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSuzanneJohnson
The Kindle versions of both Collectors books are on sale May 8-24, $1.99 each.