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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - Charlene Sands!

Welcome Back for another Saturday Spotlight!

Remember to read the disclaimer in my sidebar.

Today's guest is Charlene Sands and her book Reserved for the Tycoon.

Charlene Sands is a true romantic at heart, having married her high school sweetheart! She lives in Southern California with her hero-husband. She’s a member of LARA and OCC where she heads up the Ask an Author Program. To date, she’s written 25 books and is the recipient of the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award and the Bookseller’s Best Award. Her Silhouette Desire, Do Not Disturb Until Christmas has been nominated for Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine’s Best Silhouette Desire of 2008. Look for her final book in the Suite Secrets Series, Reserved for the Tycoon in February and Texan’s Wedding Night Wager in September 2009! Presently, she’s working on Napa Valley Vows--a trilogy set in the wine country.

Bold, rugged, heart-stopping heroes and always REAL GOOD MEN.

Charlene invites you to stop by her site or enter her new Suite Valentine Contest at: http://www.charlenesands.com/.

Reserved for the Tycoon Blurb:
This elegant hotel on the lush Hawaiian island of Maui was everything Vanessa Dupree had dreamed of. Working here meant she could take the sweet revenge she had reserved for Brock Tyler, the ruthless tycoon who owned the resort. She'd destroy his business, paying him back for what he'd done to her family. But was this devastatingly handsome—and dangerously charming—man beginning to suspect his new 'right-hand woman'? And was that the real reason for the sizzling seduction that was making it so hard to keep her mind on sabotage…?

Read An Excerpt!

Getting the job at Tempest Maui Hotel as event planner had been a breeze. With her impressive résumé in hand, Vanessa Dupree walked right into today's interview with confidence and answered the hotel tycoon's questions with all of the intelligence and charm she possessed. Then she smiled winningly with promise in her eyes. Promises that arched Brock Tyler's dark eyebrows a bit and had his gaze wandering to her "other" assets. Vanessa silently fumed. Brock was a charmer, all right. Black hair, perfectly groomed, dark eyes that could mesmerize and classy clothes covering a fit body; it was a small wonder her younger sister fell for him back in New Orleans.

He didn't know that Melody Applegate and Vanessa Dupree were related and that's exactly how she intended on keeping it. Vanessa shoved the image of her heartbroken sister, teary-eyed and devastated, out of her mind, for now.

She rose from her seat. "Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Tyler. You won't be sorry you hired me."

The lie flowed easily from her lips.

He stood up and instead of reaching across his desk for a handshake, walked around to grasp her hand and give a gentle but firm tug. "The success of this hotel is very important to me. I handpick all my employees. Welcome to the team, Miss Dupree."

Vanessa squirmed a little under his steady gaze. He stood a head taller than her and she felt his dominating presence far more than when a bamboo-accented desk separated them. The man oozed sexual prowess with every movement he made and his hand touching hers brought queasy jitters to her stomach. "Thank you."

"I'll see you tonight for dinner."

"Dinner?" Vanessa's voice squeaked. The man worked fast.

"There's an employee dinner meeting every Wednesday night. Seven o'clock in the Aloha conference room."

"Right," she said, steadying her nerves. "I'll be there."

Brock nodded and walked her to the door, his eyes flickering from her tightly pulled back platinum hair, down the bodice of her navy-blue business suit, lingering a second on her breasts, then to the hem of her dress. "We dress more casual here. We want the guests to feel relaxed. No more business suits and…let your hair down."

Sizzling heat rivaling the Hawaiian sun raced through her system when his gaze returned to her hair. She touched a strand absently. "It's natural. The color, I mean."

Good heavens, Vanessa. Get a grip.

Those dark brows rose again, but he didn't voice his doubt.

"My mother always said it was a freak of nature. No one in the family has this color hair."

He looked at her hair again and nodded. "Pretty."

"Oh, I wasn't fishing for a compliment, Mr. Tyler."

Though that's exactly how she'd sounded.

"No, I doubt you'd have to hunt down compliments, Vanessa."

The soft tone of his voice when he spoke her name brought another round of jitters to her stomach.

He was good, she surmised.

Sexy. Rich. Powerful.

But Vanessa wouldn't let that discourage her from her mission. She thought of the pain he'd caused Melody last month. Her sister had been beside herself with grief. She'd fallen hard and fast for her tycoon employer in New Orleans and Brock had discarded her like yesterday's newspaper. To him, she was old news. Vanessa had never seen her sister cry so much or so hard. She'd been destroyed by his abrupt dismissal and rejection. He hadn't cared that he'd broken her young naive heart after dating her for weeks and leading her on.

Vanessa had firsthand experience with this kind of man. She'd been dumped a few times and she remembered how much that had hurt. She learned how to weed out the insincere men and steer clear. Melody, on the other hand, being six years her junior, hadn't the experience to handle a man like Brock Tyler.

Vanessa had always championed her younger half sister's cause. She'd watched out for her. She'd protected her all of her life. In most respects, she'd mothered Melody when their own mother had become too ill to do it. Vanessa had taken over the role then and those tendencies were hard to change.

Compelled by anger and a sense of justice, Vanessa couldn't pass up this chance to finally give Brock Tyler a taste of his own medicine. The event planner position had fallen into her lap. She'd always wanted to see Hawaii, and now she'd be here for a time, subletting a little condo on the island. All things had fallen into place.

Yet, after meeting Brock Tyler, Vanessa understood the challenge. It wouldn't be easy. He'd be a worthy adversary but that wouldn't deter her. She'd come to the island for one reason and one reason only.

To ruin Brock Tyler.
* * *

"Vanessa Dupree is teaching the class?" Brock Tyler watched his new event planner on an exercise mat lift one firm, gorgeous leg over her head on Tempest Maui's sandy beachfront.

"Yes, sir." Akamu Ho, his hotel manager, nodded. "Pilates. She didn't want our guests to miss out when Lucy called in sick this morning."

"Enterprising woman." His newest employee had spunk and a great résumé. From the moment they'd met in the interview, Brock had been intrigued. He'd debated about hiring her. His instant attraction to her had knocked his well-honed senses off the charts. Not that Brock had trouble mixing business with pleasure normally, but he couldn't jeopardize the success of Tempest Maui. His focus and all of his attention had to be directed to the newly renovated hotel.

Brock walked from the plush Garden Pavilion onto the sands of Tranquility Bay toward the dozen guests working out on the beach. When Vanessa spotted him, she wiggled three fingers in a wave.

Her natural smile and that Marilyn Monroe hair were eye-stopping enough, but add the skimpy black spandex shorts with her tanned midriff exposed and Brock had a helluva time containing his lust.

He leaned against a tall palm tree and waited for her to finish. After leading the class in a cooldown exercise that had his blood heating up, she dismissed the class. He walked over to her, helping her pick up the mats and stack them in one pile on the sand. "So you're a Pilates expert, too? I didn't see that in your résumé."

Her low rumble of throaty laughter brought images of hot sex on the sand. "I'm not an expert. I just enjoy exercise. I've always been flexible."

Brock cleared his throat, but that image of sex with her on the sand went from hazy to vivid in two seconds flat.

"When Lucy called in sick with a high fever, I didn't want to disappoint the guests. I let them know I wasn't an expert or anything, but I could lead them in a class."

She picked up a towel and wiped sweat from her forehead. Beads of perspiration coated her body and brought a shimmering sheen to her tanned skin.

"They all thanked me," she said with a slight shrug. "I think they enjoyed it."

"I'm sure they did," Brock said, trying to keep his mind on the reason he'd come out here. "In just the week you've worked here, you've made an impression. Stepping in today for Lucy shows you've got team spirit and the hotel's interests in mind."

With the towel placed around her neck, she gazed into his eyes, squinting a bit in the sunlight. "Are you saying you're glad you hired me?"

She surprised him with her blunt assessment. "I'm a good judge of character."

Then he focused on the reason for approaching her in the first place, setting aside the fact that he'd have watched her do her flexible exercises for no other reason than pure fascination. "Actually, I need to speak with you about some upcoming events that are important to the hotel."

"Okay. Should I shower and change and meet you in your office?"

That had been his plan initially, but now it seemed sacrilegious to ask a gorgeous woman to change out of revealing spandex. "No, let's walk the beach. I've got a full schedule today and doubt I'll get outside again before the sun sets."

That much was true. Brock didn't spend enough time outside on these gorgeous Hawaiian days. Whenever he could, he'd go out on his yacht, harbored in Tranquility Bay to get away from the mounds of paperwork he'd encountered since the renovation project began months ago. Now he had a wager with his brother Trent, for ego's sake more than anything else, to make a bigger success of his hotel than Trent had with Tempest West in Arizona. The two had always been competitive and with the added bonus of his late father's beloved classic Thunderbird as the prize, Brock had everything to gain by seeing that his hotel prospered.

They walked in morning sunshine along the warm sand, the ocean humming more like a small kitten than a lion's roar.

Brock got right to the point. "These first few events will make or break our hotel's reputation. As you know, this hotel had been closed down for more than a year due to poor management. Certainly not because of location. My brothers and I saw the hotel's great potential as a destination spot for weddings, conventions, fashions shows and major parties. The renovations are complete and now it's up to all of us, including you, to see that we succeed, Vanessa."

Vanessa nodded, her head down. "I understand that, sir."

He winced at her serious tone. He was used to commanding respect from his employees, but somehow, the "sir" coming from Vanessa's sensual lips didn't sound quite right. "Call me Brock."

When she glanced up, he smiled. "We'll be working closely from now on. You and I might as well drop the formalities."

"Okay… Brock." She cast him a quick coy smile.

Brock couldn't quite figure her out. Several times this week he'd caught her watching him, but the minute their eyes met she'd looked away abruptly. What had he witnessed in those pretty blue eyes?

"We have a wedding next week. It's a big expensive affair and the hotel has booked over three hundred guests. You've been working with the wedding coordinator, I suspect?"

"Yes, since the moment I hired on. I have the details covered, Mr.… uh, Brock."


"I've done wedding coordinating before. I've got it under control."

Her qualifications were impeccable. She'd had experience in event planning for a large corporation as well as a major hotel chain, working at one time for a competitor, actually. Brock had been fortunate she'd come along when she had.

"I'm counting on your expertise to make this happen."

"I'm good at making things… happen." She spoke that last word softly, the woman oozing sensuality.

Brock stopped to gaze into her eyes. A little, throaty laugh escaped and he didn't mistake the demure look she cast him. "How good?" he asked, all thought of business now out of his mind.

"Oh, very good," she whispered, her gaze dropping to his mouth.

Brock was ready to pull her into his arms and crush his lips to hers, until she took a step back. "About the other events?"

"We'll talk about those later," he said, keeping his frustration at bay. He'd almost kissed her. Hell, he wanted to, but she'd backed off.

"Is there anything else you'd like to discuss with me?"

He shook his head. "No. Just concentrate on the wedding."

"Okay. Well, I'd better get to that shower now. I have work to do." She turned and jogged away, leaving him a stunning view of her backside and wondering what she'd do if he'd joined her in the shower.

Sounds like an exciting book!

Charlene can also be found at Petticoats & Pistols!

Monday we're going to spotlight the winner of my Sweetheart Contest so c'mon back!

Until later....Take care and Be BLESSED!

Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!" (tm)


Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Charlene. I am enjoying the series very much, Charlene.

Congrats on your many awards.

Hi Pam...I like Tempered Hearts, too!!

Hugs to you both.


Abi said...

I'd love to win this book. I have a brother that live in Hawaii. He talks of Maui

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Thank you for posting!

Glad you liked Tempered Hearts, Tanya!