The Second Lie (The Immortal Vikings #2)
by Anna Richland
A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.
To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.
A man in love with a good plan.
Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.
Secrets that turn deadly.
By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.
Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?
EXCERPT (Exclusive Excerpt):
The adrenalin rushes of multiple escapes, and the intimacy of a fine French dinner, went to Christina’s heads. At least that’s what she tells herself after she acts completely, crazily, madly out-of-character on the hood of a car behind the restaurant.
He cleared his throat lightly before he broke the silence. “What say you we go a little faster next time?”
“Next time?” She was covered on unintentional pregnancy, but they hadn’t used a condom. “We shouldn’t have—”
His finger pressed lightly on her lips, stopping whatever she was going to say. She didn’t actually know herself. “Give it a rest.”
He was right. The tingling satisfaction all over her skin agreed.
“Tomorrow, after you’ve had a sleep, and we’ve got off three or four more times and you’re unable to walk without thinking about me, then we’ll talk.”
“Really?” She snorted, but at the same time she had to put a hand on the car to keep her balance when the promise in his words registered in her trembling thighs. “Three or four more times? That’s a bet I should take.”
“And I think this is a car we should take.” He patted the spot on the hood that she’d just vacated. “Late enough it won’t be missed until morning. We’ll be holed up in Belgium by then.”
He bent to the bag he’d dropped when he’d tossed her on the hood, and then in a repeat of his trick on the train he had the door open and was helping her in like a valet parking attendant. Minutes later he was backing out and cruising down the dark alley.
Stig’s efficiency at car theft chased the endorphins from her brain. She’d noticed him across the clichéd crowded room, flirted when she should have turned him in, admired his package in tights and a dress, and had the wildest sex of her life ten minutes ago, but he wasn’t someone she should trust. Screw, yes. Trust, no. He was a con man and a thief, not a lover.
He shifted gears as they approached the highway. His hand rested casually on the transmission knob, a study in masculine veins and shapes, blunt fingers and fine blond wrist-hairs. Minutes ago that hand had been all over her body, those fingers had been inside her.
“I’m not—” She’d been wiggling in her seat and fidgeting with the shoulder belt. Trying to find spots where nothing rubbed her skin.
He slammed the shifter to fifth, and the flat dark fields and occasional houses of rural France passed faster. Inside the car’s cocoon, she could hear him breathe. Hear the barely audible scrape of his thumb across the cotton shirt as he opened another button at his collar and the slightly louder slide of his pants on the seat fabric as he hunted for a position.
The stretch pants were hot and stuck to her sweaty legs, and she wished she could clean up the dampness in her panties. Every time she changed position, she caught the smell of sex. Three or four more times, he’d said. Where did a woman buy condoms in France?
She needed to stop thinking about sex. But everything made her think about sex. Her body knew what they’d done, and the conflicting messages surging through her system added confusion. Her soft places were sensitized and wanting, but her usually stiff shoulders slumped as if she had no muscles in her upper back. She couldn’t find a way to sit that didn’t increase her awareness of the stickiness between her legs.
“Please, for the safety all passengers on the road, quit writhing in your seat like you have a vibrator over there. Or I will park this bloody car and haul you across the gearstick and take you hard and filthy on my lap, then haul you out and fuck you on the bonnet in sight of whatever nocturnal creatures populate this corner of Flanders, and we do not have time to do that properly right now.” He blew air out in a loud sigh, as if trying to lower his voice. “So please could you sit still.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.
She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.
To sign up for Anna's newsletter, find out more about her books, and read longer excerpts, please visit her website at www.annarichland.com, her Facebook page at AnnaRichlandAuthor, or her Goodreads page at [.
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Anna will be awarding a set of En Route notecards, gorgeously illustrated by Kate Pocrass (because falling in love with an Immortal Viking is a wild journey!) to a randomly drawn winner (INTERNATIONAL) via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: