With anticipation think in the air, the announcer called out, "Sold!"
And Sebastion Sinclair watched as the man just purchased was led off the stage to the sounds of raucous feminine cheers. Soon it would be his turn.
How the hell did I get myself talked into this? He wondered. Wearing a suit, watching huge amounts of money change hands with no consideration of the cost, being the center of attention-he hated it all. It reminded him of his youth and the fact that he had nothing in common with these shallow blue bloods.
Most of all, he hated the idea of being bought like an expensive toy for the amusement of rich women-regardless of the cause.
He seemed to be the only male not thrilled with the prospect of displaying himself. The others, in ages varying from late twenties to early forties, were smiling, flaunting their wares so to speak, and generally getting into the spirit of the thing. Only one man remained in line before Sebastian now and judging by the brawn of the guy and his rough-whiskered chin, he wouldn't last long. The women were really going berserk on the macho ones.
Which was probably why the construction workers had on very snug, tattered jeans and T-shirts too tight for men half their size-an adjustment for their female audience, no doubt. There was absolutely no way a man could work comfortably in a shirt that tight.
Likewise, the landscapers wore their work boots and jeans, some of them with no shirts on at all. And the carpenter-he had a heavy tool belt hanging low on his hips. The ensemble was complete with wrenches, a nail pouch, and the largest hammer Sebastian had ever seen, no doubt a pitiful attempt at symbolism. Sebastian shook his head and tried, without much success, to mask his amusement.
The announcer, a woman with a very wide, toothy smile, led a man around the stage by one finger hooked in his belt loop. The audience roared, then roared again when she had him turn, showing him to advantage. The spotlight moved over his backside and feminine shrieks filled the air.
Sebastian wondered if any of these rich people had realized the seriousness of the benefit, the purpose the money would serve in assisting abused women. He doubted it. To them, it was a lark, not a humanitarian deed to build shelters and help those in need.
To Sebastian, it was much more personal.
The brawny guy ahead of him bounded onstage, anxious for his turn to titillate the giggling masses, and Sebastian was left with a female attendant waiting for his cue.
As he'd guessed, the bewhiskered fellow went quickly, the last bid coming on a crescendo of womanly squeals and bawdy jests. The attendant took Sebastian's arm and directed him forward.
As he reached the center of the stage, hot lighting flooded over him. He stared out at the audience, satisfied with their reckless spending, but thoroughly disgusted by their careless attitudes. None of them gave a thought to where the money would go or how badly it was needed. They were all the same, full of glitz and shine; shallow, frivolous, concentrating only on their own pleasures. He was disdainful of them all.
And then he saw her.
She stood alone, a small dark-haired woman with huge eyes that dominated her face and expressed her fascination. She didn't smile as he met her stare. She didn't yell out suggestions or a bid as the other women were doing. She didn't laugh or joke; she didn't do anything but watch him. He no longer heard the announcer, no longer felt the heat of the bright lights. Her boredom and disinterest seemed to melt away. Her face was upturned, her lips slightly parted, as if in surprise. And he know-she couldn't look away. Some how he held her physically by the connection of their gazes.
Sabastian didn't dare blink. She seemed awestruck and innocent and he found her utterly irresistible. For some insane reason, because something inside him had stirred and heated at the sight of her, he had no intention of letting her go.
Maybe he wouldn't berate Shay after all. He just might be thanking her.
She wanted him.
Brandi stood in the middle of the floor, right beneath the stage. The men had been coming and going none of them overly remarkable to her mind, but then, she wasn't there to buy a man. She was only attending this benefit to support her sister, Shay. In truth, she avoided gatherings like this one, where the testosterone filled the air so thick you could choke on it. And there were any number of ways she would have preferred to spend her birthday.
But none of that matter at the moment. The man onstage was incredible, and once her gaze locked with his, she couldn't seem to find the connection to him, and she couldn't seem to find the wit- or the will-to walk away.
The woman handling handling the bids chuckled at some jest Brandi had missed, then turned to catch the man's arm. Holding a microphone in one hand, she gripped his arm firmly with the other and cuddled up to him. "Such a generous bid!" she called out sounding very excited, though Brandi, deeply involved in her own scrutiny, hadn't heard the exact amount offered. "He's worth every penny, ladies! Come on now, don't be shy. This one is quite a specimen." She squeezed his upper arm testing his muscle, then made an "oohing" expression to the audience.
The man didn't look overly complimented. He looked disdainful, and rather than work toward drawing more attention to himself as the other men had, he merely crossed his arms and braced his long legs apart. He seemed impossibly tall and strong and masculine in his rigid stance. As impenetrable as a stone wall. Almost barbaric in his strength. And he continued to look at Brandi.
The announcer struggled to gain his cooperation. She tried to force him into a turn, wanting to display him as she had the others in order to raise the already astronomical sum they'd collected. He resisted her efforts with ease. The announcer couldn't budge him a single inch.
And the women loved it. They called out more bids, made explicit suggestions on what they'd do with him and haggled amongst themselves.
Brandi's fascination built. Never before had she felt it, at least, not in eight long years. And before that, she's simply been too young. But there was no denying the interest surging inside her now. She'd made a decision earlier that day, a decision that would change her life-hopefully for the better. But this? Could she really consider bidding on a man? On this man?
Security consultant Sebastian Sinclair agrees to be sold at a bachelor auction. But he ends up being a gift for some lucky birthday girl. And away they go on a five-day dream vacation to a lovers' retreat.
Another sweet and sexy story from Lori Foster. Brandi Sommers is flummoxed by her sister's birthday gift to her--a dream retreat to a lover's getaway with sexy Sebastian Sinclair. His surprising gentleness healed her spirit and opened her heart to enjoying the passion and love he offered.
Carol S. - , reviewed Fantasy (Blaze) (Harlequin Temptation, No 675) on
Helpful Score: 1
Good book - a little unexpected, while I thought Sebastian and Brandi were heading off on a fun adventure, based on how the back of the book reads, I was surprised that this was a book about post-rape healing.
Great, quick read by Lori Foster - as usual, delightful! Her heroes are sexy, sweet and believable. Her female leads keep you entranced with the ir mis-steps on the way to romance. I liked the twists this book took, and enjoyed the spunk that Brandi showed.
Definitely not her best. It was kind of boring and really didn't go anywhere. Brandi's view of herself and her relationship with Sebastian was really pathetic, especially when she gave reasons why they shouldn't be together. Otherwise Brandi was okay. Sebastian was sweet and a little too perfect. There was no real conflict in the story. I would say skip it as well but I know this is the first book to a series. The other books in the series are better so don't judge them by this one.
Brandi Sommers doesn't know quite what to do about her sister's outrageous birthday gift of a dream vacation to a lover's retreat-with a sexy security consultant Sebastian Sinclair included as a lover! But she soon discovers that she can do whatever she wants....
The book was very good, exciting very adventures. I couldn't put it down and I am going to read more from the Lori Foster. This book makes me want to get a cabin in Gatlinburg and have my way with my Husband....
Brandi Sommers doesn't know quite what to do about her sister's outrageous birthday gift of a dream vacation to a lover's retreat--with sexy security consultant Sebastian Sinclair included as the lover. But she soon discovers that she can do whatever she wants. Includes a bonus article on sexual fantasies.
Happy birthday, Brandi,
Security consultant Sebastian Sinclair agrees to be sold at a bachelor auction. Being bought is one thing-now he''s about to be given away as a gift for some lucky birthday girl. But one look at Brandi Sommers and Sebastian can't wait to be unwrapped...
Open me first
Brandi really means it when she says "oh, you shouldn't have" to her sister's outrageous birthday gife-afive-day dream vacation to a lovers' retreat. Lover included. What's she going to do in paradis with the sexy stranger Sebastian Sinclair? Brandi soon discovers she can do whatever she wants.
Sexy security consultant Sebastian Sinclair brought a princely sum at auction. And for the next five days he was going to be a boy toy for some rich woman. At least it was for a worthy cause... and the woman was intriguing.
The last thing Brandi Sommers wanted was to fly off to a lover's retreat with some gorgeous mountain of a man. But Sebastian was an outrageously expensive birthday gift from her dear, meddling sister, and she couldn't very well return him. Besides, she would be in control at all times... she thought.
Sexy security consultant Sebastian Sinclair brought a princely sum at auction. And for the next five days he was going to be a boy toy for some rich woman. At least it was for a worthy cause...and the woman was intriguing.
The last thing Brandi Sommers wanted was to fly off to a lover's retreat with some gorgeous mountain of a man. But Sebastian was an outrageously expensive birthday gift from her dear, meddling sister, and she couldn't very well return him. Besides, she would be in control at all times...she thought.