However, in sharp contrast to the usual Friday night crowds, there was an almost deserted air about the brightly lit centre of Auckland. He knew it was illusionary. The revelers were there but hidden in soundproofed, weather-proofed basements and upstairs rooms, full of pumping music that drowned out the driving rain. It had been the site of a wrap party for a murder drama. A reed-thin blonde had caught him leaving the building and invited him to join in. Her eyes had been frank with invitation for a much more private party.

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Irritated at the prospect of having his solitude disturbed, he paused in the act of rising to his feet, wondering who else was awake at this hour. The cause of the disturbance was immediately visible. Delight replaced his earlier irritation. Now, this wake-up call was far more to his liking. She was petite, he thought, her body small but with no lack of curves. One of those lush curves was currently outlined beautifully by well-worn denim as she knelt on the ground and peered at the front wheel of her bicycle.

Long, arrow-straight black hair shifted like thick silk as she moved, brushing her bottom again and again. Interest sparked low and deep in his gut, a sharp hunger that was at odds with the jaded boredom that had crept up on him over the past year.

An amused light in his dark eyes, the stranger held out a long-fingered hand. His hand was strong, his fingers curling around her own until she felt engulfed…owned. Heat sizzled up her spine and burned through her cheeks. She tugged her hand away the moment she was up, unable to cope with the explosive fire shooting through her body. It suited him. A strong, masculine name for a man who was just that. You work on the estate, oui? It made rational thought difficult. She could feel her body sparking with life, embers of something hot and sensual glowing deep inside her.

Was it any wonder no one else had ever measured up? It felt like he was kissing her with nothing more than a look, making her feel things that should be illegal this early in the morning. Research I had to do an enormous amount of research for this book in two completely different fields — wine and flowers.

First came the wine. Because my hero was a winemaker, I had to become knowledgeable about technical aspects of wine production. I did a lot of reading on the internet and even emailed a small winery owner for information about soil!

Yes, they replied. Here, I got lucky. I also did a lot of reading up on plants, including seeking out color photos for descriptions. I have to admit I had a huge amount of fun designing this greenhouse, which template was used by the other authors in the Ashtons continuity when they set scenes in there.

Fellow Desire writer, Yvonne Lindsay, was the one who got me the answers I needed—from her talented husband! Not only that, I had to learn French …well, only the sexy things that Alexandre says to Charlotte. So as a result of having written this book, I now know all about wine, grape cultivation, greenhouses and I can murmur sweet nothings in French!

Bestseller Status Awaken the Senses hit 1 on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, the first of my books to make it to 1. It was also a 4.


Awaken: Awaken to Pleasure\Awaken the Senses

They were my cure for heartbreak I would bury myself in bed with 10 Harlequins, weep and read through my tears and weep at all the romance again. Most of them are craptastic or hilarious in their contrived plots, or simply bad, bad, bad. A lot of them are typical mediochre category romance, with billionaires a-plenty and hot wanton virgins. Some of them though, I absolutely loved, and love still. I never looked at authors when buying them, because the translation thing pretty much made the style universal, so I only cared if the plot sounded ok. I should have known though, because the plot is very much Singh. With the strong female who can take care of herself perfectly well, but learns to lean on others once and a while.


Awaken to Pleasure


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