Hello everyone! Please join me in welcoming Kallypso Master's Perfect Blog Tour to Queen of the Night Reviews today. Starting June 20, Kallypso has been taking us on an adventure filled with interviews, guest posts, excerpts, and giveaways with a $10 Gift Card Daily prize and a Grand Prize of a $200 GC, each to the bookseller of your choice (selected from Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, or All Romance Ebooks). Each day, you will have a chance to enter in the grand prize drawing, too, using a special form, so don't miss a day! Come join the fun!
On my stop we get another exclusive excerpt from Nobody's Perfect (Unedited):
“Why are you here? How did you find me?”
She lowered her head. How to answer those questions without getting the door slammed in her face? “I looked at the next of kin info in Teresa’s file.” She didn't want to implicate Anita in the breach of confidentiality. “We need your help.”
She turned and glanced again at the car. When she turned back, she saw that he followed her gaze. Time to talk. Savi removed the glasses.
Damián's nostrils flared and his eyes became narrowed slits. She fought hard not to back away. She couldn't let him know that his angry response scared her to death. She needed him to help her, terrified or not.
“Who hit you?”
“I can’t say, but we need a place to hide out for a while, until I can figure out what to do.”
“Marisol? Is she okay?”
Savi nodded. “She’s asleep in the car. We drove day and night. I was afraid to fly or stay in motels. I didn’t want to leave a trail.”
He scanned the parking lot. “Look, that car’s going to get cold PDQ. Why don’t you get Marisol and come inside to warm up?”
She held her arm to her side, hearing the husky quality that entered her voice, “I can’t lift her.”
His gaze raked over her body, assessing her. “Give me your keys. I’ll get her.”
She hesitated a moment. You have to trust him. You can't do this alone. Then another blast of cold air hit her in the face and took her breath away. She looked down at the parking lot and pulled the keys out of her jacket pocket. “Follow me.”
“No. You don’t need to be going up and down those stairs. You look like you’re about to keel over. Just tell me which car.”
“The light blue Nissan.” She pointed to her sedan parked under the light.
“Go sit down. I’ll be right back.”
Like hell. She watched him walk back down the stairs, holding onto the rail, and walk across the lot to the car. Using the remote, the headlights flashed as he unlocked the doors and opened the back door. Gently he lifted her baby into his arms and made his way back up the stairs carefully, one hand on Mari and one on the railing. Seeing him with her daughter made her think she'd made the right decision to come here.
At the top of the stairs he looked up to find Savi waited for him. He didn't seem pleased that she hadn't gone inside as he'd asked her. Ordered her to, more like it. Well, she didn't take orders from any man anymore. Besides, she had needed to be sure Mari was safe.
Savi fell into step beside him and opened the door for them. Once inside, she locked the door.
He turned to whisper to her, “help me get her into bed. Then we’ll talk.” Damián led the way across the living room and stood beside what must be the bedroom door, which Savi opened for him. A blast of cold air hit them. Was there any heat in there? The living room had seemed wonderfully warm after being outside, but this room was freezing.
The bed was made and Savi pulled down the Mexican-Indian designed comforter and watched as he laid Mari’s head so carefully on the pillow. Then he guided her legs onto the bed. When he reached to remove her shoes, Savi grabbed his hands.
“No! I’ll do that.”
Holding up his hands, he backed off. While she unlaced the sneakers, Damián walked over to the wall near the doorway and adjusted the thermostat. She decided to leave Mari's jacket on for added warmth.
He whispered, “It’ll warm up in here in no time.”
Savi pulled the comforter and sheet over her baby and bent down to kiss her.
Sleep well, love. You're safe for now.
Savi stood and turned, wincing as her lungs constricted. She held her hand to her side again before noticing she'd attracted unwanted attention from Damián. She forced her hand back to her side. He motioned for her to lead the way into the living room. When he started to close the door, she placed her hand over his. “No!” Realizing she'd overreacted, she shrugged slightly. Now she'd have to explain what was going on. But how much could she tell him? “Mari might wake up and be frightened to find herself in a strange bed.”
He turned and went into the living room. “Can I get you a Coke, beer, tea, or something?”
She remembered a similar offer at Teresa's house in Solana Beach. “No Kool-Aid?” She smiled, then caught herself. What had come over her? This was no time for teasing.
“Sorry. When the munchkins aren’t around, I prefer beer.” He grinned.
“A Coke sounds good. I need to keep my wits about me.”
He went to the fridge and pulled out a can of Coke. “Glass and ice?”
“No. The can’s fine.”
He handed it to her and she popped the top. “Let me take your jacket.”
“No, I’m fine. I’ll just keep it on.”
He didn't look like he believed her about being fine, but motioned for her to have a seat on the sofa. He sat down at the other end and reached over to pick up an open bottle of Dos Equis he’d obviously been drinking before she'd arrived.
His gaze targeted her. “Who hit you?”
Savi wasn't sure where to start. She lifted the soda to her lips and tipped her head back, drinking long and slow, then lowered the can again and stared at it a moment, tracing a fingernail around the rim.
“Was it your husband?”
Her what? She looked up, brows furrowed, then shook her head. “I’m not married.” What had made him think otherwise?
“I have a friend who was a corpsman—a medic—in Iraq. Will you let him check out your injuries?”
No way. She squared her shoulders and sat up a little straighter, willing herself not to show any sign of discomfort or her inability to breathe deeply. “What injuries?”
“Well, there’s the black eye, swelling, bruising on your face. You’ve also been favoring your left side. Did he hit you there, too?”
She sagged against the sofa. “It’s nothing.”
“Let my friend be the judge of that.”
She hadn't come here seeking medical help. She needed protection for her daughter. “I’m not leaving Mari.”
“Who said anything about leaving? He’ll come over here if I ask him.”
“No. The fewer people who know I’m here, the better.”
“Who are you running from, Savannah?”
Wasn't that great excerpt! You can follow the rest of the stops here.