Thanks for letting me visit with you, Delilah! I write both dark, twisty mysteries and lighter, amateur sleuth stories. A shorter story with some heat sounded like a fun addition to the lineup. Alex Montoya is a secondary character in So About the Money, the first in the Holly Price/So About…series. Alex may have been a bit volatile in So About the Money. He simply needed the right woman to help him become the adult he’s capable of being. A bit of nagging from his character led me to write his story—MALBEC MAYHEM.
With all the fabulous wineries located in eastern Washington, choosing a rising star vintner to challenge him seemed a natural fit. Alex and Sofia understand the importance of family—including the joys and challenges associated with running a family business. They simply have to figure out a way to make their hot-blooded nature work for them.
Mix a Spanish chef with an Italian winemaker and create some mayhem—MALBEC MAYHEM.
Successful restaurateur Alex Montoya’s charmed life has hit a snag. His trusted business partner turned out to be not exactly trustworthy, and Alex could be facing jail time over some of his partner’s shady financial deals. As if that weren’t bad enough, creditors are calling in loans he didn’t know he had and he’s desperate to prove his innocence before all his businesses are repossessed.
After a career-building stint in Napa Valley, Sofia Pincelli has returned home to eastern Washington to take over the family’s winery. Running the family business, however, means dealing with her ailing father’s constant micro-management—and his disapproval of Alex. Her father’s condemnation of Alex’s rumored involvement in his business partner’s schemes runs so deep, it threatens Alex and Sofia’s blossoming romance…along with the Pincelli family’s signature red wine. Sofia needs Alex’s crop of Malbec grapes to show her father she has what it takes to make award-winning wine—and save the reputation and finances of the Pincelli winery.
When the Malbec grapes go missing, Alex and Sofia must join forces to find the fruit before it spoils—or risk destroying both of their businesses and their hearts.
In this scene, the bank has threatened to call Alex’s restaurant loan. He’s reeling from that news when Sofia demands to know, Where are the Malbec grapes?
The argument ends with a twist:
Alex stalked to a file cabinet, jerked open the top drawer and grabbed a scrap of black lace. He threw the panties at her. “You might want these ‘delivered’ too. You left them here the other night.”
“Oh for God’s sake, be serious.” Sofia rolled her eyes and thrust her fingers into her hair.
“Why?” He tried to ignore the way her upraised arms pushed her chest forward. “You’re the one who wanted a ‘fun’ relationship.”
“I’m talking about business. Business is serious.”
“What? You like the sex, but not me?” The file cabinet drawer slammed with a satisfying whack. “What is it with you women?”
“It isn’t ‘us women’. It seems to me, it’s you. You have a problem with intelligent women.”
“Bullshit. I prefer intelligent women.”
For a long moment, she studied him. Then she plucked the panties off the floor and stepped toward him. A smile hovered around the corners of her mouth.
“What?” He narrowed his eyes, glaring, more to keep her on-guard than to warn her off. Usually he liked not knowing what she’d pull next, but she loved a challenge—and to win—as much as he did.
She also liked make-up sex as much as he did.
“Nice shirt.” She trailed a finger inside his collar and paused at the first button. “You should wear this color more often. It sets off those gorgeous brown eyes of yours.”
She worked open the button. “Your olive skin…”
Desire rippled down his spine. “Thanks.” He eyed the open door behind them. Not that he cared who walked in.
She leaned closer. Her full breasts brushed his chest. Warm breath tickled his ear and sent a message straight to his groin. A cool scrap of fabric slid into his palm and her fingers closed his around the silk. “You might want to keep these.”
“Oh?” He managed to keep his tone merely interested while heat flamed through his body. If she kept this up, he could sweep all the papers off his desk. Or there were the chairs. The floor. Up against the wall…
“You keep up that crappy attitude though.”
His brain recalibrated. Problem, problem…
Soft lips brushed a series of kisses against his jaw. “And it’ll be a while before you see a new pair.”
That zinger delivered, she pivoted on her heel, and strolled out.
About the Author
Cathy Perkins started writing when recurring characters and dialogue populated her day job commuting daydreams. Fortunately, that first novel lives under the bed, but she was hooked on the joy of creating stories. When not writing, she can be found doing battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.
You can also visit her online at the following places
Amazon – Malbec Mayhem at Amazon
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/Cathy_Perkins
Twitter – https://twitter.com/cperkinswrites
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCathyPerkins
website – http://cperkinswrites.com
Amazon author page – http://www.amazon.com/Cathy-Perkins