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Silent Partner
By: Renee Vincent
Turquoise Morning Press
Blurb:
Grayson Anders has it all. He’s the co-owner of a happening nightclub in downtown Boston, he’s wealthy, and women practically throw themselves at his feet the moment he steps on the dance floor. But profiting from these obvious benefits is not his desire. His passion is dancing and he wants nothing more than to find the perfect dance partner.

Chloe LaRoche is a talented artist, but a failing entrepreneur. Her once thriving studio is now on the brink of foreclosure and unless she paints the next Van Gogh Starry Night, she’ll have to cut her losses and say goodbye to her quaint little gallery. Fearing her career is at an end, she drags herself to the local hotspot, determined to drown her worries in the bottom of a shot glass. At least that was the plan…until she lays eyes on a wickedly sexy, swarthy dancer in the club—Grayson Anders.

Unable to resist, Chloe finds herself in Grayson’s arms, indulging on a passionate, out-of-control, one night stand. And when both awaken the next morning, they are consumed with inspiration.

Grayson finds his perfect dance partner and Chloe finally finds her muse. But will her secret destroy both their dreams?


Excerpt:
There he was.

Shaking his cute little ass on the dance floor of Gyrations, the hippest night club in downtown Boston, amid a flock of beautiful women.

Chloe had first noticed him, chatting with the bartender, when she entered the strobe-lit room and wandered up to the bar. Their discussion looked important since they were both hovered over a business calendar. But, once a change of song had happened, he skirted away from the conversation with a look of intent on his face—probably to score one of the many loose women who had caught his eye earlier in the night.

She couldn’t tell which one he was looking to get lucky with as there were so many dancing around him, their barely-there clothes shimmering underneath the illuminating black light, each one competing for his attention. She didn’t blame them. He was quite possibly the sexiest man she’d ever seen.

He wore sleek, black, painted-on leather pants, a tight white tank, and a have-your-fill-of-me grin on his handsome face. He was enjoying himself—that was for certain—as he moved his body to the beat of the booming bass, his hips looking as if they were dislocated from the rest of him.

Oh, he knew how to dance—quite well—and he was not afraid to show it among the many who crammed into the joint. In fact, he held many people’s attention—not just hers—as if he had a reputation to live up to. As if the status of ‘the best male dancer’ was up for grabs.
She didn’t think there was such an event going on at the crowded nightspot, but she would definitely cast her vote in his favor if there was. No one in the place could even come close to matching his abilities. His steps were graceful, his rhythm was spot on, and his lithe muscular body moved in ways she didn’t think possible. His hips entranced every female in the club, and probably infuriated every male who was left holding up the bar.

Chloe gazed around the trendy, atmospheric room and took in the many grievous faces of the men standing in random corners, drinks in hand, their attention focused. She assumed they were all either watching Casanova in hopes of learning something, or, more likely, waiting for him to make a move on their girlfriends just so they could have a reason to open a can of whup-ass and vent their jealousies.

As she glanced back at Mr. Gyration, he was now grinding against some blonde’s tight-jeaned derriere, his hands on her hips as though he was having sex with her. She noticed the bimbo’s expressive face, her lips parted and her eyes half-closed from the pleasures he was dishing out, and it was obvious the girl wished he’d get into her pants before the night was over.

Chloe sighed and looked away, tossing back a shot of Tequila, knowing the only way she was going to get ‘lucky’ tonight was if she awoke tomorrow morning without a horrendous hangover. At this point in the game, she didn’t look beyond her next shot, and let the burn of the alcohol soothe her troubled mind.

She was two drinks in and raised her hand for another.

The bartender, cool and confident, opened the broad-bottomed bottle of Patrón and leaned toward her, his weight casually resting on one elbow. “You sure ‘bout this, honey?”

Of course she was sure. She wouldn’t have ordered it to begin with had she been apprehensive about the drink’s potential. She knew well what the hard liquor could do, and since she was there for one thing and one thing only, she had high hopes it would soon help her to forget her worries and drown her stress.

She was an artist—a starving artist. If she didn’t find a way to sell more of her paintings, she was going to lose everything. Her shop. Her home. Her life.

Every little bit of her savings had gone toward the funding of her big dream. And for a while, things looked promising. Her paintings were moving out the door on a relatively regular basis. Her biggest clients had been young, wealthy doctors and lawyers who aimed to spruce up their bachelor penthouse pads with risqué nudity in an artistic form. On occasion, she had even locked in a few hairdressers who wanted the more tasteful pieces for their salons.

But those avenues had soon run dry.

Word of mouth had only gone so far, and with the changing economy, no one was willing to spend their hard-earned money on needless fine art. If she didn’t figure out a way to stimulate the public’s senses enough to open their wallets, she would have to give up her small independent business and kiss her entrepreneur life goodbye.

With a flip of her hand, she gestured for the concerned bartender to pour another shot, fixed on the goal of drinking away her problems.

“This may look like water, darlin’, and go down just as smooth, but it ain’t so easy on the body once it hits your head.” He looked her over, as if measuring her determination, and after a few seconds, he popped the cork-lined glass top. “What do I care, huh? As long as you’re paying…”

“You shouldn’t care at all, Jack, especially if I’m footing the bill. And make that two.”

Chloe looked to her left upon feeling something brush against her arm. To her surprise, it was Mr. Gyration, flipping a twenty on the bar.

Her stomach fluttered and she lost all sense of herself. Being on the receiving end of that cocky smile really did a number on her heart. As her breath staggered out of her, all she could do was smile in return.
She glanced at the crisp Jackson resting next to her shot glass, appreciative of his generosity. At least he was trying to be a gentleman, which was completely opposite of the impression he had made on her from the dance floor. She could only hope he’d continue to be that way, for she had no intention of tolerating anything less.

“You’re a pretty little thing,” he said, leaning against the bar. “A girl like you shouldn’t be anywhere alone. Especially here.”

“Easy Don Juan,” Jack interrupted as he slammed another shot of Tequila on the slick lacquered wood of the bar. “She’s new.”

“I can see that.”

Chloe had to look away. His devilish smile was too much to handle. And even though a warning had slipped from the bartender’s lips, Mr. Gyration didn’t seem to care. He was staring at her with such hunger, she half expected him to growl like an animal if some other man-whore got too close.

In trying to rid the weight of his close presence, she reached for the alcohol, dying to douse the flaming heat of his dark, amber eyes from her memory. But his hand stopped her.

The abruptness of his actions caused the drink to slosh and splash her fingers. She barely noticed. All she could feel were his masculine fingers, curling gently around her tiny wrist and the warmth of his palm, flattened across her forearm, spreading like wildfire throughout her body. The shock of his touch nearly stopped her heart. What stunned her more, was watching him lift her hand and taking her wet finger into his mouth, sucking the small droplets of Tequila from it.

Her stomach dropped to her pelvis and a sweltering inferno raged from within her core. The only thing that kept her from incinerating right there on that barstool was the tingling sensation dispersing between her thighs. Though his tongue only swirled around her one knuckle, she could feel its torment on her whole body, a warmth spreading like fire between her legs.

She crossed them tightly, trying to get a grip on her emotions, trying to keep him from weaseling into her good sense. But the manner in which he withdrew her finger ever so slowly from his soft, full lips clouded her brain, his inviting brown eyes blurring everything around her.

No one existed, save him.

“Let’s dance first,” he suggested.

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