Wednesday, July 15, 2015

To Be His by Terri L. Austin

When I finished His Every Need, my debut romance with Sourcebooks, I closed the book on Allie and Trevor. They had their Happily Ever After, but as time went on I found that I missed them. Especially Trevor, with his wicked British sense of humor. So I decided to retell part of their story from Trevor’s first person perspective.

The result is To Be His.
I didn’t amass an empire without taking risks, but I’m not a complete arse. So yes, when I offered to trade Allie Campbell three months as my mistress for her family home, it was a joke. Only thing is, she wasn’t laughing…and she bloody well took me up on it.
Well, all right then; I could play that game. I figured I’d take her on, we’d have some fun, and in three months, she’d walk away with her family intact and I could get back to what I do best: making money.
But I’d made one mistake along the way. I stupidly assumed that after having her, I could walk away. I was wrong. I don’t know how long this feeling—this consuming need—will last, but I’m not ready to let her go.
Not now.
Not yet.
Maybe not ever.    

 This novella is being serialized in the Sourcebooks Casablanca Free Romance Reads Newsletter. Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox:

 In the meantime, I’m leaving you with a teaser. 

Money mattered. Period. It was the only thing that did, really, and anyone who argued otherwise was either a fool or a dreamer. All that blather about it not buying happiness? Nonsense. Money could buy anything—happiness included—if one had enough of it.

As I studied my earnings for the quarter, a feeling of deep satisfaction settled over me. Sums and figures. So reliable. So rational. Numbers showed a refreshing honesty that words often lacked. They represented everything in life. Assets versus liabilities. Cost versus benefit. These numbers in particular, with all their lovely commas and zeroes, represented my value. Irrefutable proof of my worth.

When a timid knock sounded at the door, I reluctantly glanced up from my monitor. I knew that knock—my butler, always hesitant to disturb me. My housekeeper, Frances, had no such qualms. She’d barge in whenever she felt like it.

I looked at the clock. Not quite teatime; nevertheless, I was spitting feathers. Arnold must have anticipated that. He knew me too well.

“Come in.”

His posture stiff and unyielding, Arnold stepped through the door. And sadly, his hands were empty.

Though in his sixties, he looked the same now as when I was a lad—frozen in time, never changing, never aging. A constant. He’d been in service with my family for years, first with my grandfather, now with me. After the old man’s death, I’d decided to move from dreary England to dry, hot Vegas, and Arnold insisted on accompanying me, whether I wanted him to or not. In turn, he brought Frances. Still and all, I was glad they were here. We rubbed along rather well together. Created something of a unit.

Now, as Arnold approached my desk, he pinched his lips together ever so slightly, and the carved lines of his wide forehead deepened just a bit. To strangers, he would probably appear unflappable, but with those small tells, I knew something had disturbed his well-ordered routine.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“There’s a young lady at the front gate, Mr. Blake. She insists upon seeing you. Won’t leave until she’s done so. I could call the authorities and have her forcibly removed…”

I turned my attention to the screen on my right. “Then do so. I’m busy. Can’t have strangers storming the gate, can we?” The stock market had just closed, and I wanted to see how well I’d fared. If I possessed one real talent in life, it was making money.

Hands folded, Arnold stood unmoving, as though made of marble. At this point in the conversation, he would normally nod and say, “Very good, sir,” in that prim, disapproving way of his. Not this time. And when I continued to ignore him, he very quietly cleared his throat—a sure sign that he wouldn’t leave until he’d had his say.

With a sigh, I gave him the benefit of my undivided attention. “All right, then. Tell me why I shouldn’t have this woman chucked off the property immediately.”

“She’s terribly upset. Something about her family, her sisters. She says her home is in jeopardy. I believe she’s in trouble, sir.”

Oh, dear God. She must be quite something, this girl with the troublesome tale. Arnold had a weakness for a sob story and a pretty face. He should know by now that I was immune to both. “So what does she look like, this damsel in distress?”

“Very lovely indeed. It’s not my place, sir, but I should think you’d like to see her.”

Of course he did. Arnold had a regrettably soft heart.

I pushed back my chair and stood. "Fine. She has five minutes. And if it goes pear-shaped and she turns out to be deranged, I'll blame you."


  1. Ooh I love Trevor so much! Drooling to read this. Wonderful cover!

  2. I love seeing this story from Trevor's eyes. And his other parts. It's such a great novella. Congrats Terri!

  3. Sounds like a great novella. Congrats!

  4. I can't wait to read!! I love Trevor!

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