Laid Bare with Flair Contest Day 29!

Coming in on the home stretch now!

Today’s hostess is Portia Da Costa who is offering up an awesome Yorkshire Rose tote AND it’ll have TWO books – winner’s choice from her available backlist. How’s that for an amazing prize?

KISS IT BETTER – Portia Da Costa
Virgin Black Lace
ISBN: 0352345217

Published in the US on 4th August 2009


Pleasure with a perfect stranger…

Jay Bentley is a man with issues. Haunted by physical and psychological demons, he seeks solace and sexual oblivion in the pursuit of an exquisite erotic daydream from his youth, and the reality of a woman who has illuminated his inner fantasies since a brief meeting years ago.

Sandy Jackson has always known that a certain magic is ‘missing’ from her life. She’s feisty and philosophical, but her dreams are filled with heated images of a handsome Prince Charming she once encountered, a man who will kiss everything better and thrill her with glorious, dangerous pleasure.

But the past is an illusion, and the present fraught with conflict and uneasy compromise… can two passionate lovers reconcile their differences and slake their burning sensual hunger for each other in a wild and daring liaison?


At a business cocktail party, Sandy Jackson encounters the sexy, mysterious stranger she first set eyes on in her café, The Little Teapot, earlier in the day.

* * *

“So, is he your type?”

Sandy rocked – literally – on her silly heels. She knew exactly who was standing beside her, and the deep and strangely raw voice really seemed to fit him. She’d only heard it briefly in the Teapot because Kat had served him, but it was unmistakeable, never to be forgotten.

Schooling herself to stay calm, she turned slowly towards the hard man with the beard, who’d been watching her and was now only a couple feet away.

“Not really.” She dared to look up at him. His eyes were sharp and intelligent, dark grey and glinting with a strange, disquieting light. Shaken, she returned her attention to the man in the photo – the rather glamorous Signor Guidetti. “But I do believe that’s our esteemed host, the hotel manager.”

“Indeed it is.”

For several seconds, they stared at the image in silence, then, as one, they scanned the room, looking for the hotel’s suave, slightly flashy Italian proprietor.

“So, why isn’t he your type?”

Put on the spot, Sandy frowned. What business was it of his? Yet still the ghost from her past resurfaced.

“He’s too groomed. Too slick. Too perfect.”

Unlike you.

She suppressed a flinch. Up close, her tough looking man was tougher than ever.

Tall, he towered above her, his shoulders broad and his lean yet muscular limbs strong looking beneath a rather beautiful lightweight suit in midnight grey. His buzz-cut hair was dark and looked velvety against his fine, nobly shaped skull. He had the look of a Roman Emperor, civilized yet savage.

But it was his face, most of all, that made her swallow, both intrigued by it and also faintly frightened.

His features were even, sculpted and masculine, and just as imperial as his cropped hair. But the network of fine white and pink scars that traced the planes of his high cheekbones, his mouth and jaw line, framed by his crisp dark beard, spoke eloquently of pain and suffering.

“Unlike me.”

The fierce, damaged face softened in a smile as he echoed her thoughts, and Sandy almost gasped. Once again, a fleeting sense of memory almost rocked her.

“There’s nothing wrong with looking as if you’ve lived a bit,” she countered, regaining her wits. For all his scars, the tall man had charisma. And his strong body was affecting her, making hers rouse irrationally.

Was he scarred all over? Were the clean, hard lines of his limbs marked and battered? It suddenly seemed important to find out.

“Well, that’s good to know.” His low laugh was as rough as his speaking voice, but Sandy felt it reach out and touch her like a phantom hand. Hormonal reactions fired all over her body and she experienced a tingling all over her skin, as if the fine sheen of sweat on it was creating a subtle field. She’d been hot before, but now she was burning up.

“Care for another drink?”

Her companion nodded at her glass, which Sandy suddenly realised was empty. She couldn’t remember drinking the wine, but obviously she’d been nervously swigging away without realising it. Another drink would slip down well, and soothe her parched throat, even if it was a tepid and uninspiring vintage.

“Yeah, great! I’d love one, thanks.”

She held out the empty, and as the tall, mysterious man took it from her, their fingers briefly touched.


Electricity seemed to arc between them, ramping up the tingling sensation. She suppressed a gasp as his dark eyes widened. He’d felt it too.

“Be right back. Don’t go away.”

TODAY’S QUESTION: You have four dollars and some typical vending machines at a convenience store right off an interstate highway you’re taking for a road trip in the summer. What do you get?

I’ll choose a winner tomorrow! Good luck

101 comments to “Laid Bare with Flair Contest Day 29!”

  1. Frana
    July 31st, 2009 at 3:12 am · Link

    Chocolate and ice-cream!!!! 😆

  2. Karin
    July 31st, 2009 at 3:59 am · Link

    Coke and cheese crackers

  3. limecello
    July 31st, 2009 at 4:44 am · Link

    Four dollars? I’m boring 😛 so I’d get a drink- possibly water. (In my defense, I *like* water.) And… maybe a zero bar. Actually, for nostalgia’s sake, yes one of those. And something salty too – so… chips. Love kettle chips. Regular, or salt and vinegar. Or sour cream and onion. Or, if it had jalapeno cheetos I’d pick that. And if that wasn’t $4 I might get a pack of gum too 😛 Or keep the change for a random toll booth. Ooo although I imight get skittles instead of the fake chocolate if I didn’t feel like chocolate. (It’s been known to happen) 😛 I also shouldn’t comment early in the morning on 0 hours of sleep.

  4. Mare Fairchild
    July 31st, 2009 at 4:50 am · Link

    Water and trail mix. I’ve been there so I have experience. LOL.

  5. Amelia
    July 31st, 2009 at 4:55 am · Link

    Coke and ice cream.

  6. Pamela Peddy
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:02 am · Link

    Probably a Dr Pepper and some chips. Jalapeno Kettle or Cool Ranch Doritos. Maybe a chocolate bar if I had enough money. I too love water but I often spurge on a soda when I travel. I’m assuming this is my 4 dollars and I don’t have to share with the family. 🙂

  7. sara hurt
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:03 am · Link

    Diet Coke, reeses cups, and some doritos. Yummy sounds like a breakfast of champions to me.

  8. Calila
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:06 am · Link

    Lets see….I’d probably get some kind of cracker or chip. And a soda, most likely Coke. Oh maybe a candy bar, Twix or Three Musketeer.

  9. Amy M
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:10 am · Link

    Cheetos for my kids, who would be in the car, a small carton of milk for my daugher, and with any money left over a diet coke for me and a slushee for my husband. In all honesty, probably all of the money would be spent on the kids and I would drink the bottled water we brought from home! 😉

    Amy M

  10. Linda Henderson
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:16 am · Link

    Well, four dollars doesn’t go very far but I would probably get a Dr Pepper, Dorito’s, and some lifesavers.

    Linda Henderson

  11. Keziah Fenton
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:18 am · Link

    As many brown sugar cinnamon Pop tarts as the machine will spit out. 1) I can’t get that flavour in Canada and 2) it’s so cool that your vending machines don’t restrict themselves to chocolate bars and chips.

    They should start putting books in them as well.

  12. Crystal B.
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:37 am · Link

    I would get a Diet Pepsi, Sunchips and a Milky Way.

  13. Cathi O
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:41 am · Link

    Coke and chocolate

  14. Aimee C
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:41 am · Link

    Oh, I definitely get a Diet Coke and Cheez-its. Isn’t it sad that’s probably all $4 will buy anymore? I got a vending machine Coke last week and it was $2. Thanks for the contest!

  15. Teresa
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:47 am · Link

    I’ll get some crackers for me and a friend I’m travelling with, while we’re waiting for him to buy some decent meal.

  16. Leighann keller
    July 31st, 2009 at 5:52 am · Link

    I would get a drink, root beer or water, and a bag of chippies. Bad treats, but yummy

  17. Joy Roach
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:03 am · Link

    M & M’s and Doritos.:)

  18. Miranda
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:07 am · Link

    A Smartwater & pretzels… do I have enough for some chocolate too?


  19. Christina Mays
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:10 am · Link

    Nuts and a diet coke. I just love salty snacks and diet coke is my favorite drink other than Talking Rain but vending machines don’t sell Talking Rain.

  20. Natasha A.
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:11 am · Link

    Probably an ice tea (sweetened, nestea lol, have to remember that you Americans have weird ice tea) and a bag of ketchup ships!

  21. Blanche
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:11 am · Link

    A water, a little bag of peanut M&M’s and a bag of pretzels….if I didn’t have enough money for the pretzels I’d get a pack of bubble gum instead!! :mrgreen:

  22. Sharon M
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:17 am · Link

    Pop-tarts, Mountain Dew or Diet Coke and a bottle of water. If I have enough money, I’ll through in some plain M&M’s as well. 😉

  23. Lisa J
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:20 am · Link

    Chips and water were the first thing to come to mind.

  24. blodeuedd
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:24 am · Link

    Oh, well chocolate cos I love it and some chips cos I am sure the salt will make me feel better after the chocolate…not so good in a car for me

  25. Lea
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:32 am · Link

    LOL Lauren!!

    Potato Chips – Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles if available… And, a bottle of cold water…

    L 😀

  26. Tracy
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:34 am · Link

    Great Question!

    Diet cherry coke and cheetos.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  27. Christine
    July 31st, 2009 at 6:47 am · Link

    Since chocolate is permanently off my list 🙁 of things to eat probably some water and some water and something a payday bar.

  28. catie james
    July 31st, 2009 at 7:07 am · Link

    Candy (definitely) – Whatchamacalit! if they have it (cause they’re so hard to find sometimes). In lieu of the first choice, a Nestles Crunch. In lieu of that option…a KitKat bar.

    Diet Soda – My preference being Diet Vanilla Cream Pepsi, but seeing at that’s another hard-to-locate choice…usually stick with what’s available Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi, though I prefer the latter.

  29. Jeanette Juan
    July 31st, 2009 at 7:15 am · Link

    Most likely I’ll get chocolate!

  30. Fedora
    July 31st, 2009 at 7:17 am · Link

    Chocolate would be good but would possibly melt messily on this summer road trip… Let’s go with a bag of barbecue potato chips or mmm… Cheetos (gotta love that orange!). And a Coke Zero.

  31. Melissa Conatser
    July 31st, 2009 at 7:18 am · Link

    Well, if $4 is all I had to my name and it was a long trip, I would probably get a couple Diet Dews, because I am an addict, and some chocolate.

  32. alba
    July 31st, 2009 at 7:20 am · Link

    OMG this has got MINE written all over it I was born in Yorkshire thats LEEDS YORKSHIRE ENGLAND what a co-wink-i-dink ;-}

    vending machine hummmmmmmm Gum
    Cheetos, smarties water……..
    Then of to the drive through for a Tim Hortons coffee. Have a wonderful day….

  33. sharon
    July 31st, 2009 at 7:26 am · Link

    Coke. Cheetos. Skittles. (yum).

  34. JP
    July 31st, 2009 at 7:45 am · Link

    Cool Ranch Doritos, pretzels, or sour cream and onion chips along with some sort of soda — if it’s typical vending machine choices, probably a Sprite or 7Up.

  35. azteclady
    July 31st, 2009 at 7:59 am · Link

    $4? Interstate vending?

    Coca cola and some left over for the next rest stop–this is gonna be a long trip.

    (Did I mention that I just did that, going to and returning from RWA? 😀 )

  36. Valerie
    July 31st, 2009 at 8:00 am · Link

    That is an awesome prize. I’m from England, rom the south, but I visited Yorkshire once. Now I live in Germany.

    I don’t know what you all have in your vending machines….but over here, four dollars wouldn’t go very far.

    I’d probably get a couple of bottles of zero coke….I will need the liguid if it’s a hot summer. Would just need a potty run soon after…lol!!!

  37. Nancy
    July 31st, 2009 at 8:12 am · Link

    Chips! Ketchup chips and Coke (for the cold drink + the caffeine) so I can stay alert in the car.

  38. Llehn
    July 31st, 2009 at 8:18 am · Link

    A bag of chips and a Sprite to wash it down with!

  39. elaing8
    July 31st, 2009 at 8:32 am · Link

    Cool prize and love the excerpt.

    What would I get from a vending machine?
    Dr.Pepper and Doritos

  40. Edie
    July 31st, 2009 at 8:32 am · Link

    Please let it be enough for M&Ms and Pepsi Max..

  41. kh
    July 31st, 2009 at 8:40 am · Link

    soda pepsi, chips beef jerky courn nuts a magazine

    congrats on teh books 😎 😀

  42. Crystal D
    July 31st, 2009 at 8:44 am · Link

    peanut M&M’s, a water, probably bbq corn nuts or Jolly ranchers –

  43. Armenia
    July 31st, 2009 at 8:51 am · Link

    Barg’s rootbeer, crunchy cheetos, and twizzlers. :mrgreen: 🙄

  44. Laney4
    July 31st, 2009 at 8:57 am · Link

    Now THIS is an easy blog. I would look for soft cheesies (my teeth can’t handle the harder ones) first and regular chips second. Hopefully I could buy both. If there’s money leftover, a Pepsi would be a treat (as I’d have tons of cold bottled water already in the car).

  45. Jody F.
    July 31st, 2009 at 9:21 am · Link

    I’d get a Cherry Coke, a bag of Bugles, and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. I’m so not the healthy eating type.

  46. Erica B.
    July 31st, 2009 at 9:44 am · Link

    A bottle of Dr Pepper and twix.

  47. Lexee
    July 31st, 2009 at 9:49 am · Link

    Dr. Pepper and candy.
    lexeetoste at

  48. Lilly M.
    July 31st, 2009 at 10:18 am · Link

    Diet Coke, reese’s pieces, and redular M&Ms

  49. tinab
    July 31st, 2009 at 10:30 am · Link

    bottled water, and candy

  50. Sarah
    July 31st, 2009 at 10:31 am · Link

    candy, tampons