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Painted Jezebel

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Jezebel battles her worst fears at a writing conference where love tangles, bitter rivalry and murder stalk the bestseller lists.
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Author: Jolie Pethtel
Description

A Jezebel Jinx Mystery

Genre: Romantic Comedy Mystery

Release: September 30, 2011

Editor: Anne Duguid

Line editor: Susan Davis

Cover artist: Suzannah Safi

Words: 65240

Pages: 178

ISBN: 978-1-927085-68-4

Price: $5.95

Warning: Warning: this story contains mild to moderate sexual content.


 

Blurb:

Publicist Finn Mackenzie has always been lucky, until an ill-fated affair with a vindictive writer leaves him one chance for redemption: a spectacular public appearance by the elusive best-selling romance author, Jezebel Jinx.

Unfortunately, the cute but kooky writer refuses to cooperate. Jezebel believes she’s cursed with bad luck. Riddled with anxieties, she never leaves her home— until the gorgeous, albeit desperate Finn whisks her away to a writer’s conference, against her will.

After the initial shock wears off, Jezebel’s dormant hormones kick into high gear around the hunky Finn.

When his ex turns up murdered and Jezebel is the prime suspect, ill-planned sexcapades are the least of their worries.


 

Excerpt:

“Someone was just murdered and I’m the prime suspect. Detective Tyler has gone around smearing my good name with everyone at the conference and here I am strutting around in a bikini. Don’t you think a one piece might have been more—I dunno—respectful?” Jezebel hovered uncertainly in front of the door marked heated pool. “Maybe a black one piece to show I’m in mourning.”

“You can’t flirt with lifeguards in a one piece. It just isn’t sexy enough. Besides, you aren’t in mourning. No one is. Did you see the celebrating going on in the bar? ‘Ding dong! The witch is dead’ is pretty much the attitude in there. If they could give you an award for killing her, they would.”

“I didn’t kill her,” Jezebel hissed.

“No, you didn’t, but if you want to prove your innocence you need to seduce some information out of that lifeguard.”

“My boobs are too small to seduce anyone. My legs are really my best asset, which I could display just as well in a one piece.”

“Rick might be a boob man. That is why you are wearing a size too small and we bought a bikini that lifts.” He mimicked cupping and lifting with his hands, without actually touching her breasts.

“I’m going in.” Jezebel stated as she rolled her eyes, and then stepped toward the pool area entrance. “Think sex goddess,” she ordered herself, adding some strut to her walk.

Finn insisted on the fire engine red bikini and matching strappy high heeled sandals. Who wore high heels to the swimming pool? This was wrong on so many levels.

“You look smokin’ hot, babe,” Finn called out. His idea of encouragement. Well, that was nice to know. Jezebel added a little roll to her hips just for his benefit, before pushing open the door and disappearing from sight.

She spotted Rick right away. He sat on his chair like a Greek Adonis, wearing nothing but snug bathing trunks, a whistle and a smile. The pool was filled with women vying for his attention.  Her self-confidence slipped a notch.

Jezebel hesitated a fraction of a second too long as she neared his chair, and then kept on walking. No way was she going to humiliate herself like this. They would just have to find another way to acquire the information.

“Hello gorgeous,” the lifeguard drawled following it up with a whistle and not the ‘behave in the pool’ kind.

Jezebel froze and then slowly smiled. Ah, an ass man. She attempted to spin around gracefully, but grace and spiked heels did not go hand in hand. Just as she was face to face with her target, she slipped and tottered drunkenly on the tiles. In her defense, they were black and the wet spots weren’t particularly visible. She had a brief unpleasant flash of déjà vu, and then the life guard was on his feet, catching her in proper heroic fashion.

“Feel free to drop in anytime.”

Ugh! Did he just say that? The man was so much hotter when he didn’t speak. All brawn, no brain. How disappointing. So what did she say now? Jezebel wasn’t particularly good at suggestive small talk with half naked strangers. She tended to fluster easily. The hidden agenda only increased her nervousness. Where were the cue cards when you needed them?

“You saved my life! How can I ever thank you?” she gushed, fluttering her lashes.

“Do you have something in your eye?” He frowned down at Jezebel, before setting her on her feet.

“I was just a little—um—disoriented for a second.”

“Are you sure? It looked like you were having a seizure there or something.”

“I’m sure.” Jezebel was absolutely mortified. Thank God Finn wasn’t witnessing this. She would never live it down. Just then she caught a glimpse of him pulling off his T-shirt and diving into the deep end in nothing but a pair of modest swim shorts. Not fair. Not only had he overheard every embarrassing word, his smug grin left no doubt, but he was holding himself to a different standard. He should be demeaning himself for the greater good by wearing a pair of revealing swim trunks.

The women swarmed around Finn splashing playfully and damned if he didn’t love every second of it. Jezebel wanted to strangle him. So he wanted to play it that way, then fine. She could play too.

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