10 February 2009

It's Here!!! - ParaMatch.com Releases Today

She can match anyone. Except the man she can’t resist.

A Tickle My Fantasy story.

Dating in today’s world is tough enough. Pair it with a paranormalady, and Lucille Wainwright is living the recipe for loneliness. Born a talentless witch in a family of legendary spellcasters, she’s managed to carve a niche for herself with ParaMatch.com, a matchmaking service for paranormal beings.

What she lacks in the magic department, she more than makes up for with her uncanny ability to conjure committed relationships out of any combination of traits and backgrounds. Until now.

Enter Jager Cronus, deposed king of the Titans and successful paratrader. As a client, he’s a nightmare. As a man, he’s irresistible. When he demands a date with her to the annual Legion Halloween Dance, she’s hard pressed to refuse. With her professional ethics warring with a deep need to prove herself, she gives him two more chances to find love.

That’s all the opening Jager needs. After all, he didn’t survive his downfall without learning a few things about prevailing in the face of the stiffest negotiations.

Now he’s about to negotiate the deal of a lifetime—a future with Lucilla.

Warning: Contains inter-species romance, love potions, fallen Greek Gods, super-morphing wizards, and a male strip-tease.

Excerpt:

The intercom sounded.

“Yes?”

“There is a Mr. Cronus here to see you.”

What is he doing here? “Tell him to come in.”

Jeez. She really didn’t want to have to deal with him today. Things were going so well. She’d made follow-up calls on three successful matches. The possibility for a fourth still hung sweet in the air. Now, Mr. Impossible-To-Match decided to come by and complain about the lack of compatible dates he’d been on.

Truthfully, Lucilla had doubts there was anything wrong with the women she’d matched with Mr. Cronus. The fault lay entirely with him. However, in the matchmaker business, it was impolitic to point that out to a client. Especially one who paid in cash. And Lucilla didn’t come cheap.

She pulled up his file on the computer. There were several women he had yet to date. There was always hope that one of those would be his perfect match.

Jager Cronus ducked his head as he entered the office. He was the biggest man she’d ever met. As the deposed leader of the Titans, he claimed the mythologies maligned him. After the trouble she’d had matching him, Lucilla was almost positive the exaggerations were few.

“Lucilla.” He crossed the room in a few long-legged strides.

He looked down at her from his great height of six-and-a-half feet. Granted, when one thought of Titans, one thought of giants, but in all honesty, their height had also been greatly exaggerated in the mythos. They were no taller than professional basketball players. But his height wasn’t the thing Lucilla found so intimidating about him—it was his looks.

Drop-dead gorgeous didn’t even begin to describe him. Tightness centered in her chest whenever she saw him. Though the fact he was so hard to please took points off.

Lucilla forced a pleasant smile and indicated for him to take a seat. “Can I get you anything?”

“Yes, you can get me an appropriate date.”

The smile slipped slightly, but she ground her back teeth together and pushed on. “If you don’t mind me asking, what was your objection to Ms. Hyde?”

“With a name like that, do you really have to ask?”

The word jerk did a serpentine inside her brain.

“My understanding is that she isn’t in that particular form for long.”

“No, but then I don’t expect my dates to morph during the soup course.” He raised a brow as if he were lecturing an errant child.

“I can see where that would be disconcerting for you.” She clicked a few buttons on the keyboard and hit print. Two profiles sure to be doomed spit out of the printer.

“I haven’t given up and I don’t want you to either.” She rose to collect the printouts. His gaze followed her across the room.

Mr. Cronus possessed the kind of stare that made a woman feel hot and naked. Even standing in the middle of a blizzard probably wouldn’t cool the heat of his appraisal.

She looked at him over her shoulder. A connection too powerful to name passed between them. He started to rise, but Lucilla was quick to motion for him to sit.

“There are two new women who applied in the past few days. Maribon is a selkie with an impressive pedigree. Esmeralda is a djinn who has just fulfilled her contractual obligation with her master.”

The look he sent her was skeptical. “I’ll try them, but first I want you to do something for me.”

If it moved things along, she’d agree to take up clogging. “What is that, Mr. Cronus?”

“Two things, then. First, call me Jager. Second, fill out a profile on yourself.”

If she had taken a drink, it would have landed in his face. Luckily, her coffee cup was empty. “I don’t think that’s a very good idea.”

“Oh, I think it is.”

“Why do you want me to take the time to fill out a profile when I could be combing the database for more possible matches for you?” She already knew the answer to that question, but needed to hear him say it.

He leaned his big, sexy body over the desk. “I think you’re the best match for me, and I think you know it, too.”

There was no doubt in her mind their profiles would have a very high probability for a long-term match. She’d secretly crunched the numbers when he first applied as a client. The memory of which caused heat to creep up her neck and ignite the tops of her ears.

“Is something the matter, Lucilla?”

“No. No.” She smoothed her hair, pulling it forward to cover the vestiges of her acute embarrassment.

“You look like you’ve done something wrong.”

Lucilla cleared her throat. “Back when I first started the agency, I wanted to test the questionnaire software, so I took the profile quiz.”

Jager grinned at her as if he’d caught her in the middle of doing a striptease. “Do whatever it is you do to compare it to mine.”

Lucilla raised a brow at him. “I do all my comparisons by hand. It takes time and consideration. You just can’t slap people together in a haphazard fashion. Computers can’t give that personal touch my clients pay for.”

“The personal touch is exactly what I’m asking for.” The twinkle came back into his eyes. “But since you’re the professional here, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll go out with the selkie and the other, but you have to agree to go to the Legion Halloween Dance with me.”

Even though she knew she looked as attractive as a freshly caught carp, Lucilla couldn’t help but flap her mouth open and closed. The Legion Halloween Dance was the biggest event in Sleepy Hollow Woods. It was the one night of the year those with any form of paranormalady could go out and be themselves without fear of persecution from the Norms. The catch being that most people who were true Paras attended the dance only if accompanied by another from their community. The fear of going stag and meeting a Norm, falling for them, then having to own up to their affliction was too much of a risk.

However, there was always the chance he’d hit it off with either Maribon or Esmeralda and he’d back out of going to the dance with her. As a matter of fact, it was a pretty good bet he would.

Lucilla leaned back in her chair, crossed her legs, and then folded her hands in her lap. “Very well, Jager. If you agree to go on a date with my other two clients, I’ll accompany you to the Legion Halloween Dance.”

“I’ll hold you to it.” He stood, leaning over the expanse of her desk. Sexual power radiated from him.

If he held her to it, she’d go up in flames along with the holiday bonfire. Or melt into a puddle before he ever picked her up at her door. The man was too much.

No matter how much experience she had with men, it was all on the outside looking in. She understood the male species only insofar as to match them and collect her fee.

But Jager wasn’t finished. He lifted one of those big, beautifully masculine hands and ran his knuckles over her cheek.

“What are you doing?”

“I wanted to see if you are as soft as you look.”

“Yes, well.” Lucilla ran a nervous hand down the pearl buttons of her silk blouse. “Do you want me to email the contact information to you?”

“If you wish.”

Oh, she wished. Anything to get him out of her office and on his way.

Jager straightened then headed for the door. “You are, you know.”

Lucilla’s heart thumped against her breastbone. Oh yeah, she better pray he hit it off with one of the other women.

Copyright 2009 MK Mancos, All Rights Reserved

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ParaMatch.com a service provided by the creative mind of MK Mancos and brought to you by the awesome publisher Samhain.

-Kat
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