Author: Deelylah Mullin
Publisher: BeerWench Enterprises, LLC
Released: December 15, 2016
Series: Love Brothers #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author contact links: Editing Website, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Website/Blog
Novel links: Goodreads, Launch Page
Disclosure notice: Deelylah Mullin is our very own reviewer, Vampbard. We are thrilled to have Dee sharing her work as a published author with you.
Roni spent her entire time on the treadmill mentally preparing for the rest of the evening. I need to wear something cute, but not sexy. I need to make sure I only have one drink. I need to make sure I remember to eat the food. I need to remember that even though Kurtis Clements is sexy as sin, he’s my boss. No flirting. Oh, god. He’s going to be at my apartment. It’s rude to make him wait in the parking lot. Is my apartment clean enough? Hell, Mount Boxmore is still partially standing in the living room.
Even though she’d planned to have all the containers flattened and out to the recycling dumpster Monday evening, she’d been tired after the excitement at work. She’d been pecking away at it, bit by bit, all week and planned to finish over the weekend.
When the treadmill slowed and then stopped, signaling the end of her twenty minutes, Roni stepped off the machine, cleaned every surface she could with antibacterial wipes, and grabbed her things.
Kurtis stood in the doorway, hair still wet and curling adorably around his ears and at the collar of his robin’s egg blue polo shirt. His arms were crossed, and he wore dark wash, slim-fit jeans—which hugged the contours of his thighs–with black Chuck Taylors.
Her mouth practically watered.
“Have a good run?” He asked as his lip quirked up in a half smile.
“It was a run. Necessary evil. I don’t like treadmills.”
“You cold?” he asked as he lifted away from the doorframe. He crossed the room to her in two strides, and wrapped a full zip hoodie around her shoulders. She had no idea where he’d gotten the clothing.
“I’m just right, but thanks for being considerate.” She pulled the sweatshirt off her shoulders. She could smell his cologne and something underneath she now associated with Kurtis. She held it out, toward him. “Why would you think I’m cold?”
He chuckled and his eyes darted down her body before coming back to her face. “No reason. Ready to go?” He turned and made his way for the door.
She looked down, assessing her outfit. OhmygodIcan’tbelievehenoticed! She knew the thought of spending time with Kurtis excited her. She just hadn’t realized how much. Never before had her body reacted to a man like that. Her nipples poked at the clingy fabric of her T-shirt, betraying her brain. Betraying her logic.
Pulling a quarter-zip fleece from her bag and over her head, she picked up her duffel and followed Kurtis.
After stopping at their respective desks on the first floor, Kurtis escorted her through the kitchen and out the back door. He set the alarm and locked the deadbolt. They walked in silence to the lot in the near darkness. A sodium light flickered overhead, creating dancing shadows on the asphalt.
Kurtis put his hand on her elbow as she reached to open her door. “May I? My grandmother would roll over in her grave if she thought I allowed a beautiful woman to open her own door.”
Not gonna do it. Not letting his sweet ways and his charm lure me. Must be strong. Must be strong. “In the interest of your grandmother’s eternal rest, yes.” She smiled, pleased with her quip.
Kurtis took her bags from over her shoulder and put them in the backseat of the Prius after he was assured she was securely nestled in the driver’s seat. Before he closed the door, he said, “I’ll follow you. Let me know if I should wait in the lot or come up when we get there.”
“It’d be rude, and my grandmother would roll in her grave, if I made you sit in your car to wait.” She pressed the button to start the car. “See you there.”
He shut the door, tapped his hand on the roof twice, and she watched him stride across the lot to his red Jaguar in the rear view mirror.
What have I done? Can I handle him in my apartment while I’m in the shower? That’s dangerous territory. Especially when he admitted he’s attracted to me. And the feeling is certainly mutual.
She decided to not worry and would deal with situations as they arose. By the time she’d made the ten-minute drive and parked, she felt a little calmer. A little less likely to plaster herself against his hard body. Which was good. Even a tiny thread of control was better than nothing. She could work with it.
She exited the Prius, gathered her things, and lazily strolled up the sidewalk waiting for him to catch up.
“Hey,” he said as he fell into step with her, grazing her arm with his.
“Hey, yourself. Good job not passing me or tailgating on the way here.” She giggled.
“It was difficult because you drive like a little old lady, but I managed.”
They reached the door to the building, and she hitched her bags up on her shoulder to use both hands to unlock the mechanism. She needed to twist and turn and push all at the same time, and she hadn’t quite mastered the technique.
“Here.” He slid the bags off her shoulder.
Fortunately, on the first try, the door opened. “Yes!” She did a dramatic fist pump. “It always takes me forever to get this thing open because it’s so stupid.”
Kurtis laughed. “I must be your good luck charm.”
She looked at him, and all the Yes, go me! feelings were gone and had been replaced with the damn butterflies in her gut she’d had in his office the previous day. “You seem to be lucky yourself—maybe it’s just rubbing off on me.” She froze, eyes wide.
By that time, they’d reached her door—C-8—and Kurtis looked at her. “Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m trying.”
She shook her head and turned her key in the apartment locks, gaining admittance. She pointed at the kitchen table. “Thanks for taking those bags. You can put them there. Oh, and ignore Mount Boxmore. It’s a lot smaller than it was, but I’m still working on getting them all broken down and to the dumpster.”
Kurtis put her things on the table and stuck his hands in his pockets, rocking back on his heels. “No judgment here. You weren’t expecting company, and I don’t mind cardboard.”
“It’ll take me about twenty minutes to do the quick version of getting ready. Make yourself at home. I don’t have cable or anything, but if you want to see what the antenna picks up, the remote’s on the coffee table.” She untied her shoes and left them on the mat by the door. “There’s stuff in the fridge—help yourself if you need a snack or something to drink.”
“Veronica”—she loved the way her voice rolled off his tongue—“go get ready so we can leave. I’m dying for a beer right now, and I need to eat a meal with it.”
“Okay, okay. Going.” She waved as she turned the corner into her bedroom. She quickly collected the clothes she planned to wear and crossed the hallway to the bathroom. She heard the TV come on just as she closed the door.
Kurtis Clements is sitting in my living room, on my couch, watching my TV. This is seriously tap-dancing that boss-employee line.
At Clementine Distillery, bourbon isn’t the only new development.
When Roni Diarmuid took a position at Clementine Distillery, she planned on developing the best craft bourbon money could buy. She never factored in having a tall, suave, and devastatingly handsome boss, Kurtis Clements, who would make her panties melt.
Fortunately, the company doesn’t have a no fraternization rule.
When the universe seems to be against Roni and Kurtis’ romance—and the success of Clementine Distillery—accidents happen, things go awry, and all hell breaks loose. Will Roni and Kurtis—and Clementine—survive the accidents and sabotage, or will they fold?
Deelylah Mullin has been penning tales since she could hold a pen. Er, crayon. After a wonderful experience in Fourth Grade Writers’ Club, she continued to pursue creative endeavors. Throughout her academic career, creative writing was always a focus. As well as music. There’s gotta be a reason she got a bachelor’s degree in music, right?
While she has always written, her stories have evolved over time. When she was young, she was inspired by Madeline L’Engle and moved on to Stephen King and Robin Cook. Today, her stories are full of romance and a happily-ever-after. Even if they may be slightly weird, creepy, or sappy sweet along the way.
Deelylah has found her own happily-ever-after with Mr. VampBard. He’s truly her knight in shining armor. Between them, they have six children—who are pretty much all grown up. She even has a son-in-law and a grandkitty…with the promise of a daughter-in-law and a grandson on the horizon.
Deelylah has been professionally editing since 2012.
Distilled is her third published novella.