January 31, 2014

I SEE LONDON by Chanel Cleeton {Guest Post}

I SEE LONDON by Chanel Cleeton
February 3, 2014
Harlequin HQN (Digital First)
New Adult Contemporary Romance

Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.

When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.

Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.

This is a New Adult romance recommended for readers 17 and up.

Meet Hugh and Samir from I See London

Today I am so excited to introduce you to Hugh and Samir. They both play a huge role in Maggie’s freshman year.

Maggie meets Hugh her first night out at a London nightclub. He’s older and smooth—so different from any guy she’s ever known. I’ll let Hugh introduce himself…

“I’m Hugh.”
I took his outstretched hand, fitting my palm into his.
“You’re American. Nice.” His smile widened. “Welcome to London.” He released my hand, his fingers stroking the inside of my wrist. “Are you enjoying it?”
I grinned. “I am now.”
His smile stretched even further and my heartbeat sped up.
OMG, I was flirting and it was actually working.
“How long have you been here?”
“Just a few days.”
He flashed me a grin. “So you’re fresh off the boat,” he teased.
“You could say that.” There was a rhythm to this—the flirting. I was finally catching my stride.
“What brings you to London? Work?” He leaned against the bar, propping his arm against the frosted glass, his body dominating the space around him. Colors lit up beneath the bar top, alternately flashing pink and red.
This could not possibly be my life.
“I’m doing a master’s.” The lie flew out of my mouth before I could stop it. For some reason I didn’t want to tell this guy I was only nineteen.
The bartender handed me the Cosmo. I took a sip, the tart drink exploding in my mouth. Yum. I could definitely get used to this.
“So what do you do?” I asked, leaning my elbows against the bar top, letting my body do some of the talking. I may have been inexperienced, but I wasn’t dumb.
“I own a bar in Chelsea. Cobalt.” He reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out a business card. He handed it to me, our fingers grazing as he slipped the card into my hand. His fingers lingered on mine for a beat. He had really nice hands—his nails were trimmed neatly; his fingers long and tapered. He grinned again, two rows of perfect white teeth flashing back at me. Whoever said the British had terrible teeth definitely hadn’t met this guy. “You should come by sometime, bring some of your friends. I’d love to take care of you.”
I blushed, the flirtation behind his words unmistakable. “Thanks.” The grin slipped out before I realized it. “I think I’d like to be taken care of.”
His eyes widened slightly.
The alcohol was definitely running my mouth tonight.
He leaned in closer. His lips grazed my cheek, hovering near my ear. A shiver ran down my spine. He smelled good. Really, really good. Like citrus and pine and something smoky I couldn’t quite identify. He leaned back, that same smile still on his face. “I have to head out, I was just settling up my tab.” The bartender walked over, handing Hugh a platinum credit card. “It was nice to meet you, Maggie from America.”
I grinned, unable to keep the silly expression off of my face. “It was nice to meet you, too.”

Samir is another student at the International School. Maggie meets him her first day of university. He challenges Maggie and shakes up her perfectly ordered life. Here’s Samir…

“Nice dress.”
Speak of the devil…
Samir appeared seemingly out of thin air, sinking down next to me at the table. I groaned. He was hard enough to handle when I was sober. I looked straight ahead, ignoring him. At least I tried to. He shifted and our legs brushed against each other. For a moment neither one of us spoke. Suddenly the room started to sway again.
Samir studied me for a moment. “Too much to drink?”
I uncrossed my legs, struggling to stand. It was just the two of us at the table. Last place I wanted to be. He reached out a hand to steady me. I batted it away. “Leave me alone.”
His smile widened. “You’re a little fiery when you drink.”
I glared at him. “Go away.”
“It’s my table,” he countered smoothly.
“Fine. Then I’ll go away.” I turned –and he snagged my wrist.
“Come dance with me.”
“I don’t feel like dancing.”
“You’re already swaying, you’re halfway there,” he teased.
“Not funny.”
“You smiled a bit,” he countered.
God, he had a beautiful mouth.
“I did not.”
“Yeah, you did. See, right there, that’s a smile.” His finger reached out, brushing against my lips as if to prove his point. He pressed down gently, tracing the shape of my bottom lip. His eyes darkened.
I wanted to lick his finger, to draw it into my mouth, to suck on it. I jerked back. Warmth flooded me. All over.
What the hell was wrong with me?

So what do you guys think so far—Team Hugh or Team Samir?

I SEE LONDON February 3, 2014
I SEE LONDON Copyright © Chanel Cleeton
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.

Pre-order I SEE LONDON

Originally a Florida girl, at seventeen Chanel moved to London to attend an international university. In the four years that followed, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, learned how to dance, travelled through Europe, and made lifelong friendships. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever. But fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise, when an American fighter pilot with smooth dance moves, swept her off her feet.

Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in South Korea. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she is happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband. Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers. Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.

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