Hi Mateo, Evie and Lourdes! Welcome and thanks for hanging out with us here at Under the Covers. It’s always a pleasure having a few of Cecy’s Characters come and visit.
Evelyn smiles. “Hello, Angela.”
Lourdes grins. “Hey, girl.”
Let’s start with introductions. Tell us a little about yourselves.
Evelyn exchanges glances with Lourdes. “We’re nurses,” answers Lourdes. She scowls. “Well, at least we will be if we can get through these damn care plans.”
Evelyn laughs a little. “It’s a tough course of study. But we’re almost there. I also waitress at Club Excess.”
Mateo crosses his arms. “I’m lead bouncer at Club Excess. Served a year in the Army. S’about it.”
Please tell us how you met each other and first impressions.
Mateo smirks and glances at Evelyn. “I noticed Evie right away, so did every punk I was standing with. But she didn’t look at me once.”
Evelyn’s face reddens. “I was a little distracted that day, but when I did notice him he was impossible to forget.”
“Yeah?” Mateo asks.
“Yes,” Evie answers quietly.
“You’re saying you didn’t notice this hot hunk of man love when you first saw him?” Lourdes interrupts.
“Lourdes,” Evie warns. “I told you I was distracted.
“Was there a fire?” Lourdes asks.
“Then you should’ve noticed that fine piece of ass.”
Lourdes tucks a strand of her hair behind her ear. “Just saying, girl. Your man has some serious testosterone going on.”
Mateo coughs into his fist as he tries to hide his laughter.
This one is for Evie and Lourdes. You guys are roommates but known each other even before College, right?
“That’s right,” they both answer.
What is the funniest and or most memorable time you have of each other?
The tension between them lessens as they scrutinize at each other.
“I’ve walked in on Lourdes and her girlfriends more times than I can count―”
“That’s because you don’t do the knock, Evelyn.”
“Lourdes, it’s a ridiculous knock. I’m not doing it.”
“There’s nothing wrong with the damn knock. It’s effective!”
“It’s unnecessary. Send me a text that you have someone over. It doesn’t have to be that hard.”
Mateo frowns. “What knock?”
Evelyn rolls her eyes. “She wants me to knock to the beat of Telephone by Lady Gaga.”
“It’s my favorite song. You know that, Evelyn!”
Let’s move on. What did you guys think of Mateo when you first met him? Is he portrayed exactly like the book cover of Once Perfect?
“Almost,” Lourdes answers. “Boyfriend is missing the Power and Wrath tats on his forearms and those black flames crawling up his arms.” She grins at Evelyn with a knowing expression. “How far do those flames go?”
“Oh, pretty far.” Evelyn’s cheeks pink. “Mateo’s eyes are more hazel and his skin is deeper tone of gold.”
Hi, Mateo. I guess this will be payback for you. Tell us something about Evie or Lourdes that totally made you laugh.
Mateo chuckles. “Lourdes makes me laugh a lot because she’s a spasz―”
“I am not!”
“That’s not true!”
“And loud,” Mateo finishes, totally causing Lourdes to shut her lips tight. He looks at Evie. “My girl makes me a laugh when she touches my―”
“He has a ticklish spot,” Evelyn interrupts. “Let’s just leave it at that.”
Evie, if you can point out a single moment when Mateo had fallen for you, when would that be?
Evelyn bites on her bottom lip. “I don’t know. Hard to say. Teo can be pretty quiet and closed off. What I can tell you is that is that it didn’t take long for me to totally fall for him.”
Tell us the most romantic gesture he had ever done for you?
The smile vanishes from Evie’s expression. “He protected me.”
I think this one would be best answered by Lourdes. Between Club Excess and the underground Fight Club, who do you think is most interesting man there? Perhaps, someone who will be featured in Cecy’s next book?
“I don’t know about ‘men’, but Noelle and Dee are damn cute.” Lourdes leans back and thinks about things. “But you know what? You’ll meet Killian in Once Perfect and again two books from now in Once Pure. Evelyn told me Killian has it bad for Mateo’s little sister, Sofia.”
Mateo rises, his bulging muscles tighten, and his hands ball into fists. “My baby sister has been through a lot. Kill knows it, and needs to keep his distance.”
Evelyn stands and takes one of his hands in both of hers. “I don’t think either Sofia or Killian will keep their distance.” She smiles Angela’s way. “Thank you for having us Angela, but I’m afraid we have to leave now.”
No worries and good luck with school!
His life was never easy. Hers wasn’t supposed to be this hard. They come from different worlds, but fate lures them together in a way neither expected in Cecy Robson’s raw, steamy series debut—perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn.
Evelyn Preston’s future once looked perfect—until her wealthy father was caught in an embezzlement scandal and took his own life. Alone and struggling to pay her college tuition and bills, Evelyn finds a job as a waitress at the ultra-hip nightclub Excess, where she used to have more in common with the privileged private-school clientele than her fellow staff members. But something attracts her to the sexy six-foot-four bouncer and underground MMA fighter Mateo Tres Santos. Although they’ve led different lives, their troubled pasts bonds them in both survival and love.
Mateo is ex-army who wound up in prison for assaulting the man who harmed his sister. Now he’s feeling the same protective impulse for this petite blond waitress. When Evelyn experiences a panic attack at the club, Mateo comes to her rescue. And when Mateo is wounded shielding her from a brawl, Evelyn returns the favor and comes to his aid.
As their attraction intensifies, Mateo is determined to find out what nightmares are lurking in Evelyn’s past—even if that means tackling his own to save her.
“Malibu Barbie. We need more cocktail napkins!”
I stopped wiping the bar booth, torn between throwing my bucket at Sam or at the cluster of bouncers chuckling at his Barbie dig. I still had two more booths to clean before the doors to the Main Line’s infamous Club Excess opened and the real work began. A crowd of spoiled brats―offspring of Philly’s wealthiest families―with too much money and too much attitude already crowded the doors. I should know. I used to be one of them. Except they still had the money.
I had a screaming boss.
“Jesus, Sam, I’m going.” I tossed my towel on the table and stomped across the dance floor in my black, thigh-high boots. If it weren’t for the crazy tips the drunk idiots dropped like bowling balls, no way would I work at a place where I had to accessorize tiny black shorts and a skimpy tank with these hooker boots. The white dress shirt tied at my belly was Sam’s way of compromising when me and a few of the other waitresses complained about our new “uniforms.” The more desperate among us tied it closer to their cleavage. I didn’t. Even if it meant less money, I wanted to hang on to what little pride I had left.
My steps slowed as I neared the group of bouncers huddled around Mateo. He was young, younger than at least half of them, and still they looked up to him. ’’Considering Mateo was an ex-con who fought in fight clubs, you’d think the staff would avoid him’’. I sure did. Hell, I’d barely spoken to him in the six months I’d worked at Excess, using any excuse to keep my distance. That said, there was something about him that made people take notice. His burly arms crossed his chest. Power was inked on one forearm in bold Gothic lettering, Wrath on the other, and black flames crawled up both, disappearing beneath the sleeves of his tight black T-shirt.
My puny shoulders tensed as I drew closer. Mateo had served time for beating some poor guy so brutally the guy had spent two weeks in the hospital recovering from the bashes to his face and body. I watched Mateo, a lot. Every now and then, I’d catch him glancing my way, too. He’d offer me a brief nod or a small smile, but I never offered anything in return. His size, the depth of his voice, and his aptitude for violence scared me, despite his captivating looks. He moved like a panther staking out his turf, ready for anything, his steely hazel eyes taking everything in.
He spoke low and rough as the last of his crew arrived. “Listen up. Keep the drugs and the dealers out. They come in with that shit, you see anyone selling―send their asses out the door. Sam doesn’t want another OD in his place. If those rich pricks want to die, they can do it somewhere else.”
The others answered Mateo with stiff nods, except for Dale, who whistled as I walked by. “Nice ass, Evelyn . . .”
His voice trailed off. I turned to shoot him a dirty look over my shoulder only to catch the death glare Mateo was firing his way. “Leave Evie the fuck alone and pay attention, Dale,” Mateo told him. Dale immediately dropped his gaze, allowing Mateo to return his attention to the rest of the group. “With the first week of classes over, these fools are looking to party hard, and the dealers are ready to assist. ““Don’t go it alone. Call for backup if you need it, when you need it. I’ll take point near the bar. Ant’s my second. He’ll take point left of the floor. If I’m mixed up in some other shit, you call him. Got me?”
The bouncers collectively muttered in agreement. Even Dale.
My heart was thumping against my sternum and I lost my footing. I reached for my ponytail and tightened it fast, trying to pretend that was the reason I’d tripped and not, absolutely not, because ’Mateo had stuck up for me and shut Dale up on my behalf. Or because he’d called me “Evie.” Again. No one else had ever called me that.
$25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller & Copy of ONCE PERFECT
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