Can the attraction between Gemma and Jake outlast the grape picking season in Gemma’s vineyard?
Gemma has managed the family winemaking business ever since her husband had died and left her alone with their daughter. But this fall, there’s something in the air that makes her moody and restless. It doesn’t help that the usual team of seasonal workers has quit on her and she has no one to help her pick the grapes.
Jake’s life revolves around his sports career. When an injury forces him to rest, he becomes a mentor to a troubled teen, Tommy. Trying to reform him, he takes him on a two-week working vacation to an old vineyard.
As Jake helps Gemma get the work done, they struggle to ignore the attraction they feel for each other. There is no point giving in when Jake will have to leave for France at the end of his vacation. Gemma couldn’t handle another broken heart, and Jake isn’t looking for a relationship.
He bent down and picked up her feet, still in her work boots. He propped them up on his knees and started unlacing the boots.
“What are you doing?” she asked, appalled, and placed her glass on the table.
“I’ll massage your feet. They must be killing you.”
She made a horrified sound. “They’re dirty. And smelly.” She swatted his hands away, but he didn’t relent.
“You’ve never smelled my socks after a game. You don’t know what smelly is.”
One boot thudded to the ground and the other one followed shortly after.
“Jake,” she tried again, but he had already pulled off her socks. She hid her face in her hands.
The first contact of his warm fingers on her sore feet had her rolling her eyes to the back of her head. A moan tore from her throat. Torn between mortification and pleasure, she didn’t open her eyes when she heard Jake chuckle.
“That good, huh? And I’m just warming up,” he teased.
Her mind wandered to other things he might be good at. Heat swamped her body. She wriggled on the sofa, tension wiring her body with a need she hadn’t felt in ages.
His fingers massaged and kneaded her feet and toes. She bit her lip to stop herself from making any more suggestive sounds. She laughed when he hit a ticklish spot.
“Oh, did I discover a chink in your armor?” Jake asked.
“You’re deluded. My armor is intact.” Gemma giggled when he tickled her again. “Stop! Please, stop!”
She laughed so hard she couldn’t breathe, but he wouldn’t stop tickling her.
“Admit it!” he demanded, a wicked grin splitting his face.
She shook her head, stubborn yet gasping for air, tears of laughter in her eyes. But then she couldn’t take it anymore. “Okay, okay. I admit.”
“Aha,” he said, victorious. “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”
Her whole body hurt from the strain of trying to get her feet away from his wicked fingers, but the tiredness was heavy and pleasant. “You’re evil,” she complained, wiping her eyes, a silly grin on her lips. She couldn’t remember when she had last laughed like that. It was quite a change from the morose mood earlier. Everything in her felt alive and buzzing with a pleasant sort of tension.
“You don’t know the half of it. Now that I know there’s a crack in your defense, I’ll find others, bigger, wider ones.”
“Please don’t.” She said it as a joke, but the significance of her words struck her a second later.
Jake looked at her as if he too had heard more in her words than she’d planned to say. He pulled her feet back in his lap, so her legs were stretched out, and he rested his large hands on top, warming her skin. He gazed out over the grassy stretch of sloping land which separated the house from the sea. The ripples on the water looked gray and lazy in the late evening. The breeze off the sea tasted briny in Gemma’s mouth.
“Did it ever occur to you,” he said, pausing shortly before he continued, “that you don’t need it? Your armor?” He looked at her then. It was too dark for her to be able to decipher the look in his eyes. She tried to figure out what to say without sounding pathetic, when he added, “You don’t have to answer that. Just think about it.”
Gently, he lifted her feet and got up from the sofa. He placed her legs back down onto the cushion, holding them for a moment. When his hands let go, she felt a chill in the spot where he’d touched her skin.
Published by Changeling Press Cover Artist: Bryan Keller Genres/Themes: Contemporary Romance, MC Romance, Single Parent/Pregnancy Romance, Romantic Suspense
Nikki – Being tortured and watching the father of my child die has scarred me. There are deep wounds etched into my soul that no one can possibly understand. They think I loved him, that I’m mourning, but I’m not. The horror of that day lurks in the shadows of my mind, and I can’t seem to break free. Not until Ashes drags me to my first ultrasound and I see my son for the first time. I owe it to him to do better, but it’s too late. I’ve lost my job, and I’m losing my apartment. I should have known Ashes would swoop in like a knight on his shining Harley to save the day.
Ashes – It’s my fault that Nikki lost Bane, that their kid will grow up without a dad. My cousin is responsible for what happened to them, and I can’t undo that pain. So instead, I take care of Nikki the best I can while trying to maintain some distance between us. I’ve loved her for years, but I can never tell her. Renegade, the Road Captain for my club and her brother, would kill me if he knew that Nikki plagues my thoughts day and night. I never counted on taking her home with me, or getting caught in the shower with her. But our happy-ever-after wasn’t quite in reach. When a series of events nearly tears us apart, I vow that I’ll do whatever it takes to get back to her. It never occurred to me that she’d be the one to save me.
I hated seeing Nikki like this. What should have been a joyous time for her only made her sadder. Losing Bane, especially in such a brutal way, had done a number on her. It had been half a year since his death, and still she was barely living. None of us had a clue the two had been so close. Even her brother, Renegade, had been kept in the dark. I’d made it my responsibility to keep an eye on her. If it weren’t for my addict cousin, then Bane would still be alive, and Nikki wouldn’t be facing motherhood alone.
Her belly swelled with her kid, hers and Bane’s, and I thought she was pretty damn adorable. Even when she hadn’t showered in a few days, there was just something about Nikki that made you look twice. She wasn’t stunning, or gorgeous like the women in Hollywood, but the girl-next-door look was really doing it for me. Not that I would touch her. I had no right. Besides, she was still mourning the loss of Bane.
“Hey, Nik, your calendar says you have a doctor’s appointment today. Shouldn’t you be getting ready?” I asked as I leaned against the entryway to the living room.
She’d curled on the couch, still in her pajamas, and was staring vacantly at the TV. I knew she wasn’t watching it because a movie that looked damn close to soft porn was playing, and that wasn’t her thing. At least, it hadn’t been since I’d started coming over here every week.
“Nik.” Moving farther into the room, I hunkered in front of her, slowly reaching for her hand. I gave it a slight squeeze, pulling her attention to me. “There you are, pretty girl. Come on. You need to shower and dress for your appointment. I’ll give you a ride.”
I nodded. “Doctor. Have to check on the kiddo and make sure they’re all right.”
Her eyes turned glassy with unshed tears. “I’m supposed to find out the sex today. I get to see my baby and I…”
I reached up and wiped away the tear that slipped down her cheek. “I know, sweetheart. I know. I’m so damn sorry Bane can’t be here for this, but you don’t have to go alone.”
I’d like to think Bane would have been with her every step of the way, but I honestly didn’t know. He’d enjoyed the club pussy as much as anyone else. The fact he’d been with Nikki, and she was the sister of our Road Captain, made me think he’d been more serious this time. If he hadn’t died and he’d fucked around on Nik, then Renegade would have gelded him.
She gave me a slight nod and I helped her stand. Not trusting her to actually take a shower and not just crawl back in the bed, I led her down the hall to her room. I’d picked up a bit the last time I was here, but the place already looked like a cyclone had hit. From what I knew of Nikki, she’d been something of a neat freak before losing Bane. The men who took her had beat her pretty bad, but even worse, they’d made her watch as they tortured and killed Bane, a Prospect no one had realized she was seeing.
I went into her bathroom and turned on the shower, set out a clean towel for her, then stepped out. Nikki shuffled past me, more zombie than human at the moment. I left her to it and started picking up the mess in her room and stripping the bed. When I turned to shove everything in the hamper near her closet, I sighed and stared at her. She was still standing in the bathroom, vacantly looking at the shower.
She needed help, but she refused to go talk to a shrink, and Renegade insisted she’d be fine and to leave her be. I couldn’t, though. Either my brother wasn’t aware of just how bad Nik had gotten, or he was choosing to ignore it. I understood he was preoccupied with his new woman and daughter, and the kid they had on the way, but that didn’t change the fact his sister needed him. I could go to the Pres and ask him to speak to Renegade, but I didn’t want to do that. Nikki needed someone, and I was happy to help. I considered it penance for my fucked-up cousin being responsible for what happened to Nikki and Bane.
“Nikki, I need you to take a shower and get ready for your appointment,” I reminded her again.
When she still didn’t move, I knew I’d have to take things further than I should. I reached up and eased the elastic from her hair, letting it tumble down her back. Bracing myself for however she might react, I reached for the hem of her shirt and slowly started to lift it, hoping like hell she’d snap out of it and shove me away, then undress herself. Her bare breasts came into view, and I slammed my eyes shut, and cursed the fact I was getting hard. It was all kinds of fucked up. I managed to get her shirt off, then shoved her pajama pants down her legs. Settling my hands on her hips, I noticed she hadn’t been wearing panties. It was tempting to let my hands wander over that smooth skin, but I held back.
I brushed past her and tested the shower water, warming it a little more, before I reached back and took her hand. I tried really fucking hard not to look anywhere but her face as I stuck her under the shower spray. She sucked in a breath, her eyes going wide, and I could tell the moment she was coming back to the present and getting out of her head.
“Ashes?” she asked.
“Yeah, Nik. Just… shower, okay? I’ll put some clothes out for you, then wait in the living room.”
My gaze dropped to her breasts, and I knew it made me an asshole, but I couldn’t seem to stop myself from going even lower. The swell of her belly made my fingers twitch as I fought the urge to reach out and place my hand there. Nikki seemed to read my mind and reached out, taking my hand in hers, then pressed my palm to her belly. I stared a moment before looking up to see her watching me.
“It’s okay if you want to feel the baby,” she said. “You’ve been here every week helping take care of us. It’s almost more your kid than Bane’s.”
I shook my head. “No, Nik. The baby is yours and Bane’s, and everyone knows it. The kid will know it too. We’ll all tell him or her about their dad, and how he died trying to save you. He’ll be a hero in his kid’s eyes.”
Her lower lip trembled. “I’m scared, Ashes.”
Ah, hell. I could handle about anything, except tears. I slipped off my cut and laid it on the counter, then toed off my boots. I stepped into the shower and gathered Nikki in my arms, not caring that I was getting soaked. She cried and clutched at my shirt. It was all kinds of fucked up that she was naked, and my dick was more than aware of the fact. If Renegade saw me right now, he’d kick my ass.
“Everything’s going to be fine, Nik. You don’t have to do any of this on your own. The club is behind you one hundred percent. You know that, right? It’s not just Renegade. We’re all here for you.”
She sniffled and looked up at me. “No, not everyone. Just you. My brother hardly comes by, and I never see the others unless I go to the compound.”
I bit my tongue before I said something I shouldn’t. I’d thought long and hard about her situation. The fact she lived alone and didn’t have anyone to check on her, other than the club, meant that she’d be safer at the compound. If anything happened, it would take too long to reach her. Hell, that was if anyone even knew she needed help. I wanted her to move behind the gates, but it wasn’t my place to say anything. She wasn’t mine.
About Harley Wylde …
Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil’s Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.
When Harley‘s writing, her motto is the hotter the better — off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place. She doesn’t shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve.
The times Harley isn’t writing, she’s thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She’s also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980’s, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990’s to today, even though she’d much rather be reading or writing.
An author friend of mine will have her story published in a ya romance anthology, Love at the Edge of Seventeen. The publisher who will publish the anthology in April 2018, is using Kickstarter as a pre-order platform. Back up the authors by pre-ordering the anthology here.
I have to say I like the design of the banner and the book cover of the previous anthology.
#Inkripplesis a themed meme hosted byMary Waibel,Katie L. Carroll, andKai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.
It’s only the 3rd of November and it has already been one of the more exciting months this year. Two days ago, my romance novella, Romancing the Princess, was published as part of the Can’t Buy Me Love box set. I’m finishing revisions on another novel (non-romance), plus NaNoWriMo started! I imagine the topic for this month’s inkripples was chosen deliberately, with NaNoWriMo in mind.
I tried NaNoWriMo twice before, once successfully (the novel I’m now revising) and once not so much. This year, I’m well ahead with the word count and unless something downright shocking happens I’m confident I’ll finish the novel. I got the idea for the novel only a couple of months ago but I really ‘feel’ the characters and I have an urge to keep writing way past the required daily word count.
Amongst my reader friends, I’m known as someone who never gives up on a book. It has only happened a handful of times that I didn’t finish reading a book because it was so terrible. I’m like that when it comes to writing, too. When I get an idea and the characters start to reveal themselves to me, I’ll write like a woman possessed. My biggest problem is not finishing the novel, it’s retaining my interest long enough to go back to the story and edit it until it’s publishable.
An additional incentive to finish this year’s NaNoWriMo is also the cover for my novel which was designed by the super talented Eva Talia. I mean, looked at that? How could I not finish the story when I have this beauty to look at? It captures the essence of the love story, the vineyards as the setting, the guarded main character and the charmer who swoops in and shatters her protective walls.
My fingers itch the wrap up this post and open the file with the novel and start typing. 😉
Seven romantic tales of love where royalty, celebrities, and passion meet. A case of mistaken identity, protecting the one you love, or proving you aren’t all about the money…these tales will entice and thrill.
A Royal Pain by Abigail Drake
Getting shot in the bottom saving a visiting royal turns out to be the best thing to happen to, impoverished socialite, Chloe Burkhart in a long time, especially when the prince’s very handsome, very sexy bodyguard, Nicolai, comes to her aid.
Caught by Himby Tammy Mannersly
Blockbuster movie actor, Brody Nash doesn’t quite know what to make of the gorgeous woman precariously perched on his neighbor’s gate, but as they start to get to know each other better, he begins to wonder if she might just be the one for him.
Romancing the Princessby Bridie Hall
A commoner, Sebastian, and Princess Alixandra are set to get married until he begins to wonder if fitting in with royalty is worth sacrificing his principles. Love rules all. Or does it?
All My Memoriesby Grea Warner
The possibility of reconnecting with an unrequited love leads country music star Finn Murphy on a journey of memories in this special prequel to the Country Roads series.
Me and Tillieby Lisa Hahn
1950s musical film star Oren Cooper returns to Broadway to find new inspiration. Unexpectedly, that inspiration comes in the form of Tillie Parker—his childhood friend’s little sister and an up-and-coming ingénue.
Defending Demma by Melissa Kay Clarke
When faced with an unsavory past, can Demma St. John, rising new starlet, trust ex-Marine Ryker “Digger” McMillan with her secrets and her heart?
His Royal Typefaceby Stephanie Keyes
When all is lost, love can be found. Will Prince Asher Tarrington’s unique font design be enough to salvage a royal family and set the tone for true love?
I hope you enjoy all the romance in this box set. I’d love to hear what you think of the stories. If anyone is interested, I have review copies, just drop me a line below or on my contact page.
Sparks flew the moment fifteen-year-old Molly Kaff and Jamie Burnham locked eyes across the dusty Camp Chimalis parking lot. From that moment, they were undeniably and irrevocably in love.
Until they weren’t.
Months after the demise of their fifteen-and-a-half-year marriage, a mutual friend from those treasured summers at camp dies, rattling their tight circle of friends to the core. Her dying request? Bring everyone back to camp one last time.
Returning proves more emotional than Molly expected. Sweltering heat in un-air-conditioned cabins is just the tip of the iceberg. Memories, both delightful and dispiriting, press down on Molly as she grapples with the momentous grief from the loss of her friend…and her husband.
Trying to honor her wishes with the ex hanging around is one thing, but being stuck in the woods with no cell service and years’ worth of hurt and resentment is another. As Molly tries to navigate her way through the heartache, she starts to wonder if she was wrong about the reasons behind her failed marriage. And if maybe her friend orchestrated their Chimalis homecoming from beyond…
Can a few evenings sitting by the campfire eating s’mores be the salve her battered heart needs to finally move on?
I fumbled for the handle to the janitorial closet door, my palm slipping on the cold metal. When I finally managed to push it open, I stumbled in and slammed it shut behind me. The motion sensor light popped on, and I made a beeline for the utility sink in the corner. I retched up every bite of the chicken salad I ate for lunch, as well as the four cups of coffee I downed since my shift started. When my stomach was empty, I hung limply over the side of the metal basin. With one last feeble gag, I choked on a sob, burying my face in the crook of my arm to muffle the sounds. “Oh, Bree, no. Not yet. Not yet…” I moaned into the fabric of my scrubs. I’d chosen the purple pair with little grey hearts. Purple was Bree’s favorite color, or had been, when we were teens and coordinated our outfits. Had fate stepped in and helped me pick those stupid purple scrubs? Could she see me wearing them now? Was she watching me barf all over a mop head in the filthy sink? With a jolt, I stood upright and scanned the tiny four by six-foot space with wide, blurry eyes. “Bree?” I whispered at nothing. “You were supposed to wait for me.” Another whimper escaped, and I clamped my hand over my mouth. She joked last time I saw her, even with oxygen tubes in her nose, and sallow, greyish skin, that she wouldn’t dare croak without me being present. We sealed the promise with a pinky swear, which was the ultimate in contractual agreements between friends who’d known each other since before puberty. When she was diagnosed with cancer at four months pregnant with the twins she and her husband Zane had so lovingly prayed for, she also promised to kick cancer’s ass and make it cry for its mama. Unfortunately, cancer had kicked Bree’s butt, and by the time she had the twins, her body was so ravaged and unhealthy, it was a miracle Max and Maddie were born pink, plump, and healthy. But Bree hadn’t cared. She’d been in her oncologist’s office three weeks later, demanding she help her combat the disease full force. She announced she wasn’t going out without a fight, that she wasn’t leaving her children. While her new role as mommy had rescued her heart from despair, it hadn’t rescued her body from illness. The cancer metastasized, spreading to her colon and eventually her lungs. She did chemo and radiation, traveled to Seattle to stay with April’s family while trying experimental drugs, and even went to a healing shaman that Rachael swore cured her IBS. But the desperate measures weren’t enough. By the time the twins had their first birthday, she was in a wheelchair, unable to bear her own weight. Because of her intravenous nutrition, Bree’s teeth started to decay. She was a ghost of the vibrant, confident, barefooted girl who forced me to get over my crippling homesickness at Camp Chimalis. She wasted away right in front of our eyes. I sank to the floor of the janitorial closet, ignoring when something dampened my butt. Placing my head in my hands, I wept for the missed opportunity to hug Bree one last time, for the friend I would never see again, for the sweet parents who outlived their adult child, for the adoring husband she left behind, and for those two magnificent children she fought so desperately to live for… I had to call April. And Rachael. And I had to call Sue back. Oh, lord, that was a call I wasn’t looking forward to. I wondered if Jamie knew. He knew Bree almost as well as I did. Would Sue have thought to call him, too? Surely Zane would’ve asked someone… I don’t know how long I sat on the floor, my shoulders shaking, hiccups the only sound besides the overhead speakers in the hallway, paging doctors every five or six minutes. But when the door opened a crack, and cool air filtered in, I shivered.
Brooke was kind enough to answer a few questions about her writing life and about this book.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Usually about 4 to 6 months, but this most recent book was 3 years in the making. We lost a daughter, then moved abroad for my husband’s work, and I simply lost my writing mojo after that. It took until last spring to come back, and then I wrote Here’s to Campfires and S’mores in about 5 months.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I write while my children are in school, so about 6 to 7 hours of writing time per day, though I balance that with real life at the same time. So between laundry, house cleaning, working on promo, etc, for my books, and doing errands out of the home, I would say I get 3 or 4 hours of solid writing (when my muse cooperates) a day.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Charlotte’s Web. Oh, so sweet! But most recently I wept while I read John Corey Whaley’s Where Things Come Back. I was on a long flight from America to South Korea and I read the whole book in one sitting, and it just got me right in all the feels. So good.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both! When I am cranking out the words and really feeling my characters, it pumps me up, and I feel hyper and excited to keep writing. Other times, though, it can be draining, depending on how personal the material is. When I was writing Here’s to Campfires and S’mores I found the material draining, because there is a lot of talk about infertility, and I had to draw from some of the experiences some friends have had, and that was emotionally draining. But when I wrote the flashback scenes from 1994, I found myself feeling really excited, because I could tap into my own teenage experiences.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Television. I tend to turn on the Real Housewives when I’m writing, and when that happens, all bets are off. I won’t get anything done, except having Tweeted about how rude Vicki is, or how drunk Brandi acted. It’s very time sucking.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Pour your heart onto the page, and edit it later. If you edit as you go, you’ll have a dry, state book. If you put your everything into it from the beginning, you’ll have plenty to work with. It’s always easier to scale back than to add to later.
What does literary success look like to you?
Making a regular wage and having readers who put me on their “auto-buy” list. It would be lovely to see my books made into a movie someday, as well, though I always feel like that’s a pipe dream. We’ll see…..
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I usually start writing, and stop to do research as I go. I find that if I don’t do the two things in a parallel manner, I’ll take a year or longer to plan, then lose interest in writing the actual book before I’ve even started chapter one. So I try to do both at the same time.
What was your hardest scene to write?
Probably the scene where Molly finds out Bree (her BFF from childhood) has died. It was very emotional and trying to write. I’ll admit…I teared up!
Less than a month till Can’t Buy Me Loveis out! Pre-order it here.
Seven romantic tales of love where royalty, celebrities, and passion meet. A case of mistaken identity, protecting the one you love, or proving you aren’t all about the money…these tales will entice and thrill.
Read stories by Abigal Drake, Lisa Hahn, Grea Warner, Tammy Mannersly, Melissa Kay Clarke, Stephanie Keyes and me.
Here’s an excerpt from my story Romancing the Princess.
Love rules all. Or does it?
A commoner, Sebastian, and Princess Alixandra are in love and set to get married until a clause in the prenup rubs Seb the wrong way and he stuns Alix by vanishing from the palace just a day before the wedding. He is not sure fitting in with royalty is worth sacrificing his principles but he could lose the love of his life otherwise. The choice seems impossible.
Usually, he left before the morning shed light on the consequences of his actions. This time, his insides squeezed at the thought he’d never get to wake up next to Alix again. It wasn’t fair.
“It’s been …” Alix glanced at him and then dropped her gaze. “Well, I need to go through the customs. Boarding will start in half an hour.” Her voice was croaky. It pained him that he couldn’t tell whether from fatigue or emotion.
She leaned into him, soft and supple, and it took his breath away. His arms came around her reflexively. Her bed hair was a stark reminder of what they’d been doing minutes before calling a taxi to take them to the airport.
“This was real, right? I didn’t just dream it?” Seb said.
He couldn’t quite catch what she murmured into his chest.
“I’ll miss you,” he blurted.
She looked up, opening her mouth, but then she pressed her lips together and dropped her gaze to his chest. He forced her face up with his finger under her chin. He kissed her forehead, her cheek and eyelids, her chin and lips, and felt the bitter taste of goodbye intruding on their intimacy.
His mouth on hers seemed to have unlocked something in her because she finally whispered, “I’ll miss you, too.”
When she stepped away, he reached to push a strand of her hair from her face, but her eyes—miserable and dark—flitted to his for a second and then she was gone, walking away from him, and then running, her purse swaying from her shoulder behind her.
Leah Parker is resilient and hardworking. She’d always prided herself in maintaining a level head, even under pressure. Everything changes when she begins to see strange apparitions and hear ghostly voices on the morning of her birthday.
In a blink of the eyes, Leah’s life takes a drastic turn that spirals her into the unknown. Something is out to get her, but she’s unsure if she’s losing her mind, or the faces and demands of the dead are real. Unable to find the answers she needs, she has no choice but to rely on ex-best friend, Brandon Morris, for help.
But as she will soon discover, Brandon has his own secrets. Some of which defy logic and only add to the mystery surrounding Leah. And mix feelings between the two complicate matters by getting in the way of what they really want, and what they must do.
Can Brandon lighten the load on her by figuring out what or who wants her dead? Or will their past history get in the way of the storm brewing just beyond Leah’s grasp?
“Are you scared of me? Is that it?” As if to make a point, he covered the distance between us in three short steps, and backed me off into the landing to the stairwell behind me, stopping only when our bodies were a few inches from coming into physical contact. The invigorating scent of his cologne invaded my nostrils, causing my mind to go into total and complete turmoil.
I shut down, unsure how to react. I hadn’t anticipated being cornered in a vulnerable spot where we were shielded from view. Normally, I was a sucker for guys who smelled as good as he did, but this was Brandon Morris. I couldn’t decide whether to lean closer and inhale slowly, or scream and push him away.
I wanted to deny his accusation, but he could see the truth in my eyes. It was pointless to pretend as if he hadn’t just sent my heart into a race. By then he could see how badly I shook. I could not disguise it fast enough for him not to notice.
“Should I be?” I asked softly, fear forcing my voice to quake.
About the Author
Kristy Centeno is the author of the Secrets of the Moon saga and Keeper Witches series.
She has always had a passion for books and after years of being an avid reader, she decided to transform her desire to write into a reality and thus, her first novel was born. When she’s not busy taking care of her five children or holding down the fort, she finds time to sit and do what she loves the most: writing.
Years of separation mean nothing when love is in the air…
Julia Diaz never wanted to fall for her friend’s older brother, especially at a college frat party. But, for some reason, her heart was stolen by Russell that night. Eight years after, she never forgot him. Now destiny has brought them together. Only this time Russell is no longer a boy. He’s a man who knows what he wants and will not be denied.
Russell Webb used to be optimistic, and fun loving until a family tragedy turned his world on its side. Putting all his focus on work, he picked himself back up, and managed to turn his grief into something resembling a life. When a woman from his past reappears, and gives him a glimpse of true happiness, he’ll do anything to secure her heart. Even face the darkness he has avoided for so long.
“You’re not going anywhere.” He tightened his arms. The thought of her leaving made him feel desperate.
Her smile broadened. “I have to.”
“Sorry, Julia.” He leaned in, inhaling her sweet, jasmine scent. “You are going to have to live here now.”
She laughed loudly at his suggestion. The sound was deep, sexy, and marvelous.
“What? You don’t want to live with twenty smelly, grown men?”
She wiped her eyes, shaking her head no.
“Well, maybe I should take you back to the library bathroom, until you change your mind.”
She broke out of his arms. “Do it and die.”
He grabbed her back to him in a hurry, not ready to throw in the towel.
“Stop distracting me.” She cupped his face in her hands, and moved closer to him. “I’m here to offer you a reward.”
“What’s my reward?” He felt his body tighten with need as the curves of her full chest pushed against his shirt. She looked up at him, her eyes dancing hazel, this time, with desire.
“This.” She pressed her answer against his lips, and then he could no longer feel his toes.
The kiss was slow, murderously slow. Her lips were soft, silky, and warm. She tasted tantalizing and delicious. He groaned, pulling her closer, sinking into her. She met him, opening her mouth for his tongue, pressing their bodies together. The moment of sweet was over, and suddenly the kiss became desperate, hot, and sensual. He ran his hands down her waist, and she licked his lower lip, before sucking it in.
He pulled his lips away, to drag them down her neck. “I want you.”
“I know.” She sighed, pushing out of his arms. “But not here.”
Valentine Day is D Day for Valentine Kisses. It’s out in the world now, and the feeling is pretty great. To celebrate, we’re having a Facebook party tonight. Come join us. We’ll have fun and there will be giveaways!
Some wonderful reviews have already come in for the anthology.
An Anthological Triumph! Even if you have a partner to kiss on Valentine’s Day, this anthology of love will melt your heart! (Tracy at Sourpussreviews)
I was surprised when I turned the last page! I was hoping for more. (T.Longo)
Each author did an exquisite job at presenting, laying out, and find a wonderful conclusion to each of their novellas, with the limited space a novella allows. Definitely recommend this book of novellas. (Tthomas1028)
You still have a few hours to enter the Valentine day blog hop GIVEAWAY. My giveaway, however, has ended and the winners of ebook copies of my YA novellas are:
And just because I love it, I have to post the cover for my novella Hearts Must be Broken. Get your copy here.