Take My Hart: Hart Brothers 1
By L. Marie
Erotic Contemporary Romance Short Story
She had thought she’d lost him seven years ago. But he walked back into her life…and into her bed.
Shelby Detweiler had thought she’d gotten over Brandt Hart. Time had healed her broken heart. But a chance meeting in her office throws her off kilter and Brandt is there to steady her. She wants to trust him, to believe he’s relationship material once again. Soon passions flare but will she get burned?
Seven years earlier, a night of drinking and infidelity had destroyed his relationship with the woman he loved. Years later, he strolled into her office with business on his mind. But being close to her is enough to rock his world. Several sizzling moments in her office rekindles the fire. He wants her back.
Will an evening of passion drive them back into each other’s arms? Or will the flame blow out forever?
For the tenth time in the last five minutes, Shelby Detweiler checked her reflection in the full-length mirror. Nothing had changed. She was still wearing the same Donna Karan suit jacket and matching skirt in the shade of soft peaches. A silk, black tank top peaked from underneath the blazer. The fabric lay cool and light against her porcelain skin. Long, mahogany brown locks, held at the nape of her neck with a hair tie, fell over her shoulder and cascaded down her ample chest. Black, four-inch, Nine West heels added to her five-foot, seven-inch frame and complemented her shapely legs.
With a hearty sigh, she turned away from the mirror and paced her office. She glanced down to the floor. Nope, she hadn’t worn a path in the plush, tan carpeting. A nervous laugh bubbled up her throat.
Why am I acting like such a child? At the age of twenty-seven, she was beyond her college days. But those college days had scarred her, destroying her faith in relationships and men in general. Damn Brandt Hart all to hell! He had been her first—and last—true love. Her heart thudded hard against her breastbone. Any thought of him sent her pulse racing and her stomach summersaulting. No other man had the ability to fluster her so. She had dated in the past, but no one was Brandt.
But he had burned her.
They had talked about a future together. Marriage. Children. Then, he had slept with Dina. He had claimed he had gotten drunk at a party with a bunch of his teammates and the Haydensburg University cheerleaders and one thing had led to another. After, Dina had spread a rumor that Brandt had been the father of her child. Turned out to be a lie, but the damage had already been done.
Shelby had finished the semester at HU then transferred to another college. But she had never truly moved on. Brandt had still had an iron grip on her heart. She could deny it, but what was was. Nothing fazed the feeling she had once had—still had—for him.
And in about five minutes, he would be strolling back into her life. Not permanently, but she would see him again, and a flood of emotions would swallow her in their depths. She’d want him. Both mentally and physically. She would fight, and she would likely lose the battle.
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I live in Pennsylvania just a hair shy of the Maryland border. I live with a family I adore which includes two furry feline children and a furry canine daughter.
In my spare time, I'm more than likely watching television. I watch Bones, Blue Bloods, NCIS:New Orleans, or some sort of car show like Wheeler Dealers.
I'm a huge sports fan, football in particular. During the fall/winter, I'm watching Notre Dame or Penn State on Saturdays and the Saints or Colts on Sunday.
I've been known to have my nose buried in a book. Nora Roberts/JD Robb and Clive Cussler are favorites of mine. I know, I know...Clive Cussler isn't a romance author. The man can weave a tale of adventure like no other!
Find me at:
Amazon Author Page
Genre: F/F Romance
With one revelation, her world will shift forever.
Rebecca has everything she ever dreamed of in life: a family, a beautiful home and good friends. When Callie moves into the house across the street, Rebecca is quick to welcome the young writer into the tightly-knit community of Autumn Leaves. She has no idea that Callie will confront her with a truth about herself she might not be ready to face.
All Callie wanted was to flee the big city and finish her latest book in peace, but life in the small town comes with unexpected temptation and danger.
“Let’s see, you bring me food and booze. You’ve known me for five minutes and still haven’t said I talk too much, and you’re fixing my faucet? You’re already my favorite neighbor.”
You could be mine, Rebecca thought, pleased. She set down her cup and got up. “All right, I need to get Maggie from practice in a little while, so I better get started.” She discarded the cardigan and hung it over a chair, stepped out of her pumps and put them underneath. The black T-shirt she wore and the slacks were fine for this kind of work. She could come up with a verdict quickly. “I think it’s just the mounting nut under the sink that needs to be tightened.”
“Um…” Callie didn’t seem to know what to make of that piece of information. “Whatever you say.”
“Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious. Cole’s prices are outrageous anyway. So what do you do?” Rebecca asked, still half-buried under the sink.
“I write,” Callie said.
“What kind of things?”
“Ow!” Getting upright, Rebecca promptly hit her head. Callie had some kind of humor. A good thing Betty wasn’t here or the story would have easily topped the no-name-Hollywood-actress one.
“You want me to work on your pipes and not mess up the job, don’t say things like that.” “Why? It’s true.”
Rebecca came out from under her temporary workplace to look at her neighbor skeptically. “There’s a market for that? Really?”
“I can afford to keep this house, if that’s what you meant.” Callie’s tone was somewhat guarded now.
“Sure. Whatever.” There was an indiscreet question on the tip of her tongue, and Rebecca thought she’d better finish here before it slipped out.
“I write all kinds of things.” Callie sighed. “This is just one section, you know. If you want to ask, just ask me already.”
“None of my business. The faucet should be okay now.”
“You’re welcome.” Rebecca let the water run for a moment, then turned it off, satisfied that there was no more noisy dripping. “I’m sorry,” she said after a moment of hesitation. “It’s your life. I didn’t mean to judge.”
“Well,” Callie said somberly, “sometimes, when people say I talk too much, I suppose they’re right.”
“No, they’re not. I asked. If you want some advice, though, don’t tell everybody. News travels fast in a small community.” Realizing what she’d just said Rebecca shook her head. “Now listen to me. You’ve been here for a day and I’m already scaring you off. I’m sorry.”
“No harm done. I appreciate the warning. Besides, I write children’s books too. Oh, and, Rebecca…?” Her hand already on the door handle, Rebecca turned around. “Feel free to come over whenever you like. I’ll be here most of the time, writing, and I love distractions.”
Rebecca felt ridiculously relieved that Callie didn’t begrudge her the earlier misunderstanding. “I’ll remember that,” she said. “Don’t forget to call off the plumber.”
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~About the Author~
A psychologist/trauma counselor by training, Barbara Winkes left her native Germany to live with her wife in Québec City. Telling stories has always been her passion. She loves to write suspense and romance with female protagonists who try to solve the puzzle of their love life, a murder case, or sometimes, both.
Author Links: Blog Twitter Facebook Pintrest Goodreads Eternal Press
Barbara is giving away an eBook of Autumn leaves during her tour. For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.
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When Alison was stuck in Mirrorland, all she wanted was to be alive again. Now she’s gotten her revenge by inhabiting Piper's body and trapping her behind the mirror. But pretending to be Piper is more difficult than she imagined it would be.
On top of that, the borders between Mirrorland and the real world are crumbling. Danger abounds, demons appear in high school, and if wasn’t for the help of a new mysterious guy, Alison might not have escaped. But there’s more to this guy than meets the eye, and she’s determined to find out what, especially since it might be related to her own supernatural problems.
Meanwhile, Piper tries to convince the Horseman of Death to help her return to her own world, but he's got his own hidden agenda, which may cause more serious risks. Can Piper find a way to restore the balance before both worlds collide?
Piper had died and gone to Hell. That sounded like the only logical explanation as to why a four-legged, three-headed monster, engulfed in flames, and easily five times her size, was chasing her.
She ran for her life. The flames nearly torched her back, so she increased her speed. Drops of sweat dripped down her forehead and her breathing became ragged and difficult. I can’t go on like this much longer.
Zigzagging helped. The monster was a lot bigger than she, and hence it had trouble maneuvering, changing directions. However, that also meant that it only had to take one jump where she had to take five or six steps.
The land around her was barren and empty. Besides her and the monster, which eerily resembled the three-headed hellhound protecting the portal to the Underworld in the Greek myths, she didn’t spot anyone or anything else. Her screams echoed all around her, but nobody could hear her.
The fire caught her shirt, scorching the fabric. Instinctively, Piper let herself fall down on the ground and rolled around, trying to extinguish the flames. When she looked up, the monster’s gigantic mouth loomed over her. The creature’s breath stank terribly, like rot and decay, and she wondered how many humans he’d eaten before, and if the nauseating smell came from their rotting flesh inside its belly.
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Series: The Lost Sisters Trilogy, Book 3
Saving her is going to be one of the toughest jobs of his life, because instead of his mind ruling his heart, his heart is ruling his mind.
Security expert and ex-Navy Seal Kent Lloyd steps onto British soil wishing he was anywhere else. But when Jasmine Owen refuses to visit her sisters in Washington, giving them one lame excuse after another, even Kent knows something is seriously wrong.
The last person Jasmine expects or wants to see at her door is the super sexy man who walked away from her bed after one wild night. But when her sisters suspect something is wrong, they send Kent to check on her. Jasmine hasn't told her family about the stalker who's making her life a living hell and has her in a constant state of fear, but it looks like she might not be able to keep the truth from them any longer.
Both Kent and Jasmine agree on one thing—they want him to leave England and return to the US as soon as possible. However, he refuses to leave until she's safe, which means he has to track down her stalker first, and Jasmine has no clue who it is or why the person is obsessed with her.
As Kent struggles to solve the mystery, he also struggles to keep Jasmine at a distance, which is proving to be difficult. The woman stirs his toughened soul, and if he has to spend too much time around her she just may squeeze her way into his heart.
Content Warning: contains adult language and explicit sex
The security at the apartment complex was laughable. Kent had found it very easy to enter the building. The front desk where the security guard was supposed to be was vacant. As he walked toward the elevator and waited for the doors to open no one stopped him or asked who he was. It took him to the top floor, and he walked to Jasmine's apartment.
When he knocked, there was no answer, so he thumped louder. A crash came from inside, but still there was no response at the door. He called out Jasmine's name, but it was silent. His gut was telling him something wasn't right, and he pounded his fist against the door again, the wood rattling in its frame. Without hesitation, he shouldered the door, and it crashed open.
There was a slight whooshing noise to his left, which sent him into combat mode. He used reactions that had been sharpened during his school days when he'd had to protect himself from a bully who used to wait on every corner. Until he'd beat the guy up, giving him a taste of his own medicine. Needless to say, he hadn't bother Kent again. During his time in the Navy SEALS Kent had perfected those skills.
Swinging toward the noise, he lifted his arm to block the blow that was heading his way. He grabbed the unplugged lamp before it connected with his head and had the person in a headlock before he realized it was Jasmine.
He tossed aside the lamp and spun her around to face him. Her long red hair was covering her face. "Jeesus, what in hell's name do you think you're doing?" he asked.
She shook the hair from her face and large peridot green eyes stared back at him, the fear all too obvious as her breath came in pants and her body trembled so hard that he felt it right through to his bones.
"Why didn't you answer the door?"
She stared back at him, her eyes filling with tears.
"Jas, honey, speak." He shook her gently and a tear slipped down her cheek, filling him with something that stabbed at his heart. "Damn it." He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close to him.
He'd scared the living daylights out of her. He should have realized that before he knocked her door in. Her whole body shook against him, and he felt like a jerk.
"I'm sorry, honey. I didn't mean to scare you."
Jas dug her hands beneath his jacket and wrapped both arms around him. Her fingers gripped at his back, holding onto the material of his shirt tightly. Her face lay on his chest as she burrowed in close to him.
"Kent?" It was the first word that had come from her since he'd made his entrance.
"What are you doing here?"
"You haven't been to see your sisters. You missed Emily coming into the world, and you told Daisy you weren't going to be coming for Thanksgiving either."
Jasmine shivered. "I couldn't go. I explained that to her. I'm getting over another cold, and I've got no one to look after the shop."
Her usually perfectly spoken voice was strained, and he frowned. There was something very off with her. This was not the Jas he knew. He brushed his hand up and down her back, comforting her, until he felt her relax and release the tight hold she had on his shirt.
He kept whispering to her in a soft, comforting voice, assuring her that he would take care of her and everything was going to be okay. When her trembling had almost stopped he stepped back to look at her, and he was shocked at what he saw.
Her usually beautifully coifed hair was untidy, her skin was so pale it was almost alabaster, and the dark circles beneath her eyes told him something was going on, and he wasn't moving until he got to the bottom of it.
"What's going on, Jas?"
"Nothing. Everything is fine." She turned around to go further into the room, but he stopped her by placing his hands on her shoulders and whirling her around so that she faced him. Her chin was dropped to her chest and he raised it with his fingers.
"Honey, you're lying."
She shook her head and smiled, but it didn't reach her eyes. "Trust me, Kent, you don't want to know."
"Because it has nothing to do with you."
"Get your stuff together. The jet is on standby, and I'm taking you to Washington. On the way there you can tell me why it is you look so awful."
"No." She twisted away from him and walked toward the window.
Buy Links: Beachwalk Press
~About the Author~
My home is on the beautiful island of Anglesey on the west coast of North Wales. Anglesey has been my home since the age of eleven after moving here with my mum and dad and three sisters from Scotland.
I'm the proud mother of two grown children. My daughter Emma is a primary school teacher, and my son Christopher is part of the family business.
I'm a health freak and a vegetarian. Pilates class combined with visiting the gym at least four times a week keeps me fit. I love clothes, makeup, and having my nails and hair done. I'm just a girl's girl.
If I'm not in my office pounding the keys I'm sitting in my favorite chair reading books and discovering new authors on my Kindle.
As a young child I loved to write. I always carried a notebook and pen around with me and wrote about everything. I never thought for one moment I would ever be able to pick up a book with my name on it and say "I wrote that". It was a dream come true when I signed with a publisher for my first book in November 2012. So, dare I say at the young age of fifty I think it's time for me to see if those dreams are everything that I hope they will be.
Dilys is giving away a $20.00 Amazon GC during her tour.
For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.
Secrets of the Moon
by Kristy Centeno
Amazon | All Romance | Book Depository
Published by: InkSpell Publishing
Genre: Paranormal / Young Adult
Release Date: July 4, 2013
Length: 418 Pages
ebook and print
Teenager Marjorie Emery eluded death. As she struggles to get her life back on track, she believes her efforts are paying off. Yet, when a black dressing, unfriendly, and incredibly handsome hottie walks into her classroom, she’s forced into a tailspin. Marjorie has no idea how much his presence is going to shatter what little tranquility she’s achieved.
Kyran Rousseau’s gloomy nature has a name, one that is potentially fatal under the right circumstances. His family harbors secrets and does everything to protect Kyran. While, he doesn’t want to ruin Marjorie’s normal life, love has a way of changing his plans.
Falling for Kyran is the least of Marjorie’s worries. With a faceless threat hunting her and a boyfriend who's as dangerous as he is good looking—how can Marjorie and Kyran keep all hell from breaking loose before it’s too late?
The look he gave me then made me want to laugh. Before making a fool of myself, I bit my lip and turned away from him before I burst out laughing. I didn’t think he would appreciate me for laughing at his expense.
He cursed in French and it took a lot for me to refrain from chuckling. It sounded comical and at the same time it was incredibly sexy.
The feel of Angela elbowing me drew my attention away from Kyran. “What’s this all about?” she whispered.
“I wish I knew.” I didn’t even know why we were arguing, or why he was mad, for that matter. “When I find out, I’ll fill you in.”
“He’s one to talk.” Kyran finally spoke in a much more controlled tone. “He’s the biggest weirdo in our family.” Was it just me or did that sound very childish?
“He really didn’t say anything I hadn’t noticed already.”
We leered at each other then, each holding our own. But as I stared into his eyes, I could have sworn they changed colors, from silver to gray. Before I could take a second look, Kyran turned his face away.
“So, you think I’m not normal?” he asked nonchalantly.
“That depends on how you define normal,” I said while trying to take a second peek at his eyes, but he wouldn’t look directly at me. “I don’t know what to think of you, really. You confuse me.” Confused was an understatement. Here we were, arguing, after only knowing each other for a grand total of twenty-four hours. The sad part was I really wanted to know why he was angry. What had I done to make him snap at me? I barely even knew him!
“I bet I do.” He sighed heavily and placed both hands on top of the table, which I took as an invitation to inspect them with my eyes.
Kyran had big hands that appeared as strong as a pair of bricks. It was hard not to stare as they lay atop the table. Something, aside from how big and strong his hands appeared, caught my immediate attention. I noticed what seemed to be a tattoo on his right hand, between his thumb and index finger.
At first it seemed to be just a circle, but upon closer inspection, I noticed it wasn’t just a simple round-shaped tattoo on his hand. The tattoo resembled the shape of a full moon; the details were very vivid and realistic, almost like seeing the moon from one’s
backyard at night. As he moved his hand, the tattoo seemed to move too. The gray and blue colors of it blended in with each other giving it a very realistic, almost real life appearance.
“You confuse me too. I’ve never met someone like you before. I don’t know what to make of you.” He kept speaking without looking at me, and that annoyed me.
Why couldn’t he just look at me as he spoke?
“Yeah, well, likewise.”
“You’ve a very strong personality, Marjorie. This could be a good thing sometimes, but other times, it could get you killed.” Finally, he turned to look at me and I immediately noted that his eyes were the same silver color they normally were.
About Kristy Centeno
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page
Kristy Centeno is an author of paranormal romance, young adult, new adult, horror, and contemporary romance.
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. In her journey to create memorable reads, she has delved into several genres, creating fictional characters meant to entice readers and captivate the mind.
She is currently working on finishing off the Keeper Witches series among other projects, which include sequels to her published work. 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.
An Assignment: Romance Novel #2
When Claire Nelson decided that her happily-ever-after lay not in marriage but in a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, she vowed never to tie the knot. But that was before she met Paul Mendez, handsome and charming enough to have her breaking said vow and marrying him shortly after college.
Almost fifteen years and four sons later, Claire is now a burned out breadwinner ready to ditch her quest for happily-ever-after, and Paul has traded his dream of chairing corporate board meetings for volunteering at PTA meetings as a stay-at-home dad. Feeling trapped in a demanding job, Claire's repeated attempts to get Paul to return to work fall flat. Contemplating divorce, she drafts a letter to the Plate Spinner, a popular advice columnist, asking for help. But when the reply contains an offer that may just put her bestselling author dreams back on track, Claire's only question is: will Paul be on board? Or does her charming husband make a surprise move of his own?
"Dear Plate Spinner—I need your help."
After reading the plea out loud, Mattie Ross, the Chicago Gazette's reluctant advice columnist and marathon-runner-in-training, cringed.
Another letter from a frazzled working mother, seeking direction and hope— commodities she herself was in dire need of ever since her coach walked out on her, taking her heart with him.
Her heart squeezed in her chest and she closed her eyes. After hiding behind the same I'm married with kids lie she her perpetuated with her publisher and readers for the eight months he had spent training her, she could hardly blame him for being upset.
With a heavy sigh, she texted her editor, Dianne Devane. Any openings in Metro yet?
Almost before she hit Send, she got her response. Sit tight, sweetie. I'm working on it.
Emitting a quick growl, Mattie turned her attention back to her computer screen and skimmed the brief account of the weary woman's conundrum.
"The salary of my demanding, soul-sucking job is holding me hostage. I haven't had a vacation in over five years (maternity leaves do not count). I see my kids so infrequently, that if I don't keep their pictures on my desk current, I tend not to recognize them in passing (their resemblance truly is jarring). Any friends I have left have given up hope of ever seeing me in person again, especially when I had to cancel my appearance at an intervention they were staging on my behalf, because I had to meet an absolutely critical deadline. As it is, I'm spread so thin, I make plastic wrap look opaque. My only hope is to convince my husband, a stay-at-home dad to our boys, to return to the corporate world. Chances of this happening, though, are slim to none—especially after he machine-washed yet another one of my dry-clean- only sweaters, and I leveled him with a 'does not meet expectations' on his most recent performance review (I mean, seriously—can you blame me?).
Needless to say, it did not go over well. He has since relocated to the man cave-slash-office down the hall and has barely spoken to me since.
So, tell me. Should I force his hand and quit my job, or file for divorce and offer him a job as a live-in nanny (because he looks a hell of a lot better in an apron than I do)?"
It was signed "Burned Out Breadwinner."
Mattie didn't know whether to send the writer a list of local marriage counselors or encourage her to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. Staring at the ceiling above her cubicle for a moment, the advice columnist tried to think of a fitting response.
About the Author:
Barbara is an award-winning, best-selling novelist. A member of RWA's Windy City chapter, she still dreams of the day when her to-do list includes "Accept Godiva's request to be a taste-tester." False Start, the first book in her Assignment: Romance series, was published in 2014 (Gemma Halliday Publishing).
Giveaway: $10 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Release Date: May 21 , 2015
Published by The Writers Coffee Shop
Genre: FICTION / Romance / General / Science Fiction ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-369-0
Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH
Hundreds of years after an asteroid slammed into Earth and sent it into a new ice age, what remains of the human race lives on in underground sanctuaries. Now, as the bicentennial anniversary of the impact approaches, a new leader prepares to take her place at the head of the government. At least, that’s what she thinks.
Bethanie Greene’s life has been planned out for her since the age of thirteen. Beautiful and intelligent, she’s spent the last twelve years training to become the next Matron of the underground nation of Oceania. But when Bethanie is kidnapped by rogue extremists just six weeks shy of taking office, her world is turned upside down by the handsome stranger who rescues her.
Howard James’ life has been the polar opposite of Bethanie’s. Struggling to survive in a world where those in power wished he didn’t exist, he harbors a deep-seated resentment of the government and all its representatives. Together with his unconventional family, he shows Bethanie a life she never knew was possible, while at the same time, opening her eyes to the injustices of the government she is meant to lead.
But can she trust a stranger? And can a few days change everything she believes and desires? Against all odds, Bethanie must decide if her heart and her duties can coexist.ADD TO GOODREADS BOOK SHELF
My body shakes at the thought of what could have happened to me yet again. I’ve heard stories about the slums, and I have to take a few deep breaths to calm myself.
“I was silly running away, I get it. I just couldn’t stay in your home any longer.”
Howard sighs. “Just because my parents raised us with traditionalist values doesn’t mean we are anything like the Trads. You accused us of being a drain on society, but you don’t even know us.”
“You’re right, I don’t. But you don’t know me either. If you did, you would understand why it’s hard for me to understand your way of life. It goes against every law, moral, and convention I’ve been taught. So I can’t be sorry for what I said, even if I’m sorry I ran out of the house.”
Howard takes a deep breath, then exhales long and slow. The expression on his face looks a bit like pity but with a dash of guilt mixed in. “Look, maybe I’ve judged you unfairly based on preconceived notions, but—”
A loud bang echoes outside. Howard glances at me with a panicked look on his face, and then pulls me off the crate onto the floor behind. I sit up, and turn to yell at him, but male voices outside keep my mouth closed. I instead huddle closer to Howard as he puts his hand around my shoulders. He pulls me in until I’m tucked against him.
“Did you see where she went?” a man’s voice asks.
“Nah, she just vanished.” The voice of this one sounds young.
“Damn, the boss isn’t going to be pleased about this.”
The crunch of shoes against pavement indicates they are on the move again. The sounds trail off until they’re no longer audible. I sigh in relief, all the tension fleeing my body.
“Are you okay?’ Howard asks, rubbing my shoulder.
I glance up, only then noticing how little space is between us. His blue eyes have flecks of grey in them, and there’s a smattering of freckles covering his nose and cheeks. His warm breath tickles my cheek almost like a caress, and his jaw has the barest hint of a five o’clock shadow. He really is captivating.
“I’m fine,” I eventually say, the words a mere whisper.
The butterflies in my stomach return with a vengeance. Howard licks his lips as they turn up ever so slightly in a smile.
I can’t stop the sigh that slips past my own lips. Howard leans forward a little, then moves closer still until his mouth is pressed against mine. I don’t dare move. A zing of something, I’m not sure whether it’s pleasure or fear, shoots through me. His lips are soft and wet, and the sensation is unlike anything I’ve felt before. I can’t even decide if I want him to continue or stop. When he pulls away though, a feeling of disappointment bubbles up inside me.
My first kiss.
Goosebumps cover me from head to toe, and unbidden, my fingers move to my lips. Glancing at Howard, he stares at me for a minute, then moves to sit further away.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
I shrug. “It’s okay.”
Howard frowns and then looks across the room.
Part of Matron training is learning not to form close relationships. It doesn’t mean it never happens. I’ve heard the odd story here and there from the other women, and I realise that’s probably what Gail was trying to tell me at breakfast the other day. But in all honesty, I can’t remember the last time I had real physical contact with anyone, above all with a man.
We sit in uncomfortable silence for a few minutes. Tension rolls off Howard in waves.
“Nothing. Come on,” Howard whispers. “We need to get to the house before those guys come back.”
~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~
Melissa Kendall is an almost forty-year-old mother of two from Perth, Western Australia, the second-most isolated capital city in the world. Predominantly a stay-at-home mum, she works a few hours a week as a software support consultant. She has always loved to read and write, and spent most of her teens writing poetry and short stories. Over the years, daily life got in the way and she lost the passion for it, but after the birth of her first child, Melissa discovered e-books and her interest in writing rekindled. She is now the author of two published short stories. Matronly Duties is her first full-length novel.a Rafflecopter giveaway
~~CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR~~
Haley has a husband she still loves, but who has the Saturday-night, three-minute orgasm—his—down to a fine art. She has been married for over ten years, but her bedroom experience is virtually nil. She wants her man to try something exciting, something new. Like actually giving her an orgasm instead of falling asleep. But Harry seems to be quite content with their once-a-week, damn near choreographed, and very vanilla sex.
When her closest friend tells her she should think about livening up her pathetic sex life, and offers a swap...or maybe a threesome, Haley is utterly shocked, and in total denial that there is a problem with her marriage. Yet despite her amazement that she has been so naive that she had no idea her best friend was interested in taking a test drive on her husband, or that her friend's husband had expressed his wish to get into Haley's pants, another more intriguing suggestion catches her off guard.
When her best pal suggests she hook up with her younger brother, Josh, Haley can't get that totally shocking idea out of her head. Josh! The hot, younger kid she'd had a "sorta-crush" on back in high school?
The last time she'd seen Josh was before graduation. The kid had followed her around like an overgrown puppy through high school...three years her junior, but already showing the delicious promise of what he would become as a man. And her pal tells her that her little brother still harbors his X-rated teen-aged crush on her, and hopes she might be interested in renewing old acquaintances. Oh, my...
Josh has been crazy about Haley since he was just a kid. But he isn’t a kid anymore. He’s come back home for one thing only—for a shot at the girl he'd fallen for when he was too damn young to do much about it. His big sis has told him that Haley's husband isn't exactly taking care of his wife's needs...and he is more than ready and completely willing to step up to the plate when the stupid jerk strikes out.
But Haley has been laboring under a major misconception about the man she married right out of high school...and they both have one hell of a lot to learn.
An amazing one-night stand with beautiful, delicious Josh Barnes opens Haley's eyes to what a man needs...and what she needs in bed. The "kid" takes her for a hot, delicious ride beyond her wildest dreams, and opens her mind and heart to what she has always thought was out of her reach.
The rules have been changed...and now she has two hot men who are willing to give her anything...ANYTHING...she desires.
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A savings of more than 75% if the books were purchased separatelySummer is heating up with 14 traditional romances from USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors, brought to you by Book Boyfriends Cafe. Foreword by USA Today bestselling author, Leanne Banks. Cora Rules by Mel Curtis, USA Today Bestselling Author. NBA coach Trent Parker is a stickler for the rules, until he meets Cora Rule, the biggest rulebreaker of the Rule clan. Surrender to Love by Raine English, USA Today Bestselling Author. When Tara Spencer agrees to spend the summer caring for her ailing grandmother, she has no idea how her life will be changed by the handsome stranger next door. The Merry-Go-Round by Author Donna Fasano, USA Today Bestselling Author. When Lauren divorces her husband, her life quickly turns into a 3-ring circus. Will she step off the merry-go-round--or reach out and grab the brass ring? Twist of Fate by Patti Forsythe, USA Today Bestselling author. Rebecca Perris is on a dangerous quest to find her sister, but when she meets Aaron al-Rashid again, it’s her heart that’s at risk. Her French Count by Mona Risk, USA Today Bestselling Author. A Da Vinci Code in a French Chateau. The lovely American architect has turned his life upside down, but are his chateau and a missing statue worth endangering her life? Love Me Forever by Ari Thatcher, USA Today Bestselling Author. Escaping to Maui to get over her divorce, Jen runs into her first love, who blew her off at the end of her vacation. Matt had given up hope of ever finding her again. Can he convince her to give him a second chance? Playing the Rookie by Rachelle Ayala, National Bestselling Author. A rookie pitcher and a sports intern on the rebound connect to get over their exes. Will their fling turn into true love or destroy both of their careers? Duke of Devonwood by Carly Carson, National Bestselling Author Sparks fly as Miranda plots to gain control of her inheritance from a modern day Duke who tries his best to resist her wiles. Can both of them win? True North by Kelly Collins, National Bestselling Author. Alexa leaves Los Angeles with a scarred heart, a beat up car and a secret. She’s fleeing her hopelessness to find her future. Can a sexy stranger mend her heart and be her compass? Fashion Victim by Suz deMello, best-selling, award-winning author: Hot isn't a hot enough word to describe corporate raider Fletcher Wolf, but since he's suing couturier Cara Fletcher for, oh, a gazillion dollars, she figures she shouldn't hit on him…at least not too hard. Season, Unforgettable by Keta Diablo, National Bestselling Author. He promised his mother he'd wrap up the Pine Bay project, and he would have if not for a nature lover who can't be bought at any price. Now he's fighting for the other side, fighting to recapture his abandoned dreams, and fighting to win her heart. Most Likely to Turn up the Heat by Cheryl Harper. Sue Walker’s “no soldiers, no cops, no coworkers” policy doesn’t stand a chance against injured cop turned high school security guard Max Holt. His mission to return to Dallas and danger could be the deal breaker. My Favorite What If by Lyssa Layne, National Bestselling Author. Jacob "Smitty" Smith and Sloan Talbott have both have been hurt. Neither is looking for love. Will one week in paradise be a fling to remember or could it possibly lead to something more? Relay For Love by Susan Ann Wall, National Bestselling Author. A cancer survivor who celebrates in silence…a widow who remembers the man she lost…a fight back where two hearts battle to be together.
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Lila and Austin have known each other since she befriended his younger brother when she was a toddler. In fact, since her parents moved from her hometown, Lila’s lived with Austin’s family. The two are friends, though more of the teasing, taunting breed than the BFF variety.
But all it takes is one moment for everything to change…
For Austin, that moment comes when Lila performs a rumba in the school’s auditorium to qualify for the state dance competition, the young woman on stage so far-removed from the little girl in his memories.
For Lila, the moment is a reflected image of Austin preparing for prom, the guy standing in front of his mirror hardly resembling the child that spent so much of his youth pestering her.
Will they find a way to admit to themselves and their families that their feelings are deeper than friendship? And can Lila focus on this building relationship – and deal with her unstable ex – and still win the dance contest?
“I kind of have a thing for this other girl.”
She smiles a bit. “Anyone I know?”
“Yeah, you know her.” I lean closer to her, not moving my stare from her face. “She’s beautiful, and smart, and funny, and quirky. The sad thing is, I didn’t notice any of those things until about a week ago.”
“What happened a week ago?”
“Well, she did this dance. One she hates, by the way.” I pause to let her laugh. “She wore a blue dress, and her hair was flowing down her back. She was elegant, and gorgeous, and I couldn’t look away.” Reaching out, I play with a strand of her hair that’s fallen forward, one that’s dripping water from her shower. “And I couldn’t push the attraction back. I tried, because it was so confusing.
“You see,” I continue, “I’ve known her since she was just a pesky girl who hung around mostly for my kid brother, and being attracted to her took some getting used to. But I had to deal with it, since I couldn’t look at her the way I used to anymore. Once I saw her as the beautiful woman she’d grown into, I couldn’t step back from that.”
I put a finger to her lips to stop her comments. I need to get all of this out. Now. “I tried, Munchkin. I tried to keep myself from wanting you, but I can’t. I figured that out at prom. You’re what I want, what I need, and the one girl I have to be with. If you don’t want to be with me like that, I’ll take friendship. I’ll take just about anything because you’re the one part of my whole life I can’t let go of.”
She reaches up so she can move my finger away from her mouth. “I wouldn’t have kissed you if I didn’t want to be with you.”
Relief fills me, and I let out a long breath. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
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