Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from SWEET SUMMER’S KISS by Debra Salonen #NEWRELEASE

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

SWEET SUMMER’S KISS

Love at the Chocolate Shop, Book 10

 Salonen2-ChocolateShop-Debra-Salonen

A storybook kiss on New Year’s Eve at the Big Sky Mavericks Masked Ball in Marietta, Montana should have been the beginning of a grand romance for Gretchen Zabrinski and Daniel Andrews. But when Gretchen overhears a phone call from Daniel to his brother about what he really wants from a woman, she takes off…without leaving so much as a glass slipper behind.

Daniel wants a family. Gretchen will never be able to give him that. So why does fate keep throwing them together so cruelly? First, at a Copper Mountain Chocolate Shop Speed Dating event, then when he’s hired to open a new division at her PR firm. But competing, shoulder-to-shoulder, to sell the most exotic chocolate kisses for charity really is the last straw.

Is love a cosmic connection or a karmic joke? Sometimes, the answer reveals itself in a kiss—a sweet kiss shared beneath a warm Montana summer sky. 

~~~

FIRST KISS snippet © Tule Publishing

“How did you become such a wonderful dancer?”

“Lessons. My parents are both teachers. They don’t believe in leaving anything to chance—and given my father’s terrible lack of rhythm, Mom refused to inflict that on any woman in case two left feet was a dominant gene.”

“Please tell her I owe her a debt of gratitude.”

“You can tell her yourself. Dad called this morning. They’re starting home in the morning. My sister is ready to deal with her new reality alone. She might move back to Montana at some point, but for now, she doesn’t want to uproot the kids on top of adjusting to losing their dad.”

He’d alluded to a sad mystery surrounding his late brother-in-law’s death, but there were too many getting-to-know-each-other topics to get into any one conversation too deeply. Including her reason for dropping out of college and moving to Montana.

That would come out later. After the music ended. After the countdown began. After their kiss. After a night of unimaginable bliss in each other’s arms.

She crossed her fingers and stopped thinking. Tonight was about feeling. About taking risks and experiencing life to the fullest.

Moments later, the DJ played an Ed Sheeran song Makayla had shared with her earlier that week. Perfect. A shiver ran down the length of her spine.

She’d immediately downloaded the song and added the video to her playlist. She imagined the love story he sang about was her love story—the one that never happened. She squeezed her eyes tight, wishing she still wore a mask.

Daniel’s hold tightened a tiny bit, then he kissed a bare spot where her neck and shoulder met. “Nice song. I’ve never heard it before, but you truly do look perfect tonight.”

She swallowed the lump in her throat. “Thank you. I love my Cinderella dress. Krista’s sister has great taste.” He pulled back, a questioning look in his eyes. Did he think she was pretending to show false modesty or fishing for compliments? She blurted out a question she’d meant to ask earlier. “So, do you always take a tux with you when you travel to a dog-sitting gig?”

“My best friend has a key to my condo. He took it to a shipper I use all the time.” He looked down. “Luckily, he remembered my Ferragamos. Dancing wouldn’t be quite the same in snow boots.”

She recognized the designer’s name even if she hadn’t recognized the brand on his feet. My first time is going to be with a guy who can afford designer shoes.

In what felt like a blink, Austen returned to the stage, carrying a large digital clock and a microphone. “We are fast approaching the bewitching hour, my friends. A new year is about to begin. On behalf of the Big Sky Mavericks Charitable Group, thank you all for coming. We promise to put your generosity to beneficial use locally, and we’ll see you next year.”

On cue, people started shouting, “Ten…nine…eight…”

Gretchen turned in Daniel’s arms so their fronts were pressed together. Reaching up, she slipped her fingers under the rim of his mask and pulled it free. They looked into each other’s eyes as what she hoped was an unspoken understanding passed between them.

She looped her arms across his shoulders and brought her face closer to his. “Two…one…Happy New Year!”

His lips were warmer than she’d expected. And softer. And when she gave a little “Oh,” his tongue slipped inside her mouth. Curious, friendly, interested. His taste was hers. His smell? Completely his own and something she’d forever identify as Daniel Andrews.

She melted against him, needing to touch as much of her body to his as possible. Gretchen wanted him to be the one. Her first. From what she’d learned about him on social media, he was a fun-loving go-getter who didn’t seem the least bit interested in settling down.

Perfect.

When it came to women, he was…um…experienced. Perhaps a bit of a player.

Works for me.

She wanted to be with someone who would treat her with gentle finesse…or maybe not-so-gentle finesse. How would she know what she liked until she tried it?

An unnatural buzzing sensation near her breast made her startle.

Daniel groaned and pulled his phone from his inside jacket pocket. “My brother. Do you mind? He and Krista are in California. Different time zone.”

“Not at all. We wouldn’t be here if not for them. Please.”

“They’re on FaceTime. With all the noise, we won’t be able to hear a thing. Oh, well.”

He touched a button. A second later, two faces appeared on the screen. Krista let out a squeal of glee. “Oh, Gretchen, you look fabulous. Show me the dress, Daniel. Show me the dress.”

Daniel rolled his eyes, but he took one step back. He lowered and raised the phone as Gretchen did a spin. Then, he pulled her in close again.

Krista blinked as if to keep away tears. “I absolutely love it. You look like a fairy-tale princess. Are you having fun?”

“It’s been magical. Daniel hired a limo, and he dances like a dream. He’s been a perfect gentleman.” Until later, I hope. She bumped her nose against his cheek. “Thank you so, so much for making this happen.”

“No thanks necessary. Jonah and I are having a wonderful time, too. We only called to wish you Happy New Year.”

Jonah squeezed in. “We’re an hour behind you, so we get to make out in public twice. But hey, Daniel, quickly, did you leave the TV on for the dogs? In case someone starts shooting off guns? You are in Marietta, Montana, after all.”

Gretchen missed Daniel’s reply when Sarah Zabrinski walked up to them. “Aunt” Sarah was Gretchen’s father’s first cousin by marriage, but because of their age difference, people forgot they were part of the same generation.

She gave Gretchen a quick hug. “You two are just the cutest couple. We really enjoyed meeting Daniel. I hope you bring him tomorrow.”

Tomorrow. Since she’d never spent the night with a man, she didn’t know what to expect from the morning after.

Gretchen made what she hoped was a noncommittal reply and waved goodbye as the crowd swept Sarah away.

She turned back to Daniel. She reached out to touch his shoulder but stopped when she heard him say in a low, confidential tone, “I never thought I’d say this, brother, but I think I just kissed the mother of my future children.”

She sucked in an involuntary gasp when a pain as sharp and gut wrenching as the one she’d felt in her doctor’s office the day he’d explained the ramifications of her diagnosis made her knees wobble. Panic hit a second later.

No. No. It’s not supposed to be like this. Tonight is mutual fun, no commitment. No future. Period. Anything else wouldn’t be fair.

Especially to Daniel.

But she couldn’t speak those words aloud because then he’d ask why…and she hadn’t said those words to anyone. Not yet.

Intent on disappearing, she turned and melted into the crowd exiting the party. She grabbed her jacket from the coatroom, grateful her tiny purse held her cell phone. Her Uber app showed one driver in her area. Three minutes later, she was on the road back to Paradise. Her sister and niece might not be expecting her, but Sam would understand. And that was all Gretchen wanted. Someone who wouldn’t ask for something she couldn’t give.

~~~

SWEET SUMMER’S KISS is available at these vendors:

AMAZON / AMAZONUK

BN / iBOOKS

 Kobo / iBooks/BN

All vendors: BOOKS2READ

 Kiss Reviews Shelagh

 

Happy reading!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from SWEET HOME COWBOY by Marin Thomas #NEWRELEASE

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

SWEET HOME COWBOY

Love at the Chocolate Shop, Book 9

 Sweet Home Cowboy cover

When Marietta newcomer Elena Puente is coerced into attending a speed-dating event at the popular Copper Mountain Chocolate shop, she’s blindsided by a serious attraction to local cowboy, Wesley Banks.

Still recovering from a broken engagement, the first-grade teacher from Las Vegas isn’t looking for romance. She’s in Montana to get to know the great-grandfather she never knew existed until she found some hidden family letters. Judge Kingsley is a grouchy recluse and he’s far from welcoming, but Elena is determined to stay in town long enough to give his neglected estate on Bramble Lane a facelift.

Elena’s resolve to avoid romance is tested when she discovers Wesley is the caretaker of her grandfather’s rural property. Soon, she and the cowboy are attending more speed-dating events at the chocolate shop and she’s seeking his advice on how to deal with his ornery boss. Local gossips wager the old Judge will run Elena out of town before anything serious develops between her and Wesley. But Wesley’s a determined man, too, and he’s betting Elena belongs in Marietta forever…with him.

FIRST KISS Excerpt © Marin Thomas:

             Wes pointed to the river where Elena’s bobber went under the water. “You caught a fish.” He set his pole aside. Wrapping his arms around her, he placed his hands over hers before turning the reel slowly—very slowly, savoring the feel of Elena against him.

            “Where’s the fish?” she asked. “I can’t see it.”
“Shh… It’s there.” He could stay right here in this moment with Elena all day and never tire of touching her. When he turned the reel twice more, a small trout rose out of the water.

            “I caught one!” She jerked the pole too hard, and the fish plopped into the water. “What happened?”

            “Your excitement scared him off the hook.” Wes loved staring into her eyes—blue as a clear Montana sky. Her gaze lured him closer but right when her mouth was within reach, the judge’s voice rang out. They jumped apart and Elena dropped the pole, which fell into the water and was swept away by the current.

            Elena climbed to her feet. “Hello, Gramps.”

            Gramps?

            The judge’s mouth twitched as if he found the endearment amusing.

            “I thought you were spending all day in court?” She left Wes at the end of the dock and walked over to her grandfather.

            “Two of my cases were rescheduled.” The judge eyed Wes as he approached. “Are you going to finish mowing the yard or sit out here and fish all day?”

            Wes opened his mouth to respond, but his boss turned on his heel and disappeared through the gate in the hedge.

            Elena retrieved the tackle box and surviving pole, then stopped at his side. “I’ll take a rain check on that kiss.”

            He grasped her wrist. “I don’t give out rain checks.”

            “Then maybe you should pay up now.” The pupils in her eyes dilated, leaving only a sliver of blue visible.

            “Gladys Simons is still on her porch.”

            “Then we’ll give her something to watch,” she whispered.

            Wes brushed his mouth against Elena’s not once but twice before he pulled away.

            “Is that all you’ve got?” she teased.

            He cupped her face, tilted her head to the side then he swooped in and kissed her again—not a flirty peck, but a long, soft exploration of her mouth that left them breathing hard. “How was that?”

            “Much better.”

            Wes watched her fanny twitch back and forth as he followed her through the gate.

~~~

SWEET HOME COWBOY is available at these vendors:

AmazonUS / AmazonUK /

 Kobo / iBooks

All vendors: BOOKS2READ

Happy reading!

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY from Judy Does Christmas by Debra Salonen

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

First Kiss= TUESDAY

Debra Salonen-4358-Color-Sm

Good Tuesday, my lovelies!

Can you believe it’s December? Where has the year gone?  I hope yours was filled with wonderful books and hot, steamy kisses! 

I want to apologize in advance. FIRST KISS: TUESDAY has run into the time crunch we’re all so familiar with–too much to do and not enough time to extra stuff…like blogs. I can only share what others have shared with me and, alas, the well is looking a bit dry at the moment. But don’t despair, I’ve put out the call and hope to have more wonderful FIRST KISS excerpts to share with you soon.

In the meantime, I may re-visit some oldies but goodies, starting with my dear friend Judy Banger. She’s a naughty one, Miss Judy, but she’s got a big heart and she truly earns her happily-ever-after in JUDY UNCENSORED…but then comes the holidays! Eek!

Judy Does xmas

FIRST KISS excerpt:

As much as she wanted to blame the mid-day wine for her fatigue–aggravated by the hard cider she’d had with her pizza–in truth, she hadn’t been her usual perky self for weeks. Some mornings, she had to drag herself to the gym. Normally, she could count on an endorphin high after a workout, but not tonight. Even the promise of delicious sex with the man she loved more than life wasn’t enough to keep her eyes open.

“Damn holiday stress,” she muttered, hoping to grab a quick catnap…fully dressed…on their bed until Wiley got home.

She must have dozed off because the next thing she heard was Wiley’s voice calling out her name as he walked down the hallway.

“Judy? Honey? Are you okay? Don’t you want to get undressed?”

The effort it took to open her eyes made the process feel like slow motion. “Are my eyelids glued shut?”

Two soft lips kissed her cheekbones. “Nope. You’re just tired. I know how much you hate to shop for clothes. And it is the holidays.”

She held out a hand for his help sitting up. Her feet hit the thick carpet like bags of cement. Thunk. Thunk. “Remind me to make an appointment to see your doctor. I’d hoped to wait till our new marriage warranty expired before somebody confirmed my long list of flaws, but if I don’t perk up, you’ll trade me in for a new model anyway.”

He sat and looped one strong, reassuring arm around her shoulders. “You goof. Life doesn’t come with any guarantees.”

“You already had one sick wife…”

He nuzzled her neck. “Different circumstances completely. Apples and oranges.” His lips felt warm against her cool skin. “Your life has changed in a hundred different ways over the past few months. By all means, get a check-up. Maybe a B-12 shot. But the holidays wear everybody down.”

She took a deep breath, ignoring the voice in her head that sounded a lot like Alvin and the Chipmunks singing, “Hurry, Christmas, don’t be late.” The damn season couldn’t get over fast enough to satisfy her.

She turned into him and hugged him fiercely. “Have I told you today that I love you?”

“Once or twice. But I never get tired of hearing it.” He kissed her lips. “By the way, I got a text from Carla as I was leaving the gym. She asked if you liked everything.”

Judy tensed. She couldn’t help herself. “What did you say?”

“I told her you thought the place looked great, and because we’re both tied up with other interests, we trusted her to handle the details for the party.”

She rubbed her forehead against the hollow of his cheek. “Tied up, huh? Are you suggesting something kinky?”

“Maybe. Shall we discuss our options in the shower?”

Judy took a deep breath and got to her feet. A dozen or more tiny silver dots danced across her vision for a moment, but they quickly disappeared. She grabbed his hand. “Great idea. Turn the steam generator on, too. I’m thinking hot and heavy. And, no, that’s not a reference to my weight.”

He backed her up until she was pinned to the wall. “Your weight is perfect. How many times do I have to tell you that?”

A million and two. Just enough to make up for hearing people call me fat most of my life. “I’ll let the doctor be the judge of that, Judge. Come on. Let’s get naked, steamy and slippery.”

(You can read the entire first chapter for free at my website: http://littl.ink/+bebd)

~~~~

Buy links:  AMAZON    Barnes & Noble   iTunes Store   KOBO

~~~~

 

Have a marvelous week, everyone!  Happy reading!!

Deb

And for those of you celebrating Hanukkah, my wishes for a most joyful celebration!

Happy Hanukkah

First Kiss Tuesday: Mr. March by Ann Roth

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

First Kiss= TUESDAY

Ann Roth Cover

Mr. March is the third in my Heroes of Rogue Valley: Calendar Guys series. Twelve months, 12 gorgeous firefighter heroes and the women who sneak into their hearts and forever change their lives.

In Mr. March, firefighter Gus Viggio needs to convince the stubborn great aunt who raised him and recently suffered a stroke to give up the house that has become too much for her. When she refuses, Gus enlists help from her flamboyant hairstylist, Wanda Lippman. The two women get along well, and Gus’s great aunt just might listen to her. Wanda and Gus have each been hurt by love, and neither is ready to venture back into those dangerous waters anytime soon. But sometimes the heart knows best….

 ~~~~~

Excerpt: Mr. March Book #3 of the Heroes of Rogue Valley:  Calendar Guys Series

If anyone could get Aunt Polly to think seriously about moving, Wanda could. Hopeful for the first time in weeks, Gus slipped on his Ray-Bans and escorted her out of the Coffee Shack.

As the door shut behind them, she stiffened. “That’s Betty Randall,” she muttered, nodding at the gray-haired woman exiting a Ford. “Aka gossip central, and Carole Sue’s mainline to other people’s business. God only knows what she’ll say about running into us, together out here.”

She donned her own shades–as if that could mask her identity.

Gus had seen Betty in action on the day Sam’s son, William, had gone missing. As concerned and caring as she’d been that afternoon, she’d wasted no time spreading the news of Adam and Sam’s romance. The last thing he wanted was for her to speculate all over town about him and Wanda.

“C’mon.” He took Wanda’s arm and steered her around the building, out of the blabbermouth’s sight range.

Hurrying to keep up, Wanda giggled for the first time today, a tinkling sound he enjoyed.

“You’re clever,” she said, sounding breathless.

He grinned. “That goes without saying.”

They dashed around the corner to the back, where they were less likely to be noticed. Wanting to see her eyes, he slid his sunglasses to the top of his head and removed hers.

“Hey,” she said, as he pocketed them. “What did you do that for?”

“We’re on the shaded side where we don’t need them. Don’t worry, you’ll get them back. What do you think she’s doing so far out of town?”

“Gathering intel? This place is really close to Guff’s Lake, where a lot of romantic stuff happens. I’ll bet she stops by for coffee and gossip.”

“Are you referring to the old myth that when a couple kisses under the big ash tree at the lake, they’ll find true and lasting love?” Gus snorted.

“You don’t believe it?” Wanda’s purple lips pursed a fraction.

Mesmerized, he shook his head. “It’s just a story invented to bring lovers out here, in hopes they spend money.”

“What a cynical thing to say.”

“Don’t tell me you believe the hype.”

“I’ve never kissed anyone there, and no one I know has, either, but I like the romance of it.” She gave him a dirty look. “You’re doing it again. Staring at my mouth.”

“It’s a very sexy mouth, even when you frown.”

Her widened eyes as if she hadn’t expected this. “It is?”

He nodded. “I like you better when you smile.” With his fingers, he gently prodded the corners upward, but as soon as he dropped his hand, they flattened out again. “Have it your way. FYI, you look amazing without fake lashes and colored contact lenses.”

“Don’t lie to me, Gus. My natural eye color is dull as dirt, and my lashes are too short.”

“I wouldn’t lie. Brown eyes, with green and gold flecks…very attractive.”

“Attractive,” she repeated, sounding skeptical.

She didn’t seem to think much of her looks, but he was too distracted to wonder at that.

“Uh-huh.” Hands on either side of her head, he leaned in nice and close. “You smell like summer flowers.”

“It’s the lavender shampoo.” Furrows lined her normally-smooth forehead. “What are you doing, Gus?”

“Getting ready to kiss you.”

She raised her chin, no doubt to tell him to knock it off. He smiled into those eyes and they lost their back-off spark.

Seconds later, her eyelids dropped to half-mast in a clear go ahead. So he did.

One brief brush of his mouth over those soft, welcoming lips wasn’t enough. Cupping her face he went in for more, this time sliding his tongue along the seam of her mouth. She let him in. He tasted coffee, blueberry scone and something all her own.

She slid her palms up his chest and…. Shoved him away?

“Don’t, Gus.”

Hands up, he stepped back.

“I’m taking a break from men,” she said.

“That’s right. After Larry.” Gus silently cursed the bastard for fouling up what he wanted more of. “What did he do, anyway?”

“He was just the latest in a long string of bad relationships. I don’t have much luck with men, and I need to figure out why.”

Gus nodded. “You’re preaching to the choir here.”

“Have you figured out the reason it keeps happening?”

“Things don’t work out,” he said, shrugging. “What more is there to know?”

“If you figure out the why of your problems with women, you might have better luck next time. Hand over my sunglasses. I have to go.”

As soon as Wanda slid her shades into place, she headed at a brisk clip around the building. Gus stayed right with her.

“You don’t need to run,” he said. “I won’t bite.”

“I’m trying to arrive at the salon ahead of my noon appointme–

They almost collided with Betty Randall.

The woman had been making her way to the door all this time? Damn. She moved slower than Aunt Polly.

She stopped smack in their path. “Well, hello, Wanda and Gus.”

Judging by her wily grin, she was already making up a story to broadcast. He gave a curt nod. “Hey, Betty.”

“Hi,” Wanda chimed in.

“Fancy running into you two all the way out here. One would think you didn’t want people to see you together. If that’s the case, you ought to wipe that purple lipstick off your face, Gus.”

Wanda’s eyebrow shot up. She touched the corner of her lip with her little finger. Gus rubbed the corresponding place on his mouth with his knuckle, and she gave a covert nod.

“We had a meeting,” she explained to Betty.

“It seems to have been very productive. Bye, you two.” Looking like the proverbial cat that swallowed the canary, she broke speed limits getting through the front door, proving she could move quickly when she wanted.

Wanda groaned. “She already has her cell phone in hand.”

This was not good. “She’s right about one thing. I asked to meet out here because I wanted to avoid running into people I know. I don’t want Aunt Polly to find out you and I talked about her, or to get any cockeyed ideas about us.”

“If she does, I’ll set her and everyone else straight. I don’t want people thinking my break from men is over.”

With most of the purple gone from her lips and her hair on the messy side, she looked the opposite–thoroughly kissed. Red-blooded male that he was, he considered going in for more.

But Betty Randall was probably watching from the window. Gus shoved his hands in his jeans pockets. “Then why did you kiss me?”

You kissed me.

Like that explained her warm response.

“We have to make sure everyone knows this morning was strictly a friend thing,” she went on.

With Aunt Polly in mind, Gus agreed. “One friend helping another.” He scratched his head. “What are we helping each other with?”

“Polly, remember? But you don’t want her to find out, so we won’t mention that. I know–our problems with the opposite sex.” She checked the screen on her phone and frowned. “If I don’t leave immediately, I’ll be late for my twelve o’clock. Thanks for the scone and coffee.”

“Thanks for agreeing to help. And for those kisses,” he added.

She blushed. “Bye, Gus.”

She almost ran toward her car, as if she couldn’t get away from him fast enough.

*


Purchase at these fine retailers:

 Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

KOBO

  ~~~~

 

Ann Roth

Award-winning author Ann Roth lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband. After earning an MBA, she worked as a banker and corporate trainer. She gave up the corporate life to write, and if they awarded PhDs in writing happily-ever-after stories, she’d have one. Ann has traditionally published numerous romance and women’s fiction novels, novellas, a serialized online romance and many short stories. She is now indie publishing and having a ball with her Heroes of Rogue Valley: Calendar Guys series. Twelve months, 12 gorgeous firefighter heroes and the women who steal into their hearts and forever change their lives.

Ann enjoys interacting with readers.

Visit her author Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AnnRothAuthorPage.

Find her on Twitter at @Ann_Roth

Stop by her website at www.annroth.net.

 

Hugs and kisses,

Deb

 

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from The Billionaire’s Charade by Eve Gaddy)

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

First Kiss= TUESDAY

Eve Gaddy Charade Cover

Summer St. Croix hates weddings. But when she meets hot-as-sin Luke Vanetti at her oldest friend’s ceremony, he promises to give her a reason to like them.

It’s all sexy fun and games until Summer realizes that Luke is none other than her new boss. Summer refuses to continue to have a fling with her superior, even though the passion between them still runs wildfire hot. But the billionaire private investigator doesn’t see the problem, especially since he knows that one night with Summer won’t be enough.

When Luke’s cousin sends an SOS asking for help in stopping a ring of jewel thieves from robbing his luxury hotel on the Amalfi Coast, Luke agrees. And Summer’s first assignment will be posing as his very sexy, rich, and bejeweled fiancée  at the Hotel dei Fiori Isola del Sole.

Playing the happy couple is hard enough during the day, but the nights… will those romantic Amalfi nights turn the charade into more than just a job for both Summer and Luke… for good?


They found a booth in a corner of the bar. “Would you like another glass of champagne or do you want something else?” Luke asked.

“It seems a shame to pay for drinks when there’s free champagne and beer at the wedding.”

“But then we’d have to go back. I like it here.”

“I do, too,” Summer said, looking around. The bar, like the rest of the hotel, was elegant, tastefully decorated, and it whispered “money” in dulcet tones. “I’d like a mojito.”

Luke signaled the waitress who came over instantly. After he ordered two mojitos, he said, “Are you staying at the hotel or are you local?”

“Staying. I’m from Dallas. What about you?”

“Staying, and I live in Dallas, too.”

While a coincidence, it wasn’t much of one. Summer imagined a good third of the guests lived in the DFW metroplex.

They talked some more and the waitress brought their drinks. “To your eyes,” Luke said and touched his glass to hers.

“If you say I have eyes the color of jade or emeralds, I’m outta here.”

He studied her, then tipped her chin up with a finger and looked into her eyes. Summer stared back, words deserting her as she fell into the depths of his gaze.

“No, your eyes are an unusual shade. If I were to describe them, I’d say they look like malachite.” He dropped his hand and added with a wicked grin, “With some jade and emerald swirling around.”

“You’re very smooth, aren’t you?” And he was revving up her heartbeat with a look and a touch.

She took a sip of her drink to steady herself. It didn’t help.

“I try,” he said modestly. “How am I doing?”

“You’re good and you know it. Okay, what color is my hair?” She was curious how he’d describe it. Lots of men had tried, so she’d heard a gazillion variations of redhead and red.

Luke picked up a strand of hair and rubbed it between his fingers. “A thousand shades of wildfire.”

Summer’s breath caught in her throat. They were playing a game, but my, oh my, he was good with words. She wondered what else he was good at.

“My turn,” she said.

“You want to describe my eyes and hair?”

“No, although I’d describe your eyes as espresso.”

“I like that.”

“But what I really want,” she said, moving closer, “is to touch your hair.”

He looked surprised, then gave a deep, hearty laugh. He tilted his head toward her. “Feel free.”

“Not like that.” She slid her hands over his very broad, very firm shoulders to loop behind his neck. “Like this.” Summer threaded her hands through his hair. It was as soft and silky as it looked. Their faces were close together, so close she could kiss him if she wanted. And she wanted.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been seduced by a woman playing with my hair before. Although, I can’t say I haven’t tried it the other way around.” He wrapped one arm around her pulling her closer and put his other hand on the back of her head, his fingers gently sliding through her hair.

“Is that what I’m doing? Seducing you?” she murmured.

“Like a siren.”

And then he kissed her.

#

She tasted hot, sexy, spicy, and somehow, mysterious. Luke moved his lips over hers softly, slowly, teasing them open and flicking his tongue into her mouth. He wrapped his hand in her hair, which really was a thousand shades of wildfire, and as soft, silky and seductive as the rest of her.

Her tongue met his, then retreated. She did it again, retreating but asking him to join. He slid his tongue inside and knew without a doubt that this was the sexiest first meeting he’d ever had with a woman. Luke couldn’t remember a kiss quite like this. Her hands were in his hair, her fingers playing with it, her body and his getting closer by the moment.

“Luke!” an outraged feminine voice said. “Oh, for God’s sake, Luke, come up for air,” she insisted.

    Damn, he knew that voice. What was his sister doing tracking him down? 


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eve gaddy first kissEve Gaddy is the award winning, nationally bestselling author of twenty-three novels and counting.  Her books have won and been nominated for many awards, including winning the 2008 Romantic Times Career Achievement award for Series Storyteller of the year, and being nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Innovative Series romance.

Eve loves her family, spring and fall in east Texas, the Colorado mountains, dogs, chocolate, books, and electronics. She enjoys cooking except when she is in the throes of creating, and has been known to tell her husband that is what peanut butter and jelly was created for.

Eve also loves a happy ending. That’s why she writes romance.

Catch up with Eve on her newly updated website www.evegaddy.net or visit her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EveGaddyAuthor

or Twitter: www.twitter.com/evegaddy

You can also email her at eve@evegaddy.net 

Happy reading…and XOXO,

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from Hold Me, Cowboy by Alissa Callen )

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

First Kiss= TUESDAY

 

alissa callen cover

Rancher Brent Ashton is back in small town Marietta but haunted by the death of his father he’s determined to resist rekindling the romance with the only girl he’s ever loved. But Kendall is no longer shy and uncertain, she wants Brent and will do anything to make sure he won’t ever walk away again. Even if that means dressing up in a little red dress and breaking down his self-control.


At the kitchen doorway Kendall paused to tug down the short hem of her fitted red dress. Tension tightened her neck and she rolled her shoulders. She was no longer the shy and insecure girl who’d no idea what to do once she’d caught Brent’s attention. Life had ensured she now possessed the self-confidence that would enable her to walk into the kitchen, head high, and go after what, and who, she wanted.

            She pushed open the door. Dressed in jeans, a black tee, hair tousled and shower-damp, Brent leaned against the kitchen bench. Coffee in his hand, he stared at the fresh roses in the center of the table she’d picked from her town garden yesterday. Expression grim, he lifted his coffee mug to take a swallow. Then he saw her. His mug stopped halfway to his mouth.

            “Hey,” she said, tone light as she sat her jacket and purse on a kitchen chair. “I was hoping I’d catch you. Your dinner’s in the oven and Ruth’s gone to bed early to read.”

            She headed for a cupboard and stretched to collect a glass. All the while she felt the heat of his hooded gaze tracking her.

            “Going to meet Izzy?” he asked, voice low.

            Kendall nodded as she walked past to the sink to fill her glass with water. His words were casual but the huskiness of his tone gave her hope his self-control had taken a hit. “Yes. We’ll go to Grey’s for a drink and then out for a late dinner somewhere … maybe Rocco’s.”

            “It’s Friday night, town will be busy.”

            Kendall took a sip of water. “It will be.”

            He twisted to set his coffee on the bench behind him. He faced her again and folded his arms.

             “I guess the cowboy you were talking to at Big Z’s will be at Grey’s too?”

            “Digby? Probably. His fiancée, Holly, lives in the new part of town so they could be.”

            Kendall couldn’t be sure but she thought relief eased the grooves beside Brent’s mouth.

            “Say hi to Izzy and enjoy yourself.” He turned to collect his coffee.

            Kendall’s hope deflated. She may as well be dressed in a paper bag. Not once had his attention dipped below her collarbones. His iron-control appeared unbreakable. “I will. Why don’t you come too?”

            Brent’s tanned throat rippled as he swallowed a mouthful of coffee. “Thanks, but I’ll stay and keep Mom company. I’ve got bookwork to do.”

            Now was the point where she said good-bye, gathered her purse and jacket and left. But if their conversation ended now, the only place she’d be going to was Izzy’s for a big tub of toffee ice cream and she was determined that wasn’t going to happen.

            She sat her half-full water glass on the sink. “You did a good thing bringing Ruth home. She’s eating more and getting stronger. Every day she walks a little further into the garden.”

            Brent stared into his coffee cup. “Yes, she’s doing much better.”

            “She’s just happy you’re home … and so am I”

            Brent shot her a quick look and in the intensity of his eyes she glimpsed every emotion she’d ever hoped to see. Pain, longing, hunger. But then he pushed himself away from the bench and turned to pour his coffee down the sink.

            “Kendall.” He spoke quietly over his shoulder, not looking at her. “Don’t go there. Please.”

            Pulses racing, she stepped closer and breathed in the clean scent of soap on his skin.

            “Why. We can’t keep ignoring the elephant in the room.”

           He slowly faced her, his face stony and set as though chiseled out of Copper Mountain granite. “You’re right, we can’t. I’m sorry I hurt you by not staying in touch. Things happen. People … change.”

            Kendall had wanted him to talk, but now that he was, she focused not on his words but on what his body said. Brent had two tells. He dragged his hand through his hair when on edge, but he also stood intensely still when he wasn’t telling the whole truth. Like now.

            Things did happen. Loved ones were no longer with them. People did change. But that’s not what had happened with them. Brent’s feelings for her hadn’t withered and died. The reason why he now fought what he felt and why he kept her at arm’s length had to be connected with why he’d stayed away. But for now, she’d follow her instincts that said she needed to dismantle the wall between them. While ever it remained, Brent’s emotions and words would stay hidden.

            “Some things don’t change.” She moved in close to touch her fingers to his clean-shaven jaw. He didn’t pull away. His gaze briefly dipped to where the red pendant hung low around her neck.

            “You’re always so in control, always so honorable. I’m not the only one who thinks of others first or who goes out of their way to make people happy.” She stood on tiptoe. Her breasts brushed against his chest, the pendant filling the tiny space between their bodies. Still he didn’t move. “But sometimes,” she whispered, her breath tracing the path her fingertips had travelled, “The person we need to make happy is ourself.”

            For a moment she’d thought she’d never reach him. His control was impenetrable. Then she felt him shudder. His fingers tangled in her hair and his mouth claimed hers. Hot, urgent and out of control, he demanded, consumed and gave. This was no sweet and gentle kiss like they’d shared at the rodeo. This kiss was raw, untamed and … perfect.

            She moaned as he angled her head to deepen their kiss. She had no idea when she’d wrapped her arms around his neck or when her fingers had dug into the soft, damp hair at his nape. All she knew was that kissing Brent was like coming home. She fitted her body to his. And the only place she truly belonged was in his arms.

 


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Alissa Callen headshot

When Alissa Callen isn’t writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Once a teacher and a counselor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take and her books are characteristically heart-warming, emotional and character driven. She currently lives in rural Australia.

 

 

 

Happy reading…and XOXO,

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from Hold Me, Cowboy by Alissa Callen )

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

First Kiss= TUESDAY

alissa callen cover

Rancher Brent Ashton is back in small town Marietta but haunted by the death of his father he’s determined to resist rekindling the romance with the only girl he’s ever loved. But Kendall is no longer shy and uncertain, she wants Brent and will do anything to make sure he won’t ever walk away again. Even if that means dressing up in a little red dress and breaking down his self-control.


At the kitchen doorway Kendall paused to tug down the short hem of her fitted red dress. Tension tightened her neck and she rolled her shoulders. She was no longer the shy and insecure girl who’d no idea what to do once she’d caught Brent’s attention. Life had ensured she now possessed the self-confidence that would enable her to walk into the kitchen, head high, and go after what, and who, she wanted.

            She pushed open the door. Dressed in jeans, a black tee, hair tousled and shower-damp, Brent leaned against the kitchen bench. Coffee in his hand, he stared at the fresh roses in the center of the table she’d picked from her town garden yesterday. Expression grim, he lifted his coffee mug to take a swallow. Then he saw her. His mug stopped halfway to his mouth.

            “Hey,” she said, tone light as she sat her jacket and purse on a kitchen chair. “I was hoping I’d catch you. Your dinner’s in the oven and Ruth’s gone to bed early to read.”

            She headed for a cupboard and stretched to collect a glass. All the while she felt the heat of his hooded gaze tracking her.

            “Going to meet Izzy?” he asked, voice low.

            Kendall nodded as she walked past to the sink to fill her glass with water. His words were casual but the huskiness of his tone gave her hope his self-control had taken a hit. “Yes. We’ll go to Grey’s for a drink and then out for a late dinner somewhere … maybe Rocco’s.”

            “It’s Friday night, town will be busy.”

            Kendall took a sip of water. “It will be.”

            He twisted to set his coffee on the bench behind him. He faced her again and folded his arms.

             “I guess the cowboy you were talking to at Big Z’s will be at Grey’s too?”

            “Digby? Probably. His fiancée, Holly, lives in the new part of town so they could be.”

            Kendall couldn’t be sure but she thought relief eased the grooves beside Brent’s mouth.

            “Say hi to Izzy and enjoy yourself.” He turned to collect his coffee.

            Kendall’s hope deflated. She may as well be dressed in a paper bag. Not once had his attention dipped below her collarbones. His iron-control appeared unbreakable. “I will. Why don’t you come too?”

            Brent’s tanned throat rippled as he swallowed a mouthful of coffee. “Thanks, but I’ll stay and keep Mom company. I’ve got bookwork to do.”

            Now was the point where she said good-bye, gathered her purse and jacket and left. But if their conversation ended now, the only place she’d be going to was Izzy’s for a big tub of toffee ice cream and she was determined that wasn’t going to happen.

            She sat her half-full water glass on the sink. “You did a good thing bringing Ruth home. She’s eating more and getting stronger. Every day she walks a little further into the garden.”

            Brent stared into his coffee cup. “Yes, she’s doing much better.”

            “She’s just happy you’re home … and so am I”

            Brent shot her a quick look and in the intensity of his eyes she glimpsed every emotion she’d ever hoped to see. Pain, longing, hunger. But then he pushed himself away from the bench and turned to pour his coffee down the sink.

            “Kendall.” He spoke quietly over his shoulder, not looking at her. “Don’t go there. Please.”

            Pulses racing, she stepped closer and breathed in the clean scent of soap on his skin.

            “Why. We can’t keep ignoring the elephant in the room.”

           He slowly faced her, his face stony and set as though chiseled out of Copper Mountain granite. “You’re right, we can’t. I’m sorry I hurt you by not staying in touch. Things happen. People … change.”

            Kendall had wanted him to talk, but now that he was, she focused not on his words but on what his body said. Brent had two tells. He dragged his hand through his hair when on edge, but he also stood intensely still when he wasn’t telling the whole truth. Like now.

            Things did happen. Loved ones were no longer with them. People did change. But that’s not what had happened with them. Brent’s feelings for her hadn’t withered and died. The reason why he now fought what he felt and why he kept her at arm’s length had to be connected with why he’d stayed away. But for now, she’d follow her instincts that said she needed to dismantle the wall between them. While ever it remained, Brent’s emotions and words would stay hidden.

            “Some things don’t change.” She moved in close to touch her fingers to his clean-shaven jaw. He didn’t pull away. His gaze briefly dipped to where the red pendant hung low around her neck.

            “You’re always so in control, always so honorable. I’m not the only one who thinks of others first or who goes out of their way to make people happy.” She stood on tiptoe. Her breasts brushed against his chest, the pendant filling the tiny space between their bodies. Still he didn’t move. “But sometimes,” she whispered, her breath tracing the path her fingertips had travelled, “The person we need to make happy is ourself.”

            For a moment she’d thought she’d never reach him. His control was impenetrable. Then she felt him shudder. His fingers tangled in her hair and his mouth claimed hers. Hot, urgent and out of control, he demanded, consumed and gave. This was no sweet and gentle kiss like they’d shared at the rodeo. This kiss was raw, untamed and … perfect.

            She moaned as he angled her head to deepen their kiss. She had no idea when she’d wrapped her arms around his neck or when her fingers had dug into the soft, damp hair at his nape. All she knew was that kissing Brent was like coming home. She fitted her body to his. And the only place she truly belonged was in his arms.

 


BUY LINK:

AMAZON

Google play

Kobo

iBooks


Alissa Callen headshot

When Alissa Callen isn’t writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Once a teacher and a counselor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take and her books are characteristically heart-warming, emotional and character driven. She currently lives in rural Australia.

 

 

 

Happy reading…and XOXO,

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from Claim Me, Cowboy by Charlene Sands)

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

First Kiss= TUESDAY

ClaimMeCowboy-Sands

When Summer Nichols inherited half of the Circle W Ranch, she didn’t know her rodeo-riding, bad boy ex-boyfriend came with the deal. But sure enough, Tyler Warren, the man who broke her heart and left her in Marietta years ago, is back and living on the ranch again, claiming he wants no trouble. He’s certainly not back to rekindle their decade ago romance.

Ty only wants what’s rightfully his, and then he’s gone, but not even family secrets and Summer’s deep betrayal can keep him from remembering the good times he had with the preacher’s sweet, beautiful daughter, once upon a time. Summer is more woman than he expected…


They ate quietly, Summer watching Becca take her meal.

And when Tyler was through and the baby was content, he said, “Text me if you remember

something you need in town. I won’t be long. Just getting wood and supplies and then I’ll be back. You want me to get Becca to sleep before I go?”

“No, it’s okay. We’re getting along real well. But if you have any hints about naptime I’m all

ears.”

He grinned. “Are you now? Well, let me see. She likes for you to sing to her, and she likes to be

rocked, but you gotta hold her real tight, tuck her into your body, keep her warm and secure. That should do it. She’s already taken with you. I doubt she’ll give you an iota of trouble.”

She rose from the table, taking up their plates. “Then she’s not too much like her daddy at all.”

“You saying I’m trouble?” He rose from his seat, towering over her.

She backed up a bit, noting the playful gleam in his melt-your-heart eyes. Maybe she shouldn’t

have provoked him, because he was moving like silk now, swooping in, taking the plates out of her hands and setting them on the counter. Warmth spread through her body as his hands wrapped around waist. He tugged her forward and she landed just shy of his chest.

Taking in the teasing smile on his face, she asked, “What are you doing, T-ty?”

He stared at her lips and all rational sense fled her mind. “Showing you the difference between me being good, and me giving you trouble.” And then he bent his head and brought his mouth to hers, claiming her in a kiss that stole vital breath from her lungs.

He tasted like home, the way she’d always remembered, the first boy to ever hold her close and

kiss her like she was treasured. What might have started out as a tease, began to feel like much more. He deepened the kiss, and the powerful melding of their mouths made her forget time and place. He’d been learned in the art of kissing she’d found out later, after kissing a few frogs in her day. When he tucked her into his body, a little squeak rose up from her throat and Tyler took notice, as if he too was lost. He ended the kiss then and stepped back, studying her, the intensity in his eyes revealing too much.

Then he scrubbed his chin. “It seems Becca is more like me than I thought. I’m taken with you,

too. But I’m not here to stir up trouble, Summer. Regardless of what you might think.”

He left her standing by the sink to say goodbye to his daughter. Then the back screen slapped shut and the sound of his boots clicking on the path faded away.

Slowly, her fingers traced over her lips, still burning from his kiss. “You may not be here to

cause me any trouble, Tyler. But you’re doing a fine job of it anyway.”


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CLAIM ME, COWBOY – Sept 2015 
A Royal Temptation  – Desire Continuity- Oct 2015 
The Billionaires Daddy Test  Desire – July 2015
Her Forbidden Cowboy – Desire  Feb 2015
The Cowboy Contract 

CharleneSands

Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling Author of 35 novels, writing both western and contemporary romance. She’s a lover of all things romantic, especially her bold, rugged, heart-melting “real good men” heroes! She’s the recipient of the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award, Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award and Romance Times Magazine’s Best Harlequin Desire of 2014!  When not writing, she spends time with her “hero” husband, enjoying Pacific Beaches and drinking iced mocha cappuccinos!

Charlene loves to hear from her readers. Drop her a line at www.charlenesands.com or write her at PO. Box 4883, West Hills, CA 91308 “LIKE” her at www.Facebook.com/CharleneSandsbooks

Happy reading…and XOXO,

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from His Kiss by Jolyse Barnett)

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

First Kiss= TUESDAY

lisa brennan cover

After attending her grandparents’ fiftieth anniversary celebration, suburbanite and retail entrepreneur Elizabeth Desmond seeks the solitude of her resort’s moonlit beach, staring at the stars and reflecting on her single status while she enjoys a glass of wine. She has come to the decision she must balance her life—starting now—and reach outside her posh, stifling circle for romance and adventure when a handsome stranger appears. He asks to sit in the nearby beach chair and soon they strike up a conversation, ditching the usual small-talk. Next thing she knows, he’s inviting her to act on the sparks flying between them…


He drank her in with soulful, blue eyes and leaned forward. “I’d ask you the name of your business but I don’t shop online or surf the internet much, takes away too much energy from my creativity.” His gaze fell to her mouth. “Although…I’d love to sap some of my energy with you.”

His invitation hung between them as she took a final, languid sip of her wine. His voice was sexy, deep and throaty with that upstate drawl so familiar to her from a lifetime of summers spent in the Adirondacks. He wore a white dress shirt under that black jacket and tie. Brooks Brothers? No. That wasn’t right either. Her breath caught at the back of her throat as the haze that had covered the moon for the past few moments passed, allowing the moon’s pale light to further reveal his features. His straight, blondish hair touched his starched collar and diamond studs glinted in each ear. He reminded her of her favorite Aussie country rocker, only a dozen or more years younger. She imagined, like the singer and guitarist, this local boy had tats.

She’d never talked to a bad boy. The man lounging next to her might be wearing a suit and tie, but it only accentuated his wildness. She took a shaky breath. Maybe he was the perfect guy for a night like tonight—an anonymous stranger—who didn’t need to know her name. She wanted to kiss him so badly she could taste it. He was everything free and masculine and tender and kind all rolled into one. How she knew that she couldn’t verbalize, but she shivered with awareness again, contemplating just how good it could be between them.

The sensible part of her was shocked at her train of thoughts. She knew nothing of the man’s background or his aspirations. But the independent, vibrant woman within her was cheering. Life was for the living, and she was alive. So what was she waiting for?

She set her empty glass in the sand beneath the chair and smiled at him, pushing away the last of her reservations. “For the sake of avoiding small talk and getting right to it, all I can think about are my lips on yours.”

“Well said.” He grinned.

She bit her lower lip in nervous anticipation. “The night’s too perfect to spoil with inconsequential details…like our names or day job demands or where we hail from.” Electricity thrummed between them, a tingle zipping through her while liquid heat pooled between her thighs. Was this the feeling she’d been missing her whole adult life? “Sooo…you mind if we kiss?”

“Not at all.” With that, he erased the millimeters of space still separating their lips, his touch soft and searching at first, getting to know her in that man-to-woman sort of way before moving in harder and more passionate.

She opened her mouth to him and their tongues tangled, their privacy protected by the beach’s high wall. His heat, surprisingly sweet, matched the expression she’d glimpsed in his silvery, blue eyes moments ago as he’d watched her swallow the last drops of her wine. She sighed, moving into his embrace as he leaned over the arm of his chair and caressed her shoulders, down the length of her bare arms. Don’t think. Just feel. She let her fingers roam through his silky mane, pulling him closer. She never wanted the kiss to end.

 Could he be dreaming? As far as Jeremy was concerned, the only thing better than being alone to think on a starlit night was hanging out with a hot, smart chick who knew what she wanted. She obviously liked to keep life simple, too. He was one lucky son of a bitch. She made it easy for him, asking him for a kiss. How did she know he wanted to taste her mouth, touch her silky skin, and mold his body against hers like this? Their physical connection soothed the torment in his soul, drowned the memories that had bobbed to the surface upon hearing that uncanny giggle back at the hotel.

By her eager response, he could tell…she wanted it, too.

Squelching his compulsion to understand what made women go crazy for the unattainable, he slid his lips over her cheek to the sensitive skin on her neck and nuzzled. Ah. She smelled so damned good, feminine heat mixed with summer flowers. He inhaled and stifled a satisfied groan.

He couldn’t get enough of her spice and sweetness. Leaning forward, he explored the softness near her collarbone, nipping gently and enjoying her sighs of pleasure. He slid his hands beneath her thin tee along her smooth rib cage and up, his thumbs grazing the rounded weight of her breasts. Another welcomed sigh escaped her and the roaring in his ears grew. He shifted. If only they could rid of these chairs, slide their heated bodies onto the cool sand and do what came naturally.


 His Kiss is a Kindle Countdown Deal today at 99 cents! Don’t miss this great buy!!

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Lisa brennan headshot

Jolyse Barnett is a country girl living her happily-ever-after in Long Island suburbia with her real-life hero, two incredible children, and furry feline who thinks she’s a dog. Jolyse writes contemporary romance as well as romantic suspense with a dash of magic. She’s excited to announce the release of One More Sunset, Book 1 in her Mystic Escapes series set in exotic locales. Connect with Jolyse at www.jolysebarnett.com.

 

Happy reading…and XOXO,

Deb

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY (from Just in Time for Christmas By Kim Boykin)

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

First Kiss= TUESDAY

 kb cover

kim boykin headshot

Kim Boykin is a women’s fiction author with a sassy Southern streak. She is the author of The Wisdom of Hair, Steal Me and Palmetto Moon. While her heart is always in South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes.

 


Just in Time for Christmas

        Nobody does Christmas like Miranda Hamilton, and now that she finally has her chance to chair Magnolia Bay’s tree lighting and the cotillion, which benefits her late mother’s breast cancer foundation, this Christmas is shaping up to be the best ever. That is until her childhood nemesis Logan Mauldin buys his way on her committee and starts making plans of his own.

Logan Mauldin loves to get under Miranda’s very sexy skin, and it’s only fair. She’s been getting under his since long before their first kiss at 13. Logan’s the last man interested in co-chairing a Christmas committee or participating in a sexy bachelor auction, but since that night he interrupted Miranda on a date and cornered her under the mistletoe, he can’t stop thinking about her. Or vying for her attention and bugging the hell out of her.

Christmas cheer isn’t the only thing that heats up between the Miranda and Logan, but, thanks to a lie that is as much her fault as it is his, he loses the woman he’s loved since forever. Logan will need a Christmas miracle for Miranda to forgive him. A grand gesture to melt her heart and win her back just in time for Christmas.


First Kiss:

Miranda had been twelve, no thirteen. It had been Dusty’s birthday party. They were supposed to be outside playing kick-the-can like Dusty’s mom had suggested. But a dozen teenagers sat cross-legged in a secluded corner of the garden, playing Seven Minutes in Heaven, using a spinning bottle to determine who got paired off with whom.

Everyone who had taken a turn in the windowless potters shed had either come out grinning or blushing. Girls tried to hide the hickeys they’d gotten in record time; a couple of boys were sporting them too. Because Miranda was now confident, boisterous, all of her friends expected her to know everything about everything. But she knew nothing about girl-boy stuff. Wasn’t even sure how those kids had gotten those bruise looking things on their necks or why they thought they were so cool.

            Dusty’s sixteen-year-old brother, Hamp, who did seem to know about  everything, especially about giving hickeys, was playing too. And when it was Miranda’s turn to spin the bottle, it landed squarely between Hamp and Logan. Miranda had trembled when Hamp had licked his lips, looking like the big bad wolf. She hadn’t wanted to go in that shed with him.

            Logan looked at Miranda and must have seen the fear she was trying to hide. “It’s a tie,” Logan said, just as Hamp started to get to his feet.

“Okay. Spin it again,” Hamp said.

Logan just shook his head and adjusted the mouth of the Coke bottle until it pointed squarely at him. Everyone except Miranda and Logan oohed and giggled. He helped her up and nodded toward the shed but didn’t speak until the door closed behind them. “You okay, Miranda?”

It was hard to avoid touching him; the shed was smaller than the antique phone booth at the Five and Dime. Even though it was fall, it was still humid in the shed, and it smelled earthy, musty. “Thank you,” she whispered, unable to remember a single time that she’d thanked Logan Maulden that he hadn’t made her take it back because of some smartass thing he had said or done. The boy lived to get a rise out of her.

He came a little closer and she jerked away, knocking God only knows how many pots over.  There was a chorus of laughter outside followed by the buzz of whispers about what was going on in the shed.

“I’ve never seen you afraid before,” he said softly, easing closer. He’d snaked his arms around her waist, and she was surprised that she didn’t pull away.  “You sure you’re okay? You seemed afraid of Hamp.” It wasn’t that Hamp was a bad guy, not at all.

Like most teenage girls, there had been times when Miranda had been a big talker. About stuff. Kissing. She’d never had a boy hold her like Logan was holding her. And the thought of Hamp Rice doing the same thing and sticking his tongue down her throat, particularly when she wasn’t even sure how that worked or why anyone in their right mind would want to do that was more than a little intimidating.

“Miranda,” he said softly. “You don’t have to be afraid of me.”

She tried to hold the tears back. She really did. But when he felt her body shake, he held her tighter. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do,” he whispered, just below the shell of her ear sending chills down her legs.

“Four minutes,” someone outside shouted.

She wiped her eyes against his chest and let out a nervous laugh. “I’m fine.” Then she’d willed herself to unwrap her arms from around his waist.

“You’ve never been kissed before, have you?” He wasn’t teasing her, like he usually did; it was more of a statement than a question.

She felt her face burn bright with embarrassment and was glad the shed was too dark for him to see. “Of course I have,” she said, trying to sound convincing.

“Three minutes!” That was definitely Emma, who was dying to get back into the shed with her boyfriend of the week.

“Don’t worry,” he whispered, “When the time’s up, we go out there together. You hold my hand. Nobody will know.”

Was that true? Up until then, no one had guessed that she was all talk. What if they did find out? Dusty had promised another round of Seven Minutes in Heaven. What if Miranda ended up with someone who wasn’t as nice as Logan? And when did Logan get to be so nice anyway?

“Or I have another idea,” he said. “Let me be your first kiss.”

She inched her fingers into the darkness until she felt his hand and then pulled his arms around her again. She felt his knees bend into hers so that he could reach her, then felt him smiling against her lips. “You ready?”

“One minute,” some guy shouted. “I’m warning you, Mauldin, if it starts

rocking, I’m comin’ knocking.”

She nodded and tipped her chin up. The kiss and been so light, so sweet that when it was over, she’d thought she’d die without another one. He pressed his forehead against hers as the kids counted down the remaining seconds.

~~~~

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How sweet is that?!!! I love it. Can’t wait to read the whole story.

PS:  If you like this one – there are others.

The Lowcountry Lovers series 
Book 1: Flirting with Forever
Book 2: She’s the One
Book 3: Sweet Home Carolina
Book 4: Just in Time for Christmas
Book 5: Caught Up in You