Tag Archives: friends to lovers #friendstolovers

#99centsale MIX & MATCH, 1 week only, #sweetromance #smalltownromance #friendstolovers starts today!

Have you read this yet?

If you’ve been on the fence about it, now is a good time to download it to your Kindle, because for one week only, starting today, this little smalltown, friends to lovers romance is only 99cents.

Divorced and lonely, nurse Jasmine Green retains the services of Heaven, NH’s very own successful matchmaker, Olivia Joyner. The bar scene and dating apps give Jasmine hives and Liv’s reputation is stellar. If anyone can help guide her through the quagmire that dating has become, Olivia can.

Architect Donovan Boyd is ready to settle down. He wants the kind of marriage his parents have; long lasting, filled with love, children, and joy. But even after a year of living and working in Heaven, he’s still considered an outsider by many. Finding the type of woman he’s looking for is hard in the tight-knit community. Retaining Olivia Joyner to help him find his forever love is one of the smartest things he’s done, especially after she sets him up with Jasmine Green.

But the red-haired, green-eyed beauty wants a different kind of marriage from the one Donovan considers ideal.

Can these two strong-willed people learn to compromise so they can both find their happily ever after? Or will their relationship forever be relegated to the friend zone?

Get your sale ecopy here: MIX & MATCH

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1 week until MIX and MATCH releases! I’m getting giddy!!!

I’m so excited! MIX AND MATCH has only 7 more days in the waiting room before it releases into the romance reading world!

Have you preordered your copy yet? No? Well, let me help you with that: MIX AND MATCH

And here’s a little tease to whet your reading appetite:

Intrigued? I certainly hope so!!

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2 week countdown to the release of MIX & MATCH a #sweet #laterinlife #friendstolovers romance

I can’t for you to meet Jasmine and Donovan! This series has been a labor of love to pen and all the books will be released within the next 16 months, but this first one sets the stage for the others and I couldn’t be happier.

MIX and MATCH releases on 3.1.2022 and if you haven’t heard me talking about it for the past 2 months – where have you been??? hee hee This sweet romance, about two friends who become lovers is set in the small town of Heaven, NH where my Match Match In Heaven series took place. Revisiting this tiny town was so soothing for my soul.

Seriously, though, here’s the blurb, the book trailer, and the Goodreads Giveaway widget where you can enter for a chance to win a print copy of the book.

Divorced and lonely, nurse Jasmine Green retains the services of Heaven, NH’s very own successful matchmaker, Olivia Joyner. The bar scene and dating apps give Jasmine hives and Liv’s reputation is stellar. If anyone can help guide her through the quagmire that dating has become, Olivia can.

Architect Donovan Boyd is ready to settle down. He wants the kind of marriage his parents have; long-lasting, filled with love, children, and joy. But even after a year of living and working in Heaven he’s still considered an outsider by many. Meeting the type of woman he’s looking for is hard in the tight-knit community. Retaining Olivia Joyner to help him find his forever love is one of the smartest things he’s done, especially after she sets him up with Jasmine Green.

But the red-haired, green-eyed beauty wants a different kind of marriage from the one Donovan considers ideal. Can these two strong-willed people learn to compromise so they can both find their happily ever after? Or will their relationship forever be relegated to the friend zone?

Watch the book trailer here: MIX & MATCH

Enter the GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

Request to read and review it on NetGalley here: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/249436

Good luck and please, if you do enjoy the story, consider writing a review on amazon or GoodReads. Every review gets an author’s work more into the public eye and the hands of new readers. Bless you all ~ Peg

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#TeaserTuesday, 1.11.2021

#TeaserTuesday

From the upcoming MIX & MATCH, dropping on 3.1.2022

“What’s wrong with this one?” Donovan asked when she shook her head. “Seems fine to me.”

“It’s too hard.” Jasmine pressed down on the mattress with both hands and met resistance.

“Aye, and you said the other was too soft. I feel like we’re starring in a Grimm’s tale instead of shopping for a guest bedroom mattress.”

“You don’t want your parents or anyone else who comes to visit to be uncomfortable, do you?”

“No. But we’ve been to three stores already and found nothing to your liking.”

“That’s why they call it shopping.” She rolled her eyes. “You can’t pick the very first one you see. You’ve got to shop around. You’ve got to try them out. You don’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive to see how it handles, do you? A bed is the same way.”

“What do you propose we do to take it for a drive? Sleep on it?”

“Don’t be snide. Here.” She led him to one labeled comfort sleeper. After pressing down on it with her hands and noting how firm, yet supple it was, she said, “This one looks promising. Lie down.”

“What? Here? On that?”

“How else are you going to know how it feels?” She sat on the bed, bounced a few times, then assumed a supine position, her feet pointed toward the bottom. Patting the mattress, she said, “Come on. Hop on. Take it for a spin.”

With his hands fisted on his hips and his brows glued together over his eyes, he shook his head. Then he shrugged and settled down next to her.

They were on a bare, king-sized mattress in the middle of a commercial bed store, surrounded by other shoppers and salespeople. It never occurred to Jasmine there was anything remotely sexual about reclining on the bed with him.  They were merely shopping for an item he needed.

The moment his back hit the mattress and he turned his head to look at her, that notion flew out the proverbial window and her pulse started racing. 

The bed was big enough they could stretch out their arms and only barely touch fingers, but to Jasmine it suddenly felt small and intimate.

Too intimate.

She bolted upright then threw her legs over the side so she could sit on the edge. For some reason sitting on the bed seemed less… carnal.

“Aye, this feels brilliant,” he said. “More comfortable and cushy than me own bed, for sure.”  Donovan was oblivious to her discomfort as he rolled side to side, testing the coils and springs.

Jasmine stood, her face feeling as if she’d stayed out in the sun for days.

“Can I help you two?” A salesman with an I-hope-to-make-a-sale cheek-wide smile approached them.

Donovan pulled off the bed to stand. The salesman stuck out his hand, which Donovan took.

“If you two are looking for a bed that’s gonna last a lifetime, you’ve found it,” he said. “I’ve gotten letters from dozens of couples who’ve told me how pleased they are with this mattress brand. Everyone from the kids who come in on cold mornings to cuddle to the pets who find their way at the bottom of the bed during the night love the comfort of this brand.”

For some reason Jasmine felt the urge to clarify the situation.

“Oh, we’re not together.”

“I thought—”

“I mean, we’re together, here and now, just not together like a couple. The bed’s not for us. It’s for him.” She pointed at Donovan. “For his guest bedroom. His parents are coming for an extended visit and he wants them to be comfortable. We’re not a couple. Just friends,” she added.

Donovan’s brows were kissing again by the time she finished babbling. The salesman’s smile dimmed, when he turned his attention to Donovan.

With a nod, Van explained what he was looking for in the way of cost and availability.

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much, hee hee!

here’s the preorder link if you’re intrigued: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09P48WPZC

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Another RONE NOMINEE to vote for!

So if my ego wasn’t already swelling, A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK is a RONE NOMINEE in the suspense/thriller category this week. Voting goes from April 26-May2

The rules for voting are the same. You have to log into www.indtale.com and then click on the SUSPENSE/THRILLER category to see the nominees. A PRIDE OF BROTHERS:RICK should be at the top to vote.

Thanks so much to anyone who gives me a vote/shoutout. This has been such an ego booster for me lately, when I’ve been lamenting poor sales and writing angst.

Elite bodyguard and P.I. Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. He doesn’t get emotional with his clients, but when a woman from his past is threatened, his next job becomes personal.

Family lawyer Abigail Laine is the target of a client’s vengeful husband, but refuses Rick’s offer of protection. He walked away from her four years ago, and she swore to forget him.

Now her reluctance to accept his help could cost Abby her life.

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My tiny attempt at self-promotion!

*** turn on the sound when you click the above link so you can hear my horrible, scratchy voice!!!

So this is my very feeble attempt at self promoting my book so people will vote for me in the RONE AWARDS.

Please don’t laugh!! ( I laughed enough for all of us when I first previewed it! Heehee)

Hope this prompts you to take pity on me and vote for my book. The explanation on how to do so is here: VOTING INSTRUCTIONS

And the direct link to the STEAMY CONTEMPORARY CATEGORY is here: STEAMY

Thanks, kids!!! I appreciate every vote!

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#backlistthursday 1.21.2021 FIRST IMPRESSIONS (MacQuire Women, book 3)

Keeping with our theme of revisiting all my books in series in order, today I give you FIRST IMPRESSIONS (book 3 in the MacQuire Women series).

This was the very first book I wrote where I had the hero fully formed and developed before I ever had a plot or a heroine. I just knew I needed to tell Pat Cleary’s story because he’s such a misunderstood guy. People think he’s a player, but he’s really just searching for THE ONE. He wants a marriage as wonderful and long lasting as his parents, so he’s picky and realizes he needs to kiss a lot of frogs first!! hee hee.

 

BLURB:

Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.

Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

ENJOY….

“I told you I thought I should apologize but I didn’t want to, and it was the truth. I enjoyed it. I’d hoped you did, too.”

When she didn’t answer but continued to stare at him, an expression he couldn’t name on her face, he shook his head and, said, “My ego really takes a beating around you.”

She smiled then and squeezed his hands. “I think your ego is pretty intact, Pat.”

“I really like when you do that,” he said, a heartbeat later.

“What? Talk about your bruised ago?”

He shook his head, charmed by her teasing. “When you laugh. And smile. I really like when you smile. Especially at me.”

Her blush deepened. “Pat…”

Without thought, like he had in his office earlier in the afternoon, he dipped his head down. With her hands still in his, he gently tugged her closer, and watched her eyes widen as he moved in.

He gave her a second to resist, to pull back. He thought she might.

But she didn’t, so he did what he’d been dying to do all day. Hell, since they’d met.

With her caramel-colored gaze boring into his, Pat kissed her.

A brief touch, barely a whisper of contact is all it was, but Pat’s insides imploded when her mouth settled against his. His hands still held hers and when he pulled back to stare at her face, two things happened simultaneously and almost made him lose his mind.

First, Clarissa trailed her tongue over the area he’d kissed, moisture wetting her plump lips. A shot of pure want bulleted through him when her lips glistened in the dim lighting of the doorway. At the same time he felt a tug on his hands and in the next second, Clarissa’s arms were wrapped around his neck, her hot, sweet mouth plastered to his.

He couldn’t think. Wouldn’t have been able to answer a question if asked. All he could do was feel. Stretched up against the length of him, up on her toes, Clarissa molded her body to his while her mouth pressed against his. His hands went around her waist, up her back to push her in even closer, their bodies separated from one another only by the width of their clothes.

Pat’s hands pushed against the butt he’d been fantasizing about minutes before, clutching it. It fit his palms as if it’d been forged for his hold.

Perfect.

Absolutely perfect.

He lost the ability to breath when Clarissa traced the tip of her tongue across his bottom lip. In less than a heartbeat, he sucked it into his mouth, twirling it around his own, exploring every part of her mouth. She tasted like sin laced with sugar. A tiny whimper cried up from the back of her throat, and she tightened her grip around his neck.

With a quick tug, Pat yanked her up his body and settled her butt in his spread palms. She wound her legs around his hips to cross high on his waist around his back. The hottest part of her, damp and blazing, now nestled against the hardest part of him, straining against the zipper of his pants. Using her front door as a plank, he turned and braced her against it. Torturously, he ground his hips against the soft fabric of her jeans, causing another whimper to morph into a full-fledged, erotic moan from deep within her.

She fisted his hair, tugging, twirling it around her fingers, massaging his scalp, as his tongue moved from her mouth to slide across her cheek, skim her jaw, taste the back of her ear. He licked his lips, then trailed his wet mouth back and forth against the hollow of her shoulder.

She tasted like sunshine and smelled like a warm summer night.

“God, Clarissa, you feel so good.” He nuzzled the sweet spot behind her ear and gently nipped her lobe between his teeth.

He tugged on it, and his heart skipped a beat when she cried his name. With purpose, one of his hands trailed down her side to trace the outline of a breast. He swallowed her gasp as his fingers splayed over her hardened nipple and delicately pinched it through her shirt. Her butt jumped against his hands, and he felt her vibrate—actually vibrate—against him.

“Pat—”

“I love when you say my name.” His lips found hers again, and like the first time, his stomach did a frantic little jig.

He felt her back shake and her hands push against his shoulders, trying to separate them. When she succeeded, his mind went blank as a tiny little suction sound, sexy and unbelievably hot, shot from them when they parted. Her eyes were huge and wet, the brown so deep they looked like chocolate tempering, and he melted right into them. The most intimate part of her was pressed against him, shaking with what he thought was need.

She smiled, almost laughing. He didn’t think his ego could take another blow, when a muffled sound hit his ears.

“What’s pinging?” he asked.

“My beeper. It’s going off.”

They both looked down at the same time. Her pager was pressed against his substantial erection. The vibration shook straight to his toes, and his penis pulsed against it. He knew she could see what was happening to him, when, suddenly, he realized he had her pinioned against the door.

With an oath, he gently lowered her, and when she had a solid footing, released his grip.

She pulled her pager from her waistband, repositioned her glasses, which had gone askew from her shirtfront, and went to get her phone.

While she answered the page, Pat none-too-gently banged his forehead against the door she’d been plastered against.

What the hell was wrong with him? Christ, he had her bracketed against a door—a door—like some out- of-control, hormone-driven teenager.

And it hadn’t taken anything other than a small, innocent kiss to drive him crazy. He blew out a deep breath and tried to summon up some calm.

“Pat.”

With his eyes closed, he pushed off the door and turned around. When he opened them, he wasn’t surprised to see a smile tugging at the corners of her lips.

“I have to go see a patient in the E.R.”

He shoved his hands into his pants pockets and nodded. He didn’t know what to say, didn’t know how to voice what he thought he should.

Intrigued? you can get your copy across all digital media and in print, here: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Happy reading, peeps  ~Peg

 

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#BacklistThursday 1.14.2021

Last week I shared a little snippet from my debut novel, Skater’s Waltz. This week on #BacklistThursday, the second book in The MacQuire Women series, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

This book is so dear to me because it was my very first, true Friends to lovers romance novel.

Blurb:

Symphony pianist Moira Cleary comes home after four years of touring, exhausted, sick, and spiritually broken. Emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of someone she trusted has left her gaunt, anxious, and at a crossroads both professionally and personally.

Moira’s best friend, veterinarian Quentin Stapleton, wants nothing more than to help Moira get well. Can his natural healing skills make it possible for her to open her heart again? And can he convince her she’s meant to stay home now with the family that loves her – and with him – forever?

and here’s a little snippet from the book…

She started to open the front door but stopped when Quentin abruptly turned back and started up the porch steps again.

“I forgot something,” he told her.

“What?”

When he came up the last step and crossed to her, he said, “this,” and without another word pulled her into his arms.

Her first and last coherent thought was her best friend was going to kiss her goodnight. After a heartbeat, she forgot the best friend part and knew down to her toes friendship had nothing to do with this.

His lips slid across her mouth, soft and gentle, testing, tasting. Moira’s mind went blank as she succumbed to the sensation of them, hot and hard, pressing against hers in a kiss like none he’d ever given her before. Slowly, he traced her bottom lip with the tip of his tongue, silently asking her to open for him. When she did, he entered her mouth and began to explore, each movement becoming more demanding, more insistent. Moira fell against him, fisting his jacket lapels to steady herself. When she felt his heartbeat pounding under her hands, she grew lightheaded with need. Quentin framed her face with his fingertips, softly tugging down on her chin, changing the angle of the kiss.

She’d been kissed before, but never, never with such all consuming need and longing. She heard a deep moan and was shocked to realize the sound had escaped from her. One of Quentin’s hands left her face to slide down her back. When he pushed against her backside and molded her body to his, Moira’s stomach jumped. This time, though, it wasn’t with the painful contractions she’d come to expect, but with a heart- stopping craving.

A craving for him.

She unfurled her hands from his jacket and, without thought, wound them upwards, weaving them over his shirt collar and up through his hair. She grabbed onto the ends, pulled his head down closer, and held on fast.

All aspect of time was lost. Nothing mattered but the delicious feel of his strong hands caressing her back and the taste of him as his tongue mated with hers.

This couldn’t be happening. It had to be a dream.

But no dream had ever made her want like this, feel like this. When he skimmed his lips across her jaw and down her throat, stopping to take her lobe into his mouth, Moira knew this wasn’t a dream. That same feeling she’d had when she looked at him in the movie steeped through her again, tickling her stomach muscles. With a jolt, she realized the sensation was desire. Pure and simple.

Quentin pulled back and stared down into her face. With a heavy sigh, he laid his forehead against hers, a small grin tugging at the corners of his lips. “I’ve wanted to kiss you for so long. So damn long.”

“Q—?”

He traced one finger lazily down her jaw and across the lips he’d just caressed, silencing her. “Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”

Confused, Moira nodded. She licked her lips, running her tongue across his caressing finger. The hiss that blew from him made her thighs shake.

Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you may now kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around, and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”

Moira tried to conjure the scene. “I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”

He nodded. “The exact quote was ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”

Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever going to kiss me like that.”

“He wasn’t known for tact back then,” he said, rubbing a hand down her back as he held her next to him in the soft lamplight from the porch. The soothing, rhythmic smoothing of his hand made every nerve on Moira’s body stand at attention.

“Later on that day, behind the barn, remember what happened then?”

Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire. When she merely nodded, he traced a kiss across the area he’d just caressed, and said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you—quote—felt safe with me—unquote.”

“What was I? Eleven?” she said, finally finding her voice, and unnerved to hear it whining.

“Thirteen. We both were, and I was more than willing to do it. Almost broke my heart in two when you said afterward, ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about.’”

His lips twitched at the corners when he said it, and Moira felt the warmth of her blush intensify.

“Q—”

“Hush.” He kissed her forehead. “Ever since that day, all I’ve wanted is a second chance. Now,” he pulled her body closer, wrapped both arms around her small waist, his hand resting just above the dent in her spine. “We’re both a little older, a little more mature. Some of us are much more experienced—”

“And conceited.”

“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”

And if you read the book, you know they were, hee hee!

Intrigued to read more? Here ya go, let me make it easy: There’s No Place Like Home

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Book of the Month from #LASR… Vote for BAKED WITH LOVE

BAKED WITH LOVE (A match Made in Heaven, bk 3) doesn’t even release until next Wednesday, 12.9, but it’s already up for BOOK OF THE MONTH over on Long and Short reviews. The reason it is is because of the BEST BOOK RATING the book received earlier in the month. In case you missed it, here’s the review: LASR

You can vote for the book until tonight, here: BOM

Thanks if you do decide to vote for it!
You can also enter to win 1 of 3 signed print copies of the book over on my Goodreads Giveaway. Here’s the link to enter: GOODREADS

(Don’t click the ENTER GIVEAWAY link in the picture. It’s not activated for this blog.)

And…..one more, then I promise I’m done!
If you like PRINT editions of your book, BAKED WITH LOVE is available in my Website store for only $10.00 per copy – waaaaaay below any retailer. Order you cope today and you’ll have it before the book even releases next week! Here’s the link to order any of the books in the store: PEGGYS BOOK STORE

Good luck to all who enter the Goodreads Giveaway, and thanks to all who vote for me for Book Of The Month.

Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

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#TeaserThursday

I’m waiting on copy edits for my third book in the MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN series, BAKED WITH LOVE, but while I wait, here’s a little something from Maureen O’Dowd’s perspective….

Lucas nodded. “He seems pretty stoked about working, something I’m surprised about. Glad, for sure, but surprised. I figured…” He shrugged.

“I know. I thought a fifteen-year-old boy would rather be any place than in a kitchen every day, but he actually asked to work most days during the week and on weekends for the weddings. We’ll see how long this enthusiasm lasts.” I grinned up at him while I towel-dried a mug.

“I don’t know, Mo. If it was me, I wouldn’t mind being stuck in a kitchen every day—”

“That’s because you’re always hungry.”

“—if it was with you.”

My hand stopped rubbing the porcelain.

Okay, what?

I’m usually fairly adept at not showing my feelings or have what’s running through my mind cross my face. Nanny has commented many times over the years I’m the person she least likes playing poker with because she can’t read me. The ability to hide my true feelings has gotten me through some testy times with my parents, a bad breakup with a verbally abusive boyfriend, and my twin’s illness then death. Plus, for as many times as we’d been together over the years, Lucas had never once guessed how I truly felt about him.

Right now, though, I was finding it next to impossible to school my features and body into its usual calm nonchalance. I can only imagine how I must have appeared to him, standing there with the towel thrust into the mug, my hand paralyzed—my body as well—as I stared up at him, silent.

“What’s wrong?” He uncrossed his arms and took a step toward me, his brows grooving toward the middle of his forehead. “Maureen?”

I blinked a few times when his hand snaked around my upper arm. A soothing, comforting warmth seeped through me from his touch. I wanted to move in closer, melt into his arms, and snuggle into all his heat. When I found myself shifting so I could, I took a step backward, mentally and physically. Lucas didn’t drop his hold but kept his hand on my arm, his other one following suit.

“Nothing. Sorry. I’m fine.” I shook my head a few times and planted what I hoped looked like a self-deprecating grin on my face.

“I lost you there for a second.” His gaze swept across my face, searching, silently questioning.

“Sorry. I’ve got a lot going on up here.” I pointed a finger at my head. “Thinking fifteen steps ahead about what needs to be done around this place.”

He waited a beat, those intelligent, intense eyes never wavering from my own. “Why don’t I believe that’s all it is?”

It was no wonder he was such a good lawman. With his gaze zeroed in on me, piercing and probing, and his voice low, deep, and commanding, almost seductively sly in its cadence, I imagined people who’d broken the law were no match for him when it came to his garnering confessions.

I pulled a Colleen-worthy eye roll. “Because you’re a cop and you’re naturally suspicious. It’s ground into your DNA. Like the green in your eyes.”

One eyebrow quirked high up on his forehead. “The green in my eyes?”

His mouth stayed perfectly straight, but I got the distinct impression he was laughing at me.

“It’s true. Your eyes are green, and you’re naturally nosy.”

His inspection grew more intense as he dipped his chin and glared at me. The heat in his stare shot straight down to my core and exploded. I’m pretty sure I shuddered.

Lucas’s fingers kneaded my arms. Every nerve ending in my body stood straight up, like I’d walked across a rug in the dead of winter and then touched something metal, sparking an electric shock. I licked lips that had suddenly gone desert-dry.

His gaze took a slow stroll down to my mouth and lingered. Enough so those butterflies finally made a break for freedom. Without any will to prevent it, my mouth fell open and I dragged in about a quart of air, my shoulders lifting, then dropping with the effort. I lost the grip on the mug and when it slipped out of my hand, Lucas let go of my arms as we both reached for it at the same time.

My reflexes are quick. Lucas’s are like lightning.

Both our hands went around the cup at the same time, but in moving for it, Lucas had to bend from his substantial height. When he did, our heads connected and a resounding thwack echoed around us.

Ow.” I let the mug go free into his hand and palmed the spot of contact on my forehead. “Your skull’s made of cement.”

Lucas placed the mug on the counter, then tugged my hand off my head.

I swatted him away. It was like slicing air because it had no effect on halting him from touching me.

“Let me see. Stop squirming.” He cupped my chin to hold me in place.

In all honesty, I’d gone statue-still again the moment his hand curled around my jaw. I knew Lucas’s fingers were strong, an effect of being a life-long shooter. Thick-skinned, coarse, and powerful, his grip was surprising gentle though, as he held my face in one hand and pressed against the throbbing notch on my forehead with the other.

“You’re gonna have a goose egg.”

“And whose fault is that?” I mumbled.

“Better get some ice on it, fast.”

This time when I glanced up at him, he was attempting—and failing—to hide a grin.

Through narrowed eyes, I said, “Thanks for the advice. Mind letting go of me so I can?”

Lucas glanced at the hand wrapped around my chin, frowned, then drew his attention back up to meet my eyes.

Calling them green hadn’t done them a bit of justice. There are so many variations of the simple color, and none of them applied to Lucas.

They weren’t the bright green of a shamrock or the metallic sheen of jade. Neither were they pale like sage nor brilliant like winking emeralds. The purest and most accurate way to describe them was they mimicked the color of fresh moss at midnight: deep and dark with shards of yellow in the mix reflected in moonlight. Long lashed with a tiny tilt at the corners and subtle lines fanning out to his temples, Lucas’s eyes had always been captivating to me. Right now, with his hand holding my chin, and his body so close I could detect the brand of soap he’d used in the shower, they were mesmerizing.

The air between us changed in a finger snap. Energized. Ignited.

Something in Lucas changed, as well. His shoulders were drawn up almost to his ears, and his breathing went a little deeper, a little louder as we stood there. The groove between his eyebrows folded inward even more than it usually did. When his tongue flicked out and crossed over his bottom lip like mine had a few moments ago, I bit down on the need to press my own mouth to his.

I may have moaned.

The swift inhale Lucas took convinced me he’d heard the sound and recognized it for the naked desire it was. The hand at my chin tensed and drew me in closer. So close, I could count every hair of the afternoon stubble shading his etched cheeks and strong jaw.

An insane urge to run my tongue along the length of that shadow hopscotched through me. I might have succumbed to the impulse if Robert’s voice hadn’t spilt into the room.

“Dad?”

We both blinked at the sound.

“What’s going on?”

“Maureen dropped a cup,” Lucas told him after a moment, his attention never wavering from me. His voice was thick and low. “We bumped heads when we went to get it. Grab some ice from the freezer, would ya, son?”

“There’s a cold pack in there,” I said, stepping back when Lucas finally freed his hold on me.

He stood, immobile and silent, in front of me while his son set about his task.

I’d give anything to know what he was thinking, but his expression had gone back to its usual relaxed one. His body, though, remained stiff and tense.

Robert handed me the cold pack and said, “Here.” When he glanced at my forehead, he added, “Ouch. Dad, you hurt her.”

“It’s nothing,” I said, wrapping the pack in the dishtowel I still held in one hand. I placed it against the throbbing ache I now felt on my head and winced. “Okay, ouch is right. But it was an accident, Bobby-Boy.”

I wanted to alleviate the troubled expression on his face, so I added, lifting my lips in what I hope was a comical smirk, “Your father’s got a head like a rock. No surprise, there.”

My quip hit its intended mark as both of the men in my kitchen grinned. Lucas’s shoulders finally relaxed, and the ghost of a sigh slid from him.

They left shortly thereafter with Lucas promising to have his son to work on time in the morning.

Intrigued? I’ll put up release dates and a cover when I have them. Until then, be well, peeps.

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Writing