I missed last years FILNE 2020 because of Covid issues.
Not this year!! My bags are packed and I can’t wait to get to Boxboro!
FILNE 2021 is a romance reader and author event like none other. 2 days of interactive, reader-centric workshops and panels, a Halloween costume contest, adult trick or treating, and it all culminates in an author book signing featuring over 50 romance authors.
You don’t have to attend the entire conference if you can’t. There are 1 day tickets available for Saturday only. Click on the above link to discover all about the conference.
“Hot time, summer in the city. Back of my neck getting burnt and pretty.“
Any body else remember that old Lovin’ Spoonful song?? Hee hee. I’m showing my age, I know.
When I was younger and a sun worshiper, I lived for the summer days I could take a few hours at my local beach, soak up some rays, and read without any interruptions or worries. Back then, my beach reads were mostly comprised of the newest Jackie Collins, Kathleen Woodiwiss, or Nora Roberts book that happened to release in the summer season.
The hours of escapism while sitting in the sun were marvelous and made me truly know the definition of BEACH READ; fabulous heroines meeting hunky heroes and engaging in adult behavior ( read :SEX) while escaping from danger, or trying to solve the world’s problems.
Hey, it’s not called escapist fiction for nothing.😉
Nowadays I shun the sun like Lestat because…wrinkles.
But I still enjoy a great book that can be classified as a beach read. And hey – I even write them now. LOL.
One of my favorites that I’ve penned has just gone on sale for only 99cents.
IT’S A TRUST THING tells the tale of Nell Newbury, one time Park Avenue darling, whose father – a Madoff devotee – bilked people out of billions. The notoriety almost killed Nell’s mother and made the young girl grow up fast. Nell runs her own company now, keeps out of the public eye, and isn’t looking for love.
And then she meets a handsome economics professor who knows nothing about her and who makes her toes go numb with just a glance.
Do you like to read at the beach? Or on a boat? Or sitting in the park on a lovely summer day?
Take IT’S A TRUST THING with you the next time you go. You’ll have a fun time reading it. One of my reviewers called it a “RomCom with angst, a klutzy heroine you can’t help rooting for, and redemption.”
When three single sisters inherit their Scottish great-grandmother’s wedding dress, they also inherit the legend that comes with it: put on the dress, look in a mirror, and reveal their future. The dress is more than just silk and lace, for magic has been stitched into the seams of the heirloom. For the MacLellan sisters, the enchanted wedding dress promises a legacy of everlasting love.
Can something old lead to something new?
Jamie MacLellan is content with her life. Her business as a certified public accountant is going well, she owns her own home, and she never wants to live anywhere but Vermont, near her sisters. Why bother getting married, when no man could measure up to her father’s example of a loving, respectful husband? Then she tries on her grandmother’s wedding dress. Is the shadowy man she sees in the mirror her future, or just a trick of the light? Jamie may have vowed to stay single, but could the handsome lawyer she’s been dating could be “the one”? Then she meets his sexy twin brother, who, with a simple look, sets Jamie’s heart racing.
Caleb Sullivan has clients all over the world who appreciate his skills as a traveling personal chef. The footloose and fancy-free lifestyle isn’t always as glamourous as it seems, and sometimes Caleb secretly longs to settle down, but for now, there’s a lot of food to cook and a lot of world to see. But Jamie MacLellan’s crystal blue eyes have him dreaming unexpected dreams.
How can Jamie fall for a man who’ll be away more than he’ll be home? She’s a happy homebody who loves her roots. He’s a traveling vagabond. But it was Caleb that Jamie saw in the mirror. Will she turn her back on a chance at a once in a lifetime love, or is Jamie ready to embrace the promise an enchanted old wedding dress holds for a new future?
Jamie went in search of scissors and pointed to the closet. “Kenz, the box is in there.” Kenzie opened the door and carefully carried the box to the coffee table, as if it contained something irreplaceable.
Jamie returned, and said, her hand hovering over the tape, “Here goes nothing.”
Grace came in holding a bottle of wine. “Be careful, Sissy,” she whispered reverently. “It was Gran’s, so it’s really old.”
Jamie held her breath as she cautiously sliced through the layers of packing tape and eased back the cardboard flaps.
Standing on tiptoes, Kenzie peered over her shoulder. “What is it?”
Jamie withdrew a cream-colored envelope. “It’s a letter.” Grace reached out to pull back the bubble wrap when Jamie touched her hand. “Wait. We should read it first and then we’ll see what’s inside.”
Kenzie stretched out her hand. “I’ll read it.” She slit open the wax seal and pulled out several pieces of stationery. Glancing down, she said, “I don’t remember Gran’s handwriting so spider web like, so it might take a while.”
Grace leaned in and studied the page. “I don’t think its Gran’s. What if it’s Great-gran’s? You know Dad’s grandmother.”
Jamie admonished, “If we stop talking and let Kenz read, I’ll bet we find out.” She picked up her wineglass and settled back on the sofa cushions.
My dearest granddaughters,
This is your father’s grandmother writing to you long before you were even a gleam in his eye or even before he had any interest in lassies. If you have received this box, it means that I’ve had the joy of seeing my beloved daughter, your grandmother, again. I’m sorry for your loss and hope your memories of her will sustain you through the years to come and her wisdom will guide you. I will assume you have a box from your Gran. Have you looked inside? If not, carefully unwrap the contents and lay the three items I chose for you on a table.
Jamie’s eyes grew wide as she looked at her sisters. “What the hell, is she psychic or something?”
Grace clapped a hand over her mouth. “Remember, Gran said the women in our family were special. Maybe that’s what she was talking about.”
Kenzie’s eyebrow shot up. “That would explain a few things about Gran. She always seemed to have eyes on us all the time.”
Absentmindedly Jamie tapped her glass with her finger. “Do you remember the time…I must have been around ten. We decided to get up early and go fishing, and when we got to the bottom of the stairs Gran was dressed and waiting for us? I know we never talked about sneaking off while we were in the house where she could hear us.”
“You’re right.” Grace let out a rush of breath. “Our sneaky plans were always hatched underneath that old willow tree near the creek.”
Kenzie gasped. “Oh, wow. That does make me wonder about all kinds of things.”
Jamie waved her hands toward the box. “Enough speculating about Gran being able to read our minds—let’s see what’s inside.”
Taking care not to rush, Grace took a small package wrapped in plain brown paper. She pulled back the paper and cut the bubble wrap inside, to discover a carved wooden box. Her voice was barely above a whisper. “Should I open it?”
“Hold on, let’s see what Kenzie has.”
Kenzie withdrew a large floppy package wrapped in white tissue paper tied with the deep green satin ribbon. She pulled back the paper, revealing a large piece of wool, a Scottish tartan. “Isn’t this the MacLellan plaid?” She carefully placed it on the back of the sofa.
Jamie and Grace nodded, eager to see the third item.
“One item left, Jamie, your turn.” Kenzie slid the box in front of her older sister.
Jamie pulled out an identical-looking package tied with the same ribbon. “Do you think it’s another plaid, maybe a cape?” She tugged the bow and eased back the tissue paper.
“Oh my gosh! It’s a wedding dress.” Awestruck, Grace reached out and fingered the silky fabric. “Do you think it was Great-gran’s?”
Today’s Backlisted book was released in July 2019 when I was on a family vacation in England. Two exciting things at once! DIRTY DAMSELS was my first ( and last) book for LImitless Publishing. The company dropped my future books in the series because I didn’t sell a million copies out of the chute! No lie. Actually, I should thank them because of their cancellation, I started Indie publishing and have been very happy with the results.
DIRTY DAMSELS is a modern version of Cinderella. This Cindy owns her own cleaning company, the storyline is a riches-to-rags-to-riches one.
Limitless writes their blurbs in the male first person viewpoint, so it’s a little different from what I’m used to. Here ya go:
What if Cynderella had a one-night stand with a man named Prince?
When I first saw Cynderella all covered in soot in that sexy maid uniform, I knew I wanted to be her Prince.She’s a smart and savvy businesswoman who’s built her cleaning company from the ground up.
But now that Dirty Damsels was booming, I’ve been hired to arrange a hostile takeover. But the temptation of having her was too much to ignore… We ended up spending one night together–a night neither of us will forget. Now, I want more. I need more. I want to spend every night, skin-on-skin, with my beautiful Ella.
Problem is, when she finds out who I really am, she’ll never forgive me.
“Don’t look,” Nell said, close to my ear, “but this insanely hot guy has been staring at you since we sat down.”
“How can you order me not to look when you say something like that?”
“By the bar,” she said. “Dark hair, designer suit, striking eyes. The best mouth I’ve seen on a guy in ages.”
A little bell rang somewhere in the back of my head at her depiction and in the next second my eyes locked onto him.
Shocked is too tame a description when I discovered who it was. He looked as yummy and as magnificent as when he’d stood in the penthouse. With his elbow resting casually on the bar, another be-suited guy with a drink in his hand next to him.
“Do you know who he is?” Nell asked. “Because you’re gonna in about five seconds. He’s heading this way.”
He said something to the guy at his side and maneuvered along the perimeter of the dance floor, squeezing past club patrons and waiters, his gaze locked on mine.
I was hypnotized by those eyes. It was as if he were psychically holding me in place while he made his way over. I had no will of my own to look away.
Or run away.
Fear propelled me up from the chair just as he stopped in front of the table.
“Cinderella? It is you,” he said, his sexy smile slowly growing across his mouth. “You look different with your hair down. Beautiful, still,” he added.
I couldn’t think of a thing to say. The fact he stood in front of me, no, next to me now, moving in so he could be heard over the blast of the music, turned me mute. All brain synapses vaulted from my mind. I said the first thing that popped into my head. “Did you have a good nap?”
Jesus, Ella, are you kidding?
His heart-stopping smile broadened. He leaned in, grabbed my hand, squeezed it, and said, “Good enough.”
When he got closer, my nerves went into hyperdrive as the amazing smell of him wafted across the minute space separating our bodies. He smelled utterly delicious. A tangy orange mixed with musk that almost had me slanting my head into his neck just so I could nuzzle and fill myself with the scent.
“Come with me, it’s too loud right here,” he said into my ear. “I can’t hear myself think.”
In the next second I was tugged along with him, oblivious to everything but the feel of his hand as it slipped into mine. His skin was warm, the grip like iron as he hauled me away from the dance area.
When he stopped in the hallway between the bar and kitchen, he turned and said, “Better.”
For want of something to say, I simply nodded.
I’m usually not such a silent Sadie. The bar was filled to capacity with everyone drinking and yelling to be heard over the music, so the noise level was jacked way up. But we could have been the only two people in the place. My entire system focused in on him and him alone. I glanced down and noticed he still held my hand. He noticed it too, smiled, and kept right on holding it.
“I can’t believe my good luck at finding you. I feel like I need to apologize for zoning out on you this afternoon,” he said.
“It’s okay. You said you were tired.” I was amazed I got that much out of my mouth in one shot.
Intrigued? I hope so. Here’s the Universal Link if you’d like to read it: DIRTY DAMSELS
SO today is the last day to order the e-version of DEARLY BELOVED for just 99cents. I put the book up for sale in anticipation of book 2 in the Match Made in Heaven series, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS releasing soon. The books are part of a series, yes, but are stand-alones as well, so you don’t necessarily have to read book 1 to understand what is going on in book 2 – BUT WHY WOULDN’T YOU??? hee hee
Here’s a little about DEARLY BELOVED. I’ve included the buy links below.
“You know that saying, ‘Man makes plans and God laughs?’ Yeah…story of my life.”
Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.
Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.
When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.
“Peggy Jaegar has done it again with what I sincerely hope is the start of a fresh new series. The setting is small town New Hampshire, lovingly portrayed with all its natural beauty and inevitable small town quirkiness. The story centers around a wedding planner, her two sisters and their firecracker of a grandmother (my favorite sidekick character, hands down!)
The main character, Colleen O’Dowd, narrates in first person as she navigates professional and personal challenges including the unprofessional feelings she’s having for one of her clients, Slade Harrington. He’s not one of her grooms-to-be (thank goodness) but rather her client’s older brother, a Titan of New York finance and the one signing the checks for his baby sister’s wedding.
Sparks fly from the first meeting, but Colleen’s insecurities keep her over thinking every interaction, which makes for lots of amusing internal monologue as well as witty banter between Colleen and Slade.
The dialogue is fast and fresh, the situational humor keeps the pages turning, and the characters are endearing. Family and forgiveness are huge themes here, and the author draws in the reader with humor and heart. A great read from one of my favorite authors. 5 sparkling stars and totally recommend for a fun, fast totally enjoyable read.” ~ Katie O’Sullivan
“This book was wonderfully written. Funny, heartwarming and a great ending. Colleen and her family made me want to visit the town of Heaven.” ~ GF2
Get your digital sale copy at these major sites/online stores:
Now here’s an unusual topic. I don’t think I’ve ever given consideration to this before. What do I read when I’m not feeling well.
If I use a little literary ( hahah PUN!) license, I can say that feeling well doesn’t necessarily have to mean sick, like I have the flu or a bad stomach cramps from overeating Milano cookies. In fact, the reason I ate the Milanos – because I was feeling depressed and sad – could be construed as feeling unwell.
I know…sometimes I surprise myself as well. ( hee hee)
When I’m feeling down, dejected, sad, or depressed, sometimes I don’t reach for the Milanos, I re-read a book instead. I really do, I just never realized it could be blog topic before!
In no order – either the depth of my “illness” or the love of the book, I re-read and have re-read these books several times during my lifetime.
NEW YORK TO DALLAS, JDRobb. I’ve mentioned this book so much on this blog that people are probably sick ( hahaha PUN) of it by now, but the book is not only a great futuristic procedural, it also has he best last 3 pages of any book I’ve ever read. Check out this blog post for what I mean: NYTD
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, Lauren Layne. I’ve read this four times since I discovered Lauren Layne. Whenever I’m feeling down in the dumps I reread it – even just a few chapters – because the story is so witty, urbane, and upbeat.
LITTLE WOMAN, Louisa May Alcott. growing up an only child of divorced parents I was lonely for siblings, sisters most of all. I must have read this book 15-20 times from the ages of 10-20. To this day it makes me feel joyous about family!
There are a few more, but I think I’ll leave it at these top three for now. Let’s see what the other authors in this challenge use as book-medicine. L&SR.
My lovely writing friend and WILD ROSE PRESS sistah, Mary Morgan, has another wonderful addition to her LEGENDS OF THE FENIAN WARRIOR SERIES, DESTINY OF A WARRIOR. Today, she’s here with 8 reasons why you should read this book ( and really, you should read ALL of her books, but that’s just my humble opinion.
Eight Reasons You Should Read Destiny of a Warrior
Fenian Warrior, Aidan Kerrigan is the perfect hero. He’s ancient and powerful—honorable and loyal to his people. At seven foot tall with eyes the color of lavender and silver, he conveys a charismatic charm that oozes with raw sexiness. Need I say more?
You get to explore ancient standing stones (think Stonehenge) and find out what some of the graffiti on the stones mean.
Not only are you able to wander inside a thirteenth century Scottish castle, but an even older one in Ireland.
I’m taking you inside the Pleasure Gardens within the Fae realm. Be forewarned and prepared. It’s extremely sensual.
You get to witness a favorite hobby of the Queen of the Fae.
As a member of the Society of the Thistle, Rose MacLaren will show you her secret agenda regarding the standing stones, and it doesn’t pertain to botanical study.
Discover what a Fenian Warrior likes to cook.
Celtic Mythology comes alive within the pages of this story, and when you’re done, you’ll feel transported into another world.
DESTINY OF A WARRIOR
“You met him in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their greatest legend!”
As leader of the Fenian Warriors, Aidan Kerrigan’s accolades are many and his loyalty to the Fae unwavering. When an unexpected mission sends him to the human world and a chance encounter with Rose MacLaren, he’s tempted for the first time in his existence to discard duty and claim what is forbidden.
Rose MacLaren, a Society of the Thistle member, yearns to expand her botanical knowledge with her love of history. After her rescue by a handsome stranger, she is compelled to look beyond what her rational mind comprehends and unravel the secret of the standing stones, as well as the man who captivates her.
In a mystical world ruled by ancient laws and edicts, can a fierce warrior choose a path destined for love? And will a woman honoring the ways of the land believe in a myth only spoken of in legends? If they do, will their love be enough to defy death’s punishment?
A chill of foreboding swept through him. In her short time of being among these standing stones, she’d obtained bits of knowledge no one else had come upon. “Continue,” he encouraged softly.
Hugging her notebook against her chest, she went to the tallest stone in the center. “These symbols and images on the back mirror the three centered on the slab. In addition, they are all the same as the other site outside of Glasgow.”
“They’re merely circles,” he admitted, keeping his voice steady. “The Celtic triskele symbol also decorates many other stone structures.”
Her brow furrowed in obvious concentration as she disappeared around the back of the stone.
Tossing the pinecone aside, Aidan stood. His instincts screamed at him to do something to prevent her from further inspecting the stone. Only he knew the significance. And he now understood why he was sent here. In all his travels, not one human had documented his time among them. Or so he believed. Upon his arrival, he longed to pulverize the stones to shards of dust after viewing the back. The altar stone had remained buried under moss, dirt, and ivy. The same was true with the tallest stone at its base.
He fought against extending his hand outward and sinking the area a thousand feet underground. Making quick strides to Rose, he came to an abrupt halt. Her face was ashen as she knelt behind the stone, sketching an entire scene on her notepad. One side mirrored the stones, but on the opposite page, her hand drew an epic vista.
The blood pounded inside his head, and he dared to draw in a breath. With each stroke of her hand, an image came to life and his greatest fear unfolded. Slowly, Aidan lifted his hand. The power built and traveled down his arm. He had to destroy the picture. Banish the past vision from her mind. Eradicate all knowledge of him. Seal the door to the past from the present.
The truth must never be revealed.
But when Rose lifted her gaze to meet his, Aidan’s heart stopped. For the first time in his life, he was torn between duty and his own personal need.
And get the entire Collection of the LEGENDS OF THE FENIAN WARRIORS here: Amazon
A little about Mary Morgan
Award-winning Celtic paranormal and fantasy romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return. Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. Inspired by her love for history and ancient Celtic mythology, her tales are filled with powerful warriors, brave women, magic, and romance. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling by writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.
If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.
Cooking with Kandy was my first book for Kensington/Lyrical Shine. Introducing the world to the life and family of cheflebrity Kandy Laine was fun. The fact this book spawned a few more in the series was an added bonus! Kandy is reluctant to have a bodyguard, and doesn’t feel any of the weird things occurring lately warrant one. Her family disagrees.
The heat between Kandy and Josh is palpable from the first time they meet. In this little snippet, Kandy is finally beginning to see what an asset Josh could be to have around – and in more ways than one.
He made his way to the other side of the room, ignoring the stares and whispers of the crowd, found the lounge, and knocked. “Kandy? It’s Josh. Can I come in?”
It was Gemma who answered. “Yes.” The sisters were seated in twin floral Queen Anne chairs, Gemma reclining back into hers, arms crossed over her chest. Kandy was opposite, head wrung in her hands.
“Cort thought you could use this,” he said, handing her the champagne flute.
He’d expected tears, but was surprised to see Kandy’s beautiful face pinch in a scowl, her eyes flaring with sweltering anger and venom when she looked up at him.
“Thanks.” Kandy took the drink and downed half of it in one gulp.
When she wiped her lips with the back of her hand, the corners of Gemma’s mouth lifted and she asked Josh, “What did you do to the turd?”
“Explained he needed to leave, put him in the elevator, and made sure he went down in it.”
“Made him how?” Kandy asked.
“Little persuasion trick I know. His wrist’s gonna be sore tomorrow. Maybe for the next few days.”
“You physically removed him?” Gemma asked. Josh almost laughed at the excitement in her voice.
“Yeah. He was going to follow Kandy if I didn’t.”
“Please tell me you have unmarried, available brothers at home,” Gemma said.
It hurt to keep the smile from his face, but he did. “Three, in fact.”
“Are they all like you? No, scratch that.” She sighed, the sound wistful.
“I doubt there’s anyone like you.”
“If you mean are they all workaholics and career-driven, then no. They’re not like me. But they are available.”
“I’ll keep it in mind.” She glanced at her sister and said, “Well, looks like my work here is done. She’s all yours now.” She stood and kissed the top of Kandy’s head. “Evan Chandler is an egotistical, phony prick. Remember that.”
“How could I forget it?” Kandy grabbed her sister’s hand and kissed the back of it. “Thanks.”
When Gemma left, Josh took her empty chair. “You okay?”
She took a deep breath before saying, “Mad, but okay. I underestimated him.”
“I didn’t think he’d have the guts to crash my party. I thought he was too much of a wimp to risk it after our last encounter. Guess I was wrong.” She stood and crossed to the vanity. Peering at her reflection, she ran a lazy hand through her hair, fluffing the curls. She caught his gaze, watching her, in the mirror. “Aren’t you going to ask me about it?”
He’d considered it. But the weary look in her eyes told him he was better off asking Stacy or Gemma.
“No. If you want to talk, I’ll listen. Otherwise, you’ve got a pretty fancy shindig going on out there.” He cocked his thumb in the direction of the ballroom. “Maybe you want to get back and enjoy it. Bask in the adulation,” he said with a good-natured grin.
She turned to him and her eyes softened. When her lips moved upward into a small, lazy smile, the dimples dancing, his legs went a little soft and he was thankful he was seated.
“Yeah,” she said, moving to him. When he stood, she linked her arm in his. “Thanks. You’re right. Let’s go have a party.”
He returned her smile, glad he could help. “You’re not so bad, Keane. This bodyguard thing might be fun after all.” It was a moment before he trusted himself to speak. “I aim to please.”
Intrigued? You can find COOKING WITH KANDY at these on-line retailers:
Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book
Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way-starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen-and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe-but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious…
Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe-and show her that a future together is on the menu…
This scene is a long one, but it shows how much the relationship between these 2 friends is strong and loving.
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?
She couldn’t read the expression in his eyes as he nodded, and turned to go. Moira felt an intense overwhelming emptiness engulf her when he left. 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.
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.”
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.
“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—”
“Experienced,” he said, the laugh in his voice quiet and seductive, “and things can be so much better.”
Intrigued? You can find a copy – where most of them are on sale even as I post this – here: