Tag Archives: Strong heroine

#1stKissFriday 4.26.19 A Shot At Love

Today’s first kiss comes from the second book in my WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES,  A SHOT AT LOVE. from Kensington/Lyrical. Gemma Laine is a fiercely independent – some would say snarly – woman who wants nothing to do with the silent, albeit, hunky FBI agent assigned to protect her. When their forced togetherness gets to be a little too much to handle, Gemma finally gives in to the temptation to know what Ky  tastes like.

I love an opposites attract romance and these two are as different as chalk from cheese.

He told himself it was because her voice broke on the last word that he moved toward her and pulled her into his arms. She looked so forlorn, all he wanted to do was comfort her, keep her from falling apart. The moment she slipped her hands around his waist and laid her head down on his chest he knew he’d told himself yet another lie.

He shouldn’t touch her. He knew it. But the need raging within him to offer whatever he could to this woman was beyond something he could fight.

“I can’t live like this,” she mumbled against his shirt. “This isn’t my life. I’m not the criminal, but I’m the one caged and cut off from the world. It’s not fair.”

Because he agreed, he whispered against her temple, “No, it isn’t.” The delicate aroma of cherries drifted up from her hair. Ky closed his eyes and rubbed his hands down her back. She felt like a piece of porcelain against his fingers, delicate and fragile, her skin smooth and soft wherever he rubbed. But he knew the strength under that velvet covering, the backbone forged in steel. In all the time they’d been forced together, from the initial attack in her apartment, to the gun spree at the safe house, she’d never cracked. Even now, when he’d expect any other woman to dissolve in tears or rant and rave at the situation, Gemma was angry more than anything else.

Well, he could deal with anger. He didn’t know what he’d do if she ever fell apart.

“I promise, we’ll get him.”

Gemma pulled her hands from around him and shifted back. Her gaze scrutinized his face, darting back and forth between his eyes, looking for what, he didn’t know. She seemed fascinated with his mouth all of a sudden, her attention focused on the lower part of his face.

Her tongue slipped out and fanned her bottom lip while she regarded him. Why hadn’t he noticed before how it was so much plumper than the top one? It glistened with the moisture her tongue had drawn across it. Ky tensed, every nerve in the lower part of his body firing with longing. He knew he shouldn’t, but the need to know what she tasted like was too powerful a temptation to defy.

Ky bent, just a fraction, as Gemma pushed upward toward him, their gazes locked.
With eyes wide open, his lips pressed against hers, gently, just a slow, thoughtful graze. He thought she’d push him away, verbally castigate him—or worse. But she didn’t. She leaned into the kiss. Soft and smooth and warm, the feel of her lips pulled him closer. He wanted more than just a simple taste he realized in that moment. He wanted to devour her.

A tiny sigh pushed from somewhere deep within her. Gemma slid her hands around his waist again, her lips exploring his—sampling, wanting.

He could feel her heart jackhammering against his chest, or was that his own pounding against her?

A quick swipe with his tongue and she opened for him, inviting him in, the warmth of her accepting response urging him on. He tasted spice and sugar, arousal and need all mixed together in a heady blend that had him reeling.

The hands at her back slipped down to cup her perfect ass, molding her to his body, showing her everything that was happening to him. He nipped at her mouth, skimmed his lips down her chin, across her jaw. He swallowed a chuckle when she palmed his head between her hands and dragged his lips back to hers, telling him what she wanted without words.

And he was happy to give it to her.

He felt her tug his shirt from his pants, the feel of her soft, strong hands on his bare flesh sending him into orbit. He hissed when she raked her nails across the small of his back and then slipped them under his waistband to hold on, grinding her body against him.

Her hot and impatient mouth never left his, her tongue caught around his own as she sucked it into her mouth. He pushed her back until she hit the counter and then snaked his knee between her legs. A whimper whistled from her lips when he ground his thigh against her heat and felt her pulsing response.

Ky snaked his hands up under her shirt, up her torso, sliding his thumbs across hard and pebbled nipples through her bra. Her breasts were heavy in his hands, filling them with each breath she took. While his tongue wound around hers pulling her deep into his mouth, he squeezed those perfect mounds of flesh and felt Gemma’s response when she double fisted his hair and tugged.

Every warning bell he possessed sounded and pinged in alarm, but he ignored them all. This is what he wanted. She was what he wanted.

It would be so easy to simply haul her up in his arms and to his room where he could help them both disappear into one another for a few hours. Just as the thought to do so bloomed, they were wrenched apart by the piercing shriek of the house alarm blasting through the air.

Intrigued? You can get your own copy here:

Amazon // Apple // Google // Kobo // Nook 

Goodreads Reviews for A SHOT AT LOVE

Want to read a preview? Click here.

Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .
Look for exclusive recipes in each book!  
 
Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .
 
With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .

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Filed under Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#1stKissFriday 4.19.19

This meme is so appropriate for today’s #1stkissfriday edition because it’s from COOKING WITH KANDY and it’s about… a kiss!!! Hee hee

COOKING WITH KANDY is my  first book in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series and introduces series “matriarch”  and cheflebrity Kandy Laine. When a private eye/bodyguard is hired to find out who’s stalking our favorite chef, sparks fly and love ensues, mixed in with a little eating, cooking, and romance. And guess what? The ebook is on sale now for just 99Cents for a limited time, so if you haven’t read it, now’s your chance!!

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. . .

“You’re gonna wash the floor? Now?” He glanced down at his watch.

It was almost midnight.

“I never leave off cleaning my kitchen after a big prep,” she said, filling the bucket with hot water from the sink.

“Here, let me do it,” he said, taking over. “You’ve been going since four thirty this morning. It’s time for bed, Kandy. Go get ready. You’ve had a full, exhausting a day.”

She wouldn’t give him the mop. “I’m doing this, Josh. It won’t take more than five, ten minutes, tops.”

“Your work ethic astounds me. I can’t decide if you’re just plain stubborn or obstinate, but you’ll be no good tomorrow if you’re overtired and have a house full of company to entertain. And you still have stuff to do in the morning.”

She didn’t budge.

“Kandy, it’s midnight. You need sleep. Rest. Now let me have the mop.” He put out his hand. She glared at it for a few beats and then ignored it, turning back to the sink to lift the bucket.

“No. You go to bed. I’m finishing this.”

“Look, I’m not playing around.”

“Of course you’re not. You’re just naturally bossy and domineering. Well, here’s a news flash, Joshua Keane,” she said, dropping the bucket back into the sink, water sloshing out the sides. “I’m a grown-up. I do want I want, when I want. And I want to wash my floor. Now. You go to bed.”

He couldn’t believe she was arguing with him over something so stupid. For that matter, he couldn’t believe he was contending with her. But something in her tone rattled him and, even though he knew it was childish, he refused to back down.

Arms crossed, legs braced in a stance of defiance, he said, “You know, I weigh double what you do. I can just take that mop out of your hands. It wouldn’t be hard at all.”

She turned back to him, the blue in her light eyes deepening. “Go ahead and try,” she challenged, one hand on her hip in a stance of rebellion, the other gripping the mop handle.

They were standing toe to toe, each unwilling to bend.

Josh’s hand snaked out to grab the mop and Kandy effortlessly slapped it away. Without missing a beat, his other hand wound around her back, yanking her full force against his chest, the mop between them.

Kandy’s cry of surprise spit from her as she stared, wide-eyed, up into his face.

They were so close he could see the pulse beating at her temple as he stared down at her.

“Don’t challenge me if you’re not prepared to meet the consequences,” he said, his voice low and blunt.

She stared up at him, a sneer just beginning to form on her lips. “You don’t scare me.”

In the span of a heartbeat his head came down to hers, while she craned her neck toward him.

When their lips met the argument died.

Damn it.

He knew she’d feel like this, taste like this.
Heaven. Pure and total heaven.
Josh snaked his hands down her back, delighting in every curve and crevice he touched, to settle on her sweet ass. He swallowed her gasp against his mouth and gripped her butt, grinding her against his immediate, rock-hard erection.

When he felt her, soft, warm, and plastered against his body, he echoed her groan with one of his own.

He’d dreamed it would feel like this with her. Hot and spicy, delectable and scrumptious, just like her cooking. Her mouth was made for kissing, full and lush, swollen with need and desire.

Josh wanted nothing more than to eat her whole.

Clenching her even tighter, his lips left the mouthwatering taste of hers to wander across her cheeks, down to her chin. His tongue tasted the hollow behind her ear, his lips gliding across the silky skin of her neck.

Like a man starved for a lifetime, he devoured her.
Kandy arched backward, giving him free access to all those regions, while clutching fistfuls of his hair in her strong hands.
His tongue laved at the exposed skin of her collarbone, trailed back up to the corner of her ear, and when he captured the small lobe in his mouth and sucked, felt Kandy shudder with such erotic violence against him, he almost dropped to his knees.

“Josh.”

He pulled back and stared down at her flushed and glowing face. Her eyes were closed, her lips parted, waiting for him to kiss her again.

She was, without doubt, the most beautiful, most desirable woman he’d ever seen.

She felt so good, so right, against him. As if they’d been created and carved for each other.

And he wanted her like he’d wanted nothing else in his life.
But he knew he couldn’t have her.
A cold fist of reality punched through his desire-drenched body. She needed him to protect her, not seduce her. The notion that she wanted him as much as he did her didn’t change that fact.

“Kandy. Open your eyes.”

When she did he almost lost the small amount of sanity he still possessed and took her right there, braced against the sink.

Her beautiful blue irises were transparent crystals filled with heat and longing. Josh swore he could see to her very core; he could have melted into them without thought. Her gaze raked down his face to his lips, and she pulled a hand from his hair and traced a delicate line in the dimple under his bottom lip, just above his jawline.

Josh’s abdominal muscles contracted. He grabbed her hand, placed a chaste kiss on the open palm, and watched her expression change from captivated to confused.

Intrigued? Remember, it’s on sale right now for just 99cents! You can order your own copy here: Amazon

and if you want to know a little more about what I write, you can connect with me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

And I can’t forget the OKRWA 2018 Award video

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#1stKissFriday 3.29.19

SHHHH! Don’t tell any of my other books that FIRST IMPRESSIONS is my favorite! This was my first – and to date only – book where the hero came to me fully formed and first, before my heroine. I lovelovelove Pat Cleary so much I can’t even begin to tell you. He’s a bit of a playa, but once he sets his sights – and his heart – on Clarissa Rogers, all bets are now and forever off.

Here’s a little about the book first:

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?

~~~

When she looked back to him, she could see a question in his eyes. “Pat?”

“Hear me out,” he said, putting his hands on her upper arms. Like a bolt of lightning striking, his touch zoomed all the way through her. “The kittens are too young right now to adopt. We need to get them hydrated, nourished and neutered. My guess is they’re about three weeks old. Four, tops. Without a mother to socialize them, they need extra care here first. Then they’ll need to be acclimated. This is where I’m hoping you’ll come in.” He removed his hands and stroked a finger down the cat’s neck.

“What do you mean?”

“When they’re ready to go, I’m hoping you’ll take this one to foster. You don’t need to adopt her, and I’m not asking you to. But we’ve found when animals are placed in good homes during developing periods, they adapt better when they’re adopted out. I can’t think of a better person to socialize and foster a kitten then you, Clarissa.”

Touched more than she could ever have thought to be by a statement with such thoughtfulness, Clarissa found herself tightening her hold on the kitten and loosening the grip on her heart.

Without a thought to what it would entail by having a new kitten in her life, the time consumption, the routine kitten messes she’d need to clean, Clarissa followed her heart and said, “Yes.”

Pat’s smile widened. “I was really hoping you’d agree.”

“How can I not?” She pulled the kitten to face level and planted a sweet kiss to its nose. Striking gray-blue eyes, peered at her from barely-opened lids. A tiny yowl burst from her and morphed into a wide, mouth- broadening yawn. The kitten shook its head back and forth a few times, its entire body going with the motion and then stretched its front and back paws wide. Clarissa laughed, looked up at Pat and her heart stopped. His pupils had dilated to the point where she could barely make out the ripe color in the irises. His mouth was slightly parted, and she could see his chest rising underneath his lab coat. With his fingers still scratching at the kitten’s neck, he bent his head toward her.

Every nerve in her body went on high alert. She knew he was going to kiss her and all she could think was: Yes, please.

With the kitten buffering their bodies, Pat brought his head down, stopping for the merest of moments to gaze across her face. She didn’t know what he was looking for, but whatever it was, must have pleased him because he put his lips to hers. It was the briefest of touches, his mouth sliding along hers in a gentle caress. His breath, moist and warm, drifted over her as he let it out. Neither closed their eyes, as if not to miss a moment of the encounter. On a whisper, he said her name. His hands rose up her arms, wound around her neck and rested on either side of her face. Cupping her cheeks, he rubbed her mouth with the pad of his thumb. Clarissa’s tongue grazed across it and his breath whistled out between his lips. In the next second his mouth came back to hers and took it again. This time there was no hesitation.

His fingers gently turned her head. With a tiny tug on her chin he swiped at her bottom lip with his tongue, waiting for her response. She needed no further request. Her own lips parted, and when his tongue entered her mouth she tilted her head backward giving him free access.

He tasted like nothing she’d ever tasted before. Spicy. Bold. Vibrant. His tongue pulled hers into his mouth as he expertly twined it with his own. If she hadn’t been leaning up against him, Clarissa knew she would have dropped to her knees from the jolt pounding through her at his touch.

His lips pressed against hers, the tantalizing way his fingers rubbed across her cheeks, the sound of his breathing as it grew more rapid and coarse when he deepened the kiss, was almost too much for her to wrap her analytical mind around.

So she didn’t. She simply kissed him back. With everything she had.

And the man knew how to kiss. Boy, did he know how. The thought shouldn’t have surprised her, given what she knew of his reputation.

His hands continued to hold her head in place, but when one of them dipped below her shoulders to trail down her back and settle above her waist, pulling her closer, she felt the kitten begin to squirm.

A hot blast of reality exploded in her head at the same time she heard the murmur of voices coming closer.

Pat must have heard them too because he pulled back and stared down at her. The confusion across his face came and went so fast she wasn’t even sure she’d seen it.

“Dr. Cleary?”

He tore his gaze from her and smiled when he turned to the younger man standing in the doorway.

“You guys get some food?” Pat asked. She was amazed his voice sounded as calm as it did. He moved from Clarissa and pulled another kitten from the box as she cuddled the now squirming one in her hands.

“We’re all set. Hi, Dr. Rogers.”

Intrigued? Here’s where you can get a copy:

Amazon // Apple // Google // Kobo // Nook 

Read a preview of FIRST IMPRESSIONS

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Filed under WIld Rose Press AUthor

#1stKissFriday 3.22.19

Today’s first kiss is between Moira Cleary and her lifetime best friend Quentin Stapleton from THERE’S NO PLACE LIFE HOME, the second book in my MacQuire Women series. Q has been in love with Moira since they were kids, but she’s been clueless. When he finally tells her how he feels, and kisses her UNLIKE a best friend, well, their love story really takes off.

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.

“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.”

Moira stared up into his eyes, warm and moist, shimmering under the subtle porch light. “Where is this coming from? You’ve never said anything like this, never acted like this, before. Ever.”

He took a breath and tucked her head against his shoulder, rubbing her back with both of his hands. His chest was made of granite, hard and solid and Moira felt so secure in his embrace. So comforted and so safe. If he never let go of her, she knew she wouldn’t mind in the least.

He didn’t speak for a few moments. Then, he pulled back, gazed down into her face and Moira didn’t need verbal answers to her questions. The look of blatant need and craving was so strongly etched in his eyes as he peered right through her, and for a moment, all she could do was stare, motionless. It was the same expression she’d seen on his face the night of her welcome home dinner. Then, she hadn’t known what to make of it. She couldn’t put a name to what she was seeing etched in his chiseled features.

Now, she knew.

He brought his lips to hers again in the gentlest of touches.

“I want you, Moira. More than I’ve ever wanted anyone or anything, in my entire life. I’ve always wanted you, from the time I knew what it meant.” He chuckled and added, “probably even before then. I haven’t gone a day in too long to count when I didn’t think of you and want you with me. There have been so many times the past few years when I’ve wanted to take an extended leave from the practice and go fly to wherever you were performing, just to see you. Obligations, though necessary, can be a bitch, and the time never allowed it. When Pat told me you were coming home, I thought, good. Finally. Home court advantage.” His lazy grin spread with the words.

“I never knew,” she said, tears springing up. “You never gave me any indication. All these years, you’ve never hinted at this. In any way. Why not?”

He shook his head. “I know. I didn’t know how you’d feel about it. We’ve been friends forever. I don’t have a childhood memory that doesn’t include you. We’re everything friends should be. But this is a different feeling, Moira, from friendship. So different.”

His voice broke on the last word as he claimed her mouth again, deepening the kiss instantly, and knocking her back emotionally.

“I won’t push you,” he said into her hair, kissing her temple. “You need to get used to the idea, I know. I don’t want anything to change between us.”

“How can it not?” she asked, the tears spilling over. “It changes everything, Quentin. You know it does.”

His thumb swiped softly at the drop of moisture cascading down her cheek.

“It doesn’t have to. We’re still us. We’re still the same. I won’t ever lose you as a friend, Moira. I can’t. You’re as much a part of my life as I am of yours. Our friendship will never change. It hasn’t in all these years you’ve been gone.”

Want to read more? Here’s where you can get your own copy of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

 

Buy Links: Amazon // Apple // Google // Kobo // Nook// 

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Read a preview of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

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Filed under MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

#SundaySnippet 1.27.19

It stands to reason since my #1stlineFriday was from THE VOICES OF ANGELS my Sunday Snippet should be as well, no? ( Hee hee!)

Here’s the blurb for Carly and Mike’s story:

Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

and now, a little sumthing’ sumthin’ from the book:

A sudden gust of spring wind swept Carly’s hair into her face. Mike stopped and brushed it back with his hands. He wound a curly tendril around his finger, marveling at its silky softness, its sheen. “I’ve wanted to do this since I saw you sitting in the window.”

Since she was tall, she almost mimicked his height. But not quite.
Locking his gaze with hers, he took her face between his hands and very slowly brought his head down. Her body tightened, her shoulders lifted and froze. Ignoring the response, his lips grazed across hers, tasting, testing, moving hurriedly. When his tongue parted her mouth and leisurely explored the hidden treasures within, she tilted her head back. As he deepened the kiss, taking his time, not rushing, just discovering, she finally relaxed against him.

Sweet. So sweet.

His mouth continued to move on its lazy course while his hands framed her face, the velvety softness of her skin a delight to touch. Ignoring the hammering sounds of the traffic around them, oblivious to the irritated pedestrians forced to maneuver around them to pass, he concentrated only on her.

With a steadied slowness warring with the quaking fighting within his system, he raised his head. Carly’s eyes were closed, her lips still parted. She took her time opening them, and then stared up at him through drowsy, languid confusion.

“Am I the only one who’s feeling something here?” His voice was a soft murmur over the loud hum of the city surrounding them.

“No,” she whispered. He saw the regret of her hasty reply a second later when she lowered her eyes.

“Good.” He smiled. “You just made my day.”

“Mike, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.”

“About what?”

Carly eased out of his embrace, shoved her hands into her jacket pockets and began walking again. Possessively, Mike snatched her arm back and circled it within his.

“I…” Carly began, then stopped. “Oh, hell. I’m not good with words in situations like this.”

His laugh came quick, charmed by her nerves. “Pretty pathetic declaration for a writer.”

Carly stuck out her bottom lip in a very alluring pout. He was tempted to stop and take her mouth with his again.

“Don’t mock me. When it’s on paper I can get it right. Real life has no re-writes, no editing.”

Granted.” The sunlight played with the alternating auburn and fire-red highlights in her hair as they began to walk again. He was convinced no color had ever been so alive.

Carly squared her shoulders. “I don’t want you to get the wrong impression about me. Concerning men.” When he didn’t comment, she continued. “It’s only, well…I haven’t been involved with anyone since my husband died. I’ve been busy with my daughter and my writing. I haven’t met anyone I’ve been interested in, I guess.”

“Until now.”

Carly turned to look at him. Irritation crossed in her narrowed eyes. “You’re pretty sure of yourself.”

“No,” he replied. “I’m more sure of you, though.”

“Excuse me?”

Mike laughed again. He stopped and cupped her cheeks. “You’re even more beautiful when you’re angry. Your left eyebrow arches ever so slightly and your eyes turn the most incredible forest green.” He kissed her and felt her pulse trip again under his fingers. “I would bet,” he said into her hair, breathing in the fresh fragrance of the shampoo she’d used, “no man since your husband has made your heart beat this fast, or your breath come in such spurts, as when I do this.” He lowered his head to kiss her again.

When she arched her back, Mike’s hands did a slow slide downward, coming to rest on the dip under her waist.

“Tell me I’m wrong,” he commanded, his voice charged with challenge.

“You are.”

“You’re a liar, Carly Lennox.” Before she could refute him, he continued, “You’re breathing is way too fast, and your eyes are unfocused. But for now I’m willing to back off. I know we’ll be together. I’m certain of it.”

“Why you arrogant, egotistical—I said you were nice. Ha!” She turned on her heel and started to walk away. His vise-like grip on her arm stopped her short. Mike spun her around, drew her to his chest, and his mouth crushed down to hers in a kiss neither patient, nor tender. It bespoke all the raw desire and hunger churning inside him.

Her resolve began to slip under his hands as she relaxed against him again. He knew she didn’t want to respond, but seemed to have no power to pull away, as he had no power to stop the craving for her firing within him. Instead, she moved closer, molding her body to his and winding her arms up and around his neck. Through her light spring jacket he could feel the softness of her body, the desire vibrating through it as her kiss answered his, meeting it measure for measure. Mike pulled her deeper, immersing them in a contest of shared longing.

A blast of sanity blew through his mind when a car horn blared close to them. He clamped down on his rising desire, and eased his hold, releasing her. Carly lowered her head and, once again, avoided his eyes.

Mike’s hand gently cupped her chin and lifted her face back to his. Through eyes narrowed to slits, he said, “Okay, that kiss was a little crude, I’ll admit. As a rule I’m not so-”

Peggy here – want to find out the rest? Here are the buy links:

amazon // wild rose press // kobo // barnes and noble // google books // walmart // books-a-million

and just for you, THE VOICES OF ANGELS is also available on audio here: Audible

Lastly, if you’re looking for me you know I can always be found hereabouts:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

 

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#BookPromo Calling all #bookbloggers and #bookreviewers.

I’m so excited! Starting next week on March 19th, I start my next Goddess Fish Blog tour for my upcoming Lyrical/Shine release of CAN’T STAND THE HEAT, book 3 in the WIll Cook For Love series. I still have some dates open for any bloggers who would be willing to host me. If you’re a Goddess Fish Tour Guide, please contact them via the website and see if any of my open dates work for you. I’ll be awarding a $50 Amazon GC and a $25 Amazon Gc at the end of the tour to qualifying bloggers and readers.

Here’s a little about the book to help whet your appetite and decision making process!

With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . .
 
Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them . . .

Excerpt:

When Dan Roth caught her eye and grinned widely behind his costar’s back, Stacy lowered her head and bit down on the inside of her lip. If she hadn’t been looking down she would have noticed Nikko stop. But she hadn’t been looking where she was going and, subsequently, barreled right into him.

She would have ricocheted back and fallen from connecting with the solid wall of his chest as she hit if he hadn’t thrust his hands forward and grabbed her upper arms to prevent it.

Like a blast from a stun gun—quick, sharp and penetrating—she felt the heat of his touch burn through her blouse and sear straight through her skin.

Numbed, she dropped her tablet, her hands incapable of holding onto it. They splayed, open palmed, and sought purchase by grasping his elbows and clutching.

“Steady,” he commanded.

Stacy felt anything but. Words wouldn’t form correctly in her mind. All logical, rational thought had flown the moment the warmth of his hands seeped through the fabric of her blouse. It was as if she’d walked into an oven, the temperature set to broil.

His long fingers squeezed once, twice, then tugged her in closer.

Stacy couldn’t decide which was more intense: the heat in his eyes or the natural warmth radiating from his body.

“I’m—I’m sorry. I didn’t…I wasn’t…I—Sorry.” She tried to pull from his grasp, but he wouldn’t let go.

As earlier when she’d caught him staring at her, she once again felt the mesmerizing pull of his gaze and was powerless to look away.

And for some inexplicable reason found she didn’t want to.

The little shards of amber floating among the cognac color of his irises were lighter and brighter than she remembered. They looked like a wolf’s eyes, and, just like a wolf, their stare was predatory, alpha, and hypnotic.

“Nikko? We’ll all set to start up again,” Todd called from the doorway of the production trailer.

Without looking away from her, he called back, “Be right in.” He still hadn’t let go of her arms.

From deep down, as deep as she could reach, Stacy grappled for calm. She watched him watch her while she took a solid, full breath in, then relaxed it out.

“I’m sorry,” she said when she trusted her voice wouldn’t betray her again. “I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.”

She shifted back, away from him, but he kept his hands around her.

This close she could read the exhaustion floating in his eyes and his determination to ignore it.

This close she could see the fine, subtle lines fanning out from the corners of his eyes as he narrowed them at her.

This close she could reach out and smooth the corrugations grooving down from his mouth to his rock solid jaw. That she wanted to do just that, to offer him any comfort she could, to soothe the pain he tried so valiantly to keep hidden, stunned her beyond all thought.

Nikko Stamp was not a man who would ever tolerate being comforted or coddled.

Why, then, did she think it was exactly what he needed?

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