Friday, November 17, 2017

Mail Mishaps

Giveaway of Beauty and Books prize pack!

Mail mishaps. We’ve all had them. Items that arrive damaged, boxes that have been opened by someone else…or mail that doesn’t turn up at all.

The idea for Trouble Next Door started with a single thought: what if you ordered something online that you didn’t want anyone to see and it accidentally went to the wrong address? In the case of this story it’s a box of adult toys.

Totally embarrassing, right? I know, we authors are so mean to our characters. It’s one of the perks of the job. This scene takes place right after McKenna discovers that she accidentally typed the wrong address for her order and that the parcel has not only been delivered to her apartment building, but that it’s been picked up by the guy who lives in the apartment she accidentally sent the box to. She has no choice but to go to his front door, red-faced, and hope that he hasn’t opened it.

But what would be too easy, wouldn’t it? Here’s Beckett and McKenna right after she realizes that he has opened “the box of shame” as she comes to call it…

“Oh God.” McKenna dropped her head into her hands. “Can this day get any worse?”
How could she possible have had her box of sex toys delivered to the wrong address?
She forced herself to lower her hands and make eye contact. Now was not the time to regress to toddler-style denial. Did he have to be so good looking? That really was making it much harder.
Beckett towered over her and he was built like an athlete. Strong and solid, lean.  He had wavy dark blond hair that was cut short and neat, the hint of stubble just breaking through along his jaw.
He looked like someone her mother would have picked out for, and yet her body never failed to sing when he was around. And no church hymns, either. Oh no.
Right now they were singing some Marvin Gaye-level shit.
“I’m not judging you,” he said. His expression was difficult to read, but it didn’t sound like he was lying.
“You can, it’s a pretty ridiculous scenario.” Her gaze darted to where her package sat on his expensive-looking dining table. The corner of a pink sex toy box poked out of the top. “Have a laugh when your girlfriend gets home. I promise, I won’t be offended.”
“That won’t happen.” He shook his head, a crease forming between his brows.
McKenna snorted. “You’re a better person than me, then.”
“I meant that she won’t be coming home.”
“Oh.” She wasn’t sure what else to say, but Beckett was staring at her as though he expected something. A reaction, or maybe some solidarity. “Uh, is it permanent?”
He shook his head, looking every bit the picture of male bewilderment. “Who the hell knows?”
“If it makes you feel any better, I just got dumped, too.” She jerked her head toward the box. “Hence the toys.”
Beckett’s brows creased and it looked as though he was about to lecture her. God, how did the man manage to look sexier than sin while wearing an expression better suited to an angry school principal?
Clearly your ex screwed with your head so much you no longer know what or who you’re attracted to.


McKenna Prescott is the queen of picking the wrong men. When her latest boyfriend dumps her, she decides to devote her time to “exploring herself” (read: drinking wine and ordering sex toys online) and starting her freelance makeup business. That is, until an embarrassing delivery mix-up puts her sexy, gruff neighbor in her path…

Beckett Walsh is married to his job…which is a deal-breaker for the woman he’s supposed to be marrying. Even worse, his would-be father-in-law has pulled support from Beckett’s startup and now Beckett stands to lose everything. But the gorgeous, crazy makeup artist from down the hall has an equally crazy but mutually beneficial idea: if he convinces his sister to hire McKenna for her high-society wedding, McKenna will teach him about what women want so he can get his fiancĂ©e back.

All he has to do is make sure he doesn’t fall for the wrong girl.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How Do You Take Your Coffee?

With: Kadie Scott

Congratulations to "Bn100" and "Breanna P.", the winners in Kadie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I can’t drink a lot of coffee because basically my coffee is dessert given the amount of sugar I put in it. That means I’m not a coffee aficionado. However, Max Carter, the hero in my new release, is a tad bit obsessed with coffee. Not only that, but he’s OCD, and therefore particular about his coffee.

So, I had to research my coffee, including how to make the best coffee you can. Here’s what I learned…

1. Pick the Right Bean for You

Different types of beans have different flavors to them. According to Consumer Reports 
.        Light Roast – light brown bean, more sour taste
       Medium Roast – medium brown bean, brighter with undertones like floral, fruity, berry, etc.
·       Dark Roast – darker bean with some oil on the surface, a more bittersweet aftertaste and undertones of caramel, nuts, or baked goods
·       Darker Roasts – shiny black beans, anything from slightly dark to extremely charred

2. Consider the Bean Source

Do your research and look at both the region and the source (grower) of the bean. Regions famous for their coffee include:
  ·       Columbian
  ·       Sumatran
  ·       Kona
  ·       Kenyan

3. Keep It Cool

Store your coffee in a dark, cool location away from the oven. Don't pick a cabinet on an outside wall if it gets a lot of sun during the day.

4. Store It Right

Invest in an airtight ceramic, glass, or non-reactive metal container. If you buy coffee in large amounts, divide it between two containers, keeping the larger, unused portion airtight until it is needed.

5. Purchase Smaller Amounts

Coffee beans, like everything else, can go stale or lose its freshness. Buy coffee in amounts that last approximately 2 weeks for optimal freshness.

6. Freshly Ground

Don’t buy already ground coffee. And don’t grind it all at once. According to Consumer Reports, the best coffee his freshly ground before brewing.

7. The Right Temperature 

Finally, when brewing your coffee, make sure you (or the coffee maker) each 195 degree to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. The best temperature in that range differs by bean type.

Picky enough for you? Poor Max in The Attraction Equation must somehow manage to order his optimal cup of coffee from a (heaven forbid) an outdoor coffee cart while not coming off like a total diva. Good thing he can be charming when he wants!
Personally, I’ve never paid much attention to the details. I drink my coffee as a latte with...wait for it…a pump of caramel, a pump of vanilla, and a pump of white chocolate. (Yes. It’s basically coffee flavored sugar.)
How do you take your coffee?

To read about how Max deals with is persnickety coffee order, read The Attraction Equation now! This #HolidayRomance is a standalone book.

The Attraction Equation 


She’s the exception to his every rule…

AttractionEquation_500 FBI agent Max Carter lives his life by a strict set of rules—rules that don’t allow for distraction, deviation…or a relationship. But tell that to his matchmaking mama. To avoid yet another set-up, he announces he has a girlfriend. And now has to produce said girlfriend at Christmas dinner. Maybe Santa has a suitable actress in that red bag of his…

Gina Castillo is about to break her building’s iron-clad “no pets” policy to give her little brother the perfect Christmas gift—a dog. Too bad Max, the most inconveniently sexy tenant in the building, catches her red handed. Gina expects to be evicted, but instead finds herself blackmailed into playing the role of his girlfriend.

Two lies plus one dog should equal a hot mess of a holiday, but attraction and Christmas magic might just defy the rules…

About Kadie Scott:
Award-winning contemporary romance author, Kadie Scott, grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. She attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by earning a degree in English Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.

No matter the genre, she loves to write witty, feisty heroines, sexy heroes who deserve them, and a cast of lovable characters to surround them (and maybe get their own stories). She currently resides in Austin, Texas, with her own personal hero, her husband, and their two children, who are growing up way too fast.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

My Top Five Second Chance Romances

With: RC Boldt

Congratulations to "Ami S.", the winner in RC's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

My November release, He Loves Me…KNOT, is the story of Emma Jane Haywood who skips out on her own wedding only to discover, eight years later, her new boss is none other than her former fiancĂ© at the altar. Since this is a second chance romance, I thought I’d revisit my all-time favorite books which are also the same trope.

My Top Five Second Chance Romances:

·       The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks
·       The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg
·       Jilted by Sawyer Bennett
·       Love Story by Lauren Layne
·       Wild Card by Lora Leigh

My favorite part about second chance romances is the angst the reader feels, the way we cross our fingers and toes in hopes that the characters will be able to mend their differences, to heal their emotional wounds, and move on to finally—FINALLY—gain their own happily ever after. I love the continuous push and pull, the tumultuous and conflicting emotions the characters often feel in books like these. In He Loves Me…KNOT, both Emma Jane and Knox experience this ten-fold as they acclimate to their lives intertwining once again, with unfinished business hovering amidst them.


Sometimes love needs a second chance…

I never looked back after skipping out on my own wedding, even if it did leave me estranged from most of my family. Eight years later, I have the life I’ve always wanted. As an advertising account executive, my world is damn near perfect.

Until I come face-to-face with my past. With the man I once loved. The man who holds my future in his hands. The man who’s hell-bent on getting even with me for leaving him at the altar.

Even with all the unfinished business between us, I still love Knox Montgomery. The only problem?

He loves me…KNOT.

Buy Now: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

About RC Boldt:
RC Boldt currently lives on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing karaoke. If you're in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can't recall the lyrics to a particular 80's song, or just need to hang around a nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she's your girl.

Follow RC:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter |

RC will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card along with an ebook from her backlist to one lucky reader leaving a comment or email entry!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 14th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. US residents ONLY.

Friday, November 10, 2017


With: Roni Loren

Congratulations to "Laura H.", the winner in Roni's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

It's been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she'd never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…

Liv's words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she'd known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence.

She bit her lip. Of course with his authoritative tone, her mind put him in a uniform and some aviators. She’d never had a particular fetish for men in uniform, especially after her own run-in with the police. But the thought of Finn wearing one and manhandling her a bit had her reconsidering. She would definitely get out of the vehicle. Maybe even let him cuff her. And as inappropriate as the thought was, considering the circumstances, it was a welcome respite from her nightmare. She cleared her throat. “I think you pull it off just fine.”
His dimple appeared beneath the stubble. “You’re blushing, Arias.”
“I am not.” She tipped up her chin. “I’m just…still flushed from all the adrenaline.”
“Uh-huh. Or you’ve got a secret cop fetish.”
“Stop flirting.” She pointed a finger at him.
“Am I flirting?” he asked innocently.
“Yes. And that’s not allowed. You yourself said that kiss was a mistake. So don’t come prancing around here half-dressed with your Batman abs and talking about where to put my hands. No one likes a tease, Dorsey.”
His grin turned roguish. “I said that kiss was a mistake, not a regret.”
“And Batman abs?” He grabbed the lapels of the robe like he was going to open it and check. “These old things?”
She stretched out her leg and kicked his thigh. “Stop it. You’re terrible.”
He lifted his palms in surrender and laughed. “At least you’re smiling now.”
“Yeah, well, there’s that.”
It seemed even after all the years had passed, Finn still had the ability to get her mind off things. When her mom was going through chemo and everything was doom and gloom at home, Finn could somehow figure out ways not just to make her laugh, but to do so in a way that didn’t make her feel guilty for feeling a moment of happiness.
She leaned forward, bracing herself on one hand, and planted a kiss on his cheek. “Thank you.”
“For what?”
She looked up, meeting his gaze, and realized how close she still was. Close enough to see the flecks of gray in his green eyes, close enough to kiss him. She wet her lips. “Being you. I’ve missed that guy.”
His Adam’s apple bobbed, his gaze flicking to her mouth before sliding upward again. Her heart picked up speed, and his hand closed around her upper arm. “Liv…”
“I…” Whatever she was going to say died on her lips because the way he was looking at her made her forget her words. There was want there in those green depths—lust—but there was something else. Something that made her breath stall. Need mixed with something more dangerous. A wildness.
A curl of heat went up her spine, twining with unease. So much of her wanted to give into it, to see what exactly was simmering there between them. Just grab him and say to hell with it all and make the sheets even sweatier than they already were. But as much as he was drawing her in with that look, he was also warning her off. She didn’t know how she got that sense, but it was there, loud and clear. Push me away. Run. He wanted her to stop this.
He’d told her outside what he had to offer—nothing but a one night stand. And though right now that sounded all kinds of enticing, she wasn’t going to go there. He didn’t want this. Plus, even sober, it would be too close to how she’d handled her anxiety in college. She didn’t need to chase away her nightmare with a hook-up she’d regret in the morning. She wasn’t that girl anymore.
“Finn.” The word was strained.
She swallowed past the dryness in her throat. “We should get my stuff moved. It’s late.”
He stared at her for a moment and then his grip on her arm softened, his breath tickled her hair. “Right. Of course.”
He released her and she climbed off the bed with shaky limbs. She wouldn’t let herself look at him. She needed a task—something, anything, to get her mind off the man sitting on her bed. She packed up in record time, and Finn retrieved his gun from the drawer, tucking it in the pocket of the robe. No words were exchanged. When she was done gathering her things, he helped her roll her bag down the hallway to his room.
He let her inside and quickly rounded up his own stuff. He moved with quiet efficiency, awkwardness creeping into the silence between them and spreading into every corner of the room.
She leaned against the dresser, watching him, hating the growing divide. “Hey, Finn.”
He looked up, his hands full of computer wires.
“I know the kiss was a mistake and things have gotten a little weird and a lot personal tonight. But this—you and I having some time to talk—it was good. I think that’s what I missed the most when everything happened. Losing you as a friend.”
His stance relaxed. “Yeah?”
She crossed her arms and shrugged. “Yeah. We were good at the kissing, but we were better at the talking. I never had to fake stuff with you.”
His eyebrow arched.
She laughed. “That’s not what I mean, Mr. Mind-In-the-Gutter. I mean that things were easy between us. That’s hard to find with people. I’m realizing that now. I don’t…have that.”
He tucked the computer cords in his bag and straightened, his watchful gaze making her fidgety.
 “And that’s not your problem, obviously.” She was rambling now but couldn’t bring herself to stop. “But I opened that stupid time capsule tonight and got to see a big long list of things I wanted to accomplish in life and haven’t. I was supposed to this. I was supposed to that.” She rolled her eyes. “I’m going to name my freaking autobiography Supposed To by Olivia Arias.”
He frowned. “Liv.”
She shook her head. “It’s fine. It is what it is. But all I’m saying is that I don’t want another regret added to the list. So I just thought you should know that you meant—mean—something to me. And maybe you could give a flying flip about me. I have no clue what your life looks like now, but I would rather not leave Long Acre later today and go back to being strangers. Because people you don’t have to fake it for are hard to find. So…yeah, that’s all I wanted to say. I’d like us to stay in touch.”
The corners of his mouth twitched. “That’s all you had to say?”
“Hey, I’m a photographer not an editor.”
“I thought you were a web designer.”
Her lips parted, closed.
He smiled. “Maybe you’re already making more changes than you think.”
She let out a breath. “Maybe I’m just tired.”
Finn stepped around the bed and held out his hand. “Give me your phone.”
She was confused for a second, her brain running on too much adrenaline and too little sleep, but eventually his request registered. She reached into her bag to pull out her cell.
He took it from her and typed a few things and then handed it back to her. “You can always call me, Liv. For anything.”
She took her phone back, her hope sinking a bit. “Right. Thanks.”
He kissed the top of her head and then grabbed his stuff. “I’m going to get out of your way so you can shower and rest. If you need anything before breakfast, give me holler.”
He stepped out into the hallway without a backward glance and headed to the room they’d left, obviously more than a little eager to get the hell away from her. She didn’t blame him. She’d apparently become the queen of awkward conversation tonight.
With a sigh, she locked her door and made her way over to the bed and collapsed onto it. Spent. Exhausted. And a little frustrated.
Finn had taken her words like she wanted someone to call when she needed help, but she wasn’t in the market for a therapist or a savior. She was in the market for a friend.
But maybe she was grasping for something that didn’t exist with Finn anymore. Maybe she was just being nostalgic. They weren’t in high school. They didn’t live in the same place. They couldn’t just hang out. The time for that had past. She needed to be okay with that.
If he wasn’t interested in keeping in touch, she wasn’t going to chase him.
She checked the time on her phone to see how many hours she needed to kill before breakfast. But instead of seeing the time, she saw the address book entry Finn had made.
His phone number.
Filed under Batman.
And a note beneath: You will never be a stranger to me.

Roni will be giving away a signed copy of THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 11th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. US residents ONLY.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Where in the world do you find love?

Giveaway Alert!

The title of this post probably makes it sound like a plug for a dating service. And that would be a great topic for a future post!  But in this one, I’m talking about the types of settings we love to read about when we pick up a romance novel.

 “Where” we find love between the covers…book covers!…can be based on a real location or a fictional locale. Sometimes these books are set on a grand scale. You know what I mean—the tales that draw us into a sweeping setting, such as all of Europe, the expanse of the Pacific Ocean, or the realm of the British Empire. 

 But setting doesn’t have to be large-scale. Stories can also unfold in a single location so important, it takes on the role of a character in the book. Think of a hospital in a medical romance… A ranch in a Western romance... A safe house in a romantic suspense... 

 Whatever the hero and heroine’s story “world,” it’s a place where they find each other and, eventually, fall in love. A place we fall in love with and, often, want to return to again and again. 

 This is very clear in One Week to Win Her Boss, the next book in my Snowflake Valley series. The book releases next week, and to celebrate, I'm giving away some gifts! More on that below. Meanwhile, the following blurb from the cover of the book will—I hope—give you an idea of the story world: 


Single mom Amber Barnett loves family, kids, Christmas…and unfortunately, her boss, confirmed bachelor Michael DeFranco. It's a crush she really needs to get over. Except, when she’s temporarily forced from her apartment, her only option is to stay at Michael’s private ski lodge, where she's the housekeeper. No problem. Her handsome boss rarely visits Snowflake Valley unexpectedly, plus he’s spending the holidays with his family. Or so she thinks… 

  A stormy Christmas Eve reunion leaves Michael seeking the solitude of his lodge, where he finds Amber in residence—and in trouble. Attempting to save her from her matchmaking family, he announces they’re a couple. His good deed backfires when they’re instantly included in each and every holiday event in town. So much for solitude.  

  Only the more time he spends with the beautiful, cheery brunette, the more he yearns to make things real between them. But he and Amber want different things, and Michael could never be the family man she's looking for.

In the case of One Week to Win Her Boss, the characters’ story world is the entire town of Snowflake Valley, Nevada. As I’m currently working on book three of the series, I’ve spent quite a bit of time there. And I’ve come to love it. 

 It’s the specific details of a setting that makes it come alive for us. Those can range from the building-by-building outline of a college campus to the color of the napkins and placemats in a small-town teashop. 

 What makes the difference is not just how the setting is described but who is relating that description. Those napkins in that teashop will mean different things to the newly widowed heroine trying to save her failing business versus the biker dude who just breezed into the dry town and is being served oolong-what?!? instead of the Jack Daniels he’s craving. 

 I hope the excerpt below gives you an idea of why filtering the setting through the eyes of a character can be so important. Quick note:  We’re seeing this scene through the hero’s point of view. 

 Amber touched the medallion hanging from its ribbon. 

 Why she’d done that, he couldn’t tell. Maybe he didn’t want to know. But the action reminded him of his promise. And gave him something to do besides worry about keeping his hands to himself. “What do you say? Everybody ready for dessert?” 

 “Sounds good to me,” Nick agreed. “Those marshmallows over the campfire only whet my appetite for something sweet.” 

  The way Amber whets mine. 

 She was his something sweet. 

 Too sweet. Too hurt. Too surrounded by family. 

 “Let’s go, then,” she said. “There will be a waiting line at the Candy Cane.” 

 Amber had told him the businesses on Icicle Lane stayed open later than usual this time of year, taking advantage of the additional tourists here for the festival. Night had fallen a long while ago, but the area was as bright as day. Strings of colored lights arced across the street between the posts. Wavy rectangles of light shining through store windows and doorways made the sidewalks look like rivers of gold. 

 He shook his head. 

 She glanced up. “What’s wrong?” she asked quietly under the noise of the conversations around them.  

“Nothing. I was just thinking everything seems…” He laughed sheepishly, then finished, “…magical, I guess. Must be why you like it so much.” 

 He heard her sharp intake of breath. As if to cover the reaction, she opened her eyes and mouth wide in exaggerated surprise. “Oh, my. Is that really you talking, Scrooge? Can it be you’re beginning to mellow?” 

 “I didn’t say I liked the place,” he protested, laughing again. 

 “Ah…but that’s the thing about Snowflake Valley. It’s not just a place, it’s a feeling.” 

 Ah… Well…yes. Snowflake Valley is a “feeling.” But Amber feels very differently than Michael does about the town she loves. About the holidays and family and marriage. And that’s just where the trouble begins for these two. 

 From tiny town to an entire continent, what’s your favorite setting for a romance novel? I’d love to know. Meanwhile, if you're on Goodreads, the Countdown Widget above has a link to add the book to your shelf. And don't forget to check below, where you'll find info about the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Amazon Australia Amazon UK 
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About the Author: 
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too! Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life:

Find Barbara online: 
Amazon author page Harlequin author page 
Entangled author page Bookbub author page 

 And don't forget to enter her Rafflecopter! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 6, 2017


Congratulations to "Bn100", the winner in Cecy's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

ETERNAL: A Carolina Beach Novel by Cecy Robson, tells the story of what happens when all is lost and then you find the one. Neither Luci nor Landon planned on each other, and they definitely didn’t plan on love in this New Year’s Eve, one-night stand romance. Fans of FLIRTING WITH FIRE by Kate Meader and HOT SHOT by Kristen Callihan won’t be able to put down this emotional and heartfelt read.

Eternal: A Carolina Beach Novel

After months of bad luck and even worse men, Luciana Diaz just wants to crawl under the covers and forget the year ever happened. Her friend has other plans, convincing Luci to attend a New Year’s Eve party on the affluent shores of Kiawah Island.

Luci never expected to have fun. She also never expected to wake up next to a man she just met, or for this man to be the new attorney at her firm.

Landon Summers is done with drama. After an ugly separation and even worse divorce, he has no desire to jump into another relationship.

When his sister Trinity drags him to a New Year’s Eve party, he doesn’t plan to stay long. One drink, a few hellos, and he’s out. Until he meets Luci, the first person in months to draw his smile and incite his passion.

Neither Luci nor Landon planned on each other, and they definitely didn’t plan on love. But the New Year means a fresh start, and eternal possibilities neither could deny…

Add to Goodreads:
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ETERNAL Excerpt #2
Copyright © 2017 Cecy Robson

That smile that faded in Blythe’s presence returns. I ease my way out of the bathroom and return to the kitchen, but Landon is gone. So is my purse and our drinks.
My heart falls to my belly, only for it to quicken when a hand presses tenderly against the small of my back. “Are you hungry?” Landon asks. He motions to the corner where a set of heavy curtains sway in the breeze. “I figured with all that we’re drinking, we should get something to eat.”
“That would be lovely,” I say, realizing how much I mean it.
He passes me my clutch and leads me forward, a server slips out from behind a curtain with an empty tray, nodding Landon’s way. As he passes, Landon slips something into his palm. “Thank you, sir,” the young man tells him.
Landon smiles when I look up at him. “After you,” he says.
He parts the curtain, allowing me into a small terrace surrounded by tall glass dividers that repels the wind and allows a magnificent view of the ocean. There’s not much room, the space only large enough for a rectangular fire pit radiating with turquoise glass and a small table with two chairs. To our right people laugh from a larger more open terrace a level down. They can’t see us well, and I don’t really care to see them.
Our beers are placed beside two empty plates, along with two unopened bottles of water. At the center, there’s a large plate filled with food. “Becca likes to eat breakfast out here when she’s home. But she’s not using it and I didn’t want to waste the view.”
“It’s amazing,” I say, taking in the splendor.
I didn’t expect to see the ocean this far into the shore, especially at night. But with moon as bright and as low as it is, its light spills across the waves, illuminating the water and casting a glow along the sand.
Landon pulls out my chair. “I wasn’t sure what you liked, so I asked the staff to bring a little of everything.” He pauses. “You’re not one of those crazy vegans are you?” I laugh. “If you are, I can ask them for some of that crazy vegan food you people like to eat.”
“My people like everything,” I assure him, watching him take a seat in front of me.
“Good,” he says. “So do good ol’ Southern boys.”
We spend an outrageous amount of time talking, and even more simply gazing at each other, smiling softly when the words don’t quite come, and laughing when they finally do.
It’s only when Rihanna’s Love on the Brain begins to play that Landon tears his attention away from me and back in the direction of the party. “Don’t you hate it when everyone is dancing, and you have no one to dance with?” he asks.
I glance down, playing with the fabric of my skirt. “I think it’s worse when the wrong person asks you, and you’ve been waiting for the right one.”
“Oh, yeah?” He grins when I nod. “I suppose I should ask you, before the wrong person gets his chance.”
He doesn’t really ask. He doesn’t need to. I place my hand in his when he opens his palm.
He pulls me up and into him, wrapping his arms securely around my waist as mine circle his neck. He smiles as he looks down and meets my eyes. I return it, losing myself in his stare.
We move to the beat as if we’ve danced a hundred times, despite what I’m feeling is a slew of firsts.
The first time his hard body presses against mine.
The first whisper of his breath against my skin.
The first touch that has no inkling of innocence.
And the first stroke of desire.
His hands slide to my hips as the bass pounds deeper, craving more. “It’s almost midnight,” he rasps against my bare shoulder.
I shudder as his lips graze over my skin, not quite touching, trailing lightly just enough to tease. “Almost,” I agree.
The allure in his voice robs me of air. “I didn’t plan on having anyone to kiss.”
I almost reply, but the way Landon’s mouth hovers over the sweep of my neck keeps me silent, as does the way he draws an invisible line to my ear with his lips.
My heart thuds mercilessly as I wait for his next words. 
“But I guess I didn’t plan on you either,” he murmurs, each word softly tortured.
His mouth feathers over mine as the song ends and the countdown to New Year’s begins, opening and closing tentatively, giving me a chance to pull away.
I don’t. I can’t. Not with how good he feels and not with the way his body curls protectively around me.
Urgent voices and anxious steps echo from inside as people rush to find partners to kiss as the countdown reaches ten.
Landon and I aren’t waiting. His tongue dives deep, prodding me possessively and taking me deep.
He grips my hips tighter, pulling me closer, turning the sweet, tentative kiss passionate and daring.
I’m no longer simply kissing him, I’m moaning.
And I’m not alone.
A rumble builds in his throat, ending in a long, dragged out groan.
My body trembles with need, responding and following the rough caress of his palms along my spine.
The clock strikes twelve, people are cheering, bottles of champagne are exploding, and the ocean waves crash harder against the shore. I barely hear them. I only see Landon as he pulls away, his breaths labored like mine, his intensity welding me in place.

About Cecy Robson
CECY ROBSON is an author of contemporary romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double RITA® 2016 finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, and a published author of more than eighteen titles, you can typically find her on her laptop writing her stories or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

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Cecy will be giving away a digital copy of Book 1 in the series, INSEVERABLE to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 6th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. US residents ONLY.

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