I apologize for being missing for the past month. My hubby and I were traveling around Florida and Georgia, visiting friends and family, and escaping the cold that hung around western New York since last November. If I’d been more organized, I would have scheduled posts ahead of time, but then, I’ve never claimed to be organized.
I’ve also been busy working on edits for my September Samhain release, The Cottage Next Door. It’s not smutty in the least, but emotional and romantic, but of course, there’s sex because realistically, grown-up relationships usually include sex.
Because I’m sure that, like me, our readers like some variety in their reading and love romances of all kinds, I’m giving you the first peek at this second-chance-at-love beach romance:
Sylvie waited on the deck while Hunter let Riley into his cottage and got him some water. She felt lighthearted and scared to death at the same time.
Maybe it would have been easier to jump his bones last night in the dark. They could have said they were overcome by passion. By the spur-of-the-moment need. But now…this was thought out. Planned. Agreed to.
They were going to have sex. No strings attached and with an end clearly in sight.
Hunter joined her at the door to her cottage. She avoided his eyes as she opened the door. He followed her in and closed the door behind him. The small cottage seemed to shrink down to miniscule. Hunter wasn’t huge, but he took up a lot of space in the little living room. A buzz of nervous anticipation danced along her skin.
He was a stranger. He had Fletcher’s stamp of approval, but that didn’t mean she felt all that comfortable about taking off her clothes in front of him. She wasn’t as young as she used to be. And no other man but Matt had seen her naked.
Hunter tipped her chin up with one finger. She hadn’t realized she’d been staring at the floor.
“Okay, now it’s my turn to ask you if you’re all right. Are you changing your mind? Do you want to go a little slower? I could take you out for lunch and—”
Sylvie forced out a laugh and grabbed his forearms. “No. God, no. We don’t need to go out on a date. That’s not what this is about, right?”
He studied her for a moment. “You look like you’re having second thoughts to me.”
“No. I’m so horny I can hardly think straight. That’s not the problem. I want to have sex. With you. I’m just nervous.” She chewed on her lower lip for a moment and then admitted, “I feel like this is the first time for me. I know it’s dumb, but I’ve never had sex with anyone but Matt, and I don’t know how to do it with anyone else.”
“I think we all probably do it the same way,” he said softly. He was most likely trying not to laugh at her.
“I know. I’m being silly.”
“I have a confession to make.”
“I’ve never had sex with anyone but Jenny.”
“Really?” She couldn’t stop the hint of skepticism from sliding into her voice.
“Yeah, I know. Guys are supposed to have had sex with lots of women, but I wasn’t that way. Jenny was my high school sweetheart. My only love. I didn’t want anyone else.” He swept her wispy hair back from her face. His hand was warm on her cheek. “Until you.”
She shivered. “So here we are, almost like a couple of virgins.”
“I don’t know if I’d go that far.” He brushed his lips over hers, oh so slowly. “I’ve learned a few things since high school.”
Her lips tingled. So did the rest of her body. “That’s good to know.”
She couldn’t believe they were really going to do this. For all her fantasizing, reality was a little scarier than she thought it would be. She did feel like a virgin in Hunter’s arms. No matter how much she wanted this, she wasn’t sure how to proceed. Did he want to take charge? Did he like to take it fast? Slow?
“Hey.” Hunter pulled back to look her in the eye. “You tensed up. Are you okay?”
She nodded. Smiled at his concern. “Virgin nerves.”
He chuckled softly. “No expectations. We can take things slow.”
“Slow,” she repeated. Why was she a little disappointed? What had she expected, that he would take her hard and fast because he couldn’t help himself? Matt had been in love with her and they’d never had sex that way.
Hunter ran his lips along her jaw and over her throat. “Your skin is so soft,” he murmured. His hands rested on her hips, heavy and warm, but he didn’t move them over her body. His lips were all that were moving. He didn’t slip his fingers beneath her shirt to feel her bare skin. He didn’t slide a palm up to cup her breast. She ached with the longing for him to do just that. Her breasts felt heavy. Her nipples prickled.
He wasn’t rushing her. Sylvie supposed she should be grateful for his consideration, but she’d wanted this for days. Nights. She grabbed his arms, right below the edge of the short sleeves. The hard, warm skin nearly burned her hands. She curled her fingers into his flesh, holding on tight when her knees began to tremble.
God, she needed this so badly. To feel like a desirable woman again. To slake this need with a hot, hard man.
The Cottage Next Door releases September 16th and I’ll be back to share the beautiful cover as soon as I can!
Playing for Real
Her Royal Masquerade
Her Royal Bodyguard