Friday, 29 April 2016

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: RETURN OF THE BAD BOY by JESSICA LEMMON


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Return of the Bad Boy
Second Chance #4
By: Jessica Lemmon
Releasing April 26, 2016 
Forever
 
 
In Return of the Bad Boy (Second Chances #4) by Jessica Lemmon, learning he's a father has changed Asher Knight for the better. He's finally started to settle down, instead of continuing his rock star lifestyle of groupies throwing themselves at him and living on the road going from gig to gig. However, some things haven't changed. The woman he loves can't seem to forgive him. Not that he can blame her. He did break her heart, even if the incident that sent her running wasn't his fault.
 
Having had a difficult upbringing, Gloria Shields finds it hard to trust. She can't deny that there's something about rock star Asher Knight that sets her heart racing every time she's around him, but there's no way she can give him a chance to prove he's changed. However, it seems Asher isn't giving her a choice, because he wants her back and will do anything to convince her. 
 
Although I haven't read any of the other books in this series, this story can easily be read as a stand-alone. Right from the beginning, Ms. Lemmon weaved a delightful second chance romance, encompassing a heroine that fights hard to keep herself from falling for the hero completely like he wants, and a hero that isn't about to let her get away a second time. I really liked how this story started with the prologue. It illustrates how strong this couple's chemistry is, and had me flipping the pages quickly to discover where their relationship would go from there. Would Gloria go back to not trusting him, or would she give him a chance?
 
The dialogue was intense, so much so that it was hard not to be so drawn into this story by the characters emotions and reactions, especially Gloria's. She fights so hard to resist Asher, because it isn't easy to trust. Not after everything she's been through growing up, and in her previous relationships. Then there's the close friendships that Gloria and Asher have with the secondary characters. The advice they offer to both the main characters definitely helps Asher realize what he needs to do to make the heroine see reason. That they're good together, if only she'll trust him again. While with Gloria, it was the conversation with Asher's mother that helped her realize what she wanted. That taking a chance at forever with Asher might be the best decision she could make.
 
I really liked both Asher and Gloria as well as the secondary characters. The woman that Asher has a child with doesn't make things easy. She really pushes Gloria to her breaking point, and I liked the moments where the heroine told the annoying woman off. Since she wasn't the best mother to begin with, and needed someone to tell her she needed to start doing better, or stood to lose her little boy.
 
Gloria is strong, brave, independent and quite stubborn. Then again, after everything she's been through, I couldn't blame her for believing that being alone was better. She's had too many people disappoint her including Asher, which makes it's hard to trust. But the more time she spends with the hero, she finds him becoming harder and harder to resist until nicely-detailed, hot sex scenes heat up the pages. 
 
While Asher, he's confident and tenacious. He's decided enough is enough, and is not letting Gloria continue to deny them what they both want. After all, their connection is off the charts, and no-one has ever come close to capturing his attention the way the heroine has. He's also a really good dad when he actually gets to spend time with his son. However, Asher did annoy me where he used his son to manipulate Gloria. I thought that was wrong of him, and it was no wonder the heroine got mad.
 
Overall, Ms. Lemmon has penned a really good book in this one, which has me looking forward to reading more of this author's work. The ending wrapped this story up nicely with Gloria finally finding someone she can completely trust and will always love her; an emotion -- I'm certain -- she's never had unconditionally. Besides, she's also got the sort of family she's always wanted -- warm, loving, accepting. I would recommend Return of the Bad Boy, if you enjoy second chance romances.
 
Overall Rating:
 
 



BLURB:
He's a mess...


Asher Knight has three constants in his life: music, beautiful women, and a bottle of Jack. He lives for the next gig, the next city, and dreams only of a life spent in front of an arena full of screaming fans. But Asher's nomad ways come to a sudden stop when he learns he's the father of a three-year-old from a past relationship and suddenly this rock star bad boy is forced to put down roots.

Only she can clean up

Gloria Shields is no one's fool. Sure, the sexual chemistry between her and Asher has always been intense, but she'd never risk giving her heart to a man who has a perfect record for breaking them. Except the man desperate to make things right with his newfound son is nothing like the rock god she's guarded her heart against for years. And it isn't long before she starts to wonder if life with this bad boy might be the best thing that's ever happened to her. 

 
Buy Links:      Amazon | B & N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo
 
 
“Listen, Asher”—she cleared her throat and tore her eyes away from his biceps, which were absolutely delicious and testing the limits of his T-shirt in the most distracting way possible—“I don’t know what you think you’re doing—”

“No, you listen.” He palmed her hip much like Brice had earlier, but unlike Brice, when Asher touched her, her nipples perked up and every inch of her grew warm. Asher’s nearness, one hand gripping her firmly as he looked down at her with dark hunger in his eyes, was so hot she couldn’t think.

The crowd milling around them were having loud, drunken conversations, so he lowered his face to her ear to speak.

“I’m coming for you, Sarge.” His hand moved from her hip to her lower back, his fingers splaying wide and slipping beneath the material of her shirt. “Bet you’ve never had anyone come for you, have you?” His nose moved along her ear, warm breath tickling her skin. “Bet you were a rebellious teen with a nose ring and a bad attitude and all you wanted was to feel good.”

No nose ring, but the rest was scarily accurate.

“Well, guess what, honey?” he continued, his fingertips sizzling on her bare skin. “I’m going to make you feel good. I’m the only one who can.”

He pulled his face away and she had to will her mouth to close. Her teeth clacked together as her brain scrambled to figure out what part she should argue with first. Wrenching a fist around his T-shirt, she tugged him close. A small smile played on his mouth, and his hand went higher beneath her shirt. He was anticipating a kiss, but she wasn’t going to kiss him.

“Listen up, you arrogant bastard.” Anger vibrated through her arms and a charge shot from her toes to the crown of her head. “You don’t get to claim me. I’m not your property. I can do whatever I want.” Because she wanted to wipe that stupid smirk off his face, she added, “And I can do whomever I want.”

His lips flinched, but he didn’t back away, stepping even closer and touching the tip of her nose with his. Her vision was now swimming in dark hair, dark eyes, and the sexiest smirk she’d ever seen.

It’s not sexy. It’s stupid, remember?

But it wasn’t. And the rest of her knew it. Her nipples tightened, her body tingled, and the hand she’d wrapped around his shirt began to sweat…

“You do me, Sarge. No one else,” he said.

“I’m not”—she had to swallow around a very dry throat to finish—“doing you.”

“Brice McGuire doesn’t know how to make your body sing. I do.” He slid his nose along hers and moved his hand from her back to her hair. She shivered. “Want me to make your body sing, Sarge?”
 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Author Links:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: LAST PROMISE by SCARLETT DUNN


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Last Promise
The McBride Brothers #3
By: Scarlett Dunn
Releasing April 26, 2016
Zebra
In Last Promise (The McBride Brothers #3) by Scarlett Dunn, there's nothing more Mary Ann Hardwicke wants than to escape being married to someone she doesn't love, so she decides to flee before the wedding. She's determined to make a life for herself away from her stifling parents, and what better way than to put an ocean between them. But just when she's starting to find what it means to be independent, and possibly falling in love for the first time, her past catches up with her and it's not about to let her go. Unless the new man in her life can convince her father that he's just as worthy as the man she's being forced to marry.
Luke McBride never lacks for female company, so why is it that he can't get the new woman in town out of his head. She's definitely going to be a challenge, considering the first time they meet, she doesn't bother giving him her time of day. But if there's one thing Luke doesn't shy away from it's a challenge. However, when he learns the truth of why she's escaped her home to come to America, he's determined not to fall any deeper than he already has for her, because he believes a future for them is impossible. Then again, what if it isn't?
I haven't read any of Ms. Dunn's books before, but I'm so delighted to have finally been introduced to her writing, because I've got to say that this book was a wonderful read. Right from the beginning, I was drawn into this fast-paced story by both the main characters, but more so from the moment the heroine and hero met, as Luke is such a flirt and isn't used to women ignoring him. So, I was eager to discover how he won Mary Ann over.
The dialogue was well-written, and Luke was determined to prove to the heroine that he wanted her like he hadn't wanted any woman ever before. Mary Ann had me smiling a lot throughout this story, because just when I thought she was going to give him a chance, the hero managed to do something that totally turned her off him. Moreover, the dialogue was also intense due to the main characters back stories, what happened with Luke's friend and the heroine, the difficulties the heroine had with her overbearing father, and then there were the obstacles this couple faced. Mostly, how were they going to be together when the heroine was betrothed to another man.
Both characters were compelling, and I liked them both immediately the moment they were introduced in this story. Mary Ann is strong, brave, and independent. Travelling all the way from Britain to America must have been daunting, yet it felt the heroine saw it as more of an adventure; the start of a new life for her, depending on what her father would do if he discovered where she was. But what I liked most about the heroine was how determined she was to take care of herself. The way she was determined to work and run her own store. Yet, at the same time, it was nice that she had a family member that was willing to help her out.   
While Luke, he's confident, hard-working, and would do anything for those that need it. He's also determined to find out what happened to his friend that had him missing for three months. Once he learned what happened to him, there was no doubt that he would investigate why someone would want to hurt him and his friend? Then there's the confidence he possesses that believed he could get the heroine to give him a chance. Yet, what I liked most about him was his relationship with his family. He loved his nephews, and it seemed they were the only ones that could brighten his day when he wasn't having a good one. 
Overall, Ms. Dunn has penned a sweet romance where the secondary characters help both main characters realize that love isn't easy, and if Luke wants it bad enough than he has to be willing to go after it no matter what he has to face when he finally confronts her father. The ending wrapped this story up nicely, as Mary Ann was back where she belonged. I would recommend Last Promise by Scarlett Dunn, if you enjoy reads where the heroine is determined to escape being married to someone she doesn't love, and ends up finding the love of her life on her journey.

OVERALL RATING:
   


BLURB:
The heart always finds a home . . .
For British heiress Mary Ann Hardwicke, the Wild West is the perfect place to make her own life and escape the stifling privilege of an arranged marriage. Hard at work proving her independence, it's little wonder she has no time for handsome cowboy Luke McBride. No matter that he somehow understands the freedom she so badly needs—how could she trust such a wild spirit, much less find a way to love him? 
Like the broncs he busts, Luke doesn’t see himself settling down in one place, let alone with one woman. So at first, Mary Ann is just an intriguing challenge. But her determination and bravery are sparking a longing to prove he can be the truly good man she deserves. Now as their enemies work to separate them, they will take a dangerous gamble on faith to claim an enduring love . . .

Buy Links:       Amazon | B & N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

 

 
“Don’t you want me to stay, Uncle George?” The reunion with her uncle hadn’t gone as well as Mary

Ann had expected. After she’d told him of her reasons for leaving London, he seemed concerned her father would come to America to find her. Perhaps her uncle thought he might face her father’s wrath and be held responsible for her decision to come to Wyoming.

George’s sister, Coreen, had married Hardwicke for his money. Coreen was a great beauty in her day, just like his niece, and Hardwicke had been persistent in wooing her. George’s family were on the same social level as Hardwicke, but their estate was not nearly as large. George knew when his sister married Hardwicke it wasn’t a love match, but his sister wanted the life his wealth could provide. When George inherited the Granville estate he chose a different path than his sister. He gave control of the estate to his younger brother and he left England. He yearned for a different life, one filled with adventure and knew he would find what he was looking for in America. He could sympathize with Mary Ann for desperately wanting to get away from the life she was destined to lead. She feared her life would mirror Coreen’s if she stayed in England.

“Of course I want you to stay, but you know your father. He’ll send someone to find you, and I would expect if they are not already on their way, they soon will be. I just don’t want you to be disappointed if he forces you to return.”

“I left Mother a note and told her I was leaving. I didn’t say where I was going.”

She looked so devastated that George tried to relieve her concerns. He didn’t have the heart to tell her that it would only be a matter of time before they discovered she’d left England. Hardwicke had a legion of detectives and barristers at his disposal. “Let’s not worry about it tonight. I certainly don’t mind if you stay forever. If your father’s agents appear on our doorstep, then we will deal with the situation when and if it happens. But if you decide you want to go home before then, I will escort you.” It troubled him that his beautiful young niece had traveled so far with no escort. Why, all manner of evil could have befallen her. Her guardian angel must have been keeping a close watch over her.

“I will not be going home. I have some funds, but I need to find a position, or a building where I can establish a business. Once I arrived in America, I discovered I could start a small shop. As a matter of fact, while I was waiting for you to return today I had time to look around your hotel and there is a perfect little spot I could utilize for a shop I have in mind.”

George couldn’t believe his ears. Mary Ann was nearly royalty in England, he wouldn’t hear of her looking for a position, or working for that matter. “My dear, that is impossible for someone of your position. If your father does show up here he will have me drawn and quartered if he finds you among the working class.”

“Uncle, I don’t need to remind you that this is a different country and I am determined to support myself. I am no longer dependent on Father and I have not come all this way to be a burden on you.”

“My dear, you have never been forced to earn a coin and I assure you I can certainly see to your needs. I do not consider you a burden.” Her desire to work was the last thing George expected out of a young woman who had been coddled her entire life.

“I want to work. I want to live life like everyone else. I’m sorry, but I cannot exist like Mother.” She’d given her future a lot of thought, and if her uncle wouldn’t assist in her effort, she would find another way.

They discussed this point for over an hour until George finally relented. If she was determined to do this, then he would help her in any way possible. He actually admired her resolve. “What kind of shop do you have in mind?”

“A small shop to carry products for women.”

“What kind of products?”

“On my journey here I noticed the farther west I came that there were fewer stores that sell items necessary for a woman’s toilette; powders, tinted rouges, perfumes, and such.

“You are so beautiful, surely you have no need of such potions.”

“Thank you, but I assure you all women will use such products if they are available. I will carry the finest perfumes, as well as undergarments from France. Such items are only found now in the larger towns.”

“You’ll not find the women here will buy such foolishness. I thought apothecaries mixed the powders for women. As far as undergarments, these are items that can be purchased at the mercantile.”

“I assure you it is not foolishness as all women enjoy looking their best. Apothecaries do mix various powders, but they are not equal to the products from Paris. The undergarments certainly are not what you will find in the local mercantile. They will be designed from the finest silks and satins.” She wasn’t comfortable discussing intimate apparel with her uncle, but he needed to know what she had in mind, and he seemed truly interested. “I am quite determined. If you do not have space to spare in the hotel I will find another spot.”

He quickly concluded his niece was not just a lovely woman, she also had a sharp mind. Far be it from him to know what interested the fairer sex. He would have to take her word for that. It seemed her mind was made up, and he wasn’t one to squash her dreams of independence. “What space did you see that you fancied?”

“The space to the right as you walk through the door. The alcove under the staircase is quite large and I can use a partition should the ladies prefer privacy while they are shopping.”

“Quite right. That is a space not utilized. While you are getting your shop underway, perhaps you would be interested to learn about managing the hotel. I am building a house on some land outside of town, and it is taking me away from my responsibilities at the hotel on a regular basis. You can register the guests when Eb is occupied with his other duties, and supervise the two ladies who handle the cleaning of the hotel. Mrs. Howe does the cooking in the restaurant. You may need to help her in the dining room when we are busy, nothing too demanding, maybe refill coffee cups, things of that sort.”

Mary Ann jumped up and threw her arms around his neck. “Oh thank you! I don’t know what I would do without you. I will pay you rent for the space.”

“Now, now, this is not something you need to concern yourself with. As I said, the space is not used at present. Let me know what you will need in the way of construction for shelving, painting, or whatever, and I will see to it. We will install a door to have a private entrance.”

Her uncle hadn’t mentioned the man who carried her luggage to her room. The man with the stunning blue eyes. “Uncle, you didn’t mention Mr. McBride. What is his position at the hotel?”

George gave her a puzzled look. “Mr. McBride?”

“Yes, he carried my luggage to my room.”

“I have no Mr. McBride employed here.”

“That is strange. I’m quite sure he said his name was Luke McBride. He’s a very tall man and quite the ruffian.”

George laughed. “Luke is not one of the employees. He is one of the owners of the McBride Cattle Company. He is the youngest of the three brothers. Fine men.” He furrowed his brow at her. “Ruffian, you say?”

“Indeed. He was brawling in the street when I arrived. I thought he was one of those pistoliers I’ve heard so much about.”

“Most men here carry guns and make no mistake, the McBride brothers know how to use them. But they are good men, certainly not gunslingers. I consider them friends, they’ve been very kind to me.”

She had tipped a man who didn’t even work for her uncle. “You say they have a ranch here?”

“They own one of the largest cattle ranches in Wyoming. And Luke carried your luggage?”

“Yes, I’m afraid I made a dreadful mistake. I thought he was in your employ and I tipped him.” She’d probably insulted one of her uncle’s friends.

“No worries, honey. I’m sure he took no offense. Luke is a good-natured man.”

She remembered when Mr. McBride was in the room she hadn’t been very friendly. He was such a large man that he made her nervous. “I will apologize, of course.”

“Don’t give it another thought. These men out here don’t consider such slights as serious transgressions.” He smiled at her. “Particularly if the transgressor is someone as lovely as you.”

She hoped her uncle was right and she hadn’t offended Mr. McBride. While she didn’t countenance his behavior, she wouldn’t want her uncle’s friends to think ill of him due to her mistake.

George stood and walked to the door. “You best get some rest, we will talk some more over breakfast and make plans for your shop. In the morning I’ll have Eb take your things to the third floor. Those are my living quarters for a few more months until my home is completed. You will find the space more accommodating than this room.”

Mary Ann hadn’t realized he lived on the premises. “The entire third floor is your personal living quarters?”

“Yes, you will have all the room you require. Your bedroom is much larger than this room,” George informed her.

 “This room is quite lovely. Why are you building a home?”

“I’ve an interest in trying my hand at cattle ranching. So perhaps your arrival will be most opportune for me if you find you enjoy managing a hotel.”

“I am sure I will enjoy it very much and I will start tomorrow.” She was anxious to get started now that she had a plan for her future.

“There is no hurry, take some time to rest.” George had made the trip from England and it was a grueling journey.

Mary Ann didn’t need rest. She was invigorated knowing she would no longer be forced to attend parties gossiping with bored women, or be forced into a marriage she didn’t want. “I do not need to rest. Tomorrow is the beginning of my new life.”
 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Scarlett Dunn lives in Kentucky surrounded by all manner of wildlife, and enjoys long "God walks" where most inspiration strikes. Possessing an adventurous spirit, and a love of history, particularly the pioneers of the West, she has a special place in her heart for all cowboys, past and present. Readers can visit her website: www.scarlettdunn.com. 

Author Links: Website | Facebook | GoodReads
 
 
 
 
 



Tuesday, 26 April 2016

FOREVER WITH YOU by HEATHERLY BELL RELEASE BLAST includes REVIEW


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Forever with You
Starlight Hill #6
By: Heatherly Bell
Releasing April 26, 2016
Tydandon Publishing and Heatherly Bell Books
In Forever with You (Starlight Hill #6) by Heatherly Bell, ever since she and her husband went their separate ways because of a big decision he made, Sophia Abella has put her all into running her restaurant, instead of worrying about her dating life. Never having been able to go through with filing for divorce, Sophia has managed to keep men at a distance. But now with her husband back in town, it seems that's no longer possible. Because Riley wants her back, and if there's one thing she knows about her husband is that he'll do whatever it takes to make her see he deserves a second chance. 
 
Riley Jacobs knows he made the biggest mistake of his life by choosing his career in the Marine Corps over his wife. But now he's been given a second chance, if only she'll give him the time of day. Not that he can blame the anger she holds towards him. Yet, he's determined to show her that she made the right choice in not filing for divorce in the years they've been apart, because he still loves her and he wants nothing more than to prove to her that she'll only ever be the only woman for him.
 
What a delightful second chance romance this author has penned, encompassing a hero looking to get his wife back and a heroine that has a big decision to make. Should she finally go through with the divorce, or should she give Riley a second chance. As much as she declares she doesn't like him, there's definitely no denying that she still deeply cares for the hero. I really liked how this story started with Sophia being totally surprised by the fact that Riley is back in town, and has a job that means he plans on staying.
 
I really liked both characters, and the light-hearted moments they shared such as when Sophia finds herself in a bind when she's locked out of her house with no way in. That moment had me smiling, as she wasn't exactly dressed all that suitably to be outside. However, the dialogue was also intense due to the main characters back stories and the danger that Riley faces because he's protective of his sister. 

Sophia is strong, brave, and independent. Yet, she's also a tad na├»ve because she believes the best in people. For instance, take her online boyfriend.  It seems she's in for quite a surprise when she learns the truth of just who this person is? Then there's her relationship with her friends and family. She's quite close with them, and I felt sorry for her because everyone in her family are all in these wonderful relationships while she's the odd woman out. They're not afraid to give her their advice, which is good advice, of how she should give Riley a second chance.

While Riley, he's confident, patient, kind and very determined to win Sophia back. I felt sorry for him at the beginning, because the heroine was determined to keep him at arms length. Yet, I liked that he eventually wore her down, especially when he helps her with the being-locked-out-of-her-house incident and then helps her with her nieces. Then there's the way he cares for his sister. He wants her to get the help she needs, yet he knows he's wasting his breath until something bad happens to her that makes her realize she needs help and it needs to be for good this time. He also has a lot of work to do when it comes to his new job. Winning over the townspeople isn't easy, because they all reckon he's too young or under-qualified. However, he's determined to prove them wrong. 

Hot sex scenes heated up the story at the right moments in this story, and does justice to this couple's strong strong chemistry, which was there from the moment they came face-to-face again for the first time after they went their own separate ways. Sophia isn't certain whether she can give Riley another chance, because if he decided to leave her again, she doesn't know whether she'd survive his deserting her a second time. Yet, no one has made her feel as special as Riley, and it's understandable that she'd succumb to his charms eventually. 

Overall, this was a really good book where the secondary characters entertained me almost as much as the main characters. Sophia's friends want her to be happy, and I liked that they pushed her to give Riley another chance because they could see she was still in love with him. I really liked how this story ended with Sophia finally getting her dream of what she wanted most in her life besides Riley. Although, what happens to Riley and Sophia's fears for his safety rearing their ugly head made me annoyed with the heroine. How could she even suggest Riley change his profession just to keep her from worrying? Once a marine, always a marine. No way would he be happy in a job where he wasn't protecting people. I would recommend Forever with You by Heatherly Bell, if you enjoy second chance romances.

OVERALL RATING:  

         

BLURB:
She forgot something on the way to the courthouse …
Sophia Abella has a good life, even if she is a little stuck.  Not quite single, not quite married, she keeps men at a safe distance. But when her ex-Marine husband returns to town and takes the job of chief of police, it might finally be time to get that paper work done once and for all. After all, most of her family already thinks she’s divorced.
 
They’re not actually, in the fullest sense of the word … divorced.

Years ago, Riley Jacobs chose the Marine Corp over his wife and has regretted his decision every day since. But once a Marine always a Marine, and he’ll use every tactical advantage he has to get Sophia to realize that she’s the only one for him.

Love and marriagetake two
 
BUY LINKS: Amazon / Kobo / Author Website
 
 
He didn’t answer but only studied her. “Eat.”

She took a bite somewhat automatically and felt immediately annoyed with herself for listening to him. “You’re bad for me.”
What she didn’t say, because she didn’t even want to voice it, was that he’d somehow become nothing but a constant reminder of loss. Pain. Of a fear so overwhelming and raw it threatened to take over everything in its path.
“I’m not. I’m what the doctor ordered.”
“You’re like eating Chunky Monkey every night instead of once a week. Not a good idea.”
He moved closer, so that his shoulder was touching hers. “So what do you want? Vanilla?”
“Not vanilla.” She took another sip, moved her legs and Hershee jumped off her lap, disgusted with Sophia for not sitting still enough for Her Highness. “Maybe Neopolitan. It’s good enough but not so much that I want it every day of the week.”
Riley stood up, took Sophia’s bowl and set it on the coffee table. He pulled her up off the couch, his hands on her elbows. The blanket fell to the ground at her feet. “Admit it. You’d like to have Chunky Monkey every day of the week. And sometimes you catch yourself thinking about it in the middle of the day. Wondering how you could get away with it.”
“Maybe.”
She’d forgotten how perfect it felt to be this close to him, their breathing comingled. Without a doubt, she’d once known he would have breathed for her if he could. He would have done anything for her.
“You want Chunky Monkey. Admit it.” He pulled her closer, until she could feel every hard ridge of his body and then closer still.
“Wait. Are we still talking about ice cream?”
“No.” He kissed her. Not a tender kiss at all, but rough and claiming.
Her hands fisted his shirt, and then with both hands she untucked it at his waist, letting her palms glide up his hard chest, touching the soft short hairs between her fingers. How she’d missed this, missed him. No matter what, they’d always had this part right. Touching, feeling.
Riley squeezed her ass, his other hand sliding under her sweater to tug her bra cup aside. But then just as suddenly as he’d kissed her, he stopped.
“Stay with me.” She pulled on his arm, directing him toward the bedroom.
“Slow down, baby.”
“It’s this way to the bedroom.” Sophia tugged on his hand again, a little like trying to move a mountain. “Just like your floor plan but reversed.”
“Wait.” He bit his lower lip and didn’t move.
“I don’t want to wait. I’ve waited long enough.”
“You can wait a little bit longer, can’t you?” He grimaced.
“Why should I?”
He chuckled and framed her face with both hands. “Because I need you to be sure.”
“Oh, that. I’m sure, Riley. I want this. I want you.”
“No,” he said and his hands dropped down. “I want you to be sure about us.”
“Us?”
“You and me. Us. Forever. Can you tell me you’re sure about that?” He studied her.
“Listen, you and I …”
“Yeah.” He moved away from her, picking his jacket up on the way to the door. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“But—” Was he seriously leaving her? Now? After all that talk about Chunky Monkey? Bastard!
“Eat your soup,” he called out and shut her front door.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
  When early onset stage fright dashed dreams of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame status, Heatherly tackled her first book in 2010, and now the people and voices that occupy her head refuse to leave. She no longer sings unless you count randomly bursting into song to annoy her children (and the dogs).
 
If she were not an author, Heatherly maintains she would be a detective and a criminal's worst nightmare. She watches Dateline every Friday night and takes notes.
 
She lives in northern California with her family, including two beagles, one who can say 'hello' and the other who can feel a pea through several pillows.
  
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