Hello Romance Readers!
So glad you’re hopping by in the Love Is in the Air Blog Hop sponsored by Under the Covers Book Blog. I’m giving away two ebook copies of Only One for Me. It’s a flirty and sexy contemporary romance that begins on Valentine’s Day. All you have to do is tell me your favorite Valentine’s Day memory in the comment section from February 7th to February 14th, 2014, before 11:59 PM. I’ll announce the winners in the comment section of this post on the morning of February 15th as well as email the winners. Twitter and Facebook page followers will receive an extra entry per social media account. This is an international giveaway.
Check out the blurb and an excerpt below for Only One for Me. Happy reading!
Dr. Cannon Arrington’s mission is to help people in need. But when his ex-fiancée re enters his life after twelve years, he has a new mission. Never let her get away again.
Yasmine Dubose never stopped loving Cannon. Instead, she learned to live without him, guarding her heart in the process. However, when they are brought together to plan a wedding for their best friends, Yasmine is faced with the challenge of following her heart this time around or risk losing the only man she’s ever loved.
Yasmine walked into Ollie’s Sweets at exactly two o’clock to find Cannon already there chatting with Ollie Moss, the owner and head baker. Sherika and Yasmine used to frequent the downtown Memphis bakery as teenagers, and she wasn’t surprised to learn that the bride-to-be had selected their favorite bakery to make the wedding cakes.
“Hi, Ms. Ollie.”
“Look at my Yaz all grown up.” The ladies hugged and Yasmine inhaled Ms. Ollie’s fragrance. She always smelled like vanilla and buttercream icing. Stepping back, she got a good look at Ms. Ollie. She still had the same sweet smile and grandmother nature that always made customers feel at home in her bakery.
“Hello, Yasmine,” Cannon’s deep voice stated behind her.
She turned and nodded to acknowledge his presence. Staring up at him, she tried to stifle a gulp or two as her heartbeat sped up. He was dressed casually in khakis and a light blue sweater that fit his sexy physique. Cannon had never been overly muscular, but he’d always been in shape, and the way his sweater fit over his arms and abs suggested he still worked out. His fresh scent loomed into her personal space, outweighing the aroma of all the cakes and pastries in the bakery. She wasn’t sure how long she could do this, but she’d made a promise to her best friend.
“Well, let’s get started,” Ms. Ollie stated. “Follow me. I have everything set up in the tasting room.”
Yasmine flinched as Cannon placed his warm hand at the small of her back, causing a flow of burning desire to rush through her veins. She cleared her throat and walked faster to escape his touch searing her skin. As his hand fell, it brushed against her butt, and she gave him a glare. He mouthed “sorry” and placed his hands mischievously in his pocket. She knew it was probably an accident but wasn’t sure how sorry he was about doing it. He’d always known just the right way to caress and kiss her body, and no other man had turned her on as much as he had.
When they entered the tasting room, there was a long table laden with dessert plates of miniature cupcakes. On small pink cards, the flavor of the cupcake was written in calligraphy. Yasmine snapped a few pictures with her digital camera to email to Sherika for her wedding memory book.
“There are six mini cupcakes of each cake flavor that I discussed with the bride and groom for you to sample. On the bistro table,” Ms. Ollie paused as she pointed to a small table by the window, “you’ll find a list of the flavors for you to take notes and to check off the ones you like. The bride wants three different flavors since her cake has three layers, and for the groom’s cake two different flavors of chocolate. There’s also bottled water. I suggest you take a few sips to clean your palate before trying a different flavor. If you need anything, I’ll be next door working on a cake for a wedding tomorrow, but will be in and out to check on you.”
After she left, Yasmine placed her coat and purse on a chair at the bistro table and Cannon immediately went to the cupcakes.
“Which should we try first?” he asked.
He handed her an empty dessert plate as his eyes roamed over her black cropped sweater that stopped at the belt of her dark skinny jeans, down to her black knee-high boots before rising back up to settle on her face which she knew had to be flushed because her cheeks were burning. She placed her focus on the tasty cupcakes to avoid looking in his direction.
“Can’t decide. They all look delicious, but I know Sherika loves amaretto so let’s try that one and one of the chocolates for the groom’s cake,” Yasmine answered with ease, and was surprised she wasn’t as nervous being alone with him as she thought she would be, despite the way he’d just raked his eyes over her like an x-ray.
She grabbed the two amaretto cupcakes while Cannon grabbed two German chocolates, and they settled in at the table.
“Did you eat something before coming?” he asked, taking a sip of the water.
“Not since breakfast.” She sipped her water. “What about you?”
“The same. You know I love eating anything sweet and couldn’t wait to get here.” He had a sparkle in his eye and a wicked grin crossed his face.
Yasmine blinked her eyes a few times at his comment. Cannon had a way of saying something normal, but there was always a sexual connotation behind it. She thought surely she’d heard emphasis on the word eating. Her mind transported her to a time where he’d done just that while they were at his parent’s home visiting for the weekend, and he told her not to make a sound. Starting from her forehead, he’d kissed and licked every inch of her, enticing her breasts in his warm mouth, before lingering in the sensitive area between her legs longer than the other places until he drove her crazy with an unruly, muffled orgasm. She squirmed in her chair at the memory.
“Are you ready to begin?” he asked picking up the chocolate cupcake.
She snapped out of the daydream she’d had plenty times before. “Yep.” She picked up the amaretto one. “Bon appétit.”
She bit into her cupcake while Cannon popped the entire thing into his mouth, leaving a little bit of chocolate icing on the corner of his bottom lip. Yasmine’s eyes settled on the delectable spot. She wanted nothing more than to reach across the table and lick the chocolate off of him and taste his lips that she’d missed so much.
“Mmm … that was good,” he said and proceeded to swish his tongue to the side where the icing lay. “You have to try this one.”
I wanted to, but you beat me to it.
For the next twenty minutes they sampled cupcakes and compared notes. Yasmine was trying to keep the conversation only to the task at hand, and so far it worked. She found herself a little more at ease with him. She wasn’t sure what to expect, but he’d been a gentleman, which was his nature.
“How many more do we have?” she asked, taking a sip of water as Cannon stood at the table grabbing two more cupcakes and setting them on the bistro table in front of her.
“This is the last chocolate one for the groom’s cake and there are two more to taste for the bride’s cake. Think you can hang?”
Yasmine laughed and patted her stomach. “I think so. I’m actually ready for some real food now.”
“Me too. I guess we ate dessert first.” He laughed and took a bite of the cake. “This chocolate mint flavor is good. I think we have a winner.”
She bit into hers. “You’re right. This really is good. Let’s make it the second layer for the groom’s cake,” she suggested, remembering what Sherika said about having a different flavor besides plain chocolate.
“Sounds good to me.” He checked it off on his list and pushed the plate aside, resting his arms crossed in front of him on the table and leaning toward her. “Never been much of a chocolate fan. I prefer caramel.”
Yasmine almost choked on her cupcake and lifted her head to meet his smoldering gaze. There was no laughter in his words or on his face. Instead, she noted the seriousness in his tone and the way his eyes examined her as if he was reading her mind and liked what he read.
Cannon and Yasmine both jumped at the words as Ms. Ollie entered the room. Yasmine was glad for the interruption. The way Cannon had moved toward her she thought he was going to kiss her, and considering where her thoughts had just returned, she would’ve let him.
Cannon relaxed back into his chair and patted his midsection. “Perfect,” he answered with a smile and Yasmine was glad that he had. She was still in a daze.
“Good.” Ms. Ollie glanced at the cake table. “I see you have a few more to sample. I’ll be back in about twenty minutes to go over any questions you may have and pack up the uneaten cupcakes for you.”
The smile he’d displayed for Ms. Ollie vanished when she left and was once more replaced with a serious facade. Yasmine knew all of his facial expressions, and this one was screaming she needed to move and move fast before he reached for her like he had the first time they’d made love.
“Yes, Yasmine?” His voice was deep. Provocative. Stimulating. She needed to escape, but his eyes held hers in a deep hypnotic trance that she couldn’t break.
“We need to finish the last two samples for the bridal cake,” she managed to stammer out, wanting to tear her eyes away from his but couldn’t.
“Are you sure that’s what you want to do?” He leaned in closer as she scooted her chair away from the table. He raised his eyebrow. “Your expression isn’t saying that. I know you very well, or have you forgotten?”
“You don’t know me.”
“I know every single inch of you.” His baritone voice was serious and sexy.
Sensations blazed through each cell of her body, for in her heart she knew he was speaking the truth. He would spend hours exploring her body with his fingers, tongue, and lips, driving her completely insane.
“I know that spot on the back of your neck that takes you past the point of no return. There’s a special way I would kiss and nibble that area. I do believe it’s about an inch below your hair line. I used to love when we would go out, and I would sit next to you, gliding my fingers along your neck and watching you maintain your composure. Of course you never could, and we would end up making love in the car or you would pleasure me all the way home. Thank goodness my Mustang had tinted windows. I would’ve hated for some perv to see your head in my lap. We could barely get in the door and ended up making love right on the foyer floor. Or those three beauty marks on your outer left thigh. I remember them quite well, as my tongue would pass them on my way down…”
“Cannon …” she whispered as her memory took her back to those times. She quickly went to the dessert table to hide her face, which she was sure was bright red.
His damn spot. She had told other guys about the hot spot, but none of them sent the same electrifying volts through her like he had. It was as if Cannon’s name was invisibly tattooed on the back of her neck, and the other guys knew it was there and could not perform under such high expectations. It would immediately turn her off, so after a while she stopped mentioning it. Instead, when men would ask where her spot was located, she would tell them to go find it. But they never did. Every inch of her body was programmed to Cannon’s touch.
“You know I can go on and on,” he said in her ear, his lips brushing over it as he spoke; his hands holding onto her hips with his chest meshed against her back. The familiar warmth and scent of him radiated onto her skin. For a moment, she wanted to be surrounded by his presence and comforted for having to be without him for so long. But then reality sunk in, and she remembered that this was the only man who had ever broken her heart and getting back into her life wasn’t going to be easy.
“I’d rather you not.” She moved down to the uneaten cupcakes before she did something she would regret, like turning around and kissing him. “This isn’t the time or place. Ms. Ollie will be back soon.”
“Let’s have dinner after we leave here. You said earlier you were hungry.”
“All of this sampling has made me full.” She picked up a plate, but he took it from her and slammed it on the table. She was surprised it didn’t break.
“Yasmine, I know you’re trying to avoid me, but that’s going to be impossible considering we’ve been commissioned to help plan a wedding for our best friends.”
“The next assignment on my list is the bridesmaid’s dresses, and I totally doubt you’ll be wearing a dress, unless there’s something you forgot to tell me.” She raised an eyebrow.
“The only thing I know about dresses is unzipping or raising them up to get under them, as you very well know.” His eyes were heated with a sexual stare that she knew all too well.
Copyrighted by Candace Shaw/June 2013
Hope you enjoyed the excerpt! Good luck and have fun hopping to the different sites. Below is the link to take you back to the participation list.