Hello romance readers!
I’m excited to finally share an excerpt from For the Love of You, the first novella in the Precious Moments Series. Many of you who are fans of the Arrington Family series have asked for a love story with Zaria Richardson and Dr. Garrett Braxton. (Not to be confused with Braxton Chase from the Chasing Love Series) I’ve been working on it off and on this year in between writing my Harlequin Kimani Romances. As of now, I’m still writing and rewriting so I don’t have a release date. However, as soon as I do, I’ll let you know.
So in the meantime, enjoy the first scene from the novella. Zaria and Garrett first met in Cooking up Love and she’s hated him throughout the entire series. Or perhaps not … If you haven’t read any of the Arrington Family Series books, now is a great time to catch up!
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. My husband will be off next week and my parents are coming so I’ll be off the grid/social media until after the holidays!
Zaria Richardson is determined to make her event planning company, Precious Moments, the most sought after on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. When Dr. Garrett Braxton approaches her with shocking information about their trip last year to Las Vegas, the perfect life she’s created for herself comes crashing down. All of her mixed emotions over him rise to the surface and she’s now faced with a life-changing decision.
Garrett has been in love with the ravishing, sassy beauty since he first laid eyes on her. However, with an unexpected circumstance, he now knows more than ever that Zaria has always been the one for him. Can he convince her that they’re truly meant to be?
Please note: The following excerpt has not been professionally edited yet.
Dr. Garrett Braxton leaned against the column and sipped his champagne while he gazed intently at the long-legged, mocha beauty that at the moment was the only thing in his vision. Sure there were people in front of him on the dance floor including the blushing bride and groom which were everyone else’s focus. However, the wedding coordinator was the only woman who held his attention as she strutted around the Memphis Cultural Arts Center’s banquet hall making sure everything was going as planned for Justin and Shelbi Richardson’s wedding reception. And while Zaria Richardson had a knack for remaining calm and reserved, whenever Garrett locked her stare with his and raised a slick grin, she’d either roll her eyes or turn her head in a way that her sheets and sheets of black tresses that fell to her waist would cover the side of her face entirely. A strain pressed against Garrett’s pants at the mere thought of grasping all of her mane while running his tongue along her graceful neck and back to her tempting, kissable lips.
Sipping his drink, he nodded his head in her direction that caused her to purse her lips and saunter away in her 4-inch heels that added even more height to her already five-foot-seven frame. Garrett chuckled and moved along the crowd smiling and acknowledging people he knew until he reached his best friend since medical school, Dr. Sean Arrington who was busy typing on his cell phone.
“What’s with the serious expression? Something wrong with one of your clients?”
Sean glanced up and back to the screen. “Got these two honeys texting me. Both want to come over later on so I’m trying to convince them we can all have fun. You wanna hang?”
“Naw. I’m good.”
Sean twisted his lips to the side. “Uh huh. I see you scoping out Ms. Diva.”
Garrett shrugged and downed the rest of his Moet. “I just like teasing with her. Zaria looks sexy when she’s mad.” Wanting to change the subject, he glanced around the room and spotted another topic to discuss. “Can you believe Rasheed Vincent caught the garter?” he asked referring the groom’s best friend.
“Better him than me. I have no intentions on marrying anytime soon. However, if he keeps eyeing my sister all night like she’s a piece of meat, he’s gonna have to answer to me,” Sean stated seriously.
“Man, he and Bria are just friends. You know he’s a player for life like you.”
Dipping his gaze at his beeping cell phone, a wicked grin emerged across Sean’s face. “Yep and the two honeys have agreed to my request. Sure you don’t want to come?”
Garrett barely heard what his friend asked as he caught Zaria’s dark eyes flash his way as she ushered the bride and her two sisters out of the reception hall. “Nope, I already have plans.”
Garrett meshed Zaria’s body to his as her heel barely touched the hardwood in his foyer and slammed his mouth on her juicy lips in a wild, aggressive kiss. He shut the door by backing her against it and travelled his hands roughly down her side until they clutched her shapely hips. Letting out a fervent gasp, she wrapped her leg around his torso, and he raised the hem of her fitted, black dress around her stomach to expose black satin panties.
“You’re late,” he muttered against her neck while sucking on it hard.
Pushing him away, she eased her dress and panties down to the floor and stepped out of them while leaving on her heels. “Stop trying to brand me.” She pulled him back by the collar and gritted her teeth. “I don’t belong to you.”
Chuckling, he unbuckled his belt and pants. Reaching into his pocket, he took out a packet and opened it as a sexy smize crossed her lips that were swollen from his kiss.
“And yet your body responds to me as if you do.” Lifting her leg again, he teased his rod around her opening before plunging in with one fluid stroke. She grasped his shoulders tightly as amorous moans continued to escape her lips as he thrust into her over and over.
Zaria strolled out of the bathroom wearing his tuxedo shirt opened with the bow tie hanging loose around the collar. Her perky breasts bounced as she moved toward the bed and Garrett couldn’t wait to get a hold of her chocolate mounds once more. Focusing his gaze to her belly button and continuing below to the neatly trimmed triangle, he licked his tongue across his bottom lip as his mind wandered to what he wanted to do next to her. She raised a cocky eyebrow at his gesture as if she’d read his mind and crawled seductively up his naked body until she sat on his chest. He loved being intimate with her because her wild sex drive matched his. They both loved being in control of their secret rendezvous sessions, and he highly enjoyed when she would take over the reins.
Reaching up, he unclamped the clip that was holding her hair up in a tousled mess on the top of her head. It fell sensually around her face and cascaded down to her elbows. “You know I prefer it down.”
Zaria scrunched her nose and bent her head over him, resting her forehead on his. “You don’t run me, Doc.”
Chuckling, he slapped her bottom. He always enjoyed her sassy mouth especially when it was on his. “Oh no? I think I just finished running your sexy self up and down the front door.”
She swished her lips to the side before letting out a yawn and rolling off of him. Lying next to him, she settled in his embrace. “It’s been a long day. No a long week with all of the wedding activities and its Christmas Eve. I’ve had to squeeze in shopping and along with helping my parents and sister set up the tree and decorations.”
Glancing at the clock on the nightstand, he kissed her forehead. It was just a few minutes past midnight. “Actually is Christmas day. Merry Christmas.”
“Oh.” Shrugging, she paused and sat up on her elbow to stare down at him. “Merry Christmas. So why didn’t you bring your girlfriend to the wedding?”
Wrinkling his brow, he was a taken aback by the question. They rarely discussed their dating lives unless it was necessary. “Um … maybe because I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“But you’re dating someone, right?” she sat all the way up and tucked her legs underneath her. “What’s her name? Shelia?”
Zaria fastened a few of the buttons of his shirt much to his chagrin. He was ready to slip it off of her and slide back into her not talk about his barely there dating life. Since he’d met her a few months ago while planning a charity event for the Distinguished Men of Memphis, they’d established a sex only relationship after a heated discussion in her office about centerpieces that resulted in sex on her desk.
“I’ve been on a few dates with her, but we aren’t exclusive and you know that. And I definitely wasn’t going to bring her to a wedding. Women read too much into things like that.”
“Humph, not me. I could care less.”
“I know.” Drawing her to him, he kissed her softly. “You’re a different kind of woman, Zaria.”
“So have you slept with her yet, old man?”
He chuckled at her comment. She considered him old even thought he was only thirty-one. “You wouldn’t be here if I had.”
“I know. Just making sure you’re sticking to the agreement.”
The agreement was to stop sleeping with each other if either one of them began to date someone exclusively. So far that hadn’t happened. In a way he didn’t want it to. He liked Zaria more than he’d cared to admit and honestly wanted more than just a fling with her. But she’d been straight up in the beginning stating that at age twenty-three she wanted to concentrate on her career and personal goals. She was the event planner for her cousin’s restaurant but had aspirations of owning her own event planning company someday and that was her only focus.
Garrett released her from his embrace and reached over to the nightstand. Pulling a small black velvet box out of the drawer, he handed it to her. “I have a Christmas gift for you.”
She frowned as he handed her the box. “Oh … I didn’t know we were exchanging gifts.” She slowly opened it and smiled as she pulled out a gold chain with a diamond Z on it. Her eyes sparkled and a genuine smile crossed her features.
“This is beautiful, but you didn’t have to give me anything.”
“I know, but I remember you said you liked Carrie Bradshaw’s “Carrie” necklace on “Sex In the City” but that you would just want a Z. I saw it in the jewelry store while looking at watches for my dad.”
“Well, it’s very thoughtful of you.” She ran her fingers through her hair until it covered one side of her face. “Thank you.” Closing the box, she reached over him to set it on the nightstand. Straddling his lap, she leaned over and kissed him gently on the lips. “And I have something for you.”
He raised a wicked eyebrow at her sultry tone. “And what’s that?”
“Another round with me.”
He flipped her over as she gasped and giggled at the same time and landed his lips possessively over hers.