Hello romance readers!
I know some of you still prefer to read paperbacks. If you can’t wait until the June 1st release of His Loving Caress, the paperback version is now available in stores that carry Harlequins such as Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Target and Walmart. You can also order it online at Amazon and the online versions of the stores I mentioned. Links are below as well as another excerpt to tide over the ebook readers until next week. Also check out the announcement after the excerpt. You don’t want to miss it!
Have a great day! It’s the hubby’s birthday and my paperback release day so we’re celebrating!
Hearts in harmony?
Instead of falling apart when her childhood sweetheart chose his music career over marriage, Elle Lauren fled to Paris to study fashion design. Her stunning wedding gowns now give other brides the happily-ever-after she didn’t have. Ignoring Braxton Chase’s long-distance apologies has been easy. But meeting him once more stirs the deep longings and desires that a decade has not erased.
Braxton walked away from the pressure to marry at a young age, and he’s regretted breaking Elle’s heart ever since. From the moment he sees her again at his Atlanta jazz club, he knows he wants more than forgiveness—he wants a second chance at the body-and-soul connection that they once had. Can he convince her to trust the sweet, seductive melody of their lost love?
Excerpt from His Loving Caress
After dinner the auction started immediately, and Elle was grateful. The sooner she could leave, the better. Sitting across from Braxton’s penetrating gaze was haunting and she was ready to say her goodbyes. However, Megan and Tiffani pulled her out onto the dance floor when their sorority’s national party song came on and the ladies danced and stepped along with their other sorors to a cheering crowd. For a moment she had forgotten all about Braxton as she had fun dancing until she caught him staring at her from the side of the dance floor. After the sorority strut, she’d planned on slipping out once again, but the Electric Slide followed and that was her jam. When she glanced up to where Braxton had stood, he was no longer there. She breathed easy for what seemed to be a quick moment until she turned and noticed he was dancing at her side.
“Hi there,” he teased with a wave. “I see you still love to dance.”
“And I see you still can’t.” She couldn’t help but rag him. Actually, he had danced quite well when they were younger, but he did seem a bit rusty.
“You never complained when we slow danced,” he whispered. “I’m sure you remember being in my arms swaying to our song.”
With a flushed face, she turned accordingly to the line dance, and he ended up behind her. Her heart froze, but she continued moving while hoping the song would hurry up and end. The floor was crowded and Braxton’s chest was inches away from her back even though her gut told her he was too close on purpose. The dance floor may have been packed, but he was still too darn close. The song continued for a few more minutes but finally stopped when the DJ announced he was going to slow it down for everyone to catch their breaths and for the gentlemen to grab a pretty lady. Elle breathed easy again until she heard the first note of the song “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boys to Men. It was one of their favorite songs, and she had a sneaky inkling he’d requested it. Either today was just one big cruel joke or she was starring in an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Elle’s eyes immediately jerked toward Braxton to study his expression because nothing with him that day had been a coincidence or fate like Mya had suggested. She found him wearing a sheepish smile which suggested he knew exactly what he was doing. She turned on her heel to skedaddle back to their table, but he drew her effortlessly to him by the waist, her hands landing on the bend of his elbows.
Gasping, she eyed him sternly as her chest heaved up and down. She pulled away, but he held her firm in his embrace as a sly sneer formed across his handsome face.
He bent down and whispered in her ear as his tongue flicked over it. “Where are you going?” He raised an eyebrow and displayed a cocky grin as if there could only be one answer.
On the tip of her tongue she was ready to respond “nowhere, baby.” In the past if she was in his arms and had tried to break their hug before he was ready, he’d always ask that same question. Her response would always be the same followed by a giggle or a playful kiss.
“Let go,” she demanded through a clenched fake smile. “We are not about to do this.”
“Elle, all eyes are on us right now and I know you’re not one to cause a scene at your sorority’s event.”
Groaning, she backed up a step so she wouldn’t be so closely pressed against him and slid her hands up to his shoulders. “Fine, one dance and then you have to promise to leave me alone forever.”
“I can’t promise that, at least not until we sit down and talk.”
She closed her eyes and sighed. There wasn’t anything he could say that would erase the pain he’d caused. But she knew how his conscience worked. He felt guilty. Now that he was aware she was in the same city until the end of the week, he would continue to try his best to see her. Luckily, he didn’t know where she was staying unless of course Sydney had divulged that information as well.
She opened her eyes when he began to sing the words to the song, and she found herself completely against his body again.When had that happened? She hated to admit that the feel of him was comforting. The part of her that had longed for him and missed him was exactly where she longed to be. His warm embrace was even more defined. He was all man now. Gone was his lanky frame. He was strong and rugged. Irresistibly sexy and confident. He used to say that her body was the exact puzzle piece that fit with his, no matter the circumstance. Despite the fact that ten years had passed and both of their physiques had changed, she still fit perfectly, nestled in his arms. The thought made her breathing become unhinged. She needed room to breathe but she couldn’t move.
The way his hands rested on her hips and moved her in tune with his body was a distraction. She wasn’t supposed to enjoy this moment with him. She was supposed to be yelling and cursing him out. Instead, she couldn’t remove her eyes from his handsome face as he continued to sing the song to her as if he meant every single word. It was torture and pleasure at the same time. The way her body was betraying her, she wouldn’t be surprised if she completely gave in, because resisting him had never been easy. Braxton always had a way of looking at her with his dark seductive eyes that would make her weak. She decided to strike up conversation so he’d stop singing and gazing at her as if he was going to rip her dress off.
“I like your tuxedo,” she said knowingly, running her hand down the lapel.
“Thank you. I wore it on the cover of my last album. In fact, all the cats in the band had an Elle Lauren tux.”
“You saw it?” His eyes sparkled and a wicked grin inched up his cheek. “You have my CDs?”
“Don’t flatter yourself. Yes, I have your CDs and you have my tux.”
“We were always supportive of each other. Maybe you can come to the club tomorrow evening. I’d love for you to see it when it’s open and lively. Perhaps we can have dinner.”
“You’re pushing it, Mr. Chase.”
“One dinner isn’t gonna kill you, and we don’t have to discuss the past if you’re not ready to yet.” He held up his right hand as if taking an oath. “Scout’s honor.”
“I’ll think about it,” she said, grateful the song was ending. In that short period of time he’d managed to crack part of her wall since she was possibly considering having dinner with him. She had to get far away from him before he bulldozed it all the way down.
“That’s all I’m asking…for now. Thank you for the dance, Sunshine.” Braxton seductively slid his hands over her curves and off her body. “Looks like we’re still in rhythm. We always did dance like we were making love.”
The image of such appeared at the forefront of her mind, and she had to shut it off and fast before she did the unthinkable. Suppressing a gulp, she conjured up a smirk. “Hmm…and your singing is still off-key.”
He released a hearty laugh, but then closed the gap between them and rested a dark stare on her. “Baby, I don’t sing. I play the piano and another instrument very, very well. And if memory serves me right, I used to make you go way off-key, though I’m sure you remember.”
He glided a finger down her arm that induced a warm sensation to flow through her, and her nipples hardened as if cold air had hit them. Elle did remember all too well. She still dreamed of making love with him. He was the only man that knew just how she wanted to be caressed and handled. And he was right. The sounds and moans he used to provoke from her were totally out of tune, but she never cared and neither did he as his hands and tongue would travel over her body until she could barely remember her name.
“Yeah…well…vaguely. That was eons ago.”
I’ve been in the cave writing/rewriting/starting over on a really fun, flirty, and sexy book that will be a part of a fabulous series I’m working on with my girls for life authors Delaney Diamond and Sharon C. Cooper! More information coming soon but check out the sneak peek below.