Hello and welcome to my stop during the Black Friday Book Bonanza hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer and Marlene @ Reading Reality.
Below you will find a New Year’s scene from my newest release, Eternal, a standalone contemporary romance with a touch of heat. I hope you enjoy meeting Luci and Landon. Be sure to enter for a chance to win one of three prizes.
Scene from Eternal
My heart falls to my belly, only for it to quicken when a hand presses gingerly against the small of my back.
“Are you hungry?” Landon asks. He motions to the corner where a set of heavy curtains sway in the breeze. “I figured with all that we’re drinking, we should get something to eat.”
“That would be lovely,” I say, realizing how much I mean it.
He passes me my clutch and leads me forward, a server slips out from behind a curtain with an empty tray. He nods at Landon. As he passes, Landon slips something into his palm.
“Thank you, sir,” the young man tells him.
Landon winks when I look up at him. “After you,” he says.
He parts the curtain, allowing me onto a small terrace surrounded by tall glass dividers that repel the wind and allow a magnificent view of the ocean. There’s not much room, but what’s here is enough.
A rectangular fire pit radiating with turquoise glass warms the small area, while a table and two chairs press horizontally against the dividers. To our right, people laugh from a larger, more open terrace one level down. They can’t see us well, and I don’t really care to see them.
Our beers and two unopened bottles of water are placed beside two empty plates. At the center of the table is a large serving dish toppling with food.
“Becca likes to eat breakfast out here when she’s home,” Landon says. “But she’s not using it and I didn’t want to waste the view.”
“It’s amazing,” I say, taking in the splendor.
I didn’t expect to see the ocean this far into the shore, especially at night. But with the moon as bright and as low as it is, its light spills across the waves, illuminating the water and casting a glow along the sand.
Landon pulls out my chair. “I wasn’t sure what you liked, so I asked the staff to bring a little of everything.” He pauses. “You’re not one of those crazy vegans are you?” I laugh. “If you are, I can ask them for some of that crazy vegan food you people like to eat.”
“My people like everything,” I assure him, watching him take a seat in front of me.
“So do good ol’ Southern boys,” he replies.
We spend an outrageous amount of time talking, and even more simply gazing at each other, smiling softly when the words don’t quite come, and laughing when they finally do.
It’s only when Rihanna’s Love on the Brain begins to play that Landon tears his attention away from me and back in the direction of the party. “Don’t you hate it when everyone is dancing, and you have no one to dance with?” he asks.
I glance down, playing with the fabric of my skirt. “I think it’s worse when the wrong person asks you, and you’ve been waiting for the right one.”
“Oh, yeah?” He grins when I nod. “I suppose I should ask you, before the wrong person gets a chance.”
He doesn’t really ask. He doesn’t need to. I place my hand in his when he opens his palm.
He pulls me up and into him, wrapping his arms securely around my waist as mine circle his neck. He smiles as he gazes down into my eyes. I look into his beautiful browns, losing myself in his warm stare.
We move in unison to the beat as if we’ve danced a hundred times, despite that what I’m feeling is a slew of firsts.
The first time his hard muscles press against me.
The first whisper of his breath against my skin.
The first touch that has no inkling of innocence.
And the first stroke of desire.
His fingers drag along my back as the bass pounds deeper, his body appearing to crave more. “It’s almost midnight,” he murmurs against my bare shoulder.
I shudder when his lips graze over my skin, not quite touching, trailing just enough to tease. “Almost,” I agree.
The allure in his voice robs me of air. “I didn’t plan on having anyone to kiss.”
I almost reply, but the way Landon’s mouth hovers over the sweep of my neck keeps me silent, as does the way he draws an invisible line to my ear with his lips.
My heart thuds mercilessly as I wait for his next words.
“But I guess I didn’t plan on you either,” he adds, each word softly tortured.
His mouth feathers over mine as the song ends and the countdown to New Year’s begins, opening and closing tentatively, giving me a chance to pull away.
I don’t. I can’t. Not when he feels this good and not when his large frame curls protectively around me.
Urgent voices and anxious steps echo from inside as the countdown reaches ten and people rush to find partners to kiss.
Landon and I aren’t waiting. His tongue dives deep, prodding possessively.
He grips my hips, pulling me closer, turning the sweet, tentative kiss passionate and daring.
I’m no longer simply kissing him, I’m moaning.
And I’m not alone.
A rumble builds in his throat, ending in a long, dragged out groan.
My body trembles with need, responding to the rough caress of his palms along my spine.
The clock strikes twelve, people are cheering, bottles of champagne are exploding, and the waves crash harder against the shore. I barely hear them. I only hear Landon when he pulls away, his breath labored like mine, his intensity welding me in place.
“I wasn’t supposed to be here,” he says, his voice gravelly and his tone harsh. “I was supposed to spend the night alone.”
I nod, recognizing a loneliness in him I only ever knew in myself.
“I don’t want to be alone anymore, not tonight. Will you come home with me?”
There’s no hesitation. “Yes,” I reply.
After months of bad luck and even worse men, Luciana Diaz just wants to crawl under the covers and forget the year ever happened. Her friend has other plans, convincing Luci to attend a New Year’s Eve party on the affluent shores of Kiawah Island.
Luci never expected to have fun. She also never expected to wake up next to a man she just met, or for this man to be the new attorney at her firm.
Landon Summers is done with drama. After an ugly separation and even worse divorce, he has no desire to jump into another relationship.
When his sister Trinity drags him to a New Year’s Eve party, he doesn’t plan to stay long. One drink, a few hellos, and he’s out. Until he meets Luci, the first person in months to draw his smile and incite his passion.
Neither Luci nor Landon planned on each other, and they definitely didn’t plan on love. But the New Year means a fresh start, and eternal possibilities neither could deny . . .
Now for the giveaway... one winner will receive an Ecopy of Inseverable, the first novel in the Carolina Beach series and a fifteen-dollar Amazon gift card. Two additional winners will receive an eCopy of Inseverable. May the odds be forever in your favor!