He’s got the temperament of a lion, and she’s just the one to tame him.
Police records clerk Emma Beaumont has always played it safe, never taking many risks. Quiet, shy, and a little overweight, she’s convinced herself that she’s comfortable with the way her life is. That is until she lays eyes on incredibly sexy Lieutenant Johnny Street. But she’s never met anyone with such a terrible attitude. He’s a jerk. Everyone thinks so.
Little by little, Emma is forced to uncover a stronger, spunkier part of herself, one that isn’t afraid to stand up to him. As she gets to know him, she starts seeing glimpses of a very different man. A man who has known great heartache, and as it turns out, has good reason for embracing such bitterness. Behind his sharp tongue and harsh demeanor, lies a young man who’s desperately afraid of losing what’s left of himself.
As Emma’s intense desire for Johnny turns to love, she will have to ask herself how far she’ll go to chip away at his frosty heart. And at what cost.
Working at the buckle on his tool belt, she leaned in and kissed the bulge in his pants, feeling its heat even through the heavy button fly.
He grabbed her wrists and yanked her up. ”
Stop.” The word came out ragged and raw, and the muscles in his jaw flexed as he worked to regain some composure. “Just stop.”
She blinked at him. “Why? It’s only sex.”
Thanks for stopping by! For more Sexy Snippets, check out http://www.thenuthousescribblers.blogspot.com
Today’s Sexy Snippet is from Falling In Danger. 40% of the publisher’s proceeds from this romance are going to The Pixie Project, a non-profit animal rescue organization located in Portland, Oregon that is dedicated to finding forever homes for previously unwanted animals
“You asked me to trust you,” she said, looking at his mouth and leaning closer. “I do.”
Something in his chest tightened at exactly the same time his groin did. A low growl escaped before he could help it, and he grabbed her shoulders, wanting more than anything to crush her against him. To feel her hands, her mouth on him. She was willing, he could see it in her eyes. For whatever reason, she was going to let him do exactly what he wanted.
Hope you enjoyed this Sunday’s Snippet! For more enticing peeks, check out http://thenuthousescribblers.blogspot.com/p/sexy-snippets.html?zx=48cb2f3e9a4be18b
Hey guys and gals! Happy Sunday Starting today, I’m going to be participating in Sexy Snippets- Seven steamy sentences from one of my books or works in progress, designed to hook you and (hopefully) reel you in
Hope smiled, ignoring the butterflies that were bumping around in her lower belly. She knew how to seduce a man, but he was different. She wanted him, really wanted him, and didn’t want to screw it up. She also hadn’t wanted to give him a chance to pull the friendship crap again. And getting completely naked seemed like the safest course of action against that particular scenario.
She licked her lips, never taking her eyes off his. “What’s the matter? Don’t like what you see?”
Hope you liked! See you next Sunday- For more Sexy Snippets, be sure to visit http://thenuthousescribblers.blogspot.com/p/sexy-snippets.html?zx=48cb2f3e9a4be18b
Justin cocked his head to the side, but otherwise stayed very still. “It is beautiful, isn’t it?”
Harper studied the back of his neck. The way his sun-streaked blond hair curled over his ears and down toward the nape. He was so close she could have leaned forward and placed a kiss there. She could smell the sunscreen on his skin. Could almost taste it. God, she’d missed him.
Slowly, he turned. His normally baby blue eyes were all black pupil, the blond lashes framing them, unusually thick. Harper had never fancied herself the kind of girl to fall for the typical ski bum. But Justin was so much more than that. He was devilishly handsome, for sure, but he was also a gifted athlete, a kind person, a good friend. And he’d loved her. She’d never doubted that. So why hadn’t he waited?
Still, she couldn’t seem to take her hand away from his arm. She looked down at it as if it was staying there on its own, a naughty appendage that refused to listen to reason.
“What are you doing, kitten?” Justin’s voice was as smooth as the velvet ribbons tied to the garland behind them. It was also laced with something else that set a small fire burning in her lower belly.
“Because I can’t be held accountable for what I might do if you don’t take a step back.”
He was teasing her. But not entirely. She could tell she was treading thin ice here. But the truth was, she couldn’t help it. Maybe she didn’t want to help it.
“I have to know something, Justin.”
He took her hand off his arm and held it in both of his, staring down at her knuckles which he rubbed gently with his thumb. “I know what you’re going to say.”
Closing her mouth, she stared up at him. She wanted to hear this.
“I never should have given up on us, Harper.”
She felt her mouth hanging open. Felt herself leaning toward him like the magnet he was. She never thought she’d hear him say it. Never in a million years.
He looked at her then, very serious, every trace of joking aside. “This has been the longest four months of my life.”
Reaching up, she ran her fingers along his brow, cupped his face in her palm, watched him close his eyes for a second at her touch. “Do you have any idea how much I’ve wanted to hear you say that? Why now?”
He tugged at a strand of her hair. “I think I’ve known for a while now. It was just a matter of seeing you again, I guess.”
The fire which had started burning in her lower belly a minute ago was now heating her through. Her knees were shaking, threatening to give way and dump her bum flat on the floor. Could this really be happening? She’d thought about it so often since they’d broken up. And now he had his arms wrapped around her, had his lips poised just a few inches from hers. The lodge was seductively quiet, the light soft and romantic around them. It was a hundred times better than she’d imagined.
And then he kissed her. No, make that a thousand times better. His lips were soft and warm, the stubble around them tickly and delicious. His tongue explored her mouth in a way that made her want to come undone. He tasted so good, so familiar. Pulling her closer, he moved his mouth down her neck, stopping to nuzzle behind her ear.
She felt a sound bubble up in her throat and he pulled away smiling. He was so sexy, so confident, that she literally had to remind herself to breathe.
“There it is. The signature Harper Smith purr.” He put his mouth on hers before she could argue, and mumbled against her lips. “I’ve missed that, kitten.”
She tilted her head to the side, letting him drag kisses along her jawline. Letting him take possession of her heart again, feeling reckless and terrified. But most of all, feeling in love.
“What about school, Justin?” she heard herself say in a ragged voice. “What about us?”
Wrapping his hands in her hair, he bent to put his forehead on hers. A gesture that brought her back to their first date when he’d kissed her until her stomach had quivered, and she’d finally realized what all the fuss was about.
“You’re worth waiting for, Harper.” And then with a wink that was tempting as a box of peppermint chocolates, he added, “Maybe I’ll have to learn to surf.”
*Thanks for hanging out with me these last few weeks! Hope you enjoyed Harper and Justin’s journey to a Christmas reconciliation Winter Break, along with many other fabulous reads from the Beachwalk authors, will be available for free download in December! Look for Holiday Kisses, coming soon-
Don’t forget to stop by Ashlynn Monroe’s blog tomorrow for the conclusion of her story, Reunion- http://www.ashlynnmonroe.com/apps/blog/
Justin led the way down the run, the florescent blue light from his headlamp illuminating the frozen night. They stayed mostly quiet, the only sound being their skis cutting into the icy mountainside.
He’d never meant to bring up Harper’s leaving again. He’d sworn when she’d gotten on that plane, that would be the last of them as a couple. He knew she was hurting. But so was he. Hell, he’d been hurting for months. But he’d also been angry. And what better way to forget, than to have a few beers and kick back with an easy girl or two. Katie Lombardi didn’t mean anything to him. But Harper didn’t have to know that.
What he’d really wanted to do the second he pulled her perfectly formed ass out of that hole, was to kiss her. Hard. Make her wish she’d never left. But deep down, despite the anger on the surface, a few months without her had left him a lot of time to think. He’d had moments of seeing her point. He could have waited. And in the meantime, he could have visited, taken her to the beach and nice dinners. Written to her and called. Kept what they’d had alive, instead of giving up on it completely. And the fact that he’d given up so easily surprised him. He wasn’t a quitter. But when it came to Harper, he’d selfishly wanted all of her. Wanted to hold her and kiss her, and have her close. At the time, the thought of her being that far away had been inconceivable. And the rest was history.
They turned a sharp corner and the lodge finally appeared ahead, a beautiful old building made up of dark wood planks, which was nestled in front of a thick grove of pines. The outer lights winked a welcome, but it looked dark and empty beyond the frosted windows.
Harper huffed behind him. “Hmmfft. Glad Amber waited.”
Justin smiled back at her, well aware of their love-hate relationship. “I told them to let her go. You wouldn’t want her driving down the mountain this late, would you?”
He came to a stop about twenty feet from the lodge’s heavy doors, and Harper narrowly avoided running right into him. She snow plowed off to the side and teetered for a second before jamming her poles into the snow. “No. I don’t trust her reflexes. They’re almost as awesome as mine.”
She leaned down to unsnap her skis from her boots, and he took in the view. Long, slender legs, a heart-shaped behind, and a waist which begged to be held. Standing up, she whipped around, her dark brown hair falling seductively around her face which was rosy and pink from the cold.
“Were you just looking at my butt?”
He shrugged, unlocking the front door. “What if I was?”
She clomped after him, their boots leaving big chunks of snow at the base of the staircase which was wrapped in a fresh pine garland and velvety red bows. “I didn’t think you were interested anymore. Isn’t silicone more your style?” She obviously thought she was being clever, because he could hear the smile in her voice. Harper always laughed at her own jokes, sometimes so hard tears would squeeze from the corners of her brown eyes. He loved that about her. That innate ability to embrace her inner goofball.
“Nice one, kitten.”
“I thought so.”
Reaching the top of the stairs, they stepped into the main room of the lodge, which was bathed in the soft white glow of hundreds of miniature Christmas lights. They lined the ceiling and wrapped around the pillars beside the fireplace. A fat spruce stood in the corner, delicate blue icicles hanging from its branches and catching the light from the room to reflect it in little sparkles. The tree smelled like Christmas. Like childhood memories and presents, and waking up at dawn to open them.
Justin hesitated for a second before reaching out to flip the lights on. But Harper put a hand on his arm, stopping him.
“No, don’t. It’s beautiful, don’t you think?”
*Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’ll join me next Thursday for the final installment of Winter Break And don’t forget to stop by my friend, Ashlynn Monroe’s blog tomorrow for her story, Reunion- http://www.ashlynnmonroe.com/apps/blog/
“No, I’m not. But I am head ski patrol on this mountain, which gives me the right to lay into you.” He slid her a look while uncoiling the rope. “So to speak.”
Hugging herself, she began to shiver. “If you must know, I didn’t really mean to go down on my own. But it was getting late, and I kind of…missed the turn to the other runs.”
He laughed and she prickled. He would never make a mistake so careless and he was making sure she knew it.
“Maybe if you’d listened when I was trying to teach you…” he said under his breath.
“Maybe if you hadn’t pushed so hard, I would have listened.”
They stood for a second, glaring at each other, the old, familiar electricity coming to life and crackling between them.
Justin finally broke the spell and nodded toward her other ski. “Toss that up here.”
She did as she was told and narrowly missed his head. “Oops. Sorry,” she said.
Justin unhooked the radio from his hip and spoke into it while eyeing Harper. “Base, I have a skier in a well on the northwest boundary. She’s not injured. Gonna pull her out and head in.”
Another male voice crackled back. “I’ve got an Amber Smith here asking about her sister. That her?”
“It is. She can go on home. It’ll be a little while before we’re back. I’ll make sure she gets home all right.”
From the hole, Harper started to squeak in protest, but Justin held up an impatient hand. “You want to argue about the specifics, or do you want to get out of there?”
Harper snapped her mouth shut. She most certainly wanted to get out. But the last time Justin had escorted her home, they’d had sex. Twice.
“Look, I don’t want to be here any more than you do,” he said, his breath billowing in soft, gray clouds. He tossed the rope down and it uncoiled like a snake. “I’m missing a Christmas party right now with Katie Lombardi and her sister.”
Harper snorted. “Ha!”
He leaned over the side, his face all mock seriousness. “You have a problem with the Lombardi twins, kitten?”
“I have a problem with collogen and implants, if that’s what you mean.”
Justin kicked off his skis in a couple of smooth, effortless moves and stamped his boots farther into the snow. “Well, I don’t discriminate. Toss up your poles.”
She did as she was told, this time not caring if she hit him square in the face.
“Now, I’m gonna do my best to haul you out of there, but you have to put some muscle into it. You game?”
Nodding, Harper grabbed onto the rope, worried for the first time that he may not be able to get her out. It had never occurred to her that he might not be able to do it. When it came to Justin, she’d always attributed him with super human strength.
The rope went taut and he began to pull. Harper stuck the toes of her boots into the wall of snow and started scrambling up it with more than a little difficulty.
“Come on, kitten. Put your back into it.”
She jammed the toes of her boots into the snow, one after the other. “Don’t call me kitten!”
Above her, he grunted.
“I heard that.”
He laughed, tugging the rope harder. “You’ve got nothing to worry about. You’re beautiful.”
Even with trying to haul her own body weight up the wall of snow, Harper’s breath caught. Recovering, she looked up, where he was now only a few feet away. “How would you know? I’ve been in a hole all this time.”
He gave the rope one last pull, yanking her up over the side, where she scrambled on her hands and knees away from the edge.
“Because,” he said, grinning down at her. It was heart stopping, as usual. “You always were.”
That did it. He’d rendered her speechless. Right there on a deserted, freezing mountainside. Despite her surroundings, she wasn’t surprised to find she was toasty warm. And it wasn’t her down jacket, either.
He held out a hand and she took it, letting him pull her up and just a little too close.
“How do you do that?” she asked.
His sexy gaze fell to her lips. “How do I do what?”
“How do you make me feel like that after all this time? I’m supposed to be hating you, remember?”
He brushed the snow off her jacket, his hand coming precariously close to her left breast. She sucked in a breath and hoped he hadn’t noticed. He’d always had this effect on her. It was craziness.
“You’re the one who broke up with me, Harper.”
“Only because you didn’t want a long-distance relationship.”
“Those things never work. Besides, you wanted to leave here for a reason.”
He reached out to touch her damp hair, but she ducked away, hurt. “I did have a reason. I wanted to go to USC. But I never wanted to leave you.”
His eyes settled on hers, more serious now. “But you did leave.”
It was the same old argument. The one they had never resolved the night before she caught her plane toCalifornia. The bitterness hung in the frozen air like an unwelcome guest. He’d thought if she’d loved him, she would stay. She’d thought if he’d loved her, he would wait. And in the end, she’d boarded the plane in tears, her heart broken in a hundred little pieces.
That had been September. And she still wasn’t over him. However, he was obviously more than over her. Apparently all he could think about was groping big boobed Katie Lombardi at a drunken Christmas party.
She sniffed, telling herself it was the cold mountain air that was making her nose run, and bent to put her skis on.
They’d better get back, or he’d miss that party.
*Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’ll join me next Thursday for the continuation of Winter Break And don’t forget to stop by my pal, Ashlynn Monroe’s blog tomorrow for her story, Reunion- http://www.ashlynnmonroe.com/apps/blog/
It was Justin Noble’s night to patrol the northwest boundary, and he wanted to make it quick. Tonight was the Christmas party for the shop and he knew for a fact that the Lombardi twins would be there in all their busty glory.
It was later than usual though, and the impending darkness was making it hard to hurry. He’d been tied up for the last forty-five minutes helping fix a chair lift on the south side of the mountain.
Nevertheless, he skied with ease—some called it cockiness, but what the hell—down the steep, icy run, keeping an eye out for anyone or anything that might be left behind after the mountain shut down for the night.
The air had a bite to it and the gathering clouds looked like they might bring more snow before morning.
Justin moved closer to the edge of the run, looking over the side with sharp eyes, when he saw a neon green ski jutting up from the snow about twenty feet ahead. Leaning to the side, his skis bit into the ice, stopping him immediately. Not only was there a stray ski on the run, there were also unmistakable marks in the snow where its owner had bit the dust. But no one in sight. Not good.
Sidestepping down a few feet, he plucked the ski from the snow and held it up in the remaining light of the evening. K2 Lotta Luv skis. Nice women’s skis. They were also familiar women’s skis. He’d given Harper a pair just like these right before she left for USC. Kind of a parting gift, so to speak.
And wasn’t she supposed to be in town for Christmas break? He could have sworn he’d seen Amber earlier that afternoon in her signature skintight bibs and bouffant hairdo. As much as Harper claimed to dislike skiing, it would be just like Amber to drag her up here for a girl’s day out.
Justin whipped around. Christ. What if she were hurt? What in God’s name was she doing on this run? And alone? As soon as he knew she was okay, he was going to take a sizeable chunk out of her ass.
“Help! Can anyone hear me?”
Justin slid toward the spruce to his right, slowing when he came to the edge of the now obvious tree well. He leaned on his poles and looked down at a very pretty, very worried face looking back up at him.
When he saw she was standing, and seemed to be all right, he gave her a slow, casual smile. “I can hear you, kitten,” he said.
* * * *
Without her consent, Harper’s heart fluttered. Actually fluttered. It had always done that at the sight of Justin Noble. Even when she tried in vain to convince herself that she hated him.
He stood above her now, looking like something out of a magazine, his bright red ski patrol jacket in yummy contrast to his shaggy blond hair, brightened by many, many hours in the sun. His pale blue eyes seemed to burn right into her, and for a second, she forgot she should be annoyed at his embarrassing term of endearment.
She tossed her limp hair behind one shoulder and tried to muster some dignity, which was hard, seeing as how she was stuck in a hole. “Don’t call me kitten. You know I hate that.”
He smiled, his teeth bright against his tanned skin. “You didn’t seem to mind when we were dating.”
Despite her soggy, cold clothing, she warmed at that. He’d started calling her kitten after the first time they’d made out. Apparently she’d made some purring sounds, and the name had stuck. It had always embarrassed her, but hearing him say it was like seduction on a stick. And he knew it.
“Are you going to stand there all night, or are you going to help me out of here?”
“Well, I don’t know.” He made a show of taking off his gloves and unrolling a rope at his side. “First, tell me what the hell you were doing on this run.”
*Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll join me next Thursday for the next installment of Winter Break And don’t forget to stop by my friend Ashlynn Monroe’s blog tomorrow for her story, Reunion- http://www.ashlynnmonroe.com/apps/blog/
Harper Smith slowed to a stop, her skis wobbling on the ice encrusted snow. She took her goggles off and shoved them in her pocket with a little grunt. It was late afternoon, heading into evening, and the bright winter sun had just disappeared below the jagged mountaintop which seemed close enough to reach out and prick her finger on.
Shivering, she burrowed her chin into the collar of her pink down jacket and studied the sign to her right. This was a black diamond run. One she had absolutely no business going down on her own. But Amber had long since disappeared, probably off sucking face with her hairy boyfriend at the lodge, leaving Harper to fend for herself. She scowled at the sign, feeling decidedly un-Christmassy.
Harper had flown home for winter break only a few days ago, but it hadn’t taken her older sister but a few measly hours to slip back into their old routine of calling all the shots. She’d known Harper hated to ski, but Amber had pressured her anyway, and now here she was.
Harper eyed the sign again and sighed into the collar, letting the puff of breath warm her, if only for a second. Experienced skiers only! It seemed to shout, and she shivered again. Not only was she not experienced, she was downright awful. But growing up inOregon at the base of a badass skiing mountain, one was expected to learn to ski. And to like it.
One of the reasons she hadn’t been able wait to apply to USC last year was to go somewhere sunny and warm, and very non-snowy. As well as to forget all about Justin, her ex-boyfriend who also happened to be regular ski patrol on this very mountain. He was the main reason she hadn’t wanted to come today. Well, that and the possibility of breaking her neck.
Harper looked around. The mountainside was eerily quiet. The ski lift above squeaked and jerked as it moved forward, but not a single soul perched on any of the chairs. Crimony. What had she gotten herself into? Pulling out her cell, she frowned at the lack of bars. No service.
She squared her shoulders and surveyed the steep, winding run below. If she hadn’t stopped to stare down the sign, she’d probably be halfway to the lodge by now, and that much closer to warming herself by the fire and sipping a well deserved hot cocoa. She made a mental note to slap Amber when she got there.
Wrapping her gloved fingers around her poles, she took a breath. Here goes nothing.
She pushed off and immediately felt her skis slip and slide. The ice had gotten worse as the temperature dropped, and she struggled to maintain any kind of rhythm as she snow plowed shamelessly down the mountainside. Thank God Justin wasn’t here to see this. He’d get a laugh out of it for sure. He’d always been a remarkable skier, even qualifying for the Olympics right out of high school, only to dislocate his shoulder a week before he was scheduled to leave. These days he worked the off season at a local outdoor store and spent the winters as ski patrol here. At least that’s what she’d heard from Amber.
Not that she cared, of course.
Slowing to a shaky stop again, she tried to ignore the incredible burn in her thighs. This wasn’t exactly her Wii workout. She turned to look back up the mountain, a little creeped out by the lack of people. It was getting dark fast, leaving her with a panicked feeling in the pit of her belly. She really should have been at the lodge half an hour ago. They’d be closing soon. How could she have misjudged the time so badly?
There goes my freaking hot chocolate.
Pushing off again with renewed urgency, she wound around a thicket of trees, trying to use her poles to keep herself upright. The run twisted and turned over bumps and ridges that she had to negotiate with every bit of her meager skill in order not to go careening over the side of the mountain. Glancing nervously to her left, she couldn’t even tell how far down it was. Growing shadows from the looming pines and spruces made it hard to tell which way was which.
The wind was kicking up in savage little gusts and she put her head down, burying her frozen chin into her collar as best she could.
Snow plowing around a sharp corner, she hit a bump and felt the already precarious grip on her balance give. Her right ski shot out to the side and she wobbled, trying to regain what was left of her equilibrium.
“Whooooaaaa!” she cried, barely recognizing her own voice. She was gaining momentum, despite trying to slow herself down with the poles. Stupid poles. She jabbed at the ice, only to have them bounce back wildly, sending bits of frozen snow into her face and hair. “Holy shiiiit!”
She was headed straight for a giant spruce. The news report which would surely air that night, flashed before her eyes. Dumb ass college student killed trying to snow plow her way to the lodge. Story at ten.
Harper squeezed her eyes shut and braced herself for the impact, expecting a mouth full of bark any second. Instead, she felt the ground give way in a soft swoosh of air. She fell straight down, leaving her stomach above as if on a roller coaster.
When she landed it was with a thud which knocked all the air from her lungs. She sat there stunned, trying to remember how to blink. Ice and snow was packed down the back of her shirt, and it encrusted her long hair which was hanging in miserable clumps around her face.
“What the…” Looking up past the circular wall of snow, she realized with a jolt of fear what had happened. She’d fallen face first into a tree well.
Even Harper, who wasn’t exactly an outdoorsy kind of girl, knew the inherent dangers these things posed to skiers. They were basically wells made of snow, formed when a tree’s branches shelter its trunk from snowfall. She’d heard about them growing up, mostly on the news when some schmuck fell into one and had to be hauled out by search and rescue. That’s if they were lucky. Harper remembered a time or two when the poor schmucks hadn’t made it.
She bit back a panicked scream and tried to stand. Reaching for the trunk of the spruce, she used it to balance herself until she was upright. She’d lost a ski in the fall, but the other one clung to the bottom of her boot like bacteria, and she used her one remaining pole to kick it off.
She didn’t seem to be hurt. That was a good thing. She could have broken several bones in the fall. Still, she was in a pretty serious jam and she knew it.
Looking up again, she was met with the dark, ominous canopy of the tree above. Her teeth began clicking together as she took an unsteady breath in the unnatural silence.
*Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to join me next Thursday for the continuation of Winter Break And don’t forget to visit my friend Ashlynn Monroe’s blog tomorrow for her story, Reunion- http://www.ashlynnmonroe.com/apps/blog/
So excited to announce that my fellow Beachwalk Authors and I have written a collection of short holiday stories that we’ll be posting in increments on our blogs starting October 22nd! The stories will be broken down into five posts, and will be available for free download in December. The collection will be called Holiday Kisses, and will feature all kinds of stories by some of the hottest romance authors around! My first post will be Thursday, October 25, with my story, Winter Break. In a nutshell, it’s about a damsel in distress (and ski bibs), and a hot member of the ski patrol.