A new release and a new contract!

I’ve had a super couple of weeks. Sweet Thursday, book four in my Wild Irish series, is now available at Ellora’s Cave. Keep a tall glass of ice water nearby while reading–it’s a red hot menage. LOL

Blurb:

In high school, Lily was too shy to do anything about her feelings for her best friends, Justin and Killian. Now she’s ready to put to rest her regrets with a proposal that might shock even her oversexed friends—the three of them, together, one night, multiple positions.

 K and J are more than a little surprised to see Lily at their ten-year reunion. The plain Jane they remember is now a stunning woman—who wants to have sex with both of them. Who are they to deny her? Even if Killian suspects they might be treading on dangerous emotional territory.

 The night stretches into the weekend and, as K suspected, none of them want it to end. But he and Lily know people live in pairs, not trios, and they call a halt now, before it’s too late.

 Justin, however, knows a good thing when he sees it. He’s ready to fight for what he wants…what they all need. He just has to convince Lily and Killian that unconventional can also be extraordinary.

Excerpt:

Prologue

Lily lay on the blanket Killian had spread out for them and looked at the endless sea of stars above. She’d returned home following her graduation ceremony with her two best friends, desperate to escape gushing family members and too many friends who were hell-bent on finding the nearest keg party.

“Gotta admit, I never thought we’d make it to this point in our lives.” Killian was stretched out on one side of her, Justin the other. Killian had actually broken a long silence with his comment as they’d all seemed content to merely reflect on what it meant to be finished with high school.

Justin rolled over and propped his head on his elbow. Lily’s breath caught at his closeness and the heat coming from his body. The evening was uncharacteristically cool for Baltimore in June. “I’m pretty sure you mean you and me, K. I don’t think there was any question our Lily would graduate from high school.”

Lily grinned. They’d taken to adding our before her name halfway through junior year. The sound of it never failed to melt her a bit inside. “There wasn’t any question about you guys either.”

“I don’t know. I sort of thought Mr. Laredo was gonna expel us after that senior prank thing.”

Lily giggled at Justin’s feigned fear. He was ninety-nine percent mischief, compared to her less than one percent. She found that personality trait in him irresistible. “There was no way he was running the risk of getting you two back next year. I think of all our classmates, you were the ones with the best shot of walking across that stage regardless of your grades. I’m pretty sure Mr. Laredo was sobbing tears of joy when he saw that diploma in your hands.”

Justin and Lily burst into fits of laughter, but Killian didn’t. “Guess this is the last time we’ll be together for a while.”

Lily sobered up. Leave it to K to bring up the one subject they’d been avoiding since escaping. They’d come here to say goodbye. She’d been looking forward to and dreading graduation for weeks. While she was excited at the prospect of attending college, she hated the thought of leaving Killian and Justin.

Killian was too sweet, too sensitive to let them avoid facing the truth. It was just his way. She adored his strength, his spirit, his innate kindness. She sat up and looked down at his beloved face.

She’d been in love with her best friends for years. She’d never confessed that her feelings ran deeper than friendship because, for one thing, she was too shy and secondly, it was insane. She was in love with both of them and in her silly schoolgirl fantasies, they were always a trio, never a couple. It was an impossibility and she’d used that excuse to hold her tongue.

“We’ll keep in touch.” Even as she spoke the words, she knew the chances of them holding on to each other while half a world apart were slim. She was heading to California and USC, while they’d joined the Army.

Killian sat up as well and nodded. “Sure we will. We’ll email, write, call.”

Justin grinned crookedly. “I suck at writing letters, but I’d try it for you, Lil.”

She laughed. “Thanks, Justin.” She looked at her watch, knew time was running out. It was nearly midnight—her curfew. Her strict parents, though wonderful and loving, had refused to grant her a reprieve even for tonight. “I guess I should go in soon. We’re heading out pretty early in the morning.”

“Fuck,” Justin muttered and Lily frowned.

“Language,” she said without thinking, her admonition the same one she’d used daily in her attempts to clean up his gutter mouth.

“Dammit, Lil.” Killian shook his head. “Who leaves town the day after graduation?”

She smiled sadly. “My dad got it in his head that we needed to take one last family vacation together. We’re hitting the road with all my stuff for college in a U-Haul and the camper. He’s mapped out a three-week excursion. I have a feeling I’m going to see more of the national parks than anyone has ever wanted to see. Chad’s been complaining about taking this trip for months.”

Her younger brother Chad and Killian’s brother, Sean, were best friends as well, and eleven-year-old Chad wasn’t happy about the prospect of spending three prime summer weeks on the road with just their parents and her.

“I don’t see why you had to sign up for a summer-school course,” Justin interjected. “Aren’t you sick of classes? I mean, we just graduated and you’re already getting ready to start studying again. That sucks.”

“I don’t hate school like you. Besides, this bio course is only offered once every two years. It’s a great opportunity. And it’s not like we would have had the whole summer to mess around. You guys head out to boot camp in two weeks.”

Justin shrugged. “Yeah, but we could have planned a senior beach trip together or something.”

Lily laughed. “Like my parents would have let me go to the beach for a week with you two.”

Killian leaned forward. “Your parents like us.”

“Not that much,” she teased. Her parents did like her friends, but only because they’d come to the realization long ago that neither boy was likely to come on to her. The moment the thought flitted through her mind, she felt the same depression she’d been suffering for weeks assail her again. She’d never given either guy a hint of her feelings. Struck by the reality that this could be her last chance, her rationale about not approaching them seemed silly.

Killian and Justin both rose and Killian reached down to help her up as well. “I guess we should go,” he said.

She nodded.

It’s now or never. Do it!

“Well, looks like this is it.” Her voice was rough with the unshed tears she fought to hold in. Her mind was screaming at her.

Kiss them. Tell them. Do something.

Justin reached over and hugged her. It was a strong embrace but a friendly one—nothing more. When he released her, Killian took his place, wrapping her smaller frame in his giant one. Realizing her shyness would never let her speak the words, her hopes suddenly turned to silent begging.

Kiss me. Just this one time, please kiss me.

“I’m gonna miss you, Lil.” Killian stepped away and she knew the moment had passed. Her chance was gone.

“I’ll miss you guys too.”

She watched them leave, waved as they walked away from her. She didn’t allow herself to crumble on the blanket at her feet until she heard their car pull away. Then she collapsed, giving in to the tears. She’d let them leave without telling them what was in her heart, without telling them exactly what they meant to her. She cried for ages and when the tears finally stopped, she sat up sadly.

So much for a new beginning, a fresh start. Now she faced her future with a heart full of regrets.

AND…I’ve got a release date for the sequel to my cowboy quickie Spitfire. Rekindled will hit Ellora’s Cave’s bookshelf on July 9 and I thought I’d share a little inside peek of that story as well.

Rekindled is a standalone sequel to Spitfire.

It’s been a year since her husband’s passing, and running the ranch is taking its toll on Claire Hutchins. Independent as the day is long, she concedes the need for help. She wants a foreman, an employee to run the day-to-day who can handle a woman calling the shots. Someone who won’t give her any trouble…

Who shows up at her door, first in line for the job? Jeb Carter. Ex-high-school sweetheart. Longtime rodeo star. And the one man capable of making Claire’s lust burn out of control…of making her surrender completely.

Trouble has finally come calling…and he’s as irresistible as ever.

Excerpt:

“No. I told you, I need someone who’ll stick around, someone who understands how to run a ranch.”

“Claire, for chrissake, I grew up on a ranch. I may have rejected the lessons and the lifestyle for a while, but I’m not thick. I know how to run a ranch. And I meant what I said earlier, I’m staying. It’s time.”

She fought back the instinct to shiver at Jeb’s comments. She could read between the lines. “I’m not ready.”

“It’s been a year. I know you’re grieving your husband but dammit, I can’t risk you moving on without me. I made the mistake of giving up on us once. I won’t do it again.”

She closed her eyes, turned away. She couldn’t face him or the memories, the years spent wondering what if. “That was a long time ago. I’ve grown up, changed.”

“I’m banking on that.”

She faced him, eyes narrowed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“When we dated in high school, you were too young, too innocent to handle what I wanted. I know that. You’re a woman now. My woman.”

“No, I’m not.”

“You’ve been mine since the day you gave me your virginity. I let you slip away once. I’ve been a patient man. Stayed away these last ten years while you lived your life with Hutchins. I didn’t make waves, didn’t interfere.”

“I’m supposed to believe you traveled with the rodeo not because you loved every minute of it, but because you were avoiding me? Bullshit.”

“I love the rodeo. And you’re right, I wasn’t suffering riding the circuit, but by God, I suffered every time I came home. Every time I saw you with Hutchins, every time I thought of him sharing your bed at night.”

“Stop.” She put her hand up, anxious to wave away his words. “You and I broke up. We were never right together. You’ve got to—”

Jeb took a step closer and this time she did move back. “We were right. It’s the timing that was wrong. That’s not a problem now.”

“I can’t give you what you want.”

He grinned, running the back of his hand along her cheek. “You’re the only woman who can give me what I want. It’s always been you, Claire.”

He bent forward, his intention to kiss her as clear as the Texas sky. “Please don’t,” she whispered when his lips were a hairsbreadth away from her.

He paused for a moment, but didn’t retreat. “I’ve missed you.”

She closed her eyes and gave in. She’d missed him too. Terribly. She closed the miniscule inch left between them and offered her lips. The moment his touched hers, she was transported to the first time he’d kissed her—the night of the homecoming football game. She’d been sixteen and she remembered how excited she’d been when Jeb asked her to be his date for the dance the following night. He’d kissed her beside the bonfire at the end of the game.

Her first kiss, and it was every bit as beautiful as the one he was giving her now and she felt all those old feelings rekindled. His lips lightly grazed hers, reawakening feelings she thought had died with her husband. Soon his kiss became hungrier, hotter. She reached up, gripping his neck, making her own demands as she pulled him closer. He rasped his tongue against her lips and she opened her mouth, welcoming him in. His grip on her waist tightened and she sucked in a breath as his hands began moving upward, not stopping until he cupped her breasts.

The kiss continued as Jeb tweaked her nipples through her T-shirt. She spread her legs and began rubbing herself against his thigh. Her body was on fire. It had been so damn long since she’d felt the slightest spark of desire. She’d have to change her panties at the end of this interlude. She was too wet, too needy.

One of his hands left her breast, rising to grasp her ponytail. She shuddered when he pulled her head back, directing her with slight tugs on her hair, nipping her neck.

“It’s still there. Still the same,” he whispered against her skin. It had always been this way between them. One kiss and it was as if the entire world had gone up in flames. She struggled to pull away.

“No,” she whispered. He hesitated and she could sense him taking stock, trying to decide if she really meant her refusal. She battened down her hatches and pushed against his chest. “No.” Her voice was stronger this time. “This isn’t the time or place.” She glanced out into the yard, relieved none of the ranch hands had walked by and caught her making out with Jeb Carter in the doorway.

She was just so damn tired. It had weakened her resistance. Next time he tried to kiss her, she would be prepared, stronger, better able to fight him off.

“You’ve got dark circles under your eyes.” He studied her face and she knew he wasn’t discouraged by her pushing him away. If anything, giving in to his kisses had likely fueled his intentions to claim her…by any means necessary.

She shrugged. “It’s been a long month. Hell, a long year.”

He grasped her cheeks in his large palms but made no move to draw her closer. “You’re gonna hire me.”

He was relentless. She chuckled, then conceded. She needed help. “Maybe.”

The grin he offered in reply was cocky, smug, and she knew she’d lost this round. Jeb would get his way. “My duffel bag is in the car. Make room for my stuff in your closet.”

She narrowed her eyes. “You’ll stay in the foreman’s cabin and my bedroom door will be locked—every night.”

“Maybe.” He walked back to his car and she wondered what the hell she’d just unleashed.

One Response to “A new release and a new contract!”

  1. quiltingreader Says:

    It went on my wish list! Wow!!!

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