New Releases! New Year’s Kisses & Fix You

The second of my holiday novella series is out today!

She didn’t plan to fall in love, but he’s not accepting anything less.

Emily has a five year plan, and romance isn’t on it. Unfortunately no one told Wade Johnson that.

Wade never thought he’d need to resort to blackmail to get a date. But if that’s what it’ll take to convince Emily Warner to join him, that’s what he’ll do – and make it a date neither of them will ever forget.

New Year’s is all about new beginnings and Emily and Wade are about to discover the best beginnings start at year’s end.

Excerpt –

Emily Warner threw another skirt back into her closet and cursed Wade Johnson. The man had her questioning every decision she’d ever made right down to the clothes in her wardrobe. Indecision was not her thing. She was a take-charge-get-it-done kind of woman. Except when it came to Wade. Her shoulders drooped and her head fell forward as all the air left her chest. How had one man managed to shake her confidence with such profound effect? If only she hadn’t needed that favour. But she couldn’t put on a Christmas concert for the children without a Santa. Refusing his offer of help to avoid a date hadn’t seemed fair.

She’d met Wade months ago, their attraction mutual and obvious, but Em had a five year plan and nowhere was there mention of a man, least of all one who made her stomach drop and her mind wander through a white picket fence and down the garden path. With her plan firmly in place, she’d rejected every advance he made in the hope he’d give up and move on to greener, more amenable pastures. She should have known better. A man like Wade couldn’t be brushed aside so easily. He was like a dog after a bone and now that he’d finally sunk his teeth into her, she doubted either of them would come out unscathed.

Cursing the man and his rotten timing – and her treacherous libido – Em dove back into her closet with the determination to wear the first thing she put her hands on. Whatever she pulled out next would be it. No more waffling. The black dress she came out with was the sexiest piece of clothing she owned. Wasn’t that just typical of her current off-the-track life plan that it would be the outfit she’d grab?

“Dammit.” Emily tossed the dress across the end of her bed and stared at it, muttering. “Dammit, dammit, dammit.”

She didn’t have to wear it. Except she’d made a decision and she would stick to it. She’d be damned if Wade Johnson was going to make her second guess one more thing. Head high, she spun on her heel, and stomped to the bathroom. He’d arrive in less than an hour and she needed every second of that to pull herself together. Heaven forbid he see her flustered. The man would pounce on any weakness she showed and Emily Warner never showed anything but calm, cool certainty. Her shoulders drooped slightly. Until Wade.

Steam from her shower still hovered in the bathroom and she had to swipe a towel across the mirror to clear the fog. Emily studied the face in front of her, but only saw the same woman she’d seen every day for years. Nothing had changed outwardly, but internally… Inside something was different. Cracked. It didn’t matter how much she denied it or fought it, there was no way to hide from the impact Wade had on her. He made her think of things she’d put aside years ago. Made her remember what it was to yearn for something she didn’t have and thought she didn’t want. Not yet anyway. And now he had her questioning the plan.

With a sigh, Em pulled the towel from her head and picked up her comb. Her short hair was practical for work and the natural curl gave her a feminine look, but if she were being honest she’d have to admit the style was quite boyish. The robe she wore hung off her slender shoulders, emphasising the less than curvaceous body beneath. More proof she didn’t live up to the image of most men’s fantasies. With another sigh, she began to run the wide-toothed comb through her tangled curls. It didn’t take long to remove the knots and fluff the waves into place. Reaching for her make-up bag, she pulled out her meagre supply and set to work on her face. She may lack curves in the places men lusted after, but her face was her saving grace.

She’d been called classically beautiful. What that meant Em wasn’t sure, but her deep blue eyes and long lashes were often called bedroom eyes, and drew more than a few compliments. Her full red lips had been described as kissable by a number of guys she’d dated over the years. Personally she thought they were over-large and took up too much of her face. To counteract her large mouth, Emily emphasised her eyes and down-played her lips. The one place she didn’t worry about make-up was at work; she never knew when one of the children would plaster a paint covered hand on her cheek, so it was best to not have to worry about cosmetic repairs at all.

The old cuckoo clock that had been her grandmother’s whirred to life out in the living room. With a squeak of hinges and a time-worn voice, the little cuckoo sprang from his house and chirped seven times. She was down to thirty minutes before Wade arrived. He hadn’t told her where they were going or what they were doing but considering it was New Year’s Eve and he’d asked her to dress semi-formal Em expected to be attending a party or perhaps an upscale restaurant. Her stomach fluttered at the thought of spending hours with him. From the few conversations they’d engaged in over the last few months she knew he was intelligent and didn’t doubt he’d be a charming companion for the evening. It was how charming he’d prove to be that had her worried.

Slicking on a coat of lip gloss she rolled her lips together to spread the layer evenly. She bypassed her foundation and blush and opted for a single swipe of mascara on her lashes. The temperature hadn’t lowered a great deal and she’d learned not to risk melted make-up disasters long ago. Sydney’s summers were best dealt with naturally and today was no exception. If the weathermen were to be believed there’d be no relief from the heat in the next few days and her car’s climate control system had registered a stifling thirty-eight degrees when she’d arrived home at five o’clock.

Emily checked her reflection one more time. Happy with both her hair and face, she made her way back to the bedroom and the black dress awaiting her. She pulled a matching bra and panties set out of her top drawer while she eyed the slinky material draped over her quilt. The fabric shimmered in the low light and Em couldn’t help but wonder what Wade would think when he saw her. A smile tugged at her lips. She’d never be a traffic stopper with her overly slender body, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t look good. Knowing how to play up her best assets had served her well in the past.

Not that she was out to impress him.

She slipped the belt of her robe free and shrugged out of the satin negligee she’d spent far too much money on last birthday. It wasn’t often Em spoiled herself, the plan didn’t allow for it for a start, but she’d never been one to indulge in frivolous things. While she hadn’t needed a new robe Em had found it impossible to pass up and consoled her practical side by saying it was a birthday gift to herself after exceeding the first year’s goal in her five year plan.

Stepping into the lace underwear Em thought about how far she’d come. From high school drop-out to business owner in less years than it took most to get their degrees. Years spent with her nose buried in books earned her not only a high school certificate, but a degree in early childhood education and a business degree with a minor in accounting: all things necessary to make her childcare centre such a success that parents put their children’s name down on the waiting list before they were born. By most people’s standards she’d already made it. But Emily wasn’t quite done yet.

Two more years and she would have achieved her goal a whole year ahead of time. Then she’d be able to step back and enjoy the results of all her hard work. Until then she couldn’t afford to be distracted by a good looking man, no matter how he made her insides churn. She’d go on this date and make it perfectly clear that she wasn’t interested in anything more. Emily chewed her bottom lip as she bent forward to fit her breasts into the cups of her bra properly. The delicate lace hugged her size-A mounds, barely covering her nipples. She didn’t normally wear such a low-cut undergarment, but the dress’s scooped neckline made the risqué underwear a necessity. And Emily excelled at doing what was necessary.

Emily reached for her dress and lowered the zipper. Carefully, she lifted the fabric over her head and shimmied until the soft material floated down her body. The silky caress of cool cloth sent a shiver down her spine. Twisting, she managed to get the zip up to her shoulders before contorting herself like a pretzel to close it the rest of the way. With another small shimmy the dress rippled and slid into place. Satisfied with her outfit if not precisely comfortable, Em searched the cupboard for her black sandals then headed for the living room.

She checked her phone in the hope of finding a message from Wade telling her he had to cancel, but there was no little envelope icon on the screen. It was probably best if she just accepted she was going on a date with Wade Johnson no matter how much she’d fought against it. Resigned to the inevitable Emily sighed and sat on the couch to wait for him to arrive.

You can purchase New Year’s Kisses from –

ESCAPE PUBLISHING ~ AMAZON ~ KOBO

To celebrate I’m running a week long contest party on my BLOG so be sure to pop on over and enter for your chance to win a $10 Amazon GC. PLUS the other five Escape Publishing release authors are joining me in the week long party so there’s more prize to be had! 🙂

Rhian Cahill

www.rhiancahill.com

AND…Fix You is OUT TODAY! This is the first book in my new Second Chances series.

What if love can’t heal all wounds?

Second Chances, Book 1

After too many years of secretly loving her best friend, Zoey realizes she’s been shortchanging herself. It’s time to take action. This New Year’s Eve heralds the year she’s going to tell Rob the truth. Even if he is on the road, reaching for musical stardom with his band.

Her plan is derailed when she discovers a lump in her breast—and it’s not “nothing to worry about”. How can she ask Rob to take a chance on love when her future is so uncertain?

Rob has spent his entire life chasing his dream, but the moment he hears Zoey’s voice on the phone, he realizes he’s been running the wrong race. Zoey never sounds like she’s been crying. Ever. Without a second thought, he books a flight for home, determined to give her everything she needs. A shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold…and nights of intensely emotional, passionate sex.

His biggest challenge, though, is convincing his best friend that he’s in it for the long haul. Because he finally knows what he wants, and it’s not fame and fortune. It’s her—and her love.

Warning: This book runs the emotional gamut between scorching-hot passion and the pain and fear associated with cancer. Keep a box of tissues next to your glass of ice water.

Excerpt:

Rob stared down at Zoey’s face as she slept. Her eyes were still puffy from last night’s tears. Neither of them had moved from the couch. Instead, he’d lain down next to her and held her as she silently wept. Pinpricks attacked the arm he’d wrapped around her, his hand numb from lying in the same position for so long. He didn’t bother to move. It felt too good holding her like this.

Some truths were crashing down on him. He’d been an ass, living his life like he had all the time in the world. Their time on this planet was far from infinite, and yet he’d squandered years of it, working on his career, focusing solely on making it big.

For what? Fame? Money? Why the hell did he need that shit?

He’d always taken it for granted that Zoey would be here for him. How the fuck was he supposed to go on without her? The moment she’d told him about the cancer, the light had gone on.

I’m in love with her. Christ. I’ve been in love with her since the first day I laid eyes on her.

Zoey stirred. Rob’s heart began to race as her eyes opened slowly. He wasn’t wasting a second more. He couldn’t. He just couldn’t.

She was disoriented for a moment before she lifted her gaze and smiled.

With his free hand, he stroked her face softly. “Zoey.” Her name fell from his lips on a hushed whisper, his chest constricting under the weight of every emotion under the sun—love, fear, happiness, panic, a raging case of nervousness.

What if she didn’t feel the same way?

“Yeah?”

He took a deep breath. Fear wasn’t going to hold him back another second longer. “I’m going to break my promise.”

“What promise?”

He didn’t respond. Instead, he bent his head and kissed her. Time froze as their lips met. Rob was transported back to that day in the park, to the truth that should have been obvious all those years ago. He’d been a blind, inexperienced boy back then, but now…his eyes were wide open.

It was her. Zoey. For him, it had always been her.

The kiss was a gentle touch at first, but when Zoey’s lips softened and accepted his, he deepened it. Her small hand cupped his cheek, exploring his face hesitantly before growing bolder, stroking it.

The smell of cinnamon enveloped them, her candle still burning from the night before. He knew in his heart that from now on, that scent would always make him think of her. Of this moment.

His heart lodged in his throat when he realized the magnitude of what was happening, of what he wanted to happen next. He was kissing his best friend. And she was kissing him back.

Encouraged, he opened his mouth, stroking his tongue against hers. The kiss grew harder, hungrier. For several minutes—hell, it could have been hours for all Rob knew—they simply kissed, learning each other’s taste, texture. Her skin was soft beneath his fingers as he caressed her delicate cheek. Her breathing grew heavier, the heat of it warm against his skin.

When he finally moved away, she was there, looking at him, studying his face. Hers was the picture of confusion, wariness…and desire. He latched onto the last like a dying man clinging to life. She wanted him.

“Still weird?” He needed the joke, needed to get his bearings. His emotions were too raw, too new, too close to the surface.

She shook her head slowly. “No. Not even close.”

“Good. I’ve been practicing.”

She laughed uneasily. “You’re insane. What the hell prompted that?”

He knew her. Knew she’d try to twist this into something innocent, funny. He wouldn’t let her. He ran his hand through her dark hair, overwhelmed by the need to touch her. “Just figured it was past time. You mind if we talk about this after?”

“After what?”

He let his body answer the question. Turning so they lay face to face on the couch, he placed his lips back on hers. He didn’t want to push her. After all, she’d just received life-altering, horrible news. He’d keep things easy, let her set the pace.

She didn’t resist his kisses. Her hand traveled along his shoulders and down his arm before landing on his chest. Her lips pressed against his harder. Then she moved away, an infinitesimal distance.

“Touch me,” she whispered, her hand fisting in the cotton of his shirt.

He didn’t need to be told twice. His hands roamed along her sides, drifted beneath her T-shirt.

She shivered when he caressed the bare skin of her waist. He stoked her arousal, kissing her harder as he explored every bit of bare flesh he could reach beneath her shirt. He forced air into his lungs, fought to keep his hands steady as he touched her.

The slight tremor in his hands seemed to distract her. She was the first to pull back. “Robbie, are you sure—?”

“After,” he repeated. He gripped her hip, dragging her closer. There was no way she could misconstrue how far he’d go if she was willing. His cock was hard, ready.

She bit her lip and he could sense she was struggling to make a decision. He wouldn’t force her into anything she wasn’t ready for. Hell, he’d be perfectly content to spend the next dozen years or so simply kissing her. Making up for so many wasted years. “Zoey—”

She shook her head and closed her eyes, but not before he read the hungry need there. Then she lifted one leg and wrapped it around his thigh. She thrust closer. It was an outright invitation. “After,” she whispered, her voice steadier than he expected.

Fix You is available at SamhainAmazon and Barnes and Noble.

18 Responses to “New Releases! New Year’s Kisses & Fix You”

  1. I have both books and just added them to my reader. Can’t wait to read them.

  2. Two great authors! I love both there books. So good!

  3. Great excerpts. I am adding these to my must have list.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. LOVE your books! Congrats on the new release!

  5. Dawna Newman Says:

    Congrats on the new release!

  6. Rhonda Wolf Says:

    Ladies, congrats on your new releases! I have them in my tbr mountain.

    • lol Rhonda I have one of those and it’s about ready to fall over. Can’t wait for Christmas hols where I’ll have days of sun and nothing to do by lie around and read. 🙂

  7. Congrats! These sound good.

  8. Happy release day to both of you!

  9. Happy Release Day!! Two books I definitely have to add to my TBB/TBR lists!!

  10. Added both of these to my wish list for payday. Happy release day to both of you.

  11. Congrats to both of you on your new releases! They both look great and are on my must have list 🙂

  12. Happy release day, Rhian and Mari 🙂 Happy dancing for me! Woot!

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