Monthly Archives: June 2013
I am very excited to share the first excerpt from my new project: The Storm Inside.
Eve and Jake were madly in love until life tore them apart. Ten years later Jake is determined to get back the life his demons stole. Check out this extended teaser and let me know what you think!
Jake nodded slowly, his green eyes deadly serious as he spoke, “Trust me I understand completely, Josh. I will never, ever hurt her again. I can guarantee that.”
An ache developed in my chest as I watched him talk. How could he guarantee that? I knew with absolute certainty having Jake around me would lead to more. And more would lead to heartbreak. It was just what Jake did to me. It wasn’t his fault I loved him so deeply, so completely there was no choice but to give him all of me. Just as it wasn’t his fault that he loved me so passionately he couldn’t control it.
But then his stare swung over to me. He looked deep into my eyes and straight into my soul the way only he could. I swear he could see all of me. I was naked in front of him, it didn’t matter what I hid or wore, this man could see all of me. So when he spoke it wasn’t just words, it was a promise between his soul and mine. “Ten years ago I ran away from my demons. I’m back to make those demons afraid of me, to set things right, and- ”
The waiter returned with our appetizers, but Jake didn’t look away. He had me trapped with his eyes. They were smoldering and intense, undressing me slowly and caressing my skin, the heat between my legs was pulsing.
Whoever this man was, he was a strange mix of the man I had loved and the man I always knew he could be, plus something else entirely. Something unexpected. He was darker and more intense, he knew what he wanted and I had the very distinct impression he never took no for an answer. This Jake got what he wanted. Period.
Panic ripped through me again. I didn’t like this feeling, the concept he would win me back against my will. That I had no choice in what was going to happen between him and me. “Excuse me,” I mumbled, clumsily standing up and tossing my napkin on the chair. “I need the restroom.”
Josh didn’t seem to notice the look of panic in my eyes, but Jake didn’t miss it. His intense green eyes silently watched me as I left the room.
But I didn’t go to the restroom, I ran to the kitchen. It was open and guests were welcome inside, but on a tour. I wasn’t with a guide, so I stopped dead in my tracks, looking around. A chef smiled at me warmly as he looked up from his work. For some stupid reason that made me giggle and I wandered over to the fish tanks like I belonged there.
Poor ugly fish were hours or minutes away from being someone’s dinner. I felt like one of those fish. I had been happily swimming along, blissfully unaware danger was right around the corner. Jake wanted me for his dinner and I wasn’t sure how I was going to keep him from killing me.
A throat was cleared behind me. I expected to see one of the many waiters ready to request I leave the kitchen until a proper tour was scheduled, but instead as I turned around my eyes fell upon Jake.
He was like a kid, no matter where I ran he kept turning up with a smile on his face.
“I didn’t mean to scare you away,” he kept a good five feet between us and his hands behind his back. He was making a conscious effort to seem safe and non-confrontational. “But I did want you to know how serious I am. Nothing about me is the same and I have every intention of righting every wrong I did before I left.”
He was wrong about one thing, there were many things about him that were the same. His smile was the same, his voice, and his heart. It may have been scared and buried beneath layers of crap parenting, but I’d seen it then as clearly as I could see it now.
And Jake had a truly good heart.
Didn’t make me any less terrified of loving him.
“Did you pick Bern’s on purpose?” I asked. I noticed how straight he always stood, it gave him an extra air of confidence and control.
“Yes.” he said flatly. “I told you, I’m taking my life back. All of it. Even if you don’t want me back, I’m damn determined to make sure that’s what you want. I want you to be absolutely positive. Doubts will tear a person in two, trust me on that one. So, yes, I chose this restaurant on purpose just like I chose to pitch to you myself today. I’m not going away, but I’m not going to force myself on you either. I didn’t expect you to fall into my lap and forgive me. This is gonna take time, time I am more than willing to invest. Because it needs to be done right. When you tell me you don’t love me, I want you to know it with every fiber of your being.”
Have a great Tuesday everyone! xoxo
It’s time for couple #2! My second favorite couple on the countdown are:
Braden and Joss from On Dublin Street by Samantha Young.
I have a SERIOUS soft spot for these two and their story. My husband claims it’s because Braden is everything I like combined into one fictional man. I can’t argue that. Braden is hot, rich, Scottish, crass, snarky, powerful, smart, and incredibly sweet. He makes my all giggly.
But it’s the entire story. In fact, it’s my current go-to book for bad days, a quick pick-me-up, or just general boredom. I can’t seem to get enough of it. Maybe it’s because I relate to Joss and her journey… I love a good journey that ends in happily ever after.
Joss is damaged, smart, strong, and making her way in the world. She isn’t looking for a hero or someone to complete her, she can take care of herself just fine. What Braden gives her someplace safe to be all of herself; not to complete her or be her world, but to make her world better.
In the end it is a sweet (hot) story of two people falling in love.
Braden’s weakness is his heart. We see how big it is in the way he adoringly protects and spoils his sister, Ellie, and Ellie’s half siblings. He’s the kind of guy who loves completely, which also means when he loves someone he is totally vulnerable. It is the only way he really knows how to love.
He can’t trust his heart to just anyone- if he is going to be in love, it has to be his equal in every way: brains, wit, and passion. Joss matches him in all of this. And by the end of the book we also know she will protect his heart to the bitter end.
I love their passion for each other, the comfortable ease they have loving each other (once they get past their issues), and their snarky personalities. And that is why they will always be one of my favorite romantic couples of all time. If you haven’t checked out On Dublin Street by Samantha Young yet, you are missing out!
As I sat here reviewing my all time favorite romantic couples, a trend very clearly jumped out at me… I apparently have a thing for a smartass guy. Handsome, of course. Roguish daredevil, check. Brilliant, absolutely. Heart of gold hidden deep down inside where only his perfect mirror can reach it… SOLD!
And my ladies are all pretty much the same, too. Smart, beautiful, persevering risk takers. They all do what needs doing, all the while looking gorgeous and kicking ass.
I think the operative word for these couples is PASSION. Both the men and the women are emotional forces to be reckoned with, and when combined with a heated romance, that passion is explosive. And because they are brilliant, that passion is often expressed through witty dialogue, something I really love.
I love the smart, fast-paced drama that accompanies couples like this. It is what makes me think about them long after the movie or book is done. It is why I come back to them over and over again.
So here is the first of my personal favorites: Han and Leia (Star Wars).
I think Han was the first man I ever really fell in love with. And Leia was the first woman I ever really and truly wanted to be. He is handsome, strong, and a full-on bad boy. Boy being the key, because one of the most unique qualities of Han Solo was his boyish charm. He always seemed to be up for anything, especially some fun. He was smart, but his real genius was thinking on his feet. No matter what went wrong, he could find a way around it.
He was bad, working and living with the dark underbelly of society. So you knew he could handle just about anybody, no matter how evil, which is pretty darn hot. He was funny and quick and incredibly loyal. His friendship with Chewey went far beyond any obligations binding the two together. Something about friendships like that always hits a soft spot for me.
And then there is the beautiful Princess Leia Organa. Seriously, what girl wouldn’t want to be her? She’s a princess, she’s beautiful, she’s smart, and willing to risk everything for the rebellion. She was a leader who really knew how to lead and didn’t hesitate for a moment to kill Jabba the Hutt. She was as good at defending herself as anyone else in the movies. She was a badass through and through. Not to mention she had Han Solo fall head over heels in love with her.
And their romance was HOT! Not because of anything physical that happened on the screen, but because of that passion that sizzled between them. They were gas and open flame around each other, and it was fun watch the sparks fly. She pushed him away, called him names, and pretended she didn’t feel a thing for him. All of which he took with a smile and wink. Because he knew eventually they were going to be together.
Which is what brings us to one of the hottest lines in all of romantic history. As Han prepares to descend into the carbon freezing chamber, potentially to his death, Leia can’t hold back anymore. It is her last chance to give in to her feelings. She calls out, “I love you!” To which Han epicly replies, “I know.”
Two incredibly simple words delivered so softly and with such intense eye contact it didn’t matter what he said. In fact, if he had said, “I love you, too,” it would have been weak and empty. But, “I know,” says so much more. It says I love you, I’ve always loved you, and I know you’ve always loved me. You don’t have to explain anything, because I know. And we’re going to get through this and have the most amazing romance in the history of history.
Best. Line. Ever.
One of the great things about Star Wars IV-VI is seeing that first spark between them in A New Hope and knowing it was going to be hot. Empire sizzled in part because of the tension caused by these two resisting and then finally acknowledging their love. And in Return of the Jedi we get to see them freely in love. We get to see all three parts of the romance in a satisfying way.
And so, because of their passion, witty banter, and general badassery, Han and Leia are hands-down one of my all time favorite romantic couples. Were you as in love with them as I was? (I still pull out Empire when I need a little romantic tension…) Comment below!