Thursday Threads – The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride

Today on Thursday Threads we feature Cathy MacRae‘s wonderful Scottish Medieval Romance, The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride:

CathyMcRaeTheHighlandersReluctBr850 (2)

 

The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride
Author: Cathy MacRae
Genre: Scottish Medieval Romance
Heat level: Sensual

Blurb:

Determined to keep the Macrory clan’s holdings out of the clutches of marauding pirates, King Robert II sends his man, Lord Ranald Scott, to hold Scaurness Castle. There, Laird Macrory lays dying, awaiting word from his son who is missing on the battlefields of France. If the son is not found before the old laird dies, Ranald will take over as laird—and marry Laird Macrory’s headstrong daughter.

Lady Caitriona sees no reason she cannot rule the clan in her brother’s stead, and is bitterly disappointed with the king’s decision to send a man to oversee the castle and people. Not only is Ranald Scott only distantly related to the Macrory clan, but he was her childhood nemesis. She has little trust or like for him.

Her disappointment turns to panic when the king’s plan is completely revealed and she realizes she must wed Ranald. Pirates, treachery, and a four-year-old girl stand between her and Ranald’s chance at happiness. What will it take for them to learn to trust each other and find the love they both deserve?

Excerpt:

 Riona brushed a wayward strand of dark auburn hair from her face as she took two quick paces to catch up with him. The movement reminded Ranald of her as a child.

“I don’t suppose ye were too anxious to come here,” she said.

He formed a rueful expression. “Nae. ‘Twas no’ my first choice.”

“I know ye dinnae like it here. Ye always seemed relieved to depart.”

Ranald laughed. “‘Twas ye I dinnae like.”

Rather than take offence, Riona nodded again. “Nor I ye.”

Ye were a difficult lass.”

She drew up short, staring at him. “Me? Difficult? All I ever wanted was to be included. Ye were forever running off, trying to leave me behind.”

Ranald did not check his pace. “Ach, we did let ye play sometimes.”

With a huff, Riona scrambled to his side. “Oh, aye. Ye let me play ‘princess.’ The princess ye kidnapped and held for ransom by tying me to a tree all afternoon.” She grabbed at her skirt again as she stumbled and caught herself.

Ranald paused and his horse tossed his head at his master’s sudden halt, but Riona didn’t slow her stride. With one long pace he was even with her again.

“And what about the time ye let me go fishing?” she tossed at him. “Except I had to sit in the bottom of the boat and use my skirt to hold yer catch. I smelled of fish for a week.”

Ranald chuckled and shook his head. “That wasnae me, lass.”

She bit her lip, and Ranald wondered why her straight, white teeth fascinated him so. He stared at the reddened mark her bite left behind.

“True,” she allowed. “Ye dinnae like the water, do ye?”

Ranald swallowed back his wayward thoughts. This was Riona, his childhood nemesis, not the sweet widow he’d left behind at Scott Castle.

He caught her sideways glance at him and realized he’d not answered her. “Nae. ‘Tis all that up and down and sideways motion. Makes my stomach churn.”

“How do ye intend to be laird of a people who live by the sea?”

I cannae say if I’ll ever be much of a sailor, but I will be laird.”

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J1PNPPC//

***

Cathy MacRae

Connect with Cathy:

Website: http://www.cathymacraeauthor.com/

Twitter: @CMacRaeAuthor

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Thursday Threads – Buccaneer Beauty

Today on Thursday Threads we feature

BuccaneerBeauty

Buccaneer Beauty

Genre: Historical Romance

Heat Level: Sensual

Blurb:

BUCCANEER BEAUTY is the story of Grace, Graínne, O’Malley, the beautiful daughter of a powerful Irish chieftain and a conventional mother. At the age of eleven, Graínne cuts her hair and sneaks aboard her father’s galley ship, determined to follow a life at sea and to seek the company of a handsome Scottish gallowglass, Bruce Donnel. Graínne proves herself a budding warrior when Spanish marauders invade her father’s vessel, but her parents have other plans for her. Though she proves an able sailor, Graínne is forced to marry Donal O’Flaherty, another powerful chieftain. Though enamored of Bruce Donnel, she nonetheless obeys her parents and proves an able helpmate to her violent and rash husband, continuing her own adventures at sea while raising children and supervising her husband’s home. Her heart, however, still belongs to a handsome Scot who she can never have.

Upon Donal’s death by ambush, Graínne continues her adventures along the Irish coast and Europe, secretly battling England’s growing power in her country. Alternately sleeping with the devil or manipulating the British authorities to her own ends, Graínne is determined to save her family and people from the tyranny imposed upon them by England. To make her family stronger, she weds Richard Bourke, one of the most powerful men in the region, but she can never forget Bruce Donnel and the passion he incited within her soul. Richard proves Graínne’s most stalwart supporter and she his, their minds and bodies uniting in an almost mystical union. Together, they faced the English with no fear—with only audacity and boundless courage. Still, the shadow of a youthful gallowglass intrudes on Graínne’s peace.

BUY LINK: http://www.amzn.com/B010MOFENQ/

Excerpt:

“I wish you could come with me to Bunowen.” Grainne heard Bruce’s footsteps when he stepped on the hay spread along the barn. She looked up from grooming her chestnut horse.

“Now what would I be doing there?” Bruce ambled toward her and began stroking the mare’s nose. The horse stomped on the ground with her right front hoof and let out a fierce snort. The Scot took a step back.

“She thinks you mean to dishonor me.” Grainne grinned at him as she combed the horse’s mane. “My da gave her to me after that first voyage. Before that, I’d only had a pony. He said I could handle Anu after that.”

Bruce had regained his courage. He searched within the folds of his cloak and offered the horse a carrot. Anu gazed at him with what looked like suspicion, sniffing the tempting vegetable. “She’s a wild one.”

Grainne laughed and threw her arms around the animal’s long neck. “She’s a smart one, you’re meaning.” She stared at the now fully-grown man before her. His fair hair fell lightly onto his shoulders, and he wore the tartan trews typical of his people. She glanced at the way his muscular legs bulged within the tight material of his tartan trews. He’d spent most of his life yielding an axe, and Grainne didn’t want to admit to herself how lonely the months were when he returned to his native land with the rest of his men. “How old are you now, Bruce Donnel?”

Bruce watched as Anu took a generous bite from the carrot, then he lifted it to his own lips, grinning. “Older than you, Lady Grainne.” He studied her for a few minutes. “Twenty.”

“So no Highland Lass has won your heart, has she?” Grainne swept the coarse mane from the comb and tossed it aside. She wiped her hands on her trews and pushed a stray strand of hair from her face.

“No, my heart’s been stolen by an Irish goddess, but I can’t have her.” He turned to the pawing horse and shared the rest of his carrot.

Grainne’s heart hammered inside her breast. She took a deep breath and forced levity into her voice. “Who is she, pray tell?”

Bruce was suddenly so close to her that she could feel his hot breath feathering the slight hairs on her neck. “Don’t play with me, Grainne. It hurts too much.”

Grainne swallowed hard as her very being lurched with desire and aching need. Every sinew in her body wanted to wrap him within the all-consuming fire of her passion. She forced a laugh into her voice. “What hurts? By what I hear aboard ship you waste no time pining for the chieftain’s daughter. You’re quite the man about port. Many a Spanish and French lass can attest to that.”

“They mean nothing.” His fingertips lightly touched a strand of her hair, but he jerked away as if an electric jolt raced through his body. He added bitterly, “But you’re the daughter of one of the most powerful men in Connaught, and you’re soon to be the wife of another. I’m a poor mercenary.”

“Not so poor by what I’ve heard.” Grainne struggled to control her own rapid breathing. The heat of his body infiltrated her very pores. “Rumor has it you’ve farmland in the Highlands.”

Bruce’s face was very close to hers as he moved closer to her, his breath fanning against her lips as they lightly touched hers. Grainne involuntarily touched his cheek, her fingertips on fire and her own breathing sounding loud in her ears. “You’ve heard right. It would be a great place to raise sheep, if I had the right woman.”

“Aye. It would be in a place with the right woman.”

Grainne looked away, but she still felt his heat. He cupped her chin under with his thumb and forefinger, forcing her to look at him. His brown eyes bore into her soul. Grainne’s whole body grew hot, and she gently slapped away his hand. Turning from him, she replied softly over her shoulder, “I have to finish with Anu.”

“Would you leave with me, my wild rose?” Suddenly, Bruce’s powerful arms encircled her waist. He ran his lips along her neck as his hands shifted to her breasts.

Grainne turned to him, almost against her as though she couldn’t help her conscious will. In his arms, she wasn’t possessed of a mind at all, only an aching body that longed for sexual release. During her long journeys at sea, Grainne had acquired many unsavory sailors’ habits. She loved to game and swore in such a way that made her mother cross herself before flailing her only daughter, but Grainne had never given of herself to man. She’d purposefully withheld her sexual favors from the men inhabiting her father’s ships. Grainne was a chieftain’s daughter. She wouldn’t disgrace him or herself.

***

Viola RussellViola can be found at:

Website: http://www.violarussell.com

 

Thursday Threads – Son of the Moonless Night

Today on Thursday Threads we feature a wonderful new novel from C. D. Hersh, Son of the Moonless Night:

 SON OF THE MOONLESS NIGHT_805x1275

GENRE: Urban fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

HEAT LEVEL: Sensual

Currently available in eBook on Amazon at: http://amzn.com/B00XK3E172

 

Blurb:

Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

Excerpt:

A crash in the alley stopped Katrina Romanovski mid-stride. Like the October mist swirling in off the lake, her gypsy blood stirred sending her intuition into high gear. Something unnatural was happening.

Go see what’s wrong. She heard her father’s voice as clearly as if he stood next to her.

On the heels of his words came her mother’s pragmatic warning in clipped British tones. You know what curiosity killed. Katrina pushed the ever-present warning aside. Mom never approved of Dad’s supernatural hunts and even less of his drawing her into them.

Pulling the oversized cross she always wore out from under her shirt, Kat looked around for a weapon. Please, not a vampire. I hate vampires! A piece of wood sticking out of the trashcan at the front of the alley caught her eye.

Grabbing it, she broke the end off into a sharp point. The mist-filled air filtered the light from the single bulb over one of the alley doorways. The wind swirled the loose trash around making a quiet approach difficult. Sidestepping the paper, with the stake in one hand and holding the gun she took from her purse in the other hand, she crept into the alley.

A roar echoed against the buildings, the sound nearly sending her running. That roar wasn’t a vampire. It sounded more like an animal. Kat inched closer. In the yellow pool of light from the back door of the building, a black bear, over seven feet tall, reared on its back legs and swung its paw at the man standing at the edge of the light. He crashed to the ground, shirt torn open from the slashing claws. Blood covered the fabric, and he clasped his left hand over his shoulder to stem the flow. The bear bent toward him, teeth bared in a smile. A wicked smile.

Kat aimed her gun, but before she could pull the trigger, a shot rang out. The flash of gunpowder lit the face of the injured man. The blast reverberated against the buildings. With an enraged bellow, the bear staggered backward against the wall. Shaking his head, the animal dropped to all four paws. Weaving like a drunk, he lumbered toward his attacker. The man took aim again, shooting the animal between the eyes. Animal and human collapsed on the dirty, littered pavement.

As she started to move forward, Kat’s gypsy senses crawled over her skin like angry red ants. As she slipped back into the shadows, the bear shed fur. Changing size. Then, finally, turning into a man.

Shape shifters. Her stake wasn’t any good against them, and her bullets weren’t silver. This one appeared dead anyway. Had the wounded man seen the shift? Tossing the stake aside, she paused by the shifter and quickly moved to the wounded man. Out cold. Still human.

When she touched him, his eyelids fluttered open. “Did I get it?”

“What?”

“The bear.”

***

hershRFP_4075

Where you can find C.D. HERSH:

Website

Soul Mate Publishing

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Goodreads

Thursday Threads – The Widow’s Walk

Today on Thursday Threads we feature Carole Ann Moleti and her haunting novel, The Widow’s Walk:

20150206 Finalwidowswalk_200

Paranormal Romance

Sexy, Heat Level 3-4

(available in ebook and print)

http://www.amazon.com/Widows-Walk-Carole-Ann-Moleti-ebook/dp/B00PHYCLHY

Blurb:

Mike and Liz Keeny are newlyweds, new parents, and the proprietors of the Barrett Inn, an 1875 Victorian on Cape Cod, which just happens to be haunted. By their own ghosts. The Inn had become an annex of Purgatory, putting Mike, Liz, and their infant son in danger. Selling the historic seaside bed and breakfast was the only answer, one that Liz and her own tortured specter refused to consider. Were they doomed to follow the same path that led to disaster in their previous lives? Was getting out, getting away, enough?

Excerpt:

Look, for now, we’ll just stay where we are–together. If Liz and Mike are united, then Jared and Elisabeth aren’t going to be able to get in between us.” He brushed the tears off her cheeks.

She stared at him intently, fear, maybe desperation in her eyes. “We can only talk to each other about this. Others might use any information against us.”

“Who would do that, Liz?’

Her demeanor hardened. She sat up, raised her chin. “My son. Your daughter. Sandra.”

“You’re paranoid. The kids have no inkling about ghosts. All Sandra has are theories. She doesn’t know about your incident–or my illness. And I’m not going to tell her.” Guilt twanged in his gut. Sandra had come up with all the ghostly interpretations on her own, right?

Liz jumped up. “She knows about my injury. Maybe not how it happened, but when Mae went in there to get my things, she figured out it was for me. She reads minds, or manipulates people into blabbing what they know.”

Mike lowered his voice to a whisper. “It doesn’t take much for Mae to spill information. I think you’re giving Sandra too much credit.” Yet, she did ask him about the ghosts as soon as he sat down.

“You can joke all you want, Mike, but this is serious. We can’t let anyone else in.”

“I won’t say a word about anything ghostly to anyone. As long as things stay under control.”

Liz studied him.

Mike squirmed. “I think I’m going to take a nap.” He settled back on the sofa.

She tucked the blanket around him and kissed him on the cheek. “I’ll go help Mae with dinner.”

She didn’t believe him. He didn’t trust her. This was never going to work.

Author Bio

Carole Ann Moleti lives and works as a nurse-midwife in New York City, thus explaining20150206 ColorreservedTN her fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. Her nonfiction focuses on health care, politics, and women’s issues. But her first love is writing science fiction and fantasy because walking through walls is less painful than running into them.

Carole’s Cape Cod paranormal romance novel, The Widow’s Walk, was published by Soulmate. Her urban fantasy short stories have appeared in the Toil, Trouble and Temptation Anthology and Haunted, Bites, Beltane, and Seers, all part of the Ten Tales series. Her review and commentary, memoir excerpts and creative non-fiction have been published in a variety of literary venues.

Buy Link

http://amzn.com/B00PHYCLHY

Where to find Carole:

http://amazon.com/author/carolemoleti

http://caroleannmoleti.blogspot.com/p/the-widows-walk.html

http://Twitter.com/Cmoleti

https://www.facebook.com/caroleannmoleti

http://amazon.com/author/carolemoleti

http://caroleannmoleti.com

plus.google.com/103609323247390103301

https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomCmoleti

http://www.pinterest.com/caroleannmoleti/

Thursday Threads – FOREST OF THE MIST: Awakening

Today on Thursday Threads we feature FOREST OF THE MIST: Awakening by Carly Jordynn:

forestofhtemistawakening

TITLE: FOREST OF THE MIST: Awakening
GENRE: YA Fantasy Romance
HEAT LEVEL: 3

BLURB:

Upon awakening from the coma that put her in the alternate realm known as Paradise Valley, Jennifer Burke Kyle discovered her infant son was half-grown, had some rather unique powers, and was the new leader of Paradise and the adjoining Dark Land. If that wasn’t enough to make her want to go back to sleep, she finds her dead husband, David Kyle, has ordered a complete stranger, Alex McGuire, to marry her and raise her young son as his own. Together, Alex and Jennifer, with the help of Davy, must escape the agents of PRI, a government research group, in order to protect the still comatose, Colin O’Brien.

AMAZON BUY LINK: http://www.amzn.com/B012T8JT5W/

EXCERPT:

“What?” Jennifer said. “I’m not ready to be married to you. I don’t even know you.”

Alex had had just about enough of her routine. “Listen, sweetheart, it’s no picnic being with you either. I’m tired of trying to live up to your lofty expectations. I’m not David Kyle, nor would I want to be. I’m doing this all for you, to protect you and Davy. A little gratitude would be welcome.”

“Excuse me?” Anger flashed in her eyes. “You are darn lucky that I even give you the time of day. You overbearing, egotistical control freak.”

“Control freak!” Alex shouted weakly. “Are we back to that song and dance again? Can’t you come up with some original material? I’ve busted my ass in order to help you, and you have the nerve to say I’m controlling you?”

“Oh, what a load of crap, Alex! You are not doing this for me or Davy. You are doing it for Lily.” Jennifer spun away from him in disgust.

Alex wanted to pound something in frustration, but he could barely move his arms. “For crying out loud, Jennifer, Lily isn’t here. She married Connor. They moved away. Lily has nothing to do with this. If she did, I would already be in Texas. I’m here with you because I want to be with you.”

“You do not know me!” she shouted.

“Because you won’t let me get to know you!” Alex countered.

Alex stopped speaking. His face turned red. Spots appeared before his eyes, and he had a hard time catching his breath. He saw Jennifer back away from him as the machine he was hooked up to began to scream. A team of doctors rushed into the room and began working on him. Alex felt himself begin to fade and then he was gone.

 

Carly Jordynn

ALSO BY CARLY JORDYNN:

FOREST OF THE MIST: Travelers http://www.amzn.com/B00ND8C3RE/

SASHA BISHOP: Retired Slayer http://www.amzn.com/B00O99U4V8/

CARLY’s SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

http://www.carlyjordynn.com/

www.facebook.com/carlyjordynn777

www.twitter.com/@CarlyJordynn

www.pinterest.com/CarlyJordynn

http://carlyjordynn.blogspot.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7200409.Carly_Jordynn

 

Thursday Threads – My Sexy Valentine

Today on Thursday Threads we feature the wonderful Tina Susedik and the fun filled Soul Mate Valentines Day anthology, My Sexy Valentine:

(And hey, I have a story in here as well.)

MySexyValentine600 Digital

ANTHOLOGY HEAT LEVEL: STEAMY

 

Blurb for The Valentine’s Proposal:

When a Valentine’s Day proposal doesn’t go the way she expected, librarian Janetta Simonson’s life changes in ways she’s never dreamed.

BUY LINK: My Sexy Valentine: http://amzn.com/B00SSFM1OChttp:/amzn.com/B00SSFM1OC

EXCERPT FROM The Valentine’s Proposal:

Devlin Baran followed the statuesque brunette as she stomped from the woman’s room and headed to the bar. His cock twitched as her hips swayed in tight jeans. Was the guy who dumped her crazy? To trade in this hot piece for the washed-out blonde?

He’d noticed her the moment she’d walked into the building. Full breasts. Tapered waist. Not too thin. Tall. His body had reacted immediately. He liked his women tall. He’d been ready to join her when the jerk arrived. During their argument he’d called her Janetta. The name seemed to suit her.

Pseudo cowboys irritated the hell out of him. New boots, shiny belt buckle, cheesy western shirt were all signs. But even real cowhands dressed up for a Saturday night on the town, so he could be mistaken. When the man tossed his hat brim side down on the table, Devlin knew him to be a fake. Any real westerner knew you put your hat top side down so not to ruin the folds.

Since he was out of luck with the brunette, he’d headed to the men’s room, where he observed the encounter. He nearly applauded when the woman smacked the pretend cowboy across the cheek and threw the ring into the crowd. Hell. Not only did he like them tall, he loved them spirited, like his fillies on his ranch.

As she headed to the bar, he shook his head. He couldn’t let a hot woman interfere with the job he had to do, needing all his focus to find out who was slipping drugs into women’s drinks. As a rancher working undercover as an FBI agent, he always seemed to be one-step behind the assholes who thought it fine to have sex with unconscious women.

The man, or men, moved from bar to bar in the small rural area. This was the only one that hadn’t been hit. He hoped to hit pay dirt tonight.

He tried to ignore Janetta’s shapely ass as she sat on a stool next to another pseudo cowboy. She must have a thing for their type. After taking her time with one drink, the man tipped his overly white Stetson, leaned in and said something, making her laugh. The back of Devlin’s neck prickled. He seemed familiar.

What was she thinking, Devlin wondered as she let the guy put his hand on her thigh. Even though she oozed sex appeal, after her encounter with Fred, he had the feeling she wasn’t a sexually aggressive person. She seemed more like a kindergarten teacher.

Janetta took a sip of her orange-colored drink and spoke to the man—who threw his head back and laughed. The hand went a bit further up her leg. She took another drink and swayed into him. Maybe he was wrong and she was just another floozy looking to pick up an unsuspecting cowboy.

The man swung an arm around her shoulders and lifted the glass to her lips. Her head dropped into his neck. He glanced over his shoulder and snuggled her into his side. After a few minutes he pulled her from the stool, and like a man helping a drunk companion, headed toward the door.

Shit. She’s been drugged.

 

ALSO BY TINA SUSEDIK:20151018 Tina Susedik

Riding for Love: http://www.amazon.com/Riding-for-Love-ebook/dp/B00CLJD31Q

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/riding-for-love-tina-susedik/1119333999?ean=9781619354289

 

All I Want for Christmas is a Soul Mate: http://www.amzn.com/B00GH2I458/

 

Where to find Tina:

http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/riding-for-love/

Website: TinaSusedik.com

Blog: http://tinasusedik.wordpress.com./

Twitter: @tinasusedik

Facebook: Tina Susedik, Author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17908316-riding-for-love

Thursday Threads – Jesse’s Girl

Today on Thursday Threads we feature the wonderful Char Chaffin and her nostalgia romance, Jesse’s Girl:

JessesGirl

 

TITLE: JESSE’S GIRL
AUTHOR: CHAR CHAFFIN
GENRE: NOSTALGIA ROMANCE
HEAT LEVEL: SWEET/SENSUAL

 

BLURB:

Tim O’Malley returns to his home town of Skitter Lake, Ohio, to clear his name and get the girl: Dorothy Whitaker, the love of his life since eighth grade. Blamed for a destructive fire he didn’t set, only Tim and Dorothy know the truth; that Jesse Prescott, Tim’s best friend and Dorothy’s boyfriend, did the deed that changed an entire town. But Jesse died in that tragedy and seven years later, Skitter Lake still honors him as a hero, rather than Tim, the boy from the seedy side of town whose father was a drunk . . . and whose quick actions saved six people from perishing in that horrendous fire.

 

In trying to set the record straight and finally claim Dorothy as his own, Tim—and Dorothy, too—will discover that in some small towns the legend often outweighs the truth . . . and their family and friends will forever see Dorothy as “Jesse’s girl.”

 

AMAZON BUY LINK: http://www.amzn.com/B00JK0DUD0/
BOOK TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjWlGAvbbrM

 
EXCERPT:
Now the need to lock Dorothy in a tight embrace, and never let go, overwhelmed him. He would have picked her up and carried her to his car, then driven her all the way back to Los Angeles just to get her away from a life he instinctively knew made her miserable. Tim remembered her folks. Wilma Whitaker had been a difficult woman when she was healthy and relatively happy. He couldn’t imagine how losing Dorothy’s dad would have twisted Wilma up inside.

 
He must have squeezed too tightly, because Dorothy let out a breathy gasp and wriggled until he loosened his arms. She stepped backward with a blush and downcast eyes. “I really do have to go, Tim.” She raised her head and all the longing he’d already been experiencing, all the need, was plain to see on her lovely face, for about half a second.

 
Then, her expression shuttered, she picked up her purse from the battered nightstand next to the bed where she’d laid it, and moved toward the door. Tim followed, unsure what to say even though a hundred different lines crowded his head. Stay with me. Get to know me, again. Love me, the way I never stopped loving you.

 
They remained locked behind his compressed lips as he escorted her to the door and wished the last seven years had never happened.

 
In the open doorway she formed a smile that fell short of her eyes. “I’m glad we got to spend a little time together, Tim.” She slipped her arms around his waist for a quicksilver hug, then stepped back before he could reciprocate. “Please give your folks my best when you get back home.”

 
Tim flicked his eyes up to hers, then over her face, prettier than ever and without a speck of makeup. Her silky, red-blonde hair, combed back in its usual ponytail, was so unlike the current style he’d seen not only in California but here in Skitter Lake. Her dress wouldn’t have been out of place at the sock hops he remembered from twelfth grade. It was almost as if Dorothy Whitaker had frozen herself in time.

 
And he suddenly knew he wouldn’t be leaving at the end of the week. He’d stick around and see what was what. For Dorothy, and maybe even for Jesse.

 
Slowly, Tim reached out and clasped her fingers, then her wrist. Before he could talk himself out of it, he yanked her into his arms, up against his body, catching the back of her head, right below her ponytail. As her lips parted to speak, protest, whatever, he covered them with a kiss that spun out of control the instant it began. He wound an arm around her waist to anchor her tightly, but she’d already thrust her hands into his hair as she kissed him back. Tim groaned into her mouth and felt it echo back to him in the whimper she uttered that throbbed in the scant space between them.

 
For what seemed like an eternity, he kissed her, deep, then slow, then fast, greedy, pouring years of want and desire into a single, perfect moment. If he’d ever kissed another woman like this, he couldn’t remember. He deepened the kiss even more, and felt her fingers fist reflexively in his hair. He didn’t care if she ripped it out by the handfuls, as long as she never let go.

 
And as if she’d somehow heard his thoughts, she stiffened, opened her fists, slapped her hands on his chest, and pushed until he released her lips. Rosy red and swollen, they quivered as she stared up at him with shock in her eyes. She pushed again, a silent demand for him to let her go. It about killed him, but he loosened his arms and stepped back.

 
Silently, Tim bent to pick up the purse she’d dropped, and gave it to her. As her fingers closed over the pale yellow leather, she whispered, “Why?”

 
He managed—barely—to keep his hands to himself as he replied, “Because I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying. And when I do leave, Dorothy, you’ll be coming with me.”

***

 

Char Chaffin

Char Chaffin writes multi-genre romance filled with family, rich characters and engaging plots. For her, it all comes back to the love.

A displaced Alaskan, Char travels extensively, and lives full-time in a motorhome with hubby Don, a retired Air Force man with a love of Fifties rock n’ roll and a passion for hot, classic cars. Between them they have three children and four grandchildren, all scattered to the far corners of the country.

Her love of romance and erotica interspersed with paranormal, horror, science fiction and fantasy has inflated her reading collection into several groaning bookcases and an overburdened Kindle. Char voraciously reads in between writing novels, novellas, and short stories. She is multi-published, and always working on that next manuscript.