When I completed and submitted my thirtieth book, I decided to celebrate by offering a taste from each one. Today, it's Christmas, even if the sun is shining! Enjoy!
Blame The Mistletoe is Book Two in my Love In Montana series. I loved Liz and Blake right from the start. They're very down to earth. In fact, Blake is in an elite club among my heroes. He's flat broke and is seriously worried about keeping his ranch.
I don't want to give too much away, but I'll excerpt the scene where they just made love on the couch. Liz and Blake are both divorced. Liz's ex-husband is the brother of Blake's ex-wife, so their kids are cousins on that side.
~ * ~
Then slowly, as gently as the snow fell outside, they relaxed. He left her for a moment and came back with a blanket.
“I thought we were going to decorate,” she murmured as he stretched out alongside her, shifting her so he was mostly under her and she was draped across him beneath the scratch of the wool blanket. Their feet pointed to the tree that remained almost as bare as they were.
“Go for it,” he said, but his arms tightened around her, like he wouldn’t let her move if she had the energy to try.
She sighed, completely relaxed and content. Sleepily, she stroked her fingertip against the silky hair on his breast bone, mind wandering as Bing switched from Dreaming of a White Christmas to Silent Night. When the lyrics reached ‘mother and child…’ she whispered, “Are you asleep?”
“I’d like to, but I should check the weather,” he said in a low rumble. “I spent the last day and half buttoning up for that storm they promised and I think it’s finally coming. Hear the wind?”
She did, in the chimney and against the window.
“Will we lose power? Should I worry about Nola’s place?”
“It should be fine. We’ll have to dig out the driveway, but Curly’s here, so what else is there to worry about? No, you can stay right here.” He settled her even more firmly against him.
“Mmm,” she hummed in agreement, then cautiously asked, “Can I ask you something? Don’t take it as pressure, okay? I’m just curious.”
He tucked his chin to frown down at her. “Okay. What is it?”
“Do you ever think about marrying again and having more kids?”
“Yes,” he said, solid and firm. “All the time. Having more kids, anyway. I love Ethan so much. But Crystal and I fell apart almost as soon as we came together and since then... What do I have to offer a woman, Liz?”
His words squeezed her heart.
“You,” she said firmly, rolling against him, so their nude bodies slid deliciously beneath the blanket. “Don’t undersell yourself.”
He dismissed that with a kick of his brow and a curl of his mouth. Then, he snagged her gaze with a solemn, penetrating stare. “What about you? Do you want more kids?”
She nodded. “I do.” Looking toward the tree, feeling as though she were wishing on its empty top, she said, “I’m trying not to make it a goal. Like a task that needs to be ticked off a list, but I think it’s easier for a man to just let something like that happen naturally. As a woman, I’m constantly thinking of my age and...” She sighed. “Honestly, I’m not fishing for anything. I was just wondering whether you did.”
The door to the mudroom clapped open and feet stomped.
Blake’s arm tightened around her as he sat up, bringing her with him, both of them looking over the back of the sofa. Liz scrambled to keep the edge of the blanket across her naked breasts.
“Who’s there?” Blake barked, making Blue heave himself to his feet and woof once before he wandered toward the mudroom with his tail wagging.
Curly went crazy, but almost immediately evolved into a bundle of wiggles and excitement, telling her both dogs must know who—
“It’s me,” a young man’s voice said, adding a sarcastic, “Dad,” before Ethan appeared from the mudroom and halted in his tracks at the sight of them. ~*~ Blake knew his son. He hadn’t seen him this red-faced, tense and confrontational, since the first pulses of high-grade testosterone had begun pumping through his body a few years ago. Things had leveled out in the last year, but today, Ethan looked like liquid nitrogen, ready to explode.
His derisive use of 'Dad' put a barbed hook in Blake’s chest, but he wasn’t ready to face what it might mean. His brain focused instead on how the hell this could possibly be happening.
Ethan’s aggressive posture seemed to expand as he took in that Blake had company. That it was a woman. That they were naked.
“Auntie Liz?” Ethan blurted, peach-fuzzed jaw dropping in shock.
Liz inhaled sharply, just as a second pair of feet moved from the mudroom. A pretty teenager Blake barely recognized because she’d changed so much since he’d last seen her, appeared behind Ethan.
“Mom?” Petra said.
Liz swore. Petra goggled big blue eyes.
Ethan swung his gaze back to Blake’s and it was the worst look his son had ever turned on him. It was a mixture of contempt and confusion and such a depth of hurt it clenched a fist around Blake’s heart.