What better day to get hooked on a good romance than Valentine’s Day? Today I’m featuring a few books from my publisher, Escape Publishing. Next to each book cover is a brief romantic snippet from the book so you can get an idea of the writing style and characters and see which ones click with you. To find out more about each book or to buy it, click on the book title.
To start, I’ll share a snippet from my latest release, February or Forever, followed by other books from Escape…
She watched him for a moment, her finger wanting to desperately trace the curves on his face, but she settled for tracing them with her gaze instead. She lowered herself onto her elbow next to him, watching him sleep. Everyone said that sleeping children were gorgeous, but no one ever mentioned sleeping celebrities. Only he wasn’t a celebrity to her any more. He was a man. A talented and creative man, and a damn good dancer.
Watching him was like a meditation in itself, centring her mind and calming her breathing. She was about to snuggle up next to him when his eyes snapped open.
‘Gotcha!’ he said, a cheeky grin on his face.
Chrissie sat up. ‘You weren’t asleep?’
He shook his head.
She whacked him lightly on the chest with the back of her hand. ‘You trickster.’
‘You were watching me, weren’t you? I could feel it.’ A smug look graced his face.
‘No I wasn’t,’ she said. ‘I was just…waiting for you to wake up.’ She tightened the elastic on her ponytail and looked away.
‘Come here.’ Drew pulled her on top of him and whispered, ‘I would have watched you too.’
Chrissie confessed the truth with an honest smile, and her finger finally traced around the side of his face as she took in every perfect detail.
‘Your eyes,’ Drew said. ‘You’ve got Hungry Eyes.’
Chrissie smiled, remembering the song of the same name from Dirty Dancing.
‘Well then, you better feed them,’ she said, lowering her face to his and taking his lips in hers.
By day’s end, a dozen people would have a little piece of her heart. Perhaps it wasn’t the heart they longed for, but hers was a willing one.
Dressed for the occasion, Reese was a shock of colour on the subdued street. The bust of her dress was red and the lower half white. Just below her breasts the block of colour broke apart into tumbling hearts, which fell and pooled around the hem. The pockets of her long, red coat were stuffed with envelopes, none of which bore her name. Because these letters were not for her.
Reese didn’t know who they were for.
Each boasted the same sentence: If you’ve found me, I’m yours.
Brennan opened his beautiful blue eyes again and stared into mine. “I have lived my entire life searching for you. The instant I laid my eyes on you, the moment you first opened your mouth to speak, I knew that I would one day love you. But what I didn’t understand in those first moments was exactly how much I would grow to love you. I couldn’t have even conceived of the force of emotions I now feel for you. Leah, I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I have no doubts or reservations about that.”
My heart fluttered. Breathing heavily, I asked, “What are you trying to say?”
He hesitated, enough for my heart to thud hard in my chest, before asking, “Will you marry me?”
As he said those words, it was as though everything around me dimmed out. All the noise and all the colours faded, leaving only Brennan and I in the entire world. I didn’t have to think, I knew instinctively what my answer was. “Yes. I will marry you,” I said, unable to hold back the tears any longer.
He leant over the table and kissed me. “Thank you,” he breathed.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small black ring box. My breath caught as he opened it and pulled out a stunning, antique diamond ring. I couldn’t tear my gaze from it as he delicately placed it on my left ring finger. It was beautiful; a generous square-cut diamond set in an ornate platinum band.
‘You’re really happy, aren’t you?’ I asked him as I observed every part of his face, mesmerised by what the emotion looked like on the outside, from his easy smile to his brows that were not at all crinkled like mine always seemed to be.
‘“Happy” seems tremendously understated I think.’ My nerves grew all at once wilder under the surface of my skin and my eyes widened. ‘Why are you looking at me like that?’ he said, as a hint of a smirk pulled on his lips as if they were gating a secret behind them.
With his relaxed disposition and loosely worn wedding attire, I could hardly breathe let alone answer him. ‘Like what?’ I managed.
‘As if I’m about to lure you into the fires of hell.’
‘How do I know that you won’t?’
He wrapped an arm around my waist and held my hand out to our side with the other, taking the pose that would begin a traditional waltz. He pulled me securely against him. ‘You know me better than that. Now, it’s about time that we get a little loose, don’t you think?
‘Nick,’ I warned, though all over my body my skin prickled with anticipation of what he had planned.
‘Do you trust me?’
‘You’re up to something,’ I accused.
‘You didn’t answer my question.’
‘I trust you, but—’
He shook his head dismissively. ‘No buts. It’s a yes or no question, angel.’
‘Yes. I trust you.’
‘That’s my girl.’
Abi rested her hands upon Mackenzie’s knees, her fingers playing with his coarse leg hair. Her breasts bobbed salaciously above the water line and her wanton nipples peaked as the sensation of the warm water and the cool air teased her skin. Mackenzie placed his hands over her hands and she felt the warmth emanate from his palms. She closed her eyes and was absorbed in the immeasurable pleasure of a simple bath.
His hands splashed into the water and his fingers caressed her calf muscle. She opened her eyes. He was watching her. His honey eyes drew her in. Her heart beat faster and heat rose from within her core. As he devoured her with his gaze she wondered what he was thinking.
He licked his lips. “Would you like a foot massage?”
She swallowed hard, unable to answer.
Without taking his eyes off her he lifted her foot from the water and she chewed on her bottom lip in an attempt to curb the fireworks racing through her body. Her breath deepened more with each toe he massaged and she felt herself melting away when he ran his thumbs down her instep. Her heart quickened as she experienced one of the most sensuous moments of her life.
An exquisite pulsing between her thighs surprised her.
She wanted him to touch her more but she had no idea if he wanted her too. As she looked into his eyes she wondered if he was thinking the same thing. Never before had she wanted to be with someone so much.
Matilda smiled up at him, her eyes dark with passion. As she lay back against the pillow, her bright hair fanned out around her perfect face. ‘I know that you are to be married and that you will belong to another, but tonight I want what your eyes have promised me from the first moment we met.’
Dear God. This woman would be his undoing.
Kit knelt at the side of the bed and ran his fingers around the loose collar of her blouse. The sight of peaked nipples—visible through the cotton of her blouse—and of goosebumps sparking in the wake of his fingers caused an agonising pulse of need to score his already-tense body.
Surely she didn’t understand what she was saying.
‘Kit.’ The breathless tone of her voice turned his name into a caress more potent than the touch of her body. She was irresistible, and she was right—he had dreamed of this since that first moment she had leaned across the dinner table, captivating him in the candlelight.
Bending over her, Kit took her lips, kissing her slowly as though they had all the time in the world. As he nipped at her lower lip, she moaned in pleasure, licking and stroking until his body screamed with need.
Kit released her mouth and trailed a line of kisses across her cheek, inhaling the scent of warmth and sunshine in her hair.
‘Tell me once more,’ he whispered against her cheek. As much as he wanted her, this had to be her decision and must be made of her own free will. He would not take her until he truly knew it was her wish.
‘I want you, Kit. It is my gift.’ Matilda stated the words simply, ‘My gift to myself.’
A rapid splash under the shower got him as alert as he was going to be. He was just reaching for the towel when the bathroom door opened and Erica slipped in, wearing a short cotton robe and looking pale and washed out. ‘You need a shave,’ she said, reaching out one small hand and touching his cheek.
‘Yeah,’ Nathan said, pushing the water out of his hair as he turned off the shower. She handed him a towel, and he wrapped it around his waist as she opened the bathroom cabinet and rummaged amongst the shelves. Then she pulled a small blue stool out from a corner and pushed him down on to it. Nathan didn’t protest as she soaped up his face, tilted his head to the side and set about shaving off a week’s worth of growth.
‘You’ve done this before,’ he said, wanting so badly to pull her close and just hold her, to tell her everything was going to be alright.
‘No,’ she replied. ‘But I’ve always wanted to.’ She touched her mouth to a clean patch of skin on his jaw. ‘I’m in love with you, you know,’ she said, offering him a pained little smile. ‘I didn’t mean to be. But it happened anyway.’ Another stroke of the blade against his skin, this time across his chin.
Brent Coleman’s gut clenched when the doorbell echoed through the house, heralding the arrival of another of Valentine’s Dates. Watching from the window, he committed the licence plate to memory as the expensive car eased down the driveway and out of sight. His fingers tightened on the frame, his knuckles turning white with the effort to rein in his jealousy. The sequence of beeps behind him indicated the front gate had been passed and the following three longer and one short beep marked the activation of the perimeter alarm.
He let go of the window frame with exaggerated care and turned to check the control panel. The property was broken up into zones, each linked in an overall system that protected the premises of the sprawling three thousand-square-metre estate. It was overkill, but it was a valuable testing ground. Being able to work out the bugs in his latest programs on the harbour-side mansion meant real-life experience and he wasn’t stuck in the office twenty-four-seven. Luckily, Wade, his business partner and best friend, more than welcomed Brent’s need to regularly tweak the security systems their company built.
Satisfied the alarm was armed, he made his way back to his office. Working and living with Wade had never been a problem, even once his best friend married and had a baby. Vee moving back in, however, made him uncomfortable. The woman had been a thorn in his side since the day she turned eighteen and made it clear any attention he gave her would be willingly received. But he couldn’t bring himself to admit he’d fallen for his best friend’s little sister. Talk about a walking cliché.
Melinda dumped her wine glass on the bar, slipped off the chair and headed for the dance floor to join her friends. It was stupid to feel so hurt but she did. James didn’t know she had feelings for him, so she really had no reason to be angry. To him, she was just his housemate; the girl he could joke around with and test his pick up lines on.
The fact that she’d fallen in love him was her problem. He was the perfect housemate. He cooked, cleaned, ironed and listened. He even watched chick flicks with her sometimes.
He was the perfect guy and to him, she was just Melinda; the girl whose house he shared. He’d never once batted an eyelid when she’d brought guys home. In the beginning, she hadn’t batted an eyelid when he’d done the same and bought girls home. The fact that she hadn’t gotten laid in over six months wasn’t his issue. It was totally hers.
The realisation she’d fallen for him had been one Friday night when they’d been sharing Chinese. He’d said something and she’d looked over at him and WHAM that was when it had hit her. She’d fallen for him.
Mooning over a guy who wasn’t into you was the least attractive trait in a woman. How many times had she’d told her friends that? Now it was time to take her own advice and get over her feelings for James.
Chris takes me in his arms, brushes the stray hairs off my face and gently traces my rounded cheek with his fingers. “My beautiful wife,” he says smiling at me. Those sexy crinkles melt my heart again. He puts a hand on my tummy and right at that moment the baby kicks. His face lights up and then he looks at my tummy as though it is the most miraculous thing he’s ever seen. “I can’t wait to meet you, little one. Be kind to your Mummy. She’s the love of my life.” A tear rolls down my cheek and my chin wobbles as he takes my face in his rough hands and brings his lips to mine in the most delicate, loving kiss I’ve ever experienced. I can still feel his lips long after he’s pulled away.
He heads out the door. “I love you, Chris,” I call out after him, but he’s gone and doesn’t hear me.
~ Hope you enjoyed these excerpts and hope you’ve found a new book to read! Which excerpt/s caught your attention the most?