New Release in Contemporary #Romance: Breathless
Happy New Year Dear Readers!
I hope your holiday season was fabulous! Ours was filled with family visitors, my kiddo’s performances, holiday parties, and alas, a few bouts of colds and flus. We’re all healthy now, hurrah, and I’m excited to ring in the new year with a book release from my author pal, Georgia Lyn Hunter.
Read on for details and two excellent excerpts!
When the fairy tale life you believed in falls apart, there is nothing else left…
Or so I believed, until Trouble, wrapped in one hunky body and a sinful smile promising untold pleasure of the carnal kind, lands on my doorstep. Despite what my body demands or the fact that I’m irresistibly drawn to him, I’d been burned too deeply to dare try again. Besides, Max Meade-Sinclair is my younger sister’s best friend—and totally off-limits.
Ila Logan’s coolly dismissive manner captures and challenges me from the moment our paths cross. What I want, I usually get. A little thing like age isn’t going to stop me. Neither are the men who disappear into her secluded room. However, she proves a difficult opponent who leaves me falling for her a little more at each encounter.
This tempestuous woman is mine, but to win her, I must dig deeper, and show her that beneath my brawling, player facade exists a man who would go to the ends of the earth to make her happy.
from the opening chapter
Bile crept up my throat as pain churned in my head. Yet it didn’t stop me from chugging back more of my beer, searching for oblivion. Unfortunately, it wasn’t at the bottom of the bottle. The din of the place grew, competing with the pounding in my skull. I squeezed my eyes shut.
“Lights off!” someone shouted.
Christ. I winced, the yell reverberating in my head as total darkness enclosed me in its stifling hold. Slouching lower in the armchair, I opened my eyes and squinted at the tiny, flickering flames casting an eerie glow over several grinning faces.
Damn idiots! Just how many candles had they stuck on the cake? Because it sure looked like it could light up a small town.
“Happy twenty-first, Max!”
My head protested the loud chorus viciously. Twenty-one, and I felt a hundred. As if I’d lived a lifetime.
“Blow ‘em out. Make a wish.” Jack, the bastard—and my best friend since the crib—gave me a crooked grin. Near him, War, our other buddy, lifted his beer in cheers, then guzzled the thing down.
Jack just had to use my birthday as a reason to party and celebrate my return to civilization after my hiatus in the “wilds” as he called Peru.
Feeling as if my body weighed a ton, I pushed to my feet and crossed to the table in the dining room of the house I shared with Jack, each step jarring my throbbing head. I blew the candles once, twice…three friggin’ times before the flames hissed out.
The noise in the room ratcheted up with whoops and cheers. Slaps resounded, pelting my back, accompanied by well wishes as I headed to where I’d dropped my tote near the front door when I’d walked in a few hours earlier. I needed the relief it held. A blonde lunged at me, and I hit the wall like a bumbling drunk.
“Happy birthday, Max.” She hiccupped, her hands wandering over my chest. Her mouth slid over mine. She tasted of liquor and pizza.
My stomach revolted violently. The beer I’d swallowed backtracked up my throat. “Get off me—”
She flashed me a drunken grin. I shoved away before I hurled on her and lurched in the opposite direction toward the bathroom. I slammed inside, just in time to embrace the porcelain god for several long minutes.
Feeling as if I’d puked my guts, along with the contents of my stomach, I collapsed against the wall, mouth vile and my brain looking for ways to escape the pressure in my skull. I rubbed my temples and prayed for nothingness.
Christ, I hated these fucking headaches.
“Damn, Max, I didn’t realize you were so shit-faced.” Jack’s voice came from a distance. I ignored him, didn’t care what he thought or bother to correct him, really wishing I were drunk.
“Come on, man, let’s get you out of here.” He grabbed me. I was no lightweight. At six foot three, I stood an inch taller than him, but he hauled me up with little effort.
I pushed him away and shuffled for the basin, rinsed my mouth, and caught a glimpse of my reflection. Red-rimmed eyes, waxy-looking skin, and a bisected left eyebrow, the scar giving me a sinister air. For the rest of my life, the latter would serve as a reminder of the horror I was responsible for, the blood on my hands.
Footsteps sounded. I didn’t want company and hoped whomever it was would just fuck off. I took another drag, filling my lungs with more smoke.
At her voice, everything in me tensed. I glanced at her. “What do you want?”
She drew closer. “Are you all right?”
A harsh laugh caught in my throat. All right? God, I was so fucked in the head over this woman, I had no idea which way was up or down. It surprised me that she’d come after me.
Deliberately, I let my gaze sweep over her as I took a longer pull on my cigarette, wanting some reaction out of her instead of this frigid wall she presented me with daily.
Her face flushed, and she crossed her arms beneath her chest, dragging my gaze to her tempting breasts. Her short, unpainted, ragged nails dug into the flesh of her upper arms, but her fingers were messed with the tan and cream oils she’d used painting the fucker. “Why are you here? Don’t you have a client to see to?”
A sigh escaped her. “Max, this isn’t working. Kate, my boss, has a place available. It’s not very expensive—”
“Of course,” I drawled and took another pull from my smoke. “Easier to get rid of me than face the truth, isn’t it, Ila? Be honest with yourself for once. You want me, too, and you’re too fucking scared to admit it.”
Her gaze shifted away from mine and then came back—a hint of desperation in her gaze. “I’m not scared.”
“Really?” Anger edged my cold tone. “Then why so anxious to get rid of me? Running, Ila?”
“I’m not running—don’t you want a decent bed to sleep on instead of a couch? And stop calling me that!”
She didn’t like me calling her Ila? Satisfaction welled. I’d rattled her. “It’s your name, isn’t it?”
Her mouth tightened. “Not the way you say it.”
“It’s odd. My sleeping arrangements never came up until I wanted to rearrange your client’s face.”
“You can’t be comfortable there.”
I ignored that. “Just how do I say your name, Logan?” I lowered my tone to a sensual purr. “And I don’t care where I sleep so long as it’s near you.”
The mouth I was dying to taste again opened then closed. I’d never hidden the fact that I wanted her.
“Stop it.” A whisper.
I took another pull on my smoke. “Why?”
“God, Max, must I spell this out for you—”
“That you’re older?”
A deep sigh left her. “Yes, that’s part of it.”
What? I was too young to even consider the type of relationship she’d probably want?
Grasping her hand, I pressed it against my chest. “Whatever is happening inside here tells me differently. When I think of him naked around you, I want to kill him.”
Her lips trembled. She eased her hand from under mine. “Max, don’t make this any harder than it is—”
Her eyes widened. Bet she hadn’t meant to let that slip.
Hell, I could be a nice guy and let it go. I could even take up the offer of whatever poky box of an apartment she’d so sweetly offered. But I wasn’t nice. I always walked where I shouldn’t. And when it came to this gorgeous and insecure girl who thought she was too old for me, I had no qualms about not being fucking nice.
“So you think it’s wrong, me wanting you?”
The fact that she said it without hesitation twisted my stomach.
“And I have a date. Tomorrow,” she added.
Irritation surged through me. No more, I was done playing.
“I see.” I eyed her for a second. “Okay, then. One kiss. Can’t hurt, right, with you dating someone else?” I killed the end bit of my smoke on a nearby wrought iron table and tossed it away. “And I want it all, Logan, since it’s probably the only thing I’ll get from you.” Sliding my hands into my pockets, I rocked on my heels and waited.
“You’re crazy!” She spun and headed back for the stairs.
“Scared?” My soft word floated in the night. Accusing.
She stopped dead. A low growl escaping her, she pivoted and stomped back to me. Grabbing my tee, she yanked me down to her and slammed her mouth on mine.
It wasn’t the kiss I wanted, but it pierced me all the way to my hardened heart.
Before she pulled away, I slid my arms around her waist. “Not so fast. That’s not the kiss I want—this is.”
About Georgia Lyn:
“I’ve been creating stories from the moment I could string two words together. No matter the tale, it always has romance woven through them. Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic. When I’m not writing or plotting new books, I like to read, travel, painting, or troll flea markets where I usually buy things I might never actually use because they’re so pretty. After working in a few jobs all art related, a chosen career as a fashion designer, then an art teacher, I finally found my passion four years ago: writing. There really is no other job I’d rather do. Oh, and I hail from the beautiful country of South Africa, and currently live in the Middle East.”
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