SETUP: Paige’s car was broken into, prompting Sterling to driver her home. The sexual awareness is at tipping point, both trying to ignore it. You’ll see that he finally grabs the bull by the horns, so to speak.
When he pulled into her driveway, he cut the engine, cut the lights, and sat unmoving. History closed in around them as the droning blow of the heater died off and the motor silenced to cooling pings. She licked her lips. “You have to get out so I don’t knock all this onto the driveway.” “Yeah.” He still didn’t move. Very slowly, he turned his head to look at her. She became very aware of the weight of his jacket, the angles of his face, the patter of light rain making this small, dark space that much more intimate. “I think we have to give it a try, Paige.” “An affair?” Her insides quaked at the thought. The corners of his lips quirked. “I was fishing for a kiss, but okay.” “Oh, God.” She ducked her head into her hands. His arms came around her, squishing her bent arms and hot face against his chest while his palm cradled the back of her head and chuckles of enjoyment shook through him. “I can’t believe I said that. Let me out.” She pushed at his chest. He pressed his lips to her temple, still laughing, trying to gather her hair back and find her face. “Come on, Paige. Be a sport.” She emerged from her hands enough to look around, then let her gaze come back to settle on his face. He was amused, but in an affectionate way. He scared the hell out of her. “What’d ya say?” he asked softly. “Should we see?” His thumb caressed the corner of her jaw. Bad idea, Paige. Don’t do it. “Maybe,” she said on a near-whisper, and felt wicked. Grew excited. He smiled and his breath left him in a humid cloud against her mouth before he lowered his head, taking his time as he brushed her lips with his, hesitating one more long second. She opened a little, pressed a fraction against his mouth, let him know she was planning to participate. Their lips melded into a real kiss, but it was still only a cautious exploration. How far do you want to take this, he seemed to ask. A little further, she responded, letting her tongue strike against the inside of his lip and retreat. He did the same, wasn’t so cautious, tasting her in a leisurely way that dampened both their lips and made her sink into him. His arm tightened around her, drew her closer as he deepened the kiss. She slid her arms around his neck, pressing her torso to his. His other hand snaked beneath his jacket and roamed, learning the shape of her lower spine and hips as she arched to feel more of him against her. And they began to devour each other. It was just like last time: bonfire. Secretly she’d been terrified the sparks and awareness had all been fueled by history and nostalgia, but Sterling would die before he’d disappoint, which was terrifying in its own way. Longing rose, a yearning to pleasure and claim and offer herself to him, to hands that weren’t fast, but had a way of moving that suggested greed. Hunger. Urgency. She felt the same, like this might be her only chance so she had to discover everything she could: the pulse in his hot throat against her open mouth, the flex of muscles in his chest, the ridges of his shoulder blades. His taste, oh God, his taste. They were going to incinerate each other right here, kissing like this, feverish and desperate, no longer experimenting, working on a prelude to more, and she was right there with him. Yes. More, more. With a lusty groan, he twisted to get a better vantage, hit his elbow on the steering wheel, and knocked out a short honk from the horn. Panting, they jerked apart. “Smoke alarm,” she said through lips that felt swollen. “There’s a horny joke there too, but I’m too blown away to find it.” “That was bad.” She edged back so they weren’t touching, trying to catch her breath. “You wish. Our lives would be a lot simpler if that had been lousy.” She pressed her hand to her lips, holding the tingling pleasure in them. He stretched out his legs, lifted his hips off the seat while he made himself more comfortable. “Again with the driveway. If I ever get you somewhere private— You want to come over?” She did, but she shook her head, trying to keep a grasp on something like sense. He swore and opened the door, climbed out and took a big breath of the cold, wet air. Leaning on the rooftop, he said, “It looks like Lyle’s here, but you come straight out if things don’t feel right, ‘kay?” She slid across, struggling to keep her skirt from scraping up her thighs as she wiggled past the steering wheel. Standing beside him, she waved at the strewn papers. “I guess I’ll deal with this in the morning.” He locked the door, handed her the keys. “Good night.” The bulb over the front door was on, casting a reflection of light in the puddle at their feet. “Are you angry?” she asked him. “No.” His chuckle was dry. “Frustrated. Come home with me.” She swallowed. “It’s not a good idea.” She handed back his jacket. He didn’t answer as he took it. She didn’t look back until she stood under the porch light, shivering and waving away a persistent moth. His silhouette was a still presence, his lower half visible in the slant of watery light, his upper body and face unreadable. “Good night,” she said again, and stepped blindly into the house, then, with the door closed behind her, listened for the crunch of his footsteps on the gravel. It took a long time for him to walk away.
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Only In His Sweetest Dreams Series: Secret Dreams, Book 2 Synopsis: When Mercedes takes inher confused niece and nephew, jeopardizing the job she loves at a retirement community, she turns to the new handyman for advice. L.C. can fix anything and he’d love to be part of this misfit family, but he has a secret back home that Mercedes will never forgive. Available on February 1, 2017 Pre-order Buy Link: Amazon:http://amzn.to/2iO8Gei
Fun Fact # 1: I come from blue collar roots, so one of the dynamics that feels very real to me, and comes up often in my books, is trash talk between men. Sometimes it’s good-natured, sometimes it’s dead serious. Among the men I know, it’s almost always entertaining. In Only In Her Wildest Dreams, Paige’s family is from the wrong side of the tracks. She has a terrible crush on the town’s all-star, Sterling. Sterling and her brother, Lyle, loathe each other. They were rivals when they were young, took different paths—Lyle became quite the ne’er do well—and Sterling still blames Lyle for all that went wrong the night he kissed Paige. Fifteen years later, Paige is auditing the factory owned by their two fathers. Sterling returns to protect his father’s interests and guess who works as a millwright and gets implicated in the embezzling? These two men are headed for a clash and, spoiler alert, it happens. I won’t say more, but some of my favorite dialogue is between these two.
Fun Fact # 2: I originally wrote this as a murder mystery, and completed it about ten years ago. I had an agent at the time, but she wasn’t able to place it. I wound up selling a different book to Harlequin Presents and they’ve kept me busy, but I’ve been anxious to go back and revise this book along with its mate, Only In His Sweetest Dreams. By the time I got back to it, I had learned a lot about writing and, more importantly, that it’s tough to make murder work in a romantic comedy, especially if the victim is the heroine’s father. So I resurrected him and kept the mystery about the embezzler along with the elements I really loved, which is the dynamic between Paige and Sterling. She’s trash and he’s from the best family in town. Ne’er the twain shall meet. Or shall they?