Timberline Collegiate Peaks Book 1 by Skye McNeil Genre: Contemporary Romance, RomCom
Best-selling romance novels are Jessamine Davis’s life. Well, editing them at least. Her own love life is far from a fairytale. Just when she thinks nothing could put her New York City lifestyle on hold, she receives an unexpected wedding invitation.
Asher Whitaker is a swoon-worthy romance author, but his writing stalls, so he takes a part-time job at a local coffee shop. When a gorgeous woman asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend for a wedding in Colorado, his writer’s block suddenly dissipates.
Wedding shenanigans and trying to pass off a faux relationship lead Jessamine and Asher to discover a stronger connection than either expected.
“Okay, here’s the thing,” he began, putting the car into park. “If we’re going to pretend to be a couple, I need a lot of cooperation from you. I can’t go along blindly with everything you say if we’re not on the same page.” Jessie sat, seemingly stunned at his outburst. “Oh,” was all she managed.
Turning toward her, he asked, “How did we meet? They’re going to want to know. The location and rough date.”
“The coffee shop,” she blurted. “It’s the truth. We’ll doctor it up a bit.”
“Like by adding the tidbit of you running into me and spilling deplorable tea on me,” Asher said with a snap of his fingers.
“Not what I had in mind, but it will work,” she agreed with reluctance.
Asher bobbed his head. “Do we live together?”
“No,” Jessie said without thinking it over. “Not yet. I don’t move in with anyone until we’re engaged. How about our first date?”
Many ideas popped into his mind, but gathering the miniscule details about her, he offered, “Rizzoli Bookstore.”
Her mouth dropped open in astonishment. “I love that store.”
“Good. It’s perfect then.” He chuckled. “It reminds me of what I envision a closet in Beauty and the Beast would look like.” Asher was certain Jessie’s mouth hit the car floor at his statement, but he attempted to keep it to himself.
“How long have we been dating? A few months?” she asked at long last.
They both mulled over her question until they answered at the same time. “Ten months.”
Jessie’s light laughter made his breath catch in his throat. The way her eyes lit up when she laughed was indescribable. Ten years wiped from her face and became the epitome of merry. If he could take a snapshot of the beauty she displayed, he would win every photography contest in the world.
Leaning over the divider, Asher asked the one question caught in his mind since earlier in the morning. “And what about our first kiss? Where did it occur?”
The carefree smile slid off Jessie’s face at his query. “They won’t ask. It’s too personal.”
Pushing a curl free from her cheek, he moved closer yet. “Maybe not, but I am wondering.”
His eyes dipped to her lips, and he didn’t allow her the opportunity to escape before gently pressing his mouth to hers. Her mint lip gloss tasted as good as it smelled. Jessie’s body froze at first, but when she gripped the front of his shirt and returned the kiss, his heart beat faster.
Cupping her face with one hand, Asher pulled her to him so he could kiss her better. Taste her better. She let out a gasp and he chose the same instant to slip his tongue into her mouth. Dear Lord, the woman tasted like the center of a Warhead candy. She had a sour outer layer, but her insides were a sweet delight. His heart raced when Jessie tangled her tongue with his as she drifted her fingers through his short hair. From this one exchange, he would be more than content staying in the SUV the remainder of their five days.
A quick and loud rap on the window pulled Asher out of his stupor. Glancing away from Jessie’s tantalizing lips, he met the eyes of three women sporting varying shades of blue.
He flashed them a charming smile with precise quickness then whispered, “I take it they’re your family.”
Jessie righted in her seat as embarrassment flooded across her face. “Shit! Yes, my mom, grandma, and sister.” She swallowed hard as she said the last one.
Asher couldn’t help but chuckle at the situation. Rolling down his window, he greeted them with another dazzling grin. “Well, Jessie told me she had one sister, not three.”
Each of the women giggled and flushed red. “And who might the man kissing my daughter be?” the woman in the middle demanded.
Asher glanced at Jessie, but her face resembled ultimate mortification, so he held out his hand. “I had hoped to meet you under different circumstances, but now is as good as any. Asher Whitaker, ma’am. Nice to meet you.”
“Ohh, I like him,” the oldest commented with a shake of her silver head. “He’s got a sexy dimple with that smile.”
“Grandma!” Jessie shrieked from the other side of the vehicle.
Ignoring her humiliation, Asher unlocked the doors. “Ladies, why don’t we give you a ride? I seemed to have gotten lost.” He shot a smile to Jessie. “It’s easy to do around her.”
While Jessie closed her eyes and shook her head, the other three women sighed at his romantics. Yeah, he would have no problem convincing her family he liked Jessie. He winked at his passenger. Because he already felt his heart strings pull when it came to the mysterious woman beside him.
Skye McNeil began writing at the age of seventeen and has been lost in a love affair ever since. During the day, she moonlights as a paralegal at a law firm favoring criminal law.
Skye enjoys writing romantic comedies and romantic suspense novels that leave readers wanting more and falling in love over and over. She writes contemporary and historical novels ranging from sweet and sassy to steamy and sultry.
Her constant writing companions are two cats and two dogs. When she's not writing, Skye enjoys spending time with family, photography, volleyball, traveling, and curling up with a cup of coffee and reading.