Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Unguarded Releases Today!
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that my December Superromance (the follow up to From Friend to Father and Beginning with Their Baby) releases today. This is Rhiannon's story (Matt's sister) and it's about how she finally retakes control of her life after a brutal rape ruins her self-confidence, her marriage and her career. I'm super excited about this book and thought I'd throw a fun little excerpt up here for you to read. Enjoy and Happy Tuesday!
Shawn had been shocked to find Rhiannon at his front door, but now that she was inside the house, he was really glad she’d decided to come. He’d spent the last week avoiding her as he tried to figure out just what he could take—and what he couldn’t—and he’d missed her. More than he probably should have. It had been a very pleasant surprise to find her on his doorstep, bearing ice cream and acting delightfully nervous.
Was it wrong of him to enjoy the fact that he made her nervous, he wondered as he pulled out two bowls and an ice cream scoop? Probably, but since she didn’t seem to be afraid—only aware of him on a whole new level—he wasn’t going to beat himself up over it.
She was dressed in a long-sleeved pink sweater and a pair of jeans that lovingly hugged her slight curves, and not for the first time, he realized that she was too thin. How long had she been suffering? he wondered. How long had she been wasting away because of something some monster had done to her?
He’d spent hours on the internet in the last few days, trying to ferret out what had happened to her, but nothing new had turned up after that first day. The not knowing what had happened to he was eating him up inside. Driving him crazy. The idea that someone had hurt her upset him more than anything had in a very long time—maybe ever.
“So, tell me about this theory you have about ice cream flavors,” Rhiannon said as she settled onto the same barstool she’d occupied the last time she’d been there.
“What kind did you get?” he asked, reaching into the bag to pull out one of the containers.
“Uh-uh. That’s not fair. You have to tell me your theory and then we’ll see if you’re right.”
Her voice was low and teasing and he felt himself hardening in response. Her nervousness was still there, but it was also countered with a sultriness that had him thinking of hot sex and endless nights in bed. He knew he was rushing things in his head—she was too skittish for either of those things just yet—but that didn’t stop his fantasies any more than it stopped the need running through him.
Part of him wanted nothing more than to cross to her, to pull her into his arms and to kiss her. But the last time he’d done that hadn’t worked out well and he was interested enough in her to put on the brakes, to take things as slowly as Rhiannon needed to. In the meantime, he would content himself with remembering what her body had felt like against his, what she had tasted like as his mouth had explored hers.
“Well, I’ve found that there are three types of ice cream—and a certain type of woman enjoys each kind.”
“Do tell.” She leaned back on the stool, arching a brow in that way that made him crazy.
“The first kind is the one who loves pure flavors, ice cream with nothing added to it like vanilla or chocolate, strawberry or mango.”
“And what type of woman likes that kind of ice cream?”
He stared hard at the bag for a second, trying hard to figure out what kind of ice cream Rhiannon had brought him. He would really hate to insult her—or worse, send her running again—by saying the wrong thing.
“One who knows her own mind. She’s straight-forward and uncluttered, speaks her mind and isn’t afraid of a challenge. She’s smart and very often what you see with her is what you get.”
Rhiannon watched him carefully. “That kind of person sounds a little boring to me.”
“I don’t think so. There’s something kind of refreshing about always knowing where you stand with her. I like women who know their own mind and aren’t afraid to go after it.”
“I bet. And the second type of woman?”
“Oh, she’s the kind who likes things a little more complicated, whether it’s ice cream or relationships. But who is so used to denying herself that she doesn’t understand that low-fat frozen yogurt or sugar free ice cream really isn’t ice cream at all—just a poor substitute.
“And this woman is into denial? You don’t think that’s complicated?”
He grinned. “I didn’t say she was uncomplicated. Just that I was pretty sure I could handle her.”
“You think so, huh?”
“I’m feeling pretty confident.” He reached for the bag a second time, but she stopped him.
“You haven’t finished your analysis quite yet.”
“Wouldn’t you rather eat ice cream?”
“Not even close. I’m spellbound.”
“All right then. The third type likes the everything-but-the-kitchen sink variety of ice cream. You know, triple chocolate chunk with pecans and caramel. Or peanut butter and fudge brownie with strawberry sauce.”
“Peanut butter and fudge brownie? With strawberry?” Rhiannon shuddered. “That sounds revolting.”
“You know what I mean.”
“I guess.” She looked doubtful, but finally asked, “And what fascinating personality quirks does the kitchen sink woman have?”
“She’s the woman who takes a long time to make up her mind, the one who doesn’t know exactly what she wants until she tries it on for size. She’s a little wild, not quick to be pinned down. An adventurer.”
“Sounds like she’s a little over the top.”
“Maybe a little.”
“But you can handle her too, right?” Rhiannon’s eyes were laughing at him and as he watched her he realized it was the first time since they’d met that she seemed truly happy. Completely relaxed.
“I don’t know about that—she might be a little much for me.” He glanced at the bag she was still guarding. “Can I dish up the ice cream now?”
“If you think you can take it.”
“I’m pretty tough.”
She laughed. “For a guy who spends all day playing with superheroes, I’m sure you’re very tough.”
“Hey, Shadeslayer’s a complicated guy. He keeps me on my toes.” He reached into the bag, absolutely certain that he was going to be pulling out Vanilla or Strawberry or their equivalent. What he got, however, was a tub of Turtle Brownie Fudge ice cream followed by one of Triple Berry Cheesecake.
Surprised, he glanced up to find Rhiannon watching him with a smirk. “So, what do you think of your Ice Cream Woman analysis now?”
He thought he was a much luckier man than he’d originally suspected. “It’s never wrong, so I’m guessing there’s a whole side of you I haven’t seen yet.”
“Never wrong, huh? You’ve done some kind of scientific study on this?”
“I wouldn’t exactly call it scientific.”
“So what would you call it?”
He shifted, tried to think of a nice way to put it. Finally, he said, “I’ve eaten ice cream with a lot of women in my life.”
She snorted. “I just bet you have.”