Here's a little tease from my new book SEASON OF JOY!
“I made you a promise,” Joy said. “I’m not going to break it, okay? No matter how many times you put your foot in your mouth or disappoint me.”
He met her gaze. “Thank you. It’s just, if I screw up, those girls will be lying on some couch talking to a counselor one day about all my inadequacies.”
Joy laughed. “My parents have a lot of faults, and I’ve never done that. I just create abstract art that secretly relays how messed up I am because of them.” She winked.
The magnetic pull of Granger’s gaze seemed to intensify. She had a sudden urge to kiss him. A strong urge. When was the last time she was alone in her living room with an attractive man at night? It was too far back to remember.
But she wasn’t going to kiss him. Things were too complicated between them already. She let go of his hand.
“Thank you for helping with the girls. And for understanding. I’m not sure what I’d do without you right now.”
“You’d be fine, I’m sure.”
Chelsea strutted into the room to glare at Granger, her tail twitching.
Granger glanced down at Joy’s cat. “I’m not a cat person. What does it mean when she’s looking at me like that?”
Joy laughed. “Chelsea is very jealous. I’m hers, and you are encroaching on her territory.”
Granger looked from Chelsea back to Joy, his eyes suddenly dark. “I wonder what she’d do if I came closer.”
Joy held her breath as Granger stepped toward her, her heart beating erratically.
Granger’s eyes slid to look at Chelsea, who continued to twitch her tail, her green eyes round. Then he looked at Joy again. “Should I be worried?” he asked in a low voice.
Joy swallowed. Her mouth was suddenly dry. Without thinking, she ran a tongue over her lips. “Sadly, Chelsea was already declawed when I rescued her from the shelter. But she still has teeth.”
Granger grinned, his gaze still dark. There was an unmistakable heat there. “I’m taking my chances standing this close.”
“You are,” Joy agreed. Then Granger leaned toward her, drawing closer until he was one breath away from making contact with her lips. Every thought left her mind as she closed her eyes, let out a sigh, and melted into his kiss.
Granger had been wanting to kiss Joy since the moment they met but he’d been resisting for good reason. But all reason had escaped him now as he gently tugged her closer. She tasted sweet, and her body was warm. The temptation was too great, and after the day he’d had, he just needed to feel her in his arms.
Joy sighed against his lips. Then her body shifted beneath his hands, inviting them to explore. Slowly, one of his hands traveled up her side, taking the curves like that sports car he’d had when he was twenty years old.
Then in one quick second, Joy’s cat launched herself at his lower leg. He drew back from the kiss as Chelsea landed at his feet, her wide green eyes locked on his in warning.
“Chelsea!” Joy bent and collected the large ball of fur into her arms. “That is not nice.”
Granger looked up at Joy and realized what he’d done. He’d kissed the one person in the whole world that he probably shouldn’t have. Coming here, he’d worried that Joy wouldn’t come back to Abby and Willow because of his stupidity. Now he’d done another stupid thing. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to…”
Joy’s smile faded. “You didn’t mean to kiss me?”
He shook his head. “No, I definitely didn’t mean to do that. That was a mistake.” And his mistakes kept coming, it seemed, because now Joy was frowning. “I mean, it was nice,” he said. “But we shouldn’t have.”
“Nice,” she repeated. “No, you’re right, we shouldn’t have done that. And now you should probably go…before you make another big mistake.”
“And before you ask,” Joy said, “yes, I’m picking the girls up tomorrow afternoon and going back to the farm. Nothing has changed. Nothing at all.”
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