When a new attorney accepts a case of a woman accused of attempted homicide, he finds himself entwined in age-old secrets and a family who will stop at nothing to conceal them—even murder.
If you’ve been following me, you’ll know it is tradition to share a first kiss from my novels. For reasons I won't disclose, our heroine is a little tipsy, but she still knows what she wants. If you haven’t and would prefer to read the full prologue first, along with the previous samples, click here.
As he escorted Shelby onto the deck, he surveyed the night sky again. Only this time for its beauty, not to hide his sorrow. He loved being away from the city, even one as small as Ashville. The country was so dark that you could see every star. He returned his attention to the lovely woman in front of him, though. A wash of guilt spread over him for not protecting her. He should have seen that the woman had meant her harm.
Shelby set her drink on the railing, watching it for a second as if it’d jump off. “Wanna dance?” She stumbled to the middle of the deck, pulling him with her. “We never got to dance.”
Tom allowed her to pull him along, making sure he held her close so she didn’t fall. “I don’t dance well,” he whispered, wondering if her mother and brother could hear them.
“We don’t have to move much. Just hold me,” she requested.
That, he could do. He pulled her close, lifting her arms up around his neck and then slid his hands to her back. He dipped his head to her neck and inhaled the scent of her skin mixed with the perfume. She tilted her head back in response, and he took advantage of the front of her neck, working his lips over her collarbone. He lifted his head as he moved his hands from her back to her hair. She winced once from his touch, reminding him that she was hurt.
He brought his hand around front and pressed his palm lightly against the side of her face. He’d been dreaming about kissing her from the first time he’d seen her. Her lips parted and her eyes closed as he moved ahead with his desire, knowing that tonight probably wasn’t the best time, but the blood rushing through his veins and the throbbing in his chest refused to allow any rational thought take control. He took her lips softly, concerned that they may hurt too. She reacted instantly, no sign of pain. She moved her hands behind his head and pulled him toward her. Her lips moved greedily against his, and he was just as hungry. It’d been almost two years since he’d felt the warmth of a woman, and Shelby was all kinds of hot. Just her kiss melted his insides, feeling as if he’d explode. He walked backward, pulling her with him to the bench he’d seen built in to the deck. When he felt the wooden bench against the back of his legs, he plopped down, pulling her onto his lap again.
Her hands moved from his neck to his chest, unbuttoning his shirt. When she had the entire shirt unbuttoned, still kissing him, she ran her hands over his chest. She pulled her lips back, looking at him. “Oh, my. Mmm…under stuffy clothes is a great…body.” Her words still slurred as she spoke.
Tom laughed, feeling his face warm. “I have to work out my angst somewhere.”
“Well, you’re doin’ great.” She released a soft groan. “God, why couldn’t I have met you in college?”
“I’m here now.”
She sighed and dropped her head to his shoulder, and Tom wondered if she’d passed out. She had drunk enough to keep her high tonight and into tomorrow even.
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