Weekend Excerpt–Mystery Package from Spain

For this weekend’s excerpt, I’m pulling from the old Teasers tab.  The Teasers are a collection of the first chapters of ‘to-be-written’ stories I haven’t gotten around to yet.  This one is tentatively called Callie’s Freedom, and I got the idea for this heartfelt contemporary erotic romance from a magical trip I once took to France and Spain.

See what you think.

roman-kraft-208004

 

 Standing in line at the post office has to be the fourth circle of hell

Callie shifted her weight to her left foot and leaned her hip against the railing around which the line of fellow postal customers snaked.  Look, only three more back-and-forths then it’s my turn, she thought sardonically. 

She frowned to herself.  Whose inner monologue is sardonic?

“Next,” called the clerk at the second station.  Everyone in line took a step forward clutching their parcels all wrapped in brown paper and packing-taped into infinity, or their very important looking overnight-air envelopes. 
Callie glanced down at the peach square of paper in her hands.  We REdeliver for you! the paper promised.  She shook her head.  She wasn’t waiting for redelivery.
Another clerk called out and the line shifted again.  A sextet of antique ceiling fans whirled ineffectively over their heads as a bead of sweat trickled down her spine.  She wondered if the air conditioning was out or if the USPS was simply economizing.  Either way, you could tell it was summer in south Florida.
She made it to the turn-around and felt a bit encouraged.  Not much longer now.  She gazed at the receipt once again, her forefinger lightly tracing the address of the sender.  Sevilla.  She inhaled sharply.  She knew one person in Seville.  She couldn’t imagine what he’d sent in a parcel.
Raised voices interrupted Callie’s thoughts.  She looked up to see a well-dressed middle-aged woman shouting at the clerk at the third station.   
    
“What do you mean, I have to get in a different line?  I’ve been standing here all day!”
“Ma’am, I don’t have the form that you need.  Would you like to get in the other line?” the clerk asked patiently.  The man was an older black gentleman with sloping shoulders and an air of resignation.  Callie idly wondered if he’d delivered mail on foot back in the day.
“Well if you won’t give me the form I guess I’ll have to!” the woman snapped as she vacated the station and toddled off to the the correct line. 
Callie shook her head.  Why do people have to be such assholes?  She ran into her fair share of them as a teacher but she recalled her college days when she’d worked as a server in a busy restaurant.  People have no idea…
 She found herself suddenly only two people behind the head of the line, and she felt her heart begin to pound.  Finn.  She looked back at the peach scrap of paper.  After all this time.
 In truth she was shocked that he’d sent anything at all.  She’d known him for all of what, fifteen days?  The flush began in the center of her being and flowed up her neck to her cheeks.  Those fifteen days had changed her irrevocably.  She could never go back to the pre-Finn Callie.
Vaguely she heard a clerk call for the next customer.  “Excuse me, ma’am?” said the guy behind her.  Callie looked up, startled.  “You’re next.”

She murmured an apology and walked to the vacant station.  The same clerk who’d had the misfortune to deal with the nasty customer surveyed her with gentle eyes.  Callie was determined to be kind, to make up for the woman who’d been so unpleasant.  She smiled broadly.  “Yes, I’m picking up a parcel.”  She presented him with the peach scrap and her driver’s license.

The man smiled kindly as he took the slip of paper and disappeared into the back.  He reemerged moments later carrying a package about the size and shape of a hardcover book.  Callie’s pulse pounded in her ears.
“Here you are, ma’am,” he said as he handed her the box.  It was lighter than she’d expected.  Her eyes zeroed in on the return address.  Finn Cooper, 54 Calle Montevideo, Sevilla, Espana. 
She smiled again and thanked the man, wished him a pleasant day, and walked out into the heat of the summer day.

I need to get back to this story one day.  For now, check out my other books at my Amazon Page, or your favorite online bookseller.

Weekend Excerpt–Just One Night

JON new coverIt’s the middle of July.  Which seems the perfect time to share an excerpt from my naughty little summer novella, JUST ONE NIGHT.

Teacher Katie Parker is on a Caribbean cruise with her best girlfriends from high school.  Fresh off a humiliating break-up, Katie is determined to forget about her disastrous love life by having an anonymous shipboard fling with a handsome stranger.

By chance, she meets Mac Coleman, traveling with his brothers to Mexico for a wedding.  He’s more than happy to go along with Katie’s plan.  But he soon realizes that what they’ve found is worth more than just one night.  Can he convince Katie to give them a chance?

Read a teaser…

Hours later, Michelle led the foursome as they made their way toward the main dining room.  “I’m starved,” commented Jayma.  “Who decided that we wouldn’t eat until the 9:00 seating?”

Michelle rolled her eyes.  “Don’t be so Nashville.  Civilized society doesn’t eat until late.”

“You live in Dallas, not Paris,” Katie quipped.

“Anyway, most of the families with little kids eat earlier,” Chelsea added.  “We should have a nice serene dining experience.”

“I just want some grub,” Jayma giggled.

Immediately before they reached their destination, they passed a small alcove where photos taken during the day were displayed for purchase.  “Hey, you guys go on ahead to our table.  I want to look at the pictures,” Katie said.

In the ten years since they’d graduated from high school and gone their separate ways into college and life, Katie had been the self-appointed documentarian of their annual outings, taking photos and gathering mementos, sending them off to be made into a photo scrapbook.

The one of us on the gangplank would be just right for the cover of this year’s album.  She scanned the hundreds of pictures already hanging on the racks, looking for the one of the four of them.

Finally, she saw it and reached for it, smiling.  As she did, her hand collided with a large masculine one reaching across in front of her.  Startled, she looked up.  “Oh, I’m so sorry!”

Soulful brown eyes gazed down at her.  “No, it’s my fault.  I was rudely reaching in front of you.  I was paying attention to the photos and not to what’s going on around me.”

Katie laughed lightly.  “That’s exactly what I was doing.  Again, I’m sorry.”  She felt her face redden as she reached again, snapped up the photo, and hurriedly turned away.  Quickly, she charged the picture to her cabin and left the alcove, glancing back over her shoulder as she did.  The man was still watching her.

I’m going to get laid, she says, Katie thought miserably.  Not like that I’m not.  What the hell just happened?  That was a perfect opportunity.  But she knew why she’d blown the chance meeting.  Casual sex was not who Katie Parker was, it wasn’t how she operated.  Flustered, she entered the dining room and found the others already seated at their table.

Jayma smiled as she sat down.  “Did you find it?”

“I did.  It came out great.”

“What’s wrong with you?  You seem all out of breath,” Michelle observed.

“I’m just starved,” Katie replied in mock seriousness.  “We’re eating in the middle of the night.”

Conversation around the table was about their respective years since the last time they’d been together.  Of course, they kept up on everyone’s latest via email, text messages, and social media so there was little news.  It wasn’t until halfway through dessert that Katie looked across to see the man she’d run into in the photo alcove.  He was seated about three tables away facing her direction.  And he was looking right at her.

She felt her eyes widen before she moved her gaze back to her plate.  A flush crept up her neck and across her cheeks as she tried to casually look across the room again, only to find him still watching her.  As their eyes met, he smiled.

Holy heaven.  If you looked up ‘tall, dark, and handsome’ in the dictionary, his picture would be there.  Topping the soulful brown eyes were expressive dark eyebrows.  Framing a gorgeous face was tousled dark brown hair.  There was a shadow of stubble over a strong, square jaw and lips that looked imminently kissable.  Katie reached for her wine and slugged back the remainder.

“More wine, madam?”

“You betcha!”

“So Katie, what’s new with you?  How’s your love life?”  Chelsea gazed at her expectantly.

Katie sipped her wine, stalling for time.  “Oh, well, you know…”

“No, we don’t know, that’s why we ask,” said Michelle.

Katie sighed.  “I dated a guy for a while and he turned out to be a shit.  I met him on a dating website and—“

“A dating site, really?”  Chelsea grinned.  “I don’t think I’d ever be brave enough to try one of those.”

“Or desperate enough,” Michelle muttered.  She looked up at Katie, wide-eyed.  “Not that you’re desperate, that’s not what I meant, I just meant…”

Refusing to bail her out, Katie sipped her wine and narrowed her eyes, waiting to see how Michelle would untangle the mess she’d created.

Jayma came to her rescue.  “Oh, you know, as a teacher, Katie doesn’t have the opportunity to meet guys at work.  Honestly, I think meeting someone online is way better than picking up some guy in a bar.”

“You know what I think?” Michelle flagged down the waiter for a refill of her wine.  “I think that teachers should stay single.  You know, like Miss Beadle from Little House on the Prairie.”  She grinned before sipping her wine.  “Completely dedicated to the kids.”

Katie was sure she felt actual steam coming out of her ears.  “Really?”  She nodded sharply.  “That’s what you think?”  She could hear her voice growing louder.  “You think that teachers should just forego a personal life and live like nuns, nobly pouring out their lives for kids who don’t care, and parents and administrators who blame them for everything?  And for low salaries and shit benefits to boot?  Or maybe they should just work for free.”

Again, Jayma was the peacemaker.  “No, I’m sure that’s not what Michelle meant.”

Katie stood abruptly.  “I need some air.”  She turned and left the table heading for the same doors they’d entered.

***

Meeting a woman had been the last thing on Mac’s mind.  He was moving across the state just to get away from the last one he’d dated.  But the redhead in the photo shop intrigued him.  She’d been as startled as he’d been.  Truthfully neither of them had been watching what they’d been doing, as occupied with looking at the photos as they’d both been.  But when she’d looked up at him with those grey-green eyes, he’d felt a spark.

So when he’d realized that she was sitting a few tables away he couldn’t resist watching her.  She was unbelievably pretty, almost like a fairy or something with her red hair and her fair skin.  He wondered briefly how she’d fare for a week in the intense Caribbean sun.  She was chatting animatedly with the women at her table.  And don’t think he hadn’t noticed.  She was traveling with a group of women, not a man.

“So what’s the deal with this restraining order?”

Mac pulled his eyes from the gorgeous redhead and focused on his brother.  “It’s a long story.”  He shook his head.

“Well, we have a couple of days before we hit Mexico.  Will that be enough time?”  Danny had always been the sarcastic one.

Mac sighed, shrugging.  “I went out a couple of times with a girl from my apartment complex.”

“What was her name?” Tommy wondered.

Mac frowned.  “Erin.  What difference does it make?”

“I just wondered, is all.”

“Anyway, she seemed like a pretty nice girl but after a few dates, I knew she wasn’t the one for me.  I just didn’t feel that…I don’t know, spark.”  Instantly the redhead popped up in his mind, and he couldn’t resist a glance in her direction before he continued.

He looked from one brother to the other.  “So I very gently suggested that although we’d had a good time going out, I felt that we were not completely compatible and it would be better if we didn’t go out again.”

“And she didn’t take it well,” Danny summed up.

Images of his tires slashed to ribbons and a deep, jagged groove keyed down the side of his black Jeep popped into his head.  “No.  No, she did not.”

“I can’t believe you had to take out a restraining order.”  Tommy’s eyes were wide.

“Dude, I’m moving to a new city.  I have a new job and everything.  Do you really think a piece of paper will keep away a psycho?”

Danny shook his head.  “I assume you fucked her.”

Mac rolled his eyes.  “Well, yeah, we slept together.  Who knew she was batshit?”

“Ya see, this is why you need to settle down with a nice girl, get married, and have a family.”  Danny had married his college sweetheart and was now raising three little girls.  He was forever trying to persuade his brothers to join him.

“Well, that’s what Tommy-boy is doing.”  Mac playfully punched his baby brother’s arm.  “I’m happy for you, bro, really I am.  Gretchen is a great girl.”

“Thanks man, I appreciate it.”  Tommy grinned ear to ear.  “I love her, I truly do.”

As dessert was served, Mac’s attention was drawn back to the table across the room.  The redhead suddenly looked right at him and he felt his automatic smile, which widened as she snapped her eyes away.  He continued to watch as she raised her gaze casually as if to see if he was still looking.  This time he smiled deliberately.

At that moment, her head turned and she spoke to someone at her table.  Her face changed and she seemed to be speaking passionately, an angry flash in her eyes.  He watched as she removed the linen napkin from her lap and dropped it on the table, pushed back from the table, and stalked out of the dining room.

Impulsively, he knew he needed to follow.  “Gents, I can’t eat another bite,” Mac said as he pushed away from the table.  “I’m going to walk off a little of this dinner.  I’ll meet you two later.”

By the time Mac made it to the door of the dining room, the redhead had disappeared.  He glanced to his left and then to his right, trying to guess her more likely route.  The woman at the photo checkout cleared her throat discreetly and he looked in her direction.  She nodded meaningfully to her right and smiled.

He grinned at her wholeheartedly.  “Thanks!” he proffered as he hurried off in the direction the clerk had indicated.  Mac made his way through the door that opened onto the deck and he saw her leaning against the railing, looking out over the dark water.  Her skirt ruffled lightly in the breeze and the full moon overhead gave her hair a fire-like glow.

Ignoring the slight case of nerves he felt, he approached the railing, stopping by her left elbow.  “Hey, you,” he said casually.

She startled slightly, whipping her head to her left, eyes wide.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.  I just saw you standing here and I thought I’d say hello.”  He held his hands in front of himself in surrender, pasting on what he hoped was a charming smile.

The redhead continued to stare at him wordlessly.  “I don’t mean to bother you.  I can go if you’d like.”

She shook her head.  “No, I don’t want you to go.  I was just surprised, that’s all.”

Mac smiled gratefully.  “Well, it’s a beautiful night.  And dinner was fantastic.  I don’t know about you, but I had the lobster and it was amazing.”

She smiled back.  “I had the mahi and it was delicious.”

They stood awkwardly for a moment.  “Listen, would you like to get a drink or something?” Mac offered.

She looked out at the water, then back at him, nodding.  “I’d like that a lot.”

His grin was genuine.  “Good.  Great.  Let’s go find a drink.”

JON 99 cents

Originally a Kindle exclusive,
JUST ONE NIGHT
is available for only $.99 at your favorite online bookseller.

Just use this Universal link: books2read.com/JustOneNight

How to Have a RED HOT #4thofJuly !

I know.  You have plans.  Cook-outs, beach outings, family gatherings, and fireworks.  But you’re going to want to squeeze in a little ‘Me Time’.  Because the Wicked Pens and KinkCrate are partnering up to give you a Fire Hot Fourth.

Check it out.

That’s right.  From 3:00-4:00pm EDT, Wicked Pen authors are having a panel discussion on adding heat to your romance.  We’ll be discussing a variety of steamy topics, and we’ll be answering your questions.

Plus, one lucky attendee will walk away with a couple of kinky prizes: their very own ball gag and flogger, courtesy of KinkCrate.

In order to attend, you must be a member of the Wicked Pens Facebook group, so hurry on over and sign up so you can join us for a hot, sizzling 4th of July.

Weekend Excerpt–JUST ONE NIGHT

justonenightWe’re here at the unofficial start of summer, and I, for one, could’t be happier.  Long hot days, even hotter nights…  Which makes me think of JUST ONE NIGHT, my naughty little summer novella.

I don’t normally write novellas, but this story was originally intended to be part of a multi-author steamy summer anthology.  The group project never actually materialized, so I went ahead and published the book on its own.

In JUST ONE NIGHT, teacher Katie Parker, fresh off the humiliating demise of her most recent relationship, is meeting her high school girlfriends for their annual summer outing.  This time, it’s a Caribbean cruise, and Katie’s determined to find a hot guy for a night of anonymous passion.

Mac Coleman is cruising to Mexico for his brother’s wedding when the pair meet on board the ship.  Their chemistry is instant.  But can Mac convince Katie that what they’ve found is worth more than just one night?

Here’s a little teaser.

There was a knock at the door and Mac went to retrieve the wine and strawberries from the cabin steward.  He returned to the bed, tray in hand.  “Are you ready for a little wine?”

Katie shook her head.  “Wine can wait.  I want you.  I need you to finish what you started.”

He grinned broadly.  “Finish what I started, the lady says.”  He set the tray on the desk and paused to remove his pants.  Katie propped up and watched with admiration.

Mac sank onto the bed and stretched out beside her, kissing her deeply and pushing her onto her back again.  He positioned himself above her, his erection at her sensitive entrance.  He paused only to slip on a condom and slammed himself home.

His earlier attention had left her ready for him and she held on, moaning lightly from the moment he entered her.  Watching her unselfconscious abandon had pushed him near to his edge as well, and he had no desire to slow down.  He pummeled into her and she raised her knees, willing him to be as far into her as he could go.  He felt her walls begin to compress his cock and as she cried her release, he gave in to his as well, pumping until he felt her go limp again.

He pulled out gently and rested beside her, drawing her into his embrace.  “Oh, baby,” he murmured into her ear, “you are something else.”

Ten minutes later, Mac leaned back against the headboard, legs outstretched and crossed at the ankles.  Katie sat facing him, her legs curled beneath her.  Neither had bothered to get dressed.  He poured a glass of wine and handed it to her, taking another for himself.

She sipped gratefully.  “It’s good.  And I was thirsty.”

He smiled.  “It was quite a workout.”  Taking a plump red berry, he held it out to her and she bit into it, laughing when juice ran down her chin.  She swiped at it with her empty hand.  Mac laughed too and ate the rest of the berry.

“So how were the stingrays?”

Katie rolled her eyes.  “About like I imagined.  Very crowded.  I mean, they were kind of cool.  But the way they fluttered around my legs really creeped me out.”  Mac laughed appreciatively.  “I didn’t stay in the water too long.”

She leaned over him to take a strawberry from the dish, and she held it to his mouth, watching him bite into it.  The rest she popped into her mouth.  “After the stingrays, we had lunch, then lounged on the beach for a few hours.  It was heavenly.”  She smiled with the memory.  “The others decided they needed to go shopping, but I stayed at the beach for a while longer.”

“You didn’t want to go shopping?”  He crooked a skeptical eyebrow.

Katie shook her head.  “There’s nothing in the world that I need in those touristy shops.  Besides, the water and sand were hypnotic.  I just sat there thinking about…”  She looked to him sheepishly, her face flushing pink.

“Thinking about last night.”  He smiled knowingly.  “I did some of that myself.”  He fed her another strawberry.

“Um,” she swallowed, “how was diving?  I already know that you didn’t get rushed to the hospital.”

He laughed.  “No, no hospital for me today.  Diving was great, actually.  It usually is in the Caymans.”  He sipped his wine.  “Would you like to see the pictures?  I downloaded them onto my tablet.”

Katie set down her glass and rolled onto her stomach, knees bent, her feet hovering over her ass.  Mac cued up the dive pictures and slid the tablet in front of her.  He watched as she slowly scrolled through his photos of the tropical reef fish, coral, and other things he’d seen that day.

“These are fantastic!  The water is crystal clear and the colors are just amazing.”  He watched her frown.  “Is this a shark?”

He tilted his head to the right to look at the tablet.  “Yep, a Caribbean reef shark.”

Katie gaped at him.  “Just swimming along with you?  I would have lost my mind.”

Mac laughed good-naturedly.  “They pretty much leave you alone.  You just have to be aware of what’s going on.”

She shook her head, disbelievingly.  “No freaking way,” she muttered as she continued scrolling through his pictures.  He handed her another strawberry.  She chewed thoughtfully.  “Tomorrow is my pick.  We’re going to see the ruins at Tulum.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m kind of a history nerd.  It’s just intriguing to me.  People lived there for hundreds of years, probably assumed that it would always be there, then, boom!  Can you imagine being the last person out of there?  It boggles my mind.”

Mac smiled at the insight into her intelligence.  “It will be a great trip.”

Katie nodded.  “And in Belize, Chelsea is making us zip-line in the jungle.  It’s a pretty sure bet I’ll break my neck.  Michelle has declared the last day of the cruise ‘spa day’.  Which I’ll probably need, assuming my neck isn’t broken.”

He laughed.

“We should get together every night to compare notes on our adventures.”  Katie grinned up at him, the guarded look suddenly gone as her face lit up, completely open to him.  “What are you guys doing in Mexico?  Will you go diving again?”

He felt the knot in his stomach as a frown crossed his face.  “We’re getting off in Mexico.  Tommy’s wedding is in Cancun tomorrow night.”

Her brow wrinkled.  “You’re getting off in Mexico?  You aren’t finishing the cruise?”

He shook his head.  “No.  The wedding is tomorrow night.  The next day I fly home and load up the moving truck.  I start my new job on Monday.”

Katie looked down, crestfallen.

“Hey, you, I’m really sorry.  I didn’t mean to—“

Abruptly, she pushed up off the bed.   “No, I’m sorry.  I wasn’t thinking.”  Her voice was soft, upbeat.  Her eyes betrayed her deeper feelings as her face closed again.  “Remember our deal—no strings, no expectations.  I just…”

She snatched up the fluffy white robe from the back of the chair and shrugged into it, stalking to the veranda door and crossing to lean against the railing overlooking the dark sea.  He padded out behind her, not bothering with a robe.

Mac approached her, wrapping his arms around her.  “I really am sorry,” he murmured into her hair.  “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“You didn’t hurt me.  No expectations, right?  It’s my own rule.  I just wasn’t thinking.  It’s no big deal.”

He pulled her closer and held her, gazing out over the sea.  “Somebody hurt you.”  It wasn’t a question.  The compassion in his voice caused her stomach to clench.

“It’s not something I want to talk about.”

“I understand,” he murmured softly.

She whirled around.  “Just stop!  Stop being all…” she waved her hands in frustration, “understanding!”

Mac threw back his head and laughed out loud.  “I could try for asshole,” he laughed, “but it’s not really my style.”  He wrapped his arms around her again, drawing her close.  “You can tell me anything you want.  Or nothing at all.  Just know,” he gently kissed the top of her head, “you’re safe here.”

Katie felt herself soften in his strong embrace.  To be safe.  Understood.  The concept was almost foreign.  She sighed deeply and turned away from him to face the ocean again, but she pulled his arms tightly around herself.

“It’s stupid.”

He said nothing, just nuzzled her temple, planting tiny kisses behind her ear.

She sighed again.  “I met a guy online.  Stupid, I know.  Just…  I don’t meet many men in my day to day life.  So I took a chance.  He seemed nice, owned his own business, the sex was—“  She sheepishly glanced up at him.  “Until very recently I thought it was great.”  She felt the chuckle in his chest as it vibrated against her back.  “One day I surprised him with lunch at his office.  When I walked in he was standing with his pants around his ankles.  A blonde was sucking him off right there in his office.”

Mac tightened his grip around her shoulders.  “I’m so sorry, you,” he murmured against her ear.

Katie shook her head.  “I should have known.  I should have seen the signs or something.  How can I be so stupid?  I can’t make that same mistake again.”

He turned her to face him, both of them leaning against the railing.  “I was dating a psycho.  I’m moving partly to get away from her.  But I’ll tell you something.”  His face was earnest.  “I realized that if I shut myself off from love, try to protect my heart, I’m going to miss the real deal when she comes along.”

He looked at her meaningfully.  “I’d much rather take the chance.  I didn’t die from a broken heart.”  He smiled at her ruefully.  “Look, we can take this thing however you want, but I’m telling you, there’s something here.  Something more than a ‘one night only’ kind of thing.”

Katie shook her head dismissively.  “No, this is just a vacation romance.  Not even romance.  Just sex.  There’s nothing wrong with that.”  There was challenge in her eyes as she met his.

Mac nodded slowly.  “Like I said, we can take this any way you like.  But just know, I’m open to more.”

JUST ONE NIGHT is only .99, and it’s available at this universal link:

books2read.com/JustOneNight

Weekend Excerpt–Just One Night

JON nominee

Permit me a teeny little happy dance–my naughty little summer novella, Just One Night, was nominated for a 2016 Summer Indie Book Award for Favorite Novella!

For this weekend’s excerpt, let’s get tropical.  In Just One Night, teacher Katie Parker is spending a week of her summer on a girlfriends’ getaway cruise in the Caribbean.  Fresh off a bad breakup, she’s looking for a man for just one night of anonymous passion.  When she meets Mac Coleman, he’s just the thing to take her mind off her troubles.  But he’s convinced they’re worth more than just one night.

Here’s a snippet.

     The pair parked themselves at a tiny table at the edge of the piano bar, the first place they’d come to in their search for a cocktail.  Katie watched him as he approached the bar and ordered for them.  She couldn’t get over how handsome he was, how he’d come outside looking for her.  This was exactly what she needed to take her mind off of her man problems back home.

She smiled up at him as he returned to their table carrying a margarita for her and a Scotch for himself.  “Cheers,” he said, raising his glass to hers.

“Cheers,” she murmured in return, and she sipped gratefully, counting on the liquid courage her glass offered.

“You know, we’ve gone about this all backwards.”  He rested his drink on the table and offered his right hand.  “My name is—“

“No!  No names,” Katie quickly interrupted.

Mac blinked in surprise.  “No names.  Why no names?”

“Just…because,” she stammered.  “No names, no personal information, we’ll just…keep it casual.”

“Keep it casual.”  Mac frowned.  “Okay.”  He gave her a curious look.  “Do you want me to leave?”

She shook her head, red curls swinging.  “No, I’d like you to stay.”

He gave a relieved smile.  “Good, because I’d like to stay.  So…no personal information.  Do you want to talk about work?”

“Oh, hell no!”

“Um, how about that weather?  That’s some pretty great weather out there tonight.”

Katie laughed lightly.  “I don’t mean to be a pain.”

Mac smiled back.  “You’re not a pain, exactly.  I just have to figure out the rules.  And you’re here with three other women?”

“You could see that in the dining room.  Where you were staring,” Katie observed.

“You know that because you were staring back,” he countered.

“And you’re here with two other men.”

Mac nodded.  “My brothers.  Oops!  Was that personal?”

“Now you’re making fun.”

He smiled ruefully.  “Maybe just a little bit.  This is kind of a bachelor party.  My kid brother is getting married.”

“A bachelor party?”  Katie laughed lightly.  “Shouldn’t you be getting back to the debauchery?”

Mac laughed.  “Not much debauchery with those two.  My older brother’s been married for years and Tommy’s head over heels for his fiancée.”  He glanced up at Katie.  “Oops!  More personal information.”

Katie sighed and sipped her drink.  “My friends and I get together for a week every summer.  We’ve known each other since high school.”

“There now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Katie nodded firmly.  “We’re even, that’s all.”  She rested her forearm on the table and toyed with her glass.  Mac did the same, and as he did, his arm brushed against hers.  She made no effort to move away from him.  He intentionally rested his arm against hers, noting the electric charge he felt, wondering if she felt it, too.

Glancing up, he saw that she was watching him intently.  “So…you don’t want any personal information.  You don’t want to talk about work.  You don’t want me to leave.”

Katie shook her head.

“Okay, well we’ve got that settled.  What do you want?”  He watched her expectantly.

She stared at her glass as she swirled the remainder of her margarita.  Her buzz from the dinner wine combined with the icy cocktail made her feel bold.  She looked back up at Mac.

“Do you really want to know what I want?  I want just one night.  Just one night of anonymous, no-holds-barred, red-hot, no-strings-attached sex.  That’s what I want.”  She fixed him with a challenging stare.

“Whoa,” he breathed, eyes wide.

Katie looked down at her glass again.  “Too blunt?”

Mac leaned back in his chair, lips forming an O.  “That was blunt, all right, but I can respect that.  I’ve gotta ask, though.”  He sought out her eyes.  “Is there some guy at home waiting for you to come back?”

Katie shook her head.  “I’m not cheating on anybody.  You?”

He shook his head, too, and laughed humorlessly.  “What was it you said earlier?  Oh, hell no.”

She lightly stroked his arm as it rested on the table, delighting in the goose bumps that appeared there.  Her gaze traveled from there to his lap, which seemed to be taking an interest in the proceedings if the growing mound there was any indication.  She shifted her focus, sliding her gaze up his torso to those lips she’d noticed earlier.  God, I just want to suck on that lower lip.

She met his eyes again, saw the fire there, and knew it matched her own.  “So what do you say?”

“I say, have another margarita.  I just need to run to the little shop and pick up some…  Well, I didn’t actually expect that I’d need…”  He smiled apologetically.

Her voice was soft.  “I’ll wait right here.”

He took her hand and gently brushed his lips across her knuckles, gave her a wink, and left the bar.

Just One Night is available exclusively at Amazon, and it’s FREE if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.  Here’s the LINK.

AND, if you’re so inclined, here’s the link to VOTE for Just One Night: http://goo.g/0Ut0Aa

Thanks so much!!

 

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Just One Night FREE Holiday Weekend

Gray Just One NightA few weeks ago, I released a naughty little summer novella called Just One Night.  At the time, I designed the cover which turned out less than stellar.

Over the weekend, the divine Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi designed this kick-ass new cover and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Unless…

Unless I was able to give away Just One Night for FREE.  Which is exactly what I’m doing from June 30-July 4.  Call it an Independence Day Celebration.  From Thursday through Monday, you can use this LINK to download your very own copy for FREE.

It’s the perfect beach read for the 4th of July.

JON July 4a NEW

Surprise! It’s A Book Launch!

Just One Night 2In honor of the 1st Anniversary of the release of Luke & Bella: Two Streets Over, I’m pleased to announce the release of my new naughty little summer novella, Just One Night.  For the time being, it’s available exclusively on Amazon and it’s FREE with Kindle Unlimited.  Here’s a first look at the blurb.

Katie Parker is a woman on a mission. On a Caribbean cruise for her annual girlfriends’ getaway, she’s determined to forget about the man who betrayed her. All she wants is to find a man for just one night of anonymous, no-strings-attached passion.

Mac Coleman needs to get away. For now, that means accompanying his brothers on a cruise to Mexico for his younger brother’s wedding. After that, he’ll be changing jobs and cities, all to get away from his stalker ex-girlfriend.

When the pair meet on board the ship, the chemistry is instant. Can Mac convince Katie that what they have deserves more than just one night?

Here’s the link for Just One Night.  It’s the perfect beach read.  Treat yourself today!