Title: I’ll Be Home for Christmas from Timeless Moments—The Final Chapter
Author: Ruth A Casie
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Beth Alexander, best-selling romance writer, has lost her muse, her fan base, and maybe the loyalty of her beloved agent. Sales of her new release plummet on the best seller list, and her contract with her publisher is in jeopardy. A heat-of-the-moment social media comment about a rival author goes viral, and not in a good way. No one knows that the rival author is the stuff male cover models are made of, least of all Beth Alexander. She heads home to Havenport, Rhode Island for a Christmas book signing, and a chance to lay low and let the storm pass.
Beth’s chance encounter with a handsome, witty stranger has her heart racing, and her muse seemingly back. But, will the new story line she’s created save her career? Or will her handsome savior betray her and turn out to be her worst nightmare?
“Excuse me,” the librarian announced. “Please finish up. The library closes in fifteen minutes.”
Six o’clock. Research was a singular process for him. The solitude good for concentration, but isolating. These past few hours sitting across from Beth were comfortable and productive. He’d filled up pages in his notebook. He glanced at her. She pulled the newspaper out of her shoes.
“Here, let me help you with that.” He took the shoes out of her hand. Kneeling in front of her he grasped the heel of her foot. The intimate touch had him breathing hard. It made her giggle.
His face turned up, one eyebrow raised.
“I haven’t played Princess of the castle since I was a kid and my brother got too old to play the Prince. We’d use Mom’s clear plastic high heels for glass slippers.” She let out another giggle, which got her a loud shush from Wilma.
She had no idea how her unassuming joy and the intimate touch affected him. He slipped the boot on her. “Ah, m’lady you must be the Princess.” He stood and gave his best attempt at a courtly bow before he formally offered her his hand and helped her to her feet.
She stood up and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Her neck flushed and when he gazed into her eyes intelligence and friendship stared back at him. That was something to build on.
The moment passed and she broke away, gathered her things, and stepped over to Wilma’s desk to check out the armful of books she’d accumulated. Finished with Wilma, she headed to the door.
He packed his things and returned his books to the cart. Out of the corner of his eye he admired the sway of her hips and shape of her leg. She was dynamite in those high heel boots but in this weather she’d kill herself. He straightened his shoulders and stepped up beside her at the library door, ready to leave.
He followed her gaze out the glass door. There had to be six inches of snow on the ground.
“I have to get to the Inn,” she murmured. The rumbling of a motor and loud scraping sound caught his attention. Through the falling snow, yellow lights flashed and the snowplow came into view. The lumbering truck pushed the snow aside, clearing the street down to the asphalt. It moved slowly past the library.
“If we follow behind the plow you might be able to save your shoes,” he said.
“Or else we’ll have to come back and borrow Wilma’s spray.” He smiled at the trace of laughter in her voice.
He opened the door for her. The air smelled frosty and cold, but close to her the scent of vanilla and spice captured his attention. He helped her off the curb.
No way would she be able to navigate the slick surface wearing those boots with all she carried. He slung her computer bag over his shoulder and took half of her research materials.
A tentative step and she slid on the slippery street. He put his free arm around her and tucked her into his side for safekeeping. “Ready?” he asked her. She nodded and they followed the snowplow, creating a small parade.
“I was thinking about what you mentioned earlier regarding a woman’s sexuality. Men think differently than women,” she said. “A woman’s sexual turn-on is more complicated than a man’s.” He fumbled with the books he held. Her words froze in his brain.
“You mean women don’t think about sex as…enthusiastically as men?” This wasn’t new to him. Every guy knew women weren’t instantly turned on. But he’d never philosophized about or discussed sex. Not with a woman.
Beth’s voice dropped to an intimate whisper. With her tucked close to his side, her fragrance, and talking sexual attraction had him breathing hard. He wanted to take her in his arms and find out how soft and delicious her lips tasted.
“Oh, women are enthusiastic but we need… a plot, like a novel,” she blurted.
The idea clicked in his mind. “Ah, romance, a build-up—”
“Yes. It’s the anticipation, even for a casual encounter.”
Now it made sense. Clinically speaking, the build-up gives a woman time to receive and interpret the message on an intellectual level, then send the signal to her body parts for arousal.
“I understand. A woman has to connect with a man to have sex, while for a man, sex is the connection.” She stopped and gazed at him with those big brown eyes. He wondered if his signal was getting through to her. His heart pounded against his chest loud enough for her to hear. A wind swept down the street and she shivered.
“Jeez, you’re cold.” He pulled her closer and moved them on.
They entered the Inn. The blast of heat from the fireplace defrosted him as he stamped the snow off his shoes. She did the same. He stared at her boots.
“They seem fine,” she said. He escorted her upstairs, still carrying her computer bag and books.
“I had a great afternoon. You don’t have to walk me to my room,” she said as they climbed the stairs. He gazed at her flushed face, not sure if it was pink from the cold or the closeness they established.
As she opened her door, he pulled the computer off his shoulder and placed it inside. Before he could say a word, she put her lips on his. They were soft and inviting. Better than he anticipated. He deepened the kiss not knowing where this would lead and not caring until the sound of feet tramping up the stairs reached his ears. They broke apart.
“I better go. Thanks.” She slipped inside. The latch closed with a click.
Title: The Games A’Foot from Welcome to Havenport
Author: Ruth A. Casie
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Did you hear Beth Holmes and JD Watson are in town? Will sparks fly? Only if it’s the ones between these two lovebirds. Pick up autographed copies of their latest best sellers at their tent. Now those two should craft a book together. He writes compelling mystery and her steamy stuff is to die for. Adventure on the horizon? Who knows…maybe The Game’s AFoot.
Delicate white curtains danced as a warm summer breeze filtered through several open windows. The fresh smell of the salt air and rhythmic pounding of the surf provided a soothing backdrop. Bittersweet Jack, the last book in the Jack Daniel series, rested in her lap. Her hand traced the familiar face on the back of the dust cover. Author JD Watson. The JD Watson. Her JD Watson.
“I’m glad this class is over. I’m eager to write our own story.” Jarred’s warm whiskey voice set loose butterflies that fluttered in her stomach. Did he mean their collaboration on the new mystery series or their own blooming romance? She put the book aside on a stack of papers, sank back into the overstuffed club chair, and picked up a glass of sweet iced lemonade from the side table.
A candid picture of the family and Jarred taken last Christmas caught her attention. Her sudden fall off the best-seller list in December, and the cancellation of the next book in her Jo Dee series, had flushed her career down the toilet. How easily she’d blamed everyone, even top-selling author JD Watson. That was until Jarred stepped into her life, but that’s another story.
“How soon will you be here?” No reason to hide her eagerness. They were past playing games.
“I’m on my way to meet Matt Lyons for a quick cup of coffee before I leave. I should be in Havenport in time to take you to dinner.”
“Take me,” she half teased in a soft and seductive voice. “Afterward we’ll have a quiet meal here.”
“Sounds inviting.” The voice on the other end was soft, male, and mellow. “I may sign up to teach another master’s class in New York City if I can expect this type of welcome home.”
“Not an option.”
Jarred’s soft chuckle, the one that drove her crazy from the roots of her hair to her girlie parts, washed over her in a rush of heat.
She shared him with his students and suffered through the past three weeks without him. Now she wanted him to herself. Dinner on the patio with soft music and a glass of wine by the fire pit sounded heavenly. She could be the appetizer or dessert. Perhaps both. The playful idea, along with the expectation of his tender touch, made her melt into the soft cushions. She tried to remember which store displayed the cute peach silk chemise that revealed enough skin to drive him crazy. It would come to her. “Say hello to Agent Matt for me.” Beth abandoned the chair for the window.
She looked at the wind sock in the yard, the wisp of the clouds in the July sky, and the full sails of the boats as they tacked offshore. Everything reinforced why she loved Havenport. The town was perfect. The house was perfect. Jarred was perfect.
“When will Matt be back to Havenport? I want to introduce him to Bernice. She’ll be here tomorrow. It’s time my sister catered more than other people’s weddings.” Mrs. Bernice Lyons. That would be perfect.
“Your sister is awesome and not only because she concocts the best hamburger I ever ate, but let’s not have them marching down the aisle before they meet.”
“I’ll try to contain myself.” Hamburger. For pity’s sake. The Kobe beef burger topped with exotic truffles on a brioche bun sold for one hundred fifty dollars at one of Boston’s top restaurants.
“Contain yourself. You? I’ll believe that when I see it,” Jarred muttered. “What’s on your agenda today, besides writing?”
“I don’t know why I let the town council talk me into co-chairing the July Fourth celebration.” Her biting tone wasn’t meant to deceive him. She was very aware why she agreed. The offer at Christmas played to her wounded ego.
“They convinced you Beth Alexander would draw more people than last year’s co-chair. Even Jean agreed.”
“Yeah, easy for Jean to say. She’s my agent with no idea what it takes to run an event like this. More to the point, she’s not in Havenport herding cats. So why am I doing this?”
“Because you love it. You whip up people with your passion. That’s how you convinced me to do the book signing with you at the fair tomorrow.”
“If I remember correctly, I ‘whipped you up with my passion’ quite nicely before you left. You didn’t complain.” Images of their last night together flashed in her mind. They’d spent the day at the beach.
He wore his diving brief, which left nothing to the imagination. His broad shoulders, well-defined abs, and trim waist were romance-cover worthy. Dark wavy hair set off hazel eyes, which held a look of warmth and desire. Their lovemaking was more than heart-stopping strokes and touches. Much more. She leaned her forehead against the cool glass of the porch window to counter the heat threatening to burn her to a crisp.
“You still there, or did I hit a dead zone?”
“I’m here. Lost in the vision of ‘whipping you up.’” She stepped to the side table, breaking the conjured spell, and took a long drink of lemonade. The tartness quenched her thirst, but didn’t satisfy her other craving. That had to wait until Jarred got home.
“Yeah, me, too.” His voice rumbled with a soft, teasing laugh that he usually combined with a smart-ass Bruce Willis smirk.
RUTH A. CASIE is an author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance.
Social Media Links:
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