Hello and welcome to the Cranberries and Spice Blog Hop and a Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
I'm going to give away a copy of Cold Nights, Hot Bodies, my sexy winter romance set in the beautiful Cotswolds. Keep reading to enjoy an excerpt that sets the stage for the hot stuff!
Back cover information
All my life I’ve been the quiet bookworm, the office mouse. It hasn’t bothered me. Immersing myself in erotic novels has kept me wriggling on the edge of my seat at work and firmly entrenched in my own fantasy world at night.
Though one thing is bothering me—my damn virginity. If only I could find a sexy bedroom expert to introduce me to the delights of having a lover. Someone handsome and charming, who can rival the hunky alpha males in my books. I have a very vivid, very well-fed imagination—he’ll have to keep up.
Then, one bitterly cold night, thanks to a devious, conniving, so-called friend, the perfect opportunity to rid myself of this pesky virginity problem comes along. Before I know it, the heroes in my novels have come alive in the person of Shane Galloway, who’s pleasuring me with every trick in the book and wheedling into my heart in the hottest ways possible.
“Perfect,” Derek said, grinning down at me. “Lady in Red couldn’t be better since I’m dancing with the only lady wearing red in the room.” His face got serious and I noticed a few beads of sweat on his forehead. “Seriously, Ashley, I’m really going to miss the office when I retire. Janice is so excited and so am I, but it’s going to be hard not seeing my team every day and sharing a laugh over our morning coffee...” His voice trailed off and he looked over my left shoulder. His arm tightened on my waist and he spun me around.
My feet stumbled as I came face to chest with Shane Galloway.
I looked up.
He stared down.
He’d ditched his jacket and tie and his white shirt shone neon in the disco lights. Where he’d undone his collar a small collection of dark hairs curled on his chest.
“May I?” Shane asked Derek, though his dark gaze stayed captured with mine.
“Be my guest,” Derek said, releasing me and stepping backward. “To tell you the truth, I could do with wetting my whistle.” He made a drinking motion with his hand. “I’ll catch you later, Ashley. Don’t forget what we were talking about.” He gave me a quick wink then was swallowed by the crowd.
I stood, arms at my sides, as a rush of joy washed through me. Shane was still at the party and not only that, he was looking at me with the same dark twinkle in his eye he’d had earlier.
“Come here, lady in red,” he said, reaching for me with both hands. I stifled a gasp as he confidently wrapped one arm around my waist and caught my hand in his. He pulled our knotted fingers against his chest and tugged my body close.
My breasts pressed against our joined hands, the exposed flesh peeping over my dress just touching the back of his knuckles and the fold of my own thumb. He swept his tongue over his bottom lip, coated it in a damp sheen, and kept his hand exactly where it was.
Reaching up with my free hand, I rested my palm over his shoulder and felt the hardness of taut muscle beneath his shirt, lean and strong, firm and toned. He set up a gentle sway to the music and I followed his lead, absorbing his body heat. “I thought you’d gone,” I said.
“I had to make a call. My sister was driving back from Scotland after visiting a friend. I wanted to make sure she’d made it okay through the snow.”
“And did she?”
“Yeah, she’s home safe and sound.” His mouth broke into a smile and small creases darted toward his temples. “Sipping cocoa with the cat curled up on her lap.”
“Good, I’m glad,” I said, mesmerized by his handsome face.
He slid his hand up my back and ducked his head to my ear. I breathed in deep as the skin on his jawline came close to my face. He smelled divine, a “fresh from the shower scent” that reminded me of open water and clean air.
“Just as well,” he murmured. “I’ve just looked outside. We’re well and truly snowed in here, not much I could have done to help her if she’d got stuck somewhere.”
“We are?” I asked. “Snowed in?”
“Oh, yes. We’re trapped, no one is going anywhere, in or out of this place.”
As he spoke, his hot breath washed over my neck and generated a tickle over my scalp. I’d never experienced a feeling like it before. It was pleasurable. It was exciting. It was sexy as hell. “At least it’s nice and warm in the hotel and there’s plenty of food and drink,” I managed.
He pulled back and grinned. “Yeah, but if this ancient heating system breaks down we may have to get inventive with ways to keep warm.”
I looked into his eyes. They held a cheeky glint and one side of his mouth twitched, creating a tiny dimple in his right cheek.
“What do you suggest?” I asked.
“Well.” He tipped his head to the side and narrowed his eyes as if contemplating options. “We could always just drag extra blankets on to the beds, make hot water bottles and drink tea or, and this is probably more advisable, we could share body heat, generate our own warmth. I hear it can save your life to get close and cozy with someone on a cold winter’s night.”
“Close and cozy,” I repeated in a whisper, hardly daring to acknowledge in my mind what he was suggesting.
“Mmm.” His face was so near to mine, hovering just a hair’s breadth away. “Close and cozy and...naked.”
My body jerked. It was involuntary. I hadn’t meant to jump within his arms. But his words were like whips of sensation that traveled around my brain then sent darts of pleasure and terror to all the corners of my being. Naked. With him? Me with Shane Galloway?
He huffed and pulled his head back. “Sorry,” he said. “Guess I’m the only one here hoping the heating breaks down, eh?”
“Er, no, not at all.” I averted my gaze from his. My thoughts were spinning. What was I supposed to say to that? If I said I wanted the heating to break down I was saying I wanted to get close and cozy and naked with him—hell, I did. And if I said I didn’t want the heating to break down that was saying I wasn’t attracted to him—and I was. I was so attracted to him I wanted to stay in his arms all night. I wanted to kiss him, lick him, adore him all over. I wanted to do the things Tobias and Saffron did on their first night together, and then the things Daisy and Gray did and...
Heat rose on my cheeks again. Another blush was about to attack. Burying my head into the crook between his chest and his shoulder, I let my hot skin rest on his soft shirt. He smoothed his hand up my back, settling it beneath my hair and stroking a gentle circle.
“Sorry,” he whispered. “I didn’t mean to be so full on. It’s just been a long time since I held a beautiful woman in my arms. I’ve been so caught up in work and study and all that.”
“It’s okay,” I murmured, sliding my hands over his shoulders and linking them at the nape of his neck. I tipped my face up to look into his dark eyes. Opportunities, Derek had said. You’ve got to grab them like a terrier and not let go, even if it’s hard to go against your nature, it’s what you’ve got to do. Pulling in a breath, I swallowed a lump of apprehension. “I want the heating to break down too,” I said, beating down a wave of anxiety at the meaning behind my words. We were talking in code. Flirting with each other and testing the water. I’d just told Shane Galloway I wanted to get naked with him.
Suddenly the music switched. A hard rock song came on, deafening me with its meaty base. Couples around us snapped apart and began to jig with gusto, waving their arms and kicking out their legs. Shane and I stayed locked together.
“You wanna get out of here?” he asked, his face suddenly serious and his brows pulled low.
I sucked in a breath. The disco air was hot and the plethora of perfumes and sweat mixed with the smells of dinner suddenly too strong. The music was unbearably loud and the floor overcrowded. ”Yes,” I said, nodding. “Let’s get out of here.”
To be in with a chance of winning simply leave a comment telling me your favourite slow dance song and I'll pick a name at random at the end of the blog hop. Be sure to leave your email address so that I can send the prize if you win.