Monday, July 16, 2012

FREE Excerpt from my new book, Mistletoe & Montana

     Joely emerged from the closet with a sweatshirt held in front of her to shield the fact she was only wearing a pair of bikini panties and the shirt she’d worn beneath her sweater the day before.
     “I was looking for a sweatshirt. Hope you don’t mind.”
     It only took a moment for his gaze to scorch her body, but when he averted his eyes, she felt like she’d just walked too close to a flame.
     “That’s okay. Take whatever you want.” He looked like he wanted to say something more, but then walked out of the bedroom. “I’m going to make some hot chocolate for the kids,” he called. She pulled on the sweatshirt and rushed back to her room to step into her jeans and pull on her boots.
He was in the kitchen, and this time, knew better than to interfere. She perched on a stool while he brought milk to a slow boil and added cocoa powder.
     “Wow, you make it right,” she said.
     “Thanks.” A slow smirk spread across his face. “I know you’re waiting to say something.”
     “No, I’m not.” She was all innocence and smiles.
     “Go on and ask me about her.”
     Her heartbeat jumped, but she pretended she was interested in the salt and pepper shakers instead. “Who? Mrs. Gomez?”
     “Yeah, right.” He got four mugs out of a cabinet and set them in front of her. “I saw your face last night when Molly brought her up. It’s okay. You can ask. I ask you about Matt all the time.”
He’d asked once, and that was after the first story of their dating broke on a cable entertainment show. Ben had shown remarkable calm and restraint, considering their divorce had only finalized a month before. It was only fair that he have a turn in being the one in the spotlight.
     “Okay. Who is Chrissy?”
     “I met her when I went up to the university two years ago to speak at graduation.”
      She wondered if her face blanched. “Is she a student?” It wasn’t possible so much jealousy could fill her until it threatened to explode. All the insecurities of dating the most popular jock in the state, if not the southwest, came back as fresh as when she was a senior in high school.
     “God, no! What do you think I am, a cradle robber?” He flushed a little. “She’s a professor. In the English department. You’d probably like her.”
     “I doubt it,” she said without thinking, then laughed in surprise at the force of her own feelings. Fortunately, he laughed, too. “Is it serious?”
      He shrugged, and poured the hot chocolate into the mugs so deliberately she almost expected to hear him make a wedding announcement.
     “Not anymore. She took a job teaching in London.”
     Not anymore. She sipped her drink too quickly, scalding her throat in the process. “The kids met her, apparently?”
     “She came by over the summer. To say goodbye.” He picked up two of the mugs and started walking out of the kitchen. “Come outside. I’ll let you throw a snowball at me.”
     “Aw, you don’t have to be so nice,” she said drily, but picked up the other mugs and followed him outdoors.

Mistletoe and Montana can be found exclusively in the Amazon Kindle Store!

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