All summer long we’re featuring great e-books at great prices as part of our “Pocket Star-E Nights” program! With the help of some amazing blog partners (our “Shooting Stars“), we’re sharing some deliciously decadent excerpts of these terrific novels. If you like what you’re reading, you can purchase the book via the buy links just below this post.
The following excerpt is from Colette Auclair’s second novel in the Aspen Valley trilogy of contemporary romances, Jumped. Horsewoman Beth encounters her ex-husband, Finn, at a friend’s wedding, and discovers the spark is still there. Their marriage couldn’t go the distance last time, so should she throw her heart over the fence now? You’ll have to read on to find out… And the best part? If you love what you’ve read, you can buy it just by clicking the buttons at the bottom of this post. Also, don’t miss Thrown, the first Aspen Valley novel!
excerpt from JUMPED
At first, surprise prevented her from doing anything. Her lips were parted already, and he took full advantage. He slipped his tongue inside her mouth and she let it happen.
This is stupid, Beth. This has regret written all over it. You’ll be sorry. Pull away. Pull away now! You can stop it now and . . . and . . .
But his tongue had gone to work and he’d put his other arm around her waist and drawn her against his body. She had the presence of mind to avoid touching his cast, but other than that her brain was goo. Only the part that specialized in breeding was firing. Oh yeah, that part of her brain, the go forth and multiply lobe, was at DEFCON 1. She kissed him back. It was sexy, slick, outrageous, improbable . . . and freakin’ awesome.
Five years disappeared, and the heat his kiss generated could’ve warmed the entire cottage. For the entire winter. In Aspen.
He broke off the kiss and looked down at her. His brow was all liney.
She said, “If you say ‘I’m sorry,’ I’ll break your other leg.”
The remorse she saw in his face evaporated as he grinned. “How about if I say I’m sorry for being an ass?”
He hugged her, hard. It was almost too hard, but she didn’t mind being pressed against his solid warmth.
She heard him moan, then whisper, “Bethany.” He touched her hair lightly with his lips. She stood there, in his arms, smelling his familiar scent of soap, some macho brand of deodorant and . . . Finn. His chest was warm and hard—and another part of him was hard as well. No shocker there. Obviously their respective reproductive organs were chatting up a storm, because didn’t she go and feel all balmy in her Netherlands. She felt him shudder.
He relaxed his arms. Plunged his hand through his wavy hair.
Now she was trembling. Crap crap crap.
“I’m not sorry I did that,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to kiss you since the wedding. But I didn’t like seeing you with Cormier tonight, and, yeah, I got stupid. I know you’re not my wife anymore, but sometimes it still feels like you are.”
She reached up to stroke his cheek, but he caught her hand and gently lowered it. He adjusted his crutches and started toward his bed.
“It’s okay. I didn’t mind.”
He sat on the side of his bed and regarded her from across the room. “I shouldn’t have done it, for my own sake. I can see myself falling back into old habits. This can’t happen again.”
For whatever reason—perhaps her uterus had started to call the shots—this bugged her. A bolt of frustration struck her sternum. Damn you, Finn! She shot up from the couch and pounded across the pine planks. In her yellow Sunshine Humane Society tee and orange Florida Gators running shorts that she’d put on after Jack left. She wasn’t wearing a bra and her breasts bounced. Too bad. Let him salivate. She was pissed.
“You can’t do that, Finn.” She stood in front of him. “You can’t kiss me like that, practically crack my ribs, then waltz over here like nothing happened. I hate when you do that. You swoop in, kiss me, say your piece, then swoop out again. It’s not over just because you’re done talking.”
He shook his head and raised his arms toward her, palms up in a helpless gesture. “No. We can’t do this. We’ll start something we both know we’re not going to finish. Didn’t we hurt each other enough five years ago?”
She looked him up and down, breathing fast and shallow. She was angry, she was turned on, she was . . . not exactly sure what she was about to do. But she was about to do something.
“Mingo! Off!” The little dog stirred, then jumped off the bed. He stood, threw Beth a long-suffering look, then promenaded to the sofa, jumped up, and curled up.
As soon as her dog was safe from whatever was about to happen, Beth lunged at Finn. His eyes widened in alarm and he grabbed her arms and held her away from him.
“Hey! Honey, I want you. Believe me. But we need to be—”
She swallowed, then framed his face between her palms and kissed him as hard as he had kissed her. He loosened his death grip on her upper arms and moaned, kissing her back. Then he turned his head, breaking the kiss.
“Bethany, you’ve always had trouble being told no.”
“Shut up, McNabb.” She went in for another round, but he held her off.
He laughed and said, “Wait.” His face got all serious.
She didn’t like this. She wanted to kiss him and see where it led. She wanted it to lead to nudity and broken-leg sex, whatever that was. She wanted to find out. She was fired up and horny and Finn would just have to deal with her.
“Shhh,” she said, and made a second attempt.
“Honey, hold on. I . . . Oh, hell.”
He twisted around to reach behind him. This made his T-shirt ride up and uncover a superb grouping of rippling abs. I’ll be all over you fellas soon enough.
Finn had something in his hand. Something like a phone. Her phone.
She felt her lips part, and not for anything sexy. He looked at her, contrition contorting his face.
“You knew where my phone was? And you didn’t tell me?”
“Honey,” he said gently, “I took it.”
“By accident? Because you’re on Percocet?” Surely it was by accident.
“I hoped you’d come here tonight. I wanted to see you.”
“To see if I had Jack Cormier’s lipstick on my collar? To check for hickeys? This is low even for you.”
He grimaced at that. “I told you. I was jealous. Then I have this fuckin’ cast on. I know it was stupid. Look, I did it. I’m sorry.”
“You were that jealous?”
“Yes. Dumb. I know. Dumb.”
Beth stood there holding her phone as she let this sink in. Her annoyance was replaced by a simmery tingle. He wanted her. He wanted her a lot. She stood between his legs and took his face again, one hand still holding the phone. She wanted to bop him on the head to make a point. Her nose was an inch from his lovely, crooked-from-being-broken nose. “Don’t take my phone hostage again, Finn,” she said with soft menace.
“Next time you want to see me, you call, like a normal person.” This was just above a whisper.
“Okay.” He swallowed. This was fun. She could tell he didn’t know what she was going to do next. She had him back on his heels.
“You want me?” she asked.
“Yes.” His voice was gruff.
“Bad. But we can’t—”
Beth slammed her lips against his and kissed the “can’t” right out of him.
Will Beth play it safe in her new life in Aspen Valley? Or open her heart to a leap of faith with her ex-husband?
In this lighthearted and sexy romance, a professional show jumper finds herself falling for a movie star when she teaches his kids to ride. Will her Olympic dreams leave room for love?