If you love contemporary romance, then you’ve come to the right place. Because we have a brand-spankin’-new, delightfully sexy, mouth-watering-delicious novel for you to love! FROM SCRATCH is a down-home, feel-good contemporary Southern romance that explores one woman’s journey back home to Dallas, Texas, where her family is cooking up a plan that doesn’t quite suit her tastes…
And when the going gets a bit tough for Lillie, she starts baking up a storm! (That’s not the only mouth-watering-delicious part…) But when Nick, her hunky ex-boyfriend and the only man she’s ever truly loved, reappears, looking more scrumptious than Lillie’s famous peach cobbler, she realizes she never truly got over him. I can’t blame her. I mean if the gorgeous cover is any indication, he’s a man who loves to help out in the kitchen. Who could say no to that?
And why doesn’t my kitchen ever look that hot when I bake?
Though this book may not be available until July 20th, we’ve got you covered with an exclusive excerpt below! Be sure to pre-order your copy now, the special low price of $1.99 won’t last long!
Outside and away from the commotion of the Junior League meeting, the covered porch is calm and quiet except for the faint rumbling coming from behind me, disturbing the solitude.
I turn to find Nick conked out in a rocking chair in front of the open windows. His head is slumped against his shoulder, lips parted. A small snore escapes each time he inhales. Figures. I should have recognized that sound. A baseball cap is draped over his knee, and his disheveled hair moves gently in the wind. The way his body sags in the chair reminds me of a rumpled dish towel. I notice the purple crescents underneath his eyes are more pronounced than they were at the Prickly Pear, as is the stubble lining his jaw. Another late night at the hospital, I gather.
For a second, I think he’s here to see me, to make peace after our confrontation yesterday, but then decide it must be simply coincidence. He’s made it clear he blames me for the destruction of our relationship. Perhaps he’s running errands for his mother and dozed off, or maybe he’s picking someone up. Whatever the reason, in his relaxed, unruly state, he appears out of place napping on Junior League’s covered porch in the middle of the day.
Minutes pass while I wait for Annabelle to materialize from the meeting. Nothing. I sigh. I guess I’m going to be here awhile longer, so I may as well make myself comfortable.
Biting my lip, I consider my options. There’s the obvious choice of the empty rocking chair next to Nick, though I’d rather not. The sunny grass near the flower beds seems inviting, but it’s probably wet and swarming with gnats. Maybe I should go back inside, but another run-in with the floozy may end in disaster. Or I could wait in the car . . .
What the heck is wrong with me?
With a calm, collected manner, I pull my shoulders back and claim the chair next to Nick. Rocking slowly back and forth, a breeze tickling my arms, I take in my surroundings. Birds cut across the sky and swoop down to the glinting bronze fountain, splashing in the water before soaring up again. On the other side of the wrought-iron fence, two women push strollers as they jog down the sidewalk. Peeking over the trees, I see the historical neon sign of the Inwood Theatre in the distance.
Next to me, Nick stirs. His eyes flutter open but quickly close. Within seconds, his breathing is deep and steady again. He looks so peaceful, the way his chest rises and falls in an even rhythm. I can’t remember the last time I saw him like this—vulnerable and without life’s expectations weighing him down. I wonder if he still listens to the rain forest setting on the sound machine to lull him to sleep after a grueling hospital shift. When I moved to Chicago, it took six months of restless nights before I could sleep soundly without that annoying machine.
Nick stirs again, shifting his body toward mine. The movement pulls up his T-shirt to expose a flat stomach and a thin line of hair that vanishes into black boxer briefs. My skin prickles, and I have an overwhelming, crazy urge to touch him there, to feel his hard muscles beneath my fingers. The way I used to, only back then my mouth followed everywhere my hands would explore. Warmth spreads through me as I remember the low, smooth rumble of his voice when my lips skimmed across his skin. The hiss that escaped from between his teeth when my tongue slid along the places he craved most.
I shake my head, erasing the memories like an Etch A Sketch, and concentrate on something other than my twitching fingers and the heat pooling in my belly—a garbage truck lumbering down a neighborhood street, dogs barking, the daytime traffic hum.
When I look back, Nick is awake and staring at me with puffy eyes. There’s an intensity in them, holding mine captive. A thrum of electricity courses through my veins as his gaze rakes over my face, the length of my body.