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“I didn’t grow up with anyone. My dad was gone before I was old enough to form real memories of him. I didn’t even have a picture. My mom was either drunk or high and had different men in and out of the house so often, I never even bothered asking their name. “
“I was always big for my age and so by the time I was thirteen I was big enough to look out for Kyle. But my sister, I failed her. And now, she is just like my mom. And Henry is her son. I won’t fail him.”
I get the sense he’s not even really talking to me at this point. He may even have forgotten I am there.
Suddenly, his palm turns, and he grasps my hand. “Why are you here?” His voice is gruff. He looks at me and the far away gaze is gone. His gaze is intense and focused.
I don’t know why he is asking, but I answer. “I wanted to know who you are, Simon.” And I realize this is true. From the day we met on the Birdcage Walk, I have wanted to know who this man is. And just when I think I might be starting to understand him, I learn something that throws me for a loop.
His eyes blaze at my response and he stands up and pulls me to standing, too. “You are so fucking beautiful. I think you might be the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I feel tormented by it.” His eyes are pools of dark chocolate and he looks desperate.
“Addie…” He says my name with a gust of released air blowing over my face. We are standing toe to toe. He is so much taller than me that he has to duck to look me in the eye, and he does. “I want to kiss you. But I fucked up last time. I know I don’t deserve to kiss you again. But I want to. So much. Will you let me?”
I can only stare. His mouth is so close to mine. If tipped my head forward our lips would touch. Would that be permission enough for him? I decide to find out.
I bring my head forward with my eyes still open and my lips touch his. It is like I touched a flame to a kerosene soaked pile of hay. We combust. I am no longer standing on two feet. Simon grabs me by my hips, hoists me up onto the table, and the kiss goes from my lips pressed to his, to our tongues dueling and our teeth biting and our lips sucking.
With our plates on one end and us on the other, Simon lays me down without taking his mouth from mine. Without warning, he pulls open my shirt, sending buttons flying all over the room.
His lips leave mine as his tongue licks along my jaw, down my neck, stopping to suck the skin under my ear. I am aflame. His kisses burn a trail over me. I know when he is done, there will be nothing left of me but ashes.
His hot mouth makes it to my breasts and he brings his hands up from my hips to cradle one. “Addie, I’ve been dreaming about your nipples. I got off in the shower today, thinking about sucking them.” He licks the skin around them and they pucker in anticipation of his touch.
I whimper as he blows hot air on the wetness he just created and moan, “Simon, please.” I am desperate for him. I’ve never felt a need like this before.
“Addie, baby. You never have to beg.” And with that, his mouth closes over my nipple and I almost scream. He moves to my other breast and his other hand plays with the nipple he just abandoned.
I am in heaven as Simon feasts on my breasts. I don’t know if it’s possible to orgasm simply from nipple stimulation, but good Lord, I think I feel one starting to build. I put my hands on Simon’s head to hold him there; I don’t want this to ever stop.
Suddenly, as if some devil of cosmic doom heard my wish, Simon stops. Abruptly. He pulls off me and snaps my shirt together.
“Simon?” My query sounds almost drowsy at first, even though I feel a growing sense of dread. “What’s going on?”
As a little girl, I saw my father destroy the family he claimed to love. I watched my mother waste her life dreaming of a man who left her without a second glance.
As a woman, I don’t dream, I work. I don’t fall in love, I focus. I would never let anything as frivolous as love distract me.
Until I meet Simon. A gorgeous, brilliant young architect with dark eyes, a sweet smile, and a dirty, dirty mouth. He sets me on fire, and suddenly all I can do is dream…of his hands, his lips, his body. Of a heart good enough and a love strong enough to make me believe in happily ever after.
But Simon has secrets that are even deeper than mine. Will our pasts destroy everything we’ve worked for? Or will we find the courage to rise to the challenge and fight for the love we share?
A self-proclaimed happily ever junkie, she loves creating stories where her characters chase their own happy endings.
When she isn’t writing or reading, eating or cooking, she and her family are planning their next adventure.
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