Heat Wave Series
Savin’ Me: Heat Wave Series #1
Erik Monteague has spent the past thirteen months trapped by the memories of his scorching-hot one-night stand with Kat Owens. When she takes over his advertising account, he’s more than happy to discuss positioning… but not the kind to increase his business… the kind that will put her back in his bed and in his life. While his perfectly executed seduction gets Kat back into his bed, their emotional connection rips open old wounds and Erik is forced to either face his tragic past, or spend the rest of his life running.
Advertising executive Kat Owens has one last chance to prove to her aging grandfather she can be a success. She can’t afford to be distracted by a charming, bad-boy client she knows from personal experience delivers high-voltage sex but nothing more. After succumbing to his advances and spending a weekend in Erik’s arms, she realizes there’s more to life than a successful career and she sets out to prove to him love can be good and lasting.
But Erik’s scars run deep and love may not be enough to save him.
*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`* REVIEW BY CHRISTINA *.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*
Short, sweet, sexy and just the right amount of drama. From the start, this book grabbed my attention. The pull these two characters felt towards each other was incredible. What made me keep reading was the constant cat and mouse game they were playing with each other. I want you and then I don't want you. It was frustrating and totally exhilarating. Many times, I spoke to the characters and said, 'Get on with it already. You know you want to. No use denying it.' Pity was they couldn't hear me.
I laughed, I sweated in their times of pleasure and I cried. I cried for the hurt these two were experiencing. I cried happy tears for the fact that they still pushed through all that, not without struggle, and got their happily ever after.
This book now sits on the top of my favorites and is definitely a re-read for me. Alannah, you have a talent for putting a reader into a story and I'm glad I get to be part of it.
Saving Me: Heat Wave Series #1
Oh man, not the strawberry… not the strawberry… Aw, shit.
Erik Monteague clenched his jaw and steeled his defenses against the impending carnal assault. The laughing guests, jazz band, overflowing food tables—everything at the Sinclair Marketing Group open house faded into the woodwork as his field of vision narrowed down to ruby lips and the damn lucky strawberry about to be sucked into them.
Her pink tongue flicked across full, luscious lips, then scooped a bead of chocolate from the bottom of the large, ripe fruit. She opened her mouth, slid the berry inside, and wrapped her lips around it.
Good God Almighty. Erik shifted his stance and stifled a moan. “I can’t believe I’m jealous of a piece of fruit.”
A familiar chuckle pierced his lust-filled haze, causing his pinpoint vision to snap back to wide-angle view. From the corner of his eye, he spotted his best friend, Steve Vex, making like a bartender, serving up a beer.
“What’s up?” Steve asked, laughing.
The smirk on Steve’s face proved the question was rhetorical, so rather than answering the jackass, Erik swiped one of the beers. “Perfect timing.”
“Yeah, you looked like you might be overheating.” Steve tipped his bottle in her direction and hitched his chin. “I’ve never seen her before. Who is she?”
Who is she?
Erik stared at Steve for a moment, perplexed by the simple question. It shouldn’t have required much thought, but Erik, always a straight-shooting, tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy, found himself hedging.
He pinched the bridge of his nose and squeezed his eyes shut, trying to ward off the explosive memories of her and their night together.
Her mouth—warm and slick—wrapped tightly around him…
Her beneath him, bottom lip caught between her teeth in an effort to hold back her screams… Her mouth dropping open to gasp for air as she cried out her release…
Him waking and reaching for her, only to find himself alone…
He swallowed hard and scrubbed a hand down his face. “I don’t know who she is,” he said, somewhat truthfully. After all, just because you knew someone intimately didn’t mean you knew them.
Steve quirked a pierced eyebrow. “Yeah, I think I’m going to have to call bullshit on that.”
At times, having a friend who was closer than a brother was a true blessing. This wasn’t one of those times. “Sometimes you’re a real pain in the ass.”
Steve’s lopsided grin grew to obnoxious proportions. “Yep,” he said, “it’s something I live for, especially where you’re concerned.” He took a sip of beer and waited. And waited. And when Erik didn’t elaborate, he pressed the issue further. “Seriously. What’s the deal?”
Erik took a long drink of beer, then studied the floor and fought the urge to shuffle his feet like a teenager being grilled by a suspicious parent. He and Steve had been friends since the first day of kindergarten, when they’d both gotten into trouble for standing underneath the monkey bars, sneaking peeks up the girls’ dresses. In their twenty-seven-year friendship Erik had never kept anything from Steve.
Unwilling to analyze why he wanted to keep her identity, or the scope of their relationship, private, when he’d never worried about that kind of thing before, he grinned slyly and said, “My friend, we have shared many things. But whatever I might know about her, I’m keeping to myself.”
“Damn.” All traces of amusement dropped from Steve’s face, and he whistled low. “That sounds serious.”
Erik bristled at what he suspected could maybe, possibly be a spec of truth, if he allowed it to go that far. But he recovered quickly and turned it into a joke. Nailing on a smile, he said, “It is.” He took a moment to enjoy surfing the shock waves rolling off his friend before adding, “Serious lust. You know, the kind that results in sex that’s mind-altering, not life-altering.”
Shit. The instant the words left his mouth, he knew he’d taken the sarcasm too far. He’d left an opening big enough to drive a truck through, and, as expected, Steve barreled in. “Dammit, Erik, it’s been ten years. When are you gonna let it go and move on?”
Erik rolled his head in a circle, attempting to loosen the muscles in his neck and shoulders that’d suddenly snapped into tight bands. They’d had this conversation too many times to count, and he didn’t want to have it again.
Rather than delve into the past—a past he couldn’t change or forget—he directed his attention across the room to something much more pleasant.
Savin’ Me: Heat Wave Series #1
Kat stepped onto the small, private deck that held one Adirondack chair and a small table. Taking a deep breath, she pulled moist, electrified air into her lungs and watched the aggressive waves encroach upon the beach, then break against the dunes in a thundering roar. Partial moonlight peeked from behind a storm cloud and reflected off the water’s surface. Lightning flashed nearby, and the sea oats swayed in the wind, all combining to create an eerie but dramatically beautiful landscape. As raindrops began to fall, she took another deep breath, then turned to head back inside.
Erik was standing in the middle of the room next to the bed. He’d stripped off his shirt, his hands were dangling at his sides, and he wore a dark and dangerous expression. “Come here.”
A shiver raced down her spine as nervous anticipation sliced through her. She’d seen desire in a man’s eyes before, but the fire in his transcended simple lust. And heaven help her, she was damn near desperate for everything he offered. She pulled the door shut behind her, then moved across the room toward him. The closer she got, the more she trembled and the harder her heart pounded.
His pupils were dilated, and in the dim lighting, his eyes looked like luminous sapphires. A streak of lightning flashed and reflected off the dark orbs, so full of their own burning heat. The house shook from the force of the thunderous boom, causing her to jump and cease her forward motion.
She dropped her gaze to his bare shoulders and chest, where the muscles bunched and flexed with his apparent impatience. Her eyes raked across his well-defined abs and down the thin trail of dark hair disappearing into the waistband of his pants. At the thought of tasting him, she licked her lips.
His resolve must have snapped because he closed the distance between them in one stride. He slid one hand through her hair, then wrapped it tightly around his fist, while the other slipped around her waist. His mouth crushed hers as his tongue pushed past her lips, demanding complete and unlimited access. His tongue swept the inside of her mouth with an insatiable hunger as his hand slid from her waist to her ass, then hauled her body up tightly against his.
Despite the intensity of the kiss, she wanted more. Needed more. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him to her in desperation. He rewarded her by deepening the kiss and increasing the thrusting tempo of his tongue. But then, something shifted within him, and he suddenly broke away.
Breathing hard, he dropped his forehead to the crook of her neck and whispered, “God help me.”
Confusion swamped her as she continued to tremble and her breathing came in short, jerky gasps. She still had her arms wrapped around his neck in a death grip, so she released him.
He slowly unraveled her hair from his fist, took a few steps back, then flopped down on the edge of the bed. His chest heaved with his labored breathing, his hands were clenched into tight fists, and the muscles in his jaw worked overtime. Letting his gaze travel from her bare feet to her eyes, he said, “Why don’t you undress for me?”
Gavin McLeod is a man who has it all. His corporate climb has positioned him as the next CEO at Holden Enterprises and he is financially stable, allowing him to provide for the grandfather who raised him. His private life is also on fire, as evidenced by the successful seduction of a sexy bartender who gets under his skin and makes him crave more than just sex. Life is perfect until the alluring woman in his arms turns out to be a serious road-block to his future, one that could bring everything he's worked for crashing down around him.
Sunny Black has spent her entire life tending to the needs of others: caring for her younger brother since she was ten, and serving bar patrons night after night. For the first time in years, she puts herself first, taking a trip on the wild side with a customer whose raw sexuality is too strong to deny. The next morning, however, she learns that in addition to rocking her world, the stranger might destroy everything and everyone she’s worked so hard to protect.
A game of sexual seduction and corporate chess ensues, but when Gavin and Sunny are unable to negotiate a satisfying resolution, Gavin’s boss steps in and puts both their lives at risk.
*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`* REVIEW BY CHRISTINA *.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*
I loved it from the start. Their relationship is complicated from the start, which is what draws me in. The suspense on how they're gonna make it work, keeps me turning to the next page. I loved to read how they resolved their issues and were able to give each other their hearts. Plus, the sex scenes are a great addition.
Another thing is how Alannah described the sceneries made me feel like I was there. Second book in the series and she's got me hooked.
Last Call: Heat Wave Series #2
Bartender Sunny Black had her head down in the beer chiller, her arm buried to the elbow in ice, when she heard, “Can I get a blowjob, sex on the beach, and a screaming orgasm, please?”
She rolled her eyes and continued to shift bottles in the cooler without responding. She really needed a better system for taking inventory.
Bent over like this, her ass stuck straight up in the air, which seemed to be an open invitation for assholes to hit on her by ordering the raunchiest drink names they could think of. Hard to believe these guys thought she hadn’t heard it all before.
She’d been hoping for a quiet night, so she could close up early. But Mr. Hardy-har-har undoubtedly had a posse—jerks always traveled in packs—and they always stayed until last call, using every available minute to get as drunk and obnoxious as possible. She’d be lucky if she got out of here before midnight.
She shifted the Budweisers to the side and resumed counting. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten.
“Ma’am, did you hear me?”
With her free hand, she pulled the Dum-Dum out of her mouth and licked the sticky from her lips. “Look, Romeo,” she said, tilting her head so her voice carried to him, rather than echoing around the cooler, “I’ll give you five points for a nice, smooth voice. But you lose ten for being a tad overzealous.”
She jammed the sucker back into her mouth and resumed counting. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen.
“What the hell are you talking…” His voice trailed off, and then roaring laughter settled over her like thick, heavy honey drizzled on a piping hot biscuit.
He seemed genuinely amused, and she grew curious enough about the man behind the laugh to risk an encouraging look. She leaned back and lifted her head so she could see over the bar.
Holy cow. Even while slurping on a saliva-inducing butterscotch sucker, her mouth went bone dry.
The guy’s features were amazing. The Great Sculptor had pressed her thumbs into the flesh of his cheeks, then pulled an upward stroke, leaving behind a slight indention, while at the same time creating high, rugged cheekbones. His square jaw led to a square chin that projected a strong, confident individual. His eyes were like brilliant sapphires, topped by severe dark brows.
His features were sharp, and if not smiling, he would appear harsh, hostile even. But softened by that grin, she found him utterly—and literally—breathtaking.
“I think you misunderstood my request.” His eyes twinkled with amusement.
As a bartender, Sunny met good-looking men on a regular basis. Sometimes they tripped her trigger. Most of the time, they didn’t. What she felt now catapulted beyond mild interest and ranked more like an internal explosion capable of launching a rocket.
Her flirting game had been packed away so long she wasn’t sure she still had it. And if so, she doubted she could find all the pieces. But this guy… he made her want to sort through the game drawer and find as much as possible.
The biting sting of ice—in which her arm was still buried to the elbow—cut through the lustful haze, and her muscle jerked involuntarily. She glanced down, trying to remember what she was doing prior to having her motherboard fried.
Her cheeks blazed with the embarrassment of her obvious attraction, and she could only imagine the glow they were putting off. She bit down on the sucker, then tossed the empty stick in the trashcan by her feet. “Sorry for being a smart-ass. Let me finish this and”—she smiled, and searched for a flirty tone—“I’ll take care of you.”
His blue eyes darkened, and his eyelids relaxed. A slow, rakish smile crept across his full lips, causing the tiny cleft in the center of his chin to deepen. “I look forward to that.”
Damn. If they weren’t talking drinks, this would be the opportunity of a lifetime.
When she finished counting the beers, she patted her arm dry and grabbed three shot glasses off the shelf. She sensed him watching her every move, and her skin heated under his scrutiny. He wasn’t excessively tall, maybe six feet, but his presence seemed to dominate her five-foot-four frame.
She wasn’t easily intimidated, but the confidence and power he emanated, combined with the raw sexuality she’d glimpsed a moment ago, made her knees weak.
Just once, I want to have sex with a man like that.
Last Call: Heat Wave Series #2
Gavin took a step closer, then paused, gauging her reaction. When she didn’t back away, he took another step. And another. Caught in the grips of his simmering stare, her skin tingled, her panties dampened, and her breasts grew heavy.
The warmth of his body and the spicy scent of his aftershave pulled her to him like a magnet. When she was close enough to see the individual whiskers of his five o’clock shadow, she realized how far forward she’d swayed. She tensed, forcing the forward momentum to halt, then stepped back until she bumped the counter with her butt.
His sapphire eyes turned to midnight as the pupils dilated. His throat worked, and his nostrils flared. He closed the distance between them and rested his palms against the counter at her sides, boxing her in. Even though he wasn’t touching her, his body heat mixed with hers, and the temperature in the room rose twenty degrees. Her palms grew sweaty and perspiration popped out on her neck and forehead.
Could anything be more unattractive? She reached under his arm and slid the top of the beer cooler open. As a rush of cool air swept over her, she sighed with relief.
She could tell from his grin and the glint in his eyes that she amused him, but that only lasted for a moment. The humor quickly slipped away, and the sultry heat returned. He dipped his head and drew in a deep breath. “You smell good. Like strawberries.” He nuzzled her neck, then nibbled her ear.
The awkward nervousness she’d been feeling gave way to hammering excitement. She’d always wanted a wild ride with a man like him, or what she suspected he might be like. Her body recognized this was her chance, and it responded with a resounding all systems go.
As adrenaline and excitement rippled through her body, she started to tremble. She tightened her muscles so the shaking wouldn’t be obvious, but he noticed anyway and pushed back to give her space.
He studied her face, then looked down at her breasts. As hard and painful as her nipples were, they had to be visible through the fabric of her halter-top, and she fought the urge to cross her arms to cover herself. He made a soft, appreciative sound before flipping his gaze to her face.
“For a minute I thought I’d frightened you.” His voice was low and husky. “But you’re not scared, are you?”
She pressed her hand against the side of his face and stroked the sharp ridge of his cheekbone with her thumb. “No. If anything, I’m afraid of my strong reaction to you.”
But she sure as hell wasn’t going to let a little fear stop her from getting on this ride.
The world's best-stocked toy drawer can only take a gal so far. Bored with her current assortment of vibrating, plastic pieces, building inspector Sam Wallace decides to add a new sex toy to her collection: Kevin Mazze. The irresistible Italian is happy to help her live out her long-held sexual fantasies, while also insinuating himself into her life and winning the affection of her five-year old daughter. But just as Sam starts to trust Kevin with her heart, as well as her body, she learns he’s committed an unforgivable sin.
Myrtle Beach developer Kevin Mazze is one of the good guys. He's spent his life always doing the right things and making those around him happy, even if it means maintaining a relationship long after it’s reached its expiration date. When he meets the woman of his dreams, he finds himself making bad choices in the name of good and crossing lines he never thought he would... while praying she never learns of the secret he’s been hiding.
*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`* REVIEW BY CHRISTINA *.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*
There must be something to the heat in North Carolina. Each book keeps getting hotter.
This one in particular pulled at my heart strings. I know the betrayal Sam felt from family and past love, and when someone comes saying all the right things and does all the right things, caution gets thrown to the wind, because of the hope one has.
Kevin is the kind of a guy I wish had rescued me. Killer body, sweet words and knows how to love a woman properly. (Not that he doesn't have flaws.)
I love these two and I smiled like an idiot when they got their HEA. They deserved it.
Amazing read and definitely on my re-read list.
Crossing Lines: Heat Wave Series #3
Mirrored shades served several functions. They looked cool. They protected the eyes. And they provided the perfect cover for sizing up a man’s ass.
Sam Wallace always found work boots sexy, and as Kevin Mazze stormed across the parking lot, he screamed sex with a capital S. His powerful strides were like those of a lion as he moved with authorial grace through the concrete jungle he ruled, commanding attention and respect.
A sigh slipped from her lips as she followed the roll of his shoulders under his light-blue button-down shirt and the sway of the soft, well-worn denim.
He was the man her mama warned her about.
The one her friend, Cheri, begged her to find.
When angry, his eyes were cold and hard and his lips compressed into a sharp, thin line. But when he smiled, those steely eyes turned soft and gooey, like rich, dark chocolate, and his bottom lip grew thick and plump, perfect for nibbling.
The whole package reminded her of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, and her mouth watered for a bite.
She hadn’t been with a man since her piece-of-shit ex walked out. And even though Cheri encouraged her to find one, Sam steadfastly refused. She didn’t need a man… At least, that’s what she claimed.
Kevin Mazze, however, put a little purr in her motor and made her want to take a test drive.
He wasn’t wearing a ring—not that she’d been looking. She just happened to notice his finger was bare as he silenced his phone… Right before she saw the dark, curling chest hair peeking over the open top button of his shirt… Which she noticed when she snapped her gaze upward in an attempt to not get caught staring at his crotch… Which definitely snagged her attention.
Oh hell, who was she kidding? Everything about Mazze called to her on a deeply feminine level, guaranteeing him a starring role in all future fantasies.
“You’ll have to overlook his irritability,” Wade said, interrupting her thoughts. “He’s on edge because of the wedding.”
Her heart sank with the sound of screeching tires, signaling an end to her dreams before they even got started. “Oh, yeah? Who’s the lucky girl?” Realizing that might come across more forward than she intended, she turned to Wade to clarify.
Before she could formulate her defense as nothing more than a figure of speech, Wade said, “Oh, no. I doubt Wildman will ever marry.” He laughed nervously. “He’s planning my wedding.”
A ridiculous image of Mazze in a yellow sundress, wearing a matching hat and white gloves, directing the flower girl and bridesmaid from the back of a church, flashed through her mind. The scene was straight out of a bad horror movie and completely incongruous with the real-life, testosterone-driven flesh and blood.
The closest Mazze probably ever came to a dress was while removing one. Patience didn’t seem his strong suit, so rather than dealing with delicate buttons or sticky zippers, she imagined he would just rip and strip.
Kinda makes a girl want to go out and buy a dress.
Crossing Lines: Heat Wave Series #3
Several minutes later, Kevin returned with a bottle of pain reliever and a soft-sided cooler. He unzipped the top, set a Budweiser on the ground at his feet, and grabbed a bottle of water. Holding it out to Sam, he said, “Sure you don’t want something stronger?”
A Miller Lite top peeking out of the ice had her biting her lip, reconsidering. The water would be the smart choice, but if she drank a beer, she’d have another excuse not to drive, at least for a while. Better still, it might give her the courage she needed to make her move.
“Okay, you’ve convinced me,” she said, pointing to the blue and gold cap. “I’ll take the Lite, instead.”
“Man,” Kevin said as he swiped the back of his hand over his brow. “That was a tough sale.” He popped the top loose and handed her the bottle. “I have plenty more in the house, so drink all you like.”
She grinned and washed the ibuprofen down with the beer. “This’ll do me. I’m a cheap drunk on a good day. Combined with the drugs, if I have more than this, Michaela and I will have to crash on your couch.”
He chewed the inside corner of his mouth as his gaze crawled from her legs to her neck. After a quick shake of his head and a long, long pull on his beer, he swung his legs up on his chaise. He stretched one out in front and bent the one closest to her to use as a prop for his forearm.
“I’ve been wondering about something.”
“My amazing athletic ability?”
His grin was quick and fleeting before he sobered and shook his head. “Tell me about your boots.”
What? My boobs?
What the hell was she supposed to say about her boobs?
While she sputtered, looking for an appropriate response, he said, “You’ve obviously had them for a while and didn’t get them strictly for this job.”
Oh my God. She burst into laughter. And here she thought he’d be Mr. Smooth-moves. “That’s the most original, and ludicrous, come-on I’ve ever heard.” She slipped her hands under her larger-than-average boobs and gave the girls a proud little lift. “Nope, I didn’t get them just for this job. I’ve had them since I was about eleven, maybe twelve. I don’t remember exactly how old.”
Kevin’s mouth dropped open and his eyebrows rose in surprised interest as his eyes followed the lift and bounce. When the girls settled back into place, he shifted his gaze to hers with the funniest what-the-fuck expression she’d ever seen. He blinked a few times before his face lit up and he threw his head back, laughter pouring out of him. After several moments of unsuccessfully trying to contain his amusement, he took a few deep breaths and wiped his hand over his eyes.
“I think you misunderstood.”
He took another deep breath, followed by a long draw on his bottle. After a slow exhale, he seemed satisfied he had himself under control, so he tried again.
“Boots. B-O-O-T-S. Tell me about your boots.”
Sam froze with her beer lodged against her lips. “My boots?” Her high-pitched squeak echoed around the bottle as flames licked at her neck and spread over her face.
Shit, he hadn’t been coming on to her at all. He was talking about her work boots. It was her gutterbrain that turned an innocent question into sexual play. She squeezed her eyes shut and drained her beer.
“I don’t know what to say about my boots any more than I did my boobs.” She laughed nervously. “Other than to confirm, yes, I’ve had them for a while… although not quite as long as my boobs. And no, I didn’t get them just for this job.”
Kevin reached into the cooler, drug another Lite out of the ice, and popped the top. “Here, have another. This is getting good.”
A good ol’ Georgia boy teaches a Myrtle Beach princess how to get down and dirty…
It’s been two years since Callie Holden helped put her father in prison, and since then, she’s learned a lot about life and herself. To Callie’s surprise, she actually likes working and has discovered money is a tool to be used for good… or evil. She also realizes even though she’s traveled the globe, she’s never truly lived. She longs for adventure and to experience a wildly passionate romance. The last place she expects to realize her dreams is in the arms of the ever-surly man she’s dubbed “The Beast.” But when Callie and Wade Neumann are forced to work together, unexpected chemistry changes everything. In Wade's arms, Callie finds the excitement and passion she’s been looking for, as well as a few other surprises.
Wade Neumann has spent the last year burying the pain and humiliation of being left at the altar by a woman who used him as a novelty toy before settling down with someone more like herself—someone rich. He’s lost himself in a stream of nameless females since then, but instead of the trysts helping him heal, he’s only grown colder and more jaded. He hasn’t moved on with his life. He’s merely stuck going through the motions… until he meets Callie Holden, a woman who looks like his ex but is actually the opposite—sweet, compassionate, loyal, and most importantly, not wealthy. Or so he thinks. Because just as he starts to believe things with Callie are real and true, she gives him thirty million reasons to doubt all over again.
*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`* REVIEW BY CHRISTINA *.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*
Just like the other 3 books of the Heat Wave Series, this one had me hooked from the beginning.
It was sexy, thrilling and frustrating all at the same time.
I could relate to Wade's struggles as he learns to trust Callie, even though I'm a woman. The Sex scenes were hot and this Alpha male sure had my blood boil too. Callie is one lucky woman.
I'm sure I'll be reading this series again. I've loved each book so far and I'm excited to see what Alannah will publish next. Along with this series, she's on my top favorite list of authors now.
Going All In: Heat Wave Series #4
As they made the short ride from The Bellamy to Five Guys, Callie forced herself to ignore how much space Wade took up in the seat, the way the interior of the work truck carried his unique scent, or the condensation forming on the windows. The patches of fog reminded her of the scalding hot car scene from Titanic, and the urge to recreate the scene, here and now, had her shifting uncomfortably in the seat.
Lord, her head was a hot mess, and not just because the rain and humidity had turned her natural curls into a tangled rat’s nest. Her cranial scrambled eggs had nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with the perplexing man beside her. The morning started off as she expected, with Wade being surly and gruff. But as the day wore on, his hostility lessened and gradually slid down the scale to… something else.
However, because of her limited experience with men and her inability to see situations clearly, she couldn’t figure out what the something else was. In direct proportion to his lessening wildebeest impression, she caught rare glimpses of his true nature, things she’d never been privileged to see before. Like the soul-deep kindness that radiated from his eyes when he was concerned about her hurting herself by trying to lift too much. Or the way his soft, sensual lips pulled higher on one side when he smiled, giving him the appearance of a mischievous little boy.
An impression that was quickly dispelled when the eye wandered lower than his mouth. One look at his large, hard body proved there was absolutely nothing boyish about Wade Neumann.
He also seemed to be noticing her in a way he never had before, and based on the scowl that usually followed one of his heated glances, he wasn’t pleased about the newfound interest.
Callie had a reputation for being a prude, and she’d never been more dismayed about the validity of that reputation than now. If she were like Jen—whose moral compass had been zapped by the same unknown forces that caused planes and ships to disappear in the Bermuda Triangle—she’d know exactly what to do to capture and hold his attention.
But she wasn’t like Jen, and she was clueless.
Going All In: Heat Wave Series #2
She hadn’t been to church since she was a little girl, but she found herself saying a prayer of thanks when she returned to find him seated on the couch, arms stretched out along the back, legs kicked out in front and crossed at the ankles.
He was the sexiest man she’d ever encountered, the potency made even stronger and more dangerous by his easy confidence. He was totally at ease, while she felt like a cat that had been rolling around in a field of catnip all day. Her eyes and thoughts bounced here, there, and everywhere, trying to figure out the best place to sit.
The chairs across from the sofa were too far away and would knock out any chance for more of those spontaneous kisses or snuggling and cuddling. If she sat next to him, he’d have to turn sideways to look at her and that would quickly get awkward and uncomfortable for both of them. She bit down on the inside of her lip as her gaze settled on his lap. She’d grown comfortable sitting on him at the campground, so why not go with what worked?
She planted a knee on one side of him, straddled his legs, then settled onto his thighs.
His eyes danced with humor as he tilted his head to the side and grinned at her. “Comfy?”
“No. Not yet.” She scooted around, trying to find a soft spot on a man who was all hard muscle. “I’m trying to find a soft spot.”
The muscles in his jaw tightened as he clenched his teeth and gripped her waist, stilling her. “Sweetheart, there isn’t going to be a soft spot if you keep wiggling your ass around like that.”
She froze and a gust of heat swept through her. Without conscious thought, her gaze dropped to his lap, and she sucked in a breath as the proof of his words appeared beneath the thick denim fly of his jeans.
His raw masculinity and deeply primal nature melted her ultra-conservative shell, allowing her to be more aggressive than ever before. Her hands burned with the need to touch him, so she started with something relatively safe and familiar—his chest. As she made broad sweeping strokes across the soft cotton fabric of his T-shirt, the heat radiating from him seeped into her palms and turned to lava in her veins.
Even though he wasn’t making any moves of his own, she quickly realized that didn’t mean he was less involved. The rapid rise and fall of his chest and the way his nostrils occasionally flared showed his struggle to control his breathing and possibly even himself.
His reaction bolstered her confidence, so she continued her exploration, going up to his collarbone, then down to his pecs. When her fingers swept across the rigid peak of his nipple, he sucked in a sharp breath and stilled completely.
Unsure if the reaction was positive or negative, she ran a quick body scan, searching for clues. The fluttering heartbeat in his neck along with the rapid-fire rise and fall of his chest seemed encouraging, so she lifted her gaze to his face. The hot, searing hunger flowing from his eyes scorched her and stole her breath.
That look, right there, filled with blazing intensity and desire for her, was something she’d longed to see all of her adult life but had begun to fear she’d never experience.
The carnal longing pouring from him fed her hunger and drove her to continue her exploration. She’d never taken the time—or been given the opportunity—to study a man like this before, and she was fascinated by the breadth of his chest and the sharp ridges and hard lines of his shoulders. There wasn’t enough space between them to allow her to move lower, so she braced a hand against him and slid back to the edge of his knees.
Her fingers bumped across the ridges of his ribs and abs until she ran into the cool edge of his belt buckle. His relaxed-fit jeans were no longer relaxed, and adrenaline zinged through her at seeing how strongly she affected him.
She wanted to continue, but this was well beyond her comfort zone, and fear and insecurity crept in, stealing her confidence and slowing her progress. She paused with her hand on his belt buckle and flipped her gaze to his, silently seeking permission to continue.
Her stomach lurched and nausea rose to her throat as she studied his expression. He had his head cocked to the side, looking at her through hooded lashes, but something in his expression told her to be prepared.
Rejection loomed on the horizon.
Alannah believes there's nothing more magical than finding the other half of your soul, experiencing fiery passion, and knowing you've found happily-ever-after.
She loves going to work each day (in sweats and a T-shirt) and writing about hot heroes and feisty heroines who torment each other in the most delicious ways before finding their happy ending.
She lives in the coastal region of North Carolina with her husband, who also happens to be her best friend and biggest fan. They have two sons, a dog, and two cats.