THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.
WORTH THE WAIT
Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, she’s spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she’s needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard won lessons. There hasn’t been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it didn’t mean she had to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.
Security professional Andrew Copeland isn’t quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidedly skittish Ella developed. He’s known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she’d been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to her is different than any attraction he’s had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.
While Ella’s sure he’s just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly and re-ignites something deep inside her. Before long desire and love turn them both inside out.
The winner will have her choice of an eARC of INSIDE OUT or a copy of INSATIABLE. To enter, answer the following question. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won.
I’ve been turned “inside out” by love a number of times in life. Some of those times were romantic in nature, some not. How about you? Have you ever felt completely undone by your love for someone or something?
Excerpt from Inside Out
“Ella, you and me.” He paused, and right before her eyes, he took on that sexy attitude of his and it made her all breathless in a way that had nothing to do with the workout. “We should go out. On a date, all official like. Pizza and pool with the rest of the crew?”
She swallowed hard, her heart fluttering in her chest. “Really? Me?” Oh god, she actually said it out loud like a dork.
Cope saw her surprise and wanted to laugh at how clueless she was to her own appeal. He did like it that pleasure shone in her eyes. “Oh yes, you. How can you not have known?” He gave in and laughed. “You’re delicious, Ella. I want to take a big bite.”
Her hands flew up nervously as she blushed. “I . . . oh. Wow. Well, jeez! You flirted with me and all. But how was I to know it was different than any other day? Andrew, you flirt with everyone. I had a feeling you”—she shrugged—“changed the way you saw me. Or something. You started acting different about six weeks ago.”
God, she was so beautiful, especially when she got flustered. Her skin gleamed, so pale. The slice he seemed totally fascinated with the most, the nape of her neck, called to his mouth. She wasn’t even wearing makeup, but she didn’t need it. She was clean and fresh and utterly
Ella. And he wasn’t lying when he said he wanted to take a big bite. Or a lot of long, slow licks.
“My manner is flirtatious and friendly. I’m a flirty guy. People like to be flirted with; it makes them happy. But you’re different.” How different he continued to realize each time he was with her. “What you failed to notice all along is that I’ve always wanted to ask you out. I’ve always been attracted to you, so I decided after a long while of wanting you, that it was time to make my move at last. I come into the café every day. I kissed you at Elise’s bachelorette party, on the dance floor. Remember?”
She pressed her fingers to her lips, and he had to close his eyes for a moment.
“Yes. I remember it.”
They sparred for several minutes more, neither saying much.
Finally, as she toweled off and they’d finished, she turned to him again. “I just, well, I didn’t think it was real. The kiss I mean. I thought it was just a fun, happy kiss to a friend.”
He needed to fix that right then. His gaze locked with hers, he walked her backward until she bumped the wall next to the door. “Does it make me happy to kiss you?” Leaning in, he brushed his mouth over hers, taking in the soft sigh she gave in response.
She opened slowly to him as he deepened the kiss, settling his mouth on hers, tasting, teasing, drawing her taste into his mouth.
Her nipples were hard against his chest. He wondered if he should wish he couldn’t feel the points of her need against him, or if he should keep on reveling in how good it felt. Being a hedonist at heart, he went with the latter.