To Do List was my very first holiday themed novella and it’s set in Davis, CA with the Bettencourt and Taylor families – it’s a small town romance (a personal favorite) set in the farming side of Davis (which also boasts a very fine UC campus) AND also a friends to lovers/older brother’s best friend story. It’s also the first novella that I went into a print combo with Jaci Burton with. Which I think is pretty cool too as I’m three for three (also with Angela James editing!)
TO DO LIST by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2007, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
Belle shivered as Rafe’s mouth touched her neck. A sense of total and utter unreality stole over her. Here she stood, in the dark, wrapped around the guy she’d had a major crush on since she’d been twelve years old. Hell, that very morning, she never even imagined he’d thought of her this way.
“You taste good, Belle. Delicious and sweet with just a little spice.” The low vibration of his voice echoed up her spine. The warmth of his hands at her hips, just barely touching the bare skin peeking below the hem of her sweater and above the waist of her trousers sent waves of pleasure through her.
Even as she searched for words, his tongue made its way, slow and sinuous, up her neck and to her ear. His breath stirred tendrils of hair that’d escaped the barrette holding it back from her face.
“I think I’m going to need to kiss you, now. I’ve been wondering all night long if that lip gloss is flavored. Are you old school like that?”
Holy sweet baby Jesus on a skateboard. How on earth was she supposed to answer him when he said stuff like that? When he pressed against her, his body work-hard and strong. His cock a solid, hot weight against her belly.
“Watermelon,” she managed to gasp. “Well now, I definitely need a taste of that.” He angled his head and his mouth moved to hers, his clear, sleepy brown eyes seeing right straight through her.
And when he kissed her, her entire body went boneless as she held on, her fingers digging into the material of his coat. His mouth was softer than she’d imagined, hot, wet, he tasted of coffee, salt and something else she couldn’t identify but wouldn’t ever forget. His kiss was slow and heady. He took his time like a man who knew what he was about. Like a man who knew she wasn’t going to bolt. He explored her mouth, his teeth catching her bottom lip, his hands firming their hold, settling beneath the sweater, fingers played against the sensitive, bare skin of her hips. His thumbs slid slowly back and forth, back and forth in the hollow of her hip bones.
Her nipples throbbed in time with the slide of his thumbs, shooting straight to her clit.
“Belle? Rafe? You guys there?” Brian called from the other room and Rafe stood back, breaking the kiss. At least his chest heaved and he appeared to be as affected by the kiss as she had been.
Cripes, she wasn’t sure when the last time a kiss had nearly made her come, or even if a kiss had ever so aroused her.
“Yeah. I’m just helping Belle bring her suitcases in,” Rafe answered Belle’s oldest brother without moving. He grinned at her slowly and dragged his gaze up above her head. She followed and noted the mistletoe.
“Oh!” She blushed, mortified. Here she’d thought he was on fire for her and it was just the damned mistletoe? “Duh.”
He reached and took her chin in his fingers, shaking his head. “No, Belle. I’ve wanted to kiss you for a very long time, the mistletoe just gave me an excuse. But now that I’ve felt your nipples as you kissed me, now that I know your taste? I’m going to kiss you as often as I can.”
“Oh,” she sighed again. Yeah, it was totally obvious she was a powerful attorney who made her living with her ability to speak coherently.
He chuckled and grabbed her suitcases. “I’m going to put these in the guest room and then we can get on over to your parents’ for dinner.”
Belle heaved a sigh as she leaned against the wall to keep from melting into a puddle of goo. Raphael Bettencourt had just laid the hottest kiss of her entire life on her. Rafe. The object of many a fantasy and he’d…his mouth…it was…oh wow!
Today’s prize is a digital copy of Sweet Charity, the novella that follows To Do List! I’ll choose a winner at random from the answers to this question: What are you reading? No, not the computer screen, but what book are you reading right now?
Winner posted tomorrow morning! Winners have SEVEN days to claim their prize and are responsible for checking back to see if they’ve won anything.