For a Friday let’s go with an excerpt from the latest BROWN SIBLINGS book – INSIDE OUT

Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group

“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.

Today’s Prize is a signed copy of INSIDE OUT – or if you have a kindle, I can send the digital copy directly to you via Amazon because their ebook gifting is SO easy!

Today’s Question: When you read series books featuring families/groups of friends do you like it when their story as a group is part of the overall series as well as the individual couples having their HEA? Or do you want all the focus to be on the couple?

I’ll choose a winner tomorrow morning, June 4 at 10 am pacific! Winners need to check back here to see if they’ve won and to claim prizes within seven days. Good luck!

27 comments to “GODDESS WITH A BLADE Contest Day 5”

  1. Julie
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:02 am · Link

    I definitely enjoy a side story line. Sometimes other characters need some spotlight and their stories are interesting too.


  2. Pam B
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:02 am · Link


    I like it when their friends/family etc are a part of the overall series. I enjoy the couple but also like to see how the previous stories continue.

    Thanks for the contest!

  3. Jennifer R
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:09 am · Link

    I love to read about other characters as well as the main ones! It makes it seem more real to me! 😀

  4. CrystalGB
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:11 am · Link

    I like it when you get to revisit characters from previous books in addition to the main couples journey to their HEA.
    I love this series. Inside Out is on my wishlist.

  5. Fedora
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:13 am · Link

    I prefer the main focus to be on the couple, but I adore side plots and stories and characters! One reason that I love connected stories–having the chance to reconnect with other characters we’ve previously met!

  6. Ren Puspita
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:24 am · Link

    I love a story with family theme, maybe because it always nice to see their relationship and how they caring for each other! I like story when the family is part of the series as long the main focus still the main couple

  7. Chele Blades
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:25 am · Link

    I do enjoy when the family/friends stay involved thru the series and leads up to their own stories along with revisting the others from the previous stories…but i do like to focus on the couples or more in question

  8. Renee
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:38 am · Link

    I like the story to include characters from the series, it’s like catching up with old friends!

  9. Robin K
    June 3rd, 2011 at 9:53 am · Link

    I love when a family or group is envolved. The reading can take more time though as the books often read as one very LONG story. 🙂

  10. Rachel Riddles
    June 3rd, 2011 at 10:38 am · Link

    I definitely like the side stories, we fall in love with the characters and I know that I love to see them in the other stories and see where life has taken them. To me that’s a sign of a great writer, someone who draws me in and gets me emotionally invested in all of the characters. 🙂

  11. SheriV
    June 3rd, 2011 at 10:38 am · Link

    I love the main focus to be on the couple. But I really do like catching up with previous couples and maybe future characters in the same family. It makes the story that much more rich to me.

  12. Jolene A
    June 3rd, 2011 at 10:42 am · Link

    I love series that centers on families or friends and what I love most is having a past couple whose book has ended make a reappearance. When they pop back in we get to see how they are doing and how their life has changed and we get to see the relationship still going strong. I like the focus to stay on the hero and heroine in the new book, but I love to see familar faces and it feels like they never left. If I am invested in the series and this certain family it hooks me to see that investment pay off when I see past characters and sometimes in a series books as one couple has a book and a family member is in the background and we get bits and pieces of who they are and when they get their book I’m anxious to finally have their story because they have already made an impact with me and I want them to have a turn

  13. Amber
    June 3rd, 2011 at 10:44 am · Link

    I like a lot of focus on the couple. A little update is fun, but only if it ties into the current storyline.

  14. Michelle Bledsoe
    June 3rd, 2011 at 11:23 am · Link

    This is one series I have been wanting to read. I haven’t gotten them yet,but they’re on my list. I love family series.

  15. Hailey
    June 3rd, 2011 at 12:33 pm · Link

    I love the updates on the characters especially in family series books.

  16. Chelsea B.
    June 3rd, 2011 at 1:01 pm · Link

    I don’t mind side story lines about the couple’s friends/family, but I like most of the focus to be on the couple of the book themselves 🙂

  17. Estella
    June 3rd, 2011 at 2:02 pm · Link

    I enjoy family and friends being involved in the story throughout the series.

  18. Diane Sadler
    June 3rd, 2011 at 4:50 pm · Link

    I like it when all the family is involved with a bit of side stories of their own so long as the main story is about the couple.

  19. infinitieh
    June 3rd, 2011 at 5:25 pm · Link

    Having a family in a series to me means each main member of that family will have a book on his/her HEA. Of course, having the other characters’ own HEAs as side stories is good, too.

    The family doesn’t have to be a blood family; a close-knit group of friends will constitute a family as well.

  20. Jessie
    June 3rd, 2011 at 5:57 pm · Link

    I like the side story line as long as it doesn’t over shadow the main couple of the book. But it’s always nice to see what is going on after the HEA

  21. Marlene Breakfield
    June 3rd, 2011 at 6:11 pm · Link

    I love family/group books. It’s always great to know a little of the secondary characters’ stories, as long as it doesn’t take over the book.

  22. Jen B.
    June 3rd, 2011 at 8:06 pm · Link

    If a series is well done, like the Brown Siblings series, then I love for the group to be part of the story. If the author is just giving throw away junk to fill space and make the book long, it aggrivates me. Ohhhhh, a signed copy. I am such a dork, but that is a great prize! Then I can share my unsigned copy with my niece.

  23. Casey H
    June 3rd, 2011 at 8:19 pm · Link

    It really depends on the author/how they write the story. Sometimes when a story focues on everyone in the group then it gets overwhelming. But other times, the author can balance the story well enough that it works perfectly.

  24. Lindsey Ekland
    June 3rd, 2011 at 11:37 pm · Link

    I enjoy reading connected stories and getting updates about the previous couples.

  25. Danny
    June 4th, 2011 at 5:25 am · Link

    I like it when their friends/family etc are a part of the overall series. I enjoy the couple but also like to see how the previous stories continue. It’s always fun to see what happen to them after their own book ends.

  26. Christine
    June 4th, 2011 at 5:41 am · Link

    I love it b/c I love reading about other characters that I have read in the series to see what they have been doing.

  27. Ilona
    June 4th, 2011 at 10:11 am · Link

    I like the group dynamic but prefer the bulk of the story to concentrate on the main couple and their HEA.