(As posted on the Down Under Diva blog – because I have become very lazy with this blog, and keep forgetting to post to it!)
Just two weeks ago I typed those two little words every author strives to type:
The book I’d been working on was finished, the manuscript complete. The third book in the Speed series was finally done. Zachary Pace/Jonah Speed had his story.
I’d love to tell you I felt fantastic. Love to tell you I was on a high from the accomplishment. After all, I’d been waiting a year to write this book. A year to find the story and put it in words. But the truth is, when I typed those two words I felt a horrible sense of loss. I was saying goodbye to the characters I’d spent so much time getting to know and understand.
I’ve been living with these two characters for fourteen months. Listening as they whispered in my head, giving hints of their lives to me. I’ve also lived in utter frustration, desperate for them to give me more than a sentence or two every now and again. So when suddenly they started talking and refused to shut up, I sat up and took notice. And six weeks later, their story was told. But in the process of them telling their story, I grew rather fond of Zachary and Eve. So much so that I’m still thinking about them all the time. I’m not ready to let them go just yet.
And so even though their book only releases in October, I would love to share a snippet of their story with you. So here you go. This is the first kiss in the third book of the Speed series:
RHYTHM OF MY HEART (An unedited sneak preview snippet)
Her eyes closed and she let out a soft moan of pleasure.
Eve’s “Mmmmm” reverberated down his spine and echoed in his groin.
How the fuck could eating a chocolate turn into the most erotic encounter on earth? Eve made it look like she was lost in the throes of spectacular sex. The woman had a chocolate in her mouth, that was all. Yet the bliss on her face and satisfaction in her soft moan had Zachary hardening to a point of pain.
Christ, he hoped no one noticed.
She chewed, her red lips a beacon to his gaze.
He wanted to kiss her, wanted to mold his mouth to hers and taste the pleasure on her breath.
Yeah. Not going to happen. Not here, in a room packed full of curious eyes and cameras.
“If you carry on chewing like that,” Zachary’s voice was a low growl, “like you’re about to have an orgasm, I am going to throw you under the table and eat every last bit of you.”
Eve’s eyes popped open, and she swallowed quickly. “You know it would be way simpler if you just ate the truffle?”
“Maybe. But it wouldn’t taste half as good.”
“You know what you are, Jonah Speed?”
Aroused? Frustrated? Horny? “What am I, Eve Andrews?”
“A first rate, grade A flirt.” She lifted a second truffle to her mouth and licked it. Those cherry-red lips of hers framed the milk chocolate, and her tongue was just visible, dabbing at the treat.
The room full of curious eyes and cameras faded to insignificance. Sound faded too. The chocolate and Eve’s lips were his sole focus. His sole desire.
With one hand, he plucked the saucer from her hand and set it on the table. With the other he plucked her hand from her mouth and tossed the half-eaten chocolate over his shoulder.
Before she had a chance to object—and by the look in her eyes she intended to object, vehemently—he yanked her against him, bent his head and kissed her.
Just claimed her mouth with his, taking advantage of her surprised gasp to slip his tongue between those cherry-red lips and sample the chocolate she’d just licked.
Jesus, fuck. She was right. The chocolate wasn’t just good. It was delectable. Mouth-watering. It blew his mind. And he hated chocolate.
Eve sagged in his arms, as though she’d turned boneless. He hauled her closer, molding her to his body, squashing the rose between them. Her soft curves pressed tight against his firmer bulk. She clutched at him with one hand, grabbing his arm, squeezing it, then slowly letting her hand skim up over his shoulder until she buried it in his hair.
Her tongue drifted over his, toyed with it. Tasted him like he tasted her. And damned if it wasn’t the sweetest, hottest kiss Zachary had ever shared.
He kissed her harder, lost himself to the creamy, rich flavor of Eve and chocolate.
The chocolate had nothing on the woman. Couldn’t compete with her.
Lights flared against his eyes. Once, twice, a million times. Fireworks? From a kiss? That was a first. Not surprising though, not with the way his body reacted to the kiss, but a first.
Sanity returned like a sharp slap.
Those bursts of light weren’t fireworks at all. Not even close. They were flashes. Camera flashes. Tons of them.
Zachary broke the kiss with a silent, foul curse and stepped back, holding Eve’s arms to steady her.
Jesus, how stupid could he have been?
She blinked once, then again, scrunching her eyes against the flares of light, looking bewildered at first and then just a little terrified.
“Hell! I’m sorry.” He whispered the apology as he scanned the room. Luke would sort this out, instantly, leaving Zachary free to slip away with Eve. “I wasn’t thinking.”
No, he definitely wasn’t. All rational thought had fled his mind as she’d devoured those chocolates.
Shit. Shit, shit, shit.
The band manager was nowhere to be seen, which meant it was up to Zachary to initiate damage control. Problem was, hundreds of people had caught him and Evie, lip-locked, on camera. There was very little he could do about it.
Even now flashes continued, and mobile phones were more visible than faces. Every Tom, Dick and photographer had caught Zachary’s impulsive behavior on film.
It was just a matter of time before those photos appeared on the net, in newspapers, on TV, and in every gossip rag around the world.
Rhythm Of My Heart releases from Samhain on the 8th of October.
I truly hope you love this story as much as I do.