ONE HOT SECOND releases this Monday! I'm so freaking excited!
Finally I get to share the hottest—both literally and figuratively—story to date in the Bitterthorn, Texas series. Chandler Thorne and Parker Radclyffe strike sizzling sparks off each other from the get-go, and their first kiss is downright incendiary. Don’t believe me? Allow me to prove it by sharing Chandler’s and Parker’s very first kiss…
Excerpt from ONE HOT SECOND:
When he returned with several disks, she lifted the heavy fall of hair off her neck and fanned a hand at the overheated flesh there. “I told you Texas was hot.”
“It’s not Texas.” Good grief. Did she actually say it out loud?
He set the disks on a table beside her. The sound seemed loud in the sudden stillness as he moved close enough to brush against her. It could have been an accident, but they both knew it wasn’t. He’d invaded her space and wanted to see what she’d do about it. “Then what is it, Parker? Tell me what’s got you so…hot.”
He knew, the bastard. “I’m hot because…”
Chandler lowered his head and inhaled. Breathing her in. Though he wasn’t touching her, somehow it was the most intimate thing she’d ever experienced.
“I’m hot because of you.” With a rashness that had always gone hand-in-hand with the rest of her mercurial personality, she made her gaze slam into his with the vaguely mad hope that it would melt him just as he melted her. “Satisfied?”
“Nope.” Then he smiled, and the hunger in it was enough to make her breath back up in her throat. “But I’m hoping I will be. Eventually.”
“Damn.” She shuddered, and it made his smile widen. “When it comes to flirting, you don’t take any prisoners, do you?”
“Flirting’s for indecisive suckers who may or may not know what they want.” She was so absorbed in watching his bow-perfect lips form the words, she almost missed his move behind her. That was why she jumped when he took the mass of hair she held off her neck. “I don’t know if it’s right or wrong to say it—and right now I don’t give a damn, either way—but when I look at you, Parker, I know exactly what I want.”
She opened her mouth to say something—she had no idea what—when air danced over her skin. The sensation was so cool and unexpected, goose bumps broke out as he blew on her hot skin. Her pulse skyrocketed while her knees threatened to liquefy. Yet all he was doing was blowing a soft, cool current of air over her too-hot flesh. If he touched her…
Touch me. God, please touch me…
His mouth brushed against the sensitive skin of her exposed nape. In an instant, her ability to speak vanished like it had never been. Somehow that single, feather-soft caress ignited her nerves with invisible fire. Her eyes fluttered closed, an unconscious move to more fully revel in the tactile delight of his touch. The feel of it was so unexpected and sweet she couldn’t stop her breath from catching, and that one sound of unmistakable arousal all but screamed in the room’s stillness. His whispered huff of laughter tickled along her skin even as he let her hair slowly cascade through his fingers.
“What’s the matter, Parker? Too much for you?”
The teasing tone almost buried the challenge in the words, and it was a challenge she couldn’t pass up. With her system still sizzling, she turned to face him, only to be caught by the devouring hunger in his eyes. She’d been fooled by his tone into thinking this was just for fun, but there was nothing playful about how he watched her. He was focused on her with an intensity that had the power to shut out everything in the world but him. She lifted her mouth to his, overwhelmed by that absolute attention, and let herself fall into him.
If she had thought a faint little kiss along her nape could ignite a fire, the erotic friction of his mouth against hers was downright nuclear. Every instinct she possessed told her she wasn’t alone in that sensation; she felt more than heard his breath catch in a disturbance she understood all too well as he pulled her so close their bodies fused from chest to knee. The difference in height and contours thrilled her, unleashing a fluttery excitement to effervesce through her veins. Their combined body heat was so deliriously molten it made the temperature outside seem downright temperate.
A perfect match, an absolute fit. There was no other way to describe Chandler’s mouth on hers. She’d thought she’d understood basic physical perfection in how separate parts could form a whole; she’d seen breathtaking examples of it in architecture, from the stone monuments of the Mayans to the dry-stone walls in West Ireland. Hell, even the weirdness of a glass pyramid in the middle of the frigging Nevada desert had a kind of Bizarro-World rightness to it.
But Chandler’s kiss opened her eyes to a new reality. It was possible to believe, if only for a moment, that two separate pieces were capable of truly becoming one. She didn’t care that they were strangers. Nor did it bother her that she would eventually put Bitterthorn in the rearview mirror, whereas he had roots buried so deeply in this town it called him back, no matter how far away he roamed. Differences were irrelevant. All that mattered was that fate had crossed their paths to give them this delicious gift of rightness. If anything, her wanderer’s existence had taught her to enjoy whatever came her way while it lasted. Relationships, friendships, even places she’d once called home—were like shooting stars to her. If she could find happiness in the time that they were in her life, then she considered herself lucky for having experienced it at all.
Parker wasn’t sure who took the kiss deeper by opening their lips. All she knew was that they were in a freefall of heady bliss, and she ached to push the limits without applying any brakes. Her pulse shook her as his tongue toyed with hers, the fingers he’d threaded through her hair tightening to pull her more fully into the kiss. A euphoric weightlessness drugged her senses as their tongues danced in an act so much like sex, the cleft between her thighs pulsed with a sweetly agonizing heat. A fractured moan whispered from her mouth and into his as the tension in her most intimate place coiled in anticipation of something more. Something greater.
She wanted him. Strangers or not, client or not, she wanted him with an ardent hunger that made everything else fade.
And yet, they were only kissing.
But there had never been a first kiss like this in her life. She doubted there’d been one like this since kissing had been invented. There was no hesitation, no uncertainty. It was straight-up mouth-to-mouth sex without a hint of apology in sight. She didn’t want to apologize for something so pure. If there was such a thing as magical chemistry, she was only too happy to give herself over to it while she had the chance, and be all the more thankful for having found it. She could only hope he felt the same.
His taste lingered on her tongue as they at last broke apart. By degrees she became aware of faint sounds from the street outside, the raggedness of his breathing that matched her own, and that long, invitingly blank worktable behind him. All too well she could picture putting that blank surface to good use. She’d push him back until his ass—an ass she suspected was just as firm as the front of him had felt as she’d plastered her body against his—bucked up against it. She’d coax him to sprawl back on it like a sacrifice waiting for her to do her worst. And what she wanted to do was nothing short of ravishment. She didn’t know what else to call the fierce desire to rip the shirt off his body so she could find out if he looked as solidly built as he’d felt.
Wow. Since when had she become the kind of woman who wanted to rip men out of their clothes?
Parker Radclyffe is up against a wall. Thorne Mansion, the mysterious Italianate castle she's come to Texas to restore, isn't the problem. No matter how intriguing the relic is, it's merely an ember compared to the blazing magnetism of its owner, Chandler Thorne.
When his family mansion burned down, Chandler had to watch over a hundred years of proud history go up in smoke. After more than a year, he finally has everything in place to rebuild, including a renowned conservation architect to oversee the restoration. But when he lays eyes on Parker he realizes he's gotten more than he paid for. Maybe more than he can handle.
Parker is a military brat who never sits still long enough to get burned. Chandler is her opposite, a man with deep roots and deeper family secrets. It won't be easy to find the common ground it takes to build a home together, but Chandler is a Thorne in every sense. He plans to stick with Parker until she sees that love is more than worth the risk.
Also, don’t forget ONE HOT SECOND’s blog tour starting Monday. Click for deets!