Book Blurb Coming Home, Book One, Taking a Chance on Love
Home is where the heart is.
Motorcycle riding, attorney Alana Stewart is a far cry from the shy, teenager who left Chance determined never to look back. Family obligations force her to return to the town that only holds bad memories for her. A stop at her former sanctuary brings an unexpected surprise...the new manager just might be what she needs to get her through the holidays. When sexy, leather-clad Alana walks into the bookstore, Connor Tate, has a feeling he may be in for the ride of his life. Despite the fact that their lives are headed in different directions, they are drawn to one another. Connor is determined to prove to Alana that Chance isn’t the place she remembers, but will his efforts fail when she discovers he hasn’t told her the whole truth about himself? Can they trust each other enough to take a chance on love?
Gone was the shy, skinny girl in glasses the other kids teased and the town folks ignored. If she had been recognized, no doubt one of the concerned citizens was on the phone right now setting her mother straight. Mom probably wouldn’t be impressed she’d made a familiar stop on the way home, but what else was new?
Alana smiled wryly. Well, they may not have noticed me then, but it looks like they’re seeing me now.
Those on the street craned their necks, and she felt their gazes following her as she sauntered over to Tate’s Bookstore, helmet hanging casually from her hand the way another woman’s purse might. Someone inside the bookstore looked out the front window, probably as curious as the others were, but they quickly pulled back as she approached.
Alana stood on the sidewalk admiring her old hangout, letting the past claim her before pushing the brass handle to open the door. The antique bell tinkled, announcing her arrival just as it had years ago. Memories of the hours spent in this place washed over her. The familiar aroma of old books, a scent she loved, surrounded her. Eagerly, she stepped forward, anxious to see Mr. Tate again. They’d spent hours together discussing her favorite books.
Sadness filled her. Things had changed. No matter what he’d been doing, Mr. Tate had always come at the sound of the bell. Another thought struck her. Perhaps he didn’t own the bookstore anymore. It was common practice for new owners to keep a business’s original name. Goodwill was a marketable commodity these days.
“Hello, is anyone here?” Her voice echoed in the emptiness of the shop.
A touch nervous—the insecurity of the past catching up with her—she moved deeper into the store, and started when a man cleared his throat. Looking in the direction of the sound, she was pleasantly surprised when a stranger stepped out from between two rows of shelves. The man was most definitely not the one she’d expected.
Dressed in jeans that hugged him in all the right places, a white T-shirt, and a gray and black striped sweater vest, he took her breath away. Clean shaven with striking green eyes peering at her from behind large black framed glasses, he was gorgeous. His look was totally geek-chic and it drew her as no other did. Even though she never acted on the yearning guys like that sometimes evoked in her, she could appreciate a masterpiece when she saw it. His expensive, spicy, tantalizing cologne aroused a sudden desire that pulsed through her.
Usually shy around males, a holdover from her teen years, she stared at him openly. The man was pure eye candy, and she loved candy! From the way he stood, she could tell there was a toned and fit body hidden under his clothes. Finding herself wishing she could see more of it, she felt her cheeks grow hot at the implication of her thoughts.
The man seemed vaguely familiar, and she rattled her brain trying to place him, but try as she might, she couldn’t imagine anyone she knew back then looking like this today. Had she seen this god before, she’d certainly have remembered him.
“Can I help you?” His bold gaze took in every inch of her. The look on his face said he liked what he saw.
“I was looking for Mr. Tate. Is he around?” she asked, amazed her voice sounded normal when her heart was beating so fast he must surely hear it.
“I’m sorry. Dad isn’t here right now. Is there something I can do for you?”
Lots! Her brain screamed as her raging hormones threatened to take over and destroy what little common sense she had left. Peering at him closely, she tried to zone in on the familiarity she’d sensed. Dad? It hit her.
Holy crap! Connor Tate.
He’d changed so much she hadn’t recognized him, which was crazy since she’d had a huge crush on him in high school. While she’d never been the girl who ogled the captain of the football team, she’d liked the smart guy—the one who carried books around and wanted to learn things the way she did. Mesmerized, her eyes searched his face for a sign of recognition. Gone was his acne and hundred-pound weakling scrawny frame. Instead, she stared at perfection. Her brain screamed at her to say something—anything.
“It’s Connor, right?” she asked as if seeing him again wasn’t flooding her with memories, not all of them pleasant. “I’m sorry I missed him. Where is he?”
“My parents are visiting my sister in Florida. They travel a lot these days.”
“That’s wonderful. I’ll bet he’s having a grand time. He always wanted to travel.”
Mr. Tate had spoken about all the places in the world he’d like to visit, and since she’d assumed she’d never get out of Chance, she’d traveled in her books while the shop had kept her friend’s feet firmly planted in Chance.
“You know my father?” His voice was tinged with curiosity and confusion.
“I do.” Alana smiled. “We were really good friends when I was growing up in Chance. This place was like my second home.”
Surprised he knew her name, she nodded. “Guilty as charged, your honor.”
“I heard through the rumor mill you were coming home; you’re a lawyer now, right?” Connor looked her up and down again.
“Corporate, specializing in litigation,” she added. “Nothing gets by the small-town gossips, does it?” Her voice was laced with sarcasm, and she was unable to keep her disdain from coming through clearly. She was sure he noticed her tone, but to his credit, he didn’t comment.
“Did you want something? Or did you stop by just to see my father?”
“Well, I did, but I might as well pick up a new novel or two to read while I’m home. I feel naked without a book on the go.”
The soft brush of her lips surprised him, but like food offered to a starving man, he wasn’t going to refuse it. Connor groaned deep in his throat, entwined his fingers in her silky hair, and dragged her closer, pressing her body into his.
When she didn’t pull away, he deepened the kiss, giving free rein to the urgency within him. She moaned into his mouth fueling the fire burning through him. He shut his eyes blocking out everything but the sensation of her lips on his.
The taste of Alana was intoxicating and definitely the most wonderful thing he’d ever savored. He feasted on the flavor of his favorite coffee mixed with the tang that was hers alone, supped from the sweetness of her mouth, absorbing her very essence, and knew no other kiss had ever matched this one, and none probably ever would.
Her mouth was made for kissing—lush full lips, pulsing and throbbing with life beneath his—lips he suckled and sipped leaving them swollen and trembling, something he’d dreamed of doing from the second she’d sauntered into his store. He ran the tip of his tongue along them, and when she opened to him, he slipped into her mouth, intensifying the kiss, moving the encounter up a level and feeding from her sweetness.
Swallowing her moans, he took them deeply into himself and wrapped his arms tightly around her. When she placed her leg across his body, positioning her body to fit with his, he hardened to the point of discomfort, but he wasn’t going to do anything to end this moment until he had to, and he continued to kiss her trying to convey his need without putting it into words.
He made love to her mouth, nibbling and teasing her lips, taking pleasure from the soft, shy caresses of her tongue. His hands began to explore the softness of her body, moving up under the smooth cotton of her shirt to skim the silkiness of her skin. His hands roamed the side of her torso, feeling the edges of her breasts. He wanted to capture the mounds, taste the delicate flesh, but to do so, he’d have to turn her onto her back under him, and the rock was not the most comfortable bed in the world.
Being here with her like this had him on sensory overload. They continued to explore one another’s mouths, Alana suddenly taking and giving with an energy that matched his. His libido screamed for more, but his common sense warned him that if he didn’t stop now there would be no turning back. This wasn’t what he’d been expecting, and he wasn’t prepared for it. He wasn’t a randy teenager intent on getting laid on the first date. She deserved more than a quickie on a rock in the desert.
Gently, he untangled one hand from her hair, leaving his other hand where it was cradling her amazing derriere. Much as he hated to do it, the gentleman in him insisted he slow things down.
“I know I’m going to regret this, and it may very well kill me to do so, but we need to stop.” Contrary to what his words said, he continued to feather her face with gentle kisses. Every time his lips moved away from her, he could feel the air stealing away the taste and warmth of her. He didn’t like it.
Alana giggled against his lips, and the vibration ran through his torso, further exciting him.
“If you want me to try and control myself, you’ll have to stop kissing me like this,” she murmured, running her fingers lightly through his hair, exciting him further, and sending a surge of desire through his body.
“Believe me, I am trying, but you taste so good. I just can’t seem to get enough of you. You’re addictive.”
Giving him a quick kiss, she pushed herself up and straddled him. He suppressed a groan as he felt her heat against his hardness. She wiggled, sending wave after wave of need crashing through him. A man could die this way. She wasn’t making this easy, and he couldn’t stop a moan from escaping his mouth.
“Is this better?” she asked innocently, her body squirming atop his, enticing another growl from him. This woman was going to kill him.
“Alana!” Unable to utter another word, he concentrated on keeping it together. He had a feeling she was enjoying herself at his expense.
Alana leaned down, pressing her chest to his, bringing her delicate hands up slowly to caress his face. Her warm breath tickled his lips as she ran her fingers through his hair again. He ached for her.
She whispered his name against his lips, and his control broke. He captured her mouth in a ruthless, hungry, demanding kiss, and she gave as good as she got. Fisting her hair in his hands, he savaged her mouth, dragging all he could from her as payment for the way she’d tortured him.
With what little willpower he had left, he lifted her from him, cradling her so he wouldn’t hurt her, and gently flipped her onto her back, straddling her so that she bore none of his body weight, but pinning her to the rock beneath them. His eyes met hers, surprised by the level of heat and desire he saw there. They both panted, hearts beating at an incredible rate, their lungs, barely able to filter enough oxygen out of the air, as they tried to calm their overheated bodies.
Secret Cravings Publishing: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=958&zenid=mu4d2g4flmnn2km498t707p5s5
Barnes and Nobles http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coming-home-misty-matthews/1120510008?ean=2940046218053
About the Author: Misty Matthews
Misty Matthews is a newly formed writing partnership between Susanne Matthews and Misty Cail. These authors have never met and the book was created by grace and virtue of email and Internet chats. It's a true Twenty-first century miracle.
Misty and Susanne met in an online Facebook chat group back in December, 2012 and have become fast friends and partners. Misty, the plot genius, had the idea for the book, but found it hard to do the research and polishing necessary for the story. Susanne loved the premise of the story and offered to handle that aspect of it in partnership with her. The name seemed a natural choice. The rest as they say is history.