But first ... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Eli Yanti!
Congratulations, Eli! Can you please contact Emily at
emilywritesregencies (at) gmail (dot) com
and she'll send you a copy of BEAUTY AND THE SCARRED HERO.
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from MELT by Natalie Anderson ...
When two frozen hearts collide...
Emma Reed closed her heart to love years ago after a lifetime spent getting kicked around foster homes and bad relationships. Now she's on a mission to prove she deserves her recent award to paint a mural for a research base in Antarctica. Nothing and no one is going to get in her way.
After months working in recovery zones around the world, Hunter Wilson planned to escape everything this holiday season by rebuilding a lab at the Kiwi Research Base. Alone. No to family, no to fun. It’s isolation not intimacy he’s aching for. But when he sees the determined artist, that ache becomes an urge – after all, shouldn’t someone show her what two people can do with twenty-four hours of brilliant sunlight?
In the coldest place on earth, even the most frozen hearts can melt.
Stepping outside and breathing in the sharp air was a painful pleasure. She walked alongside him over the stomped snow path toward the boundary markers. He bent and scooped up some snow, flinging a ball in her direction.
“I’m not play fighting with you.”
He looked like a little boy who’d been told he couldn’t have pudding. She ignored him and looked at the sky, unable to walk as she tried to take it in. It was indescribable. She closed her eyes, wanting to blink and blink to ensure it wasn’t a dream.
“You’re supposed to be looking at the view,” she heard him say. “Not standing there with your eyes shut.”
“I’d open them if I could.” She swiped her face with her gloves. “But my eyelashes have frozen together.”
“They what?” He laughed.
She raised her eyebrows and knew she’d be looking like some physical comedy act, given the way she was contorting her face to try to pry her eyelids open. She abandoned the facial stretches and rubbed her hands over her eyes again.
“You’re going to give yourself two black eyes if you keep doing that.” Footsteps crunched closer. “Let me help.”
It wasn’t like she had much choice. Shaking her head, hot from the combination of embarrassment and amusement, she waited.
His hands framed her face, tilting it up.
“Your gloves are wet and cold,” she half grumbled, covering up her mortification.
“Snowball,” he murmured.
Emma went still, because that’s when she felt it. The jet of warm air as he blew over first one, then the other eye. Very, very close, she could almost feel his mouth.
“I’m really glad I brushed my teeth already,” he joked. “So you don’t have to cope with a face full of chili breath.”
She laughed and her eyelids pinged open. He was unbelievably close. Still so much bigger than her, but he’d bent so his face was only inches from hers. His clear blue eyes filled with laughter and heat. More than her frosty eyelashes melted in that moment, as they stood too close for a little too long.
Emma forced herself to swallow. The first step in breaking the frozen minute. But all that faint movement did was draw his attention slightly farther south—to her mouth.
Light refracted somehow, swallowing the wide, wild world so she saw only him, heard only him. It was supposedly freezing out here but she felt no chill. She only felt desire. In a swift move, he reached for her, sealing his mouth to hers, stroking her just the way she wanted to be stroked. Hot and sweet. His tongue touched her lips lightly. And as Emma snuck a swift breath, he swept in. In a flash, the intensity increased. So did the depth. Pressure built within her—as did her need for more. She slid her hands down his neck and across his shoulders, their bulky gloves and jackets annoying barriers. His hands at her back pressed her closer. Suddenly he was passion personified, kissing her fiercely—as if it were a kiss he’d been waiting for forever and now he wasn’t ever giving it up.
Her own passion rose to match, ruling her. The devastating attraction she’d been fighting since yesterday was unleashed, and the current of electricity became a violent surge, blowing out her brain and making her capable only of feeling, not thinking. All that mattered was his touch, more and more of his touch. Her nipples ached; she wanted his head and hands at her breasts. She wanted all of him to explore her most heated parts. She wanted to be completely bare. Which was crazy when they were...
She broke away, sucking in a mouthful of the chilly air. “I’m not here for this,” she muttered breathlessly. This was crazy.
He ran his gloved thumb across her lower lip in a final caress, and she trembled, an aftershock of sensation almost causing her knees to buckle.
“Nor am I,” he said softly.
To be in the draw to win a signed copy of MELT, just leave a comment and let us know if Antarctica would be a place you'd love to visit! (or not!)
And come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from MR RIGHT AT THE WRONG TIME by Nikki Logan will be posted!