Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!
Today we have a smooch from What Happens in Charleston... by Rachel Bailey, but first ...
the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Marybelle!
Congratulations, Marybelle! Can you please contact Rachel Johns at
Rachaeljohns077 (at) gmail (dot) com
and she'll send you a copy of One Perfect Night.
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from What Happens in Charleston... by Rachel Bailey.
Money has always given Matthew Kincaid whatever he wanted. Yet now his son needs something even his millions can't buy. The widower's sole recourse is the surrogate who gave birth to his child—for she is also the boy's true biological mother.
Susannah Parrish needs no prodding to offer her assistance—a child's life is at stake. But to their mutual surprise, the minute she's back in Charleston and residing in Matthew's home, passion consumes them. Is this a relationship doomed by deception? Or is it the one chance at a love they both secretly crave?
[Set up: Matthew and Susannah have just shared a meal in Matthew's kitchen, topped off by Susannah's coffee and hazelnut cheesecake and a heart to heart about their families. When Susannah becomes upset by a memory, Matthew pulls her into his arms to offer comfort.]
Lately Matt wasn’t used to having any woman in his arms besides his mother or his sisters. Susannah Parrish didn’t feel remotely like his sisters. Her eyes, filled with strength and hurt at the betrayal had been his undoing. He couldn’t have stood another second with the distance between them. And, even though he rubbed a palm slowly up and down her back the way he might for Lily, Laurel or Kara, he couldn’t begin to fool himself.
This wasn’t platonic—her nearness was setting his skin on fire.
He’d never known why she’d carried his baby, what she’d used the money for, but the story of her resilience was amazing. Could he have ever done something as difficult for similar reasons?
"If I’d known, we’d have paid you more.” Heck, if he thought she’d take it, he’d give her more now.
“It was enough,” she said softly. “But thank you for saying that.”
“What if I give—”
She pulled back in his arms and he could see her face again. “Please don’t offer. I’ll be fine.”
“Noble as well as generous and beautiful,” he said, cupping her cheek in his hand. Her pupils dilated and her breath came faster, and he wanted to kiss her so badly that he ached with it. He leaned down, wanting…
“Matthew,” she said, and he stopped close enough to feel her breath on his face as she spoke. “This isn’t a good idea.”
“It sure feels like a good idea,” he said, not retreating an inch. And, God help him, at this moment he couldn’t consider anything other than how her mouth would feel opening beneath his.
“Things,” she began, then paused to swallow. “Things are too complicated already.”
“It’s just a kiss, Susannah,” he told her…told himself. “It doesn’t have to mean anything.” He brushed his lips across hers lightly, needing to feel them. “Just—” over one corner of her mouth “—one—” then the other corner “—kiss.”
On a sigh, her lips parted, and a shudder ripped through his body. He’d been trying to deny that he’d wanted her ever since she’d walked through the arrivals gate at the airport. In the past year, any flicker of desire—no matter how minor—had felt disloyal to Grace, and had been followed by a tidal wave of guilt. Despite the talks of divorce, they’d still been married when she’d died. Worse, if he hadn’t suggested divorce in the first place, Grace would still be alive. The confusion had kept him closed to the idea of other women for twelve months.
But what Susannah stirred within him was too strong to deny. Her mouth tasted of the sweet dessert, combined with an allure all of her own that drew him ever deeper.
He plowed his fingers through her silken hair, holding her for his kiss, unwilling to risk her withdrawal. The wet slide of her tongue against his was sinfully erotic, her teeth nibbling at his lip explosive.
Mindless, he found her hips and drew her closer. As close as he could get while clothes provided a barrier. Her hands skimmed over his shoulders and down his back, and he wanted nothing more than to feel those hands on bare skin. To have his hands on her bare skin. He wanted her with an all-consuming need that was beyond thought.
He reached for the first button on her blouse but before he could make any headway, she pulled back.
“Matthew,” she rasped, resting her hands on his chest. “Please.”
The rough edges in her voice reverberated through his body. “Please what?” he asked with a smile.
“If you try to kiss me like that again—” she paused, as if gathering enough breath to continue “—I won’t be able to resist.”
His pulse leaped. “Good,” he said and his head began a descent again.
What Happens in Charleston..., simply leave a comment. And if you want to, let us know what your dessert specialty is - Susannah not only makes a coffee and hazelnut cheesecake, but a whole range of sumptuous desserts!
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Courting His Favourite Nurse by Lynne Marshall will be posted!