Sep 7, 2014

Sunday Smooch with Helen Lacey.....

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Helen Lacey, but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Sharlene.....

Can you please contact Amy Andrews on amy (at) amyandrews (dot) com to receive your prize .........

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Once Upon A Bride by Helen Lacey ........

Happily ever after…? 

When Gabe Vitali escapes to a fresh start in Crystal Point, 

Australia, the former physician isn't looking for a storybook ending. For the first time he's living in the moment. His new five-year plan does not include serious relationships. But he doesn't anticipate his unavoidable next-door neighbor…and an undeniable attraction.

Bridal consultant Lauren Jakowski wants marriage. She's just sworn off love and sex! To avoid getting burned again, she's looking for safe and forever-after. But they're not Gabe's to give–for reasons he can't share with anyone, least of all this pretty complication.

Gabe and Lauren don't figure on a fairy tale. But fate has other plans…. 

Scene set-up
[Neighbors, Lauren and Gabe have been skirting around their attraction for one another for weeks. At a charity benefit where Lauren is hosting a fashion parade, Gabe finds her alone near the staging area and they discuss a conversation they'd had days earlier]

  She stopped again as color rose up her neck. “The truth is, I’m very confused with how I should feel about you.”
  “You shouldn’t be,” he said softly. “We’re neighbors. Friends. That’s all.”
  If she hadn’t believed he was saying it to put her at ease, Lauren might have been offended. She drew in a long breath then slowly let it out. “After what happened at my parents’ house the other night, I think we’re both kidding ourselves if we believe that.”
  “What almost happened,” he reminded her. “There’s no point getting worked up over something that didn’t happen, is there?”
  Annoyance traveled up her spine. He thought she was overreacting? Imagining more between them than there actually was? She pressed her lips together for a second and gave her growing irritation a chance to pass. It didn’t. “Sure. You’re right. There’s no point. Now, if you don’t mind, I have to finish getting ready for the parade.”
  He didn’t budge. “You’re angry?”
  “I’m busy,” she said hotly.
  As she went to move past him, one of his arms came up to bar the doorway. “Wait a minute.”
  Lauren pressed her back against the doorjamb. He was close. Too close. “No. I have to—”
  “I’m trying to make this easy for you,” he said, cutting her off.
  Lauren’s gaze narrowed. “I think you’re trying to make this easy for yourself.”
  He moved, and his other arm came up and trapped her in the doorway. “Maybe I am,” he admitted softly. “Maybe I’m just crazy scared of you.”
  Scared? She wouldn’t have pegged Gabe to be a man scared of anything. Especially not her. “I don’t understand what you—”
  “Sure you do,” he said and moved closer. “You feel it, too. Don’t you know I can barely keep my hands off you?”
  Lauren had to tilt her head to meet his gaze. “So it’s just about attraction?” she managed to say in a whisper. “Just…sex.”
  Their faces were close, and his eyes looked even bluer. Lauren sucked in a shaky breath, feeling the heat rise between them against her will. She wanted to run. She wanted to stay. She wanted to lock the door and strip off her dress and tear the clothes from his body and fall down onto the carpet and make love with him over and over. She wanted him like she’d never wanted any man before.
  “I wish it was,” he said and inched closer until their mouths were almost touching. “I wish I didn’t like spending time with you. I wish I didn’t keep thinking about you every damned minute I’m awake, and could stop dreaming about you every time I go to sleep.”
  The frustration in his voice was both fascinating and insulting. He wanted her but resented that he did. Thinking of his struggle ramped up her temperature. And it made her mad, too.
  “Sorry for the inconvenience,” she said with way more bravado than she actually felt.
  “Are you?”
  She glared, defiant. “You’re an ass, Gabe. Right now I wish I’d never met you.”
  He didn’t believe it. Nor did she. He stared at her mouth. Lauren knew he was going to kiss her. And she knew he knew she wanted him, too. There was no denying it. No way to hide the desire churning between them.
  “My vow…” Her words trailed as she struggled for her good sense. “I promised myself I’d wait until—”
  “Forget your vow,” he said, cutting off her protest. “Just for right now, stop being so sensible.”
  A soft sound rattled in her throat, and Gabe drew her closer, wrapping his arms around her as he claimed her lips in a soft, seductive and excruciatingly sweet kiss. She went willingly, pressing her hands to his chest, and she felt his heart thunder beneath her palm. His mouth slanted over hers, teasing, asking and then gently taking. Lauren parted her lips a little as the pressure altered and the kiss deepened. Everything about his kiss, his touch, was mesmerizing, and Lauren’s fingertips traveled up his chest and clutched his shoulders. He was solid and strong and everything her yearning body had been longing for. When he touched her bare skin where the dress dipped at the back, she instinctively pressed against him, wanting more, needing more. He gently explored her mouth with his tongue, drawing her deeper into his own, making her forget every coherent thought she possessed. 

Ever known you shouldn't do something.....but simply had to do it?

Leave a comment to go into the draw to win a signed copy of Once Upon A Bride...


Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from the fabulous Annie West will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver


  1. Hi Helen

    Oh I am reading this one now and loving it Gabe and Lauren have both been through so much I can't wait to pick it back up today and get to their HEA :)

    I have probably done lots of things through the years that I probably shouldn't have but nothing that has stuck with me LOL

    Congrats on the release
    Have Fun

    1. Hi Helen....I'm so pleased you're enjoying Once Upon A Bride. Thanks so much for stopping by :)

  2. Helen, what a great pair! I love the fact he admits he's scared! I love it when she says 'Sorry for the inconvenience.'. Looks like great reading - thanks so much for sharing.

    Hm. doing things I know I shouldn't...let me just say 'Tim Tams'! I know you'll understand what I mean.

    1. Hi Annie - ahhh....Tim Tam's....a necessary evil I say!

  3. I like t6he review of this book it will go on to my TBR list---lyn

    1. Hi Lyn....thanks so much for putting Once Upon A Bride on your TBR pile :) And thanks for dropping by LoveCats today.

  4. Helen, I'm glad this book is in my TBR pile, or can I call it a pile when it's on the tablet?
    Something I did when I knew I shouldn't? Trying out the handbrake while driving at a reasonable speed on the road. Luckily it was a country road and no one else was about. I was young - does that let me off?

    1. Hi Sue - I still think it's a TBR 'pile' . Sounds like you were something of a rebel lol

  5. Yes, I have, but if I told you, I'd have to kill you, LOL!
    Let's just say I was once young and foolish - and now that I'm not so young and hopefully not so foolish, I have younger friends and family members who could read this, so I'm not sayin' a word!

    1. Hi Laney - I think we've all be 'young' and 'foolish' at some point. Even 'old' and 'foolish' lol. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I'm most definitely a "don't ask, don't tell" kind of person. I grew up thank goodness.

    1. Hi Mary - you sound like a kindred spirit! Lovely to see you at LoveCats :)

  7. I really hope Gabe and other doctors aren't reading this...but since I broke a bone in my foot, I have to wear a moon boot. Now, I know this thing isn't going to heal overnight and I know I shouldn't give walking a go without the boot on, but I still try a couple of steps...just in case!

    I'm interested to know Gabe's secret, one for the wishlist! Thanks for sharing Helen!

    (P.S. Mum, if you're reading it's not me.)

    1. Hi Jeanie....thanks for sharing! I'm smiling as I read your comment. Now, put that boot back on lol :)

  8. Oh my! I was drawn right in. This was just a great example of good sexual tension. Thanks so much for posting.

    1. Hi Ruby - great to see you here. Thanks for commenting and for your lovely words :)

  9. Ooh, gorgeous excerpt, Helen. Shall be grabbing this one asap.

    Oh, and no, I've never done anything I shouldn't have done. Absolutely not. Never. Pinky swear. ;-)

  10. Great kiss, thanks for sharing.

    Shouldn't, but had to? Sounds like my relationship with pizza...

  11. Fabulous smooch, Helen! And I love the cover on this book, it's a bit different and the couple look so genuine and happy!

    As for something I shouldn't but had to... well, I guess I'm a bit like that with sugar. :( It gives me dreadful headaches but... well, sometimes it's awfully hard to resist!