Today we have a smooch from Helen Lacey.......
The winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway will be announced next week.
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from The Rancher's Unexpected Family by Helen Lacey........
(Ash and Cole are in her kitchen, quietly discussing their past relationships)
He chuckled softly. “Perhaps cynicism is a rite of passage for those of us with a history of failed relationships.”
Ash’s brows rose sharply. “You’ve had more than one?”
“One divorce,” he replied. “More meaningless encounters than I care to remember.”
His words jarred her and Ash didn’t want to wonder why. Who Cole slept with was none of her business. Still, the discomfort lingered and she asked the question teetering on the edge of her tongue. “Like Deanna?”
He nodded. “The truth is, I can barely recall what she looked like. Pretty, blond, blue eyes. That’s all I remember about the woman I have a child with.”
“You were young,” she said and lifted one shoulder. “And most people sow oats at that age.”
“But not you?” he asked, his eyes darkening.
Ash’s skin prickled. “I had a child, a job and a ranch to run when I was that age. Sowing oats wasn’t on my radar.”
He nodded a little. “You know, having a kid changes things. And priorities. It made me realize what kind of life I want to lead and the kind of example I need to be for my daughter. I don’t want Maisy to think it’s okay to jump from bed to bed. Which is why I haven’t been on a date in over six months.” He gave a rueful grin. “Or anything else.”
Ash stilled and met his gaze. And then laughed softly when she remembered how long it had been since she’d shared any kind of intimacy with a man. “You make that sound like an eternity.”
His blue eyes glittered brilliantly. “It sure feels like it right at this moment.”
His words were inflammatory. Flirtatious. Hot. Sexy. Everything she should ignore. If she had any sense. Which she was suddenly all out of. In a few days, he’d somehow turned her world upside down. Desire, raw and untamed and wildly galloping out of control, surged through her blood. Ash couldn’t believe it. Couldn’t control it. Couldn’t see a way to ignore it and experienced an intense tug of attraction and longing that made her move closer, forgetting every lick of good sense she possessed. Forgetting the rules she’d set out for her life. And the handbook she’d written in her head about getting involved with someone like Cole—a man who lived in another state and who was the parent of a child she was supposed to be helping. She did this. She never broke the rules. She was always in complete control of her life and her good sense.
Until Cole had walked into her life.
His eyes had darkened, his jaw was tight, his hand steady as he touched her skin. There was no denying it, no fighting it, even if she wanted to.
“Oh, hell,” she whispered as his hand moved to her nape and edged her closer. “You’re going to kiss me.”
“Yeah,” he said, threading fingers through her hair and gently anchoring her head back. “I am.”
“This is crazy.”
“Totally,” he said, his voice raspy. “But I’m still going to do it. Maybe you should make a run for it?”
She should. “Okay.”
“Or not,” he said and groaned low in his throat.
Ash closed her eyes and took a breath. And waited. And finally, when the waiting was over and his mouth touched hers, she was lost, dragged into a vortex of feeling so intense she grabbed his arms for support as her knees weakened. His muscles tensed beneath her fingers, his breath sharp as he slanted his mouth across hers and coaxed her lips apart. She opened her mouth and let him inside, felt his tongue slid along hers and drug her senses with a heady, erotic expertise that was mind-numbing.
Her hands moved up his arms and found his shoulders, holding on to him as though he was a lifeline as his tongue continued its seductive foray inside her mouth. She vaguely wondered when she’d last been kissed in such a way. . She pushed closer, pressed against him, his body all hard angles and muscle against her curves. It felt so good she could barely draw breath. She wondered how she’d ever look at him again without remembering the feel of him, the taste of him, the scent of him that assailed every sense she possessed.
I love writing stories about blended families, and this one was extra special because Ash and Cole come from such diverse and different backgrounds. She's a rancher, he's an ex-NASCAR champion. She's been parenting her own child and many others for over a decade, he's only recently discovered he's a father to a teenager.
Have you a favorite book , TV show or movie that deals with the blended family theme?
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Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and another smooch will be posted!