This or That: Excerpts

 

This week’s This or That contest is Excerpts. For a chance to win let me know in the comments which excerpts you like best! All comments are entered in the drawing!!

 

 

 

Call to Honor

 

Harper stepped through the iron fence and froze.

The new neighbor was in his backyard. Barefoot and shirtless, he wore what looked like black pajama bottoms. He simply flowed across the moon-drenched lawn. Kicks, turns, chops and punches flowed in a seamlessly elegant dance.

Was that martial arts he was doing? Shirtless? She couldn’t quite get past that one particular point. It was too delicious. But instead of licking her lips, Harper clenched her fists tight at her side. Why the hell was a man who looked like that living next door to her? More to the point, why did her libido choose now to wake up? Was it some cosmic joke that she’d remember now, despite her claims to the contrary, she was a sexually aware woman who had needs and desires?

Harper watched him do some sort of flip, feet in the air and his body resting on one hand. Muscles rippled, but he wasn’t even breathing hard as he executed an elegant somersault to land, feet first on the grass, knees low and arms extended.

Wow.

She’d bet all of her needs and desires could be handled quite nicely by her gorgeous, and quite physically impressive, new neighbor.

Harper would have growled if she weren’t worried the guy would notice the slightest sound and turn around. The last thing she wanted while she was going through this personal crisis was attention.

She wanted to blame Andi. Oh, not for the new neighbor. Arranging for good-looking neighbors wasn’t one of Andi’s oft-bragged about skills. But putting the idea of sex and lust and, yes, dammit, craving, into Harper’s mind so her imagination ran wild when she looked at the new neighbor? That was totally and completely Andi’s fault.

Her stomach tightened with an edgy need she recognized as desire as the guy did a series of kicks, each one higher than the other with the last aimed straight overhead.

Again, wow.

He had tattoos.

A cross riding low on his hip and something tribal circling one bicep.

Who knew tattoos were so sexy?

Harper’s mouth went dry. Her libido, eight years in deep freeze, exploded into lusty flames so hot they scorched away all her spit. She couldn’t swallow, could barely breathe. She had to try twice to clear the tight knot of lust in her throat.

Wow, she thought for the third time.?Because some things definitely deserved repeating. The man was incredible.?Gorgeous. She was pretty sure he was gorgeous. It was hard to tell, though, because her head was spinning.

He looked like some kind of pagan god—the ones who liked to deflower virgins—with that commanding air, impressive body and golden skin stretched over well-toned muscles.

Short black hair that spiked here and there over a face made for appreciative sighs. Sharp cheekbones rose high, accenting full lips. Thick brows arched over deep-set eyes, and he had a scar on his chin that glowed in the moonlight.

She heard herself gulp before she realized she’d done it.

Wondering where her spit had gone, Harper decided that she’d better get the hell out of there. Before he saw her. Before she did something to make sure he saw her.

 

or

 

 

Call to Engage

 

“Elijah?”

Elijah Prescott?

Her emotions ricocheting between denial and delight, Ava tried to think straight. Her fingers itched to reach out, to touch that gorgeous face, to caress that warm skin. To see if he was real.

But all she could do was stare.

Then, in her next breath, her initial surge of joy-filled pleasure died a fast, ugly death as memories flashed in a painful cacophony of images. White lace and teddy bears. Gold rings and baby bottles. Basic black and a tiny coffin.

“What the hell are you doing here?” she snapped, stepping away from the table as if breathing his air would suck her back into the past.

“I thought I was getting a massage, but clearly I was mistaken,” Elijah remarked in that deep, easy voice of his. Once that unflappable calm had comforted her, had made her feel safe and secure and even, yes, on occasion, had turned her on.

Now it made her want to storm over to that massage table and kick him.

Hard.

“Why are you here?” she asked again. “Here. In Napa. In the spa. On my massage bed?”

“Yours?”

Those sharp bottle-green eyes angled around the room. Not a flounce, flourish or bit of fluff to be seen. She didn’t need his arched brow to tell her that he didn’t think she fit this setting.

Good. The woman he’d known didn’t fit here. Ava took comfort in that. But comfort wasn’t much of a cushion against the shock of seeing Elijah Prescott again.

Her gaze shifted from the intensity of his face to check out the rest of him. A mistake, she realized when her eyes roamed the corded muscles of his shoulders and arms. It was bad enough that she could barely form a coherent sentence or think straight. The last thing she could afford to add to that was lust.

She tried to look away, but her eyes wouldn’t cooperate. God, the man was built. Not gym fit, but weapon fit. She’d forgotten that there was a difference, and in ignoring the former had blocked out how deliciously tempting was the latter.

 

 

 

So… This or That? Comment to enter the drawing for a digital copy of either Call to Honor or Call to Engage, winners’ choice! The winner will be announced on Sunday.

 

 

 

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