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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Whet Your Appetite Wednesday - Shelley Munro



Past Regrets by Shelley Munro
Thanks to Amber for having me to visit today. We go through life making friends. Some of our friendships are enduring while others fall by the wayside. Friendships bring love, laughter and conflict—the stuff that’s food for a writer. In the Love and Friendship series, I explore both the good and bad when it comes to friendship. I hope you enjoy this second installment in my series.

Blurb:

Never look back…unless that’s where your heart belongs.

Love and Friendship, Book 2

Julia Maxwell was a seize-the-moment party girl until the night she spent with up-and-coming rocker Ryan Callander. From that moment, she was a one-man woman. Pity he hasn’t kept with the program.

Tired of the secrets that have kept her out of the press and Ryan’s fans happy, angry with mounting evidence of infidelity, Julia is older, wiser, and determined to divorce his cheatin’ ass.

Ryan’s long European tour had more than its share of hard knocks—one of which landed on his head when he was mugged. Divorce papers waiting for him at home are a shock that fills in some of the holes in his sketchy memory. But it could be too late to salvage his marriage.

If Ryan thinks flirtatious smiles, seductive touches, and hot-and-heavy kisses are going to smooth things over, Julia’s got a hammer with his name on it. To her surprise, he picks it up, determined to rebuild a bright future for both of them. But the past is lurking with some missing pieces that could bring their hearts crashing down. 

Product Warnings
Contains a pissed ex-stripper turned burlesque dancer, a bunch of nosy friends and a smooth-talking rocker with one thing on his mind. Stripper poles and skimpy costumes may be involved. 

EXCERPT:
She accepted the plate he handed her and bit into the apricot and custard pastry while she considered his words. The pastry was crisp, the apricot sweet yet a bit tart and the custard oozed into her mouth. She almost moaned at the first bite. Pure sinful delight.

“God, don’t do that,” he muttered, ripping his gaze off her to stare down at the coffee cupped in his hands.

“Don’t do what?”

“Watching you eat reminds me of sex. Do you know how long it’s been for me? Do you want me to have an embarrassing accident?”

Julia snorted. “Please. If you’re talking about dry spells, I’ve almost worn out my vibrator.”

“Well,” he said after a long pause in which she cursed inwardly for giving him the truth. “We could always take care of our problem together.”

“Good try. I don’t want—”

“Give me a chance to woo you again.” He spoke at the same time, causing her to break off her outright rejection. “Please, Julia. You loved me enough to marry me. You owe me this chance to put things right.”

“Maybe I don’t want to make things right,” she whispered. Liar, liar, pants on fire. If she didn’t want him then why had she rejected every request for a date she’d received in the last few months? She’d stayed at home instead of going out, unless it was with one of the Tight Five. But he’d broken her heart, broken something inside her. If she took a leap, trusted him again…

“You don’t mean that.”

His grimace and slight shake of his head made her heart twist with indecision of her own. He was right. They might have had a short courtship, but she hadn’t gone into their marriage lightly. “Could we shelve the talk of marriage and take each day as it comes instead of planning for the future?” Please let him say yes. This was the only way she’d get through the next few months with the club and her mother.

“As long as this is the final discussion we have about divorce, I’m willing to take each day as it comes. Let me help and be a part of this. Let the band rehearse at your club and let me hang out with you. You agreed last night. What’s changed?”

Julia dabbed the crumbs on her plate with her finger, unable to meet his gaze. “Everything kept going around in my mind. I didn’t sleep much.”

“I have a solution for that as well. Let me move in here with you. No,” he said when she stood. “I’ll sleep in the spare room or on the couch. I don’t care. I promise I won’t do anything to upset you. Maybe we began our marriage with the wrong mindset. We need to start from scratch and get to know each other instead of leaping into bed at the first opportunity.”

Julia picked up her pastry and took another mouthful. It tasted even better than the first bite. She swallowed and licked a bit of custard off her top lip before glancing at him again. “I don’t think—God, don’t look at me like that.”

He advanced on her then, prowling around the edge of the counter to take her pastry and set it aside. “I won’t do anything more than kissing.” His warm hand smoothed down her back to come to rest on the curve of one buttock. He pinched hard enough to make her jump, chuckling at her start of surprise. “And maybe some groping. Nothing else until you say we can take things further.”

She pushed him away and snatched up her pastry, determined to enjoy the last bite. Delicious and worth every calorie. “I—”

“Julia, say yes.” He backed her against the counter, until the hard edge dug into her back. His wiry strength held her in place, yet she didn’t feel threatened.

“You’ve lost weight,” she blurted.

“My appetite disappeared after the mugging, and I haven’t been sleeping well. I have headaches.” He shuddered but didn’t add more.

Most guys would be whining but he was very straightforward. Smart move on his part. Yikes, bitch alert.
“How bad are they?”

“They’re worse when I get overtired or stressed.”

“What did the doctors say?”

“They think the headaches will gradually taper off. So, do you feel sorry enough for me to invite me to stay?”

“You’re playing me.” Bother, she just couldn’t keep her bitchy side contained.

“A little.” A cheeky grin surfaced—one containing an edge of flirtation and a smidgeon of boyish charm. The sort of grin that tugged at a person and made them want to return the sentiment. His dark eyelashes fluttered, a striking frame around his pale blue eyes. “Is it working?”

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PURCHASE LINKS:


Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand with her husband and a rambunctious puppy called Bella. She writes spicy romances for Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. To learn more about Shelley and her books visit her website http://www.shelleymunro.com

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me to visit today, Amber!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing the great excerpt and the giveaway. Sounds like a really good book. evamillien at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete