At times the greatest obstacles to love are the walls that the guard our own hearts
We all need a second chance sometimes. With love, it can be hard. Scars have formed, habits have cement into place, our needs and beliefs altered so dramatically that they become obstacles to the very chances we seek. In Next Move, the hero and heroine each have a bad marriage behind them. And their lives had evolved in response to the hurt and disappointment, making them less open to that second chance.
So how do they get beyond it? Serendipity and choice. They meet by chance at an airport, when a hurricane grounds their respective planes. They share the night together because the stakes are low, the risk minimized, they can walk away the next day. But then Jared is relocated to Jocelyn's town and they can't turn around without bumping into each other. This time, they know what they are giving up, because the night they shared burned down the room and clandestinely reopened small pieces of their heart.
That Jared's an alpha kind of guy doesn't hurt. Once he decides to go for it, he won't let a small thing like Jocelyn's stubbornness get in the way. He knows how she reacts to him, that she feels something toward him. With that to go by, he is persistent in his pursuit. When a guy who touches you in all the right places pulls out all the stops, Jocelyn's defenses fall one by one. So would I.
As they take tentative steps toward each other, the world outside falls apart. Even with burgeoning love, it is hard to stay together when everyone and everything else is trying to pull you apart. But that's for another post.
What do you think? What helps and hinders our abilities to grab a second chance at love.
Chamber of Commerce CEO and single mother Jocelyn Wade plays to win—in the boardroom, at local politics and for her daughter. With an overloaded life and a heart scarred shut, she doesn’t do relationships. Ever. Until Jared Wyatt, the hot out-of-town fling she can’t seem to forget swaggers into her life with a different agenda—making Jocelyn his own.
Surviving a shattered marriage, Jared swore off women until a night of unparalleled passion with Jocelyn reawakens needs he thought long gone. When a new job as high school athletic director lands him in Jocelyn’s town, where sports and business rule, he must stay one move ahead of her in the game to win her body and heart.
After rancorous local politics upend their game board, they both must learn to trust again or lose a second chance at love.
A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
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An Excerpt From: NEXT MOVE
Copyright © SABRINA GARIE, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
“Unlike everyone else in this town, I’m not afraid of you, babe.” He moved over her, purposely looking down at her, channeling all his control through his eyes—a stance that usually had opponents quaking in their boots. Not her.
“Intimidation? It’s not working…darlin’.”
Grasping her upper arms, he pulled her against him so the hardness of his erection stroked across her mons until she shuddered against him. “It’s working just fine, darlin’. Stop pushing me away. You want this every damn bit as much as I do.”
“That was a fluke, a momentary weakness. I don’t do relationships.” Her face, smooth and hard as marble, denied any emotions.
Oh she’s good, but not good enough. “That ice-queen act may scare off the men around here but I know the hellion underneath. And I like her, claws and all.” One hand lifted her face toward him. The red wine on her breath mingled with her rose-lime scent as he licked her lower lip. “I know how to touch you, babe, to make you beg for it and you know I can make you scream. Play power games with me, you’ll lose. I don’t let up, ever.”
“Neither do I,” Jocelyn spat, a glint of darkness clouding her eyes the only hint that she was struggling to keep her will in check.
Tightening his hold, fingers furrowed into the soft flesh of her biceps to keep her close. “I’ve already outmaneuvered you tonight.”
“Overconfident so early in the game? Bad move. I lost a round, not the match.” She glared at him, those brown-black eyes had liquid silver shooting through his veins. He wanted to be pounding the hell out of her on the desk in the corner.
“God, you make me so hot.” He nibbled her chin and cupped her ass to him to let her feel the strength of his hunger.
“Changing battle tactics? Not working.” Her hands on his chest, she pushed back.
“Sure it is. You’re as ramped up as I am.” His hand snaked up under her jacket, his thumb flicked at the bullet-hard nipple. “Right now you’re imagining how you want me to take you. I like the desk, but maybe you’d prefer it against the wall? Hard and wild, just like you like it.” Desire widened her eyes.
“I don’t do relationships,” she whispered, pain crackled in her voice as she struggled to suppress a moan from escaping.
“So you keep selling, but I’m not buying.” He found his advantage and he pushed it. “Mark my words. I’m going to fuck you again, here in this office. It’ll be so damn good my name will be echoing through these hallways, you’ll be screaming it so loud. And then I’ll make love to you, kiss and stroke until you’re purring in my arms and begging for more.”
Distance, she needed distance. Liquid heat drenched her silk panties, she flamed so hot. Jared in full alpha was a sight to behold. The sandalwood scent tickled her nose, drumming up memories of that mouth licking her to bliss, those talented fingers… Damn.
“No, Jared. It’s not going to happen.”
“Yes, it is.” The steel in his voice was unmistakable. “I’m going to win, Jocelyn, because you want me to. I can smell the lust in your pores.” Warm breath on her neck fanned the flame engulfing her spine, traveling at breakneck speed to her womb.
Somehow she ripped free of his touch, those fingers still stroking her breast. It took every ounce of her control to not pull him in the corner and strip him bare. She had to get away. Instead of pissing him off and sending him packing with her gambit, she got more Jared. Time to regroup and figure out next steps, this was not over yet. Not by a long shot.
“Don’t bet on it. We’re done here.” Her voice cracked, but she pulled it together to strut out of the office to the elevator and didn’t look back. Jared could find his own way out.