I got back to work on my final edits for EXHALE, book 2 in the JUST BREATHE trilogy, last week. I’m a little over a quarter of the way done. I switched the original publication date of June 5 to July 11, but really, I’ll publish this book whenever I publish it. I’m not getting worked up about deadlines anymore.
I’m still trying to get the blurb in shape. It totally sucks ass, but I hope to post it soon.
In the meantime, here’s an EXHALE excerpt for any interested parties. It’s Gavin and Zoe’s first date, which got off to a rough start. They left a show he played with his band, and have just reached their hotel room…
A bucket of iced champagne sweated on a low-slung glass coffee table in front of a long, blue-upholstered couch. Zoe’s overnight bag sat on the floor beside a small black duffel at the foot of a king-sized bed. Dainty chocolates adorned monster pillows at the headboard, and the corners of the sheets were folded back. Matching ‘His and Hers’ robes draped across the thick, royal blue comforter.
Seeking refuge against the now-closed door, Zoe swept a hand across her forehead, brushing some windblown wisps of hair out of her eyes. Gavin dropped the key and his sunglasses next to a bulbous green lamp on a dresser and turned to her, his colorful, tattooed arms swinging with the spin.
He closed the distance between them, then reached around her head, loosened the rubber band, and tugged it free. Hair tumbled down her back. Heat prickled her skin as a whiff of his woodsy cologne set her belly alight. The loud clack of a lock snapping into place rang out from somewhere near her right arm.
Trapped with Mr. Perfect.
Zoe’s heart raced. Dropping her gaze to the floor, she inhaled a sharp breath. He peeled open the jacket still hanging on her shoulders and slid it off. The leather fell into a heap behind her. What was he—
Thumbs wriggled through the belt loops on either side of her hips and pushed her flush against the door. One black boot appeared between her feet. The other planted itself in the carpet to the left of her right shoe. She looked up to protest. His lips landed on hers, gentle as a falling feather. Breath shuddered out through her nose, and her eyes drifted closed as he staked his claim on her mouth.
Jitterbugs swarmed her stomach. She reveled in the rhythm of each tiny movement of his mouth as if they’d done this a thousand times before. Which, they sort of had. In her dreams. But dreams weren’t real, and this…so…was.
Her cheeks and ears flushed with fast-pumping blood. His pierced bottom lip, which she’d been dying to taste again, hypnotized her into performing a precarious balancing act between girlish retreat and slut-worthy acceptance of any- and everything he might put up for auction tonight.
A moan vibrated between their mouths, and she realized with embarrassment, it came out of her. She opened her eyes and pulled away, wiping her lips with the back of a hand.
Thanks, Modesty, for the interruption. Your late arrival was poorly timed, but much appreciated.
If the kiss had gone on much longer, she would have straight-up jumped his ass.
He looked down at her, his thumbs still holding her hips by the belt loops, a steady couple of inches away from his steaming hot body.
Breathless, she focused on the lip ring. Big mistake. He licked it.
Thank you, sir, may I have another?
“What was that for?” It took a few seconds, but her senses returned and reminded her of his distance only moments before. Was he buttering her up for sex? Rock stars were notorious users. Maybe he was grooming her to be his next victim.
She couldn’t take much more of the mixed signal shit.
He stepped closer, eyes rippling blue. At five foot eleven, Zoe wasn’t short, but he had a good five or six inches on her. And if his physical stature didn’t dwarf her, his epic hotness was the perfect stand-in. “It’s eleven fifty-two.”
Did she imagine desire hanging thick in his voice, or was that husky tone the result of scream-singing on stage for an hour? Had to be the singing.
“You gonna turn into a pumpkin at midnight or something?” Look away, damn it. Be strong. She stuffed both hands in her front pockets, but he didn’t let her go. Instead, he leaned in even further, heat rising off his sweat-drenched shirt in the cool, air-conditioned room.
“When I woke up this morning, I promised myself I’d kiss you before this day ended.” He tugged her hips to his with a jerk. Holy freaking hell. “Eleven fifty-two.”