I’d like to thank Delilah for offering me a guest spot on her blog so I can talk about my new contemporary romance Leave The Lights On.
One of my favorite things about writing romance is that it gives me the opportunity to explore what happens when people get a second chance with someone they crushed on in the past. In this story Parker and Sophie were childhood friends who, for several reasons, never got together when they were younger. Now that they’re adults they find themselves neighbors once again. Their friendship is instantly rekindled, as are the old feelings of longing. Sophie is a wedding planner and she invites Parker to accompany her to a food show. He’s more than happy to have any excuse to spend more time with Sophie, so he accepts, wondering if it’s a date or if they’re just hanging out. After a day of sampling all sorts of decadent creations offered from the vendors at the expo they stop at one final dessert display where Sophie tempts Parker with a chocolate treat. Here’s an exclusive peek at what happens next…
When love throws you a curve, swing for the fences.
Parker Wood’s dreams of becoming a professional baseball player are shattered when he’s injured in a devastating car crash. After two years in hospitals and physical rehab facilities, he’s ready to move back to his childhood home and take over the family landscaping company. The house and business are his, now that his father has passed.
Sophie Vaughn has suffered through a hellishly public divorce from a husband who couldn’t manage to stay faithful for two months of marriage. Determined not to let her personal drama impact her successful wedding and party planning business, she buys her parents’ old house, hoping the comfort of familiar surroundings will help her heal.
When Parker and Sophie discover they’re neighbors once again, it’s as if time has stood still. Their friendship is quickly rekindled, along with the decade-long crush neither of them ever admitted having. Then the heat between them exposes a long-held secret that threatens to tear them apart…unless they can detach from their painful pasts and move forward—together.
Warning: Contains sultry summer nights, steamy pool-side encounters, and you’ll never look at a jar of peanut butter the same way again.
Excerpt from Leave The Lights On:
Caramel and sea salt flooded his mouth as soon as he bit into the dark chocolate shell. “Jesus. I’ve got to get myself invited to some weddings. This stuff’s amazing.”
Sophie laughed, the shimmery sound sending tingles through Parker’s limbs. “Or you can be extra nice to me, and maybe I’ll bring you home goodie bags from all the ones I go to.”
She grabbed two sample boxes off the table and tucked them into one of the tote bags.
Parker chuckled. “Now there’s officially more food in these bags than in my entire kitchen.”
“That’s just because I haven’t taken you grocery shopping yet. We’ll get your kitchen stocked soon enough.”
“Sounds good.” Anything that involved more time with Sophie sounded good. His gaze was drawn to the saunter of her hips as she made her way through the crowd. Jesus.
“I think we’ve hit every booth. You ready to go?”
Parker held the door as they left the convention center. As they headed down the street, the sky darkened with deep blue clouds. Thunder rumbled long and deep. “Think we’ll make it to the car before the storm starts?”
No sooner did the words leave his mouth than the sky opened up.
Sophie shrieked, “No. Run.”
They tore down the sidewalk, fat raindrops pelting them faster by the second. One of Sophie’s sandals slipped off, and she started giggling. “Wait, my shoe.”
Parker stopped, slicking his hair back off his face. “Got it?”
“No.” She laughed harder, grabbing Parker’s arm to steady herself as she wiggled her foot back into the shoe. “There.”
Her eyes sparkled as she gazed up at him, her breath coming fast from laughter, her rain-soaked shirt clinging to her every curve. Parker smoothed her wet hair off her cheek. The feel of her skin, warm and inviting, was too much. He couldn’t wait another second.
His lips touched hers mid-giggle, for just a second. He held his breath, his fingers still woven into her hair, waiting to see if she’d pull away. She hesitated, the sweet scent of her making him dizzy, then her mouth was back on his.
Sophie went up on her toes, leaning in toward him, her lips parting beneath his. She tasted like the chocolate they’d had and red wine they hadn’t, a decadent blend of the richest flavors he’d ever savored. He no longer noticed the rain or heard the thunder—his whole world had condensed into the kiss. The only word his brain could form was Sophie.
* * * * *
Author Info for Karen Stivali:
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. She is a multiple award winning author of contemporary and erotic romances for Ellora’s Cave, Turquoise Morning Press and Samhain Publishing.