EDITED TO ADD: Kimmie, Nola is the winner of Inez Kelley's SWEET AS SIN!! Congrats! Please contact Inez at Inezkelley @ gmail.com (no spaces).
We all know the signs. We learn as children to recognize them. Mr. Yuk stickers on bleach bottles, the skull and crossbones on a box of rat poison, the big red circle with a line through it. As we get older, we learn the rules of the road and to read the signs: SHARP CURVE AHEAD, CAUTION: FALLING ROCKS, LANE CLOSED.
There are no stickers or reflective signs in real life. We learn to trust our instincts. If someone makes the hair stand up on the back of our necks, we avoid them. Something just ‘off’ about a friend’s new boyfriend, we don’t let ourselves be alone with him. The daycare worker who strikes a niggling unease, we search for other childcare.
The human mind has in innate ability to sense when something or someone is dangerous. It’s listening to those tiny voiceless whispers that can mean the difference between survival and not, between ruin and not, between heartbreak and not. That oh-so-hot-he-melts-my-panties guy that sets off triggers in your brain is someone to be avoided. Sure, you might miss out of some great sex, but you might also live to see your next birthday.
But what about when the signs are conflicted? What do you believe then? THAT is a judgment call and I can’t make it for you. It is on a case by case, scenario by scenario basis. The risk is there but the pay-off? Who knows? It could be something you end up regretting or it could be the best thing that ever happened to you. In those cases, all you can do is cross your fingers, close your eyes and pray for the best.
That’s exactly what Livvy does in SWEET AS SIN.
Her face swung to Andrea and she saw not her baby sister but a mature woman about to be married, a wife long before her older sister. “Someday, sure, but John Murphy isn’t the type you bring home to Mama, you know? He’s the guy you sneak out to meet after your nice date drops you off. The kind you give your virginity to under the bleachers. He scares me.”
Andrea stiffened and went into a mother-lion protective stance. “Scares you? How?”
“Haven’t you looked into his eyes, Andy? There’s no laughter there. None. It’s very dark and secretive and…dangerous. Not in a beat-you-behind-closed-doors way but in an I-have-baggage-like-Samsonite kind of way. Intense. That’s the word. He’s intense…and it’s not that I’m frightened of him so much as what he makes me feel is scary, kind of out of control and reckless.”
Livvy ran her hands over her face and stopped cold. Her hands smelled like John—rich, earthy, sexual. A coil of need wrapped tighter around her chest and she tried to dispel it by blowing through her mouth.
“I don’t need this right now.” Livvy tried to shove the longing away but it hummed through her blood with a tempting growl. “I’ve got enough on my plate dealing with the Shack’s financial troubles. I do not need a man distracting me.”
“Maybe that’s exactly what you do need,” Andrea offered. “The past couple months have been a real bitch for you. It’ll do you good to think about something other than cash flow.”
“I’m fine. The Shack is fine.” Livvy plastered a deliberately calm expression on her face. She’d eat glass before she let Andrea know how tight things really were. She wouldn’t let anything destroy her sister’s joy. “Don’t worry about me. I want you to have a wonderful wedding.”
Andrea stared for a long breath then an impish grin appeared. “It looked hot. You were definitely wanting something else a few minutes ago.”
“Oh, I want him.” Livvy smirked. “Maybe I just need some hard, hot monkey sex. It’s been a while.”
Andrea tore the paper from her icepop and headed for the glass doors. “Listen, Liv, if you want it, go for it. Have a summer fling and enjoy. It’d take your mind off money. If it leads to more, great, if not, what’s the big deal?”
“The big deal is he lives next door. What if things end badly? Then what?”
“Then you put up a privacy fence and we egg his house. Just because you’re in the market for a minivan doesn’t mean you can’t test drive a hotrod.” Andrea stopped with her hand on the door handle. “And if the engine purrs the right way, take several trips around the block.”
She was made for Sin. Sin was something he knew intimately.
John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people—and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy—a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands—he’s driven to explore every curve of her delicious body.
Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won’t lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she’s as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?
Inez Kelley is a multi-published author of various romance genres. You can visit her at her website http://inezkelley.com/ Follow Inez on twitter at @Inez_Kelley or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/inez.kelley
QUESTION: What risk have you taken and did it pay off or bite you in the butt?
Answer Inez’s question and be entered to win a copy of her book Sweet as Sin! Winner will be announced here on February 7th by noon Eastern on the blog in the comments section and in the body of the blog so be sure to check back!