Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! In celebration of the holiday, and my birthday, I thought it was past time to introduce you all to a lengthy excerpt from FOREVER WITH ME, which releases next Tuesday, December 2nd. After all, we really should give thanks for the sexy Dominic Salvatore. Or, as my assistant Pamela says, give thanks for Proby Sex! Enjoy, friends!
“Let me know if you need anything.” I nod at the guys and turn away just as my phone begins ringing. “Hello, Tonya.”
“What the fuck, Alecia? I’ve texted you nine times today!”
“I’m aware. I haven’t had a chance to respond.”
“I need more attention than this! This is ridiculous! I need to feel like I’m your only client!”
I roll my eyes and rub the back of my neck. “Your business is appreciated and important, Tonya, but you’re not my only client. What’s going on today?”
“If you would have read my texts, you would know. My fiancé’s sister is a bitch. I don’t want her in my wedding.”
“Okay.” I take a deep breath and mentally think, hello pot, meet kettle. Tonya is my most challenging client. If you look bridezilla up in the dictionary, her photo is right there. “Have you informed her that she’s not going to be in the wedding party?”
“That’s your job.”
“No, Tonya, it’s not my job. This is a family matter.”
“What did I hire you for?”
I take another deep breath and count to ten.
“You know what, if you’re not going to do your job, I don’t fucking need you! I don’t need this stress! You’re fucking fired!”
She hangs up on me, and I exhale. That commission was huge, but sweet Jesus, it wasn’t worth the shit that girl can sling.
My head whips up and I find Dominic standing ten feet away, hands in his pockets, watching me quietly.
His jaw ticks, and the next thing I know, he takes my hand in his and leads me across the grass, into the back of the villa, and into the sunroom, shutting the door behind us.
“You’re not fine.” He stalks to me, all tall muscle and intense blue gaze, and just like that, my breathing increases and I can’t remember why I’m frustrated and pissed off. I back up as he advances, until my back is against the wall. He braces one hand on the wall beside my head and cups my cheek with the other. “You’re not fine,” he whispers, just before his lips meet mine in a slow, lazy kiss, just like the last two.
But I’m not feeling slow or lazy.
I moan and bury my fingers in his hair, grip it in my fists and press myself against him, taking the kiss from easy to hot in one-point-three seconds. I bite his lip, then devour his mouth, sucking and biting, and I just can’t get fucking close enough to him.
He growls as he leans into me, pressing me between his hard body and the hard wall at my back. His hands travel from my shoulders, over my breasts and down my sides, and then he gathers my skirt in his hands, pulling it up around my waist. I slide one leg up his, hook my leg around his hip, and moan in delight when his hand cups my ass firmly, tilting me against his hard erection.
“Cazzo, cara,” he whispers, as he kisses his way down my jawline to my neck.
Oh, God, my neck! It’s my sweet spot.
I’m not responsible for my actions if he kisses my fucking neck.
Suddenly, from somewhere behind him, someone clears their throat loudly, making us both come to a halt. Dom catches my gaze in his molten blue one and slightly shakes his head, warning me not to move.
Thank God he’s shielding me from the view of the person behind him.
“You’re needed out in the barn, sir.”
We hear her walk away and he lets my leg lower to the floor. We’re both panting hard, my nipples are hard nubs, stabbing his chest, and dear God, I’ve never ached for anyone the way I’m aching for him right now.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“We didn’t even hear her,” I mutter with frustration. What am I doing? Thank God the sun shades are pulled on the windows of this room; otherwise, the entire crew would have had an eyeful.
“Are you okay?” he asks again.
“Fine.” Fuck, I’m not fine.
He watches me for a heartbeat, then presses his lips to my forehead. “That was a lie. You’re only allowed one, cara.”
“We’ll talk tonight.” He steps back, makes sure I am steady on my feet, and then drags his fingertips down my cheek. “Don’t ever let anyone speak to you the way that woman did again.”
I raise a brow in question.
“She was loud. I could hear her as if I had my own ear to the phone. You don’t have to be abused like that by your clients.”
I blush and smooth my skirt down my legs. “It doesn’t matter. I’m not working for her anymore.”
“Good.” He tilts my chin up and I’m caught in his bold blue gaze. Damn it, I like him.
“Thank you for breakfast.”
“You’re welcome.” He smiles now, a bright, full on, infectious smile that lights the room before leaning in and pressing one more light kiss to my lips. “Tonight.”
He winks and then walks back outside toward the barn. I have to take a moment to catch my breath.
What the hell was that?
Order your copy today.
November 7th marks the two year anniversary of Come Away With Me being available for sale. It's only been two years, and yet so much has happened. My life is completely different from where it was that day that I first pressed publish.
I've since released eight more books and three novellas. I've hit the New York Times and USA Today lists. My books have been downloaded (by LEGAL means) more than a million times, and have been translated in a half dozen languages. I've been able to travel the globe. I've worked with one of the top publishing houses in the world.
I met Nora Roberts and have been invited to return to Boonsboro, MD in February as a signing author.
And you know what the kicker is? The icing on this incredible cake? Because what I've just listed is so amazing, so crazy, that I can't even believe it's happened to me. But it gets better.
So much better.
The best part of all of this is the people I've met. The talented authors, the dedicated bloggers. The loyal and wonderful readers.
You see, I've been given such a gift in all of this. As trite and cliche as it sounds, my dreams have come true, AND, the relationships I've forged during this journey are ones that will be life-long, and I can't imagine my life without them.
How damn lucky am I to rub elbows with the likes of Jennifer Armentrout? To take vacations with Laurelin Page? To be able to call Alice Clayton or Christina Lauren at a whim, just to chat? To have Jay Crownover say to ME that she was nervous when she first met me and she loves my books?
But it gets better.
The bloggers who have been with me from day one, and they know who they are. There are too many to name individually. They are voracious in their passion for my work. They believe in me so completely and are so loyal to me, they make me feel safe. Cared for. Respected.
I can never thank them enough for having my back, for promoting my work, for agreeing, every single time, to help me even before I've given them even a sample of my work in progress so they know what they're representing. They simply jump on board, because they believe in me so much. There are times that that seems... overwhelming. I mean, it's a lot of pressure. But it's also great motivation to keep working, to continue honing my craft so these amazing women who stand behind, and next to, me are proud to be here.
Thank you. So much.
And then... I'm telling you... it gets even BETTER.
I've met thousands of readers at this point. I'm lucky to be able to attend signing events through out the year to meet and say thank you to those of you who love my stories. It's always so damn fun, and it never gets old. Not for one minute. I've said it before, and I maintain that I have the best readers in the world. You're smart, funny, sexy, loyal. Fiercely loyal. You make me smile. Sometimes you make me cry, but only in the best of ways. You never stop surprising me with your dedication and enthusiasm for my stories.
Thank you. For reading, for talking about the books with each other. For all of your gifts and letters. Thank you for never giving up on me.
This journey has only started. My career is still a young one, and I have so much still to learn. It's been the best education of my life. Every day is an amazing day. I love every minute of my job, and I never plan to stop. I'm living my best life.