Here's an excerpt from Donna Marie Rogers first story in the Welcome to Redemption series, A FAIR OF THE HEART.
Old wounds have kept Caleb from returning to Redemption permanently. When he receives word of his mother’s unexpected death, guilt and regret bring him home again, but will the love of a good woman keep him there? Beautiful, witty, and strong, Lauren excites Caleb like no one ever has, but she’s a package deal, and he’s not sure he’s prepared to take on a ready-made family.
“I think this moment has waited long enough, don’t you?”
Caleb cupped the side of her face, his thumb tracing along her cheekbone as he leaned in and gently pressed his lips to hers. It was a chaste kiss, all too brief, and Lauren barely held back a whimper of frustration. Had he decided he’d had enough from just that small sampling? Had there been no spark on his end? Because, good God, the man had practically melted the mascara from her eyelashes with just that one simple kiss. Her heart pounded furiously against her ribs as she waited for his next move.
He pulled back slightly and met her gaze, almost as if gauging her reaction. Then he leaned back in and reclaimed her mouth—this time with ravenous need. Finally, the kiss she’d been craving all week!
Lauren wrapped her arms around his neck and held on for dear life as he slanted his mouth across hers and proceeded to kiss her breathless. His lips were soft and coaxing, yet firm and demanding as they worked their magic, sending needles of pleasure to every nerve in her body. Caleb maneuvered them so he could sit down on one of the chairs and pull her onto his lap, never breaking the kiss. Lauren met the rasp of his tongue stroke for stroke, caressing the nape of his neck, tunneling her fingers through his thick, baby-soft curls. She couldn’t remember ever being this turned on before, this into a kiss. Holy fricken wow, talk about worth the wait!
She moaned, leaning into him, dissolving into his heat, pulse roaring in her ears. Lauren turned in his arms, bringing her leg around so she could straddle his lap and snuggle even closer, plastering herself against his broad, hard chest. Caleb answered her silent plea with a growl of his own, crushing her in his arms, his hands caressing a fiery trail down her back, cupping her butt in his big hands. Their mouths meshed with escalating hunger, their tongues moving in a dance as old as time, both giving as much as they took. Lauren felt sure she would drown in the heady sensations coursing through her.
The proof of his desire was nestled between them, and it took all her self-control not to move against him. It had been so long since—
Caleb tore his lips from hers and rested his forehead against hers, his breath coming out in ragged pants.
“Wha—?” Lauren could barely draw air into her lungs to speak. “Is something wrong?” she finally managed to whisper.
“I think Emma woke up,” he whispered right back.
Lauren pulled back in alarm and shot a look toward the stairs. How could she have not heard her? “I’ll be right back,” she murmured, unable to meet his gaze. She climbed off his lap with as much dignity as possible and raced up the stairs.
Emma had indeed woken up, but Lauren rubbed her back for a few minutes, and she fell right back to sleep. She stuck her head in the bathroom on her way back to check her face in the mirror, make sure the words “bad mother” weren’t etched into her forehead.
Caleb stood as soon as she entered the kitchen. “Is she all right? It wasn’t her hand, was it?”
“No, just fussing. She fell right back to sleep.” Lauren wrapped her arms around herself and walked past him to the sink for a glass of water.
Caleb came up behind her, but didn’t touch her. “Is something wrong?”
She took a sip, then another, too embarrassed to turn around and face him. “I didn’t even hear her. What does that say about my maternal instinct?”
He frowned and took her in his arms. “You’re a wonderful mother, Lauren. You got wrapped up in the moment, which, to be honest, is a pretty big compliment.”
She gazed up at him, hoping her heart wasn’t in her eyes. “But you heard her. Does that mean you weren’t as...that it didn’t affect you the same way…?”
He silenced her with a quick kiss. “Shh. All it means is I’m a military man who’s attuned to the sounds around him. The kiss knocked my socks off, lady.”
A hopeful smile tugged at her lips. “Really? Well...good.”
Caleb chuckled softly. He reached up and cupped the back of her head, as if ready to prove his point, but then dropped his hands with obvious regret. “If I don’t leave now...”
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