I'm taking part in The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads with MORE THAN A KISS, so I thought I'd share a special excerpt from the book.
“See you soon, love you guys,” Zach called over his shoulder before shutting the door and turning to Sadie. “I told you that would take forever.”
“It wasn’t that bad,” she protested as he pulled her to him and lifted her for a kiss.
“You told me we have all night, and then took forty-seven minutesto say goodbye to my family. That was torture.”
Arms wound around his neck while he held her off the ground at eye level, she asked, “If it was so bad, why are we still hanging out here on your parents’ porch?”
“Good point.” Zach set her back on the ground with a low growl and another quick kiss. “Follow me.”
Sadie did just that, her nerves winding tighter with each mile closer to his home. Too much time to think about how long it’d been since she’d been intimate with anyone. After three years, she felt like a virgin again. When she parked behind his car in the driveway, her stomach was a churning mass of anxiety and anticipation.
He was alongside her car, opening the door before she reached for the handle. There were two other vehicles in his drive. Voices carried on the sultry summer air and lights were on in his living room.
“You have company,” she stated with dismay.
“My cousins,” he confirmed. “They always stay with me when we have a family get-together on this coast.”
It was after eleven. No way was she walking inside, facing all of his guests, and then heading up to his bedroom. She wasn’t that immune to what other people thought, nor did she want to be.
As if reading her thoughts, he said, “We don’t have to go inside to get to the beach, Sadie.”
That’s right. A walk on the beach. She breathed a sigh of relief, and acknowledged disappointment at the same time.
“Although, they’re probably drinking wine out on the deck,” he added. “We’re gonna have to sneak through the neighbor’s yard. You up for a little covert ops?”
“Um, sure. Sounds like fun,”she agreed with a nervous laugh as she got out of the car.
“You might want to leave your shoes here,” he suggested. “Sexy as they are, those heels won’t make it through the sand.”
She leaned down to remove her first sandal. “You got a black knit cap for me to wear?”
“Nah. Wouldn’t help unless you took off that white shirt. Although...that is an idea.”
Though he was teasing, she glanced down at her blouse, standing out like a beacon in the dark. “Except my bra is white.”
“Then it’s gotta go.”
“You’re such a guy,” she accused, reaching for her second sandal as her nipples tightened at the thought of running topless with him through the dark.
“If it makes you feel better, I’ll take mine off. I’m all for equality.” He reached for the hem of his shirt.
She rolled her eyes and shook her head at his grin, and all she got was a glimpse of his mouth-watering abs when he dropped the material back in place. After tossing her sandals in the passenger seat, she leaned in and reached into the back to grab the blanket covering the old oil stain no amount of scrubbing had diminished.
Zach took the soft black fleece and tossed it over her head and shoulders.
“Oh, knock it off,” she said, pulling it off with a grin that matched his.
While she brushed her hair from her face, he took her hand to lead her across the driveway, through the privacy hedge and into the neighboring yard. Crouched down, they snuck through the dark like two fugitives. Sadie wondered if his heart pounded as hard as hers. They weren’t doing anything wrong, yet her adrenalin pumped strong.
“Ow,” he muttered. “Watch out for—”
Something scraped across her shin, then caught and dug into her skin. Sadie let loose a shriek and then quickly muffled her laughter when her brain made the connection to the scent of roses. She’d run into a fricken’ rose bush.
“Shh,” Zach chastised.
Two steps later, he stumbled, letting loose a low string of curses before sprawling at her feet. In the faint moonlight, she saw him lying on the ground next to a knee-high, chubby, red-capped statue. A dog started barking inside the house, but containing her giggles was impossible as Zach pushed back to his feet.
They’d almost reached the edge of the lawn when light flooded the lawn.
“You kids get out of my yard!”
“Oh, shit.” Zach took off at a run, pulling Sadie behind him. She stumbled along, dragging the blanket well down the beach until they collapsed on the sand behind a low sand dune, in the dark once more.
Catching her breath after their run would’ve been easy if she weren’t laughing so hard. Lying on her back, she rolled her head to the side to see Zach having the same problem.
“We suck at covert ops,”she finally managed.
“Hey, I’m not the one who screamed at a rose bush.”
“At least I didn’t get taken down by a garden gnome.”
He leaned over her, white grin flashing bright. “It was you or me, Goldie. I took one for the team.”
“My knight in shining armor.”
She lifted up to give him a quick smack on the lips, but the firm pressure of his mouth as he met her halfway ignited the residual adrenalin in her body like a match to gasoline.
Pick up your copy of MORE THAN A KISS today to see just how hot the beach can get after the sun goes down.
(You'll have noted there are two different covers for this book. See why here, enjoy both excerpts, and then grab your copy to enjoy the whole story!)
Amazon: Sand http://amzn.to/AAMTAKSC
BN: Sand http://bit.ly/BNMTAKSC
“From the classroom to the boardroom, directors to ducklings, Stacey Joy Netzel takes you on a fun, romantic joyride with two lovable people who are just trying to do the right thing in the cutthroat world of journalism and big business.” ~ Delia DeLeest, author of NOT LOOKING FOR TROUBLE“I loved how Ms. Netzel penned this novel to be a rags to riches theme and she did so in such a realistic fashion the readers walked away believing the situation as if it truly happened to real people. This is another satisfying story I think the readers will love!” ~ Diana Coyle, Night Owl Reviews, TOP PICK
Thanks for Reading!!
Stacey Joy Netzel