Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday's sneak peek

What oh what shoould the peek be at today? I've done little snippets of my last two completed manuscripts so I guess this week I'll go back to the third last one (these things just lay around in my hard drive until the publishing industry can catch up with me!). But I don't have a great title for this one! Maybe need to have a naming contest or something. I was thinking about "Letting Go" or "Sweeter Than Wine" or "Crush". If you have a preference, leave a comment!

Here's the unofficial blurb:

After his tragic failure as an FBI hostage negotiator resulted in his sister being killed in a murder-suicide by her boyfriend, Jason Holloway left Los Angeles for a job as Police Chief in quiet Las Colinas, California. Kendall Vioget, co-owner with her brother Kevin of the prestigious Chateau Vioget Winery, has looked after her younger brother and run the winery since the scandalous death of her parents, and in efforts to keep their family out of the media she may have gone overboard in protecting her brother and bailing him out of trouble. She and Jason have met a few times, sharing a mutual attraction and a little flirtation. Now Kendall’s future sister-in-law has gone missing a week before the wedding, and Jason is convinced Kendall’s brother is lying to the police. As Jason oversees the investigation, the attraction between him and Kendall deepens and they discover a shared connection. But when the missing person case becomes a murder investigation, Kendall is caught between trying to protect her brother, her feelings for Jason and trying to do the right thing - for everyone.

She started walking up the next row and he fell in beside her. They strolled between walls of green and gold and purple.


“You must know a lot about wine.”

She shot him a sideways glance. “I suppose.”

“I’m not much of a wine drinker.”

She smiled. “You could learn.”

“I guess.”

“Wine is a celebration of life. The embodiment of the earth. It’s power and elegance and beauty.”

He nodded. “What kind of wine do you make?”

“Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Viognier. These grapes are Pinot Noir. You should come to the tasting room and try some of our wines.”

“Uh…”

“Some time,” she said. “When this is all done.”

“Maybe you could just give me a private tasting.”

She stopped short, blinked at him. She licked her lips, unsure how to respond. Because giving him a private tasting conjured up all kinds of wicked ideas, and her body warmed and her heart sped up again thinking about them. Her skin burned and her body tightened, and the air thickened around them as they looked at each other.

* * *

Jason could have groaned aloud. The attraction he was feeling for Kendall Vioget was growing, even though he knew he couldn’t act on it. Then those words had slipped out.

The passion she’d talked about had lit up her face and sparkled in her dark eyes. The elegance and power she’d spoken of shone in her smile and warmed her voice. Sunlight gleamed on her dark hair as she stood there among the vines, dressed in pair of jeans, a black T-shirt and boots, looking so casual compared to her usual sophisticated skirts, twin sets and pearls, or the elegant dresses he’d seen her in at charity dinners.

And then she’d reached out and cupped from below a hanging bunch of heavy grapes. Maybe he had a dirty mind, but the gesture immediately made him think of her touching him like that, and his dick went hard and his balls tightened. Jesus.

As they looked at each other and heat shimmered around them, he wanted to kiss her. Her mouth looked soft and warm, a passionate mouth that echoed the emotion in her voice moments ago.

Her gaze went to his mouth and with certain, instinctual knowledge, he knew she was thinking about kissing him, too.

He took a step toward her as if pulled by a magnet, their gazed locked on each other. “Kendall.”

He smoothed a strand of hair off her face, lifted his other hand to cradle her face, then let his fingers glide through the silky strands over her scalp, around behind to gently cup her head. Her lips parted. Her throat moved as she swallowed. His body tightened.

Every cell in his body wanted her, wanted to haul her up against him and taste her, even as his brain screamed at him to step away, don’t do this, don’t be an idiot. His hand slid lower, to the back of her neck, his thumb caressed her jaw. Soft. So soft. And she didn’t move away, stood there wide-eyed as if mesmerized.

He couldn’t stop it, felt like he was in a dream and everything that happened was beyond his control, and he bent his head and brushed his mouth over hers. Once. Twice. Then his lips clung to hers and their mouths parted, slowly, in a long, lush kiss.

He rested his forehead against hers, heart thudding painfully in his chest, eyes closed. “Shit.”

She gave a choked little laugh. “Not a flattering reaction,” she whispered.

He smiled, didn’t move. “You know what I meant.”

“I know.”

They stood like that for a long moment, his nose resting beside hers, breathing the same air, still holding the nape of her neck. He could smell the exotic scent of her – something spicy and delicious, like amber and vanilla, warm from the sun. Her full breasts rose and fell, slightly and quickly. The leaves rustled around them as a faint breeze stirred them.

“You’re going to hate me,” he said in a low voice.

She drew back and looked up into his eyes. “Because you finally kissed me?”

“No. Because we need Kevin to come in for a polygraph test.”
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