Some people follow the rules. . .A professor of forensic anthropology, James Donovan is the reasonable sibling among the passionate, impulsive Donovans. But there's nothing reasonable about his reaction to baker Gracie Roberts. She's all wild curls and mouth-watering curves, as deliciously tempting as the sugary treats she's famous for--and twice as irritating. But before long, James decides that getting a taste of her is one indulgence he can't pass up. . .Some people play to win. . .Independent, smart, and sexy, Gracie's year-long dry spell has her itching for a man. Responsible, health-obsessed James? Not in a million years! She needs a guy who knows how to let loose! But when James sets out to show her just how satisfying a disciplined man can be when pleasure is at stake, she learns just how sweet--and spicy--he really is.Have James and Gracie found the recipe for love?
Check out the Something New series:
Gracie had given up on sleep and crept downstairs to sit in the bay window of Shane and Cecilia’s new house. She hadn’t wanted to stay, insisting that the couple should be alone on their first night, but they’d refused to listen. Seeing how Mitch and Maddie stayed as well, Gracie didn’t have a great argument for going to a hotel.
She sighed. Her body was exhausted but her mind wouldn’t let her rest, so here she was, in the dark, amidst half-empty boxes.
The city skyline was lit up, still awake and alive despite the late hour. Back home it would be pitch-black and dead silent, the sky filled with nothing but a million stars. She stared up into the sky, gray with light pollution, and missed the comfort back home.
Tonight had confused her. She’d kept her promise and been nice to James. Some of their antagonism seemed to have broken. She should be thankful. But she wasn’t.
And the thing she hated most was that she couldn’t stop thinking about him. She’d been lying in bed, staring at the newly painted ceiling, unable to stop replaying every interaction she’d had with him today. Sure, she focused on the things that annoyed her—like how he’d had ahi tuna for dinner and berries for dessert, while she’d gorged on molten lava cake—but she didn’t like how she couldn’t stop.
“I thought I heard you,” Cecilia said, and Gracie about jumped out of her skin.
“Shit!” she exclaimed, looking over her shoulder. “You scared me.”
“Sorry.” Cecilia came over to the window seat alongside her. “Shane says he’s going to put a bell on me so he knows I’m coming.”
“I guess all those years of ballet make you sneaky,” Gracie said, scooting into the corner to give her friend more room.
Cecilia laughed. “I guess so.”
Gracie gave Cecilia a sly smirk. “Although, if Shane doesn’t know you’re coming, he’s doing something wrong.”
A wistful, love-soaked expression floated over Cecilia’s face. “Nothing wrong there. The man is a deviant.”
Not surprised at all, Gracie grinned. “You lucked out, Ce-ce. I wonder how the professor got so straitlaced.” She cringed. Why on earth had she brought him up?
Cecilia cocked her head to the side. “What makes you think James is straitlaced?”
She blew out a long breath. Stupid. “Please. Look at him. He’s wound so tight he’s bound to be a dud in the sack.”
“His ex-girlfriend looked more than willing to take him back,” Cecilia said. Gracie shrugged, turning her attention to the window, silently cursing herself for bringing up James. The image of him smiling down at the pretty Lindsey irritated her in a way she refused to contemplate. “The skyline sure is pretty. So different from Revival, don’t you think?”
Cecilia was silent for a long time before she sighed. “Gracie, why don’t you just admit it?”
“Admit what?” Her heart rate kicked up a beat.
“You’re attracted to James.” Cecilia’s words were blunt, hard blows to the chest.
Gracie’s head snapped back and she scowled. “I am not!”
She wasn’t. He bothered her. Everything about him irritated her. She scowled at Cecilia. “Don’t confuse tension with attraction. It’s not like you and Shane.”
“But it is something. Come on, admit it. You don’t think he’s the least bit sexy?”
Gracie could only stare at her, openmouthed. “Of course not.”
Yes, she conceded that he was quite good-looking, and he looked pretty hot tonight, but he wasn’t her type at all. And he was not sexy.
Cecilia shrugged. “I think you’re lying to yourself. You like him, Gracie. You’re just too stubborn to admit it.”
“How could you possibly think that? Can you even imagine?”
“Let me ask you this: How long after meeting James did you break things off with Charlie?”
Gracie couldn’t believe this. She shook her head. “They have nothing to do with each other. I broke things off with Charlie because I was tired of coasting. Things had gotten routine and comfortable. It’s just coincidence the events coincided.”
“Hmm . . .” Cecilia’s voice trailed off, and she tucked her long legs underneath her.
“What?” Gracie asked, cringing at the defensiveness in her tone.
Cecilia smoothed down her tank top. “When’s the last time you went on a date?”
Gracie blinked, then blinked again. “I went out with the new football coach.”
“But you turned down a second date.”
“I’m just saying, you haven’t gone out with anyone since you met James, and that seems a bit odd.”
“I live in Revival, where I’ve known everyone since birth. New people are hard to come by, but I’ve dated plenty. I just haven’t met anyone who interests me. Simple as that.” Gracie watched the lights blinking on the top of the John Hancock building. There was no relationship between her dry spell and James. None at all. She’d never been great at commitment. Unfortunately, she was like her father that way.
“What about sex?” Cecilia continued her probing, looking for meanings where there weren’t any.
“What’s that?” Gracie laughed, meaning to sound breezy, but instead the sound came out a bit choked.
“You know Charlie would take care of any itch you have, and you’ve told me often enough he’s great in bed, so what’s stopping you?”
“Not James.” Gracie frowned, blowing out a deep breath. “I don’t want to fall into that pattern again. Is that so hard to understand?”
“Nope, not at all.” Cecilia looked at her, her face soft in the lights of the window. So different from all the hardness she used to carry around with her. “I guess I’m wrong.”
“You are.” She was.
Gracie did not have the hots for the professor. She thought of the flare of awareness she’d experienced in the closet when he’d stood so close to her. The way she’d dug her nails into her palm when he’d smiled at his exgirlfriend. The idea that kept slipping into her mind of them in bed together, maybe even right now.
No. She refused to even think about that. Absolutely refused.
Jennifer Dawson grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later, they’re married and living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog.
Despite going through a light FM, poem writing phase in high school, Jennifer never grew up wanting to be a writer (she had more practical aspirations of being an international super spy). Then one day, suffering from boredom and disgruntled with a book she’d been reading, she decided to put pen to paper. The rest, as they say, is history.
These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer, writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever watchful eye on her ever growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her husband.
Check out what's up for grabs.
Up For Grabs:
- 3 Print copies of The Name of the Game
- Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.
Special thanks to Kensington & Tasty Book Tours for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.a Rafflecopter giveaway