CARI QUINN pens sexy romances for a living and routinely counts her lucky stars. When not writing, she’s usually watching men’s college basketball or playing her music too loud. Sign up for her super fun newsletter at www.cariquinn.com or join the Word Wenches on Facebook!
Hi everyone! I’m Cari Quinn and I write sexy, funny, quirky contemporary romance. I’m so happy to be here today as part of the Brazen New Year’s event! Who doesn’t love New Year’s? I loved it so much that I wrote a whole novella centered around it—NO DRESS REQUIRED, book 1 in the Love Required series the book I’m featuring today. Jake and Noelle have been friends forever, because Jake is Noelle’s best friend’s older brother, but for a while now, they have had other kinds of feelings for each other. You know what I’m talking about, right? And in this scene, the sparks are a flyin’! Best of all, the book is only 99 cents, when you want to get your hot read on for cheap!
Make sure to check out my giveaway after the sexy excerpt…and best wishes for 2016 and beyond! =)
“We’re standing on a street corner,” Noelle said quietly, snagging her fingers in Jake’s T-shirt and pulling him closer. Too close. There wasn’t a way for him to deny what she made him feel when her body fit to his. She boldly rubbed against the obvious proof of his interest, a surprisingly provocative smile flitting over the lips he ached to taste.
All he needed was one forbidden nibble. A bite. An endless lick that started there and ended up behind her ear. Enough to last him until he could throw her across her bed and bare her body to his hands and his mouth. Every part of her, his to cherish.
“It’s snowing,” she added, arching onto her toes. Her heels hit the pavement with a dull thunk.
“And it’s New Year’s Eve,” he finished, smudging the snowflakes collecting on her reddened cheeks. In the near darkness only the deep hue of her lips stood out against her pale skin. Her eyes shone into his, drawing him nearer until her breaths whispered over his lips.
“A time for new beginnings.”
Jake smiled and let his mouth brush hers, the barest of contacts. Cold and sweet, her minty flavor beckoned him to take more. She moaned and gripped his shirt harder, pulling it up until snow snuck into the back of his jeans. He pressed against her, his thumbs framing her face, and closed his eyes, wanting to savor these last seconds before he kissed her for real. There wouldn’t be another moment like this between them again.
They were standing on the cusp of something huge. If he did this, Noelle would no longer be just his little sister’s friend. She would become his lover. It couldn’t be undone because he wouldn’t let it.
“Jake,” she whispered, the hot blast of her exhalation making him groan. He gave in and fisted his hands in her hair.
She opened to him at once, her body melting against his, wilting into his embrace so that it felt like his light pressure on her cheeks was all that held her upright. But her mouth was a hungry thing, her tongue diving in to tangle with his while her arms wound around his shoulders. He slanted his head to plunder her as deeply as he could, ravenous to explore every inch of her mouth.
Forget kissing. They were eating each other alive.
Damn, Noelle was like dynamite detonating through his system. If he’d ever thought of her as a kid, he definitely didn’t anymore. Her minty flavor, as cool as the night that surrounded them, consumed his senses. His arms shook with the fierce control he needed to keep his hands on her face and not on her ass where they longed to be. He wanted to rock her up and down his cock to relieve the intense ache. Needed to feel more of her in his palms while he swallowed her moans.
His cell vibrated in his back pocket. He cursed and jerked back. “Sorry,” he panted, struggling to get his phone out of his pocket. His pants felt too damn tight.
“It’s okay.” Noelle swept a visibly shaking hand over her hair. All the fight had drained out of her.
He pressed the talk button, not even looking at the caller ID. Nellie had officially hijacked his world.
“Jake?” It was Alexa. “I’m stuck in Columbus. There’s a monster storm and they’ve been de-icing the planes, but now they delayed my flight. For like seven hours. I called everyone I invited a couple hours ago, but I’m nervous I forgot someone. Can you get up to my house a little early just in case? I’ll owe you one. A really big one.”
As usual, his sister was a chatterbox. What wasn’t usual was that his wires had all gone on the fritz simultaneously.
“Especially Noelle,” Alexa continued. “I couldn’t reach her. She needs to know the party’s off.”
He licked the inside of his lower lip, all his focus on the beautiful blonde now staring up at the sky, her features silvered by the hint of moon glow.
“I’ll take care of Noelle, don’t worry.”
“Yeah.” His answer came out as a groan as Nellie stuck out her tongue to collect snowflakes. So. Wrong. When she caught his attention, she rolled her tongue, scooping up a couple flakes and drawing them inside the honeyed heaven of her mouth.
“Are you okay? You sound weird.”
“I’ve been making out with a chick,” he said, knowing Alexa wouldn’t believe him and Nellie would shoot him a death glare. He was right on both counts.
Chuckling, he said to his now silent sister, “Kidding. Tell me again what you need me to do?”
A couple minutes later, he hung up with Alexa, who wasn’t excited about spending the night in an airport. He, on the other hand, was very excited about who he was about spend his night with. Even if this only lasted as long as their orgasms, he’d take it. Right now, he wasn’t capable of walking away.
Were you ever?
“Bad news,” he said lightly, pocketing his cell and tossing back the hank of hair that kept falling in his face. The two of them probably looked like snow people in the making.
“Yeah, but she’s stuck in Columbus. Big snowstorm, so the party’s off. She called most of the guests and told them not to come hours ago, but she couldn’t get ahold of you. Did you have your phone off?”
“Probably. I turn it off when I go to bed because she likes to text me in the middle of the night when she hooks up with someone. Though it’s been forever since Alexa’s done anything but work. She’s way overdue for—“ Jake cringed and she choked back a laugh. “Sorry. Forget the brother thing.”
“So the party’s off? That sucks.” He could hear the smirk in her voice. “I wanted to let loose tonight.”
He said nothing. But he was already imagining just how loose he could make her once they were alone and he’d gotten her out of her wet clothes.
“So now what?” she asked, giving him a sexy little pout.
“We need to get up to her place. You and I are the bouncers in case anyone shows.” He tugged her against his side. “Ready to be alone with me?”
He'll make her forget all about the dress...After years of ho-hum dating, Noelle Gregory is tired of fooling around. There’s only ever been one guy for her—Jake Conroy, her best friend’s older brother. Now that Jake’s back in town, she’s headed to his sister’s New Year’s Eve party to make her move. Purse full of condoms? Check. Sparkly dress guaranteed to show Jake the sexy woman she’s become? Check.Carjacker that makes off with both two hours before the party? Check.When Jake finds Noelle stranded on the side of the road—looking sexier than ever in her striped socks and silly holiday shirt, damn it—he’s glad for the snowstorm that cancels his sister’s party. His and Noelle’s friendship has tormented him for years, and now, Jake wonders if he should dare to sample what he’s always wanted…and if he’ll be able to walk away when it’s over.
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