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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A Naughty New Year with Amy Andrews

Amy is an award-winning, best-selling Aussie author who has written sixty plus contemporary romances. She writes books featuring lots of sex and kissing and likes to make her readers tingle, laugh and sigh. She loves good books, frequent travel and great booze although she'll take mediocre booze if there's nothing else. She lives on acreage in a sunny part of Australia with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes the ocean lapped the back fence.

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Tamara is drowning her sorrows in her best friends snowed in Vermont cabin on New Year’s Eve. She can’t start the fire so she’s put on every piece of clothing in her bag and is drinking egg nog at nine in the morning to keep warm. The last thing she expects is for her besties baby brother – on leave from the military - to crash her pity party. At least he knows how to light a fire. And that’s when things really start to heat up…

14 hours, 30 minutes ‘til midnight

Ten minutes later the cabin was toasty warm. Not surprising given it was the tiniest cabin Tamara had ever seen. There was a small living area with a compact kitchen attached, an elegant arched entrance to an alcove dominated by a massive feather bed, and an ensuite made for hobbits. It wasn’t exactly the family-sized cabin she’d been expecting. More honeymoon retreat or lovers hideaway.

 “So what’s the reason?”

Tamara opened her eyes when he nudged her shoulder. She looked up—all the way up—at temptation personified. No. She couldn’t think like that. Luke was her best friend’s little brother. Not that she would call the hot man standing in front of her little. But, the point was, he was off-limits.

So what if he’d shed his hoodie to reveal a white t-shirt that clung to flat abs and nice pecs? So what if he had the most fascinating number one buzz cut in all of existence and a face that belonged on a Calvin Klein billboard? So what if his faded jeans clung to legs that could tempt a perfectly good girl to turn bad? So what if she was so horny every cell in her body was drowning in lust? It wasn’t terminal.

The fire glow danced across a tanned bicep as he handed her another glass of eggnog. He smiled, displaying a very sexy cleft in his chin that made Tamara’s nipples scrunch into tight little balls. Luckily they’d been rendered almost extinct from the layers pressing down upon them.

 “What’s what reason?” she asked as she took the drink. She should probably refuse—she’d already had way too much and God knew her inhibitions had fled at the sight of all those muscles.

He sat beside her again, their knees almost touching. She noticed he had a beer so she didn’t feel like she was one step away from a park bench so much. “Why aren’t you in Times Square watching the ball drop with Georgia?”

Tamara stared at the nutmeg floating on top of her drink. She could have told him the weather. The roads were closed, transportation was severely disrupted. But it wasn’t the truth.

She pressed the chilled glass to her flushed cheek. “There’ll be kissing,” she said.

Luke laughed. “That’s bad?”

Had there been one infinitesimal part of her where the heat from the fire and the burn from the rum had not reached, his laughter took care of it, licking warmth into every last cell. She set the glass down so she could strip off her gloves and push the hoodie and beanie off her head. “It’s been so long, I may just get arrested for public indecency.”

It wasn’t the real reason, although it had been a while, but she doubted a fine piece of man flesh like Luke would understand how depressing New Year’s Eve could be with no one special to kiss.

He laughed again and took a sip of his beer. Tamara was aware of the long tanned ridge of his throat and the press of his pulse as his head tipped back. He swallowed and his eyes twinkled—yes, twinkled!—at her. “I’ve got nine months, the length of my deployment. How long you got?”

Tamara snorted. “Piece of cake, soldier boy. Try twelve.”

He whistled. “Okay,” he conceded. “You win.”

“Great,” she huffed into her drink, then took a sip. “I excel at abstinence. The nuns at my all-girls school would be so proud.” 

He frowned. “If it’s been so long, wouldn’t New Year’s Eve in New York City be the perfect place to be?”

Tamara knew twenty-something men did not understand the powerful dictates of biology. That traipsing from one relationship to another got very old very quickly and that at some stage, commitment stopped being a dirty word. That being with one person was more exciting than playing the field. That the yearning for a home and a family could hit you out of the blue.

Twenty-something men had it easy.

And with him looking at her like that, with a puzzled look and the confidence of a male in his prime, her temperature soared from hot to smoking and her hormones whispered him.

So she stood to deliver herself from temptation. Another win for the nuns. 

The room spun a little as heat, alcohol, and sexual deprivation played havoc with her equilibrium.

When it righted itself he was looking at her expectantly with that blue, blue gaze, looking fit and vital and so damn muscle-y and male she wanted to gnaw on his perfectly delineated, denim-clad quad. More heat flowed through her at the thought and she tried to remember what they’d been talking about but God, she was so freaking hot now she felt like her brain was boiling.

She unzipped her parka.  Where were they? Oh yes...

“I made a resolution last New Year’s Eve”—she shrugged out of her puffy coat and slung it on the lounge—“after waking up with some guy who seemed so with it and together the night before...”

His gaze dropped to her body and roved around for a bit and the heat inside her turned to flame, her clothes seemingly catching on fire. She started to pace as she pulled at the layers, trying to get them off.


Luke couldn’t believe his eyes as the heavy woolen sweater hit the couch, revealing another sweater of a finer knit and weave.

“...And this guy ran like there’d been some Zombie apocalypse overnight and I’d been infected...”

The next sweater also hit the couch as she paced back and forth. Luke’s mouth went dry and he took a quick swig of the beer. The peeling away of her layers down to some kind of dark gray turtleneck was slowly revealing the petite body that went with her cute pixie nose and her funky blond hairstyle. Granted, she was suffering badly from beanie hair but somehow that just made her even more appealing.

There was an intriguing bounce to her breasts as she paced and, being an expert in this department, he was pretty damn sure she wasn’t wearing a bra.

It was probably wrong to be this turned on.

“Well, no more,” she said stopping and turning to face him, her hands on her hips. “I want a serious relationship. Something more permanent, damn it. And a guy who wants the same thing. Is that so wrong?”

Luke shook his head and tried to focus on what she was saying. She wanted to settle down. After two overseas tours he understood the urge for roots. “Absolutely not.”

She narrowed her eyes for a moment like she didn’t believe him but quickly resumed her pacing. Her track pants were next in line for the treatment as she pulled at the waist cord.

“Right. So I decided. No sex until I meet a guy who has the potential to be Mr. Right.”

She stepped out of them and kicked them aside without breaking stride. A pair of black skinny jeans clung to thighs that would have done any ballerina proud. Luke dragged his gaze from them as she turned and glared at him again. 

“Ten dates. That’s the rule. No putting out until date eleven. You’d think that wouldn’t be too much to ask, right?”

Luke nodded, forcing himself to look at her face. Her cheeks were flushed and it conjured up thoughts of other ways to get her all hot and bothered. 

“Wrong,” she said, and her voice dripped with disgust.

She unzipped her jeans and peeled them off to reveal a pair of very tight, nothing-left-to-the-imagination long johns. Luke had never thought long johns were sexy. Which just went to show, you could get to twenty-five and still know jack shit.

“I mean, at a date a week, that’s only ten weeks, right? And two dates a week is only five weeks. Is that so freaking hard? Can men not go five weeks without sex?”

The angry pixie was demanding an answer from him but it took a moment to drag his thoughts back from wondering if female long johns had the opening at the front like their male counterparts.

“They’re jerks, Tamara,” he said, feeling like a complete hypocrite as he wondered if she was going commando. “Any man worth his salt would wait five lousy weeks for you.”

Tamara nodded her head vigorously. “Damn straight I’m worth waiting five weeks for,” she muttered and he smiled as she returned to her pacing. “I mean, I think I still look pretty good—for someone who’s thirty. I look after myself, I did ballet for years, and I still do Pilates five times a week.”

She stopped and grabbed at her shirt. Luke was caught between trying not to think about how flexible Tamara might be and the awful feeling that maybe she was already down to her last layer and the alcohol was playing havoc with her memory.

He was about to stop her but it was up and over her head in seconds, dragging another layer—the last layer, if the flash of bare belly and the underside of one naked breast was any indication—half up with it. She yanked what appeared to be the matching top to her long johns down, oblivious to the eyeful he’d just copped or how he could see the dark outline of her nipples through the fabric.

Luke shifted uncomfortably as her unintentional strip tease had a predictable effect on a man who hadn’t been with a woman since he’d deployed nine months ago. He was feeling pretty damn hot himself about now. Most definitely overdressed compared to the long-johned pixie with thunder in her eyes prancing around in front of him.

“These...” She grabbed her breasts in her open palms, flattening them against her chest and glaring at him some more. “...have defied gravity pretty damn well.” She jiggled her hands a little. “They may not be huge but they’ve kept their place. There’s no bra on under here, you know.”

Luke nodded. “Yes.” He knew. God help him, he knew. “They’re very nice,” he added because she seemed to want something more from him and he didn’t think why don’t you take all your clothes off and come a little closer would go down all that well.

“Damn straight they are. But, oh no, no guy is apparently willing to wait a little while to get his hands on them.”

She dropped her hands from their position, looking resigned and spent as she flopped back onto the couch behind her. “I’ve been dumped four times in the last few months for not putting out.” She rubbed her forehead with her fingers. “I don’t get men.” 

Luke chose his words carefully, taking a pull of his beer before he said anything. She might have been intoxicated but this angst was obviously coming from somewhere. “So...this ban on casual sex includes kissing?” 

She nodded vigorously and Luke was left in no doubt that kissing was off the table. Damn. “Most definitely,” she added for extra emphasis. “It’s like a gateway drug.”

“A gateway drug?”

She looked directly at him and somehow, sitting in her long johns with no bra, possibly no underwear, and high on eggnog, she still managed to look just like a kindergarten teacher.

“I don’t have good impulse control. Not when it comes to kissing anyway. I like kissing. Hell,” she bugged her eyes at him, “I love kissing. It’s addictive.”

She held his gaze and Luke was captured by the earnestness he saw in hers. “You know those deep, wet, hungry kisses with plenty of tongue and a lot of groaning that taste like cotton candy laced with cocaine and reek of anticipation that can go on for hours until you can barely breathe and every cell feels alive? Just kissing and kissing and kissing like it’s never going to end?”

When she shut her eyes and sighed with her mouth slightly parted, Luke swallowed. Hard. Hell yeah, he remembered those kisses.

She turned her troubled gray gaze to the fire. “But then I want more. I want to feel his hands all over my body. I want to be naked. I want to be horizontal. Or not,” she shrugged. “It depends. And I don’t want to leave until I know all of his kinks and erogenous zones and he knows that I like it when he talks dirty to me as I’m about to come and we’re lying in an exhausted heap barely able to breathe.”

Luke didn’t say anything as she stared into the fire. Her voice had become husky and he could hear a hitch in her breathing. Her admissions sent all the blood rushing from his head and other areas of his body straight to his dick. There was none left for his vocal cords which seemed to have gone into some weird kind of paralysis.

She sighed and looked at him. “Gateway drug.”

He cleared his throat. “Right,” he said and hoped it came out a lot more manly than it sounded.

“You know what bugs me?” she asked. “Men think because we’re women, we don’t understand what it’s like to be ruled by our libidos. That we don’t need sex as much as them.”

She snorted and Luke blinked at the vehemence of it. “That’s just crap, you know? ‘Cause I can tell you, after twelve months of dating and really trying hard to find the one and failing miserably, my libido is really freakin’ loud.”

She looked him up and down, her gaze fanning over every inch of his body and Luke’s belly clenched at the sudden clarity and frankness there. “How about it?” she said zeroing in on his mouth like she was already kissing it deep and wet and hungry exactly like she’d described to him.

Every single cell he owned screamed yes. He’d been in a war zone for nine months and getting laid had been pretty much at the top of his things-to-do-when-I-get-home list. His dick was definitely voting yes.

But he couldn’t do it.

She was drunk. Amusing, cute, and funny as hell with it, but still obviously under the influence. And it didn’t take a genius to figure out Tamara was a good girl who was really going to hate herself tomorrow when she remembered this conversation. 

She stood abruptly, things shifting nicely beneath her shirt, her face contorting and looking crazy-fierce for a moment, and Luke knew if she jumped him, he’d be a goner.

It was almost a relief when she said, “I think I’m going to be sick.”

A down-on-her-romantic-luck kindergarten teacher plans to drown her New Year’s Eve sorrows in a gallon of spiked eggnog, but the arrival of her best friend's sexy brother threatens to melt the snow piling up outside the tiny Vermont cabin.

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Up For Grabs:
  • 1 eBook copy of 'Tis The Season To Be Kissed
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  1. Very interesting excerpt! Sounds like an amazing book.
    Thank you for the chance to win your Giveaway.

  2. Replies
    1. Oh Bonny - thats waaaaaaay too hard :-) I can tell you one of my fav authors is Jennifer Crusie and I've loved just about every book she'd ever written. Will that do? ;-)
      What about you? Do you have a fave?

  3. Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing. Who are some authors who have influenced your writing?

    1. Thanks! Definitely, as above, Jennifer Cruise. And authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Janet Evanovich, Rachel Gibson.

  4. Was wondering, is it easier or harder to write seasonal stories?
    Happy Holidays!💋

    1. Hi Lilah. Its harder to write seasonal stories in Australia about ther norhtern hemisphere when it doesn't snow or even get very cold :-)

  5. Hi Amy!
    Your book sounds good, and as you are a new author to me , this would be an awesome way to get to know your books!
    Thanks for the chance!😊

    1. Good luck, Cyndi. But I have a Freebie - Some Girls Do - should you not be lucky :-)

  6. Thanks for that great excerpt. Can't wait to read the book. Thanks for the chance.

  7. Of course, now I want to read the rest!!!! lol Thank you for the chance, Amy:)