Adieu Easter Blog Hop 2012

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The day is done…more or less.
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I hope you guys had a peaceful weekend. I’ve heard from some of you that you spent the time with family, and others worked, while one or two
of you just hung out alone.
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At least one person said she and her family served at a homeless shelter for awhile this weekend. Kudos to you. It’s not easy, I know. It’s a valuable experience from both points of view–that of the server and of the served.
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As I told you before, I stayed home and worked with the hop, spent time with my family, and wrote on the book coming out tonight or
tomorrow. I hate to let them go, you know? There’s always a little more that I can do to improve the story, or so I think at the time.
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I wanted to share a picture of my daughter’s visiting Nanday Conure and my new Green Cheeked Conure. Banana is the big green guy, the Nanday.
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He has a Snape-like personality. If his feathers were a cloak, they would be billowing as he moved. He’s very snarky sometimes, but full of personality.
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The little guy is my bird, Baker Tin-whistle.
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I named him Baker after Sherlock Holmes’s address, and Tin-whistle  because that’s what he sounds like. I call him Baker, of course.
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Now I’m going to give you a couple of excerpts–after all, there’s got to be some instant gratification, right?
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Within the next few days , I will announce the winner of my Gertrude Hawk chocolate prize. I’ll email the winner if I can but I’ll certainly post it on my blog. I’ll either let you know who won what else from the Blog Hop, either by choosing the winner, or telling you who the Blog Hop gurus picked.
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Look around HERE to get an idea of the earrings you have to choose from.
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So, with no further adieu, here are a handful of excerpts–all from books released in the last three months.
$.99

by J.J.MassaEian MacGregor existed in a never-ending limbo, caught in an envelope in time. Eternity stretched ahead of him, a hopeless and lonely place. Or was it? Shaken from his lethargy by two intricately drawn pictures of himself, Eian was equally moved by the young woman who’d painted them. He looked at her and saw breathtaking beauty.

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What did she see when she looked at him?
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Excerpt:
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Finally, Eian could take no more.  This woman drew him as no other had, even when he’d been alive.  He wanted to see her privately but Ida and Malcolm were all over her.  He made his way to the chamber above hers and waited for her to come to her room.
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It wasn’t long before he heard the sound of running water.  He waited in her chamber, holding his breath as she emerged from her bath wearing a satiny green robe, cinched at the waist.
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He watched as she pulled a bench up to his portrait that hung above the small fireplace in her room.  Standing on it, she reached out and touched the likeness of his face.
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“Have you missed me, Eian?” she asked.  His breath caught.  “I wish you could be in my bed tonight instead of hanging on my wall.”
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“I can think of no better place to be, mo rìghinn” he responded.  My lady.  “Your wish is my command.”
With a gasp, she spun around on the padded bench and it began to wobble precariously.  Eian surged forward to catch her knowing that he couldn’t.  He knew that she would fall through him to the floor.
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He couldn’t say which of them was more shocked when he snatched her in mid-fall and clasped her against his chest.
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Her eyes were huge as she looked up at him.  She trembled in his arms.
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“Eian MacGregor,” she whispered.  He continued to look down at her.
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“None other.”
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“It can’t be… You are my dream man.”
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“And you, Bòidheach rìghinn, are the woman of my dreams.” Beautiful lady.
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If he could hold her and touch her, he could kiss her.  Eian needed to kiss her.  He hadn’t had human contact in almost three centuries.  He wasn’t letting go of this woman now.
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Yes, over the years, some had seen him.  Some had heard him.  But this woman was real and solid.  He felt her.  He needed her.  It was obvious to
him that she needed him, too.
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Swinging her into his arms, he strode to the bed with her and placed her upon it.  He released the clasp at his shoulder of his kilt and then the belts he wore.  Her eyes never left him when he removed his brogues and socks and pulled his shirt over his head.
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Turning back to her, he was naked, his manhood jutting proudly from the nest of black curls between his legs.  He hadn’t removed his clothes in two and a half centuries, nor had he felt the stir of desire in all that time.
~~~
For the last decade, Von Branigan has lived his solitarylife estranged from the only woman he had ever loved. He’d been wronged and for
ten long years he isolated himself from the world, keeping his hurt and loneliness wrapped around him like a cloak.
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Tati is tired now. She’s done. If not for Von, she would have thrown in the towel and let the bad guy win. He was her best friend once. Have the years without her taught him bitterness or has he finally grown into the man she thought she’d married? Is there a safe haven out there for her hunted, wounded heart?

*
Excerpt:
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“Can you identify the person in that photograph, Mr. Branigan?”
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Von nodded, swallowing. “Her name is Tatiana Branigan,” he managed, his throat dry.
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Detective Lester stood. “Wait here, please, Mr. Branigan.”
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“Is she…” Von began.
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“Please wait here, sir,” Detective Lester said, standing abruptly. Before Von could get a word out, the other man had left the room. Von’s head was spinning. Had he just identified the body of his wife? Was she dead or alive? His tangled thoughts ebbed and eddied, twisting in his mind like burrowing, insidious worms.
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I don’t know if I can live in a world that she isn’t living in. There must be something wrong with me. How can I still care so much after what she
did to me
? To us? But…what if she’s dead? Oh, god, what if she’s dead and gone?
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As he sat trying to absorb what had happened so far this night, Von began to notice the quiet of the building. After a moment heard footsteps approaching and began to focus on the voices he could hear nearby. It seemed the good detective had failed to close the door properly, allowing him to listen in to the conversation growing louder as heavy footsteps approached.
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“Go easy, Jim, it’s been a heck of a night.”
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Von heard a door open across the hall and turned slightly, focusing on the voice.
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“Bill, it’s bleeding again. I’m gonna check her eyes.” The new man had to be addressing the detective that Von had met. Sure, Yonkers was big, but how many men named Bill could be lingering at the police department in the middle of the night?
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“Stop it, Jim. You’re making my headache worse!” Von sat up straight. A voice that sounded seductive even when she was irate. That couldn’t be…
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“Tatiana, you need to be in the hospital. I know you have a concussion. You’re not really recovered from the pneumonia.” The voice designated as Jim sounded very agitated.
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He called that woman Tatiana! It has to be her! My angel is alive!
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“You know I’ll refuse further treatment. What are they going to do for me, Jim?” came her soft-voiced reply. “They can’t put my head in a sling.”
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“Tati, I’m going to call that number you gave me. You need someone to take care of you now.” That was definitely Bill, the big detective.
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“Bill, I told you to call it if I died, and only then. Nobody at that number wants to care for anything besides my remains. Don’t make me sorry I trusted you.”
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Is that what she thinks? And why wouldn’t she think that? I made it pretty clear she wouldn’t be welcomed back, didn’t I? 
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Her melodious voice drew him closer until, before he realized he’d even moved, Von found himself standing in the hall. The irritated voice of Bill Lester reminded him that the conversation was still going on and he moved a step closer to the voices.
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“It’s only a happy accident you’re not sporting a toe-tag right now, dang it!” the detective snapped. His words were angry, yet his tone made it clear that he was worried and even afraid for Tatiana. Von wanted to rush into the room, but something made him hesitate.
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Tatiana was less than ten feet away. .A step to the left and he’d be looking at her. He waited for the pain of her betrayal to wash over him but could only feel elation. He needed to get himself together. She’s alive!
~~~


By J.J. Massa
A girl can’t choose who her parents are, but Tabitha Baker isn’t complaining. Her mother died when she was young, leaving her with a psychic
gift and precious memories. Her father loves her, though. He’s a good man—the entire country agrees. They just don’t know their president is her father. Her lineage is a state secret. Everyone has secrets, but sometimes it’s a real problem.
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Garth Cavanaugh is a Secret Service agent assigned to the President of the United States. He doesn’t tell most people that, only his family. His twelve brothers and sisters all work in various fields of law enforcement. He’d like to introduce them to the woman he’s dating, but she seems to be hiding something, maybe even someone. Whatever it is, it’s big. He wants his family to meet the woman he loves—not watch him nurse a broken heart.
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That he can do by himself…
Excerpt:
Garth saw the man grab her purse and backhand her when he was still a few feet away. She was a crumpled heap on the pavement, but he recovered
her property. Unfortunately, her cell phone was a total loss. That had gone flying when the dirt-bag had tugged on her purse.
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The police arrived almost right away. Since it was an upscale Maryland suburb, Garth wasn’t surprised. He let the officers take credit for the collar but stayed with the young lady while the paramedics checked her over.
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A petite five feet, two inches in her white sports shoes, she was pretty as hell. Her long, dark brown hair was slightly wavy. It framed a lovely oval face with beautifully arched brows and delicate cheekbones. Almond shaped eyes the color of copper pennies had captured his attention right away.
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Garth knew he could stare at this woman for hours and be completely happy.
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At some point during the proceedings, a reporter appeared on the scene asking her if she worked at the White House. She admitted that she had a minor position in the research department. Before she even knew what was happening, a photographer snapped a picture of her attempting to block her face with small hands that were completely inadequate to the task.
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The little lady seemed very upset about the entire incident. Garth thought she was showing signs of shock. When her teeth began to chatter he gave her his denim jacket. It was so large on her that she was lost in it.
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“Can they do that?” she asked Garth. “Can they just take your picture and put it in the paper?”
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Poor thing.
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“I’m sorry, honey,” he told her, “It’s the Freedom of Information Act. You are a White House employee.”
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“Can I borrow your cell phone?” she asked him, brow furrowed.
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He winked at her. “Anything for a damsel in distress.” He wanted to get to know her better. This could be the edge he’d been looking for. “Need to call your husband? Boyfriend?” he asked her, artlessly.
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Her mouth curved into a little smile. He already loved that beautiful dimple.
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“Daddy,” she said.
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He handed her the phone, smiling back at her. He saw her start when her hand wrapped around the phone.
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She smiled weakly and turned away from him as she began to push buttons. He listened shamelessly.
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When someone answered, she said, “Kill Devil Hills, mile marker seven, twelve-twenty-seven A.M.” She waited for a minute.
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His brow was furrowed now. That was an odd way to say hello. He turned a little away so she wouldn’t notice him listening.
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“Hi, it’s Tabby. Could I speak to him please?” she said. “It’s important.” Her voice wobbled. She waited again.
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After a minute, she said, “Daddy?” he saw her fighting to keep her chin from crumpling. She was obviously distressed.
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“Someone tried to steal my…” her eyes were misty and apparently, “Daddy” didn’t make it past the word “steal” before he had something to say.
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“I’m okay, Daddy, really. It’s just they took my picture for the paper and I have a bruise and…” evidently Daddy didn’t like some part of that sentence. Garth bet the word “bruise” had gotten his attention this time.
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“Daddy, you can’t do that! I’m just a researcher; you can’t assign me a detail.” She took a deep breath and listened.
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Both she and Daddy certainly had his attention now. There weren’t that many people in Washington who could assign anyone a “detail.” He knew that because he was a “detail.”
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Garth Cavanaugh was a Secret Service operative assigned to the Presidential Protection detail. This was his afternoon off.
~~~
Starting at: $2.49
by J.J. Massa
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It’s been too long since Langley has had his ashes hauled –so long that even his snarky old supervisor looks good to him.
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Garret keeps a tight rein on his passions… his burning desires. For two years, the fire for his assistant has smoldered. After two years of Langley Johnson stumbling into work looking debauched and delectable, that fire is blazing out of control.
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What will it take to bank the fire? Or is it too late for anything but ashes?
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Excerpt:
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Garret had seldom been so grateful to see the hands of the clock reach five.
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What a day. What a long and tedious day.

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His assistant had been late again. The little bastard. Did he have to be so damned sexy in the mornings?
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Langley Johnson had a natural, just-rolled-out-of-bed look that ate at Garret. It wasn’t fair. Did any other manager in the company have this to deal with? How did the young man find suits that clung to his tight little ass like that?

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Did he have them measured? Most men aimed for something a little less…revealing, perhaps.

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That messy dark hair, those drowsy blue eyes, sleep-soft face… it was worse if he came skidding in with his tie half-off like this morning. He had a
freshly-fucked look that fairly screamed to the ravenous, dangerous part of himself that Garret kept locked away most of the time.

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It wasn’t hard to keep his… proclivities contained, usually. He was from an old-fashioned family and worked for an old-fashioned firm. It had taken him many years to get where he was today. He wasn’t at the top, exactly, though he was the manager of his section. He was settled, comfortable. That is, until his assistant stumbled in appearing debauched. Every time the man wandered in, late for work and looking used, Garret had to fight to keep from making sure the job had been thoroughly done.

~~~


The Montgomery Family Chronicles – Book Four
How many Weres could manage to find their mate and lose her all at the same time? Yancey Montgomery’s mate has been right under his nose
for at least a decade. When he makes her his, he also chases her off. What will it take to convince the delicate little werewolf that he is a worthy mate?
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Never had Sue been so glad to be back in America, and now she was moving into Old Moon, the town where her best friend lived. What could be better than that–there was no drama at Tracey’s place…or so she thought.
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Excerpt:
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…And now, now, he stood amidst a crowd, badly made sign held aloft, watching for a woman he was beginning to wish he’d never heard of, all the worse because she had no idea that he, or werewolves in general, existed. That was more than a little odd, given that she’d been friends with the Darke family for a decade. On top of it all, he was supposed to live with her? Okay, it had been couched as a request, but really—how was he going to
turn his Alpha down? Aside from everything else, the pack owned the house in question.
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Oh well, if there was one thing Peyton knew how to do, it was follow orders. If the order was dangerous or stupid, he would…misinterpret it a little. Sharing an expensive and roomy old house with a beautiful woman who was allegedly a great cook—what could be dangerous about that?
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The sound of a throat clearing pulled Peyton from his distracted speculation. Taken by surprise, he jerked and spun, hands still in the air, cardboard sign flapping loudly like a drunken paper flag.
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Peyton could do little more than gape as the woman’s breathtaking scent washed over him. He couldn’t move, couldn’t think, just stood there, arms held high, the thin poster sign held at arm’s length above his head.
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“I’ll take that,” the goddess informed him, hand out expectantly. Confused, all he could do was shake his head in the negative and stare. He had no idea where his cognitive abilities had gone. “What? It has my name on it, therefore, it’s mine,” she insisted, brow arched. “Hand it over.”
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What could he say? It did have her name on it, after all.
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At a loss, Peyton did as ordered, watching in bemusement as she folded it until it was long and thin, then pressed it in half and marched it to a nearby trashcan, stuffing the abused cardboard inside. Returning to his side, she dusted her hands off in a deliberate manner.
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“Now then, how can I help you? Are you the friend Tracey and Tav mentioned in their phone call?” She spoke with a mild Italian accent which just added another intriguing facet to a very alluring puzzle.
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Peyton had every intention of agreeing and suggesting they head toward baggage claim, post haste. Instead, he blurted, “You’re my mate!”
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Sue cleared her throat again and shook her head sharply, seemingly disappointed.
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“Why don’t you try introducing yourself first, hmm hotshot? That’s how this is supposed to go. I don’t know what Tracey’s told you about me, but I don’t “mate” with strangers.”  She paused, “Is that what you kids are calling it these days?”
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Peyton groaned aloud. How could he have been so gauche? That was probably the most out-of-character thing he’d done in over a decade, maybe
his entire life, though he had gotten in some awkward scrapes entertaining his favorite cousin. It was just that this woman’s scent had been so moving, so overpowering. No doubt, his Alpha was going to skin him alive, Peyton bemoaned internally. After all that he’d gone through for the honor of becoming Beta to this pack, to throw it all away, along with the claiming of his newfound mate, just because of a few ill thought out words.
Not thought out words, to be precise.
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And now she was going to live with him? Or he with her…either way, this was going to be tough.
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“I’m terribly sorry, Miss Capitello,” he choked out. “Please forget I said that. Can we start over? My name is Peyton Livingston.” He extended one hand and waited. He could have sloughed the entire thing off as a joke—a slick flirtation…except that she was his mate and he frankly didn’t do flirtations. No, he couldn’t scare her off or take a chance that he’d offend her. For the first time in his life, Peyton hoped for something more, something beyond duty to his pack, and possible acceptance.
* * * *
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After due consideration, Sue extended a hand to the young man. It had to be one of Tracey’s practical jokes…or maybe Tav’s. He didn’t seem to have a very active sense of humor, but you never knew when that man would get together with those brothers of his and decide to make mischief.
Well, she could be just as naughty as the next forty-ish single woman.
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Sue stepped back and gave Peyton a slow, deliberate look over. Starting with his long, lean legs, her gaze lingered at his trim hips encased in business-casual slacks, then traveled up over a tight, sculpted abdomen, taut torso, thick, well muscled shoulders, tanned throat and up. She was nearly breathless by that time and swallowed discreetly. Moving on, her eyes feasted on his strong, angular chin, imagining the brush of his stubbled cheek against her skin. The appearance of a dimple drew her to his sensuous lower lip and looked up, before she became lost in sinful thoughts.
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He had an amused, questioning look in his deep,  amber eyes, bracketed by welcoming laugh lines, but she only lingered there a moment. His thick, sleek eyebrows waggled, but she ignored it, letting her gaze sweep his wide forehead, resting on wavy hair that seemed an even mix of rich chocolate brown and cinnamon. If she had to compare him to anyone, Tom Selleck came to mind. She wondered if he had that lovely carpet of chest hair sported by the actor he favored.
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Well, that was neither here nor there. What was important was that he thought he had the upper hand and of course, he did not. So, not only did she have a sexy toy to play with, it was time to tease him a little. Today was indeed her lucky day.
~~~
And thaaat’s all folks!
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At least for now. I enjoyed myself completely and I hope you’ll come back to my blog and visit often–I’ll try to keep things fresh for you
Take care!
J.J. Massa
join me on TwitterFacebookmy NCP Blog
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