Today’s topic is an author’s choice. Since the holiday commericals have started I figured it’s not too early to give you a peek at my holiday contemporary romance, WE’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. Spence and Lila spent a weekend together months ago then went their separate ways. Now they’ve ended up in the same town. Problem is Spence used his brother’s name last time he saw Lila and now she knows who he really is.
Tires crunched on the unpaved ground behind her. She spun around in time to see a truck with the Thomas Nurseries logo take the last bend. Before she could find a weapon or bolt, and boy was she tempted to try a little woman-versus-woods thing all of a sudden, the vehicle rumbled to a stop. She thought it had wandered too far over and out of the parking lot and into the grass, but who could tell.
The bigger problem was the driver. This wasn’t the cute young guy or the safe married one. Nope, since her luck had spun into horror territory and refused to budge from there, the driver was the lying sexy one who looked ridiculously good naked. Not that she remembered or anything.
Spence, Austin, Ralph, Robin Hood or whatever the hell he was calling himself today jumped out of the truck and slammed the
door behind him. He stalked toward her, his legs eating up the distance between them in long strides. He resembled his brother around the eyes and a little in the way they talked, but the most obvious similarity was in the confident way they moved, head up, broad shoulders back and a laserlike focus forward. It was as if they knew their place in the world and never doubted their judgment.
She wondered what that level of assurance must feel like. Stephen had robbed her of that when he treated her like crap then dumped her before she could dump him. The moron. She wanted to blame him for everything but, really, her taste in men was atrocious. She had no idea when or how that happened. She’d had a happy childhood and what she thought was a solid marriage…until it wasn’t.
She needed a class or something. Either that or a moratorium on men.
“I’m not sure what to call you,” she said, hoping to knock Spence off guard before he reached for the upper hand.
He stopped right in front of her. “That goes both ways, sweetheart.”
“I have some ideas. Want to hear them?”
He crossed his arms over his chest, making the move look like some sort of call to war. “Look, you made your point at the nursery with the whole ‘I don’t know you thing’ and thanks for doing that in front of my brother, by the way. It will be a decade before he lets that go.”
That part made her smile, and heaven knew she didn’t have much to smile about at the moment, including the air whipping through her cheap winter jacket. She kept moving her feet to keep from freezing solid. “Maybe if I had known you had a brother I would have been more careful.”
“We both pretended to be someone we weren’t back in that hotel.”
Funny but she had felt more herself there than she had in years. “I used my real name. I just skipped the usual nickname.”
His mouth twisted. He even let out something that sounded like a snort. “Technicality.”
“The ‘t’ word you’re looking for is truth. Though I can see where you might not be familiar with that word, what with all the lying you seem to do.”
“I didn’t lie.”
“I am two seconds away from backing my car over you. The least you can do is admit you were a gigantic lying ass.”
“Okay, fine.” He surrendered the battle stance and blew on his hands, which did nothing to keep them from turning red. “I’ll concede I wasn’t honest on the name thing.”
For some reason she doubted she’d won anything. This guy didn’t strike her as someone who took losing all that well. “Since it’s true?”
The corner of his mouth lifted. “Let’s agree we both enjoyed a bit of anonymity that weekend.”
As if she’d let him off that easily. “Only if you agree you were way out of line in using your brother’s name.”
“Austin pointed that out to me back at the nursery.”
It was as if Spence thought that comment was enough to absolve him. Honestly, the man was clueless.
She put a hand to her ear. “I’m still not hearing an apology.”
“Do you expect me to get on my knees and beg?”
Wow, did that bring back memories. Not the begging, that part was all her pleading for him to go faster, but him on his knees and her…yeah, she remembered and she was pretty sure from the satisfied look on his face that he remembered. “I am going to start the car in two seconds, so you might want to run because I don’t plan to brake.”
Amusement danced in his eyes as he lifted one hand in what looked like some demented version of a Boy Scout pledge. “I shouldn’t have lied, or at least should have come clean by day two, and I’m sorry. Honestly, we didn’t spend a lot of time talking and by the time I got your clothes off I didn’t care what your name was, or mine, so long as we stayed in bed.”
Despite the killer smile and sparkle that had moved into his eyes, she kept her defenses up. “And?”
“I’m waiting for you to say something to annoy me.”
“I’ve been assured that’s inevitable with my personality.” He held up just one finger now. “Just give me a second.”
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