Summer at the Shore
Seashell Bay, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Grand Central: Forever
Date of Publication: June 30, 2015
Number of pages: 370
JUST A SUMMER FLING?
Morgan Merrifield sacrificed her teaching career to try to save her family's bed-and-breakfast and care for her younger sister. She can't let herself get distracted by Ryan Butler. After all, the rugged ex-Special Forces soldier is only in Seashell Bay for the summer. But her longtime crush soon flares into real desire-and with one irresistible kiss, she's swept away.
Ryan values his freedom. As much as he wants Morgan, he's not ready to settle down with anyone, much less in sleepy Seashell Bay. But his code of honor doesn't allow him to leave a woman in distress-and she's in desperate need of help to fix the inn. It only takes one day working under the same roof and Ryan is already hoping for a lifetime of hot summer nights...
Good Lord, they were finally going to do it. And she was more than ready. She’d spent weeks resisting her endless, impossible desire for Ryan, and suddenly that seemed like it had been the dumbest thing in the world. If there were any lessons to be gleaned from that awful fire, it was that life was both precious and random all at once. That being cautious and careful couldn’t always protect you from the bad things, which she should have learned in the wake of her father’s death. That being too cautious and careful could cut you off from the things you wanted, the things you loved.
That she loved Ryan was beyond doubt. Morgan knew with absolute conviction that saying no to him now would be a missed opportunity she would regret forever, whether he stayed in her life or got on the ferry at the end of the summer and sailed away.
He took his time, gently resting his forehead against hers, inhaling deep breaths as if drawing in her scent. She thought he was giving her one final chance to say no.
“Yes,” she breathed. “Yes, Ryan.”
She wouldn’t have been able to say anything more, even if she’d had the words, because he dipped his head and claimed her mouth with a searing kiss that stole every ounce of strength from her body. His hand spread wide over her back and drifted down to settle at the base of her spine. He loomed over her—big, brawny, and muscular—his very presence making her feel protected and cherished.
And turning her on like crazy.
She reached up and sank her fingers into his hair as he deepened the kiss. Boldly, she pushed her tongue between his lips, sweeping inside and claiming him the way he’d claimed her only a few weeks ago. She let her hunger drive her, pulling back to trace the edges of his firm mouth with her tongue before stealing back inside for a deeper taste of him.
Finally, Ryan eased his grip and broke the kiss. She felt a slight tremor in the big hands that wrapped around her upper arms. “Jesus, Morgan, if you don’t want to go any further, say so right now. If you’re not ready...”
“Does it feel like I’m not ready?” she said in disbelief. “I’ve been ready since we were in high school. Probably since junior high, although it’s probably really tacky to admit that.”
“You’re sure? Because I don’t want this if it’s just a gratitude thing,” Ryan said, frowning. “That’s not why I’ve been trying to help you. You know that, don’t you?”
She let out an exaggerated sigh. “You are such a dope, although I guess I can’t totally blame you. I’ve been Mr. Dithers for weeks about this.”
A smile eased his lips up. “You’re way cuter than Mr. Dithers. But I get it, and I just want to make sure that you’re sure.”
She rested a hand on his chest, then slid it down to his waist, letting her fingers drift along the top of his cargo shorts. “Oh, I’m sure, big guy.”
Ryan’s dark eyes lit up. He dipped to nuzzle her neck, trailing soft, hot kisses as she arched into him. It felt like heaven to finally give in to what she’d been fighting for so long. Relief had her wanting to jump up and spin around in crazy circles, like a kid high on sugar.
Or rip his clothes off and do him right on the beach.
Classy, Morgan. Real classy.
V.K. Sykes is really two people – Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance and also romantic suspense. Randy excels at plot and characterization, but tends to fall down on the job when it comes to that pesky old thing called emotion. That’s where Vanessa steps in. She usually writes the sex scenes too, since Randy is a bit uncomfortable when it comes to that sort of stuff. Vanessa also writes award-winning Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name. You can check out Vanessa’s bestselling historical romances at www.vanessakellyauthor.com
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