Thursday, February 28, 2013
Down and Dirty is finally here!
And I'm so excited! We have LOTS in the works for the second book in the Dare Me series. Contests (with AWESOME prizes), blog tour (running March 4th-April 12th, details to come), swag and more. This book is Cat's story (she wouldn't leave me along until I gave her one, lol!) and I think you guys are going to like it. Here's an excerpt!
Cat took long pull from the lukewarm beer she’d been nursing and glanced around the semi-crowded bar.
A man…no, a giant had just stepped into her peripheral vision and derailed all coherent thought. She twisted in her Mark Sanchez chair to get a better look. The guy’s head was turned, so she could only see his face in profile, but damn, that and the full-frontal body shot were more than enough. She sized him up with a practiced eye, calling him an easy six-three, two-twenty. He wore a threadbare white T-shirt that should’ve been as noteworthy as a bowl of oatmeal. Instead, it clung to his chest like it had aspirations of taking over for his skin. Hell, she’d have the same life goal. His chest was a dream, the contours clearly defined by the soft cotton. She could totes cling to him for a night.
In spite of her flight-prone ways, she’d never had a true one-night stand, and it was top ten on her bucket list. Maybe…
She took a quick glance at the guy’s face to make sure he hadn’t caught her staring, then sent her gaze downward to size up the rest of the package.
And speaking of package, oooh mama. His jeans were as old as the shirt and had worn down in all the right places, clinging to his thick thighs and what appeared to be a sock…no, a bunch of socks stuffed—
“Shane!” Lacey yelped, launching herself off her stool and scurrying toward him.
No way. There was just no. Frigging. Way.
But apparently there was a way because the sexy behemoth turned to face them full-on, and there he was.
He and Galen had met in high school when Galen was a sophomore and Shane was a freshman. They’d bonded over football and had quickly become the best of friends. The four of them had spent a lot of time together the summer before Galen went off to college, so Lacey had stayed in touch with him.
Cat had not.
Or at least, not intentionally. Once Galen had gone away, Shane had appointed himself as her official guardian and unofficial conscience. For the majority of her junior year, every time she’d tried to have a little fun, he’d shown up with a disapproving frown and an offer of a ride home.
Except that one night.
The memory—with edges far crisper than they should have been after all these years—rushed forward, and her face went hot. When Shane met her gaze over Lacey’s shoulder, the half-smile stretching his firm lips had her itching to look away, which was silly. She was a grown-ass woman now. She could handle him.
She met his gaze head-on and willed the blood in her cheeks to chillax. It had been a while since she’d seen him, and the years had been kind to the lucky SOB. Generous, even. He looked fantastic, aside from those stormy blue eyes. Like him, they’d always been a little too intense, like he could see inside people’s heads and read the thoughts they tried to hide.
“Hey munchkin, how’s it going?” He gave Lacey a bear hug, and Cat tried not to stare at his biceps as they flexed.
Galen stood and grinned. “I thought you weren’t coming.” He yanked his longtime friend into a one-armed man hug. “Did you make it in time to catch any of the fight?”
“Come on. You send me a ticket to your last bout before you retire, and you think I’m not going to show? Not unless there was a monsoon somewhere.”
A couple hours before, Galen had defeated Manny Hermosa for the heavyweight belt in a third-round knockout. Even though Shane’s job as a search-and-rescue specialist took him all over the world, Cat should’ve known he would make every effort to get here. He and Galen were like brothers, and that bond had held strong through the years in spite of them living on opposite coasts. Clearly his arrival was a surprise, though. No way would Lacey have left her in the dark on this.
“You were on fire out there. You sure you’re ready to hang it up?” Shane asked, giving Galen that searching look that used to make Cat squirm when it was aimed at her.
Galen nodded and slid an arm around Lacey. “I’m old enough to have had a good, long career, and young enough that I’m going to walk away one hundred percent healthy with my melon fully intact. Not something a lot of fighters can say.”
Cat doubted that was all there was to Galen’s decision, but Shane seemed satisfied with that answer and turned his attention to her. “Mary Catherine.”
He tipped his head but didn’t move in for an embrace. That didn’t surprise her. The handful of times they’d seen each other since he’d left town after high school, they’d circled each other like boxers in the first round of a fight, giving wide berth, sizing up their opponent’s strategy. Sure, she covered her anxiety with bravado because…well, because that was how she rolled, but being near him was unnerving at best. He threw her off her game, and she didn’t like it one bit.
She took a sip from her glass to whet her suddenly dry whistle. “Hey, Shane.”
“Still sewing clothes and breaking hearts?” he asked.
She clenched her hand tighter around her beer, quashing the urge to toss it at him. “Still playing superhero and boring the ladies?” she shot back.