I'm celebrating my second novel's second birthday with a little excerpt today. GULL HARBOR is both a steamy romance reuniting first loves as well as a suspenseful mystery involving a dangerous ghost. It was also a #1 Kindle Bestseller in several categories! Psychic medium Claire Linden is spending the summer in the seaside town of Gull Harbor in order to rid her temporary home of a destructive spirit. But she never expects to encounter Max Baron, the man who promised to love her forever, then abandoned her without a hint of an explanation on graduation day. Five years have passed since then, and Claire's becoming aware there might be something more to Max's disappearance than she knows about. This scene occurs on a night Max has taken Claire to watch the 4th of July fireworks:
Lights from her house welcomed them as they crossed through the wooded back yard. “I guess I’m asking you to trust me, even though I know you’ve got no good reason to.”
He assumed he wouldn’t be getting a response by the time he followed her up the porch steps. But she turned toward him outside the front door, looking somehow both fragile and strong in the velvet shadows.
“I do trust you. I have no idea why, but I do.”
“Then I would call this a successful second date.” He ran his fingers through her hair, cradling the sides of her face with his palms. Tipping her lips up to his, he kissed her possessively. The hunger inside him flared brighter, and he closed the distance between their bodies.
Backing her toward the house, he pressed her up against the door. She returned his kisses with equal passion, moaning when he pushed his thigh between her legs. Her fingers wandered to the front of his jeans, then hesitated, her nails grazing the skin of his abdomen.
He tore his mouth from hers reluctantly. If he didn’t stop her now, there would be no turning back. Bracing his hands against the door, he struggled against his body’s demands. They would make love when Claire was ready, not before.
“I should go,” he said, his voice rough. Their breath mingled in short, quick gasps. He lifted his head and locked his gaze with hers.
She could see desire in the depths of his dark blue eyes, but there was something else there, too. Pain. Her remaining doubts shattered and fell away. Whatever this awful secret was, they would handle it—together.
He held her captive, caged between his arms. “You know what will happen if I stay.”
She nodded, her hair sliding against the door. Unhooking her fingers from the waist of his jeans, she dipped her fingers into her own pocket to retrieve her key. Silently she turned, unlocking the door.
Her legs trembled as she led him up the stairs. Moonlight spilled through the windows, bathing her bedroom in a silvery glow. He caught her wrist in the doorway, pulling her around to face him.
“Claire…before we go any further, you need to know something. There’s a chance I may never be able to fully explain what happened five years ago.”
She studied his expression in the pale light of the moon. He held her gaze, his hair falling across his forehead as he bent his head toward hers. She brushed the strands out of his eyes, then trailed her fingers across the rough stubble under his cheekbones.
“But you’ll tell me if you can?”
“I promise. But think about how you’ll feel if I can’t,” he said, releasing her wrist.
“Confused, I’m sure,” she murmured. She gathered the fabric of his shirt collar and pulled it slowly over his head. “But I don’t think it’s going to make me want you any less,” she added, dropping the shirt to the floor.
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