A brand new novel in Amber Kelly’s Poplar Falls series is out now, and I have an excerpt for you from this heartwarming new friends-to-lovers romance.
“Am I forgiven?” I ask.
She doesn’t answer, but she nods her head as she drinks.
“Do you want me to take you home now?”
Again, no spoken answer, but she shakes her head.
“I’ll build a fire,” I say as I set my bottle on the table.
She leans over and grabs my wrist as I stand.
I look down at her, and her big brown eyes are searching mine.
I bend and place my lips to hers. She parts hers slightly, and I gently swipe my tongue against hers. She comes up on her knees and leans into the kiss. I bring my hands to the sides of her face and kiss her more deeply. Then, I pull away.
She is breathing hard as I stand fully.
“I’m going to build us a fire. I’ll be right back.”
She sucks her bottom lip between her teeth, and then she says a soft, “Okay.”
I grab the canvas tote from the floor beside the couch and walk out the back door to the covered wood pile. As I stack logs, I have an internal battle.
I should take her home. I should take her home right the fuck now. But I’m not going to because I want to kiss her again. I want to kiss the hell out of her.
But it’s Elle. I shouldn’t.
I carry the wood in, and she watches me as I get the fire started. I stoke it until the flames are crackling and emitting warmth. Then, I join her on the couch again. I dig the remote from between the cushions, and I click the television on.
Elle snatches the wool blanket that’s draped across the back of the couch. She scoots closer to me, snuggles into my side, and pulls the cover over us both.
I thread my fingers into her hair and hold her against me. I like the feel of her body curled into mine. I’m surrounded by the smell of strawberries, and my body reacts, but I don’t. I just hold her.
I’m not sure when I drift off to sleep, but I start at the sound of a loud commercial on the television. I look down to see Elle’s eyes are closed, and her breathing is heavy and even.
I untangle myself from her and turn off the set and stretch.
She rouses and blinks up at me.
I bring my hand to her chin and lightly rub my thumb across her lip.
She sits up and climbs into my lap.
“Elle, sweetheart,” I whisper.
She doesn’t say a word. She just wraps her arms around my neck and brings her mouth to mine.
I open for her, and she caresses my tongue with hers as she lets out a small moan and settles her weight into my lap.
My hand comes to the small of her back where the top of her shirt meets her jeans, and I find her smooth skin. I spread my hand there and pull her in closer to my chest.
Our mouths disengage as she gasps when she feels me growing hard beneath her. My mouth moves to her neck, and she tilts her head to give me better access. I kiss my way down her throat to her collarbone. I lick the sensitive spot that connects her shoulder and neck, and she bears down on me.
I groan at the contact and pull my mouth from her as I try to calm my body down.
“Elle, sweetheart, we need to stop,” I manage to get out even though every single cell in my body is protesting that plan.
“Why?” she asks as she tightens her hold on me.
“I’m trying to be good, woman. You’re beauty and innocence. I shouldn’t touch you like this. I don’t want to taint your sweetness with my wicked heart,” I tell her. Anguish drips from my words.
She brings her forehead to mine. “Don’t,” she whispers against my mouth.
I look up at her. “Don’t what?”
“Don’t be good. Not tonight. Maybe my heart wants to be a little wicked too,” she says, and her tongue darts out to lick her lips as her eyes focus on mine.
How am I supposed to respond to that invitation?
I’m just a man hanging on by a thin thread of decency.
Then, she presses her mouth to mine again, and that thread snaps in two.