So this month is Valentine’s Day and we’re into all things romance. To get you in the mood, I thought I’d share an excerpt of my next book (launch date still TBD). This is from Last Stop Paradise, Book 3 (and most likely final) book in my Shellwater Key Tales series. This story introduces Callie Dalton, childhood friend of Layla and Emma (Books 1 and 2) who comes home to Shellwater Key to escape a huge scandal. There to pick up the pieces is Noah Johnson, the sexy handyman/set designer/carpenter who has appeared in the previous two books. Now it’s his chance to finally get the girl.
Callie is contemplating buying a bottle of wine as an act of rebellion against her recently deceased husband, but finds it's more complicated than she thought.
“I prefer beer myself,” a husky, male voice said in her ear.
She shrieked and nearly knocked a section of Chardonnay right onto the floor. Noah Johnson – aka part-time pool boy – stood grinning at her with a mischievous grin.
“Do you make it a habit to scare unsuspecting women in pools and grocery stores?” Callie snapped at him, willing her racing heart to settle down to a normal pace. Of course, her roaring pulse had nothing to do with his nearness and the fact that he smelled so delicious, like soap and…was it sawdust? Why did a pool guy smell like a woodshop, and why did that turn her on so much? All she could do was imagine him using those strong hands to handle the tools.
Noah stuffed his hands in his pockets, regarding her without bothering to hide his amusement. “You’re the first actually. Sorry if I make you jumpy.”
“You don’t make me jumpy,” Callie denied.
A dimple appeared in his cheek as he chuckled. “You just shriek at everyone who comes up and says ‘hi’?”
“You snuck up behind me,” Callie countered.
“You were pretty intent on wine selection.” Noah gestured to the shelves behind her. “I know finding the right bottle can be intimidating in a place like this. Too many choices.”
“Tell me about it,” Callie said, glad to be on a safe topic. “Too many choices for everything. Did you know there are eighteen kinds of instant rice? Eighteen?”
Something shifted behind his eyes. “It’s been a while since you were in a store like this, I guess.”
“Yeah, we had people to do the shopping. It was easier that way, at least according to my husband.” Heat rose from her neck and she was thankful her sunglasses hid some of the color that must be rushing to her cheeks. “I feel stupid.”
“You are far from stupid, Callie. You might be the bravest person I know.” He pointed to her baseball outfit. “You’re disguise could use a little work, though. The sunglasses indoors made me look at you more closely.”
She snatched off the shades, feeling even more awkward. “I’d rather not attract too much attention just yet.”
He huffed with laughter. “Good luck with that. Shellwater Key has an amazing gossip train. You’ll probably have company by the time you get home.”
“Thanks for the warning,” Callie said, wondering how long she had until the jig was up.
“You’re welcome. Anyway, sorry again if I make you so jumpy.”
“I already said you don’t. I’m not affected by you in the least,” Callie said, wondering if her nose might start growing after such an outrageous lie. “Just because you have those changeable eyes and a killer smile doesn’t mean I’m going to fall at your feet.”
“Changeable eyes?” he echoed, seemingly intrigued by this.
“Yeah, they’re never just one color. It’s like some kind of weird magic trick,” Callie said, wiggling her fingers like she was trying to cast a spell.
“Right.” The corners of his mouth turned up once more. “What about my killer grin? Is that magic, too?”
Noah’s smile should be illegal. He had to know the soft curving of his lips linked straight to her core, causing warmth to radiate all through her body.
Stop…no warmth spreading anywhere, Callie. You can’t be flirting with a stranger in the wine aisle of the supermarket.
She let out a delicate snort; trying to shake off the spell he cast with so much ease. “I was just trying to be nice. It’s a smile, like anyone else’s.”
“Uh huh.” He chuckled and Callie almost forgot to breathe.
“I mean it,” Callie whispered, even as she relished the fizz of attraction zinging through her veins. How long had it been since she’d felt so alive? So attuned to her body? “You’re nothing special.”
“I know that.” The warmth in his changeable eyes seemed to grow as he closed the gap between them. “But I think you might be, Callie Dalton.”
She swallowed and backed up a step, only to be trapped against a wall of bottles. They rattled on the shelf as she shifted and Callie feared the entire stock might end up on the floor after all.
Clean up in aisle ten! Desperate widow going at it with the pool boy against the Merlot!
Then Callie forgot all about the delicate glass as Noah edged another inch closer. He reached above her head, the motion causing his chest to brush against hers. The contact was brief, but it ignited a spark that made her gasp.
“No effect? Are you sure?” he whispered, the sound sending shivers down her spine. In the next instant, he placed a bottle in her hand and moved away. “Try this one. I think you’ll like it.”
Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Best Selling Author of inspirational and contemporary romance, and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”. She is the author of two best selling series, Shellwater Key Tales (sweet contemporary romance) and Covington Falls Chronicles (inspirational romance). Check out Book 2 in the series, (Straight On Toward Paradise) as well as Book 1 (Left Turn At Paradise), which is available for only 99 cents right now.
For buy links visit my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
Or my website: Kristin Wallace Author