T-minus one week until How to Honeymoon Alone is live! I can’t believe this day is almost here. So much of the writing and publishing process is solitary, and it isn’t until a book is out that I can finally talk about it and see your reactions. Nerve-wracking and absolutely amazing!
This newsletter is chock-full of teasers, including the first ever excerpt from Honeymoon.
I'm super excited. It's June, it's summer, and it's time for the season of beach reads. I've spent the past week going to the park every afternoon, lying on the grass while I either read or work. Or try (and fail) to do both at the same time. Fourth Wing had me in a chokehold this past week and now I have a terrible book hangover 😅
“Come on,” Phillip mutters behind me and puts a hand on my waist. I’m tugged backward, and then I’m there, sitting on his lap.
I turn. “Sure this is okay?”
There’s a yes somewhere close to my right ear. The half-open window sends air through my hair, whipping it back. It’s hard to think over the loud music.
There’s no response, probably because he can’t hear me. I’m perched on the very edge of his knees. This must be so uncomfortable, and I’m abruptly regretting this whole thing. Suggesting it, bringing him along, being so set on this. He must be wondering how the hell he ended up in a packed minivan with a weird girl sitting on his lap.
A hand curves lightly around my waist, and then his voice is by my ear. His breath tickles my skin. “Sit back properly, Eden,” he says. “It’s safer.”
The words send a shiver down my spine. I’m about to ask him again if he’s sure about that when the hand at my waist tugs, just slightly. So I do what he says. I shift over his thighs and rest my back against his chest.
I twist my head to say that I’m sorry only to find the sharp edge of his jaw. I twist further toward his ear, and the scent of shampoo and cologne hits me.
“I’m sorry about this,” I say.
He shakes his head. It’s a tiny movement. “It’s fine.”
“Sure? I’m not too heavy?”
His scoff reverberates through my body. “No.”
I settle back against him as one song blends into another; this one has a beat that rattles the sides of the van.
We drive past houses and hotels and take a curve. I shift sharply to the right, only to be stopped by an arm around my waist. Phillip’s hand rests lightly on my upper stomach.
“This okay?” he murmurs.
I can’t breathe. “Uh-huh.”
He’s warm behind me and big, and the strong thighs under me carry my weight. I tilt my head back and rest it against his shoulder. As if in response, the arm around my waist tightens a bit more. That’s okay, too, I imagine him saying.
It’s the first time I’ve touched him, I realize, if you don’t count the hand he’d given me back up onto the fishing boat. The tanned arm around my waist feels strong. Fitting.
“You’re my seatbelt,” I say.
I have to tilt my head again, my lips close to his ear. “You’re my seatbelt,” I murmur. It sounds even stupider a second time.
But he gives a small chuckle. “Yeah.”
The loud music drowns out most of the sounds from the engine and surrounding traffic. At the next turn, we shift together, like a unit, rocking sideways. His left hand lands on the side of my thigh.
I glance down only to see it still there. His fingers are long enough to reach the hem of my dress and brush against my bare leg. My entire body focuses on that innocent touch.
It’s nothing. He’s just resting his hand and holding me steady. Doing me a favor on the way to a place he’d never planned to go to in the first place. But my body can’t seem to stop focusing on that spot.
Phillip’s voice returns to my ear. “Relax,” he says again. “You okay?”
I let out the breath I’d been holding. “Um, yes,” I say. And then, because my brain loves to sabotage me, I blurt, “You smell good.”
The fingers at my waist tighten, as if in surprise. But he doesn’t answer. So I twist my head toward the view outside the window and relax into his grip. He probably didn’t even hear me above the sound of heavy music.
One can hope, at least.
It isn’t until the taxi van stops that he speaks again. “So do you.”
Have you read all of my bonus stories? These include extra chapters and extended epilogues.
I just started writing book 2 in my new billionaire series releasing this fall... And let me tell you I can't WAIT to introduce you to this single dad hero who doesn't believe in love. I just adore when they're proven wrong!
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