Laugh, cry and fall in love in the newest standalone within the
Mathews Family Series. Meet Ryan and Carrie Ann in
A Taste of Summer. #SummerNeverTastedGood
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1OgoKLx
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1gJ1MCi
Most people know Hollywood heartthrob, Ryan Summer, as Ryan, no last name required. But once upon a time, he was just Summer to Carrie Ann—before a decade of blockbuster hits skyrocketed his success into superstardom.
Summer was smart, gorgeous, and cocky as hell. Nothing was out of his reach. Not even Carrie Ann Lowell. He was the love of her life—until he shattered her heart. Their breakup left more than a profound rift in her soul. It crushed her.
When Carrie Ann’s college flame forces his way back into her life, his dirty-talking, bold self-assurance re-ignites a passion she thought had long since been extinguished. Carrie Ann didn’t believe in second chances.
Not even for him.
No matter how deliciously tempting.
With sparks flying and hidden truths unraveling, will Carrie Anne be able to deny her desires to save herself from another heart break?
**PLEASE CHOOSE ONE EXCERPT**
Carrie Ann tugged the earbud free from her ear, tossing the handsome young man a small smile. “Sorry, I couldn’t hear you. What did you say?”
He crossed a lanky somewhat defined arm in front of her, casually gripping the handlebar of her bike. “I said, you must be exhausted—” Before she could reply he continued, “—from running through my mind all day.”
Surely she must’ve heard him incorrectly. He was probably fifteen at most sporting a baby face and a patch of ten whiskers on his chin. Her brows tucked into a furrow. “Excuse me?”
A dose of youthful overconfidence drifted over his mouth in a sharp grin. “I seem to have forgotten my number. Can I have yours?”
“My phone number?” Carrie Ann scanned the near vicinity, row after row of workout equipment, for the practical jokester responsible for the madness. “Ha ha. Very funny. Who put you up to this?”
Her amusement only encouraged the boy’s macho bravado. “No one put me up to anything. I need a date. I just got into LA and I’ve got this Red Carpet event—”
“A date?” she scoffed at the ludicrous suggestion. Though she looked young for her age, Carrie Ann was still all of thirty-four years old.
“Yeah, you know. A date. You, me, hundreds of fans screaming as we stroll down the Red Carpet.” His voice cracked emphasizing the words Red Carpet…for the second time. A self-absorbed twinkle gleamed in his brown eyes as if he expected her to melt and drop to her knees right there in the gym.
“Kid, you’re barking up the wrong tree.”
“I’m totally serious. My uncle has this movie premier and I can’t just bring anyone.” A chunk of blond hair fell on his forehead and he flipped his head to the side. My date needs to be…hot, and well, you’re the hottest girl I’ve seen since I got to LA.”
She sneered at the absurdity. Silliness turned to annoyance. Carrie Ann switched gyms a few months back, paying out the nose to invest in her fitness and more importantly her privacy. Her last gym was more crowded than a cattle call casting session.
Carrie Ann rolled her eyes. She moved around him, gathering her workout towel and reaching for her bag. “Look kid, you seem real sweet, but—“
“You’re right about one thing.” A familiar voice, deep and perfectly modulated, approached from behind. “She is the most beautiful woman you’ll ever lay eyes on. But, you’re reaching for the stars with this one, Drew. She’s a heartbreaker.”
An ice cold tickle ascended up her spine raising the hair on the back of her neck. Her head snapped, glancing over her shoulder, colliding with a pair of rich amber eyes from her past. Without breaking eye contact, Ryan Summer strolled right into her personal space sporting athletic shorts, a fitted muscle shirt and a killer smile.
Nowadays, most people knew the Hollywood heartthrob as Ryan. Just Ryan. No last name needed. But after nearly a decade of blockbuster hits and infamous relationships that skyrocketed his success into superstardom, to Carrie Ann, he was still just Summer. Her old college flame.
“Funny, I could say the same about you,” she countered his jab, marshalling a bit of annoyance in her tone to combat the rush of heat spreading to her already pink cheeks.
A sexy smile caught the curve of his wide firm mouth. “Hello, Red.”
“Hello, Summer.” Carrie Ann tossed a trivial nod toward the teenager. “Who’s this? Your new apprentice?”
“Apprentice?” Moving a step closer, he dragged his fingers through the short cropped layers of sandy blond hair. “This is Mark’s boy. Do you remember my nephew, Drew?”
“Your brother’s boy?” she questioned in surprise. Avoiding the view of his bicep curling into the size of a softball, Carrie Ann ran a quick scan over the young man at his side. “Whoa, you had to be four or five years old the last time I saw you.”
“I don’t remember meeting you.” Drew’s eyes flickered with bemusement and optimism.
She extended her hand. “I’m Carrie Ann. I knew you when you were—“
“You’re Carrie Ann? The Carrie Ann?” The boy spun toward his uncle, his blue eyes broadened in disbelief. “The One?”
Her stomach twisted hearing the title. A flash of perspiration instantaneously flooded her palms. Before she had time to renege on the clammy greeting, Drew clasped her hand, giving it a polite shake.
A low rumble of laughter simmered in Summer’s chest and a rosy shade of red burnished high on the bridge of his nose. He nodded, “This is The Carrie Ann. The One who got away.”
No matter how many years had passed, it never got any easier to see him. Each time she did, she suddenly found it harder to breath.
The pounding of her heart quickened as her gaze slipped over his rugged well-defined features. A three day scruff accentuated the slight dimple at the bottom of his chin. The disheveled layers of hair were wet from exertion near his temple and nape. Time had been very good to him.
She felt the warmth of his hand close around the back of her bare arm. The early morning stubble of his beard brushed against her cheek as he leaned closer pressing a small kiss near her temple. Carrie Ann squirmed at his nearness, ducking to the side attempting to put some space between them.
“I’m…I’m all sweaty,” she insisted breathily.
“It’s okay,” he murmured softly in her ear. The heat of his breath brought chill bumps to the damp skin near her neck. “I remember enjoying you all sweaty.”
Ryan’s golden eyes locked onto hers, anchoring her feet to the floor. The penetration of his stare momentarily tied her tongue in a knot, turning the awkward moment even more difficult. Carrie Ann hadn’t bumped into Ryan in at least three years and she hadn’t seen him covered in sweat in ten. An image of him, gloriously naked, flashed in her mind and her thighs. Frustration mounted as her body willingly betrayed her.
Carrie Ann’s jaw set rigid contemplating the idea of flipping off her hooha for its insubordination.
“That was a long time ago,” she snipped abruptly.
“Seems like only yesterday to me.”
Summer skewered her with a harsh stare. “Stop acting like you don’t feel the connection we share.”
“That was a long time ago, Summer. You don’t know anything about me anymore.”
“Ah, that’s where you’re wrong Red. I know exactly who you are. What you want. What makes you happy. You need a man who will want you for exactly who you are. Independent, hardworking, passionate, fun, bossy and as stubborn as the day is long…in Alaska.” In spite of his seriousness, she almost smiled. “You also need a man who’s confident enough to put you in your place occasionally.”
“Don’t forget faithful,” she stabbed, whirling her back to him. Her breasts on display to the great outdoors reaching for her shirt. Thrusting each arm into the oversized sleeves, she busied herself with the buttons. High strung emotions caused her fingers to tremble, hindering her progress. “That man doesn’t exist.”
She heard him make a scoffing sound as he latched his fingers around her wrist, turning her to face him. Her heart spurred into a frantic beat. His grip so gentle and caring that she had no chance at resisting him. The soft cotton fabric of her shirt listed open all the way to her navel and below. The slope of her full breasts fully exposed, yet he seemed enthralled with her face.
“Our connection is far more than physical. We share a closeness, an intimacy that stretches beyond that of past lovers, Carrie Ann. Our bodies, our energy, we vibrate on the same frequency.” A familiar strain in his tone, low and ragged, flooded her with memories of long nights filled with passion and companionship. “Your laugh reaches the darkest, dustiest corners of my soul and brings it to life. When you’re near me my heart feels fuller. My breath comes easier. My smile…fuck…I can’t wipe it off my face when I’m near you. I connect with you on every level of my being, Carrie Ann.”
“What are you? Some kind of inspirational relationship guru now?”
He ignored the dig. “You make me fall for you…every…single…time just by the way you look at me.”
Battling the oncoming waterworks burning the back of her eyes and nose, she willed her defenses, regarding him scornfully, “You just want a blow job or…or a fuck for the night.”
His eyes broadened. Her crudeness surprised him more than it shocked herself.
“Well, I do love the vision of your mouth wrapped around my cock.” He moved closer, coasting his fingers along the ridge of her jaw. “And I most certainly want to fuck you senseless.”
“I’m sure you’ve knocked sense into plenty of women.”
“Carrie Ann, I’ve never wanted to fuck another woman the way I want to fuck you.”
Her lip curled, repulsed by his words. Summer was visibly shaking. She started to pull away from him, but he gripped her arms.
“You’re also the only woman I can really talk to. And the woman I want to look into the future with. Plain and simple, Red. I just want you. Inside, outside, upside down and fucking sideways.” The demanding but gentle squeeze of his fingers around her biceps, drew a rush of breath from her lungs. A flash of belligerent male triumph ignited fire in his eyes. Apparently he was happy to have finally made his point. “Carrie Ann, you’re the only woman I want in my bed when I wake up every morning.”
“Summer, are you awake?” Scoffing at her own ridiculous question, she eased a hip onto the edge of his mattress so she could reach him.
He stirred restlessly, rearranging the arm above his head.
Carrie Ann extended an arm, the flat of her hand hovered above his chiseled physique, deciding where to touch him. The outline of muscular thigh bent to the side beneath the silky fabric. Temptation, powerful in its force, pulled at her hand like a magnet.
A shiver ran through her.
Warily, she touched her icy fingers his warm shoulder. “Summer?”
His eyes jarred wide with alarm. Summer lunged upright, swiftly grasping onto her upper arm. “Carrie Ann?”
“Yeah, it’s me,” she croaked. A fine layer of perspiration spread across her skin, dampening the thin material of her cotton tank top.
Mere inches separated their faces. He looked bewildered, blinking repeatedly to see if she was real. His hands wandered to the underside of her jaw, cupping her face. The confusion in his eyes replaced with lust. His fingers delved into her thick mane, gently clasping the base of her skull. The pressure felt divinely good.
“You came to me?” Hope clouded his whisper. His moist breath, rough and strained, drifting across her cheek on a billowy cloud.
Unable to make a coherent sentence, she sat silent, panting and quaking from head to toe. Her hands came to his arms, securing to his wrists, uncertain if she wanted to hold them there or pull them away. Aspen scampered from her lap taking ownership of his pillow.
Thunder roared through the black sky in a long drawn-out rumble, delivering a strike of lightning beyond his window. Her clammy fingers tugged at the dusting of dark hair covering his wrists as she squeezed, digging her nails into the flesh.
Summer dropped his forehead against hers. All the air pushed from his lungs in a deep, disillusioned sound of sympathy.
“Christ. It’s the lightning?” He drew her into his chest, arms closed around her, stroking her hair and back. “Come here, Red.”
She nodded weakly and went limp against him. Gripped by fear, her arms quaked violently, curling around his shoulders. Carrie Ann shimmied to get closer. Summer held her safe and secure, offering constant reassurance. “It’s okay. I’m right here. I got you, Red.”
Over the years, she’d tried cognitive behavioral techniques to calm her fear: soothing massages, visualization exercises, talking herself through the panic, but nothing calmed her nerves like the feeling of Summer’s embrace.
Clutching her shoulders, he coaxed her a few inches from his body. “You want to climb in here with me?”
Glimpsing downward at the sheet pooled around his very naked hips, she shook her head hotly. Her breathing slowly began to regulate, anxiously waiting for the next strike. She trembled from head to toe, peeling her nails from the muscles flanking his spine. “W…will you come sit with me in the living room?”
Fisting the covers, he moved around her and stepped out of bed. Naked. Staring straight ahead, her lips parted releasing a small gasp, completely mesmerized by the sight of him, semi erect getting harder before her eyes. A shiver tingled up her spine, feeling the ghost of his hand slipping firmly into the mass of hair at her nape. She knew she should look away, but loneliness left her yearning for comfort.
Taking notice of her fascination, he paused. A quirk ticked the corner of his mouth. Summer caressed the side of her face, pinching her chin between his finger and thumb. Her mouth willingly opened a little wider.
“It’s not like you haven’t seen it before,” Summer repeated her words.
His voice slipped over her like the comfort of a favorite blanket, pulling a faint groan from her throat. Begrudgingly, she flicked her eyes upward finding his, but only for a moment. Her gaze dropped to the thick, jutting column protruding from a perfectly trimmed nest of dark hair. Twinges of need stabbed at her core, her chest needled with warning, and her mouth watered.
A flash of lightning weaved across the sky, slamming to the ground. The thunder ricocheted throughout her body. Summer pulled her to her feet and into his arms. The hot, solid length of him, rested against her abdomen with only a thin barrier of cotton between them.
“Your choice, Red. Would you like me to get dressed? Or if you’d prefer I can undress you. We can lay wherever you’d like. In front of the fire, my bed, your bed, the couch, the kitchen table...Hmm? It’s your call.”
The double question struck low in her abdomen, wickedly fingering a pleasure cord as if plucking pizzicato on a cello. The internal vibration wracked her head and heart in confusion. She’d built a barricade around her heart, safeguarding her raw emotions. Being near him the last few days chipped away at the armor. She didn’t know what she wanted. That’s a lie, Carrie Ann Lowell. You know exactly where you want him. As she instinctually licked her lips, she could feel the look of torment etching over her face. Her heart felt as if it were sitting on the stump outside waiting to be chopped in two, but her fucking vagina was ready to give the acceptance speech of a lifetime. I’d like to accept this penis…
He spoke into the curve of her scalp. “Let me throw some pants on and we’ll go lay on the couch. Okay?”
She nodded hotly, staying right beside him as he stepped into his walk-in closet.
Teaser Quotes to use as needed
“I don’t want to be your friend, Carrie Ann.” She heard him murmur. He raised to his feet, playing with her fingers before letting them loose, dropping his hand at his side. “I want to be your everything.”
“You own my heart. You always have. Everything else has just been white noise filling in the blank spaces.”
“Did it hurt?” he asked, his voice no more than a whisper.
Her face screwed into a painful crumple of emotions. She shook her head and then nodded. A single tear rolled from the corner of her eye, catching on the pillow. “It hurt in here the most,” she admitted in an ache of a whisper, bringing his hand over her beating heart.
Carrie Ann ripped the card from the clear prongs. Her fingers trembled as she opened the small envelope.
I’m teaching Drew how to ask a woman out on a date…Properly
I miss you, Red
Have dinner with me
“You’re invading my space!”
His eyes twinkled as if weighing the consequences of his answer. He whispered in a soft growl, “I’m gonna invade your personal space with my cock as soon as you come to your damn senses.”
She went scarlet. The provocative remark fired off a round of clenches, low and deep, striking a tender place hidden inside. The man melted her insides. He turned her to a withering mess with a simple smile. He also had a way of pissing her off more than any other man she’d ever known.
It wasn’t fair or easy.
And neither was she.
“In. Your. Dreams.”
“Every night, Red. Every night.”
“Other women all have the same fuckin’ problem, Red.”
“Let me guess. They’re all after your millions?”
“That’s not the problem I’m referring to.”
“Too beautiful? Too thin? Too crazy like that one voodoo chick you dated?” There was no need to go into detail. He knew exactly who she meant.
“None of them are you, Carrie Ann.” His voice was soft and soothing, slipping past her defenses, caressing old wounds hidden deep inside.
“I kind of like this…softer side of you, Summer.”
“Oh really?” He growled. “It’s the only thing soft you’re going to get from me today.”
“Is that so?” she countered boldly, trying to keep a straight face. “Gonna give it to me hard?”
“Carrie Ann Lowell, from now on you get it however you’d like it.” His tone riddled with impeccable politeness. For a millisecond. “Hard and fast, slow and dirty…you just say the word, but today I plan on fucking you into exhaustion.”
“Fuck, I’ve missed you,” he growled, burying his face in the crook of her neck. His mouth wandered hungrily over her throat as he filled her. “The way you say my name…Christ, Red, I have waited so long to hear the sounds you make when I’m inside you.”
“Everything I’ve been through has made me a better man…and you deserve the best version of me that I can possibly give you, Red.”
Haven’t read this series yet?
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About the Author:
#1 Bestselling Author, Beverly Preston has been a stay at home mom for 21 years, although she prefers the title Domestic Engineer. Along the way, Beverly worked side by side with her husband Don, the love of her life, designing, building and selling custom homes. As her children begin to venture out on their own, she’s left to shed a tear—for a minute—wonder what’s next in life, and embrace the feeling of empowerment that surely must’ve been wrapped in a present she received on her fortieth birthday.
If Beverly isn’t at home riding her spin bike, you’ll find her spinning richly emotional and sinfully sexy romance stories.
In honor of Carrie Ann's favorite line Beverly will be giving away this Triple F necklace and a $50 Amazon GC.
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