Sunday, June 14, 2015
Catch My Breath by Lynn Montagano
The perfect opportunity for a much needed holiday romance? Wrong! Lia’s still reeling from the mother of all bad breakups, and she really doesn't have the patience for Alastair Holden – despite his effortless charm and sexy British accent.
Arrogant and totally inscrutable, he's exactly the sort of guy she wants to avoid but can't: the man behind the mystery proves just too tempting to resist.
Drawn to him, Lia is forced to battle with her own insecurities, and the closer they become, the more she recognizes her own weaknesses as she peels away his layers with every night they spend together. Discovering the past Alastair is so desperate to conceal, Lia must decide if they can heal one another together or if their deepest fears will tear them apart.
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My heel snagged on the carpet, sending me flying. I landed nose-first in a charcoal gray tailored Armani suit. Momentarily stunned, I clutched onto the toned arms that were wrapped around me. As I looked up my heart nearly stopped.
Wide emerald eyes fringed with long lashes gazed down at me with guarded curiosity. His sculpted mouth twisted into a cautious smile, softening his jawline.
“Are you alright?” he asked as he loosened his grip on me. His voice was rich and smooth, like a full-bodied wine. The English accent he had could charm the pants off a nun. It made me want to fall into his arms again.
I stepped back, smoothing down my dress. He didn’t look much older than thirty, but his worn eyes betrayed his youth.
“I’m fine. I’m not usually that clumsy. Sorry.”
His brows furrowed. “I kept telling them someone was going to stumble over that patch of carpet. You’re sure you’re okay?”
“Aside from my bruised ego and general lack of grace, I think I’ll be alright.” I smiled up at him in an effort to thwart the growing blush from creeping up my neck. I wasn’t the type who embarrassed easily and needed to regain some sort of composure. No luck.
His expression altered subtly as his stare intensified. Something shifted in the air between us. It was as though he’d tethered me with some freakishly strong invisible rope. My pulse quickened. I was caught smack dab in the middle of his magnetic pull without any means of escape.
Not that I wanted to get away. His tall frame filled out the suit with powerful elegance. The quiet control with which he held himself mirrored royalty. A tousled mass of thick, dark red hair framed chiseled features that would inspire Michelangelo. But it was those eyes that got me.
They were so astute, yet veiled. I wanted to know what was behind them.
“Would you like a drink?”
How he made such an innocent question sound so seductive was beyond me. His dark stare was unflinching. If I said no, he’d probably take it as a personal insult. And I did want another one of those fruity-minty drinks; I just couldn’t articulate the words.
“I hear the signature drink is rather good. Would you like that?”
“Yes, please,” I finally managed to say.
Forget my cheeks, my whole body flushed as I watched him move toward the bar. A silver cufflink glinted off his crisply pressed gray and white pinstriped shirt. I noticed he paired it with a solid gray tie before he caught me looking. A smile ghosted across his lips as his languid gaze traced my curves. I made a big deal out of inspecting the carpet for more hidden traps that my shoes could fall victim to.
He handed me the drink, my fingers brushing his when I clasped the glass. Against my better judgment I fell captive to his stare once more. Luckily, I remembered my manners and thanked him.
“My pleasure. Have you been enjoying yourself?”
“Yeah. Well, aside from making an ass of myself just now.”
A flash of white appeared revealing a dazzling smile. It was extremely sexy and charming. And dangerous. I felt myself falling deeper and deeper under his spell.
“Trust me, stumbling on a carpet is not the worst thing I’ve seen at these events.”
“Stick around long enough and you just might see some of these well-dressed ladies toss off their shoes and throw some shapes when the band starts playing.” He grinned.
“Throw some what?”
“Dance.” His eyes flared with humor.
“You Brits and your crazy sayings,” I laughed.
“We like to keep you Americans on your toes.”
I took a long sip of my cocktail to prevent a stupid grin from spreading across my face.
“Don’t have too many of those. They’re rather potent.”
“But they’re so good. Don’t piss on my fireworks.” I smiled broadly.
A deep, throaty laugh filled the space between us.
“’Throwing shapes’ baffled you, but you know ‘piss on my fireworks?’”
“My sister only taught me the fun slang,” I laughed.
“Does she live here?”
“Not in Glasgow, no. She lives in London.”
“Well then, you’ll have to thank her for me,” he said, smoothing down his tie.
“Thank her for what?”
“Pretty Americans who know British slang are rare in these parts.”
“Interesting.” I looked up at him through my lashes.
“Someone just warned me that you guys have a thing for American girls.”
His eyebrows arched. “And what did they say?”
“It has something to do with our accents.”
“You have an accent?” He angled toward me. “I hadn’t noticed.”
The way that he was looking at me caused me to completely forget my exhaustion. His dark eyes and sexy grin woke me up in more ways than one, pushing several of my hot buttons.
“Be careful,” he said, clasping the glass in my hand. “You don’t want to spill it all over your dress.”
Way to go. “You must think I’m a hot mess. First I take a nose-dive into your suit and now I’m dropping drinks.”
“Like I said, I’ve seen worse.”
The longer I held his gaze, the faster my heart raced. There was something…forbidden in the way he looked at me.
“I should probably get back to my friends.”
“Do you have to?”
A suffocating aura of want enveloped me. He was closer, dominating the space between us. Our quick, breezy exchange was light years away from the hazy, thick fog of desire that hung in the air. Get it together, Lia. Walk away.
“You’re rather deep in thought.”
I blinked. “Sorry.”
“Don’t apologize. I thought maybe I was boring you.”
A shrill ring sounded from his pocket. He fished out a cell phone, frowning at the screen.
“I have to take this.”
And just like that, I was pulled out of his engaging aura and plopped back into reality.
A fresh, new voice in contemporary romance, Lynn is a former TV news writer who decided to take the plunge and write a novel.She's thrilled that her debut series has been published by Harper Impulse. Catch My Breath, Unravel Me and Effortless were released to rave reviews.
Lynn grew up in a small town in Rhode Island before venturing out into the world. She's lived everywhere from Los Angeles to Boston to Orlando. An avid traveler, Lynn's been as far away as Australia and as close as Canada. Her favorite place to visit is London.
The small town girl is back on the east coast after a brief stint in Northern California. Lynn currently resides in Massachusetts, comfortably close to her beloved football team.
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