It’s Mid Week Tease time again. Once more I want to thank Sandra Bunino who makes it possible for us to share our work once a week. Coming Home, the first book in the Taking a Chance on Love Series was released last week. This novel co-written by Misty Cail and myself, under the name Misty Matthews, not only introduces you to Alana and Connor, the main couple in this novel, but sets the scene for the stories to follow. You’ll meet the characters whose stories will be told in the subsequent novels. We hope you’ll fall in love with them and Chance, Arizona, a place where love conquers all.
About Coming Home:
Home is where the heart is.
Motorcycle riding, attorney Alana Stewart is a far cry from the shy, teenager who left Chance determined never to look back. Family obligations force her to return to the town that only holds bad memories for her. A stop at her former sanctuary brings an unexpected surprise…the new manager just might be what she needs to get her through the holidays.
When sexy, leather-clad Alana walks into the bookstore, Connor Tate, has a feeling he may be in for the ride of his life. Despite the fact that their lives are headed in different directions, they are drawn to one another. Connor is determined to prove to Alana that Chance isn’t the place she remembers, but will his efforts fail when she discovers he hasn’t told her the whole truth about himself?
Can they trust each other enough to take a chance on love?
Connor tried to look busy as Alana browsed the bookshelves. Though he was two years older than she was, he remembered her from high school, but man, had she changed. They’d been a lot alike back then, both of them with their noses always stuck in books, not quite fitting in with the rest. The similarities should have made them friends, but as a teen, he hadn’t had the nerve to talk to a girl, even an equally unpopular one.
Vaguely he remembered her coming into the store those afternoons when he worked in the back unpacking boxes of new books and sorting them to put on the shelves. How animated she’d become when she’d talk to Dad about the current book she was reading or about the places she’d like to visit. Hidden behind the bookshelves, he’d close his eyes and listen to her voice, far too shy to even consider joining the discussions. The girl she’d become—a girl nothing like the cowering mouse he saw at school each day—enchanted him, much as this new Alana did.
Somehow, he doubted unpopularity would be her problem now. Alana was his idea of the perfect woman—smart, sexy with or without the leather—and she rode a motorcycle. The woman exuded confidence and poise, and wasn’t afraid to take risks. Just look at the way she’d been blatantly flirting with him.
Despite his best effort, he was having a hard time controlling his body’s response to her. Of all the days to wear jeans a touch too tight. If he didn’t get his eyes off her cute little derrière, he’d humiliate himself. Taking a deep breath, he tore his eyes away from her leather-clad bottom, and returned to sorting the new shipment of books.
It didn’t take long for him to become immersed in the jacket blurbs, and he jumped when he heard her shout.
Dropping the book he was holding, he pushed his way through the boxes crowding the aisle to see what had upset her.
“What’s wrong?” He hurried to her side, worried that she’d somehow hurt herself. It was true that the worst injury you could probably get in a bookstore was a paper cut, but he was concerned all the same.
“Nothing’s wrong, but you have all of JT Connor’s books shoved back here where no one can see them. Are you crazy?”
The look of disgust on her face made him laugh. “I take it you’re a fan.”
“Well, duh! Of course I’m a fan, isn’t everyone? He’s a great author even though he’s the Howard Hughes of writers—a total recluse. How come you have his latest book? It isn’t due out for another two weeks.”
Connor ran his fingers through his hair, a nervous gesture he made when he was caught off-guard. No one in Chance had ever noticed that before. How was he going to explain having advanced copies of the book on the shelf? He sure as hell wasn’t ready to tell her the truth.
“I know the author, went to college with him.” The half-lie slid smoothly off his tongue.
“You know JT Connor?” she asked, disbelief evident in her voice. “Get out of here! No one knows JT. He’s as mysterious as the books he writes.”
Crap! How do I get out of this?
Turning away from her, he tried to think of something believable to say to get him out of the quicksand in which he’d inadvertently stepped. Sharing his secret with a virtual stranger wasn’t an option, and he was pretty sure she wasn’t going to let it go.
“Yeah. JT is an old family friend. He sends me advance copies of his books when his publisher gives him the go ahead. I’m technically not supposed to put them on display yet, so don’t go broadcasting it.”
“Who would I tell?” The look on her face told him she thought he was being ridiculous.
“I don’t know. Maybe your big shot lawyer friends in Texas.” He’d put a little more heat into his voice than he’d needed, but he was dying here, sinking deeper and deeper by the minute.
She rolled her eyes. “Let me get right on that. I’ll tell them to drop everything, and fly to Arizona to buy a book they’ll be able to pick up at home in a matter of days.” Sarcasm dripped from her voice. “My friends love to throw away their hard-earned money at the drop of a hat.”
“I get it. My comment was a little over the top, but if you’re a fan, you know he doesn’t like the spotlight. JT plays his cards close to his chest. I’m a little protective of him.”
“A little protective? There are she-bears in the woods that could take lessons from you. Knowing you know the man who writes these amazing books, and won’t tell me who he is, will probably drive me insane, but I’ll let it go—for now.”
He exhaled and relaxed, grateful for the temporary reprieve, although he was fairly certain she’d try to ferret out the secret sooner rather than later. His gaze still fixed on her, he watched as she selected the books she wanted, including the one not yet released.
Grinning at him, she stood. “Getting to read book four early will do for now, but I’ll be back. When I am, I’ll get you to tell me all about the talented man behind my favorite character, Detective Rick Foster.”
The idea she’d see him again, even if it were only to pry information out of him, pleased him more than he expected it to.
“Maybe I can even convince you to get these books autographed for me.” She batted her eyelashes and smiled sweetly. He felt his body react and turned away quickly to conceal the evidence of his lust.
“I’ll see what I can do,” he answered going to stand behind the counter. He wouldn’t commit to anything, but hoped he’d managed to hide the way she’d affected him.
“Are you ready to check out?”
Instead of answering, she stood there staring at him as if she could somehow see into his soul. What’s running through that pretty little head of hers?
At last, she nodded and walked over to the counter. Within minutes, he’d scanned the books, totaled the sale, and placed her purchases in a reusable bag.
“Compliments of Tate’s,” he said as he handed it to her.
“Thanks. I’ll see you soon.”
As she took the bag from him, their fingers touched and desire barreled through him as it never had.
“Come back anytime,” he said, as she exited the store, surprised by how much he meant the words. Life around Alana Stewart would never be dull.
Standing at the store window, he watched her cross the street to her bike. Once there, she secured the bag, donned her helmet, and threw her leg over the seat. The bike started smoothly. She glanced back toward the store as if she knew he was watching her and eased the bike into traffic.
God, she’s hot! Alana would make a hell of a heroine. The scenes I could write… What I wouldn’t give to be a motorcycle seat right now!
Take time to check out the rest of this week’s teasers. It’ll be well worth the effort: