Today I have the pleasure of author Summer Devon (I just love the name Summer Devon) visiting and sharing with us an excerpt of her 28 Days of Heart book, Protecting Miss Samuels. She’s also sharing with us why she decided to submit a story to this cause:
Why I decided to submit a story:
I have to admit the main reason I jumped at the chance is that I like All Romance Ebook site. It’s easy to navigate and use, and I enjoy the upbeat but not hyper tone of the place.
But heart disease has touched the lives of people I love–my brother in particular–and I’m glad to be a part of any effort that helps them. I know the American Heart Association is more than just looking for a cure—they have some great programs to help people suffering from heart disease, too. My brother’s life was saved because of advances made by organizations like AHA. And even better, his life has changed for the better because of them. Thank you, AHA.
Excerpt from Protecting Miss Samuels
The sheet she’d wrapped around herself slid down an inch, revealing the creamy tops of her breasts. He wished he could forget the memory of her breast exposed that morning, her pale rose nipple. The images of those few minutes had haunted him all day.
What the hell was he doing lying in a bedroom with this female? She was his job. Bad enough he’d failed and she’d ended up injured. He sure as hell wouldn’t be even less professional now.
She wasn’t frightened of him anymore. He wondered if she had a clue how much he wanted her. That would be enough for her to run screaming, clutching the cloth to her bosom.
In the chair, she licked her full, pink lips.
What would happen if she accepted his touch?
He imagined exchanging just a kiss or two. No one would know any of it. No one in her circle need ever know their paths had crossed. He was good enough at his job to guarantee that he’d get her to town without word getting out—so this afternoon didn’t truly exist in her life.
She wasn’t sewing. The blasted girl stared back at him avidly, as if she’d never seen anything so fascinating.
“Stop,” he croaked.
She froze. “Stop what?”
“You are wearing next to nothing. And…” He trailed off as he realized how absurd he sounded. “I beg your pardon. I should leave.”
But his embarrassment turned to astonishment when she rose to her feet, walked to the edge of the bed, and stood over him. “It’s unfair of you to berate me when you are stretched out like that with all of your limbs on display.” Her eyes widened and she put her fingers over her mouth as if she wanted to push the words back in.
He pushed himself up on his elbows. “What?”
She shook her head and looked miserable. He sat up and grabbed her wrist.
“You are offended by my appearance?”
“It disturbs me.”
“The scar,” he muttered and wondered why he’d ever imagined she would want him to kiss her. The glittering dark eyes watching him had been filled with fascination, certainly. Fascinated horror.
“What can you mean?” she asked.
He’d received the hideous mark not so very long ago during a fight to subdue a confidence man he’d been hired to follow. The scar traveled most of the left side of his face.
Miss Samuels’s silly question pushed him too far. He suspected some sort of polite young lady idiocy with her question. Let her act polite when she saw that ruined skin. He shoved back his overlong hair to reveal the side of his face.
Instead of backing away or admitting that, yes, she found the raw skin offensive, she leaned down and traced a finger along the raised scar. He forced himself to stay still and not push her hand away.
No one other than a doctor had touched him since the fight. The woman Ned had hoped to marry had turned pale when she saw him and she immediately announced that she could not join her life to a man who engaged in such hazardous work. The sight of the wound must have driven her off, for she hadn’t waited to discover if he would abandon his profession.
“What caused it?” Miss Samuels asked at last.
“A knife wound and infection. But come, you said you were disturbed. This must be what you mean.”
“It doesn’t bother me.”
Her eyes met his and he saw she wasn’t lying. Oh, no, he saw too much more. He hadn’t imagined that echo of his own desire. The world went inside out when he understood she indeed looked at him with hunger, not revulsion.
She straightened. No longer leaning over him, her hands folded in front of her, she was the picture of decorous, polite femininity, until she murmured, “I want to kiss you. I can’t think of anything else.”
“You are a young lady, Miss Samuels.” He hoped he sounded cold and disapproving. “You shouldn’t speak of such things.”
She looked into his eyes. “I know. I never do. Or not often.” She backed away from the bed.
He rose and followed her. “So you don’t find the sight of me disturbing?”
“Of course I do,” she said faintly.
“But you don’t mean the scar.”
She rubbed a hand over her mouth, as if caressing herself. “No, not the scar. Good heavens, Mr. Wallace. You seem to think the thing is deforming or hideous.”
“Isn’t it?” he muttered. Emily had left him because of it and Ned’s older brother had fallen into a dead faint the first time he’d seen the wound.
“No. What I meant is, well, even though you have such a mark, I still find you very…disturbing.”
It struck him that her definition of disturbing was more interesting than his.
He followed her still as she backed away from him. He’d give the girl a proper fear of him and with that thought in mind, he pinned her against the wall now with his hands flat against it on either side of her head. Her breasts rose and fell quickly. And that sheet. God, so little lay between her skin and his hands. He looked down at her parted lips.
“You are a fool, you know.” He tried to sound casual, but his voice was too ragged.
She raised her eyebrows.
“Alone in a room with a man,” he whispered.
“I am going to kiss you now. That is not the behavior of a gentleman, is it?”
“You’ve warned me,” she pointed out and slowly tilted her chin, as if presenting her mouth as a gift.
He cupped her face between his hands forcing his fingers to be gentle, but there was no light brush of lips for him. He wanted to seize as much from her as he could before she changed her mind.
Thank you, Summer for being here.
Have a wonderful Thursday everyone.