There was a really great review this week on Cracklin’ Rosie and it was one I hadn’t been expecting to show up in my Twitter feed. I don’t typically read reviews anymore, but that one out of the blue surprised me enough that I had to take a peek. I was glad I did. The reviewer loved it, which is always nice. But it got me thinking about the book and how much I loved it myself and how much I’d loved writing it.
And the hero, Decker, yeah he ends up in the doghouse a few times…
He left. She couldn’t believe he just left after a kiss like that. He left her with a throbbing sex, a pounding heart, a confused head and lips wanting so many more kisses. And an ass…
She retraced her steps to the back of the cabin and quickly cleared away the rest of the dinner dishes. Decker had cleaned the grill while she got dessert out, and all that was left for her now was loading the dishwasher and putting the veggies in plastic storage bags.
The evening was still cooling but with him near, she hadn’t noticed. Now that he was gone, she was chillier than usual. She pulled a lightweight blanket from the storage container she kept on the deck near the chairs. She had Adirondack and rocking chairs and often liked to sit outside with her laptop as she researched recipes or wrote on her blog. She flopped down into one of the Adirondack’s and draped her legs over the wide arm.
She wiggled, trying to find the best spot, trying to stop the tingling in her ass at his remembered words. She was shocked that she’d let it show on her face how his mention of a spanking affected her. He’d caught her staring at him as well…how embarrassing. But damn. How could he just leave her like that? How could he turn tail and run after that?
“That son of a…”
Well, she just hoped he was in as much discomfort as she was. No, that wasn’t right. She hoped he was in more discomfort, bordering on pain. The man was a gorgeous tease.
She touched her fingertips to her lips and swore she could feel the heat from his lingering there, but that was just a fanciful notion. She could still hear his voice in her head, his words echoing through every cell in her body. “I think we’re going to find out soon.” He wanted her, told her so, and looking in his dark eyes, she knew he was telling the truth.
She pulled the blanket tighter around her shoulders and sank deeper into the deck chair. Damn man. She couldn’t get comfortable and she kept squeezing her thighs together to try and do what, she wasn’t sure. The pressure only increased the need for release, the need for him. He hadn’t touched her in any sexual way yet, but if she closed her eyes and thought about it, she could feel those rough calloused hands on her body, sliding over her hips, spreading her legs, spanking her, scratching her tender skin in a caress…
And that bit of scruff on his face, that longer-than-average hair, that mouth caressing her…
She wanted him to come back. She wanted him to stay the hell away from her.
“Fuck this.” Rosie stood and dropped the blanket into the chair, then walked inside the house, closing and locking the door behind her.
A few minutes later she had her sneakers on and was on her way to the diner. She needed to do something, anything to get her mind off him, off what they could be doing right that very moment if he’d not left.
“I didn’t need him before he showed up, and I don’t need him now. What the hell was I thinking letting him get close?”
Muttering to herself always fueled her anger and frustration but at the same time, it always helped her figure things out.
When she came to the turn in the road that would take her into the center of town, Rosie stopped. She loved the little town. She loved the quaintness of it, that it had small novelty shops, antique stores, the bar and grill, the coffee shop that wasn’t a chain but rather owned and operated by a couple of local moms, the tiny hole-in-the-wall art gallery featuring local artists, a local artisan jewelry-maker. It was home to her and if she ever felt love for anything or anyone outside of food, her diner and her family, it was this town and its residents.
Putting one foot in front of the other, she started walking again. Half a mile from the edge of downtown sat her diner. The lights glowed from inside and from what she could see, it was still pretty well packed with people. It was a 24-hour place and oddly enough, it kept a steady clientele at all hours, especially on the weekends.
Cool air hit her when she opened the door and went inside. A few patrons waved and said hello, including Blue, her best childhood friend. She was sitting at the end of the counter, eating a piece of cherry pie. It was Rosie’s mother’s recipe and one of the favorites. Another was the blackberry cobbler. Her banana pudding didn’t do too badly either.
Just thinking about banana pudding made her think of Decker, and she could feel the scowl take over her face. She didn’t want to think about him, not tonight, not anymore. She was done with him. She wanted him to fix her roof and leave. Heck, she wasn’t even sure she wanted him to fix the roof anymore. She’d find someone else to do it or damn, she’d leave it the way it was. She just wanted him gone.
As she passed through into the kitchen, she headed straight for the small walk-in cooler. She needed something to do and this was it. She’d inherited it from her mother. Cleaning out the fridge. The one in her house was spic-and-span, spotless and very tidy, this one though—this one could always use a good purging and organizing. And even if it didn’t, she’d do it anyway. It would keep her mind occupied and the cold would ease the heat still flowing through her blood that had nothing to do with the walk she just took and everything to do with him.
“What has you upset tonight?”
Blue’s sweet, soft voice floated in on the thin air as she stood just inside the doorway to the cooler. She walked in and closed the door behind her.
“Nothing has me upset.” Only irritated, horny, aching from the inside out.
Rosie started at the back of the walk-in. Everything was in a haphazard array. “Sometimes I think they do this because they know eventually I’ll come in and fix it all.”
She picked up a couple small containers of potato salad ingredients and put them on a tray on a shelf near the door. Next she moved the macaroni salad, the coleslaw and the egg salad to another tray on the same shelf. The individual lidded cups that held salad dressings were stacked neatly by flavor—ranch, blue cheese, Italian and French.
“Why aren’t you talking?” she asked Blue. The other woman had come to stand next to Rosie and began arranging the salad fixings on the trays beneath the shelf that held the dressings and other condiments when Rosie moved on to the next rack. Thank heavens for labels with dates.
“Because I know you will, and I don’t want to distract you from it.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.” It wouldn’t do her any good to tell Blue there was nothing to talk about. Blue knew her better than anyone else in town.
The one-word answers were Blue’s way of being patient, and she knew Rosie would cave and spill her guts. Shit. “The man here to fix my roof, the one Caroline’s guy brought out here from California… We had dinner tonight. He’s been coming on to me and hitting on me and so I finally said yes.” She left out the part about the kiss in the diner earlier that morning.
“Good. Is he…you know, like you? Like me?”
“No no no. Not good.” To emphasize her point, she took a plastic container from the back corner of a shelf and tossed it into the garbage bag she’d grabbed on her way into the cooler. It wasn’t often, but she sometimes found containers that had been pushed to the back of a shelf or two that she didn’t want to open. Usually it was someone’s lunch or dinner they’d meant to eat or take home that in the hustle and bustle of the diner never made it to its intended destination.
She turned and faced her friend. “It’s not good, Blue. You know how I am, how I have tried to keep that part of me away from here. I can’t imagine the freakish looks I’d get if people knew about the club in Atlanta or the things I’m into.”
“So, that means, he’s into those things too? That is good. You need that, Rosie. You always have, or at least you have since you found it. And no one around here has to ever know what goes on in your house. They don’t have to know what goes on in private at all.”
“I barely know him, and it’s just not right that he can read me like he can.”
“Why not? We both know how hard it is.”
“Yeah, I do. But not you. You’ve always embraced your kinks. You’ve never cared what people think or might think.”
“Why do you?”
“I run a business. It wouldn’t look right.”
“Again, why does anyone have to know? You should stop being scared of the what-if’s Rosie and give in to the what is. Maybe this guy would be good for you if you’d just let him try. Stop fighting so hard and maybe you wouldn’t have to make the trek to Atlanta anymore.”
Blue was right, and Rosie knew it. She just didn’t like it, and she hoped if she just ignored it, ignored him, avoided him it would go away. And…as soon as her roof was done, he’d leave town, and she wouldn’t wonder about him anymore, wouldn’t want his kisses anymore, wouldn’t want hot sex and to try out those belts of his, wouldn’t want him to cook for her again.
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Now, there are other blogs for you to read snippets on, and I need to get some writing in before the first kick-off at noon…
I loved this book.