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How about a little snippet from the first chapter of The Tattooed Barista, Book 3 in my Lone Star Sweets series? I mean, I can’t imagine that you’d mind reading a little bit. It’s fun, a smidge different than the previous two books, but then, that’s what makes each story in a series unique.

The planned release date for The Tattooed Barista is March 10, 2015.

Derek Forrester burst through the office door. He wasn’t thinking straight. He certainly wasn’t thinking clearly. All he knew was —

“Derek? What are you —

“Not now, Sam,” he interrupted, out of breath and almost out of time. “We have two minutes top. Maybe.”

“Two minutes for what?”

“Not for. Until. Two minutes until.”

“All right. Until what?”

A flash of green caught the corner of Derek’s eye and he turned his head. “Nevermind. Found her.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

Derek waved Samuel Stevenson, his closest friend, off and started for the back of the room. “You,” he said, pointing to the woman who’d risen from behind a room divider. “You’re perfect.” Teal hair. Tattoos everywhere his eyes could see. Full and lushly curved from the waist up. Oh yeah, she was perfect.

“Thank you.” She accepted the compliment with a grin.

“I’ll give you one hundred dollars for a kiss. And I’ll need your answer now. It’s a bit of an emergency.”

“You’re a stranger.”

Derek nodded. “I see. Your mother told you never to talk to strangers? I get that. But, I’m not looking to talk, at least not much more than we’re doing now. I’m looking for a kiss. Besides, Sam knows me.”

The woman looked over his shoulder toward Sam. “Do you?”

“Tempted as I am to say no, I can’t. I know him. He’s acting weird and —”

“As though you have room to talk,” Derek shot back, but then focused on the woman again. “Please. One hundred dollars. Just a simple kiss.”

She stared at him. From his head to the tips of his shoes, she raked him with a bright violet gaze. “With or without tongue?”

“Definitely with. I need it to be convincing.”

“Then it’s an extra twenty-five.”

“Done. What’s your name?”

“Peg.”

“Peggy? That’s great.”

“Peg,” she said again, this time with emphasis.

“Seventy-five more for you to be Peggy.”

Peg gave a reluctant nod. “Deal. When’s this kiss supposed to happen?”

Derek glanced out the windows facing the street. Sure enough, crossing the street at that very moment and headed toward Samuel’s office was his and Samuel’s worst nightmares. Their mothers and the women they wanted the boys to marry. “Now.” Derek faced Peg again and took a small step forward. “The kiss happens now.”

She matched his step and he reached for her. Their mouths connected and everything in Derek’s very certain world turned upside down and he was lost.

Peg’s lips parted immediately and her tongue slipped between his surprised ones. In an instant, he forgot all about the kiss being for show, for pretend. He wrapped his arms around her back, took control of the kiss, and let her steal every bit of sanity he had left.

She knew her way around a man’s mouth, knew how to elicit a moan, and knew how to make his body respond in ways he hadn’t intended.

She tasted of cream and coffee and tart, summer berries. He could kiss her forever.

Was she as affect as he was? Was she taking note of the textures and tastes as he was? Was she turned on? Did she feel it in her gut that this was way more than a simple business transaction sealed with a kiss?

He wanted to explore her curves because not only was she lush on top, she was lush on the bottom too. She fit against him, and his hands itched to do more than hold her close.

Her arms around his neck, her hand gripping the hair at the back of his head, the slight purr in her throat, all told him that yes, she was moved, affected, turned on, and tuned in, but the abrupt end of the kiss made him question whether or not it had even happened at all.

He started to speak, but the words stalled on his tongue when his name was called from behind.
Peg tried to move back and out of his arms. Derek wasn’t letting go. A flash in her eyes told him he probably should, but he gave a small shake of his head and turned with one arm tight around her.

“Hello, Mother.” He was shocked to hear that his voice sounded normal given the fact that everything happening inside him was not at all normal.

Samuel sat off to the side, an amused look on his face that a well aimed right hook would wipe off. Derek didn’t have time to do it just yet. He had more pressing matters to take care of.

“Oh? That’s it? Just a hello Mother?” She crossed her arms over her chest and glared. “Do you honestly expect me to believe you didn’t see us earlier?”

“Yes, Mother. I expect to believe exactly that because I didn’t see you earlier.” His voice was still steady, full of calm authority, but the hand around Peg’s waist, was not. His fingers tighted with each word out of his mouth.

He never had been a good liar.

Peg, ever so slightly, nudged her hip into his and wrapped her arm around his back. “That was probably my fault,” she offered into the conversation, the shy tone making Derek bite his tongue so he didn’t laugh. “I was talking a mile a minute in his ear and you know him… He never goes anywhere without that Bluetooth headset.”

“I suppose that could be a valid explanation, but you’ll have to forgive me, young lady. Who are you? I don’t believe we’ve met.”

“No, ma’am. We haven’t. My name is Peggy.”

She started to step out of Derek’s hold, but he held her back. He had no idea what was happening or what would happen when he was no longer touching her. He wasn’t ready to find out either.

Besides, his mother hadn’t moved from her position.

“I see. Lovely to meet you, dear. What is your relationship to my son? That…display was rather personal for a business office.”

“I suppose it was. I’m sorry you walked in to witness it. I’m sure it’s not what a mother wants to see in the middle of the day. Her son with his tongue down some strange woman’s throat.”

“Indeed.”

The moderate temperature in the room dropped a few degrees and the heel of Peg’s shoe digging into his foot brought Derek out of his stupor. He squeezed Peg’s waist and ran with her lead. “I suppose we should tell you now, Mother, though this isn’t the way I wanted you to find out…”

“Tell me what? Find out what?”

“Peggy is my fiancée.”

I hope you’re looking forward to reading The Tattooed Barista…

~lissa