Welcome to my stop on the Sizzling Summer Blog Hop!
Summertime here in the south is hot and steamy. We have more than our fair share of humidity, but we also have more than our fair share of fun, and I love to include this in my books – especially my Backstage Pass series. After all, rock stars are not known for their predictable ways.
So here are my band Solar Uprising’s favorite ways to beat the sizzling heat:
Becca wasted no time getting to her feet. “That would be my cue to exit. The annual chicken fight is definitely not my scene.” She strode toward the locker rooms, leaving Taylor to face the music.
She turned a wide-eyed gaze toward the rest of the party, which was rapidly dividing itself by groups of two. Even the teenagers. Her stomach started to churn, faster and faster, like a merry-go-round gaining speed.
She stayed put, sort of an “if I’m very still, no one will notice me” move. After all, no one had so far. But she should have known her luck would run out.
Not two minutes later Michael detached himself from the group and swam in her direction. Oh, that hot dog had been a mistake. She just might puke in the pool.
No. No no no. Please don’t make me do this. The last thing she wanted was for Michael Korvello to try to lift her. She could just imagine the stoic grunt as he realized just how much she weighed. Not to mention having to do it in front of a handful of women shaped like twigs. With boobs, of course.
His head lifted above the water with slick grace, the wetness somehow deepening the smoky blue of his eyes. “I need a partner, Taylor.”
She swallowed hard. “No, thanks.”
“Come on. You wouldn’t leave me hangin’, would ya?”
Her expression must have showcased some of her “you bet I would, mister” sentimentality, because the laughter in his ramped up. “Come on. Just a friendly game of chicken.” His emphasis on the word notated his challenge.
Just like he challenged her every day. Drawing her out, coaxing her to take the leap. But this time she had fear of taking her towel off in front of thirty-some-odd people on her side.
“Not happening.” She shook her head to drive her point home.
Above the slosh of people in the pool, a voice suddenly rang out. “I thought you said she was a cool nanny?”
A quick glance revealed the teens looking her way, and not a single soul left out of the pool, except one woman wrangling two toddlers.
So much for outgrowing peer pressure. Her “okay” got everyone back to their preparations and their eyes off her, thank God. But not Michael’s.
He watched with a raised brow as she stood next to her lounger. Her legs shook with the desire to run back to the locker rooms and hide. How could she possibly do this? But some teeny-tiny spark inside insisted she could ramp up that sexy glint in his eyes.
Fake it till you make it.
Sucking in her stomach, she let the towel drop to reveal her new swimsuit. His gaze traveled down the teal one-piece with interest, lingering where it dipped low over her cleavage. Turning, she draped her towel over her lounger. A totally unnecessary maneuver, but his quick intake of breath told her he’d seen the heart-shaped cutout right over the dimples at the small of her back.
Did he like them?
Remembering when those dimples had been the subject of ridicule rather than an intimate secret between lovers, she approached Michael with a touch of caution. When she was within a few steps of him, he breathed, “Damn, woman.”
A few deep breaths got her through the indignity of climbing onto Michael’s muscled shoulders. Thankfully he didn’t moan or stumble over her weight. The only thing that eased her self-consciousness was the feel of his wet skin against hers. His hands warming as they curled around her thighs. The flex of his arms as he balanced her securely.
Oh, she was so going to hell for her thoughts.
Luckily no one else seemed to be paying her any attention as one of the men yelled, “Ready. Set. Go!”
from Finding Her Rhythm, Book 1
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Summer nights provide many a chance to step off the beaten path and explore all the options. These bad boys will wonder off the straight and narrow every chance they get!
A slight breeze flirted with the ruffle of her skirt, playing around her bare legs. They came around a curve in the road, and Becca smiled. She had noticed the little park on their way over, but hadn’t taken the time for a thorough look. Swings and seesaws sat still in the darkness, with a pavilion and other equipment deeper in the shadows. An abundance of trees would keep the area shaded during hot summer days, but tonight they took on the magical qualities of an enchanted canopy.
“So pretty,” she murmured, pausing for a moment to take it in.
Daniel squeezed the hand he still held. “Come,” he said, sounding as if he had jumped into her little fantasy, “let’s go for a stroll in the park.”
She giggled as they stepped off the pavement, then walked slowly around, exploring the nooks and crannies. Becca soaked in the rustle of the leaves overhead and the occasional brush of Daniel’s body along her side. Finally he tugged her farther toward the shadows at the back. “I see a place perfect for a few adult games,” he said.
“Come on, cutie. Take a walk on the wild side with me.”
She wasn’t especially wild. At least, not without Daniel. But who could resist that gorgeous grin? A bit of necking never hurt, right?
Only she should know Daniel never did anything halfway. Guiding her into the stand of trees, he found a nice wide trunk to back her up against. She giggled as he nuzzled into her neck, then moaned as he sucked her skin. God, he felt so good.
“Becca, I don’t think I can wait until we get back to the hotel,” he murmured.
“You mean the one I can see from here?” she teased even while her hands pulled his hips closer. That didn’t help her case. She wanted to tease him again, but his words against her skin had her shivering with sensations. How could words turn her on so much?
“I want to open this demure little button-down of yours and expose those pretty pink nipples to the night air,” he said, his mouth traveling down as if to follow through. Her nipples reacted, tight and tingling, as the image filled her mind.
from Settling the Score, Book 2
One sure way to cool down is a steady summer shower. And who doesn’t want to play in the rain? This bad boy definitely does.
Which was why she was trailing Sean through the mist in the dark. The words of his note had floated through her mind throughout the meal. You can’t hide from me forever, girlie. The flush that rose over her chest and heated her cheeks had drawn his eye, but he hadn’t remarked on it—or anything else for that matter.
She’d expected him to hunt her down as soon as they were dismissed. Instead he’d disappeared into the depths of the house with his brother. She’d wanted to seek him out but hid behind a book in the library for long moments trying to prepare her explanations.
Then she’d heard footsteps passing by. She was still buttoning her coat as she caught a glimpse of him rounding the corner of the building. Quickening her steps, she saw just a dark shadow before he was swallowed up by the cloaking mist.
Boy, he was moving fast. Like he had a ton of energy and no way to expend it. She totally sympathized.
Luckily the path he disappeared down led to the old ruin by the lake. It was one of the few places she hadn’t explored yet, but Clarissa had pointed it out. The pebbled path was lined with small lights at regular intervals. They provided just enough illumination for her to keep on track, even if her surroundings were obscured by the gray blanket hanging in the air.
Navigating the darkness gave her an excuse to slow down and put off the inevitable. She could admit it, even if she wouldn’t let herself give in to it. Reaching the looming stone structure, she paused for a moment of awe. The stone walls were ancient and beautiful in the gloom, so tall she couldn’t make out the top floor. The beauty touched her heart, as if the old building welcomed her. A deep breath for courage, then she stepped through the gaping doorway.
The damp chill increased inside the walls, introducing a slightly creepy factor. “Sean?” Her voice echoing in the space didn’t help. Maybe she should return to the warm fuzzies outside? Then a light beam appeared in the far doorway, sweeping rapidly across the ground to find her eyes. Ouch.
Relief rushed over her as she heard Sean’s voice, but her mortification returned too. She swallowed it down. He deserved an explanation for leaving him without a word, naked and needy.
His steps were quiet across the grass that had taken over the inner floor. “Sorry, girlie. I didn’t think you’d be looking for me.”
Oh, I wouldn’t if my conscience would let me avoid it. “Were you meeting someone?”
“No. Just revisiting old memories.”
Glancing around at the stone walls, strong despite their crumbling mortar, she could see how this would be the perfect place for reminiscing. She shifted, not sure where to start. Couldn’t they just return to the mindless need of the early morning? That she could handle. When she had to think about things, not so much. She always said the wrong thing. Or other people seemed to think so.
“This is a cool place,” she said, glancing around the gloom. She could just make out a narrow staircase and a doorway leading into more rooms.
“Yes,” Sean said, his voice way more relaxed than she felt. “It was a crackin’ stage for games when Kieran and I were kids. We played here a lot.” The flashlight beam swept the interior, revealing age against the classic beauty. “Great relief from the orders and arguments waiting for us at the big house. And later, lots of privacy for meeting girls.”
from Striking a Chord, Book 3
As you can tell, these bad boys love to heat things up and keep life cool. I hope you’ll consider joining them for an adventure! Speaking of, what’s your favorite way to enjoy some summer fun? One lucky commenter will win a copy of Backstage Pass Books 1 & 2, Finding Her Rhythm & Settling the Score, on Sunday.
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And don’t forget to check out the other blogs in the hop at www.justromance.me!