One unexpected late night encounter and one titillating kiss detours Cara Riley from reaching Nashville for her last shot at a singing career and lands her in Memphis.
Dark, mysterious truck driver Will Brennan oozes sexuality and Cara finds herself drawn to him. He brings her to a higher level of sensual pleasure than she even imagined could be possible. As their relationship explodes into something real, she learns he has more than a few quirks-he sleeps by day and prowls by night.
At his home-a castle-nestled in a wooded area just outside Memphis, she learns just what his sweet love tattoos really mean and must decide if she wants another. Whether or not they find their happy ending is all up to Cara.
“I’m Cara Riley.” I stuck my hand out to him to shake but instead he took it in his then bent down over it to kiss it. Both his fingers and his lips felt cold to me but I figured it was just that hot summer morning. No one ever kissed my hand before, ever, and I liked it. Will did it with graceful, suave moves more suitable to a nobleman at a royal court and not the truck driver I guessed he must be.
“So, Cara Riley, we have met,” Will said, “That’s the first step in getting acquainted. We should move onward to the second.”
That question sounded dumb coming out of my mouth and I knew it when I said it.
“This.” Will Brennan told me in that lush voice that made me feel the same way that the best hot chocolate laden with real cream did down deep inside just before he kissed me.
I’ve been kissed many times since I was six and my playground boyfriend smacked his little lips against mine so hard my teeth rattled, but none of the previous kisses compared to that single smooch. The very best of any kiss I ever experienced slid down the scale to rock bottom as Will’s mouth touched mine.
Although his hands felt cool against my skin, almost cold, his lips burned on mine, hotter than a rising fever and sweet as coffee cake fresh from the oven, tasty even while it scorches your lips. Heat rippled from his lips to mine in the way that summer-heated asphalt wavers in the late afternoon summer heat when record temperatures hit. It felt like putting my sensitive lips against a hot coffee mug on a January morning but different, better because Will’s lips were alive, moving against mine with such skill, such searching passion and need that it all consumed me.
I could not stop and I didn’t want that kiss to end, ever. I could have stood there for the rest of my life, our mouths fused together with that sweet fire and never complained. The flames that he ignited in me spread as fire, searing its way from my mouth down my throat and into the center of my body. From there, the inferno expanded out into every cell, each atom of my body. Somewhere in the dizzy whirl, the strange intoxication that claimed me and changed me forever, I thought about Peggy Lee’s classic song, Fever.
In my efforts as a singer, it was one of my favorites, one I attempted to cover many times but I knew my limitations. Sometime back, I quit singing that song because I lacked the power she exuded in her magnificent voice – until that kiss. Now I knew what was missing; it had been this knowledge, this experience of such a wild, blistering heat that changed everything I knew about men and women.
That kiss charred all of my ignorance into ash and left me to emerge new, like that phoenix from the famous ashes. Now I understood what Peggy sang about, realized th While we kissed, I forgot that I was at a plain, no frills, rest area out in the wilds of Arkansas where people came and went. Some of them were doing all manner of less than savory acts, everything from doing the nasty somewhere on the premises to shooting up drugs, using meth, or just pissing on the parking markers. During that heated suspended time, I swear I thought we must be in some beautiful place, a private garden, or a walled courtyard where roses bloomed.
Somewhere out in the brambles and tangled below the rest area, there must have been honeysuckle blooming because I could smell it and somewhere else, maybe in a farmyard nearby, roses because I thought I could smell them too. What I could and did smell, without any doubt at all, was that masculine musk, heady and strong. Whatever I felt, Will felt too and it was good, way beyond good. This felt sweet, it was seductive, and it was exhilarating.
No kiss can last forever and when it ended, I came back to myself with slow steps, hearing the whine of steel-belted tires on the highway, smelling the stale bathroom air when someone fanned the door, and staring into those amazing blue eyes. Will’s eyes on that first night, reminded me of standing on shore and staring out across a placid lake, the waters clear and calm. Even though my body still burned, his eyes offered me solace and serenity. I thought, fire and ice, like a poem I had half forgotten.
He still held me in his arms, our eyes gazing at each other.
“So are we acquainted now?” I asked, cheeky as always, when I thought I had enough breath to speak.
Will’s eyes shimmered with a glow from within, his eyes so blue that they almost looked like Christmas lights strung on a holiday tree.
“We are, my lady— or should I say my dear Cara—we are indeed.”
“What do we do now?” My questions seemed short, almost rude compared to his almost poetic speech, but I am what I am, Texas born and bred. I look the part and sound it, too.
“It’s almost dawn,” Will said, his voice almost floating away from me sounding distant. “Tonight, Cara, we shall move from being acquaintances to something more if you like.”
“I would like that very much.” Now I sounded like I at least had a few manners and social graces. My Mama would be proud. “But I don’t know when or where.”
Nashville and my career could wait, I thought. I might not even have a big break waiting for me but Will’s kiss changed my perspective. To see where that sweet fire might lead me, I would put Music City on hold for as long as it took.
Other Books in the Love Covenant Series:
Love Scars Love Knots