As a caterer, Darling gets to witness some of life’s happiest moments, but yearns for a marriage proposal of her own. After years of waiting on her beloved to pop the question, she gives up on ever having a happy ending of her own and severs the relationship. When she learns she’s pregnant, she has no choice but to face her child’s father on a daily basis as well as the love and attraction she has for him.
Darryl Manning always believed Darling would be his forever. After all he didn’t need a piece of paper to show her how much he loved her, but when she leaves him to pursue her dream of owning a catering company and raising his son, he may have to rethink his views on marriage. That is if he wants a second chance at family.
Oh and here's an excerpt.
Drunken laughter floated just above the thrumming bass line of Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way, competing with the steady buzz of conversation. Soft pastel strobe lights flickered through the muted illumination. Darlene Williams, or “Darling” as she was known to friends and associates, surveyed the banquet hall full of guests.
She heaved a sigh as she glimpsed a swirl of ivory on the dance floor. For one wistful moment, where fairytales glowed bright and rosy, she imagined her own wedding. Her fairytale didn’t have a happy ending. She sighed again. Or a beginning.
A familiar face bobbed in the crowd, and her breath hitched. Twice he tried to take her picture, and she was determined he wouldn’t succeed. His gaze found hers, and her heartbeat matched the pounding bass line. He turned away, and she focused on a set of broad, muscular shoulders. She could spend hours smoothing her hands over his brawn. When he found her again, the corners of his mouth creased, and a familiar tingle crackled through her veins.
Just once she’d like to not react when she saw him. Despite the warmth knocking at the wall of her heart, Darling followed his movements to a group of similarly clad women. When they clustered around him, he raised his Nikon to his rugged face.
She loved his face, all angles and planes, and all that sharpness melted away when he smiled. Sadness and longing wiggled through a crack in her wall and squeezed her heart. They weren’t meant to be. Still she stared after him, envying the way he leaned close to one woman and lowered his camera. He gave a nod before moving away. When he passed beneath a wall sconce, the warm glow gave his smooth brown skin the fine sheen of melted chocolate. He should’ve been out of place in his black polo shirt and khaki slacks as he moved among the tuxedoes and long dresses, but his sexy smirk and camera made things easy.
The discordant clash of a body colliding with cymbals and snare drum drew Darling’s attention toward the dais next to the dance floor. A glassy-eyed young man in a tux tried to untangle his limbs from the instrument without spilling his drink. Succeeding, he then lurched onto the crowded dance floor and crashed into a couple of dancers. She shook her head when he sprawled on the floor, still trying to drink from the glass in his hand.
Not her problem. Darling regarded the decimated buffet, the food reduced to crumbs and half-dried globs of gravy—this was her problem. Swiping sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand, she lifted her gaze again, this time scanning the room for the tall, sexy photographer. He was now taking pictures of the drunk on the floor. Good, she didn’t want to run into him or his camera again. Turning, she hefted the silver chafer by the handles and placed it on the rolling cart behind her.
She reached for the next chafer, moving the serving spoon aside when strong hands seized her shoulders. The spoon slipped from her grasp, splattering white sauce on her black slacks, before settling on the floor. A sensuous chuckle tickled her ear, sending warmth scurrying through her veins, and puckering her nipples. Yanking free, she spun around to glare into dark chocolate eyes. She shoved the owner of those eyes and straightened her clothes. He laughed softly, his gaze drifting leisurely over her white chef’s coat and work pants.
Darryl Manning, the sexy photographer, grabbed her hand and gently tapped the thick bandage wrapped around her index finger. “What did you do to your finger?” She tugged her hand from his grasp, wincing when she smacked the digit on the chafer. “I cut it.” She bent to retrieve the spoon from the floor, straightened, and placed the utensil in a gray plastic tub.
Darling wiped her hands on a towel. Darryl folded well-toned arms across his broad chest, the black knit shirt he wore strained to accommodate the expansion of muscle. She stifled a groan and the urge to run her fingers along the bulging biceps and perfect pecs. Why did her body pick today to rebel? “I don’t have time for this now,” she snapped, “What do you have time for?” His rich baritone conjured nights of hot, steamy sex and decadent morning afters. He lifted his camera, with a sexy smirk. “Maybe a photo or two?”
She resisted the seductive note in his voice and placed her hand on the lens. “I’m working.”
“And I’m not, just finished.” He stepped closer, the heat of his body instantly warming hers. Darling tilted her head back to maintain eye contact.
She studied his face, waiting for the familiar ache and longing to subside. It didn’t. Being this close to him, surrounded by his scent, a little soap and a whole lot of male, made her yearn to be in his arms, to feel his full lips against hers. What was she doing? She couldn’t think about him, about them. She moved away. Not today.
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And just to keep things interesting I'm holding a contest. I'm visiting Kacey Hammell Kreations on Monday and Tuesday I'm over at Liv Rancourt's. Pop in and leave a comment for a chance to win as $15 GC. Leave a comment, including your email address at any or all of my stops. I'll announce the winner on Sunday Feb. 5.
Until next time Indulge Your Inner Romantic!