Thank you, Lynn, for letting me visit and share a little about my debut novel, Clear As Day, which released yesterday from The Wild Rose Press.
Clear As Day is a spicy contemporary romance about two friends with benefits facing the fears and uncertainties of their changing relationship and is set against the background of the summer heat and cool waters of Lake Mohave. I loved writing Clear As Day, it’s been a story of my heart in many ways, so seeing this story published truly has been a dream come true. I hope you enjoy Nate and Kay’s journey as much as I have. Receiving the 4 1/2 star scorcher review from Romantic Times and being able to hold my book in my hands have been truly thrilling moments.
What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?
Haunted by dark memories of her parents’ volatile marriage, artist Kay Browning keeps her heart locked behind a free-spirit facade and contents herself with the comfortable affair she has every summer with easygoing photographer Nate Quinn.
The only trouble with her plan? This summer Nate’s come to Lake Mohave to claim the lover he can’t let go. He’s done with the endless traveling and settling for temporary homes and temporary loves. Kay’s always been more than just a vacation fling, and now he must convince this woman, who sees love as a course to certain heartbreak, to take that leap of faith and learn how safe love with the right man can be.
“Kay!” That male voice was not her imagination.
“Oh, shit!” She twisted and dropped into the water, sinking neck-deep.
Mother always said, among other things, that a lady never goes skinny-dipping and must always wear a proper hat. Kay was only half skinny-dipping, but she fervently wished she’d worn something a bit more substantial than a baseball cap and the bottom half of the quintessential teeny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.
Shit, oh, shit, oh, shit. She so hated when Mother was right.
Okay, time to find out who’d just gotten an eyeful. The guy had called her name, so she should know him. Oh boy, if she’d flashed old George…
She wiped water from her face, sucked in a breath against her pounding heart, and peeked around.
She must be sun-dazed. Nate? With a beard? Hair curling over his ears? No way.
Just because a familiar slouchy fishing hat topped those unruly, sun-bleached blond curls and just because this guy possessed the same deep-water tan and footloose taste in clothes as Nate with his electric blue Hawaiian shirt, bright orange swim trunks, and beat-up deck shoes didn’t mean—
“Hey, babe. Now that I’ve finally caught your attention, how about a hug from my girl?” He opened his arms. “Am I coming in after you or are you coming out?” Only Nate’s voice held that mellow timbre like chocolate for her ears.
“Nate! What…” Giddy delight flushed over Kay, clearing her shock. She dashed from the water and into strong arms, a wonderful hug, and a better kiss that launched her mind into a blissed-out whirl of oh, yes and why?
The oh, yes won out until the need to breathe forced them apart.
Nate gave her a long look, his usually easy gray eyes holding a new, simmering heat.
If anything could beat waking to the sight of Kay’s beautiful face and breasts, at that moment Nate didn’t care.
She blushed and brushed a curl back from his forehead. “Hi there, sleepyhead.”
“Sorry I crashed on you.” He swept his gaze over her, enjoying how she flushed even deeper and her nipples tightened. Kay was a delicious mix of bashful and bold. “I’ve been seriously jet-lagged and road-lagged for days. Any phone calls or messages while I was out?” Guessing by the shifted shadows, he’d been out cold for a couple of hours. Not the most romantic move, but he felt rested.
His lame joke nudged a smile out of her. “Not a one.”
“One of the sincere advantages of no phone service.”
“You’re a nut, you know?” She leaned over and hesitantly kissed him. “I know I said it before, but I’m glad you’re here.” Kay was always soft-spoken, but the vulnerable note in her voice this time seized his heart hard.
With the I love you he wanted to say straining at his throat, Nate tugged Kay down into his arms and drifted his fingers over her spine. He had to do something about the tension gripping her. She’d stayed with him while he slept. That was a change, a very good one, but he still needed to soothe and distract her before she slipped away and disappeared into her thinking, planning, and painting. He let his hand circle in an easy, undemanding caress.
Why not say it? Doubts? No, no doubts at all. He felt it, he meant it, he’d even typed it into e-mails, but why keep swallowing his I love you now?
“So, you missed me?”
Her elusive grin flashed. “Well, it’s nice having someone else clean the fish for a change.” Soft giggles escaped her, and her tension released under his hand.
“Ah hah! An ulterior motive all along. Here I just thought you wanted my body.” He chuckled and tickled her side, and dove in for the sneak assault of kisses on her sensitive ears.
Want me for more.
Stifling her giggles, she caught his hand to her side. “Hmm…it is such a lovely body. I’m very fond of it.” She made a playful show of ogling him head to toe, her glowing smile making his formerly sated body wake right up and his heart crack with joy. He stroked his thumb over the lush handful of her breast, teasing the pert nipple, smiling at her catch of breath. “I may have mentioned I had some fantasies…” He tugged her over to straddle him and stroked his hands over the soft curves of her bottom.
“Anything in particular?” She leaned forward with her hair spilling over her shoulders, her breasts playing hide and seek behind the silky locks, and she teased her body over his rapidly hardening shaft. Her eyes filled with laughter, and the sweet curve to her mouth was pure feminine mystery.
He sucked in his breath and arched under her. “Anything you want, babe.”
Bio: Babette James writes contemporary and fantasy romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. A teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! She lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and three extremely spoiled cats.
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