Saturday, February 04, 2012

New Excerpt from Penny Serenade: Tokens of the Heart Book One

I hope you enjoy the second excerpt from my newest book Penny Serenade, the first book in my Tokens of the Heart series available now on Kindle.

This is a contemporary erotic romance novel with at least two more books planned.

Blurb -

When Audrey Kessler opened her new age shop, Tokens of the Heart, she never expected it to be such a success. While her life is all about being neat and orderly, she hasn’t found much success in the other areas of her life. Mainly love.

Enter Dominic Blume, a jack-of-all-trades, who in one day manages to capture her attention and draw her ire. Preferring to play things safe, Audrey does her best to focus on her business and ignore the way her body ignites whenever Dominic is near.

But when she needs a strong, warm body to comfort her after a traumatic event, Audrey worries that she has succeeded too well at keeping Dominic away.


Audrey couldn’t believe she shared such intimate details of her life with him. Things she didn’t expect to ever tell a stranger. Or whatever he was to her. She didn’t know how to think of Dominic. A friend didn’t sound right. A stranger, well no, she’d never felt like he was a stranger, even when he first walked into the shop. The connection she’d felt with him made things more complex than she was looking for.

Betsy had always told her love happened when you didn’t look for it, but she didn’t feel like a candidate for love, and did her best to avoid it. Relationships required more of herself than she cared to give. Maybe she was too solitary and independent, but she liked things the way she wanted, and she’d worked hard to get past the grief from her youth. Everything had been a struggle in her life. She was finally starting to mend. Being around Dominic made her question why she closed herself off to people. He’d listened and empathized. He didn’t make her feel foolish. Somehow he’d gotten her to open up and she felt good. Not even good, but that a huge weight had been lifted.

She looked at the moon and wondered what her father would think of this man next to her. Would he approve? Would he welcome Dominic with a fatherly embrace or a gentleman’s handshake? Pat him on the back and then threaten to cut off his balls if he dared do anything to hurt her? Audrey knew her father would want her to be happy and for her to choose someone who would treat her right. She’d been of the mindset that she didn’t need someone to take care of her. When had that changed?

Audrey felt the tears return and forced them back. She refused to cry. What would Dominic think? He’d think her weak, and she couldn’t take that.

She turned and at the same time, he leaned in. His mouth, sexier than ever, covered hers. Eyes closed, she allowed the bliss overtake her. Her body sizzled at the touch of his hands moving along her back until they settled at the small of her back. Aware her legs were ready to give out on her, she rested her hands on top of his shoulders. For a moment she felt his muscles ripple beneath her touch and it made her entire body swoon. Not wanting to part from him anytime soon, she gave into his deepening kisses. The guy might not be a smooth talker all of the time, but he wasn’t lacking in the area of lip service.

Shivers followed the path of his hand up her side. He cupped his hand along her lower jaw and brushed his thumb along her cheek. Heat and longing filled her insides. The initial judgment of him faded fast, and in that moment she didn’t see how she could ever be angry with him again.

Dominic withdrew his lips and rested his forehead against hers. It felt like days before she found her voice.

“Um, you kind of caught me off guard. Did you…I mean, why did you kiss me? Like that, I mean.” Her cheeks burned at the way her words came out.

“I couldn’t wait a second longer. I’ve wondered what those beautiful lips would taste like since I walked into your store.”


He’d felt the same way? He’d felt the same need and desire? She’d always balked at the scenes in movies where the characters met and fell in love with one another right away. Instant connections didn’t happen in real life, did they?

She had to wonder now.

“So, then, was it what you’d imagined?” She asked, her voice resounding all crackled and hoarse.

“I’ll need another taste to make a solid evaluation.” Dominic prompted her to turn slightly so her back was against the car. His body seemed bigger, and his eyes smoldered. “Would you mind?”

Was he kidding? Her pulse pounded, and this time she didn’t have background music playing to mask it.

“I’m fine with that.”

He leaned in, his hands on either side of her against the car, and caught her mouth with his. Audrey pulled him closer, her back flat against the door. Her nipples throbbed behind a wall of lace, and ached to be kissed with the same wild abandonment he gave her mouth. She was almost sorry that they hadn’t taken advantage of the darkness of the planetarium. Though, at the moment, being beneath an actual starry sky seemed to make the moment extra special.

Guided by the sheer lust tearing through her core, she didn’t hold back.
Somewhere in the distance she heard an odd sound, like someone clearing their throat. She opened her eyes a crack, blinking back the sensual haze. A man stood off to the side in a ball cap, with agitation written all over his face.

“Do you think I could get into my car?” His voice rumbled.

Heat blazed her cheeks. “Of course, I’m sorry.”

Eyes wide, she pulled from Dominic’s embrace and together they moved out of his way. Audrey shook her head. She’d forgotten they were in the middle of a parking lot. She’d forgotten anyone else existed. The kiss had transported her to somewhere lush and exotic.

With a harrumph, the man got into his car and started it up. He rolled the window down and gave them a sneer. “Get a room, hey?”

Tires squealing he backed out and hauled ass out of their view.

“I’m embarrassed,” she murmured.

“Don’t be. He was jealous, and I don’t blame him. Not every guy gets to lock lips with a siren like you.”

Her cheeks engulfed with flames. Siren? She hoped he meant that and it wasn’t some cheap tactic to get her to put out later. Audrey looked to him and saw the way his eyes burned on her. It was a look that shut down all the thoughts of him being less than genuine.

“We should probably get going,” he suggested and unlocked the car door.

“Yeah. It’s getting late.” She slid into the car and let him close the door. Her body tingled from the way he’d held her. Was it her imagination, or had she never felt safer?

(copyright 2012)

If you'd like to read the first excerpt from my novel, please click Here

~Ann Cory

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