In honor of International Kissing Day, enjoy Loyal and Roxanna’s first kiss sneak peek in Love Loyal and True
A by-the-books accountant who’s sworn off love meets the irresistible psychic who’s dreamed about him since she was a little girl.
A one-night stand? Sure.
A no-strings fling? No problem.
Love and marriage? Hell no.
Loyal Diamond has gotten down on one knee twice. He’s had his heart broken twice. He’s not risking it ever again—and most certainly not for a psychic fraud like his brother’s best friend.
Roxanna Kent had a vision of a loyal and true soul mate when she was nine. She didn’t expect him to be named Loyal, or that he would be bitter and jaded and completely closed off to love.
One unexpected night has them seeing each other in a different light, and suddenly Loyal finds himself coming up with all kinds of reasons to get up close and personal. Will his heart survive a third blow when it comes to light she might be the con-woman he first thought?
First Kiss Excerpt:
Loyal lunged forward and caught her before she fell flat on her face. When she was somewhat steady on her feet, he took her almost-empty glass with his free hand and transferred it to the kitchen counter.
“Hey. Gimmie that back.”
“Nope. You’re done for the night.”
“You’re not the boss of me.” She tried to shake him off, but her inebriated efforts were laughable at best.
“Come on.” He got a firm grip on her arms and turned her around so he could march her ahead of him. “It’s time for bed.”
“Ooooh.” She did drunken jazz hands as she stumbled back against him. “Loyal’s going to bed with the whack-job.”
He snorted even as the brush of her ass against the front of his pants got his blood flowing fast and furious. Steady pressure on her arms put a few inches between them and started her moving forward. “I’m not going to bed with you, Roxanna, I’m putting you to bed to sleep it off.”
“I need to sleep you off,” she muttered under her breath.
His pulse skipped a beat, and he gave her a sideways glance as they reached the bedroom. “What does that mean?”
“It means you’re no good for me.”
Well, that actually might be true, but why was she saying it? Why would she even think it?
He steered her to the bed and turned her again to sit her down. After a moment of scrutiny, he kneeled and started untying her girly combat boots. She braced her hands on the edge of the mattress and leaned forward. He caught a stronger whiff of peppermint as those long, wavy locks of hers spilled down to bracket both sides of his head, the tips brushing against his forearms. The thought of her hair brushing other parts of his body made his erection throb and had him biting back a groan.
A swift upward glance caught her watching him, her brown eyes shadowed with an emotion he couldn’t identify. Or maybe didn’t want to identify.
“What did I ever do to you that you gotta be so mean to me all the time?” she asked.
He swallowed hard and dropped his attention back to her boots. That’s what he hadn’t wanted to put a name to. She looked hurt—sounded hurt. As if the things he’d said to her over the years had mattered to her. But she always got so defensive, and in his mind, her fierce anger only confirmed the guilt of her profession and justified each accusation and insult he’d uttered.
But what if he’d just been hurting her all this time? Every thing he’d said, like a slice with a knife he couldn’t take back.
Guilt swirled with shame as he pulled off her unlaced boot and moved to the other.
The plea in her voice tripped his pulse and drew his head up like a magnet.
“Why do you hate me?”
“I don’t hate you, Roxanna.” The denial was self-defensive and automatic, and yet with his next breath, he realized it was true. He didn’t hate her, he hated what his mind said she represented.
He pulled off her other boot and set it next to the first, then avoided her gaze as he rose and dragged the covers back. “Come on. Get in bed.”
He jerked his gaze to hers, his fingers clenching on the comforter. “What?”
“Kiss me.” She reached up to grab a handful of his shirt. “Just once.”
His body screamed yes, but somehow he managed to shake his head. “You’re drunk. You don’t know what you’re asking.”
“I’m asking you to kiss me. Come on, it won’t kill you.”
No, but her begging might.
“You’d hate yourself in the morning,” he predicted as he resisted her pull on his shirt. “You’d hate me in the morning.”
“I hate you now.”
The words stung more than he ever would’ve thought possible, and yet something in her eyes weakened his resistance.
“Help me sleep you off, Loyal. Please.”
Geezus fuck. He’d never heard the word please used so effectively before in his life. When she arched her eyebrows and tucked the corner of her bottom lip between her teeth as those beautiful brown eyes beseeched him, he was toast.
He sidestepped and leaned down to cover her mouth with his in one smooth motion. Her lips were soft, and a swipe of his tongue gave him a citrusy taste of wine and Roxanna.
It was so wrong, but he wanted more. From one heartbeat to the next, he needed more.
Her lips parted with a soft sigh, and he tilted his head to dip his tongue inside her mouth. She brought her free hand up to the back of his head, spearing her fingers into his hair as her other hand held tight to his shirt. His heart thudded hard as desire surged through him, urging him to stroke deep and explore all she offered.
As her tongue tangled with his, she leaned back, pulling him with her. He caught himself from falling on top of her with his hands braced beside her shoulders. The urge to climb up onto the bed and cover her body with his almost overrode the little voice in his head telling him to stop.
She’s too drunk. She really will hate me in the morning—and herself.
Loyal reluctantly broke the kiss and eased back. Roxanna made a sound of protest, her hand still fisted in his shirt.
“We can’t,” he said as he tried to pry her fingers from the material.
“Why not?” she asked with a frown. “Cuz you don’t like me?”
“You don’t like me,” he countered. “And you’re drunk. You don’t know what you’re doing.”
“I’m not that drunk.”
He scoffed. “Yes you are, otherwise you would have tossed me out the moment I set the basket down.” Especially if she’d been able to read his mind on what he wanted to do to her. With her. It would shock the hell out of her…like it did him.
“You think I’m so drunk and lonely, I’d have dragged any man who showed up at my door with presents into the bedroom?”
Would she have?
He was astonished all over again to realize it disturbed him that she might have. It bothered him she might be lonely enough that any man would do.
And yet the alternative wasn’t any better, was it?
I hope you enjoyed the first kiss sneak peek. You can preorder Love Loyal and True for release day, July 23, 2019!