Today’s Wicked Wednesday is a blast from the not so distant past – SOLDIER’S SECRET CHILD, my December 2008 release from Silhouette Romantic Suspense.
This book was am immense change for me since it really made me focus on the family dynamic between the hero, heroine and their teenaged son. I hadn’t dealt with family dynamics involving children for many years. Not since BETTER THAN EVER, one of my early contemporary romances.
I loved dealing with the challenges of single mom Macy handling a troublesome, but basically good, teenager. Then there was the issue of the hero, Fisher, discovering he had a son and how he deals with that revelation.
I truly enjoyed this book and the change of pace from The Calling series and hope you will also! This excerpt is a flashback scene to Fisher and Macy’s first encounter.
They drove through the open meadows and fields surrounding Esperanza, the scented wind wrapping them in its embrace while bright moonlight lit the road before them until Fisher took a dirt road to one of the few nearby hills. He parked the CJ so it faced the lights of town and the wide starlit Texas sky.
She imagined she could see the lights of San Antonio, well to the south of their hometown. She and Tim had planned on going to college together there until Tim had said he was reconsidering that decision. She gazed at the lights of Esperanza and noticed the cars parked around Bill’s house where Jericho and Tim would be with the rest of the baseball team. Where she might have been a few weeks earlier if things hadn’t changed recently.
“Penny for your thoughts,” he said and pushed back some strands of wind-blown hair from her face. The pads of his fingers brushed the sensitive skin of her cheek, sending a shiver rocketing through her body.
“Do you ever wonder if some things happen for a reason?” she asked.
“Meaning?” He arched one dark brow in question.
“Tim and me. His breaking it off.” She shrugged and turned in her seat to face him. “If it hadn’t been for that –”
“Being the nice girl that you are, you wouldn’t be here tonight.” He once again brushed the tips of his fingers across her cheek, then trailed them down to cup her jaw.
“Is that what you think I am? A nice girl?” she shot back, slightly perturbed which was ridiculous. She was a nice girl unlike many of the women with whom Fisher had been seen around town.
“Don’t get so riled, Mace. There’s nothing wrong with being a nice girl.”
The words shot out of her mouth before she could censor them. “And boys like you don’t think about doing things with nice girls.”
“Boys like me?” he asked with another pointed arch of his brow and a wry smile on his lips.
Macy fidgeted with her hands, plucking at the seat belt she still wore. “You know, love ’em and leave ’em types like you.”
He chuckled and shook his head, but he never broke the contact of his hand against her chin. Instead, he inched his thumb up to brush softly across her lips.
“Let’s get something straight, Mace. First of all, I’m not a boy, I’m a man. A man whose daddy would tan his hide for the thoughts he’s having right now about the nice girl who happens to be sitting next to him.”
The warmth on the pad of his thumb spread itself across her lips and with his words, shot through the rest of her body. “Thoughts? What kinds of thoughts?”
He chuckled again, only there was something darker and dangerously sexy there this time. “You always were the daring type.”
“He who dares, wins,” she reminded him.
The smile on his face broadened and he leaned toward her until the warmth of his breath replaced that of his thumb against her lips. “Then I guess I should dare,” he said and brought his lips to hers.
The shock of his hard mouth against hers was quickly replaced by a sense of . . . rightness which surprised her considering that this was Jericho’s brother. That up until a few weeks ago, she had thought she was about to embark on a life with another man.
Another man who had rejected her. Who had never made her feel the way Fisher was now making her feel.
The tip of his tongue tasted her lips, gently asked for entrance at the seam of her mouth. She opened her lips and accepted the thrust of his tongue. Joined it with hers until they were both breathing heavily and had to break apart for air.
Fisher turned away from her and clenched his hands on his thighs, struggling for control. This was Macy, he reminded himself, rubbing his hands across the soft denim of his jeans. Jericho’s best friend and Tim’s intended, he reminded himself as he held back from reaching for her again.
Only she wasn’t Tim’s anymore, the voice inside his head challenged and then urged, “And now she can be yours.”
He faced her and seeing the desire in her eyes, he asked, “Are you sure about this?”
She nodded quickly and he didn’t second guess her decision. Reaching into the back seat of the CJ, he grabbed a blanket he kept there and stepped out of the car. Swinging around the front, he met her by the passenger side door and slipped his hand into hers. Twined his fingers with hers as he lead her a few feet away from the Jeep to a soft spot of grass on the overlook.
He released her only long enough to spread out the blanket and then he urged her down.
For long moments they lay side-by-side on their backs, staring up at the late May moon. Listening to the rustle of the light breeze along the taller grasses and the profusion of wildflowers which perfumed the air.
Fisher rolled onto his side and ran the back of his index finger along the high straight ridge of her cheek. He had known her all his life and all his life he had thought she was the prettiest woman he had ever seen.
Much like before, an embarrassed flush worked across her cheeks as she avoided his gaze. “I bet you say that to all the girls.”
He laughed and shook his head. “Now why do you think I’m such a hound dog?”
“Because I’ve seen you around town with all those dangerous women,” she answered and the blush along her cheeks deepened.
“Jealous?” he asked, but then immediately confessed, “Because every time I saw you with Tim, I was jealous.”
A little jolt of excitement rattled her body before Macy turned onto her side and cradled his cheek. His five o’clock shadow tickled the palm of her hand. As she met his gaze, made a silvery green by the light of the moon, she detected no deception there, just honesty.
“Why didn’t you — ”
“You were Tim’s girl and Jericho’s best friend. I wasn’t going to be responsible for breaking up the Three Musketeers,” he said and shrugged.
“And now?” she asked, mimicking his earlier move by bringing her thumb to trace the warm fullness of his lips which broadened into a sexy dimpled smile with her caress.
“He who dares, wins,” he said and brought his lips to hers.