The complete Strong family collection is finally here! Yes! I love this family, especially little Austin. I hope you all love them too.
Excerpt:Don’t Miss the Moment
The car warmed up quickly, but Kari hadn’t even felt the cold of the Colorado mountains without her coat on, not with Gavin Strong nearby. He heated her clear to the bone. Could she use that in a book, or was it cheesy? Hmm. She had a feeling she would get all kinds of book ideas from this guy.
She focused on what Austin was saying and encouraged him with questions. She’d been wanting to do a series about hockey players, and she needed to do some research. This was perfect because Austin’s descriptions were in depth, but she could still understand them and he was definitely engaging to talk to.
Usually, her research was all from her close friend Google. Austin’s readily given info and invitation to watch his hockey game was so much more fun than Googling the info and watching YouTube videos.
So Gavin was his … brother? Somehow that didn’t fit. They seemed more like father and son to her. Wouldn’t that be a story? The broody hero hides the truth from his only son. When the mother reappears after having been kidnapped by South American drug lords for ten years, their undying love for each other rekindles and … She frowned. No, no, no. She didn’t want the mother reappearing. This man needed a new love: blond, reclusive, a late bloomer who never got noticed, maybe a romance writer. Kari had never actually written about a writer. It was her life and it seemed too boring, but nothing was boring with Gavin Strong around.
“Are you okay?” Gavin asked quietly as Austin explained in depth what boarding was.
“Yes, sorry. I get distracted sometimes.” She turned to look at Austin, and the little man was grinning as he told her how he’d slammed someone into the wall, but the move brought her closer to Gavin and she couldn’t help but take in his incredible scent.
Daring a glance at Gavin, she saw that his eyebrows had a questioning tilt to them. Oh, she liked that. Questioning tilt. She wanted to pull those glasses off and see his eyes, though the glasses made him look even more the tough, secretive hero. He had the dark hair and eyes, plus a strong jaw with the perfect length of facial hair. His lips were firm, but they’d be more than up to the job of making her heroine beg for mercy, or beg for more. Yum. She fanned her face.
“Are you hot?” Gavin asked. “You can control the temperature on your side.” He gestured to the panel.
Kari couldn’t peel her eyes off of him to look at any thermostat. “No, I’m fine. Thank you.” Tilting to the front of the vehicle, she leaned a little closer to Gavin and inhaled deeper. Then she nailed it. “Tom Ford?”
He tilted his head. “Excuse me?”
“Tom Ford cologne. I’ve used that very scent in …” She ticked through characters and scents in her head. “Three—no, maybe four of my novels.” She made it sound like an advertisement. “Tom Ford is a sensual fragrance with base notes of citrus and ginger, highlights of amber and leather. For the strong, appealing, yet untouchable man.”
Gavin was staring at her instead of the road now. If only she could rip those sunglasses off.
“Don’t you need to …?” She pointed at the road.
He refocused but said, “No, not really. It pretty much drives itself.”
“That’s good.” She winked bravely. “You can stare at the crazy romance novelist all you want.”
“So you … write romance?” He said the word romance like it was acid on his tongue.
“You don’t like romance?” she shot at him, disappointment seeping in. She suddenly realized she’d been dreaming that this man was a real-life version of the heroes she wrote about every day, but if he didn’t like romance … Game over.
“I’m sure romance is fine … for some.” His voice was tight and uncomfortable.
Hmm. She was right. Tragic past. Hiding his identity from his own son. Some woman had shattered his heart, and he hadn’t let himself love since. He could still be a hero. She knew just the woman to break through that wall and heal him. If only she had any practical experience to go along with all her book knowledge. “Was your heart tragically broken? Is that why you’re the emotionally closed brooding hero type?”
Gavin’s throat bobbed as he swallowed. He stared studiously out the window as they approached the mountain pass that led out of the valley. His hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly his knuckles whitened. Aw, crap, what had she done? She was treating him like she was in an interview. How did it work when you were actually in the story? She knew one of her heroines would never say anything so blatant yet dumb.
“I’m sorry. That was all wrong. I need to lure you in first, make you fall for me, and then you’ll tell me your secrets.” She nodded to herself. Yes, that was how it worked in her books. She focused on Gavin, waiting for his response. If she was writing it, he’d lift up those glasses, give her a smoldering look, and tell her how she’d already lured him in. Ooh, yeah, she liked that a lot.
All he did was grip the steering wheel tighter, his jaw clenched. He looked handsome, irresistible, and not at all ready to be lured in. Shoot.