Perils Excerpt

A short excerpt from Love and Other Perils:

Linc stopped his stirring, and turned to face Hanna Grace. “It’s complicated, being undercover. You have to go all in. Half-hearted gets you killed. You do things, say things, and even think things you know are wrong. But you do them anyway and you get the job done. And then you come home, wash up and try to forget.”

His vulnerability moved her. This was the first time he’d shown real emotion. 

His expression relaxed and he returned to his dish, pureeing the contents of the pot in a blender.

"So what are you making?" she asked.

"This is a little pre-dinner appetizer. Squash apple bisque."

"Sounds delicious.” She hopped off the island. “You know, in my world, appetizers are why they invented microwave popcorn."

He chuckled. "I don't even own a microwave oven."

“Really? My sister and I would have starved if we didn’t have one.”

Returning the thick soup to the pot, he doctored it up with cream. “Want a little taste?”

 “Oh, yeah.” He spooned her a sample. Sweet, velvet smooth, with a pumpkin pie taste, the tang of fall apple. Altogether wonderful.

“It’s really good,” she said.

His black eyes flicked over her affectionately. “I’m glad you like it.” He took a pasta dish from the oven and set it on the island. “This needs to sit for a few minutes.”

Edging closer to him, she placed her palms on his shoulders. “Only a few?” She leaned into his scent, a blend of lavender and cedar. Her arms came up around his neck, and she pressed her body up against his.

Cradling her head gently, he kissed her eyelids, her forehead, her cheeks, and her mouth.

She adored his tenderness. He was a big, strong man, with a dangerous job, but his kisses were ethereal, exquisite, as if he were tasting a rare and refined liqueur. Did he kiss like that when he was undercover? Or did the role demand that he be impatient, salivating, and greedy?

Speculation fled as he ran his hands down her hips and his kisses became more urgent. She felt something unspool inside her. Goose bumps welled everywhere, the back of her arms, and breasts, and then they swept down, turning into heat. His kisses made her dizzy, her body butter-soft with need.