#ChickLitLove, Day 2: Excerptapalooza!

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CLLIt’s a week of #ChickLitLove for the ChickLitChat authors! Today: excerpts! Yep, from all three of my rom coms. Why not? And be sure to follow the hashtag #ChickLitLove on Twitter for other great posts today and throughout the week!

Use these handy-dandy links to jump to an excerpt:

By Design ♥  Unscripted ♥  Down on Love ♥  And What’s This???

From By Design:

As they made their way up the still-rickety stairs, Emmie asked, “What have you been doing with Sophie’s room that you want to show me?”

In answer, when they reached the landing, Graham grabbed her hand and yanked her into the master bedroom, slammed the door shut behind them, spun her around, and pinned her to it. When she had recovered from a kiss that rearranged her insides, she smiled at him, and said, “Oh, I see.”

“Hello there,” he murmured.

“Hello.”

Nook cover“I can’t believe I haven’t seen you all week.”

She closed her eyes as he pushed her hair back to nibble on her ear. “Mm. You smell like sawdust.”

He chuckled. “Is that a good thing?”

“The best.”

“I had no idea that the smell of wood shavings was an aphrodisiac.”

“Depends on who’s wearing it.”

“I’m honored.”

He kissed her again, and the door, ill-fitting in its frame, made little thumping noises as he pressed her against it. She dropped her bag to the floor as she completely gave herself over to his kisses. She tried to tell herself that the interior designer making out with the architect on the job site was entirely unprofessional, especially with a bunch of construction workers swarming all over the house, but her concerns were drowned out by the static that filled her head when Graham reached under her canvas skirt and slid his hand up the outside of her thigh.

“Oh, dear,” she breathed, feeling the burning heat of his hand through her tights, suddenly unsure that she was going to be able to continue standing.

Graham sighed and removed his hand. “I agree. Unfortunately.”

“You are terrible, Mr. Cooper.”

“But in a good way, right?”

“Oh, very good. Very bad. Whatever.”

~ ♥ ~

From Unscripted:

“Now . . .” Mason stood up and rounded the end of the counter to stand squarely in front of me. “My question for you is . . . why do you want to know?”

He was close. Really close. And staring at me like he did the night before, like he’d done so many times since we’d met. That peaceful, direct gaze that turned my knees to jelly every time.

I had to work hard to even make a sound. “Just . . .” was all I came up with, and then I fizzled out, my throat dry.

“Why, Faith?” It was more of a demand than a question.

“Um . . .” Gee, I was a font of wisdom this morning. Couldn’t shut me up.

“Why?” he demanded again.

But if he wanted to get something out of me, he was going to have to put those hands away. Those hands that had just reached up and cradled my cheeks, with those long fingers that crept into my hair at the back of my neck, with those thumbs that caressed my jawline, gently, but persistently. I couldn’t help it; I pressed my cheek against his left hand with a sigh and closed my eyes.

“Maybe,” I started slowly, “maybe I want to know if you’ve got an opening for something a little more intimate than just guest lecturer.”

unscrcoverThere was a smile in his voice when he said, “Why? Would you like to apply for the job?”

I opened my eyes to stare back at him. “How are the benefits?”

“Really,” he murmured, coming much closer, “really great—”

I tipped my head back, bringing my lips to his, my heart pounding. This. This is what I wanted, what I needed . . . This. Him. Mason—of all people. He kissed me, gently at first, then deeper, then deeper still, and I gave in. To all of it. Suddenly everything was clear; this was the only thing that made sense. I clung to him as tightly as I could, my arms around him, his hands deep in my hair now, pulling me even closer. Nothing existed outside of us—nothing.

Mason stepped back, staring into my eyes once more, his breath ragged. “What happens now, Ms. Sinclair?”

“Oh, I’ve got a few ideas, Mr. Professor Mason Mitchell.”

He ducked his head toward me once again, nuzzling my ear just as a knock sounded on the front door.

“Expecting someone?” I breathed, as his lips made their way from my jawline down the length of my neck.

“Nope,” he murmured between kisses. Then, “Oh crap.”

“‘Oh crap?’”

He took a step back. “Kaylie. I told her to—crap.”

Kaylie? What the—?

~ ♥ ~

From Down on Love:

“Goose.”

Oh shit, that was all she needed. She turned away from the voice. “Leave me alone, Casey.”

He simply said, “No.”

“Come on,” she groaned, her voice bouncing off the linoleum floors, up to the high ceilings with their art deco pendent lights, and back again. “Give me a break.”

Down On Love new cover seriesCasey came nearer, and she opened her eyes. He was right in front of her. Before she could muster up enough energy to move away, he grasped her upper arms. For a split second, she thought—and almost hoped—he was going to pull her closer. But he didn’t. Of course he didn’t. She’d told him she wasn’t interested, and this “really good guy,” as Sera had called him, was the type who would honor her request. Damn him anyway.

“I just want to be left alone.”

“To sulk?”

“Don’t judge me. The rest of the town’s got that covered,” she muttered.

“Wow. That is one magnificent funk. I’m impressed.”

“You should be.”

“I was being sarcastic.”

“I wasn’t.”

“So. Is it really worth it?” Casey jogged her arms as if to jolly her out of her mood, which only irritated her more.

“This is all your fault,” she muttered.

“How is it my fault?”

Okay, maybe that wasn’t exactly true, but she was crabby enough not to care—and not to take it back. “Gee, I don’t know, Mr. Common Denominator. How do you think? But I’ll have you know I’m not even remotely interested in Jell-O wrestling Celia for you.”

“Jell-O wrestling? I think I missed that part.”

“Stop sounding so intrigued.”

“Sorry. Those are kind of automatic triggers for men. Women, Jell-O wrestling—”

George cut him off. She wasn’t about to have a lighthearted conversation with him today. “Mind telling me how it got to this point? How . . . how Celia and I have been pitted against each other over you?”

“‘Pitted against each other?’ That’s a bit much, don’t you think?”

“Sounds about right to me.”

“I don’t think it’s an issue.”

“Damn right it’s not.”

“Because I’m not romantically interested in Celia.”

“Exactly.”

She waited for him to say “Or you.” It didn’t come. He looked at her steadily, as though waiting for her to ask him about the omission. Damned if she would, though.

“I’ll go out there and make everybody get rid of those shirts,” Casey offered.

George shook her head and fought back a smile. She wanted to be furious with him, but then he had to go and be all chivalrous. “You can’t. Don’t want anybody violating decency laws.”

“Hey, it’s legal for women to go topless in New York.”

“I’m talking about Darryl’s manboobs. We don’t want to cause emotional scarring in children. Adults too, come to think of it.”

“Oh, that.” Casey stuffed his hands in his jeans pockets and studied her for a moment. “How about I offer you a sincere, heartfelt, formal apology for all the boneheads in this town?”

“One for each? That’ll take a while.”

“I’d do it.”

“I know.”

Silence for a moment. Then, “I don’t want to be friends with you, Goose.”

She probably should have acted surprised, but she didn’t bother. “I know that too.”

“So . . .”

“Back to being mere acquaintances, then?”

Casey took another step closer, his forehead nearly touching hers as he gazed down the length of her body. “That wasn’t the direction I was thinking we should go in.”

“I told you,” she choked out, her throat suddenly tight, her breathing shallow. “I don’t want to.”

Then he was touching her again, hands caressing her back as he kissed her just under her jawline. Softly. “I don’t believe you.”

“You should.”

“Okay, then.” He dotted her neck with a couple more kisses. “I’ll leave you alone. In a minute.”

“Casey.”

“Mm?”

“You should be with Celia.”

That stopped him. He drew his head back and gave her a puzzled look. “Are you kidding me?”

“I’m completely serious.”

“Then say it without your arms around my neck,” he whispered.

~ ♥ ~

Interested in reading more? Go here! And be sure to…hey! What—?!

Niall moved closer. His shoulder pressed against hers as he turned toward her. Celia’s breath caught. She started to move back, and the flashlight went out.

“Dammit.” That would teach her to buy her safety devices from a guy with a folding table on the sidewalk.

Niall’s hand found hers, pushed it down gently. “Leave it,” he murmured, his voice rough.

Oh God.

“I mean,” he went on, reverting to his usual joking tone, but still softly, “it’s kind of nice, isn’t it? It’s like that party game from middle school, where a boy and a girl get shoved into a closet—”

“Seven minutes in heaven.”

PTShe felt him laugh against her. “Oh. My. God. I am absolutely in love with you right now, just because you knew that.” He paused. “So. You were a player in middle school, huh? I should have expected as much.”

No,” she insisted, mortified, although she felt a ridiculous bubble of laughter well up inside her.

“Hey, let me have my fantasies, all right, woman? Lord knows I had enough of them the last time I had a chance with a girl in a closet. And back then that was all I had. I was a disaster—I never knew what to say or where to put my hands . . . Now, now, I didn’t mean—well, maybe I did. Anyway, I’d just be sitting there, a quivering lump of nerves, and then all of a sudden I’d just sort of lunge, you know? Go in for the kill and hope I hit the target.”

“And then both your braces would clack,” she couldn’t resist adding. “If one set was really heavy duty, one of you would end up with a cut lip . . .”

“I knew you knew what I was talking about. Player.”

“But now we’re adults.”

“Speak for yourself,” he shot back without missing a beat. “Still, I’d like to think I’m better at this than I was back then.” He paused. “This is the part where you’re supposed to say ‘prove it.’”

Celia froze. She wanted to say it. Oh God, she wanted to. But what came out was, “I . . . I can’t do that.”

“Well, then,” Niall murmured, “I guess I’ll just have to go in for the kill.”

His fingertips found her lips, traveled over them with the lightest of touches. She felt light-headed at the contact. She needed it to stop, if she was going to think clearly. She didn’t want it to stop.

“Niall, I—”

His wandering touch traced her jawline. “I meant it when I said I was glad you came. I’ve been dying to see you again.”

“But—”

“Celia, you . . . do something to me. I don’t know what it is, and it scares me a little bit. Not like Naomi.” She could hear the smile in his voice. His hand crept into her hair, and he ran his long fingers through the strands at the back of her neck. “I really like you,” he said earnestly. Then the switch back to joking, as though he were reading a kid’s scrawl on a piece of notebook paper. “Do you like me? Circle one: yes, no.”

Celia laughed again, even as her heart raced, beating triple time against her chest, which was now inexplicably pressed up against Niall’s. She had every intention of pushing him away. She really did. But when his hand in her hair pulled her closer, slowly and gently, she went to him. A denial was in order, at least. She could protest, say he’d gotten it all wrong, that she didn’t like him one bit. Then his soft, generous lips met hers, and every logical thought deserted her.

For a moment, she could think of nothing but his kiss. She fell into it, and it was a wonderful, soft place to land. Niall didn’t grab her, didn’t grope, didn’t go on the attack. There was no “lunge”—yeah, it seemed he’d definitely improved since middle school. His mouth moved over hers slowly and lazily, as though they had all the time in the world to explore each other. The tip of his tongue met hers and twined around it, gently, but he went no further. When he moved back, giving her one last small, soft kiss at the corner of her mouth, every inch of her screamed for more.

“I want to see you again,” he murmured, his breath hot against her cheek. “Can we make that happen?”

Yes. Absolutely yes.

~ ♥ ~

Now cut that out! You get back in your box till July, you hear me? Sheesh. Characters—always running amok when you least expect it…

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