From Mari Carr:
I knew I wanted to write Liv’s brother’s story the minute I sent off the Spitfire submission to my Ellora’s Cave editor. Even though his role in Spitfire was brief, his character was fully evolved and roaming around in my head. Unfortunately, a little series called the Wild Irish popped up and poor Jeb got pushed to the background for nearly a year. Finally, this spring, Jeb put his foot down. I’d just finished writing Waiting for Wednesday and I thought maybe I should give myself a little break from that crazy Collins clan. I sat down one weekend and just wrote…and wrote…and wrote. Jeb’s story fell out of me very quickly!
Rekindled is a standalone sequel to Spitfire, so you don’t have to read them together. It is also my first attempt at what Ellora’s Cave is referring to as their super quickies. It’s a short, sexy story with a nice price tag.
“Stop.” She put her hand up, anxious to wave away his words. “You and I broke up. We were never right together. You’ve got to—”
Jeb took a step closer and this time she did move back. “We were right. It’s the timing that was wrong. That’s not a problem now.”
“I can’t give you what you want.”
He grinned, running the back of his hand along her cheek. “You’re the only woman who can give me what I want. It’s always been you, Claire.”
He bent forward, his intention to kiss her as clear as the Texas sky. “Please don’t,” she whispered when his lips were a hairsbreadth away from her.
He paused for a moment but didn’t retreat. “I’ve missed you.”
She closed her eyes and gave in. She’d missed him too. Terribly. She closed the miniscule inch left between them and offered her lips. The moment they touched his, she was transported to the first time he’d kissed her—the night of the homecoming football game. She’d been sixteen and she remembered how excited she’d been when Jeb asked her to be his date for the dance the following night. He’d kissed her beside the bonfire at the end of the game.
Her first kiss, and it was every bit as beautiful as the one he was giving her now, and she felt all those old feelings rekindled. His lips lightly grazed hers, reawakening feelings she thought had died with her husband. Soon his kiss became hungrier, hotter. She reached up, gripping his neck, making her own demands as she pulled him closer. He rasped his tongue against her lips and she opened her mouth, welcoming him in. His grip on her waist tightened and she sucked in a breath as his hands began moving upward, not stopping until he cupped her breasts.
The kiss continued as Jeb tweaked her nipples through her T-shirt. She spread her legs and began rubbing herself against his thigh. Her body was on fire. It had been so damn long since she felt the slightest spark of desire. She’d have to change her panties at the end of this interlude. She was too wet, too needy.
One of his hands left her breast, rising to grasp her ponytail. She shuddered when he pulled her head back, directing her with slight tugs on her hair, nipping her neck.
“It’s still there. Still the same,” he whispered against her skin. It had always been this way between them. One kiss and it was as if the entire world had gone up in flames. She struggled to pull away.
“No,” she whispered. He hesitated and she could sense him taking stock, trying to decide if she really meant her refusal. She battened down her hatches and pushed against his chest. “No.” Her voice was stronger this time. “This isn’t the time or place.” She glanced out into the yard, relieved none of the ranch hands had walked by and caught her making out with Jeb Carter in the doorway.
She was just so damn tired. It had weakened her resistance. Next time he tried to kiss her, she would be prepared, stronger, better able to fight him off.
“You’ve got dark circles under your eyes.” He studied her face and she knew he wasn’t discouraged by her pushing him away. If anything, giving in to his kisses had likely fueled his intentions to claim her…by any means necessary.
She shrugged. “It’s been a long month. Hell, a long year.”
He grasped her cheeks in his large palms but made no move to draw her closer. “You’re gonna hire me.”
He was relentless. She chuckled, then conceded. She needed help. “Maybe.”
The grin he offered in reply was cocky, smug, and she knew she’d lost this round. Jeb would get his way. “My duffel bag is in the car. Make room for my stuff in your closet.”
She narrowed her eyes. “You’ll stay in the foreman’s cabin and my bedroom door will be locked—every night.”
“Maybe.” He walked back to his car and she wondered what the hell she’d just unleashed.
Summary from Author:
It’s been a year since her husband’s passing, and running the ranch is taking its toll on Claire Hutchins. Independent as the day is long, she concedes the need for help. She wants a foreman, an employee to run the day-to-day who can handle a woman calling the shots. Someone who won’t give her any trouble…
Who shows up at her door, first in line for the job? Jeb Carter. Ex-high-school sweetheart. Longtime rodeo star. And the one man capable of making Claire’s lust burn out of control…of making her surrender completely.
Trouble has finally come calling…and he’s as irresistible as ever.
Available now at Jasmine Jade (ebook).