From Karen Erickson:
Do you believe in fate? That things happen for a reason? I wanted to explore these questions with my new series at Samhain entitled appropriately enough Fated. The first novella is Under My Umbrella -- the hero (Brett) and heroine (Jenna) meet during a rainy day when he asks to share her umbrella. Things heat up rather quickly despite the cold rainstorm. A destined meeting that leads to love perhaps? It's a romance, so of course!
I was inspired to write UMU by an article I read in a woman's magazine. Couples who met in funny ways (like those "meet cute" scenarios we tend to see on TV and in movies) and they eventually fell in love. There really was a couple who met when the man asked if the woman would share her umbrella with him during a rainy afternoon. And they really did go back to her apartment and have mad, passionate sex. And they're still together. I thought that was awfully romantic.
And a great idea for a story.
Jenna's friends Mia and Morgan will both get their own destined heroes soon. Mia's story (Call Me, second in the Fated series, coming out in December) is up next. She loses her cell phone...and falls for the sexy man who found it. Morgan's story I'm still fleshing out. But be assured it will feature a fated meeting with a smoking hot piece of man flesh. ;)
“You, uh, look pretty dry under there.” His rich, sexy voice reached her ears even above the patter of the rain and she stopped short, lifting her umbrella high over her head.
He stood hunched under the flimsy protection of his drenched coat, a little smile curving those sexy lips. His eyes were dark, his skin swarthy as if he spent a lot of time out in the sun. Just thinking about the sun made her wistful.
It had rained for what felt like months, years. And usually the rain made her miserable.
“I’ll share with you,” she offered, shocked that she even said it. She lifted her umbrella even higher, extending it in his direction and she felt the drip, drip, drip of raindrops hit the back of her head.
His smile grew. The sight of it made her stomach jitter, and he ducked his head, coming right under the umbrella. “Hey, thanks. But I think you’re getting wet.”
In more ways than one, she wanted to say. The man stood so close she could feel his body heat. She could smell him. And oh, did he smell good. Like spice and pine and warm potent male with a hint of rain.
Of course, the guy smelled like rain. He was covered in it. His hair was soaked, his skin streaked with it. His coat, especially across the shoulders, was completely saturated through.
She would’ve resembled a drowned rat. She probably already did. Yet he looked like some sort of sex god.
The sex god stared at her with twinkling dark brown eyes and a cocky little smile still curving his lips. As if he knew what sort of effect he had on her. Could he know? No way.
“Ready to go?”
“I don’t live too far from here.” She nibbled on her lower lip. Should she have admitted that to a complete and total stranger? What if he was a serial killer? What if he stalked women and she was his next victim?
“I’ll take what I can get to keep semi-dry. Let’s go.” He took the umbrella from her, and she let him. It worked perfectly since he was taller and it was putting a strain on her arm to hold it that high.
They walked together, and she sunk her hands into the pockets of her black wool pea coat, wishing like crazy she had worn her hair down today. The rain and humidity would’ve made it look like a puffball though so maybe that was a blessing in disguise. She wished the weather was warm, that maybe the clouds would break and the sun would glimmer through.
But then she wouldn’t have asked him to share her umbrella so this was meant to be, right?
Jenna was a big believer in meant to be.
Summary from Publisher's website:
It’ll take more than a fire hose to cool down this attraction…
Fated, Book 1
Rain, rain, go away. That’s Jenna’s mantra as she suffers through yet another rain-soaked walk home from work. At least the tight butt of the guy walking in front of her offers some distraction. When he turns around and asks to share her umbrella, she realizes his front view is as smokin’ as the back. What better way to get up close and personal with the object of her ogling?
Brett noticed his hot little neighbor weeks ago, but until now hadn’t worked up the nerve—or found the opportunity—to approach her. Too many hours at the fire station has left him longing for something more out of life. Like the company of a sweet, sexy woman. Maybe, if he’s lucky, kindling a relationship.
Jenna surprises herself again when she offers to let him dry off in her apartment. One minute he’s toweling off his hair, the next their chemistry explodes in the hottest sex either of them have ever experienced. And suddenly they’re both wondering if he’s the match to her tinder, or if it’s too much, too fast…