(Stewart Realty #5)
by Liz Crowe
Craig spent years floating through life on cruise control, using directionless jobs, his rock band, swimming, and a string of older women in his bed to smother feelings of loneliness and loss. He finally thought he had found his true love in one Sara Thornton -- A sexy, beautiful, fellow real estate agent and mentor. But his self-doubt and innate sense of failure is only reinforced when he realizes her heart belongs to another man.
When Sara introduces him to Suzanne, a woman fighting her own demons from an abusive marriage and subsequent feelings of inadequacy and deep unhappiness, that simple, chance moment snaps Craig's hazy existence into crystal-clear focus. A bond of instant physical attraction, nurtured by time and shared experience, and plenty of erotic energy, is born.
As Suzanne's past continues to haunt her, making her push Craig away just as he thinks he’s getting closer, each of them must come to terms with their true selves and face their ultimate realities.
"Later guys. Got a date." He grabbed his helmet and risked life, limb and speeding tickets in his haste to get over to his place. He'd managed to clean it up some the night before and hoped she wouldn't be too horrified at how small the apartment was. He sucked in a breath at a red light. Finally, they were going to be together. His body hummed with energy and he grinned like an idiot the rest of the way home.
He jumped off the bike, caught the damn thing before it fell over and had to take a minute to catch his breath, shaking his head at himself. Her BMW was crouched by the curb, like an omen. He pulled his backpack up on his shoulder and walked with a strange sort of trepidation clouding his excitement. He opened the door slowly, set his backpack down in the small entryway, and took a deep breath.
"Hey," he called, his voice croaky, which annoyed him. He had something to prove this weekend and meant to do it, but his damn knees shook, and he felt like the sixteen-year-old the chem teacher had seduced in high school. Silence met his ears. He frowned. "Suzanne?" He eased into the large space that served as living and bedroom, a miniscule kitchen and bath over to the left. He thought he heard something there, turned his head and shivered when she caught her scent – a soft, spicy note with a distinct tang of brewery. Something about it made his anxiety worse. His heart pounded as he reached out to flip on a light.
"Sorry." He said, took a step back, and fell flat on his ass, stumbling over his own motorcycle helmet. "Shit," he said, the sense of unreality overwhelming him.
She smiled and held out her hand. "Craig. Relax." Her soft voice calmed him a little.
He got to his feet without her help. "Sorry, I'm...just distracted I guess. This med school thing is...."
She took his hand and led him to the small couch. "I know, believe me." He sat, leaned on his knees and tried to get his damn head straight. It kept spinning, and his body was like an exposed nerve, twitchy, horny and aggravated all at once.
She climbed around behind him, started rubbing his shoulders. "Like I said, relax. I get it. Me showing up with my score cards...." She leaned in and brushed her lips along his neck.
He shivered, moved away from her. She shifted with him keeping up her massage. She dug deep, making him moan and lean his head back, but he was still nervous or something, and it pissed him off. He stood, paced, then sat on the deep window seat, staring at her. She had on jeans and a soft pink t-shirt. Her red hair was loose, and haloed her face charmingly. He gulped. "You cut your hair. I like it." She grinned at him but he kept talking. "I don't want to fuck this up, Suzanne. And I...I'm afraid that we...." he couldn't even finish. He had no words. That was a first and did nothing to help his anxiety level.
"Look at me," she said, her voice firm again. The room narrowed. All he saw, all he smelled, and all he wanted, was her. "I need you," she said, reaching up to put her other arm around his neck. "And I'm not waiting anymore."
Her lips covered his, her tongue probed, parting his lips, and he groaned as she wrapped what felt like her entire body around him, pressing him back into the window seat. Her need was like a live thing, barely restrained between them. He shuddered as she lifted his shirt up and off, ran her lips down his neck, sucking first one, then the other of his nipples between her lips. He reached out with shaking hands, ran his fingers through her hair. "Suzanne," he whispered sitting back, completely paralyzed by this incredible moment. He'd spent years learning at the hands of experienced women and had become the guy who led, the guy who did the undressing and the initiation. But he was a limp ragdoll under her hands. Except for his cock, which was so hard it made him wince in pain when she unzipped his jeans and yanked them down around his ankles.
He put his hands on her waist, loving the feel of her cool, soft skin under his palms. Something about that even made his brain shut down, so he let go, leaned back on the seat and let her make her way down his shivering torso, until her lips found his shaft where she started licking, sucking, and teasing him. She stroked the skin beneath his balls making him gasp and grip her hair, thrust into her mouth. She grabbed his ass with her other hand, encouraging him.
She put a finger to his lips. "You're perfect. Now, sit," she said patting the window seat. "I'm feeling a little needy."
He shifted back, and gripped her neck, pulling her in for a deep tongue-tangling kiss as she got on her knees, straddling him. "Now," she whispered, breaking from his lips and making him want to whimper as she fisted his cock, gripping the base and making her slow way up to the head. "This," she said, pushing him back a little farther, "really is a ten." She lifted herself up, pressing the heat of her sex against his. His hips moved of their own accord. He thrust, grabbed her hips and pulled her down hard trying not to groan too loudly at the hot, wet grip of her.
"God!" She cried out, digging her fingers into his shoulders. "Yes." Her voice died to a moan as she slid up and down his length, teasing him by releasing his flesh completely, then enveloping him again. He leaned back on his hands, keeping a very tenuous control over the urge to come.
She rolled her hips, found her rhythm, leaning down to kiss his lips, his neck, use her teeth and fingers to bring an exquisite bite of pain to his flesh. She kept whispering his name, rubbing her clit against his pubic bone and grasping the entire length of him with her pussy. Something hit him hard, right between the eyes, nearly blinding him. He sat up, changing his angle, and cupped her breasts tugging at her nipples, watching her face.
"Oh," she said, her voice breathy again. "There he is..."
Their breathing calmed, bodies stopped, but she stayed draped over him, her slight weight draped across his torso, pleasantly pressed into his body. He held her close, kissed her face and neck. He attempted not to say it – what he wanted to say, knowing it would only make her recoil from him. He had to take this for what it was, and work as hard as he knew how to drag her kicking and screaming into the reality of a deeper emotional connection. He groaned as she lifted off him and stood. She reached around behind the couch for something. He opened his eyes, not realizing he'd closed them, and saw the card with the number 10 emblazoned on it.
"Fucking the Eastern German judge does wonders for my overall score," he said, standing and pulling his jeans up from around his feet.
She smiled, almost shyly and what remained of his heart left his body and became hers. He pulled her close, kissed her, and then stepped away, determined to play it her way – keep it cool, for now. "Food?" he asked, honestly starving.
"Yeah," she said, heading into the tiny kitchen. "I brought some. Sit, relax, I'll feed you, never fear."
They shared bites of an amazing hot and spicy gumbo with rice she'd brought, and slivers of fresh watermelon to cool their palates. He sighed, and settled into the couch when they finished. "Damn, do you cook like that all the time?"
"Yep." She said setting the containers on the leather ottoman and straddling him again. "Now, sustained by food, let's carry on shall we? There are still a few heats left in this particular judging session." She threaded the fingers of both hands in his hair, tugging his face up to meet hers.
And releasing November 4, 2012
(Stewart Realty #6)
by Liz Crowe
When she isn’t sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.
Her groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)
Her beer blog a2beerwench.com is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high-powered real estate offices. Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.