This week I have Lola Drake with me with her new release Pursuit of a Kiss.
Ousted from Olympus until he can restore true love to the world, Eros stumbles upon a match made in heaven – if they can survive hell first.
Juliet doesn’t have much in common with her namesake. Her career-centric life sorely lacks romance. Then one night everything changes when she witnesses a gang shooting, and she ends up a victim herself.
FBI Agent Jake Parker has known Juliet for years, but only as the baby sister of his best friend. He still imagines her as the awkward teenager she used to be. When Jake must protect Juliet from the gang determined to eliminate the only witness who can testify against them, he discovers that he’s not the only one who’s changed in the last ten years.
As sparks fly and the danger mounts, Juliet and Jake must decide what they’re willing to risk in the pursuit of what’s possibly true love’s kiss.
Juliet emerged from the shower, relieved to be out of the hospital and back at her own house. Pulling off the plastic bag that had kept her arm dry, she limped to the closet – her hip still a bit sore from the “flesh wound.” Easy for doctors to say––it wasn’t their flesh that bullet had blazed a path across. She knew she had far more pressing things to worry about, but she couldn’t help taking a moment to hope the scar wouldn’t be too ugly once it healed.
Ablutions complete, she sank, exhausted, onto the chair in front of her old-fashioned white vanity. Her mother had used that vanity as a teenager, and she’d given it to Juliet for her sixteenth birthday. Now, even at twenty-nine, Juliet still loved using it. Somehow she always felt prettier seeing her reflection in that ornate antique mirror than she did anywhere else, especially in the last few years since her mother died. She trailed her finger over a tiny crack in the wood. Her mother had been furious when Juliet had done that. Now, however, as she rested her palm upon it, she couldn’t think of anything in the world she wanted more than a hug from her mother and her reassuring voice saying everything would be all right.
The soft knock on the door startled her. “Come in.”
Jake poked his head in the doorway. “Are you doing okay? Need any help?”
“You in a lot of pain?”
Juliet shook her head, attempting to brush her hair left-handed. “The medication helps. I’m more frustrated than anything.”
“So let me help.”
Jake came up behind her, took the brush from her hand, and stroked it through her hair. His thumb grazed the back of her neck as he gathered up a section of curls, holding them so he wouldn’t pull at her head as he worked out a tangle. Their eyes met in the mirror and held. Juliet’s heart thumped in her chest so loudly she wondered if Jake could hear it. If he did, he gave nothing away as he ran his long fingers gently across her scalp.
“You have beautiful hair.”
Juliet chuckled. “Now I know you’re feeling sorry for me. My hair’s brown and boring.”
Jake shook his head, gently separating out a few strands. His eyes met hers in the mirror once more. “No it’s not. It has shades of auburn and even gold under certain light. It’s beautiful.”
Her breath caught. The air around them grew heavy with expectation as once more their eyes locked through the mirror. Slowly, as though afraid any movement might startle him like a frightened deer in the woods, Juliet turned around to face him. Desire flared inside her. She’d wanted him for so long, and now, with the heat in his gaze… was he finally going to kiss her after all these years?
Keeping her eyes glued to his, she rose, their bodies so close they practically touched. Jake’s breath warmed her cheek and a need, a hunger flared in his eyes. As he leaned in, Juliet’s eyes drifted closed, the anticipation of having his mouth on hers at last overwhelming her. And then it happened, his lips touched her––on the forehead.
What the…? Juliet’s eyes flew open.
Jake abruptly stepped back, setting down her brush. “Got any good movies? Let’s go watch a movie. I need a beer.” He turned on his heel and practically sprinted from the room.
Juliet couldn’t understand what the hell had just happened. She did know she wished she had thrown the brush at his retreating back. He clearly wanted her. Didn’t he?
A photo of her and her brother Aaron from her high school graduation caught her eye. Oh yeah. Aaron. Maybe that had prompted Jake’s decision not to touch her? At least, she hoped that was the reason and not that he still thought of her as an ungainly kid sister. But she felt sure she hadn’t imagined anything. He had lightly licked in his lips in that moment before leaning in, and the way he had caressed her hair definitely didn’t feel like something a brother would do.
No, Jake wanted her. And she would convince him to see that.
You can purchase Pursuit of a Kiss from Evernight Publishing.