BREATHE by Kristen Ashley
August 26, 2014
Forever Mass Market
There's nothing like the first time . . .
In Carnal, Colorado, Faye Goodknight is the town's quiet, shy librarian. She may also be Carnal's last remaining virgin. For years, Faye has had a crush on Chace Keaton, but the gorgeous cop has always been unattainable. She's resigned to live contentedly with only her books for company—until Faye suddenly meets Chace alone in the woods . . .
Chace doesn't think he's the good guy everyone believes him to be. He's made a lot of choices he regrets, including denying his feelings for Faye. Through his choices, he's come to believe the pretty librarian is too good for him, but after their time in the woods, Chace realizes that she may be his last chance for redemption. Soon, their long simmering desires grow to a burning passion. Yet always casting a shadow over their happiness is Chace's dark past . . .
“Are you okay?” she asked quietly.
Chace rounded the side of the counter.
Cute, tight skirt that skimmed her hips, cupped her ass and hit her knees. Her low-heeled, brown boots. A scoop-necked tee under a cardigan. Skin displayed above the neckline of the tee highlighting an unusual and attractive three-tiered necklace. Auburn hair falling in sheets over her shoulders and down her chest, a hank of it at the top, right of her forehead pulled to the side in a cute bobby pin. Makeup subtle and appealing.
She looked like a librarian who had good taste in clothes and a light but expert hand with makeup. Her own style, a style that did nothing to emphasize the obviously attractive features of her face or frame and because of that, they contradictorily accentuated them. It was a style that worked for her in a huge way.
And it had been working for Chace the same way for a long fucking time.
“Chace,” she said, still talking quietly, “did something—?”
She stopped talking abruptly when it became clear to her that he wasn’t going to stop coming at her.
She took a step back.
He was on her, he rounded her waist with an arm and twisted them so he was moving her backward toward the door she’d come out.
“Oh God,” she whispered, hands coming up to rest light on his chest, eyes wide and staring in his. “Is the boy okay?”
He didn’t answer.
He moved her through the door, reached out a hand, grabbed it, slammed it, turned her sharply then moved in so she was pressed to it.
“What are you—?”
She stopped talking abruptly this time because he tightened his arm around her waist and yanked it up, yanking her into his body. His other hand drove into her silken hair at the back of her head. Then his fingers cupped her head and tipped it to the side. He slanted his head to the other side and slammed his mouth down on hers.
She made a noise of surprise, her body tense against his and he thrust his tongue between her lips. Without a choice, they opened, another noise of surprise filled his mouth but he ignored that one too, carried on with what he was doing and took her mouth.
She tasted like bubblemint again. This time he knew why since his tongue encountered the gum.
Sweet, fresh, clean. Fucking clean. Beautiful.
God, nothing more beautiful.
He deepened an already deep kiss, needing it, and she gave it to him. The tension flowed from her body, it melted into his, her hands slid up his chest, one curving around the back of his neck, fingers going into his hair. The other one slid around his shoulders and held on tight.
Then she gave more, pressing deeper, her tongue timidly sparring with his, her fingers flexing into his scalp, her arm holding tighter. He took it, pulling her close even as he pressed her back into the door, forcing her soft curves to mold to his frame.
When he felt it start to take over, when he knew he’d lose control if he didn’t stop, he stopped.
Tearing his mouth from hers, he tipped his head to rest his forehead on hers, his eyes opening to see, up close, hers drifting open in a cute, sexy flutter and he whispered,
She blinked slowly. No, languidly. Like she was shaking off a dream she didn’t want to let go.
Then she whispered back, “I’m addicted to it.”
Chace couldn’t bury the groan that escaped his throat as he slid his cheek down hers and buried his face in her neck. Her perfume was flowery but there was a hint of vanilla mellowing it. Sweet and fresh.
The woman in his arms was addicted to gum. Not crack. Not kinky sex. Not booze. Not shopping. Not nagging a man or controlling him.
He smiled against her neck.
About the Author
Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake. Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.