Jackson vs Lorenzo
Round 3 Match 1
Jackson Granger Swoony Excerpt
Hello! I’m so excited that Jackson made it to Round 3! How awesome. Jackson says thank you! (Actually, his exact words were “Bloody, hell,” but deep down, he’s ecstatic). Jackson is the team leader for a crew of paranormal investigators named Phantoms. They’ve been called in to investigate Ava’s haunted mansion.
This excerpt is from Chapter Eight, where Jackson and Ava are alone in her kitchen asking each other questions to get to know one another better. Even Jackson surprised me with his swoon and charm while I wrote this scene.
I hope you enjoy! xo
“Okay, Miss Cynicism. Ideal first date?”
She came back and sat down, sipping her wine. “Don’t tell me there’s a serious romantic under all that charm.”
“Guilty. Answer the question.”
She set her glass down. “I plead the fifth. You’ll laugh or use it against me to try to get into my pants.”
Guilty again. “I promise not to laugh.”
Her head tilted as she laughed at him, and the sound was warm, inviting. “See? Not answering.”
He sighed with dramatic flair. “Okay, fine. And I won’t use it to get into your pants. But may I point out, you’re wearing a skirt?” A knee-length red skirt with black tights under it, making him want to peel away the layers. She had great legs.
She studied him for a few seconds. “Watching a DVD in my living room with a bowl of popcorn. That’s my ideal first date.”
Huh. Not what he expected at all. “Really?”
She picked up her glass and fiddled with the stem. A blush rose over her cheeks and he wondered why that admission embarrassed her.
“Everyone’s afraid of my house. Whenever I’m seeing someone, we always go out or stay at his place. It would be nice to stay in once and awhile, you know? They don’t even walk me to the door.”
She was lonely. The thought never occurred to him. Ava was an independent woman comfortable in her own skin. Simple things like watching TV or waking in the morning were always alone. And that bothered her, at least to a small degree.
Well, hell. That was it. “Come here a sec.” He stood, walked to the kitchen door, and held it open.
“Where are we going?”
“The yard. Come on then.”
She pursed her lips and paused. Finally, she rose and checked the pot before meeting him at the door. “Dinner’s almost ready. We can’t stay out long—”
He closed the door behind her and leaned her against it. His admirable intention of offering her a sweet good-night adieu to make up for her previous dates blew to hell when her body pressed against his. Her glorious curves and tall frame meeting his muscle inch for inch had his desire raging.
“What are you doing?” Her whisper ended with a hitch, telling him she felt the pull too.
His belly heated. Other parts awakened with vigor. “Walking you to the door and kissing you good night.” Framing her face in his hands, he leaned in. “I had a really good time tonight.”
And then he did what he’d been wanting to since first setting eyes on her. He closed his mouth over hers.
There you have it. I could hear you swooning from here. *grin*
Thanks for coming by and Go Team Jackson!
Find out more about Jackson Granger in Ghost of a Promise by Kelly Moran
Lorenzo Swoony Excerpt
Y’all, I’m all about the swoon. For me, there is nothing better than a book that makes me smile, laugh, and swoon my butt off, and my humongous pile of romances attests to that fact. Those also happen to be the kinds of stories I love to tell.
Lorenzo, my Italian Renaissance artist hero in MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY, brings the swoon in the midst of the time travel fun. There were so many favorite moments I could choose from, and I was *this close* to sharing the scene where he paints Cat’s portrait (be still my heart, guys!), but this moment below, where Cat teaches him a dance from our modern world, and they share their second kiss in the book, just screams swoon for me.
What do you think?
Lorenzo’s perfectly shaped lips kick up into a smile. “My apologies, Signorina.” He looks around my secret rendezvous spot and rubs his palms together, almost as if he’s actually nervous, and my pulse pounds harder. “Whatever do you plan to do with me in such a hidden place, Cat?”
I stare at those perfect lips, remembering our kiss.
Oh, I have a few ideas.
Aloud I say, “I’m all dressed up, and I want to dance. With you.”
He starts to squirm, and I can’t help but giggle. I grab his right hand and wrap it around me so it rests on the middle of my back. He’s so close I can feel his warm breath fan across my face. My eyelids flutter, and I inhale his woodsy male scent and get drunk on his nearness.
It’s funny. I tried all day to get a good buzz to take the edge off my nerves, and all I needed was Lorenzo. This natural high doesn’t relax me, however. It electrifies me.
Lorenzo pulls me closer, then looks at my mouth and bites his lip. My knees go weak, and all I want to do is grab the back of his head and kiss him until I can’t see straight—but I’m determined to have my vision play out. There will be plenty of time for that later.
“I thought I’d teach you a dance from where I come from,” I tell him. “One that’s much easier than that multi-step mess inside.”
I place my left hand on his shoulder and slip my right one into his. I pause to listen to the music floating over the tinkling voices and bubbling fountain, then begin counting the three-beat tempo. “One, two, three. One, two, three.”
I stand still, only my head moving, slowly nodding with my words so he can hear the rhythm.
When his head begins subtly bobbing with mine, I show him how to add his feet. He takes a tentative step forward with his left while I step back with my right, then we sidestep, close, and repeat the steps with our other feet, all while I lightly whisper the beat count.
The breeze picks up, blowing my skirt and skimming my veil across the back of my neck. Chills run down my spine, but the warmth coursing through my veins from being in his arms provides a delicious contradiction.
Lorenzo continues nervously darting his eyes to our feet, but he is dancing. As he relaxes into the movement, his shoulders rising and falling with the steps, the confidence he always seems to exude creeps back onto his face, and he tightens his hold around me. Our faces are kissably close, our lips a hair’s breadth away from touching.
I stare into the chocolate depths of his eyes, and the rest of the ball fades away. The only music guiding our steps is my light whisper and the erratic rhythm of our breathing. Time slows. Lorenzo grins.
“I think you got it,” I say breathlessly, running my hand along the soft fabric of his shoulder, feeling the rock-hard muscles underneath.
My body curls inward, pressing against his. The proper form for the waltz is a straight spine and shoulders back, but if there was ever a time to break the rules, this is it. I lay my cheek against his chest, hearing the staccato beat of his heart. My hand slides up the length of his arm, over his shoulder, and around his neck. His breath catches, but he slips his other arm around my back, pressing me even closer. Longing makes my stomach swirl, and I’m lost in unprecedented want.
Our steps slow until we are standing still, holding onto each other. I raise my head, and Lorenzo’s gaze travels from my eyes, to my mouth, and back again, asking for permission.
I lick my lips, and he draws in a breath.
One of his hands travels slowly across my waist, inching up the soft silk of my bodice to my chin. His other hand skims along my arm, and he cups my jaw in his hands, the tips of his fingers buried in my hair. Tilting my face toward his, he leans down and trails a line of soft kisses from my forehead, to my feathered-closed eyelids, to the tip of my nose, and finally to my mouth.
Our second kiss is gentle and passionate, tentative and hungry, all at once. My fingers thread through his curls and clasp around his head, tugging him to me. He tastes like the wildflower-honey pastries inside, sweet and intoxicating. I explore his mouth, starting with his soft lips, and when he deepens the kiss, the warm cavern inside. I sigh against him, and a tremor rocks my body. He breaks away from the kiss, his dazed eyes meeting mine, making sure I’m okay before he kisses me again and again—our lips settling into the rhythm of a different dance.
His thumbs draw light circles along my cheeks. I suck on his lower lip, and the moan that escapes his throat makes me ache.
Did you swoon?? I know I did! What is it about Italian guys that just make the perfect hero…?
Hope you enjoyed this exclusive look into My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, and I really hope Lorenzo has earned your vote 🙂