Welcome back to day 3 of 21 Days of Love! With just a simple excerpt, this novel has stolen my heart. There's nothing like friends loving each other, but wanting a little something more...
Taste and see for yourselves!
Master carpenter, Martina “MJ” Jenkins, has built plenty of structures in her day, but none as sturdy as the walls she’s built around her heart. After crossing paths with a sexy U.S. Senator, with gorgeous brown eyes and a seductive smile, her resolve to stay unattached, crumbles. Martina is determined to steer clear, but the Senator’s kisses are too delicious to resist.
Third generation U.S. Senator, Paul Kendricks, faithfully represents his state and is loyal to the family’s political legacy. Still he yearns for a wife, children, and a new career far away from the political arena. Too bad the object of his desire is the one woman who wants nothing to do with commitment. But the sparks that fly between them can’t be ignored.
As Paul chips away at the wall Martina has built, can he convince her to put her fears aside and open her heart to love?
Paul pushed the plate closer to Martina.
Her gaze took in the cheesy lasagna and her stomach growled in anticipation.
“My favorite,” she mumbled and accepted the fork from Paul. She took a bite, closed her eyes and groaned. The man could cook for her any day.
“You know you say that about everything I cook. How am I going to know which meal is your real favorite?” He sat next to her and opened two beers, placing one near her plate.
“Everything you cook is my favorite,” she responded honestly over a mouthful of food. She knew some men who cooked well, but none like Paul. He’d often talked about going to culinary school and then opening a restaurant. But as far as she was concerned, he didn’t need schooling. The man was a natural born chef.
Martina ate while he nursed his beer. No doubt he was waiting for her to talk more about the tears that caught even her off guard. He probably also wanted a better explanation of why she was there, especially after she’d been avoiding him.
Martina wasn’t sure what to say. She wasn’t one of those crying women, but leaving her grandparent’s home, she hadn’t realized just how heavy her heart had been until she pulled out of the driveway. Before she knew it, she was on her way to Paul.
She continued eating in silence. Paul’s patience with her should qualify him for sainthood, making her love him that much more.
When Martina finished eating, she and Paul snuggled together on the over-sized sofa in his den. She shivered beneath the blanket he’d given her the moment they sat down.
“Why do you have it so cold in this room?”
Paul’s lips quirked. “So that whenever you’re here, you’ll be forced to sit close to me.”
She stared at him and burst out laughing. “Is that the best you can do? Surely that line doesn’t work on other women.”
“If you haven’t figured it out by now, there is no other woman for me.”
Gazing into his eyes, her heart split open with what she felt for him. She cupped his cheek, the pad of her thumb caressing the short stubble.
“I love you, Paul.”
She was so glad he didn’t say anything. His head lowered, and her toes curled at the slow,
passionate kiss that had her whimpering for more.
God, she loved this man.
Happiness filled her, and no other words were needed. Since coming back into her life, he had shared his feelings for her and had shown her too.
Martina needed to decide how much of herself she was ready to give to him. But right now, she didn’t want to talk or think. All she wanted to do was get lost in the love that she felt just being in his arms.
Paul held Martina in the crook of his arm as they lay snuggled on his sofa. He was glad she had come to him. They still hadn’t talked about where to go from there, but he’d been patient this long, there was no harm in waiting a little longer.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked, running his hand up and down her arm. Her skin so soft, he couldn’t stop touching her.
“I think I want us to be more than friends with benefits.”
Paul’s breath stalled in his chest and seconds ticked by before he was able to exhale. Had he not been lying down, her words would have knocked him on his butt.
All this time, he had craved her like an addict craved his next fix, and she was finally his. Although there was something still a little unsettling about her tone. Still some insecurity. He had a feeling there was going to be more to her statement. He’d known her long enough to know that nothing came easily with her.
She didn’t expound, and he remained quiet. Snuggled close to his side, Martina made small circles on his chest with the tip of her finger.
She glanced up at him. “I do have a few conditions.”
And there it was.
Paul brought her small hand to his mouth and kissed the back of each finger before speaking.
“Martina, I’m not negotiating for love. You know how I feel about you, and I finally know how you feel about me. You’re either in this with me or not. There won’t be any of this one foot in and one foot out in this relationship. So what’s it going to be? You in … or are you out?”
He rested her hand on his chest, covering it with his.
Their gazes met and held.
Come on baby. Give me a chance. Give us a chance.
Copyright © 2016 by Sharon C. Cooper
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, spent 10 years as a sheet metal worker. And while enjoying that unique line of work, she attended college in the evening and obtained her B.A. in Business Management with an emphasis in Communication. Sharon is a romance-a-holic - loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies or real life. She writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net
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