Meg Benjamin – Bolted, book 2 Promise Harbor series
Sometimes you have to get lost before you can find yourself.
Greta Brewster McBain in a bind. Two, if she’s really counting. First there’s the can-barely-breathe, bridesmaid’s dress from hell. Second, the stranger who just carried her “perfect” brother’s fiancée out the church door has made it impossible to tell her own mother about her own divorce.
Rather than confirm her reputation as the family screw-up, Greta takes a drive to clear her head.
Trapped in a hole and unable to reach his cell phone, Hank Mitchell is resigned to becoming a permanent part of his own archeological dig when help arrives—in the form of a woman who looks like a Gone With The Wind refugee. Behind the ruffles and lace, though, is something he appreciates: a woman who isn’t afraid of a little dirt.
Their instant connection draws Greta into the eccentric world of the Hotel Grand, where she impulsively trades her hoopskirts for an apron. Soon things are getting hot, not only in the hotel kitchen, but in Hank’s arms...
Warning: Contains hot moonlit sex, a melancholy turtle, two wisecracking seniors, and the world’s ugliest bridesmaid dress.
“Want to go for a walk?”
“Sure.” She spread her dishrag across the sink divider. “How far can you walk without wincing?”
“Not that far. I was thinking once around the garden.”
“You’re on. I need to get some rose geranium leaves out there anyway.” She pushed the back door open, holding it for him. “Why don’t you lean on me? That way you won’t have as much weight on your foot.”
Oh lordy yes, why don’t I do that? He put his hand on her shoulder, feeling warm skin and damp T-shirt against his palm. “Thanks.”
The balmy night air was scented with lavender and something vaguely lemony. He’d never been able to figure out why someone as talented in the garden as Nadia undoubtedly was couldn’t find more effective ways to turn that produce into something edible.
“Just a minute. The rose geranium plants are over here.” She stepped carefully between the plants at the side, leaning down to snap off some leaves that she put in her pocket.
“Dare I ask…”
“I’m going to do a rose geranium cake for dessert tomorrow. And the butter and sugar need to infuse overnight.”
“Oh.” He had no idea what to say to that. He wasn’t even sure what infuse meant in this context.
Greta stepped back beside him, lifting his hand back to her shoulder and moving slowly forward.
“Nice night,” she murmured. “Look at that moon.”
The moon had just begun to rise, impossibly large and golden, low on the horizon. He stood for a moment, feeling himself relax. “When you see it looking like that, you realize why people felt like worshipping it.”
“Did the people in your village worship the moon?” She walked forward again, letting him lean against her. “That sounds interesting.”
“I don’t know anything about the people in my village.” He took a breath. “To tell you the truth, I don’t even know for sure that it’s a village. These walls are all over New England. Some of them came from native people, but a lot of them were just root cellars.”
“Not Celtic worship sites?”
He grimaced. “No, that’s just romantic crap.” He glanced down and saw her grin. “Okay.” He sighed. “Got me.”
She shook her head. “If you don’t know for sure that it’s a village, why are you working on it?”
“Because it might be. It’s a kind of puzzle. I should have some idea of what I’ve got by the end of the summer. Then I can spend the winter analyzing what I’ve found. Right now I’d say the odds on it being a Wampanoag settlement are pretty good.”
“And the Wampanoags were…”
“The principal Native American group living in this area.”
“That’s cool.” She smiled up at him. “Spending your time solving a puzzle that’s maybe several thousand years old. That’s very cool.”
Her eyes were dark in the moonlight, her lips curving up as she smiled. He smelled lemon and lavender again, and something like roses but not exactly. Suddenly he felt a little dizzy.
If he’d thought too much about what he was going to do next, he’d never have been able to go through with it, but irresistible impulse took over. He lowered his mouth to hers, running his tongue tentatively along the line of her lips until she opened for him, then giving himself time to taste and savor. There was a hint of sweetness mixing with the scent of rose geranium and mint, sending his head swimming. She made a sound low in her throat, a faint hum of pleasure, and then her hands looped around his neck, pulling her body against his.
Soft breasts pressed against his chest, and he touched warm skin as he slid his hands down her sides to rest finally on the jut of her hipbones. She seemed right at home in a garden full of sweetness.
After another moment reveling in the taste of her, he raised his head again, trying to think of something unfoolish to say. So who are you exactly, and what the hell are you doing here in my arms?
“Maybe we should go in,” Greta murmured. “I need to put together some cinnamon rolls for tomorrow morning. And I’ve got to do the butter and sugar for the cake.”
He sighed. “Okay.”
If she was true to her word, they had the rest of the week for more conversation. He figured sometime during those six days, he’d find out all he needed to know about Greta Brewster. And maybe a bit more.
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country. Book #3, Be My Baby, won a 2011 EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance. Book #4, Long Time Gone, received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance. Book #5, Brand New Me, won the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers and was nominated for Book Of the Year at Long and Short Reviews. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon kitties (well, partly Maine Coon anyway). Her Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com and her blog is http://megbenj1.wordpress.com/. You can follow her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meg.benjamin1), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/megbenjamin/), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/megbenj1). Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.