I am very happy to be back for round two of Book Binge’s DFRaT! Last year, as a digital-first debut author with Random House’s Loveswept, I wrote a post about how from my perspective, digital publishing was nearly identical to print publishing. Over the past year, my perspective has changed a bit, but my main point—that there was more freedom (and less pressure) for me as a digital-first author—hasn’t.
Since my prior post here (which preceded the release of my debut novel Deep Autumn Heat), I’ve released three books in my Star Harbor series that features four sexy brothers living and working on Cape Cod. All of the books can be read as stand-alones, so today, I’d like to leave you with excerpts from Long Simmering Spring (which came out on May 13) and Slow Summer Burn (which will be released on August 12).
Without further ado, let’s get back to those four sexy brothers. Long Simmering Spring features Cole Grayson, a former hell-raiser who left town after high school but then turned his life around, serving his country with honor. He’s recently returned to Star Harbor as the town’s sheriff, and has beautiful doctor Julie Kensington in his sights. Problem is, she knew exactly what he was like as a teenager and now won’t give him the time of day.
Here’s a scene from early in the book from Cole’s perspective:
What he wouldn’t give to run his fingers through her hair, crush her to his body, and see how high he could make her fly. See how far he could push her until she unraveled in his arms.
But, clever woman that she was, she hadn’t given him an opening. She’d shied away from him since he’d returned, dodging him for months, and always with the same excuse: work. He took a deep drink of his lager, pushing back against the nostalgia, coupled with a smidge of bitterness.
Forget about who he was now; all she probably remembered was the guy he used to be. Bad. There was no other way to put it. He and his brothers had raised some serious hell in high school, and he’d been the worst of them all. The pranks, the drinking, the girls—God, it was embarrassing to even think about. Yet he’d come so far. He might still be one of Star Harbor’s notorious Grayson brothers, but instead of a cocksure hellion, he was a decorated military hero who worked every day to improve his community.
Maybe Julie didn’t care. They’d run in totally different circles—he with the bad boys and she with the good girls. He’d done nothing to distinguish himself to her back then until he’d confronted her—and himself—the afternoon he’d run into her behind the track at the high school. He’d made a play, and she’d turned him down, taking him apart with a few choice words. And then, bonehead that he was, he’d gone in for the kiss anyway. He’d gotten what he deserved that day—a slap so hard it had rattled his teeth, and a lecture on making something of himself.
Words he hadn’t heeded until years later.
Long Simmering Spring © 2013 Elisabeth Barrett
And then there’s Val Grayson, oldest brother in the Grayson clan and the hero of Slow Summer Burn. He’s spent his whole life taking care of his family until he meets Cameron Stahl, a Boston socialite who owns a high-end boutique in Star Harbor. When he falls for her, he falls hard. Only problem is that he’s a DEA agent from Star Harbor and Cameron is . . . herself.
When he saw that woman, all soft curves and gentle heat, he hadn’t stopped to think about what problem he needed to fix, or how he could help. All he thought about was how beautiful she was with her hair dampened from the summer rain. And the way she looked up at him with those luminous eyes. A man could get lost in them.
Only Cameron Stahl could look more amazing half-drowned and huddled under a hardware store awning than she could with fancy hair and sparkling diamond earrings at a society awards function. Today, he hadn’t considered her wealth or prestige or how she was way, way out of his league. The only thing running through his mind was how very right she felt in his arms when they danced, and how she felt even better when he kissed her. . . . .
He shouldn’t want someone like her. She was too rich, too cultured—too everything that he wasn’t. And the way she looked at him? With curiosity and awareness and something more.
No, his brain had said. She’s not for you. He’d learned young that rich women with big yachts and expensive diamonds were temptations best ignored. Townies were only curiosities to them, and he and his brothers kept far away from the pricey boats that sometimes docked in Star Harbor. But when he helped Cameron get back to her boutique and she pressed herself to him, wrapped her elegant little hand around his waist to stay dry under the umbrella, he just couldn’t resist.
He asked her out, partly for her and partly for himself, just to show her that he was man enough to do it. And then he kissed her. For him. And damn, it had felt good. Though in the back of his mind he knew he still shouldn’t want it—want her—he’d do it all again. In a heartbeat.
Even if he knew that their being together was a short-lived dream.
Because deep down, he knew she was from a different world. And a woman like her could never be happy with a man like him. At least, not for long.
Slow Summer Burn © 2013 Elisabeth Barrett
Thank you so much for joining me at DFRaT 2! To celebrate, I’m giving away two digital copies of Long Simmering Spring!
About the Author
Elisabeth Barrett lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and spends her days teaching, editing, writing sexy contemporary romance, and enjoying time with her sometimes-bearded husband and three spirited children. She is constantly perfecting her home-work-writing juggling act, but in her free time she loves to hike open space preserves, grow orchids, bake sweet things her husband won’t eat, and sing in grand choruses. Find out more about Elisabeth at her website, www.elisabethbarrett.com, or join her on Facebook or Twitter.