Who doesn't love a second chance--especially when it comes to romance?I'm Amber Lea Easton, aka The Temptress, and I'm here to have some fun. I hope you are, too. I'm a romantic suspense and contemporary romance author who enjoys pushing boundaries. Nothing turns me on more than making my readers squirm with tension from a suspenseful storyline or sensuous seduction scene. I may not write erotica per se, but I get the job done, baby! When I think of temptation, I automatically smile. The word alone makes me think of decadence, impulse, exploration, laughter, and boldness. On Tempt Me Tuesdays, I intend to delve into all of those elements of temptation with lighthearted glee! I enjoy comments on my blog posts, so please interact as often as possible. Let's have some fun together!
Today the spotlight is on Lynn Rae's novel "First Choice, Second Chance." Let's take a peek!Blurb...
Conscientious Emily Fontaine is on a mission to prove her marketing and public relations skills. When she volunteers to restore a historic statue, she isn’t prepared for her attraction to one of her fellow committee members.
Paul Ellison has stayed out of circulation since his wife’s death, but once he meets Emily, he can’t resist her quiet allure, despite the difference in their age.
When the statue which brought them together is vandalized, and both Paul’s daughter and sister strenuously object to their burgeoning relationship, Paul and Emily realize the sacrifices they’ll have to make for each other. Will Paul have a second chance at love?
A peek inside...
Her washer and dryer lived in a narrow hallway by the back door of her apartment. There was hardly room for her and a pile of dirty clothes in there, so she leaned on the door frame and watched as Paul took the guts out of her dryer. His lanky body was folded up on the floor she belatedly hoped she’d swept recently, and he was up to one shoulder in the interior of the appliance. He’d arrived at her door a few minutes before, toting a soft-sided tool case, exactly one hour after she’d left him in the grocery parking lot.
She’d expected to feel awkward having a near stranger in her home so unexpectedly, but as soon as he entered and gave her that shy smile of his, her tension drained away to be replaced with increasing curiosity.
“What do you do, besides fix random dryers and war monuments?”
“I haven’t accomplished either yet.”
“Okay, what do you normally do?”
“Now you’re implying I’m normal.”
“You aren’t? Should I be worried?” Emily tried for a fearful tone, but she knew she was smiling. Paul’s dark eyes glinted as he shook his head. A metallic clang echoed from the innards of the dryer, and he turned to peer inside the machine.
“I’m normal,” he assured her.
“Should I leave you alone to concentrate?”
“No, it’s not a complicated repair. Just need to...” Paul’s brow creased as he concentrated on the drama inside the dryer. “It’s just tricky. Whoever designed that belt assembly must have had small fingers.”
Emily watched his hands move as he picked up tools.
“To answer your question, I worked at Kettering Labs as an electrical engineer and then went into consulting.”
Smart man. Emily knew the reputation of Kettering Labs as a think tank that worked on special research projects for all sorts of government agencies. He’d probably helped create laser guns for trained sharks and designed impregnable jails for evil supervillains.
“Are you still consulting?”
“So, I have a brilliant scientist fixing my old dryer. I don’t think I can afford you. Even brand new, this dryer is worth less than an hour of your time.”
“I’m not sure I would go so far as to say brilliant, especially since I haven’t fixed it yet.” He reached for a small wrench just out of range, and she knelt down next to him to hand it over. “I might end up having to buy you a replacement.”
“Should I call for backup?” Emily pulled out her phone and brandished it. She’d had an hour after the uncomfortable encounter in the parking lot to assimilate the fact that kind, soft-spoken Paul Ellison was demanding Shelly Laskey’s brother. It was a small town, and with their similar coloring and features, she should have put it together sooner. This also made her presence on the committee even more perilous; her boss was also a descendant of statue’s model and would likely take every development or delay very personally.
She rolled off her knees and settled her back against the wall, liking that she was close to him. It reminded her of riding in his quiet truck. He stopped looking at the mechanical workings and glanced at her as she adjusted her legs and feet in the cramped space. Was she crowding him?
“Are you claustrophobic?”
“No. Please stay there and hand me tools.” He still had one hand inside the dryer while his other rested on the floor near her own. With a lurch in her belly, she remembered how he’d flung up his arm to hold her back when he’d braked the truck so suddenly that night. Today, he was wearing a chambray shirt with the sleeves rolled up enough that she could see the hairs curling across his arms. She wondered what it would feel like to have that much of his bare skin pressed to hers. She swallowed, her throat dry.
“So, Emily. Are you, ah...?” He gave her a quick glance before turning his head to look inside the machine.
“Am I what?”
“Are you enjoying living in Palmer? I know small towns can be hard to fit into. There aren’t a lot of opportunities to go out, meet people, and have fun.”
She shrugged and realized he couldn’t see her. “I’m doing okay. My idea of fun is reading a book or watching a movie at home, which very conveniently fits my budget.”
He returned his gaze to her, and her lungs stopped working for a second. He looked like he wanted to say more, but something rattled inside the dryer, and he frowned and then gestured for a small screwdriver. She handed it over and decided refreshments were in order. Getting into the kitchen and doing something productive, besides staring at Paul Ellison, was probably a good idea.
“Will you ... would you like some coffee or tea?”
“Sure.” His voice echoed inside the dryer.
“Mint, chamomile, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Oolong, or Orange Pekoe?” She was showing off and judging by the glint in his eye, he knew it.
“You don’t even have any coffee, do you?”
Spluttering out a laugh, she looked away from his sparkling eyes and stared at her ironing board instead. He was right.
“I have an old jar of instant espresso I use when I make tiramisu.”
“Mmm, do you have any of that lying around?”
“No. I hardly ever make it. It’s not like I need the calories.” Her automatic deflection about her weight tumbled out. She’d fretted over her appearance throughout her teens and twenties but had come to peace with it in the last few years. She had a curvy build, and there was no way to change it, other than to wear well-tailored clothes and avoid unnecessary calories.
Paul set down the wrench and turned his head to look at her with a solemn expression. “What do you mean by that?”
“Come on, you know what I mean.” She knew she was blushing, and the absurdity of talking about something so personal with an electrical engineer while they were seated on the floor in her laundry nook made her self-conscious. She didn’t cross her arms over her chest like she wanted, and she refused to think about what her hips looked like with her legs folded up.
“I really don’t.” He asked her for pliers, and as she handed them over he caught her gaze. “I know weight is a sensitive topic. I think you look ... nice.”
In another man, the hesitation might have been insulting, but Paul’s genuine expression and cautious smile warmed her heart instead. “Just nice?”
“That’s all I’m prepared to say at this time.”
Was he blushing? As Emily leaned forward to get a better look, he turned away and looked back into the depths of the dryer. “Almost there. Just another turn and...”
Where to buy a copy
About the author...
Lynn Rae makes her home in land-locked central Ohio after time spent in the former Great Black Swamp, beside the Ohio River, and along the Miami and Erie Canal. With professional experience in fields ranging from contract archaeology to librarianship along with making donuts and teaching museum studies, Lynn enjoys incorporating her quirky sense of humor and real-life adventures into her writing (except the naughty bits). She writes sci-fi, contemporary, and historical romances. Join her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lynnraewrites or check out her website at www.lynnraewrites.com.
Thanks for stopping by Tempt Me Tuesdays with the Temptress!