Title: A Heart of Little Faith
Author: Jennifer Wilck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Lily Livingston is a widow raising her six-year-old daughter, Claire, in New York City. Devastated by her husband’s death three years ago, she’s in no hurry to fall in love again. Besides, trying to balance her career with motherhood leaves her little time for romance.
With a wheelchair instead of a white horse, and a vow against falling in love again as his armor, Gideon Stone is the last person Lily expects to sweep her off her feet. But when a business agreement forces the two of them together, that is exactly what happens. As they navigate the minefield that fast represents their relationship, can either of them overcome the obstacles to find true happiness in each other’s arms?
The two women focused their attention on the game as Mark and Gideon returned.
“What’d we miss?” Mark asked as he slid along the row into the empty seat next to his wife. Lily and Kim stared blankly at each other.
“Um…” Kim started to reply.
“Somebody pitched and someone else hit,” Lily said as she attempted to be helpful. Mark and Gideon groaned and shook their heads.
“Pitiful,” Gideon hid a smile. “That’s the best you could do?”
“Well, you didn’t tell me I was supposed to report back to you,” Lily squeaked as she tried to justify her actions. “Besides, Kim and I were busy talking.” She reached over and took a bite of Gideon’s hot dog. The smoky, spicy taste made her mouth water. He grabbed her wrist.
“Wait a minute,” he spluttered. “Are you crazy? First, you don’t pay attention to the game, and now you think I’m going to share my hot dog with you?”
“Yup.” She licked a speck of spicy mustard off the corner of her mouth.
He raised an eyebrow, entranced by the glimpse of her tongue. “And what makes you think that?”
“Because I’m so darn cute,” she retorted. Gideon pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, shook his head and with a sigh, handed over his hot dog.
Lily giggled, took another bite, albeit a small one, and returned it to him as the others laughed. She put her hand on his arm. She made circular motions with his fingers in the hairs curled above his wrist. When he covered her hand with his, she smiled and returned her focus to the game.
Soon it was time for the seventh inning stretch. As everyone else stood up, Lily leaned over and kissed Gideon on the lips. Her gaze trained on his face, he raised his eyebrows in surprise at her unexpected move. His eyes changed from amber to chocolate brown as her lips pressed against his. His lips tasted slightly salty. She wrapped her arms around his neck and his shoulder muscles contracted as he pulled her closer. She longed to taste him more fully. Their kiss deepened and a soft whimper escaped from deep in her throat. Shuffling feet and snapping chairs sounded as everyone took their seats, and Gideon and Lily pulled apart. Joe let out a whistle.
“What was that?” Gideon asked as his gaze remained locked on hers.
“My own seventh inning stretch,” she replied. “Like it?” Here goes nothing. She caught her breath. She’d thought about kissing him all day. Without a chance to discuss their relationship, and fearing he’d brush it off anyway, she decided to take the plunge. Tony said she had to make her feelings clear. She’d fantasized about kissing Gideon, but nothing had prepared her for the reality. His lips had been firm, yet yielded to the slightest pressure of her mouth. He brushed through her hair, caressed the nape of her neck like he owned her. His kiss held the promise of tomorrow; as if all she was required to do was lock her lips to his, hold on, and all her wishes would come true.
Gideon growled, leaned over and brushed his nose against hers. “Oh yeah.” He pressed his lips to hers again. This time it was firmer, more confident, a take-no-prisoners kind of kiss. Lily’s head spun and a joyful sound burbled from deep within her throat. “What’s funny?” He leaned back in his chair, a frown creasing his forehead.
The crack of a bat, the announcer’s comments, the shouts and yells of the fans, as well as the rustle and shuffle of his friends around him came into focus.
“Oh you know, first base, baseball game. You know…” Her voice drifted off and heat flooded her face and chest.
“Guess I’ll have to get tickets to some more games.” He winked at her. When she dropped her gaze to her lap, he backtracked as his voice became hoarse. “Unless you don’t…”
Uncertainty flashed in his eyes. Unable to stare at her for more than a second, he averted his gaze to the field, clasped his hands in his lap and leaned on his knees.
Lily stared at his profile for a minute. The tendons in his neck pulsed and she traced them from his jawbone to his collarbone. The texture of his skin was different from hers— thick and stubbly. His pulse beat beneath her finger and his Adam’s apple rose and fell as he swallowed. She faced him and caressed his jaw. “Have a little faith,” she whispered.
With an almost imperceptible nod, he reached for her hand and tucked it under his arm. Moving in tandem, they watched the game.
At the car, he paused before he unlocked the door. The beep of the car locking system almost drowned out his words. “That kiss back there...”
“I’ve been thinking about kissing you since you kissed me after your business dinner,” she said.
He let out a breath. “Me too. I just never knew how you’d react.”
Lily leaned against the van, the door handle pressed into the small of her back. He wanted to kiss her too? She felt desired, for the first time in a long time. The warmth of the metal penetrated through her thin T-shirt. “And now?”
He pulled her into his lap and stroked her face. His brown eyes dilated behind the lenses. “Now I want to kiss you again.”
He leaned in to kiss her. He slipped his palm to the side of her neck and stroked her skin. Sliding around to the nape of her neck, he played with the cap’s adjustment strap. He flicked his finger from the strap to her skin, until Lily thought she’d go mad. She bent her head back and he pressed her in closer to him. His iron-hard arms encased her body, drawing her in until she couldn’t tell where she ended and he began. His kiss was demanding, yet gentle. He roved his lips from her mouth to her jawbone to her neck and back again.
“I’ve wanted to kiss you since I first saw you,” he murmured as he buried his nose in her shoulder and breathed in her scent.
If money were no object, where would you go for a Spring Break vacation and why?
I think I’d go to Fiji. It looks so beautiful and I’d love to spend a week relaxing and exploring there.
What’s your favorite thing about Spring and why?
The flowers and the colors and the smells. After a long, cold winter, I need the rebirth of nature to rejuvenate my soul.
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Runs April 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on May 1.
Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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