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New Release | A Little Bit of Lust by @mylifeasadate #romance #romanticfiction #newrelease #giveaway
Title A Little Bit of Lust
Author Shirley Goldberg
Genre Romance/Romantic Women’s Fiction
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
Love-cynical Lucy Bernard delights in her independence. Baking, all things Instagram, the occasional special guy, and most of all hanging out with best friends Deon Goldbloom and Phoebe Karis. But when Deon kisses Lucy at the beach on a chilly afternoon, the two friends jump into a lust-filled romantic weekend. So what’s with slotting her into "ignore" status afterward?
Deon Goldbloom is a widower who can’t move on after his wife's death. Is he a little crazy spending a sexy few days with Lucy and calling it the best time he’s had in four years? Yeah. Except blue Monday comes calling, and Deon isn’t ready for the guilt.
Lucy wonders how a smoochy weekend turns into a friends-with-benefits disaster. And Deon wonders if he’s made the biggest mistake of his life putting Lucy on "ignore." Using all his nerdy charms, he launches a campaign to bring Lucy around. Maybe they can chart a course back to one another if Lucy will only forgive him.
Freak, no, he’s heading for the beach. Sure enough, Deon took the road that curved alongside the water and parked in the lot closest to the boardwalk.
“I thought you were kidding about the beach. I’m dressed for dinner,” Lucy protested. “My new flats.” Is he kidding?
“You don’t need no lousy shoes, girly girl. I’ll carry you.” He scrambled out and scurried around, opened the door. “Hop on board.”
“Yeah, like you can carry me?”
“Never underestimate a school psychologist.” He grinned. “Let’s live on the edge.”
She glared at him. How could she be mean? The poor guy was trying to show her a good time.
“Come on, where’s my adventurous Lucy?” He glanced down at her turquoise flats. “You’re one colorful gal. Take your phone, you Insta fiend. Let’s stage some shots.”
How did he always manage to make her laugh? She slid out, breathing in the magical balm of the salty, seaweedy air, her spirit rising with the reassuring sound of the waves.
He crouched and rolled up his pants, exposing milky white feet and, yes, hmm, well-cared-for toenails. They wandered off, limping over the stones in the lot and up onto the boardwalk past the now-shuttered food concessions, and over onto the sand. A breeze floated more of that familiar beachy odor, and gulls squawked and drifted overhead. A couple of teenagers clustered farther up the beach where a man ran with his dog.
Deon gripped her hand. “I’m glad we’re doing this. I’ve wanted to…”
“What?” she prompted, curious. Did Deon mean he wanted to come to the beach with her?
“Never mind.” He pointed at the seaweed, shells, and piper footprints. “You taking pictures?”
“Yes. Help me style, will you? Grab a few shells and let’s place them so we get those footprints in the shot.”
“All righty.” They trotted up and down the beach, the sun lowering into a fiery orange ball. She stood amid the seaweed, shells, and horseshoes, and despite the dampening chill, a fever of anticipation shook her.
Deon brought back two perfect sand dollars, a horseshoe crab, and a handful of fan-shaped shells. “You want your photos to have punctum.”
“What?” The phone dangled from her neck. “I’ve heard that word before.”
“It goes to emotion. It’s individual. Everyone reacts differently. It’s hard to explain.”
“Punctum. Yes, I like how that sounds.” She crouched, fiddling with the seaweed. “Punctum,” she repeated.
“You’re my punctum.” He caught Lucy bending over draping seaweed into a pattern on the sand, and pulled her up for a hug, nuzzling her earlobe. “You smell so good.”
“Oh.” Deon getting touchy-feely. His neck went crimson. He’s nervous. She ducked under his arm and took a few shots of the crab, giving him time to gather himself. That nuzzle was as close to physical affection as Deon had ever come.
Deon made a little depression for the horseshoe crab and arranged the sand dollars around it along with a few larger shells.
She hunkered down and grabbed seaweed in shades of green and brown, tossed it Deon’s way. It landed on the crab. “Would you make that look pretty?”
“Sure.” She avoided his gaze and he kept his head down as he repositioned the shells and the crab and made a little mound of sand then added more green seaweed.
Lucy clicked off a few shots from different angles, her arm quivering. “Step into the picture,” she urged. “I want to get your bare feet.”
“No way my feet are going in your picture.” Deon made a dorky face, and Lucy threw a glob of the knobby seaweed at him. He peeled it off and lobbed it back.
“We’ll both get in the picture.” Lucy tugged at his pants leg and ticked off a few more photos before reaching for a handful of sand.
“Don’t even think about it,” he backed away.
“Silly, come back, it’s for the picture. Sand on our toes. I’ll do a closeup and…”
He slid an arm around her, hugging her close then moved behind and wrapped his arms around her waist.
“This feels good.” His voice was low, husky, his breath quickening. Or was she imagining this response?
Lucy wriggled away from Deon and snapped a few shots hoping he wouldn’t notice her hand shaking. Thinking of Deon’s reaction to touching her, the heat coming off him. He slid close again, dropped his chin onto her shoulder, and nuzzled her neck, his hair tickling her ear. “You smell good. I already told you that, didn’t I?”
Lucy didn’t put much faith in pretty words, never had, but this was different. Deon wasn’t some random internet date. Deon was…Deon. Her chest squeezed as he tilted her backward onto her heels, his grip around her waist the only thing between her and falling onto the sand.
He righted her and moved his hand up and down her arm slowly, making her skin prickle. She noticed a tiny pink speck on his cheek where he’d nicked himself shaving.
“Did I tell you how beautiful you look today?”
It was a teaser, that first tentative kiss. She wrapped both hands around the back of his neck and stood on tiptoes. His lips probed gently, then with increasing pressure and oh, it was good, really good. They stood like that kissing until her legs turned to frigid blocks that threatened to collapse. She pulled back and looked up at him.
“Are you cold?” he said. “I can’t feel my feet.”
“I’m freezing.” The chill crept straight up her skirt to her crotch and belly.
“The car. I’ll put on the heat.”
They lumbered back across the wood planks of the concession stands and down the stairs. Deon unlocked the car and opened the door. Once inside, shielded from the wind with the motor running, they thawed out.
“Sit there, let me warm up your legs. I’ve got towels and things.”
He walked back to the trunk and ruffled inside it then came around to her side holding a hot water bottle and a plastic tub.
“Look what I brought. It’s part of the special surprise package I ordered for you.”
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Giveaway: I’m one of the authors participating in the Curl Up With a Book Month Giveaway and you can win an e-copy of Middle Ageish.
Runs December 1 - 31 and is open internationally for many prizes. Winners will be drawn on January 3, 2023.
Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website http://midagedating.com offers a humorous look into dating in mid-life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. A Little Bit of Lust is her third book in the series Starting Over, although all her books are standalone. Her characters believe you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.
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