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A Reckless Heart by @JWilck is a Toasty Reads pick #99cents #99c #romance #batb #giveaway
Title: A Reckless Heart
Author: Jennifer Wilck
Genre: Contemporary romance
Meg Thurgood, former society girl, took the blame for her friend and paid a steep price. Now all she wants is solitude and a chance to rebuild her life. She thinks she's found that in an isolated house she rents from a mysterious stranger. Simon McAlter has hidden in his house on the coast of Maine since a fire left him scarred. A successful landscape architect who conducts his business and teaches his classes remotely, he's lost his inspiration and is trying to pretend he's not lonely. Simon's new neighbor is more than he bargained for. When he learns Meg's secret, will he retreat into the shadows or will he learn to see past the surface and trust in Meg's love?
Meg walked with Simon on the rocky beach, waves on her right, cliffs on her left, and seagulls overhead. This time, her lungs expanded, her respiration slowed, and she became hyper aware of him. He took longer strides than she did, but after they’d gone a few feet, he shortened his.
She appreciated the consideration. It only made her more aware of his muscular thighs. Their arms brushed as they walked, and tingles shot up her neck. It was an accident, wasn’t it? He stepped away, but a few strides later the uneven ground pushed them together, and their bodies brushed against each other. She listened to his breath hitch at the contact, and he didn’t move away.
Nervous laughter bubbled in her chest. They’d been close before and held hands. Granted, he’d covered hers on the ladder, but still. It wasn’t the first time they touched. Why was this different? She remembered the sensations when he’d covered her hand on the roof— warmth and roughness and safety. And she wanted it. She bumped her hand against his, on purpose, to feel his skin. It wasn’t smooth like hers. Its texture, unique to him, fascinated her. A moment later, he rubbed his arm against her.
Was it accidental, too? She snuck a glance at his profile. Although his hair blocked most of his face, she’d swear when the wind blew it, a ghost of a smile hovered, like they shared a private joke. Her belly warmed, and the air between their knuckles, where they almost touched, crackled with electricity.
The next time their bodies touched, she slipped her hand through his elbow. His body jolted before he pressed her arm against his side, and they walked to the curve of the shore connected.
When they stopped, they watched the waves lap over the rocks, their froth sputtering into the cracks.
“This is the only place I’ve ever not felt alone,” he whispered.
“How long have you been alone?”
“Too long,” he replied.
“This is the only place I’ve ever felt seen.”
“I can’t imagine you invisible,” he said.
“When “It Girls” and camera bulbs surround you, it’s easy to fade into the background.”
The sky and water darkened as the light faded, and she shivered in the chill air. Her hand grew icy as he pulled away from her. As she was about to complain, a weight landed on her shoulders. His arm drew her close. He remained still, as if he waited to see if she’d object. Instead, she leaned against his side. Heat emanated from him, and tingles ran through her body. A desire to turn into him, to press her body against his, to kiss him, overwhelmed her. He positioned her in front of him and rested his chin on the top of her head. His heart beat against her back. A soft moan escaped her lips, and they both froze. All of a sudden, she was aware of how close she was. His jacket was warm from his body and smelled like him. His low chuckle brought her out of her reverie, and he took a step away.
“What’s funny?” She didn’t like the cold space between them.
“You look like a poppet in my jacket.”
She turned and raised an eyebrow. “A poppet. A poppet?” She fisted her hands on her hips and gave him her best glare.
His mouth twitched.
“Don’t you dare laugh at me, you gargantuan man.” A noise, like a combination of a rumble of thunder and a groan emanated from him; despite her warning, he laughed.
“The only reason I look like this is because your jacket is ridiculously huge!”
His shoulders shook, and he ducked.
“Yeah, you keep it up, mister. See if I return your jacket.”
He walked with her to the house, adjusting the jacket every time it slipped off her.
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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.
Jennifer Wilck is an award-winning contemporary romance author for readers who are passionate about love, laughter, and happily ever after. Known for writing both Jewish and non-Jewish romances, her books feature damaged heroes, sassy and independent heroines, witty banter and hot chemistry. Jennifer’s ability to transport the reader into the scene, create characters the reader will fall in love with, and evoke a roller coaster of emotions, will hook you from the first page. You can find her books at all major online retailers in a variety of formats.
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