Title: Whispers in Washington
Author: Jennifer Wilck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Naomi's life has been destroyed…
When Naomi Adelman’s crooked politician husband was arrested, her life, and that of her daughters, was destroyed. Divorced and rebuilding her life, Naomi is wiser, stronger, and determined not to let anyone hurt her or her family again. Her new life doesn’t include falling for her charming and good-looking neighbor.
Max bet everything and lost...
Max Bruder bet his entire career on the Adelman story and lost everything. So, he figures that karma has smiled down on him when Naomi moves in next door. This is his chance to revitalize his career. Except the closer he gets to her, the deeper he falls for her. And soon, the line between interview subject and lover blurs. If they fall for each other, they may jeopardize their chance at a future.
When Max’s true motive is revealed, will Naomi be able to forgive him? And will Max be able to stop the whispers to protect her before it’s too late?
Naomi wanted to finish, but she was full, and with reluctance, she pushed her plate away. “That was amazing. You can order for me anytime.”
A shard of interest sparked in Max’s eyes and he leaned forward. “Does this mean you’ll go to dinner with me again?” His voice beguiled her, his interest in her clear.
Her stomach fluttered. Warning lights flickered in her brain, but something else whispered, “’go for it.” She paused. “I will.”
He smiled, his look of satisfaction somehow attractive, instead of arrogant. She liked confident men, and Max oozed confidence. Except he carried confidence with ease. His broad shoulders emphasized good posture, rather than a puffed-out chest. Whoa, I might have had too much to drink. She looked at the wine bottle. Had she drunk three or four glasses? She couldn’t remember. Her neck heated with the same glow she felt after drinking. Maybe she should slow down.
What she did know was Max was sexy, and she liked the attraction sparking between them. After such a long time of feeling like a prop, and a duped one at that, it was nice to have a man look at her like she was worth something.
He rose, and she realized he’d paid the bill while she sat lost in her thoughts. He held out a hand to her and she took it. His grasp was firm, and her skin prickled beneath his touch. Was this what her daughters felt when they met a new guy? God, it had been ages since she’d done this. Rising, she met his gaze. His brown eyes were full of life—there was depth there, kindness, and inter‐ est. Depending on the light, the color changed from gold to walnut and shades in between. He smelled spicy and clean.
She squeezed his hand, and he kept her palm in his as he led her out of the restaurant. They stood in the doorway, her body only inches away from his, heat zinging between them, as they walked the few blocks to their apartment building. He still didn’t let go of her. She concentrated on the tensile strength of his fingers wrapped around hers, liking his strength and comfort.
He didn’t lead her around or pull her in a particular direction. Their hands together joined them. It felt natural. Holding hands with Malcolm always made her feel like a prop, as if he didn’t want a real connection.
Naomi didn’t want to think about Malcolm now, and she shook her head.
“Problem?” Max asked. They’d stopped in front of their building.
She turned so fast, her hair caught on the stubble at his jaw. “No.” She brushed the hair away from his cheek, the slight textured stubble rubbing against her palm and sending heat straight to her belly. His lips parted, and he leaned forward.
Would he kiss her? Did she want him to? She shouldn’t, she barely knew him, but her skin tingled, her breasts tightened and her breath came in short gasps.
He didn’t kiss her. Instead, he reached his free hand out and stroked the side of her head, smoothing her hair in place. “Yes,” he whispered.
She frowned, and tried to hide her disappointment. “Yes, what?”
“Your hair is as silky as I wondered.” He let his hand glide down her neck to her shoulder, and the contact brought out goose bumps. “Are you cold?” he asked.
She didn’t know how to answer. Was it okay for her to say, “no, I’m attracted to you?” Or should she say “yes”?
As if he understood her dilemma, he let go of her hand, slid his arm behind her shoulders, and drew her into the warmth of his body.
The man was a furnace and she wanted to groan in pleasure. They stood toe to toe, his hand running up and down her spine, her breasts pressed against his hard chest. Would he kiss her? Should she kiss him? Her brain short circuited and desire flooded through her. All she could do was focus on the warmth flooding her, the soothing sound of his humming something she couldn’t quite catch, and the zings of desire running throughout her body.
Too soon, Max pulled back. The cool evening air did little to stop the yearning for the man. Once again, he took her hand, and in silence, he led her into the elevator, down their hallway to where their front doors met. Her legs wobbled, and she leaned against the wall. The last thing she wanted to do was fall at this man’s feet.
“I liked getting to know you better,” Max whispered, leaning his free hand against the wall next to her head.
She was boxed in between the wall and Max, in her own little cocoon. He’d said there were limits to how far a reporter should go. For some reason, she felt safe. She trusted him not to take advantage of her. Her body warmed at his proximity. His eyes were dark—more mahogany than walnut, his forehead touched hers, and his breath was warm and minty. Her mind drifted to when exactly he’d taken a breath mint, and why, and should she. She opened her mouth to tell him how much she’d enjoyed it too, and to ask for a mint, but he didn’t let her utter any words.
Instead, he brought his mouth to hers and kissed her. Warm, commanding, yet soft, lips claimed her own. Her knees buckled and she grabbed his biceps, loving the solid feel of him beneath her fingers. Max wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. He exuded strength and she felt more protected than she could remember. His body was hard, his arousal pressing against her, but he didn’t force her or move fast. Instead, he moved with delicious slowness, as if he memorized everything about her lips and mouth. She wanted more. More kissing, more touching, more Max. She whimpered as she pressed against him and his lips stretched into a smile, before he sucked on her tongue and the last of her coherent thoughts fizzled.
Just as she was about to rip his jacket off and begin to unbutton his shirt, he pulled away.
“Goodnight.” His breathing was harsh, his words rough, his pupils wide and dark. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She covered her mouth with her hand. She could taste him. He pushed away from the wall and entered his apartment, the jingle of his keys echoing throughout the hall.
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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. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
She writes contemporary romance, many of which feature Jewish characters in non-religious settings (#ownvoices). She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.