Title: Shades of Sepia – Cover Model Book 2
Author: Laura M. Baird
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tasha Linthrop paved a path all her own by becoming a cover model and opening her own boutique. Marcus Everly is a veteran who isn’t ashamed to put his physique in front of the camera to pay the bills while pursuing his passion of working with other veterans.
The two have been friends, dancing around their attraction to one another, and when they finally get together, it’s explosive. But can Marcus move beyond his doubts of being good enough for Tasha? Especially when another shows interest in her? Tasha will have to decide who holds her heart.
Before she could turn, solid arms engulfed her as lips pressed to her ear, instantly sending chills dancing along her skin. A familiar scent invaded her senses as she registered who owned the warmth at her back.
“What do you think you’re doing, Tasha?” Those slowly whispered words seemed innocent enough, but she knew there was a hint of anger in them.
“Dancing,” she returned. “What are you doing, Marcus?”
“Trying to keep you from making a mistake you’d regret.” He held her tightly to his chest, never halting their movements. And just as her hands came to rest atop his, Marcus spun her around, causing her chest to plaster against his front. Tasha swallowed a gasp as he bent his face close to hers and said, “You’re not ready for what those two have to offer.”
She struggled fruitlessly against his strong hold, her temper flaring as her teeth ground together. “What the hell would you know about what I am or am not ready for? You lost your chance to find out.”
“Is that so?” Menacing didn’t even begin to describe the tone his voice held as his eyes challenged.
“That is so,” Tasha replied, lifting her chin, her gaze never leaving his. Something dark flashed between them, and she wondered where her sanity must’ve gone when she gave him a seductive smile.
Now who’s challenging?
In a split second, Marcus crushed his lips to hers, his tongue demanding entry. Tasha opened on a whimper, surprised at the intensity of this assault on her mouth. There was no escaping as he pressed firmly to her back with one hand, the other reaching for her ass, squeezing none too gently.
But Tasha didn’t want to escape, she wanted more. Rising on the toes of her shoes, she matched his raw passion, suddenly ravenous for the man as she feasted on his rich mouth that hinted of cinnamon. Pressing into him, she clawed at his t-shirt, wishing she had his skin beneath her hands. Tasha took the excitement building from their earlier encounter and let it fuel her, let it propel her to something she knew would be glorious with this man. She managed to remove her hands from between their bodies so she could clutch his head, letting him know not to move his mouth from what it was currently doing.
Marcus growled as he continued to plunder, both hands pawing her ass and grinding their bodies together. There was no doubt his body was aroused, but he pulled away abruptly, staring at her with uncertainty.
“Tasha,” he rasped, “we’re playing with fire.”
“Do you want me or not, Marcus?” She practically panted while she massaged the tense muscles in his neck.
“Do you really need to ask?” He pressed into her, the heat of his straining erection radiating through the barrier of their clothes.
“Then why don’t we do something about it?” She gently pulled his mouth to hers, kissing him sweetly now. As much as she loved the fierce and wild, she wanted a slow burn, a lasting fire with a few explosions now and then. Okay, maybe more than just a few. And it seemed Marcus did as well as his hands gently cradled her face while he returned her kisses with such tenderness she wondered if this was the same man who had nearly come undone just moments ago.
He pulled away and stared, his eyes softening, questioning. Then he said, “Let me take you home.”
Tasha nodded as he led her to the table where Celeste and Joy still stood vigil over her coat and purse. Only then did she realize where the evening had led, with her ignoring her friends.
“Celeste, Joy, I’m so sorry. I—”
“Hey, nothing to be sorry for,” Celeste answered as Joy nodded in agreement. “We’ll have another girls’ night.” She winked. “Let Marcus take you home.”
“How…” Tasha looked from Celeste to Marcus then back again. “I mean, what—”
“Come on, Tasha,” Marcus gently prodded, taking the liberty to grab her coat while he handed over her clutch. He then turned to Celeste and Joy, saying good night.
“Night, you two,” Celeste said.
Tasha had no choice but to be escorted out of the bar and into an awaiting taxi as Marcus quickly rattled off her address. Realization hit and sparked more than irritation in her. “Celeste contacted you, didn’t she?” When he didn’t answer, only sitting silent and rigid, anger began to flare. “Did she actually think I needed saving? By you? What the hell?”
“She was concerned and didn’t think she’d be able to break up what was going on with you and Cam and Zoe without causing a scene.”
“Really? Maybe I wanted what was going on, huh? Did she ever think of that?”
“Maybe, but that’s not you, Tasha.” His words sounded sure, as if he really knew her. But he didn’t. She didn’t even know herself, not after that display. Tasha closed her eyes and sighed, wondering just how far she would have gone, and would there have been regret either way?
Marcus broke the silence, causing her to jump. “I’m sorry for earlier, and if that had anything to do with what just happened back there.”
Tasha snorted. “You think pretty highly of yourself, don’cha? Well, don’t concern yourself with me or my sexual activity. I can take care of myself, in more ways than one.”
Marcus nearly growled as he looked from her to the driver and back to her again. “Here’s not the place, Tasha.”
“I don’t care—” Her words were cut short as Marcus covered her mouth with his, sealing their lips tight as he once again took his fill. But instead of fighting as she should’ve done, given the current state of pissed-off she felt, she caved, taking out her aggression on this distraction.
If money were no object, where would you go for a Spring Break vacation and why?
Hubby and I would go to Fiji, to a deserted beach where we were free to do as we please!
What’s your favorite thing about Spring and why?
My favorite thing about Spring is the flowers. I love seeing nature come to life with the beautiful colors and amazing aromas.
Spring Break Bookapalooza Giveaway:
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Runs April 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on May 1.
Wife, mother, former U. S. Army sergeant, and dental hygienist, I can now add published author to the list. I’m slowly transitioning out of hygiene, hoping to make writing a full-time endeavor. After writing for many years, my publishing dreams came true (at the age of 50!) in August of 2017. Since then, I’ve had the fortune to work with four publishers, connect with fantastic people, and am constantly learning on my journey.
A voracious reader myself, I strive to write stories I can be proud of and enjoyed by many; ones that are not only sexy and fun, but thoughtful as well.
I grew up on the East Coast and now reside on the West Coast, having lived in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Idaho, and Washington State. Hubby and I hope to fill our passports with stamps from many destinations, Scotland and Fiji being at the top of the list. We’ve raised two sons who make us proud. And when not writing, I’m reading, doing house projects, and simply enjoying time with hubby.
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Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-M.-Baird/e/B0745JY9CF/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1