It’s my pleasure to be a part of author Stephanie Fournet’s Blog Tour for her current release, YOU FIRST.
As part of the tour, I’m delighted to be able to share an excerpt from YOU FIRST with you today. In addition, Stephanie is hosting a tour-wide giveaway for a $100 Amazon or Book Depository Gift Card grand prize and three winners will win a signed copy of YOU FIRST. For more information on the giveaway, please see the end of the post.
Gray Blakewood is the most successful crime writer under the age of thirty—and he has a secret that could cost him his life.
He just wants to finish his latest novel before his world unravels, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful distraction.
Meredith Ryan, his new personal assistant, has seen more than her fair share of hard knocks. And, still, she’s the sweetest person he’s ever met.
She deserves a lifetime of happiness—which he can’t offer.
But he can’t seem to stay away.
Be sure to add YOU FIRST to your bookshelf on Goodreads.
“Are you firing me?” she asked. Her walls had come up. She looked ready for anything, her chin high as if bracing for disappointment. He was struck with the certainty that she knew how to survive — no matter what. The set of her shoulders and the flint in her eyes told him she was used to letdowns. They were all too common in her life; they took their toll, but she weathered each in turn.
And Gray Blakewood did not want to be one of them.
“Of course I’m not firing you. You’ve done nothing wrong.” Pushing his misery aside, he searched for the words to make her understand. “Even if I don’t want help, I still…”
…want you to stay.
…want to get to know you.
…want to kiss you senseless.
There were so many ways he could end the sentence, and most of them would send her running out the door. And as he struggled for words, Meredith’s face softened, the walls dissolving in her eyes first, and Gray knew that though she might not understand, she wouldn’t make him say any more.
“Look…” She shook her head and pushed up the sleeves of her pajama top, drawing his eyes to the perfection of her wrists. When had he ever noticed a woman’s wrists before? “We’re both new at this. I don’t want to make your life any harder… and I sure don’t want to make you feel worse.”
Her eyes met his when she spoke, and Gray could see the kindness in her that ran deep. Something in him clenched almost painfully. Her sweetness soothed him, taking away the sting of his humiliation, but his hunger for her seared him from the inside. Why couldn’t they have met sooner? Before the damned tumor made his world go sideways? When she could have seen him simply as a man?
Meredith shrugged, unaware of the war she’d started within him. “We should… I don’t know… make a list or something. A list of things you’re okay with me do—”
Gray couldn’t stand it any longer. He grabbed her by the wrist, knowing he’d lost his mind. “Meredith…”
Startled, she glanced from his hand back to his face in an instant.
“Can I… not be your boss… for five minutes?”
She sucked in a breath. “Why?” Her mouth was glossy and ripe. Her pulse beat in her neck.
And Gray wanted to taste each.
He knew there were so many reasons not to, but he stepped in, closing the distance between them. And when she didn’t make any move to pull away, he released her wrist and circled his arm around her, low across her back. She kept her eyes on his, her chest rising and falling with each rapid breath, and he brought his hand to her cheek.
“I want to rewrite this night,” he said, pulling her closer so that her breasts pressed against him.
Across his chest he could feel the hammering of her heart through the silky fabric of her top.
“Dinner, but in a restaurant, or at least me cooking for you. A long walk, but this time with your hand in mine…”
He dragged his little finger down to her perfect lips and traced them with the lightest touch, her slow blink giving him the courage to say the rest.
“...and instead of an argument, a goodnight kiss.” As slowly as he could manage, he brought his lips just over hers, hovering above the warmth he could already feel. “May I?”
“I…” Her gaze was on his mouth, and he watched her bite her lip and nod.
Gray didn’t wait for more. If this was the point of no return, so be it. He had no interest in returning to a time when he did not know the taste of her kiss. He pulled her up to him and crushed his lips against hers.
Meredith was as sweet as her soul. As soft as her touch. As warm as her smile. But as his lips slanted against her mouth, he discovered that her sweetness became a nectar spiked with desire. This he tasted when she arched up, pressing closer. As soft as she was, he felt her strength and her certainty when her arms tightened around him. And when his tongue dared to trace the seam of her lips, her warmth became heat as she opened for him.
And the world caught fire.
|Author Stephanie Fournet|
When she isn’t writing romance novels, she is usually helping students get into college or running. She loves hearing from fans, so look for her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, and stephaniefournet.com.
You can find out more about Stephanie and her writing by also following her tour at the following blog:
Monday, Dec. 5th - Love in a Time of Feminism (Interview)
Tuesday, Dec. 6th - Babbling About Books and More (Spotlight)
Wednesday, Dec. 7th - Books, Dreams, Life (Guest Post)
Friday, Dec. 9th - Jersey Girl Book Reviews (Review)
Monday, Dec. 12th - A Chick Who Reads (Review)
Tuesday, Dec. 13th - With Love for Books (Review)
Wednesday, Dec. 14th - It's All About the Romance (Interview)
Thursday, Dec. 15th - Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books! (Excerpt)
Friday, Dec. 16th - Kendra Loves Books (Review)
Tuesday, Jan. 10th - Thoughts in Progress (Excerpt)
Thursday, Jan. 12th - vvb32 reads (Review)
Monday, Jan. 16th - Reese's Reviews (Spotlight)
Wednesday, Jan. 18th - Jeri's Book Attic (Review)
Friday, Jan. 20th - 2 Book Lovers Reviews (Review)
This is a tour-wide giveaway. One winner will receive a $100 Amazon OR Book Depository Gift Card (International). Three winners will win a signed copy of YOU FIRST (U.S. only).
To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.
Thanks so much for stopping by today during Stephanie’s visit. Do you find excerpts helpful when deciding about a book? Do you enjoy reading stories featuring authors and their adventures?