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THIS HEART OF MINE
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Kevin shot into the room.
“Look at that!”
She pointed at the small bottle of
drugstore perfume. “That meddling little…trollop !”
“What are you talking about?”
“Amy stuck that perfume there!”
She rounded on him.
“Why are you mad at me? I didn’t do it.”
“No! Bite me. Give me a hickey right here.” She
jabbed her finger at a spot a few inches above her
“You want me to give you a hickey?”
“Are you deaf?”
“There’s no one else I can ask, and I can’t stand
spending another day getting marital advice from a
nineteen-year-old nymphomaniac. This’ll put a stop to
“Did anybody ever mention you might be a few french
fries short of a Happy Meal?”
“Go ahead. Make fun of me. She doesn’t condescend to
you the same way she does to me.”
“Forget it. I’m not giving you a hickey.”
“Fine. I’ll get someone else to do it.”
“You will not!”
“Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’ll ask
“She knows how the lovebirds behave. She’ll
“The image of that woman chomping on your neck just
took away my appetite. And don’t you think it’ll
be a little embarrassing showing off your bruise when
other people are around?”
“I’ll wear something with a collar, and I’ll flip it up.”
“Then push it right back down when you see Amy.”
“Okay, I’m not proud of myself. But if I don’t do
something, I’m going to strangle her.”
“She’s just a teenager. Why do you care?”
“Fine. Forget it.”
“And have you run off to Charlotte Long?” His voice
dropped a husky note. “I don’t think so.”
She swallowed. “You’ll do it?”
“I guess I have to.”
Oh, boy… She squeezed her eyes shut and tilted her
neck toward him. Her heart started to pound.
What did she think she was doing?
Not a thing, apparently, because he didn’t touch her.
She opened her eyes and blinked. “Could you, uh,
He didn’t touch her, but neither did he move away. Oh, God, why did he have to be so gorgeous? Why couldn’t he have wrinkly skin and a big potbelly instead of being a walking advertisement for hard bodies? “What are you waiting for?”
“I haven’t given a girl a hickey since I was fourteen.”
“I’m sure it’ll come back if you concentrate.”
“Concentration isn’t my problem.”
The gleam in those smoky green eyes indicated that her behavior had put her right on the border between eccentric and insane. Her burst of temper had faded. She had to extricate herself. “Oh, never
She spun around to leave, but he caught her arm. The
feel of his fingers on her skin made her shiver. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t. I just need to warm up a little.”
Even if her feet had caught fire, she couldn’t have
“I can’t just lunge and bite.” His thumb stroked her
arm. “It’s not in my nature.”
Goose bumps quivered over her skin as he lifted his hand and trailed a finger over the curve of her neck.
Her voice developed a really annoying rasp. “It’s all
right. Go ahead and lunge.”
“I’m a professional athlete.” His words were a
seductive caress as he traced a lazy S to the base of her
throat. “Lack of a proper warm-up leads to injuries.”
“That’s the point, isn’t it? An… injury?”
He didn’t reply, and she stopped breathing as his mouth came closer. She felt a shock when his lips brushed the corner of hers.
He hadn’t even made a direct hit, but her bones melted. She heard a soft, indecipherable sound and realized it had come from her, the easiest woman on planet earth.
He pulled her against him, a gentle movement, but the contact sizzled. Hard bone and warm flesh. She wanted all of his mouth, and she turned her head to find it, but he altered course. Instead of giving her the kiss she yearned for, he touched the opposite corner of her mouth.
Her blood pounded. His lips trailed from her jaw to her neck. Then he got ready to do exactly as she’d asked.
I’ve changed my mind! Please don’t bite!
He didn’t. He played at her throat until her breathing came fast and shallow. She hated him for teasing her, but couldn’t make herself push away. And then he put an end to the game and kissed her for real.
Why is this quote fantastic?
This is an example of the awesome-ness of Susan Elizabeth Phillips as a writer. She manages to incorporate the funny, the sexy, and the heartwarming in her books.
In this scene, Molly just have had enough of being lectured by a couple of nineteen-year-olds who are newly wed and just couldn’t get their hands off each other and asks Kevin for ‘a little help’ to get those two off their backs.
THIS HEART OF MINE is another favorite of mine from SEP. If you haven’t read her yet, please, please, please, give her books a try and you won’t be disappointed.
Molly Somerville loves her career as the creator of the Daphne the Bunny children’s book series, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. She has a reputation for trouble that started even before she gave away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance. Then there’s her long-term crush on the quarterback for the Chicago Stars football team her sister owns—that awful, gorgeous Kevin Tucker, a man who can’t even remember Molly’s name!
One night Kevin barges into Molly’s not-quite-perfect life and turns it upside down. Unfortunately, the Ferrari-driving riving, poodle-hating jock isn’t as shallow as she wishes he were, and she soon finds herself at a place called Wind Lake. Surrounded by paintbox cottages, including a charming old bed-and-breakfast, Molly and Kevin battle their attraction and each other as they face one of life’s most important lessons. Sometimes love hurts, sometimes it makes you mad as hell, and sometimes—if you’re lucky—it can heal in a most unexpected way.
Don’t forget to hop around and check out everyone’s picks for the week!