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:~: Friday, December 21, 2007 :~:

Excerpt 2: HOLD ON TO ME by Linda Winfree

I was going to write this spectacularly helpful post on crafting a marketing plan, but the cold medicine is working against me. Next week. I'll even share my marketing plans.

Instead, here's a second excerpt from my latest release, Hold On to Me, now available from Samhain Publishing.

She keeps a secret buried in the past. He wants the truth—now. But an unknown killer could destroy their future.

Hold On to Me by Linda Winfree
Book Three in the Hearts of the South series.

Outside, he glanced up at the thunderclouds gathering in the western sky, backlit by the afternoon sun. He couldn’t shake the gut intuition that said Caitlin’s disappearance had more to do with him than with something case related.

She waited under the porte-cochere, leaning against a column, staring across the parking lot, tapping her cell phone against her lips.


Not looking at him, she straightened. “Ready?”

Her voice sounded raw, strangled, the aftereffects of tears plain on her face. His chest tightened and he reached for her. “What’s wrong?”

She pulled free of his light hold, her movements jerky. “Can we go, please?”

“Not yet.” A couple entering the lobby cast them a curious look and he lowered his voice. “You were fine earlier and you’ve been crying. Tell me what’s going on.”

“It’s none of your business and I wish you’d simply leave me alone.” She turned on him, eyes narrowed to green slits, sparking with bad temper. “Which part of ‘we’re colleagues’ did you not get, Calvert? I don’t go around sharing my personal life with Cook or Schaefer. What makes you different?”

Her anger set him back for all of two seconds before his own rose to match it. “Maybe the fact we had a personal relationship? Remember that, Cait? That’s what sets me apart from Cookie or Jeff, the fact you all but told me you loved me, the fact I’ve had you wrapped around me and screaming my name.”

“So the sex was good.” She strode toward the parking lot. “Get over it. I did.”

“No.” He caught up to her halfway to his truck, grabbed her arm, spun her to him. He leaned down, his face close to hers. “It was more than that and you know it. Something got in the way and hell if I know what it is—”

“God, you’re stubborn.” She fairly growled the words at him, pushing away, continuing toward his dusty Z71. “Did it ever occur to you that maybe I met someone else while you were gone? Or maybe I decided I wanted something different? Or even that maybe I just didn’t want you anymore! How many times do I have to say it before it sinks through that thick skull of yours?”

Holy hell, but he was tired of this. “So that’s it?”

“That’s it.” She tugged at the door handle. “Unlock it.”

“You don’t want me.”

Ire flushed her face. “Didn’t I—”

He smothered her protest with his mouth. For a half second, she stiffened in his embrace and lifted her hands, probably to shove him away, before she clutched the front of his shirt and pulled him to her, kissing him with a hunger close to desperation. Desire barreled through him, blending with the frustrated anger, making the kiss rougher than any they’d shared before. He flattened her back against the truck, opening his mouth over hers, stroking his tongue between her lips.

She wound her arms around his waist, arching into him, and he pulled her closer, as near to him as he could get her. She stroked the bunched muscles at his lower back and he groaned into her mouth. Lord, he loved the way she touched him and it had been too damn long since he’d had her hands on him. He’d needed this since she stepped out of that car at Ash’s, since he’d come home from Missisippi. Hell, he’d needed this, needed her, the whole damn time he’d been gone, pretending to be everything he wasn’t.

He splayed his fingers at the curve of her hips. She tasted of mint and passion, the essence of her rocking him to the core. He was growing hard and heavy, an uncomfortable snugness at his groin. Heat trailed through him.

She nipped at his bottom lip, then soothed it with the tip of her tongue, pushing his need higher.

An engine rumbled on the side street and brakes whined. A horn blared, followed by a piercing male wolf whistle. Caitlin went rigid in his arms. Tick pulled away and stared into green eyes almost black with desire. His chest heaved as he struggled to catch his breath and get his body under control.

“Now tell me you don’t want me.”

Copyright © 2007 Linda Winfree
All rights reserved ~ a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Link to book (and another excerpt): http://www.samhainpublishing.com/romance/hold-on-to-me

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