I Breathe You by Lori L. Clark
Publication date: August 2nd 2013
Genre: NA contemporary romance
When a tragic accident leaves Rhane Evans — lead vocalist for the rock band Fate’s Crazy — permanently unable to speak above a whisper and kills the love of her life, she moves across the state to pick up the pieces. Shattered, Rhane struggles to understand what happened the night of the accident, an accident everyone blames her for, even though she wasn’t driving the car.
Enter Ian Callahan. He’s the one person who may have a more tumultuous past than Rhane. Though they try hard to deny the sizzling attraction between them, it proves nearly impossible. When Ian’s troubled past threatens to tear them apart, they begin to believe happiness isn’t in their cards.
Because Fate’s Crazy that way…
Gwen announces that it's time to eat and we make our way to the kitchen with T leading the way. I stiffen momentarily when Ian's fingertips rest gently against my lower back but soon relax beneath his reassuring touch as he guides me forward.
Several times during dinner, I sense Ian's eyes on me, and I glance up. The first couple of times, I quickly avert my gaze to the plate in front of me. But now, a glass and a half of wine later, it's getting harder to shift my attention elsewhere. He watches me through hooded eyes, and I refuse to look away. I reach for my wine and swirl the liquid slowly around in the goblet. I take a long swallow and slowly run my tongue around the perimeter of my tingling lips, teasing him. His eyes darken and the corner of his mouth tips into a half smirk.
After we eat, I stand, offering to help Gwen clear the table. Shockwaves of electricity jolt down the center of my back when Ian steps behind me and whispers into my ear. "Thank God you weren't eating a banana or I might have had to excuse myself from the dinner table for a few minutes." I draw my lips between my teeth to keep a mad case of giggles from erupting.
"I'll go bring in some wood for the fire," Ian offers. Under his breath he mutters low enough only for me to hear, "It'll be the closest thing to a cold shower I can get away with right now."
"Do you want me to help?" I whisper playfully.
"No. You’ve done more than enough already," he shakes his head. Gwen arches an eyebrow at his remark. I understand the meaning behind his words and grin. He shrugs and walks outside with a huge smile on his face.
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"You plan on helping me unload this thing or are you just going to bob up and down like a damn goof?" I try to punch him in the shoulder playfully but his long fingers snake around my wrist before I'm able to connect. He smirks. "Careful there, Sunshine. Don't hurt yourself."
I roll my eyes at the new nickname he's recently begun calling me. Sunshine. Rhane. Get it?
"I'm teasing. This thing probably weighs twice as much as you," as he hoists himself effortlessly up into the bed and unhooks the tailgate straps allowing it to swing freely. He pulls out two boards and sets them at an angle from the truck to the ground, creating a crude ramp of sorts.
I watch him pull on a pair of worn leather gloves and he goes to work feeding a rope through the eyelets of two large hooks threaded into the back of the doghouse. I breathe into my hands, trying to warm the fingertips left bare by my own pitiful gloves.
His eyes flicker to my hands. "When you going to get yourself some real damn gloves anyway?"
I give him a middle finger salute and childishly stick out my tongue. "Shut up," I huff.
He turns his back to me, and his shoulders shake in silent laughter. "Feisty," he mutters. My eyes slowly slide down from his broad upper back before locking on the way his tight jeans accentuate the firmness of his fine ass. I start to warm up and nerve endings all over my lower half ignite. My cheeks blossom into what I'm sure must be a brilliant scarlet.
He glances at me, doing a double take, "You cold?"
I crinkle my nose and shake my head. Hopeful he can't read just how un-cold I really am. "No why?"
"Your cheeks are red," he pulls the rope taut and threads it through the pickup bed. "You must be cold. Either that, or you're blushing." That left cheek dimple reappears, and I wonder if he's flirting with me.
I think he's figured out that he flusters the hell out of me. He's sort of cocky that way. Unfortunately for me, I've always had a thing for cocky, self-assured, slightly egotistical men. Who wants boring, when you can have a bad ass? Especially the ones everyone says to stay away from.
I read, I write, I run 1/2 marathons for fun. Ten things about me:
1. I’m an only child.
2. I love dogs!
3. I was born in Iowa City, Iowa and lived in Iowa my whole life until January 2007.
4. I worked as a professional psychic reader for 2 years.
5. I’m a Pisces Sun, Leo Moon with Aquarius rising.
6. I’ve written 5 books and am in the process of brainstorming a 6th.
7. I don’t look or act my age!
8. I ran my first 1/2 marathon at age 50.
9. I love 80′s hair band music.
10. My day job is as a claims payment analyst for one of Fortune 500 Magazine’s “Top 100 places in America to work.”