Today we have an excerpt to share from Lily Everett’s newest release: Heartbreak Cove. Check out this awesome excerpt:
Now that he was standing, Andie was uncomfortably aware that she had to lift her chin to meet his gaze. At just shy of six feet in her beloved cowboy boots, Andie was used to towering over people, but Sam Brennan still had at least five inches on her.
A warm breeze stirred the flames of the votive candles and made the twinkle lights dance in the branches. Staring up into Sam’s watchful brown eyes, Andie became abruptly aware that their table had been abandoned as the other guests crowded around the impromptu dance floor. No one was nearby or even looking their way, everyone apparently having too much fun to glance back toward the edge of the party.
Adrenaline poured through her, slowing time to a crawl even as her own movements got sharper, stronger, more deliberate. Andie stepped around the table, going toe- to- toe with Sam Brennan without ever dropping her stare.
“It’s not against the law to joke,” she answered. “But that doesn’t make it funny.”
His low laugh was a husky growl on the breeze.
“Haven’t you ever heard of doing the wrong thing for the right reason?”
Andie firmed her jaw and shook her head at the infuriating man, and Sam shocked her by reaching out one of his huge hands to glance along her cheek. For such a giant guy, his touch was surprisingly gentle, almost tender.
“Never mind,” he said softly, his melting chocolate gaze holding her captive in this oddly private, silent moment. “I hope you never have to make a choice like that, Sheriff.”
Andie blinked, momentarily spellbound by the wistful twist to Sam’s lips as he continued. “That’s part of what I love about visiting this place. Everything seems simpler here, clearer. People say what they mean and mean what they say. Out there in the real world . . . well.”
“You could stay,” Andie heard herself saying. She blinked again, the twinkle lights dazzling at the edges of her vision.
For a moment, Andie glimpsed the unguarded truth of Sam’s reaction, the raw regret that crossed his handsome face in a spasm. “I wish I could. But I can’t.”
Andie ducked her head, appalled at the disappointment shafting through her. It was for the best, she lectured herself severely. Sam Brennan got to her in a way she’d never experienced. A way that felt dangerous.
That shiver of danger squeezed her chest again as Sam dropped his hand, curling it into a big fist at his side.
“I have responsibilities of my own,” he said, as if he were reminding himself. “I can’t afford to get distracted.”
Andie jerked her head up, tilting her chin. “Who’s distracting you? I’m only trying to be hospitable.”
“Sheriff Andrea Shepard,” Sam breathed, his gravelly voice thick with an emotion she was afraid to examine. “You have no idea how distracting you are, do you?”
The feeling is mutual, mister. “My friends call me Andie.”
Sam smiled, brief and almost tender. “Andie.” Tension filled the space between them again, but this time it felt warm and enveloping, like stepping out of the air conditioning and into the humid heat of a summer afternoon. The moment spun out for the length of a breath, a heartbeat, and then the song that had been playing ended and the couples on the dance floor applauded, sending up a loud cheer.
Stepping back, Sam tucked his hands into the front pockets of his jeans. His green flannel shirtsleeves, rolled to the elbow, exposed the corded strength of his tanned forearms. “Sounds like the party’s over. If I take a load in my truck and you take the rest in your SUV, I bet we can get all these partygoers home in one trip.”
Andie nodded. “Good idea. I’ll start rounding people up.”
She was proud of how steady her voice was, considering she had no idea what the hell just happened.
“Send your overflow to me— I’m parked in front of Hackley’s Hardware.” Sam jerked a thumb over his shoulder and gave her a half smile. “See you around, Sheriff.”
“Sheriff” again, not “Andie,” she noted with a pang. She didn’t let it show, though. Instead, she nodded and held out her hand, saying, “Thanks for the help. I appreciate it.”
“I owed you.” Before she could shake her head in denial, he said, “Oh, don’t worry. We’re not even yet. But it’s a start.”
He clasped her hand for a single heartbeat before dropping it and striding away, leaving Andie’s palm burning with the brief contact. She closed her fingers around the tingle, keeping it safe, and watched Sam Brennan walk out of her life. The image of his mile- wide shoulders and muscular back tapering to his trim waist and endless legs carved itself into her brain, and Andie didn’t even try to stop it.
“It’s for the best,” Andie murmured to herself. Sam Brennan was too much of a threat to her hard won peace and serenity. Thank goodness he was leaving Sanctuary Island. She could only hope he wouldn’t be back anytime soon.
Lily Everett grew up in a small town in Virginia reading Misty of Chincoteague and Black Beauty, taking riding lessons, and longing for a horse of her own. Sadly, her parents gave her a college education instead—but she never forgot what the world looked like from the back of a horse. She currently lives in Austin, Texas, where she writes full-time.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
The wonderful folks at St. Martin’s are letting us giveaway a set of the entire Sanctuary Island series. The set includes: Sanctuary Island, Shoreline Drive, Heartbreak Cove, and Homecoming. Contest ends March 12th and is open to US addresses only. Good Luck!