Love and Lattes–Excerpt

With only 3 weeks left until Love and Lattes releases, I thought it might be time to share an excerpt. Enjoy!!

Elbowing her way through the crowd, Julia Walker finally reached the bar and attempted to flag down a bartender. She wiggled her fingers at the one nearest her as he walked by. Of course, he stopped at a woman further down and leaned across the bar to hear her order. As far as she could see, other people seemed to be trying the same tactic as her own. If the drinks lining the edge of the bar were any indication, all of them had apparently been more successful than she had.

Sighing, Julia propped her head in her hand and resigned herself to the fact she wasn’t likely to get a drink anytime soon. In a normal setting, people looked right through her. Why had she thought the bar would be any different?

Why is coming to the club fun?

Maybe if she was tall and blonde, with her breasts bursting out of her top like so many of the other women she saw around the bar, she’d stand a chance of being noticed. But, with her straight black hair falling slightly above her shoulders and a dress only providing a hint of what hid underneath, she simply couldn’t compete.

She surveyed the dance floor from her position at the bar but couldn’t make out her friend anywhere in the sea of people. Julia had never been to Oasis before, even though there were only three clubs in the neighborhood. Her friend and roommate Tali had sworn she’d stay by her side so Julia wouldn’t end up standing alone and bored the entire night. But where’s Tali now? They’d gotten separated almost as soon as they’d entered the bar, with men naturally flocking to Tali’s side, hoping for her attention.

The club was inside the gates of Meadow Ridge, so all the customers were either born and raised in the Meadow—which meant they were stinking rich—or they were students from the local university like she was—which meant they were dirt poor and barely scrimping by on meager student loans. Tali fell easily into the first group and Julia did not. Somehow, they’d remained friends regardless of the difference in their bank account balances.

Julia turned away from the dance floor and back to the bar. She needed a drink soon. She was already dehydrated from the hot, sweaty club and hadn’t even danced yet. Sending her most award-winning smile directly at the bartender, she waved her hand again. He looked right past her to the girl in the see-through dress, which may as well have been non-existent for all the coverage the flimsy material provided.

A man in a dark blue button-up shirt suddenly blocked her view. “Hey,” he esaid, smiling at her with perfect Hollywood teeth, bending down until his mouth brushed her earlobe. His warm breath caressed her delicate skin. “You look like you could use a drink. Can I get you one?”

You could get me more than a drink, I’m sure.

He must have been about six feet tall, with the most gorgeous sandy-brown hair. His features were sharp and defined with a strong jaw and chiseled cheekbones. Even though she could tell he was only a couple of years older than she was, he looked far too distinguished to be mingling in a club full of students and twenty-something singles. The warmth of his breath at her neck sent a tingle along her flesh.

“You can try.” She finally found her voice enough to answer him. “I haven’t had much luck yet.”

“What’ll you have?”

“A Cosmo.”

He leaned across the bar and instantly a bartender wandered over to take his order.

How’d he do that?

She couldn’t hear his words over the sounds of music pounding through the club, but moments later a frosty martini glass filled with bright pink liquid was at her lips. The tart cranberry instantly quenched her thirst as the heat of the liquor quieted the butterflies in her stomach.

“Thanks,” she shouted, hoping he could hear her over the noise. She reached into the small clutch she’d brought filled with essentials and pulled out a couple of neatly folded bills. Before she could offer them to him, he put his hand on hers, shaking his head.

She should have insisted on paying. She wanted to pay. But the moment his hand touched hers, every thought she’d ever had vanished. The only thing she could focus on was the heat of his touch. His hand lingered on hers and she would swear she could feel actual sparks firing against her skin. Does that really happen to people?

She’d read plenty of romance novels that talked about the chemistry—the spark between two people—but she’d always thought an actual spark sounded a bit farfetched. Stuff like that didn’t happen in real life, did it?

Her eyes sought his, finding the most interesting kaleidoscope of colors she’d ever seen. Flecks of blue, brown, and green intermingled to create eyes she wanted to stare at forever. “The next one’s on me.”

“There’ll be another?” He gave her a teasing grin.

Oh, damn. She began to sweat and wondered if her assumption about another drink had been completely wrong. When he’d bought her this drink, he was probably just trying to be nice to the poor, thirsty girl at the bar. He most likely had a girlfriend somewhere in the club waiting for him right now and wondering where he was.

“No, I didn’t mean that. I just wanted to repay you for this drink since you were so nice to buy me one. That’s all. I’m sure you have someone else to buy you the next drink, so you won’t need me too. Of course it’s not like you need anyone to buy you a drink, I’m sure you can afford to buy your own drinks—” She shook her head and sighed under her breath. Damn it. At the ripe old age of twenty-two, she still couldn’t speak to men without getting flustered.

LOVE AND LATTES, A Meadow Ridge Romance is available now for pre-order HERE for all formats and is available everywhere else on 9.10.11!


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