MUCH ADO ABOUT MARRIAGE Silhouette Yours Truly by Shawna Delacorte reissued by Harlequin in ebook
G-EXCERPT #3 (Teasing Banter):
Ashley swallowed the last bite of her omelet, then placed the fork on her empty plate. “You’re right, Britt, you do whip up a mean omelet. That was delicious. You’ll certainly make someone a good wife some day,” she teased as she cocked her head and extended a mischievous grin. “Do you also know how to sew?”
“A wife?” He scrunched his face up and feigned a disagreeable expression. “That sounds ominously like marriage.” He chuckled as if a thought had just occurred to him. “I’ve managed to survive thirty-one years without being trapped. There’s no reason to change a winning streak.”
Marriage… She had not meant for the conversation to take a turn down that road. “You still seem to really know your way around the kitchen, though, especially for—”
He turned to face her, fixing her with a questioning look. “Were you going to say, especially for a man?”
She averted her gaze as she felt the flush spread across her cheeks. “Yes, I’m afraid I was.” She looked up in time to catch his quizzical expression. “You just don’t seem like the type of man who would be doing anything more difficult than popping something into the microwave.”
He eyed her with amusement. “Grab your coffee, and let’s go into the living room.”
She followed him into the other room and sat on the end of the couch while he sat cross-legged on the floor facing her. “Now, just what type of man do you think I am? Go ahead, be brutally honest.” He flinched and put one hand in front of his face, as if deflecting a blow. “I can take it,” he teased.
She saw no reason to spoil the light and easy mood with her truthful assessment of his character. So instead she laughed and said, “You’re outrageous!”
“Whew! I’m glad that’s over.” His twinkling eyes turned serious as he reached out and ran his fingertips lightly across the back of her hand. “But that doesn’t answer my question, does it?”
Britt searched the depths of her eyes. He wanted to know more about her, much more. She was so different from the women he had become accustomed to—women like Julie and Cindy. By contrast, Ashley was so real and honest, exactly what she appeared without any pretenses. She was like a breath of fresh air blowing away the storm clouds that had filled his life for the past four years.
She squirmed uncomfortably on the couch as she shifted her position, drawing one leg up under her. The conversation had taken a much-too-serious turn. She quickly changed the subject. “I was wondering, you have this nice apartment and nice furniture but there’s not one personal touch here. It’s almost as if you didn’t really live here. Is there any reason why your apartment is so…so sterile?”
He shifted his weight, the movement awkward and seemingly ill at ease. “I don’t know. I guess I just haven’t gotten around to decorating since I moved in.”
“Oh? Are you new to the building, too? How long have you lived here?”
His gaze seemed focused on a faraway place. A great sadness filled his eyes. He answered without any inflection in his voice. “I’ve lived here four years.”
Britt furrowed his brow as he looked around, as if seeing his own apartment for the first time. “You know, you’re right. I really need to do something with this place.” He offered her an engaging smile. “That might be a good project for us to do later this week.”
He quickly glanced at the floor in a surprisingly shy manner, then looked up into her eyes. “that was rather presumptuous of me. Let me try again.” He cleared his throat and squared his shoulders, instantly becoming all business as he spoke in a matter-of-fact tone of voice. “Would you mind giving me a hand decorating my apartment?” His familiar, practiced smile returned along with a teasing glint in his eyes. “I know, I know…I’m already so far in your debt now that I’ll never get out.”
She chuckled. “A little further in my debt and you could be my slave for life.” The total impact of her spontaneous comment hit her a second later. She tried to hide her embarrassment over its implication by adopting a businesslike attitude. “I’d be happy to help you decorate your apartment.”
He shot her a comical leer, refusing to let her initial choice of words drop. “Your slave for life? That sounds very interesting, but nothing too kinky—okay?”
“Kinky is in the eye of the beholder,” she teased back. “You’re just going to have to take your chances.”
He scooted closer to her, obviously warming to the easy nature of their banter. “Does your eye behold kinky as having any connection with whipped cream, flavored oil or body paints?” Suddenly his smile faded and he furrowed his brow as if in deep concentration. He looked at her questioningly. “Wait a minute—you’re not thinking in terms of things made out of leather, are you?”
MUCH ADO ABOUT MARRIAGE, a Silhouette Yours Truly by Shawna Delacorte, is a Harlequin reissue in ebook available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do search for author name Shawna Delacorte). Also available at Barnes and Noble in NookBooks www.bn.com and Amazon for Kindle www.amazon.com Information is available on my website www.shawnadelacorte.com
WHEN BRITT MET ASHLEY
Britt Carlton wasn’t looking to fall in love—he’d been there, done that…and didn’t want to do it again! Then Ashley Thornton moved in to his apartment complex, all smiles and sass—and incredibly sexy—and Britt knew there was only one safe course of action: they had to be strictly friends. Nothing more. Uh-uh, no way.
No matter how hard they resisted the pull between them, no matter how vehemently they rejected the idea of love and marriage, Britt and Ashley couldn’t get away from one inescapable fact: they might have started out as just friends, but that just wasn’t enough anymore….