Contemporary Romance, Sensual
BLURB: This book is the first in the Sweetwater Springs series of stand-alone books.
Sam Moreland is desperate to keep his daughter out of the clutches of her abusive mother seeking custody. He resists legal advice to provide the court with a complete family unit because past relationships have soured him on love.
Though she yearns for children, Rosie Baxter knows a failed pregnancy has likely left her barren. She remains single rather than bring her problems into a marriage and concentrates on her business with its financial woes.
A temporary marriage pact means Rosie provides Sam with the illusion of family in return for an influx of cash into her store. But kisses for show become all too real. When outside threats shake their growing bond, each must trust the other with their darkest secret or lose their best chance for love and happiness.
Fans of Marie Ferrarella, Tanya Michaels, Leanne Banks and Susan Mallery will enjoy this series, which contains sensual, contemporary romance against a backdrop of family and community in the small town of Sweetwater Springs, Arkansas.
Warning: This book contains a heated tryst in the kitchen, a cricket choir, conniving exes, and big family gatherings. Do not read if you are allergic to tall, dark and handsome men with sweet baby girls or determined red-haired women with strong maternal feelings. The author makes no guarantees against sudden urges in the reader to move to a small southern town.
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Excerpt 2 of 2:
“I need a shower,” Rosie said. “Preferably hot and lengthy.”
Sam’s eyebrows rose slightly at her unexpected announcement. A staring contest ensued. A question unasked. No answers given. Pulses throbbed. Chests rose and fell.
Sam broke their visual connection. “I thought you did morning showers.”
She didn’t have to ask how he knew. At times, the old water pipes within these walls could be quite vocal. The urge to escape the awkwardness between them was strong, but moments before he’d broken eye contact, she’d seen a flash of something which looked a lot like disappointment.
The promise of that gave her courage. “That’s right. Nothing revives me like a nice long shower.”
His gaze locked on hers. “I wouldn’t mind taking one myself.”
Rosie bracketed his face with her hands and kissed him thoroughly for hearing the things she couldn’t say. Silently, she thanked him for not making empty promises. He kissed her back with the same intensity.
This she could deal with. It was bittersweet, but honest.
Slowly, they drew apart. Keeping his gaze locked on hers, Sam unbuttoned one button on her blouse, then another.
For a split second, she panicked and stilled his hand. What underwear had she thrown on this morning? Would her body appeal to him? She would never be mistaken for a svelte runway model, that was for sure.
His hard length pressing into her leg told her it didn’t matter.
She eased off his lap, stood on shaky legs and faced him boldly, cleavage exposed, hair wild and tangled. “I . . . need a minute first.”
Sam stood and brushed a thumb across her lower lip, his tender touch sending frissons of pleasure down her spine. “I’ll wait until I hear the shower curtain being drawn.”
She grabbed the elastics he’d taken from her hair and hesitated. What if indulging their needs tonight destroyed their friendship? What if—
She raised her panicked gaze to his calm one. “Are we making a mistake here? We could—”
“Shhh. You’re thinking too much.” He reached for her, slowly drawing her back into a loose embrace, his fingers splayed low on her back. “Kiss me.”
His gentle approach was exactly what she needed to calm her nerves. Almost any other method of seduction, however manly and assertive it might have been, would have intensified the beginnings of panic.
Deep in her core, a slow burning sensation began as he pulled her lower body snug against his. He’d obviously not felt any waning of desire or second thoughts. Tentatively, she brought her mouth to his, sipping at his lips before dipping inside them with her tongue. Sam responded with fervor, taking the kiss to inferno levels.
He withdrew a fraction of an inch. “You’ve got three minutes and I’m coming in that bathroom. Now go.”
The sound of his voice strained with need, set her leg muscles aquiver. Somehow she made it the length of the hallway.
Inside his bathroom, she stopped and leaned against the door, surprised at the changes Sam had made. Her house, her palette of taupe complimented by faded-jeans blue. But he’d made it his own with towels and rugs in wide stripes that matched. A bold fabric shower curtain of geometric shapes—also in her colors—hung on a new curved rod that allowed the bather more space. She peeked inside the shower-tub combo to see a new, oversized showerhead.
It would easily provide a wide enough spray for two.
She turned on the water to warm before making quick work of necessary business and stripping. Once she’d formed a neat pile of clothes, and secured her hair atop her head with the elastics, she faltered, feeling too exposed and vulnerable.
Had it been three minutes already?
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Blurbs are great to know what the book is about, but I love to dig through the reviews to see what others thought about a book. In case you like to do the same, here are a few review snips from others about A Suitable Wife.:
“From friendship to love . . . a bumpy ride, but so worth it. This was my first time reading works by Carol Burnside, but it definitely will not be my last.” – Shirley Buchanan, Romance Book Haven 5/5 stars, Goodreads review
“This story tugs at the heart strings. Mrs. Burnside produces a perfect afternoon read not to be missed. You not only fall in love with the characters but the town of Sweetwater Springs!” – Susan May, 5/5 stars, Amazon review
“I thought I would take a quick look at the first chapter… Before I knew it, I was more than halfway through the book . . .. This book was well worth the sleepy morning.
A Suitable Wife has it all. Passion, friendship, a villainous ex (or two), picturesque settings, heart touching back-story, dedicated family, and some great love scenes. Sweetwater Springs is a place where anyone would feel welcome. Carol Burnside has created a community that I hope to visit often. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.” – Tami 5/5 stars, Goodreads review
Set against the backdrop of charming Sweetwater Springs with a supporting cast of evil exes, a loving family, and devoted friends, this is a love story that satisfies in every way. I can’t wait to get started on the next book in the series (click HERE). Five enthusiastic stars! Very highly recommended! – Pam Asberry, Sometimes It’s Cloudy, Sometimes It’s Clear
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