It's been a long, tough year for me, and I'm sure it's been that way for many of you. So I thought I'd give you a treat. A never-before-seen peek into the The Donnigans, my second new series with Sourcebooks that releases next year.
Enjoy, and stay warm!
The Donnigans, Book 1Scene: Ava and her cousin Elliot are at the gym...
Her cousin grabbed a pen and shoved it into her hands, then nudged her toward a clipboard with a signup sheet.“What’s this?”“I thought you academic types knew how to read.” He ran his finger under the words, Free Self-Defense Class. “After hearing about you and Handsy, I think this is perfect timing. We’re signing Sadie up too.” He signed up his sister, then slid the clipboard toward her.She asked the girl behind the desk, “Who’s giving the class?”“Does it matter?” came the familiar voice haunting her dreams.She jumped and spun around, her heart racing as much from shock as from Landon Donnigan’s nearness. “Can you just once not sneak up behind me?”Landon stood in gym shorts and a sweaty shirt that clung to him like a second skin. The man really did too much bulking up. She could see prominent muscles bulging all over the place.At the thought, she felt overheated, refusing to look down past his neck. Unfortunately, she kept remembering Elliot talking about banana hammocks and maleness. A glance back at her cousin showed him similarly enthralled. He wiggled his brows and mouthed, Big banana.“Ava?”She whirled back around, blocking her cousin making size gestures with his hands. “You know, just once, it would be nice if you started a conversation the normal way.”Landon crossed his arms over his chest. “Oh?”“Yes. Like this.” She lowered her voice, pretending to be him. “Gee, hi there. I’m Landon. I’ll be giving the gym’s self-defense class. But don’t worry. I know what I’m doing. I’m not here to boss everyone around. I just want to help. I’m every woman’s protector.”Elliot moved next to her, watching her and Landon without blinking. She totally didn’t trust that smirk on his face.Landon grinned. “You know, I like you doing me.” He paused to let that sink in, and when it did, her cheeks felt hot enough to impose third degree burns. “I sound pretty manly. Not at all…boring…like some guys we know.”She narrowed her eyes at his dig on Charles.“’Every woman’s protector.’ I like it. Can I quote you on that?” he teased.“Oh, I’ve got a quote you can use.”“Hi there,” Elliot interrupted and stuck out a hand. “I’m Elliot, Ava’s favorite cousin.”“Favorite? Really?” She snorted.Landon shook his hand. “Landon Donnigan. My brother and I are giving the self-defense class over the next few weeks.”“Wait. Donnigan? So Gavin is your brother. Oh, I see the resemblance now.” Elliot smiled. “Gavin’s great. He helped me put on some serious muscle.”“Good for you. My brother’s not half bad when it comes to building up others,” Landon said while his gaze remained on Ava. Particularly, on her legs.“I’m still stuck on the word ‘favorite,’” she said, trying to gather her wits. Standing so close to Landon made it hard to breathe. Probably an allergy to arrogance, she thought with a bit of snark.“Now what’s that smile, I wonder?” Landon mused.“Oh, that’s her ‘I just insulted you in my mind’ look,” Elliot explained. “I get it all the time.”“You’re getting it now,” she said, hoping she didn’t look as red as she felt.“I thought I told you to come see me,” Landon said.“I’m seeing you right here.”He just watched her. “Scared you away the other night, huh?” He shook his head. “Thought you were made of stronger stuff.”“Yo, Landon. I need you for a sec,” Mac called.Mr. Tight Ass turned and walked away before she could set him straight.The nerve.
Enjoy your holidays!