About GOING ALL THE WAY:
After a failed marriage and quitting her high-pressure job, Carrie Steinhem is ready for uncomplicated fun. Love? Not what she’s looking for. She’d rather crash a wedding with her friends and find a hot hookup. The bride’s father is onto her, though. But just as her night out veers toward public embarrassment, a sizzling stranger sweeps in and claims Carrie as his date.
Potential hookup? Check. If she doesn’t get cold feet first.
Ryan Burton is on the fast track to a promotion…assuming he can avoid distractions and nail this new account. Except the woman he rescued at a friend’s wedding ends up not only being his new neighbor—she’s his client’s ex-wife. And his client has every intention of winning her back.
Carrie and Ryan would love to leave complicated alone, but when two people share a duplex and irresistible chemistry, temptation—and love—is right around the corner…
Excerpt from GOING ALL THE WAY:
Crashing a wedding was always easier in the movies.
Carrie Steinhem hurried across the manicured lawns of the Tudor-styled hotel near Muir beach—a gorgeous spot for a nighttime wedding, full of twinkling lights and beautiful gardens. She spotted her friends behind the low stucco wall, surrounded by a throng of single ladies all waiting for the bride to turn and toss the bouquet. Their laughter reverberated through the air. Luckily their attention was on the bride and not on Carrie sneaking in the back gate. She was closing in, only ten feet away. Finding parking had been harder than she’d anticipated. She’d been away from this city too long and her timing was all off.
A trickle of guests had spilled out of the reception area and across the back lawn, smoking, laughing, and swapping stories. She quickened her step. Hopefully it would look like she’d just gone out to her car and come back. She was almost there—then her tall heel sank deep into the soft grass. Her ankle turned and pain shot through her foot. She let out a yelp and would have fallen, if not for the quick hand grabbing her elbow, the strong arm slipping around her waist.
“Are you all right?” a warm voice asked.
She looked up into incredibly clear grey-blue eyes and for a moment, her voice was lost. “I am now. Thank you.”
“My pleasure,” he said with a smile that stole her breath and muddled her brain further.
This day was suddenly on an upswing. But before she could ask him his name, she heard Phoebe’s distinctive drawl carried over the rumble of the crowd.
“Oh, yeah, baby!”
Cringing, Carrie turned to see the bouquet sailing through the air and her friend leaping above all the others, her arm shooting up to grab it.
“Oh, no,” she muttered, and hurried toward the wrought iron gate. As she went through, she took a quick look back for her handsome rescuer, but he was already gone. She sighed. Another opportunity dashed. What else was new?
It was just—moments like that had become rare for her.
She joined her other friend, Naomi, and they both stood frozen and slack-jawed as they watched Phoebe take a picture with the bride, the bouquet clutched in her hand, a victorious smile on her face. “The bride has no idea who she is,” Naomi said.
Everyone assumed the best at weddings. If they didn’t know you, you were probably a cousin’s date or a coworker’s plus-one. “So much for keeping a low profile,” Carrie said.
“Yep.” Naomi gave Phoebe a big smile as she approached. Carrie followed her friends and they searched for an empty table at the edge of the stone courtyard, as far away from the bride and groom’s table as they could get and preferably behind a large potted palm or banana plant. The sweet scent of jasmine and gardenias drifted through the air, and tiny bright lights twinkled above their heads in the clear night sky. It was truly magical, and Carrie would be enjoying herself immensely—if they had been invited.
Cynthia Cooke is an award-winning author who has published several books with Harlequin/Silhouette, Steeple Hill, and Entangled Publishing. She has a deep affection for romance, thrillers and all things that go bump in the night. So if you choose to delve into one of her stories, don’t forget to turn on the lights. Cynthia’s books aren’t sweet and they aren’t for the faint of heart.
Embrace the Seduction and prepare to get naughty and have a little fun!
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