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In the Moment by Jennifer Wilck

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  • Cassie Edwards, a former foster child, purchases an 1870s Victorian mansion, the one home from her childhood where she felt like part of a family. She’s spending her summer lovingly restoring it, with dreams of one day raising a family of her own here.
    Rayne Tucket, a photojournalist, is haunted by the death of his best friend in Afghanistan, a death he thinks is his fault. He survives day to day. Forever is not in his vocabulary. Swearing off photography, he answers an ad for a handyman—mindless, no emotion involved.
    As the two of them renovate her house, can Cassie show Rayne that love is strong enough to heal all wounds?

    Rating: Spicy
    Page Count: 290
    Word Count: 73550
    978-1-5092-1625-3 Paperback
    978-1-5092-1626-0 Digital


    Like a dolphin leaping out of the water, he rose. Cassie gasped. He was naked—gloriously, sexily naked. She swam backward, not taking her focus off of his sculpted muscles that gleamed in the sunlight, but afraid to get too close.

    “What’s wrong, Cassie-girl?” He swam toward her. Was it her imagination, or was the Jaws music playing in the background?

    His body was tanned to a golden brown. His muscles bulged in all the right places, without looking like an overbuilt steroid junky. The water glistened on his skin. It created a sheen highlighting every sinewy curve of his chest, stomach, and waist.

    She retreated until her back was to the waterfall. Ducking underneath, she came up inside of it. It provided a flowing curtain between her and Rayne, and Cassie took a deep breath. Before she had the chance to exhale, he was there, cutting through the falling water, entering her hidden space.

    “You’re not wearing a bathing suit,” she said.

    “I told you I don’t have one.”

    Their eyes met. She could drown in the molten gold. He swam closer until their legs entwined. His hand cupped her face, his thumb tracing her jawline. He brought her face closer and leaned in until their noses touched. His breath was hot against her skin. His finger was rough as he sketched the arch of her lips. Her knees rested against the sides of his thighs, hard and lean beneath the water. The intimate closeness made her stomach flutter. The proximity of their bodies, the rush of the water, and his feathering touch on her lips made her dizzy. She gripped his arms for support. He grasped her waist, staring deep in her eyes.

    He was going to kiss her. She knew it. His pupils dilated. Time slowed. The rushing water pounded around her. She opened her mouth, as much to drink in air as to get ready to kiss him back. His eyes narrowed, focused on her lips. She leaned toward him. Their wet bodies pressed against each other. Her breasts tingled. and her stomach heated at the contact. She wanted this to go on forever, but at the same time, she wanted him to hurry up and kiss her so their lips could finally meet. At the last possible second, he pushed away.

    She stood there, confused and aching.

    “I’m not the staying kind, Cassie.”

    She frowned. “What do you mean?”

    “A woman like you needs a man who’ll stay forever. My time here has an expiration date.”

    She ducked under the water. When she came up, she pushed her hair out of her face. “I know you’re leaving. You don’t have to, though.”

    “Yes, I do.”


    “Because I have a promise to keep.”

    “What kind of promise?”

    “The unbreakable kind.”


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In the Moment

In the Moment

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