An Excerpt From 22 | No Promises

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Here’s a short excerpt for your reading pleasure!

SCENE: That moment when Nina decides to throw caution to the wind…and Dean couldn’t be happier. 😉 Enjoy!

“Thank you for this time, Nina.”

I picked up the carafe from the coffee table and poured myself another tall glass of sweet tea. “Sure. Not like I got anything better to do…”

He laughed as I downed half the glass. “Thirsty?”

“It’s not what I’m really craving but it’ll do.” I took another long sip. “Besides, a true Southerner can never pass up the House Wine of the South. Can you pick up another gallon for the next time I come over?”

He smiled. “Next time, huh?”

“Sure. Why not?”

“Nothing I want more.”

I winked, finishing my tea. “Then you shall have it.”

Several emotions played across his face before he settled back against the cushions, watching me. “Well then, I promise to do everything I can to keep that pretty smile on your face.”

My smile faded as I shook my head and looked away. “No need for that.”

“For what?”


He stretched his arm over the back of the sofa. “Why so skeptical?”

“Must I list all the reasons?”

“I’d rather you didn’t.” He grabbed my hand and kissed it. “Just glad you’re here with me now, despite it all.”

“So,” I said, relishing the sensation of his lips on my skin. “What do we do now?”

“Whatever you want.”

He was calling me out, almost daring me to try him. But what I wanted was dumb. Irresponsible. I knew better than to let my body overrule my mind, to give in to temptation. I was smarter than that.

But I was a woman first.

We squared off. Dean didn’t move, clearly leaving it up to me to officially push us over into the physical realm. I boldly leaned over and pressed my lips against his. Sensing his slight hesitation, I straddled him and slipped my tongue into his mouth to let him know that I meant business. That I needed this.

More importantly, I needed this from him.

His hands encircled my waist before moving over my hips to palm my ass. “Nina?”

I shifted my mouth to his ear, then lifted my head and let his lips assault my neck. “Hmm?”

“You’re not gonna play me again, are you?” he asked, biting my shoulder. “Because I swear I might cry this time…”

I recalled the previous night’s events and how things got hot and heavy but the extra glasses of wine got the best of me and I passed out as soon as he put me in the bed. Pulling my shirt over my head, I tossed it to the farthest corner. “That was then. Besides, all I’ve had to drink tonight is sweet tea. Shall I continue?”

His silence was all the permission I needed to proceed although he still appeared hesitant. I stood and unhooked my bra, sliding the thin straps down each arm…completely sober and showing no signs of retreat. “Surprised?”

“To say the least.”

I shrugged and stepped out of my pants. “Yeah, me too. In my mind, this was supposed to play out so much differently…”

He unbuttoned his shirt, his eyes focused on my fuschia thong. “Is that right?”

“Mmhmm,” I said, bending over to grab my pants and shirt. “There wasn’t going to be a next encounter because I really had no intention of ever seeing or speaking to you again.”

He sat forward, running his hands up and down my legs. “Funny…’cause I figured I’d never be able to get you back over here.”

I shuddered as his tongue found my navel. “I bet you probably thought I’d badger you with a bunch of questions if I did come back, huh?”

“Yeah,” he mumbled, kissing my stomach.

“Don’t get me wrong,” I said, placing my hand on his shoulders to keep from melting into the floor. “I still have a great view of all the red flags waving in the distance. It would be nice to get some answers…like how does one stop ordering whores cold turkey? And why is your ex is still popping up like the wedding date is still circled on the calendar. But then I’m like…what’s the point?”


“No, let me finish.” I stepped closer to him and sighed as his mouth closed over my nipple. “Even if I got all the answers to those questions and you kept making all your sweet promises, it still wouldn’t guarantee that we’d have a happy ending. Nothing ever guarantees that…life just doesn’t work that way.”

He picked me up and I was on my back looking up at him before I could blink. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying,” I began as I watched him strip until he was naked. I’d never seen anyone slip a condom on so fast. “That I apologize for my indecision this past week.”

You apologize?” he asked incredulously, pulling my thong down my legs.

“Yes. I’ve wasted a bunch of time with all my back and forth and doubts. I think we had it right the first night we met, don’t you? Just keep it simple. It’s obvious we’re both feeling each other…it doesn’t have to be anything more than this…”

I pulled his head down and kissed him softly. Felt the fire ignite between us as his full weight descended and he kissed me like he was debating my argument.

Like this would be more than just a fuck.

I jerked my head, trying to gain control of the situation. I could feel his smile before his mouth moved south to its next target.

“Did you hear what I said?” I whispered, trying to stay focused. “Let’s just keep this strictly phys—”

“Later, Nina. I’m busy.”

22 Final Cover
22 by Rae Lamar

Having suffered the loss of her fiance, cushy job and luxury Midtown Atlanta condo at the height of the U.S. recession, Nina Drake packed up and left the ruins behind to start anew in sunny South Florida.

With no life and no friends, Nina settles in and resigns herself to the simple existence of a gift shop attendant where she passively observes the scores of colorful clientele living in the five-star resort where she works. After a few random run-ins with a peculiar resident, Nina’s boredom gives way to curiosity and she blindly steps out of her dull routine into someone else’s shoes…and the arms of an irresistible stranger. But it’s only a matter of days before Nina goes from dreaming of romantic possibilities to realizing that this tawdry hookup can never evolve into something real…

In spite of Nina’s aversion to his sordid past, Dean Whitmore is determined to make her believe that his intentions are as real as their instant connection. And the fact that he only has a few weeks to prove it to her before life leads them in different directions just makes the challenge that much more appealing…

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