Ember by Emma Renshaw
Release Date: April 21, 2020
Ember, a new small town romance by Emma Renshaw.
Ten years ago, I left Hawk Valley.
I never planned to return. Not to the regrets. The bitter memories. The guilt.
My baseball career gave me both the excuse and the money I needed to start over. Then my mom called, and I found myself headed back to the one place I swore I wouldn’t step foot again.
Meeting Delilah wasn’t part of the plan. Falling in love with her adorable son was even less so. And yet, what’s brewing between us is too intense to be denied. The unexpected passion is almost enough to distract us from the crumbling of both our worlds.
But even as the sparks fly, someone is waiting in the shadows to burn it all down.
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Delilah rested her free hand on my chest and rubbed her thumb back and forth. I felt the coolness of her hands through my shirt, but even as cold as they were, it warmed my skin.
“Well, it depends if you ask Makenna or me. If you ask me, Makenna tricked me into drinking so much. It wasn’t my fault that the fire department had to be called because she was stuck in a tree, and it was definitely her fault that I made brownies and then tried to get them out without an oven mitt. That’s what the scar is from.”
A loud, surprised laugh rumbled in my chest. “Makenna was stuck in a tree?”
“Yes. I have a picture of Mak up there. It’s great. But again, it wasn’t my fault.”
She pointed at me and made her eyes really round, and my laugh continued to grow. “Would she say that it was your fault?”
“You know what I want?” Delilah leaned forward, trying to distract me with the pretty and mischievous smile on her face.
I rose from the barstool with her hand still in mine and led her to the dance floor. An upbeat, fast-paced country song was playing. Mom had taught me how to dance at a young age. It was something I’d never told anyone about until I got older and knew it would impress the girls.
I took her to the edge of the dance floor, and we watched the couples two-step past us until I found a break in the floor and spun her out and then back in. She landed against my chest with a thud and wide, surprised eyes.
“You can dance,” she said as I swept us across the floor.
I held her a little tighter with every song change, and every laugh that bubbled from her lips brought my mouth closer to hers. She was pressed against my body so tightly, there wasn’t a chance even a piece of paper could be wedged between us. I never looked anywhere but at her eyes. Her hand around my neck coasted up and down my skin.
When the song slowed down, I moved us to the edge of the floor and swayed with her in my arms. Then I slowly lowered my head to meet hers. Her fingers tightened in my hair as our lips met. My hand fisted in the back of her shirt as I licked the seam of her lips asking for entry. She opened her mouth and our tongues clashed together.
It was loud with the music and other patrons, but I could hear her soft moan as if it were on blast in my ears. The kiss sped everything up at the same time as it slowed everything down. It was entirely too much, setting my need for her on fire, and not nearly enough, as I wanted so much more.
I’d mostly chalked up my mom’s romantic stories about my dad to her missing him, and I’d rolled my eyes when she told me one day a kiss would change everything.
Fuck. She was right. I wasn’t ready to admit it to myself, but some deep, dark part of me knew Delilah had changed everything.
Emma loves to write, just don’t ask her to write about herself. If she isn’t writing, you can find her lost in a book or trying to get her doggo to take a selfie with her. He usually refuses. At the end of the day, you can find Emma at the closest Mexican restaurant eating queso and sipping on a margarita. She lives in Texas with her husband and dog.
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