Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Kat Henry Doran, and an excerpt from her Contemporary Romantic Trilogy, “Embraceable You,” Book 2 of the Vengeance Is Mine series.
Ever think about going back to study hall to face down the school bully?
The mean girls?
The brainless jocks who made your life a pure misery?
For Dru Horvath, gypsy orphan turned Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist; Rafe Archangeli, Scourge of Summerville who now heads a multi-million dollar trust; and Fiona “Fat Aggie” Thorpe who recreated herself into an A-list model with her own A-list agency, the opportunity to exact revenge is too good to pass up.
Will they find the vengeance they crave?
Or something more valuable?
First Kiss Excerpt
In the wake of the Heades' departure, the reunion party took an upturn. While Dru was inundated with well wishers, Rory imagined the DHS agents were, in her words, passing stones the size of peach pits for fear one of the clamoring horde bore ulterior motives.
Edging to her side, he maintained the guise of affectionate date, offering a non-verbal explanation of why he remained attached to her hip. Former classmates, some of whom were not reunion attendees but employees of the Inn, stopped by their table to wish her well. For someone who'd felt ostracized back in the day, Dru was now welcomed with open arms. In turn, Rory gave her credit for jumping into the conversations with joy and humor.
While the wait staff cleared the tables of debris from the meal, a jazz quintet consisting of a piano, sax, drums, trombone and bass set up in the corner and invited requests. Grace Dunavan was the first to step up to the plate with her faves in musical enjoyment.
Rory watched Dru while she wished Sister Gabriella Racz a teary good-bye, giving the promise to stay in touch. He could tell how much she would have liked to spend more time with the woman who raised her but time was the one thing none of them had.
As the wistful strains of “Someone To Watch Over Me” filled the room, Grace and Rafe Archangeli took to the dance floor. Rory watched the silent byplay between the two: light touches, secret smiles. Moving in sync like they'd been together for decades instead of a mere few months. Out of the blue, it struck him that this was how his grandparents had been with each other as they prepared meals together in the kitchen, or danced to Gershwin tunes in the living room.
This is the real deal, he recognized. Grace and Rafe right now--his grandparents way back when. Regret bit hard and fast. Damn. He wasn't ready for this.
DHS agents began to crowd in from all corners of the room. Rory held them off with a brisk shake of his head. Goddammit, he needed more time with Dru. Tugging on her hand, he eased her onto the dance floor. And Christ, didn't she feel perfect in his arms.
With a sigh, she laid her head on his shoulder. “Hi, yourself.”
“Did you have a good time tonight?”
“Didn't get to pop Dickhead or Ready Betty in the chops--but I found me a man who can dance, so that makes up for it.” She pulled back to smile up at him. “How about you?”
“I am about to say something that my daughter would describe as really lame: I wish tonight would never end.”
“I saw you watching me while Gaby spoke. You get me, and why I do what I do. No man has ever given me that gift. Thank you.”
When the tap came on his shoulder, it took all he had inside him not to scream. But he could not. Not tonight anyway. Without creating a stir, he said, “It's time to go.”
“Will you walk me out?”
“I'd be honored.”
Tucking her hand in the crook of his arm, they strolled to the nearest exit door. Anyone looking on might think they were sneaking off to be alone.
Outside, a limo waited, engine revving with a soft purr. Agent Jones opened the door for Dru. “We retrieved your things from the room, ma'am. Please, get in the vehicle. It's not safe--”
“One moment,” Dru snarled and turned into Rory's arms. “I don't have to testify. I can tell them no. I can--”
The thought of her doing something so against her nature for him, nearly brought him to his knees. “Go, but be careful, my Droozheela. There's some nasty folks out there with hate in their hearts.”
She nodded, then went up on her toes to brush her lips over his. “Same to you, Sheriff.”
It was the briefest of touches. But it was enough. Rory would carry the taste of her with him for a long time.
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