Release Day Blitz: Skinny Dippin’

When Carla agrees to house sit a condo by the beach for a summer, she’s met with a juicy surprise. Though reluctant, and determined to stay away, Carla is drawn to a young man a few doors down. Blake is handsome, temperamental, and just as determined to win her over as she is to stay away. Will Carla succumb to his possessive, domineering traits and become his for the summer? Or will she let better judgement along with their age difference drive a wedge between the undeniable connection? Three months under the summer sun is about to heat up the parts of Carla that she once believed to be lost, tossed to the wind and gone forever. After an accidentally naked night in the water, everything changes, and Carla is forced to face his persistence head on.

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Excerpt:

Slowly, the air releases from my lungs and I stomp my feet to the house. The paperwork for my leave sits perfectly concealed on the front seat of my car. The last thing I want is to have my kids see them right off the bat. I pull a stalk of celery out of the overstuffed paper bag in one hand, so I can point it at my children while I make my way into the kitchen.

“Mom!” Dean throws his hands in the air, palms toward me in surrender. “Before you say anything, just hear us out.”

“You’re a villain,” I say and thrust the celery around like a sword. I wave it back and forth between them. “Both of you.”

“Disarm yourself, Woman.” Marsha chimes in. “We only did what we had to. You never would’ve taken the initiative at work if we didn’t step in. There’s only so long you can use your job as an excuse.”

She rounds the bar to take the awkwardly full paper bag from my arm and sets it next to the stove before the bottom has a chance to give way and spill its grocery guts all over the tiled floor. She’s completely unfazed by my foodish threats and doesn’t even glance in the celery’s direction.

Dean’s face lights up at my lighthearted humor. With wide eyes he laughs openly, then he shakes his head and returns his attention back to the schoolwork in front of him. Finals are rapidly approaching, so they’ve both been glued to their studies. It’s been peaceful this last week, but a little lonely I’ll admit. Another reason I’m afraid to be by myself for the summer. I’m a great mom, and for the most part my kids prefer to spend the majority of their time with me, so I’m rarely lonely.

I don’t want to be alone for months on end. My mind wanders to the billboard, and I remind myself of the water dripping down the muscular back. Okay, alone is one thing. Alone on the beach might not be so bad, with the possibility of a view like that close by.

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