Jun 3, 2012

Sunday Smooch from Secrets & Speed Dating!

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Secrets & Speed Dating by Leah Ashton, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Marybelle!

Congratulations, Marybelle! Can you please contact Louise Cusack at

mail (at) louisecusack (dot) com and she'll send you an eBook copy of Destiny of the Light.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Secrets & Speed Dating by Leah Ashton...

Trying to move on from a disastrous engagement, Sophie Morgan needs a date for her best friend's wedding—and fast! And what quicker way to find a man than speed dating? Only it's bar manager Dan Halliday who catches Sophie's eye.

Dan can't resist helping a damsel in distress, so he offers her a deal—a few shifts in the bar in exchange for the date—no strings attached. But when pretence leads to passion, they both get more than they bargained for. And it's too late to have any secrets between them….

Set up: Sophie and Dan have been pretending to be a couple, but Sophie has just run out of a party after the"first dance" song she intended to dance to with her ex-fiance at her wedding is played.

Sophie leant against the trunk of a jacaranda, watching them walk up the stairs and then the fly screen slam behind them.
            She’d hadn’t even had her bag – or her car keys – where exactly had she thought she was going?
            But that, of course, was the problem. The emptiness inside her couldn’t be escaped, the inability to start her getaway vehicle notwithstanding.
            Even her project plan couldn’t fix it. So what if she’d decided to tell every prospective boyfriend that she was infertile? What would that achieve, really?
            It’d just accelerate the inevitable. Disappointment.
            Meaningless words meant to reassure.
            Then, rejection. Always, rejection.
            Even her relationships before Rick, before her boyfriends had hit an age where children were high on their to do lists, had always been temporary. There had always been an unspoken, underlying understanding that she was not the woman men chose to settle down with. She’d known it. And then Rick had made her believe that she’d had it all wrong, and she’d revelled in what she now knew was a lie.
            The type of man she wanted, the man who’d propose marriage and a home and a life together – why would he want her?
            Dan – a man who was the antithesis of the man she wanted – walked back towards her, empty esky bouncing against his leg. She drank him in as he walked, back lit by the light on Emma’s front porch.
            Broad shoulders, lean hips, long legs.
            And he wanted her. Suddenly the fact that he came with an expiry date didn’t matter.  The pull – the connection – between them, was so strong that resisting him already felt like a battle she would never win. So why resist? Why not stop all her over thinking and justifications and sensible decisions, and just let go? Give into this unfamiliar, spectacular spark and let herself experience what her body so badly wanted? What she so badly wanted? And what now felt like the most natural, most perfect, most necessary thing in the world?
            Then in three weeks he’d be gone and she’d never need to tell him she was broken inside.
            She met his eyes, pouring all the pain, and frustration and need she felt into her gaze. He stopped dead, his grip on the esky’s handle failing and it fell onto the grass with a thud. And then, without a word, he walked to where she stood, still propped against the tree. Her bag landed at her feet and his hands pressed flat against the jacaranda’s trunk on either side of face.
            His eyes hadn’t shifted from hers, but she could see the question in his gaze.
            She swallowed. “This isn’t about my project plan, or you trying to make me more spontaneous or something, okay? This isn’t me saying ‘the word’ or whatever you called it.”
            He nodded.
            “This is about me wanting you.” His eyes glinted in the moonlight. “And you wanting...me.”
            It took everything she had to not look away, or to blush. But she managed it, keeping their gazes locked together as he leant towards her, right up until she felt his breath hot against her lips. A split second before his mouth covered hers, her eyes slid shut.
            And then he kissed her. No preliminaries this time, just demanding, determined and sure. The touch of his tongue made her shiver and sent her hands from her sides to his waist.
            She was deliciously hemmed in with his palms still flat against the bark, so without the option of threading her hands into his hair like before, this time she made do with exploring the shape of his back.
            But it was far from a hardship to run her fingers along his muscular ridges and planes through his shirt or to drag her nails down his spine, halting only when her fingers hit the leather of his belt.
            He kissed her expertly, passionately and voraciously, like she was something special, and like
he couldn’t get enough of her. 

To be in the draw to win a copy of Secrets & Speed Dating, tell me about a time you've decided not to run away from something? (or someone!)

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Waking Up in the Wrong Bed by Natalie Anderson will be posted!


  1. Oh *sigh* - just love Dan.

    I remember this kiss (and all the others) being born and just loving the Jacaranda tree moment.

  2. Love it, Leah! Such a gorgeous emotional situation, and love the Jacaranda framing them. Seconding Nikki's vote about Dan. =)

  3. I was going to say, poor Sophie! But looks like her luck is changing =) Now I need to know what happens next!!

  4. Hi Leah - fabulous smooch. Looking forward to reading the book as its on my TBR pile. :)

  5. Leah, I loved this teaser scene and want to read much more. Now! thanks for sharing.

  6. THANK YOU, email on the way.

    Oh!! Oh!! Oh!! I'm in love. That was just delicious.

    I'm not a runner, I'm a fighter. At least that is what I tell myself. Most times I just keep my head down & my mouth shut, but there do come times when I let fly. Not often thank goodness. I tend to scare myself, if no-one else.

  7. love this "Set up: Sophie and Dan have been pretending to be a couple, but Sophie has just run out of a party after the"first dance" song she intended to dance to with her ex-fiance at her wedding is played." :)

    sometimes i just want to run from my work :)

  8. I chose not to run away when my sister had cancer but to stay and travel that journey with her. It was a privilege right to when she took her last breath and one I've never regretted.

  9. love the excerpt!

    I'm usually running away from exercise - does that count? ;D

  10. I chose not to run away when my biological brother found me via facebook although I very much wanted to. And as things now stand wish i had.


  11. I decided not to run away from a tough project at work.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Nikki - Dan is rather gorgeous, isn't he! Even when he doesn't say anything :)

    Rachel - I was hoping this scene might make the cover, as I love the image of the tree and the purple flowers... not that I'm complaining about the beautiful cover I ended up with!

    Robyn - Let's just say I had to cut that scene off early as it gets pretty steamy against that tree :)

  14. Helen - I went to the shops on Saturday to buy your debut, and it wasn't on the shelves yet at my local Target. Damnit! Next week :)

    Annie - Thank you!

    Marybelle - I think I'm the same - I'll fight for what's important and matters to me, but I'm not going to sweat the small stuff :)

  15. i chose to run away from my first crush when he found me on facebook, as for the decided not to run away from something, well i try my best to finish my uni, though my assignment just make me want to run away, lol, aretha z, arethazhenATrocketmailDOTCOM