(Note: New Contest at Bottom of this Blog)
“Purity is a gift you can only give once.”
— His Steadfast Love by Julie Lessman
Book 3 in my Isle of Hope Series, His Steadfast Love, is finally available for PRE-ORDER, and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s the tale of the prodigal (Cat O’Bryen) and the pastor (Chase Griffin), and I promise it will wrap the O’Bryen saga up with a bang!
Cat’s and Chase’s love story releases August 1st in e-book and later this fall in paperback, so here’s the blurb:
She’s bent on fun.
He’s bent on faith.
Till true love bridges the gap.
Cat O’Bryen is a prodigal daughter unhappy with God. First, her father with whom she reconciled dies of cancer and now her twin sister and best friend marries, leaving Cat at home with a newlywed mother, her new husband, and a little brother. But when Cat moves in with a roommate of questionable morals, her family is worried, certain she’s on a path that could damage her faith forever.
Reluctant to get involved with a woman like the one who destroyed his life, ex-Navy SEAL Pastor Chase Griffin steers clear of the attraction he feels for Cat O’Bryen. Until her family begs him to take her under his wing, hoping he can draw her back into the fold. But when the draw she has on him proves too strong to resist, he must rely on the strength of God to offer friendship instead. A friendship that is hopefully as steady and strong as the God whose love is wooing her home.
To celebrate my new release, I am running a contest (begins Thursday, June 15) where you can win ALL of the following:
— A character named after you (or a loved one) in both e-book & paperback of His Steadfast Love.
— A signed copy
— Your choice of $50 Amazon gift card OR box of 10 gently used & recent books by top authors like Rachel Hauck, Denise Hunter, Becky Wade, Beth Vogt, and more!
You’ll find the Rafflecopter contest box at the bottom of today’s blog AFTER the sneak peek I promised you weeks ago from His Steadfast Love.
Sneak Peek at His Steadfast Love!
Okay, I know I promised you all (and sweet Kelly Reed Brown especially) a sneak peek at Shannon and Sam’s honeymoon night from His Steadfast Love, so you’ll find that excerpt below. In the weeks ahead, I’ll give you another sneak peek at a Cat & Chase scene from HSL, so if you aren’t signed up to receive an email whenever I post a blog, you can do so now at the top right-hand side of this page where it says “Subscribe.”
In honor of the release of His Steadfast Love, book 1 in the Isle of Hope series, Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love will be on sale for 99 cents through July 31st BEGINNING Friday, June 23 — NATIONAL KISSING DAY — so how appropriate is that??? Be sure to mark your calendars if you haven’t read it yet. PLUS, book 2, Everlasting Love is two dollars off the original price right now, so do check it out too HERE.
Excerpt from His Steadfast Love
Tap. Tap. Tap. “Shan, you okay?”
Shannon gulped in the bathroom mirror of their Marriott Savannah Riverwalk suite, the sheer lace nightie Lacey had given her clinging like Saran. It had been seven years since the awful nightmare with Eric, and seven years since she’d been with a man, so naturally she was nervous. She chewed on the edge of her lip. Of course a week-long honeymoon in St. Kitts should go a long way in calming any jitters she might have.
Especially since Sam wasn’t Eric—he was her husband—the most amazing man she’d ever met. A lovesick smile bloomed on her face, helping to erase the worry lines in her brow. Without question, Dr. Sam Cunningham was God’s version of “exceedingly, abundantly above all that Shannon could have asked or thought,” his every quality fitting her personality like a glove. Her smile crooked. Or this nightie.
Knock. Knock. Knock. “Almost done?”
Her heart stuttered. “Uh … yes, just have to brush and floss, and then I’ll be right out,” she called, applying toothpaste to scour her teeth. Heaven help her, she loved everything about her new husband, from his little-boy vitality and thirst for life, to his sense of humor and deep passion for people. Her cheeks flushed with pleasure as she rinsed and spit it out. Especially his “passion” for her, which had been on hold for almost a year since they became friends. An absolute first for the former “player” who’d once fed his carnal appetite as regularly as he fed his new dog.
Nope, no doubt about it. She flossed and then ran a quick brush through her hair. When it came to wonderful qualities, Sam certainly owned more than his fair share.
Boom! Boom! Boom! “Okay, Shan … don’t make me take this door off …”
Her grin tipped off-center. Even if patience wasn’t one of them.
Fortifying with a deep breath, she slowly turned the knob to face her new husband, her cheeks immediately toasting at the gape of his mouth.
“Holy sanctified sex,” he whispered, Adam’s apple hitching several times as his gaze skimmed down every inch of her body like a caress. “Heaven help me, Shan, you’re so beautiful, I just want to stare.”
“Me too,” she said softly. Her body warmed along with her cheeks as she scanned broad shoulders tapering from a smooth muscled chest into tight abs and low-rise briefs that put a lump in her throat.
A gasp popped from her lips when he pushed her to the wall with a hoarse groan. “I lied,” he whispered, taking her mouth with such gentle force that a moan escaped her lips. “I want to do more than stare, Angel Eyes—way, way more.”
Sweeping her up in his arms, he kissed her, his mouth exploring hers while he carried her to their bed, robbing her of both air and words. “I adore you, Shan,” he breathed into her ear, his husky words all but melting her to the sheets as he laid her down and eased in beside her. “You need to know, babe, that nothing—no one—has ever captured me like you.” A low groan escaped him as he wrenched her close, molding his body to hers while he skimmed her throat with his mouth. “I have never felt this way about anyone, Shannon—ever,” he rasped, “nor ever felt such fire as I do touching you, kissing you …” He cradled her face in his hands, his breathing shallow as he gently nuzzled her mouth, “making love to you.”
“Oh, Sam, I adore you too—” she whispered, her voice no more than a moan.
Stealing any further words, he kissed her deeply while his hands took free rein, a dance of such excruciating pleasure, she thought she might faint.
“You are exquisite, Shannon,” he said softly when they had taken their fill of their love, lying gloriously sated in each other’s arms.
Mind limp, her body still buzzed with a sensation she had never felt before, even more in love with Sam Cunningham than she ever dreamed possible. Limbs tangled with Sam’s, every nerve ending tingled as if the two of them were one body, one flesh.
Her breath suddenly caught in her throat as tears stung in her eyes.
And, oh Lord … we are!
The reality of what God had done rolled over her like the waves of pleasure Sam had given to her body, her gratitude swelling in her chest like her love for Sam swelled in her heart. Oh, God, how can I ever thank you? She blinked to dispel the moisture pooling in her eyes as they lay there in contented silence, Sam slowly caressing her arm while she relaxed against his chest, two hearts thudding in perfect time with the other.
When he finally rolled on his side, he hooked her body flush with his, vibrating her ear with a low chuckle while he teased and suckled her lobe. “I sure hope you don’t plan on getting much sleep tonight, babe …”
Sleep. Shannon blinked, Cat’s face suddenly looming in her mind. Oh, Lord, I have Sam, and Cat’s all alone …
“What’s wrong?” Sam paused, the intensity in his eyes telling her he sensed her mood had changed. He traced a finger down her jaw, his uncanny sensitivity to her feelings boggling her mind. “It’s Cat, isn’t it?” he said quietly. “You’re worried about her.”
Tears welled as she gave a shaky nod, snuggling close while she stared at the ceiling. “I know her, Sam. She’s going to try and pull away. From me, from Mom, and from Jack and Lacey, and I have to be honest—that scares me to death.”
Sam pressed a kiss to her hair. “Chase won’t let her pull away, Shan, he told me.”
Shannon sat up, eyes wide as she clutched the sheet to her chest. “He told you that?”
“Mmm-huh.” He gently brushed her hair over her shoulder, then slowly slid a finger down her arm. “He plans on doggin’ her heels a lot more, both as a friend and a pastor who wants to see her rekindle her faith.” Delivering a hooded stare, he circled the inside of her wrist with his thumb in lazy motion, the barest of smiles hovering on his lips. “Told Jack and me he hopes to establish a deeper friendship with Cat just like he did with you. You know—purely platonic?” His lips jabbed into a playful scowl, the tiniest splinter of jealousy tainting his tone. “Although I had my doubts about that where you were concerned.”
“Oh, Sam!” Ignoring his comment, she tented hands to her mouth as if folded in prayer, joy pulsing through her at a delirious rate for the second time that night. Clutching the sheet close, she released a liberating sigh that lingered in the air like pure contentment. “God bless that man—I could just kiss him!”
“Uh, I have a better idea.” Tugging her back down, Sam rolled her on her back, arms braced while he hovered over her with biceps taut and a dangerous gleam in his eyes. “Why don’t you kiss me instead, Mrs. Cunningham, and I’ll just pass the message along?”
A grin tickled her lips as she yanked him back down. “Alright, Dr. Love. Then this is for Pastor Chase,” she said, with a soft peck on his cheek. “And this”—she tumbled him back on the bed, trading places with a kiss that drew a deep moan from his throat—“is for my very sexy husband and the true love of my life.”
Enter Contest Below!