M is for Melt: A Tax Day Relief #atozchallenge #romcon

Today is tax day in the United States, so I thought I’d give you all a fun excerpt and a game. Read the scene below from To Hiss or to Kiss and see if you can find one of my favorite words in romance: melt. Then tell me what one of your favorite words in romance is.

He points at the packed overnight bag I left by my bed. “Planning to go somewhere for a while?”

“Maybe.” I slip off my heels, and then my skirt and blouse. I try desperately not to blush—again—at the way Jorge’s eyes are eating me up. I might be succeeding. He has, after all, seen me naked more than once. But there is something erotic about doing something so ordinary as changing clothes while he watches.

“And you say I have no manners.” He shakes his head in mock disapproval as he sinks down on the bed. His eyes never leave me as I move about. “You didn’t even ask if you could stay over again.”

I smile, making sure my ass is toward him when I bend to pick up the jeans I conveniently put on the floor after I pulled them out of the basket. “I figured it was a standing invite after Saturday night.”

“Cheeky. No pun intended.”

I look over my shoulder to see him indicating my ass as I rise, jeans in hand. I’m definitely blushing now, but also feel an additional surge of adrenaline as my pulse races.

“Ha-ha.” I pull up the jeans and then lean for the T-shirt, also conveniently dropped on the floor.

“I think you will grow to love my humor.”

I laugh. “And you’ll grow to love my cheekiness.”

“I already do.”

I almost get lost trying to pull the T-shirt over my head. Is that the same as saying he loves me? No, probably not. I shake my head as I pull the shirt down, trying to quell my rising panic. I whisper “it’s nothing” and “this is a good thing” to myself in a mantra, even though I’m not even sure exactly what I’m trying to reassure myself of—that he loves me or that I’m reading too much into his words.

I walk over to sit on the bed and reach for the black boots I’d left there haphazardly when I’d gotten into pjs last night. Jorge’s gaze heats my back as I put them on. I stand. “Done being a voyeur?” Damn, that came out a little too bitchy. Just breathe, Chloe.

Jorge grins, obviously seeing through my bravado or lack thereof. “Not hardly.” He stands up and grabs my bag. “I assume I should take this with us?” He arches his eyebrow, and I feel myself melt a bit more. That eyebrow is going to cause me problems.

Blurb:

Chloe can “talk” to animals…so why can she hear the thoughts of this hot, green-eyed man?

Abandoned by her mother and raised by a father who’d given up on life, Chloe doesn’t let anyone get close. Lucky for her, she can communicate with animals—telepathically. Animals are the only people she needs. When a suspected dogfighting ring comes to her attention, Chloe decides to do a little spying. In her rush to win the dogs’ trust, she almost gets caught.

Until a sexy stranger intervenes, and she finds she can overhear his thoughts. She’s never been able to hear people, and this man’s about as sexy as she’s ever seen. It’s more than intellectual curiosity that drives her to discover his secret: he’s a jaguar shape-shifter, and the presence of this cat among the dogs might be a bit too much to handle. But the animal attraction is just too hot to resist, and the passion between them makes both the sparks—and the fur—fly…

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