Dean Goldsmith is Indiana University’s star quarterback, and his dreams are about to come true. His undefeated season means he has a legitimate shot at the NFL. If he stays focused. Football comes first.
College senior, Grace Yeates, is determined to defy the odds. She is months away from graduating with a business degree, something no one thought she would be able to pull off. All she has to do is focus on her number one priority. Family comes first.
Dean has no time for distractions, but when a gorgeous, snarky, redheaded waitress refuses to tell him her name, he can’t seem to focus on anything else.
Grace knows she can’t let herself get caught up in a guy, particularly a man-whore like Dean, no matter how charming or sexy. She has two hearts to look out for now and no room for a Dean-sized distraction.
Everyone in Dean’s life agrees that Grace is the kind of complication his career doesn’t need.
Grace knows that Dean is the kind of risk her heart shouldn’t want.
But what if the last person you think you need, the one you shouldn’t want, becomes the one you can’t live without? Can their biggest distraction actually be the focus they were missing all along?
I stood up and moved behind him. The heat from his body warmed mine, even without touching. His smell was fresh and clean with only a hint of cologne. “Am I?” My voice was whisper soft, and he turned around; one step closer and our bodies would touch. I willed him to take that step. “A game to you? Is that what this is? You said it’s not pity or worry, so what is it?”
He took that step, his hand reaching to cup my jaw. My body tingled, charged with the nearness of him. “Attraction, Red. Not a game. Not pity. I don’t feel bad for you. You’re one of the toughest people I know. I want to know more. I want to be near you.”
As soon as the noise escaped from my lips, I closed my eyes. Shut up, Grace. So much time had passed since I’d allowed a man to get close enough to truly want me. I nearly forgot the power behind that sentiment.
My knees weakened, and I trembled. His hand remained on my face, and when he felt me tremble, heard my whimper, registered that my eyes were closed— he reacted.
I didn’t see his lips come closer to mine, but I knew it was happening. Every other sense was magnified. I heard the sound of his breathing increase in speed. The smell of his cologne became intoxicating, and I felt the warmth of his chest as it pressed against me when he pulled me closer. Then his lips found mine, and he held them there, almost as if he was asking permission. My eyes fluttered open and I shifted, fisting his shirt in my hands, holding him to me.
I opened my mouth, and our tongues met, sliding together, exploring and tasting. I released his shirt and brought my hands up and around his neck. A moan erupted, and it took a few seconds before I realized it came from me. Dean groaned in answer, running his hands down my sides and along my back.
Neither of us would break the kiss. We moved, Dean pulling on my lower lip, biting gently. I ran my tongue along the edge of his lips, teasing and coaxing them back open. Then our mouths were fused together. The kiss became desperate. We communicated words we had never spoken to the other through that kiss. This was real. This was different. I knew enough from what I was feeling to be scared, but I was still not willing to stop. I held myself back from climbing his body, the ache inside me growing like a wildfire.
“Grace,” Dean pulled back, resting his forehead against mine as he gasped for air. “You feel that, right? It’s not just me?”
I laughed softly, kissing the corner of his mouth. “I feel it.”
He placed his hands on my hips, shifting me so he could look into my eyes. His blue eyes sparkled, and something inside me melted. “Let me get to know you. Let me in.”
He already was in he just didn’t know it. “Yes. I want to know you, too.”
His lips tilted up, and he kissed my lips softly. “Lock up behind me, Red.”
And he was gone. Out the door and into the night, but slowly making his way into my heart.
Not Yet (#1) – Released July 28, 2014
Emma Harris is learning that life is just a series of lessons.
Lesson #1: Nothing goes the way you plan.
Lesson #2: You can’t trust men. Especially not the pretty ones.
Lesson #3: Turns out, appearances are almost always deceiving.
Emma thinks she has life all figured out, and what she knows isn’t good. For years, she’s put her big sister, who was born with Down syndrome, first. Now Emma’s ready to start her own life, but fate has other plans. To do the right thing for the sister she loves, Emma’s dreams will just have to wait.
She doesn’t plan on meeting Landon — a rich, flirtatious jock, who never has to wait for anything. Not for attention, not for money, and certainly not for girls. Meeting Emma marks the first time in his life that he’s had to fight for something. And Landon doesn't know how to lose.
Emma has no interest in wasting her summer with a superficial guy like Landon. But very soon she realizes she is wrong about him. The question is, can she trust him? Or will he let her down like every other guy in her life? But most importantly, can Emma trust herself enough to live the life she's always dreamed of?
Life has a way of sneaking in the most important lessons when you aren't looking. And once the heart gets involved, that's when the real learning begins.
*** This book is intended for mature audiences. 18 and over!
Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.
Laura has written three novels so far, the new-adult novel Not Yet and the contemporary romance novel Past Heaven. Her third novel, co-written with author Christine Manzari, The Pledge, was released July 25, 2015.