Sweetened with a Kiss by Lexxi Callahan
Jen Taylor has loved Stefan Sellers all her life. When he surprised her with an engagement ring, she thought all her dreams were coming true. But when she discovers Stefan has an agenda that she never even suspected, she breaks off the engagement and goes to pastry school in Paris. Now she’s back in New Orleans, and she has no intention of marrying him for all the wrong reasons. She just has to convince him that marriage is a bad idea. If only she wasn’t having so much trouble convincing herself.
Stefan Sellers has waited years to make Jen his wife so when she wanted to go to pastry school, he decided a few more months wouldn’t matter. But six months later, the girl he picks up from the airport shows very little resemblance to the quiet, sweet girl he let fly away from him. The girl that came back from Paris is wearing five inch stilettos and waving an attitude that is laying waste to everything Stefan ever thought he knew about Jen. His calm, methodical approach to life is suddenly under siege and he can’t seem to keep his hands off her.
Sweetened with a Kiss is a slightly steamy somewhat angsty contemporary romance set in New Orleans. There are no vampires but there are a lot of secrets and pastry. Intended for mature audiences. (There’s some language. What can I say? They’re guys.
I don’t want to get married,” she finally said out loud, no longer able to contain the words.
I agreed to give you six months. Time’s up. Come here.” His hand tightened on the back of her neck as he eased her closer to him.
Six months ago, she would have plastered herself to him at the first opportunity. She had tried a few times only to have him pull back and keep things light. Now, he was actually pulling her into his lap. A unwelcome but familiar ache came roaring back through her without any warning as she balanced herself against rock hard shoulders and legs.
Be still,” he snapped, but she couldn’t. She just couldn’t handle being this close to him. Panic swirled up in her, and she struggled against him until he clamped his arm around her waist and his other hand laced painfully into her hair. “I haven’t seen you in months and all I get is an angry kitten.”
Let me go,” she whispered, wishing desperately his phone would ring so he would have to let her go. Can’t do that,” he said, his voice sounding like gravel. The fingers still threaded through her hair, tightened suddenly and he pulled her head down closing the short distance between them. She closed her eyes and tried to turn her head but his mouth crashed into hers, his tongue sliding in between startled lips, laying ruin to ever single shred of defense she had gathered up in the last few months.
She couldn’t actually seem to stop her arms from going around him and her body from melting into his. She’d forgotten how big he was. He was easily over six three and years of training had carved him down to lean, hard muscles. It had never intimidated her before, but now, like this, she felt small, delicate, almost fragile.
Jen hated to feel fragile. Jen refused to feel fragile. She tried to pull back but his arm tightened and he tilted her head, taking the kiss deeper, teasing the hunger that always simmered below her surface until she was lost. She kissed him back, meeting the hot glide of his tongue, letting herself taste him, opening up even more to him, letting him in, dropping her guard, exposing her heart. And the second she did, he eased back and broke the contact of their mouths.
Her eyes flickered open to find his expression far from glacial anymore. The lust raging just below his surface singed her skin. Her lips parted and ached for him, but before she could kiss him again he set her away from him so quickly she nearly fell across the seat of the limo.
It took her a second to register that all the delicious heat was no longer there. For one wild, hysterical second, she almost flung herself back at him. He had shut them down the moment she had let go. Lust boiled and transformed into an unfamiliar anger for Jen. Probably for the first time in her life, Jen actually got mad at Stefan.
It was impossible to tell which one of them was more shocked when she said, “It must be nice having an on/off switch like that. But don’t bother flipping mine on again if you can’t handle the results.” She dragged air into her lungs, feeling like she just woken from a disorienting dream. She almost laughed at the way he was watching her as if seeing her for the first time. The smile that curved his perfectly sculpted mouth made her fingers curl and her nails itch to scratch his eyes out.
Well, Paris was good for something.” His eyes glittered with amusement, but his breathing still wasn’t steady. “Our kitten grew claws.”
Go to hell.” She crossed her arms against her chest so she wouldn’t lash out at him again. She sat up in her seat and threw her one leg across the other. Kitten? Kitten! She flexed her fingers wishing for a second that she did have claws. She was not fragile and she was certainly not a kitten.
I’ll let you in on a secret, Jen.” He was leaning close to her again but she refused to meet his eyes. The anger felt so good, and she positively clung to it. Her blood was finally moving through her veins again. She felt…alive. It felt great. I like claws,” he whispered.
She turned her head and found he was much closer than she expected. She had no way to describe the expression on his face, but it quickly melted into shock when she closed the distance between them and ran her tongue across his bottom lip.
Meow,” she purred, and swallowed down bubbles of laughter as she watched at least fifteen different emotions clobber him at once. “I don’t need claws,” she informed him.
Q: Tell our readers why you think they’ll enjoy Sweetened with a Kiss
A: It’s a fun, sexy read with a dash of angst and no cliffhangers.
Q: You may have noticed we like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from Sweetened with a Kiss?
A: My favorite quote from Sweetened with a Kiss is:
She watched his face for half a second. His eyes were closed so tight. His jaw about to break until he froze over her, his mouth falling open when he blew apart. Watching that. Seeing him like that, dragged her with him a second later. And she was pretty sure, when all the pieces came back together, some of his got mixed up with some of hers. He was deep inside her, under her skin, skimming through her nervous system, and permanently lodged in her heart.
And she was keeping him there.
Lexie Callahan would like to give away a copy of Sweetened with a Kiss. (ebook) To enter, just answer her question:
What comes to mind when you think of New Orleans?
Giveaway is open to US only. You have until end of day July 5 to enter, winner will be announced soon after.
Giveaway sponsored by: Lexie Callahan. No purchase necessary to win. Void where prohibited. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. FVBR is not being compensated for this giveaway. If the winner declines to accept or fails to claim their prize within 72 hours of the announcement they forfeit their prize. Prize distribution is the sole responsibility of the giveaway sponsor. Fiction Vixen Book Reviews will not be held responsible for lost or misdirected prizes or for circumstances beyond our control. More information here.