Thursday, May 9, 2013

Inhale, Exhale

Jillian had a plan: celebrate the end of her first year of college with an amazing summer full of beaches, barbeques, and bonfires. When her mom insists she needs a summer job, and her boyfriend spends more time with his band than with her, Jillian’s plans go down the drain. 

Grant had a plan: finish his Masters, get a great job at Google, and get the hell out of Georgia. He might be giving up some of the fun of his youth, but he knows his all work and no play method would be worth it when his dreams came true.

But things never go according to plan. 

When temptation brings them together and tragedy tears them apart, Jillian and Grant will be forced to choose: fight for their dreams, or fight for each other. 


I slept like shit. My late-night dinner had given me mild heartburn. I tossed and turned, knowing I had to get up early. My coxswain would kill me if I showed up late to practice.  My crew team had its first meet of the season in a few weeks, which could qualify us for the National Championship, so I needed to be in top condition.
The alarm on my phone jolted me awake, still in my clothes, spun sideways on the bed with my head and one socked foot hanging off each side. I really needed to change my ringtone. Hearing Cartman from South Park screaming, “Oh my God! They killed Kenny! Get out of bed!” was no longer funny at the butt-crack of dawn.  My head was throbbing, so I downed four aspirin and a bottle of Gatorade before I took a scalding hot shower to wake myself up. 
I met my team at the marina by the Lanier Bridge, which crossed the Brunswick River. We were still waiting on JT, who was notoriously late but usually brought donuts. 
“What’s up, Grant? Haven’t seen you around much,” my coxswain, Luca, asked. He was a grad student as well, studying political science. I’d known this group of guys since I started my graduate work. We were like our own fraternity, and while I loved them like brothers, I’d barely seen them during the off season. 
“Yeah, I’ve been crazy busy at work. And stuff with my dad has been keepin’ me busy.”
 “That sucks, dude. You should come up to campus with us this weekend, we’re having a mixer with the TAs from the Humanities department. Do you remember how drunk Dr. Ulin’s TA Becky got last year? I believe there were lampshades and a goat involved by the end of the night.”
I spit out the sip of Gatorade I’d just sipped. “I forgot all about that. What did they call her for the rest of the year? Baaaa-cky? God, even her students called her that, poor girl.”
“Yeah, she swore she’d never drink again after that night. Tequila shooters starting at noon will do that I guess. So are you gonna come?”
“You might just see me there. C’mon, let’s get this boat in the water. I need to be at work in an hour.”
Luca called the crew together once JT finally showed up, and I took my spot in the sixth position. I’d rowed several different types of boats as an undergrad, but now I only had time for the eight-man sweep team, which was a personal favorite anyway. We rowed it twice this morning, once up and once back, our time improving slightly the second go-round. The workout was exactly what I needed. A steady course of adrenaline coursed through my veins, and with a second shower, I strolled into my office a new man forty-five minutes later. 
I booted up the three desktop computers that controlled multiple servers in my office and opened up my laptop. It pinged repeatedly with flagged messages titled “help” or “I don’t know what I did wrong.” I minimized the browser instead and went in search of coffee. I could already tell it was a double espresso type of day. 
When I returned, I checked to make sure my algorithm was still working and not reporting any errors and quickly scanned my emails. I had several new ones, but only one caught my eye. It was from Connie and contained only three words: Please do so. 
 Awesome. Not even ten o’clock and I want to strangle someone. Fuckin’ fantastic. 
I stormed out of my office, determined to get this ridiculous task and ridiculous girl out of the way so I could get back to what really mattered. I darted toward the sales team cubicles, knowing she most likely would have occupied one of the empty ones in the back corner. 
I turned left, walked ten steps, and stopped. There, bent over with long, wavy hair cascading over her currently upside-down head, was a woman. She was bent in half, mumbling incoherent things while her long, slender fingers searched the floor for some escaped item. I couldn’t help but smile, seeing her trying to balance her bottom half on the chair while her top half threatened to topple to the floor. Her hair veiled half of her face, but the sliver I was able to view only caused me to want to see more. 
She was beautiful. Some girls are girl-next-door pretty, some model hot, some sex-kitten sexy. But to be beautiful, it took a combination of all three. This girl had it in spades. 
My feet moved forward a few steps before I even realized it, but I didn’t fully approach. I walked just close enough to make out the sweet resonance of her currently frustrated voice. 
“Damn you, get back here. Shoot!” She leaned even further over in her chair, raising the back wheels off the ground as they threatened to tip over. I wanted to take a step forward and wrap my hands around her waist to hold her steady, maybe swipe my thumbs across the inch of flesh exposed at her back where her shirt had risen up. I imagined how soft it would be, that smooth, creamy skin, and I began to harden. 
Well, fuck. I couldn’t go over there now. I’d come off as some sort of creeper introducing myself with half wood. I took a few steps back and ducked into an empty cubicle while I adjusted myself. Was this the new girl JT had told me about? The one Connie kept yelling at me about and caused me such a headache? My mind wanted to hate her, but my body had other plans. I was drawn to her. I wanted to know more about her.
“Please be a ditz. Please let whatever comes out of your mouth make me forget how beautiful your body is,” I whispered under my breath. 
She dropped to her knees as she crawled further under the desk. Her perfect ass swayed in the air, hypnotizing me. I was like a moth being drawn toward a flame. 
This was definitely not in The Plan. 


Author Bio:

Sarah Ross started her obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. She would read any fiction book she could get her hands on. Sarah knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding her from TV or music, her mom would take away her books as punishment (The Horror!). Her love of all things paranormal was inspired by her good friend Laurie, who convinced Sarah that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, she gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history.

Sarah grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as she does for several years. She will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but couldn’t take the cold and moved her frozen tush to Florida where she now lives with her family and two cats. You will find Sarah now with her trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!



I loved the first chapter in this book it set me up for something but I had know idea what, I just knew something bad was coming. Jillian got herself in a pickle having a boyfriend and wanting Grant. Things didn't go how I imagined they would when a love triangle happens. Things get hairy to say the least. A hot steamy sex scene and a few mild one after that. Fabulous ending and a rocking epilogue.

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1 comment:

Amy Woolard said...

I want to read this because I love a good story with twists & turns & maybe a little heartbreak.