Courage in the Kiss is my new solo novel, that will be my first publication with Simply Sexy Reads. Courage in the Kiss tells the story of Hadley, a live in maid who is considered more like a member of the family. Until a surprising event risks changing her life forever.
Hadley has been a member of the Williams household her whole life; she’s practically one of the family. Younger son, Micah, is her best friend, who knows all of her secrets. Particularly her secret crush for his brother, Maxx.
Though Hadley accepts that he doesn’t return the feeling, a shock rocks her stable world and threatens to expose her secret feelings. With her world turned upside down, Hadley must make a choice; tell Maxx the truth or move on with her life.
No matter what she chooses, the biggest question of her life dangles before her eyes:
Can she stick to her moral compass and remain a dreamer, even if that means she’ll be alone? Or will Maxx and his natural charm have her in the palm of his hand, compromising everything she’s ever held dear?
*This extract is unedited and subject to change, before publication*
Suddenly, Maxx leaned forward and kissed her, delicately brushing his lips against hers.
For a full moment, she froze, from shock and reacted from instinct. Hadley touched his face as she responded, teasing him with a lingering kiss. It was even better than she’d imagined, with soft lips touching hers and the comfortable weight of Maxx’s hand slipping into her hair, to hold her close.
“Hadley, are you all right?” Micah asked, stepping inside the room.
Maxx broke away, as though shocked away from her by a bolt of electricity. He stared at her, wide eyes, before looking away.
When Hadley looked Micah’s way, she caught the flush of his neck and knew that he was as hopeful as she was that this could mean something. He didn’t even bother apologising, he just high-tailed it and left.
Maxx ran a hand through his hair, as Micah retreated silently.
She didn’t know what that meant, but he was so quiet that it unnerved her. She didn’t know what he was thinking or what he might do, now that his feelings had been exposed.
Hadley looked up at Maxx and smiled, her hand moving to his face. Touching his chin lightly, she turned him to look at her. As they locked eyes, he pulled her into another affectionate kiss, full of love and passion. He demanded access, teasing her lips apart, as his fingers wound into her hair.
Hadley had no thought of denying him. She opened her mouth against his and moaned softly as his tongue took full advantage. It was even more electric than before; demanding, passionate and all the things that she had never expected it to be. For all that she loved Maxx and always had, his professional, business demeanour always made her believe that he’d be the same in a relationship.
She was so glad she’d been wrong.
A hand cupped her neck, before slowly trailing down the curve of her body to the bottom of her skirt. Maxx groaned into their heated kiss, as their tongues tangled together in need, his hand smoothly sliding up her leg beneath her skirt.
As abruptly as the first ended, he pulled away from the kiss; from her. Maxx got to his feet and began pacing, rubbing the back of his neck.
Hadley felt disorientated, suddenly left stranded in the midst of such heat and fire. She’d never been kissed like that in her life and it was over far too soon. “Maxx…what’s wrong?” she asked, breathlessly.
He glanced her way and opened his mouth to say something, then hesitated. “I…we…” He sighed and walked to the door. When he turned back, his cold sheld had come down around him again. “You better start getting ready for tonight,” he finished, as he shut the door behind him.
Hadley sat there shocked and confused, her hand trembling as she lifted it to her head. Was he brushing her off? Or was he simply trying to avoid awkward and confusing conversation by making a hasty retreat?
She shook her head, as she stood and crossed to the wardrobe. Quietly thinking about the warmth of Maxx’ kisses and his touch, she moved to pull out the outfit she’d already decided on. She hesitated when something caught her eye and pulled out another hanger instead. She looked over her new option and smiled, laying it on her bed.
Fine. If Maxx was going to flip from burning hot to frigid cold, then she’d give him something to set his cold heart ablaze.
Now that she knew he was attracted to her, in whatever way, she would do everything she could to convince him that she was worth his time. She wanted more than a moment of indiscretion, a smouldering kiss in private, before being discarded and treated like a servant.
There was so much to get done and not a lot of time, but if she pushed herself, she could get it done.
Glancing at the bedside clock, Hadley calculated her options. If she started the buffer dishes first, she would have time to change around four o’clock and still make it to the party on time. Then, it was time to knock Maxx’s socks off.