Two years ago today I took the plunge and published Avoiding Commitment! I had no idea what would happen or if anyone would read it. I just knew that a few people liked it and told me to publish. Two years later, I am soooo glad that I did. I now have eight books out with two more releasing this year. Through the writing community I've made so many amazing friends. I've gone to a lot of new places to meet my readers, and I couldn't ask for a better life! Thank you for two years of awesomeness!
Here is a short list of people that I want to thank for making this year so awesome--Jessica Carnes, Katie Miller, Amy McAvoy (#blackandgoldforever), Bridget Peoples, Rebecca Kimmerling, Trish Brinkley, Shannon Stephens, Jenn Sterling, Rebecca Donovan, Jillian Dodd, Jessica Sotelo, CJ Roberts, Jamie McGuire, Chelsea Cameron, Abbi Glines, Katie Ross, Jennifer Fletcher, Sarah Hansen, Jovana Shirley, Najla Qamber, Ashley Truelove, Christine Estevez, Diana Peterfreund, Laurelin Paige, Bethany Hagen, Emma Hart, Heather Maven, Maryse Black, Denise Tung, my ContraBand groupies -- Christy Baldwin, Reanell Tisdale, Katie Stankiewicz, Michelle New, Brook T, Christy Peckham, Stephanie Powell, Tammi Ahmed -- Dianna Almanzer, Richelle Robinson, Taryn Cellucci, Autumn Review, and a million other people who have helped and supported me along the way! Also Joel, Hippo, and Goose.
As a special thank you, I've written a little something about that comes after Avoiding Temptation is set. So, if you haven't read all the books--this is a MAJOR spoiler!
Avoiding Series BONUS Scene
By: K.A. Linde
“Jack, come to bed already,” Lexi moaned. “I never thought I’d see the day I’d have to drag you to bed.”
His baby blues lit up. “I didn’t realize that’s what you were suggesting.”
He hopped over the couch and was standing in front of her in an instant.
“I wasn’t suggesting that.”
As she walked down the hallway and back toward their bedroom, her hips swayed exaggeratedly, suggesting exactly that. His hands grasped her hips and pulled her against him.
“You were, you dirty tease.”
She ran her hands up the front of his shirt. “I guess I can’t shake some habits.”
“I can think of one or two habits I’d like you to keep.”
“I’ve no idea what you mean,” she said. Her hands clutched his shirt and tugged him closer.
“Allow me to enlighten you.”
He thumped her body back into the wall. A smile lit up her face as he bent down to kiss her. Their lips melded together, and she sank into his familiar embrace. He drew her bottom lip through his teeth. Her body responded immediately, superheating to his touch. His mouth left her lips only to find her neck. She groaned as he started teasing his way up to her earlobe.
As he nibbled on the sensitive lobe, his hand traveled to the back of her thigh and hoisted her leg up around his hip.
Grabbing a handful of his messy brown hair, Lexi yanked his head back.
“What…?” he asked. His face was hungry with desire, and he looked ready to pounce.
“Are you sure your accounting homework doesn’t take precedent?” she asked, batting her eyelashes.
Jack was currently in his second semester at Columbia getting his MBA. Despite all of the experience he had working with Bridges Enterprise in Atlanta, as well as the Manhattan accounting firm he had worked for when they had first moved to the city, he wanted to get an advanced degree. Lexi was working full-time at a prestigious law firm in the city and had encouraged him to pursue the degree. It would only make him more marketable in the long run.
“I can finish it in the morning. I’d like to finish you now.”
His hands slipped under her D-Bags T-shirt; the very one that he had purchased for her years ago when the band was on tour with Sienna Sexton.
“So romantic,” Lexi drawled.
“I didn’t hear any complaints last night…or the night before that…or the night before that.” He punctuated each with a kiss. One on her neck, one on her cheek, one on her lips and then he leaned into the kiss. Fire shot through their bodies, and Lexi pushed herself flush against him.
Things may not have always been this wonderful, but three years later and it almost felt as if they had lived a completely different life. Sometimes it was hard to believe they had suffered through ten years of indecision. If she had known that things were going to be this amazing, she would have…
Well, she liked to think that she would have changed things, but honestly, she didn’t know. Maybe things were only this way because they had already gone through their worst.
She didn’t have much time to think about it as Jack lifted her up and wrapped her legs around his waist. He rested her back against the wall and fluttered his fingers up her legs seductively. She nipped at his lip. His blue eyes turned crystal clear with desire, and Lexi’s breath caught at the beauty in their depths.
Blue eyes were her weakness…always had been. All thanks to the asshole in front of her.
“I remember you liking this,” he muttered.
“I remember you being an asshole and leaving me.”
He leaned his forehead against hers, their breath mingling. “That was the best sex I’ve ever had in my life, and you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“Well, as long as the sex is good,” she joked.
“You’re everything to me.”
Her heart thudded in her chest. She would never get over this being her life, this being real.
“And don’t you forget it.”
He shook his head, chuckling to himself. “You’ll never let me.”
That was the truth. A relationship was work and over the past three years, they had put in the time. Things weren’t perfect. They still fought and complained and got frustrated with each other. But they worked it out. They took the time to make sure that what they had lasted. There was no going back.
Her hands tangled in Jack’s hair as he pulled her from the wall, kicked open the bedroom door, and deposited her on the bed. It was Lexi’s favorite thing they had bought together. Despite how impractical it was to have a King-size bed in a small fifteenth floor apartment in Manhattan, she had insisted. And damn was it worth it.
She crawled backward on the bed and watched as he unbuttoned his navy blue button-down. He tossed it on the floor where it rightfully belonged, even if she did love it, and followed her onto the bed. As he bent down to kiss her, she ran her hands down his muscular chest, across the sensitive skin along the hem of his pants, and then expertly unfastened his belt.
“Trying to get me out of my clothes?” he asked, grabbing her hand and forcing it over her head.
“Yes. There were things I was suggesting earlier.”
“I like your suggestions, but I have one of my own.”
“Oh yeah?” She thrust her hips up into his and twirled her hips. “I thought we had the same suggestion.”
He groaned. “You’re making this difficult.”
“I thought we were on the same page.” She pushed her body against his. “Your body says we are.”
“I love you,” he said, kissing her deeply.
“I love you too.”
“I don’t know how to say this.”
“Say what?” she asked. She didn’t need him to say anything. She just wanted him to fuck her.
Jack rolled over on this side so that they were facing each other. “You know when I think about my life, it’s just a bunch of white noise.”
Lexi arched an eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
“Hear me out,” he said. He held his hand up. “There’s my life before you and there’s my life with you, and then there’s everything else…just white noise. I can remember every time we were together with perfect clarity. Like your smile at the top of the Ferris wheel, the taste of your lips in my bedroom, the way you looked on the beach, the feel of your arms around me under the weeping willow, how good your body feels against me over and over…even the time I thought I’d lost you forever.” He sighed and ran a hand back through his hair. “Whether good or bad, all I see when I look backward is you. The same thing I’m always going to see looking forward.”
Lexi’s breath caught at the weight of his words and the sincerity in his voice. She loved this man beyond comprehension.
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that my life is better with you in it. It always has been. And I know we said we’d wait until you’re ready,” he said, reaching his hand into his pocket. “But I’m ready. I think we’re ready.”
“Ready for what?” she asked breathlessly.
He pulled out an antique diamond ring—flawless and completely perfect. Her ring. The one that he had gotten from his grandmother. The one that he had kept for her even when he had married someone else. The one that had always been meant for her finger.
She gaped at it.
How many years had it been since the first time she had seen that ring? Eight? A lifetime ago. This lifetime she belonged with Jack, and they deserved their happily ever after.
“Lex,” he whispered, reaching out for her left hand, “will you marry me?”
Three years with the man she had wanted and needed and loved for so much longer. She should have taken the damn ring when she had first agreed to get back with him, but she hadn’t wanted to feel rushed into anything after what she was leaving behind. But she had always wanted that ring, waited for this day, imagined what he would say.
“Yes. Jack, yes!”
“God, I could hear you crying that out all night.”
Lexi laughed brightly. “I think that can be arranged.”
Jack removed the tiny knot promise ring that had given her when they had gotten back together and replaced it with the engagement ring. He kissed her hand where it fit perfectly on her ring finger.
She gazed down at it in awe. After all this time, she was finally engaged to Jack Howard.
A tear slipped out of her eye and she realized she was shaking. Her throat tightened. The moment felt surreal, yet she couldn’t have imagined it any other way.
Their lips met at the same time. His hands cupped her cheeks, deepening the kiss, and then threaded into her hair.
“Lex?” he murmured against her mouth.
“You’re going to be my wife.” He brushed his nose against hers and then smirked. “Mrs. Howard. I like the sound of that.”
Lexi shivered at the name.
Mrs. Lexi Howard. Perfection.