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Tuesday Teaser 12/12/17 Strong Hearts Chapter 1b


Happy Tuesday! I’m under the weather, so I’m home from work today.  I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping, but I’m awake right now and decided that I should take advantage of my alertness to make a post. I plan to do my annual Stuffed Christmas Stocking giveaway soon. If you’d like to enter to win a stocking stuffed with books and swag, the entry form will arrive in my newsletter this weekend. If you don’t get my newsletter, you can sign up by filling out this form. This picture doesn’t include everything I’m giving away. There will be more books, a calendar with each month featuring one of book covers, another mug, more candy… We’ll see how much I can stuff into that stocking! This is just a quick pic I took this morning of some of the items.  😉


Here is the Tuesday Teaser. Enjoy!


Denise watched the two men walk away and shook her head. Two men who were so hot in such different ways didn’t cross her path often, and she wanted to watch them for as long as possible.

“That right there,” drawled her sister beside her, “is one fine Mr. Hottie McHotPants.”

Denise turned to Stella with an arched brow. “Which one?”

“Which one?” Stella’s blue eyes opened wide. “The handsome one, of course. Not the oaf who fell on top of me.”

“The one who fell on you wasn’t as handsome as the other man,” Denise conceded, “but he had a great physique.”

Her sister shuddered delicately. “Oh, sure, if you like men who look like wrestling stars.”

“I do.” She remembered the way the big man’s arms stretched the sleeves of his t-shirt. The shirt was the kind that had been washed so much the blue had faded to gray, and the thin fabric clung to every taut curve and valley of his sculpted torso. “I really, really do.”

“Oh, Sissie, you’re simply hopeless.”

Maybe I am, she thought. Twenty-nine and not a single serious relationship to show for it. Denise tipped her longneck to her lips for the last swallow. “Ready to go?”

“It’s only ten!”

“I work at six,” she reminded Stella.

Stella looked around, maybe hoping for someone else to trip. After a minute, she sighed. “Alright. Let’s go back to that dump you call home.”

Denise set the bottle on the bar very carefully. “Since I’m letting you stay there rent free until you find a job, you shouldn’t complain.”

“Oh.” Stella covered her painted mouth with delicate fingers. “I know. I shouldn’t have said that. You’ve been better to me than I deserve. I’m sorry.”

Denise nodded. Her sister always apologized when she said something mean. It was as if Stella was simply unaware of how her comments sounded, but Denise didn’t buy it. Stella was twenty-nine, a little old for the innocent act. In Denise’s opinion, Stella had plenty of smarts, but she was stupid when it came to men. Stella probably thought the opposite. Denise shook her head. Her sister had left Mississippi dead broke and desperate after her boyfriend kicked her out of their apartment. Denise would never, ever put herself in a position where she depended on a man for everything. Nope, as sure as God made Texas, she would never be under a man’s control.

But it didn’t do any good to try to convince Stella that she could be self-sufficient. The main reason Stella had wanted to go out tonight was to meet some men. Billie’s Bar & Grill was a place where Denise and her last boyfriend had gone to unwind. She should have known it wasn’t Stella’s kind of place as soon as she came out of her room in that tiny silver dress.

With a sigh, Denise pushed off the bar stool. “Let’s go.”

In the car, Stella twisted a lock of hair around her finger. “Did you truly like that big guy?”

“Yeah.” He hadn’t been handsome. His face was too hard and blunt for that, but every muscle defined by his tight T-shirt oozed masculinity. Just remembering the ridges and valleys of his torso made her girl parts remember what they were for. Denise cleared her throat. “Yeah, I did.”

“Well … The bouncer called him Doc. Do you think he’s a doctor? A doctor would make a great boyfriend.”

Denise recalled the tattoo on the guy’s arm. It was a military unit’s emblem. He might have been a medic, but a doctor? “I doubt it.”

“I suppose not. He didn’t look like a doctor,” her sister agreed regretfully. “If you had a rich boyfriend you wouldn’t have to live in such a dump. I mean,” she quickly corrected herself, “such a small place.”

It’s not that small, Denise wanted to say, but she kept her mouth shut. She parked her car on the street and led the way up the steps to her admittedly crappy, but fairly roomy, two-bedroom apartment. Stella was almost right when she called the place a dump. She tried to see her place through the eyes of a stranger. The entryway was tiny, so she moved into the kitchen to allow Stella to come in. Yeah, maybe it was a dump. The couch in the living room was upholstered in gold and green plaid that matched the carpet. The shag carpet was avocado green and may have been new in the 1970s. The stains and worn out spots testified to its age. The jumbo-sized recliner, bought at a secondhand store for next to nothing, was neon pink. It might have been an eyesore, but it was comfortable.

Denise hung her keys up with a shrug. It was home. The neighborhood was decent, and the rent was low enough that even someone who was a full-time student at UT Dallas, served in the Texas National Guard, and worked twenty hours a week at an animal shelter could afford it. The carpet was clean if stained, and it didn’t matter if the appliances gave out now and then, because she knew how to get them working without pestering the landlord.

In her glittery cocktail dress, Stella looked as out of place as a hot house flower in a tin can stuffed with daisies. She headed off to the second bedroom, which until a week ago had been Denise’s office. “Good night, Sissy. See you in the morning.” She paused to flash a cheeky grin. “Dream of your muscle man. Maybe that will put you in a better mood.”

Denise rolled her eyes and went to her room to get ready for bed. She did dream of the muscle man. She woke, sweaty and heart pounding a hundred miles an hour, shuddering with the strength of her orgasm. Wow, she thought, wiping the sweat from her upper lip, if that’s what a dream of him does to me, imagine what it would be like with the man himself!

But in her busy life, where would she find time for a boyfriend? Well, maybe for him she could make time. She kicked the tangled sheet off and stretched out on her back. Tomorrow was her busy day. Work at Dog Heaven for three hours, attended three classes, then another two hours at the shelter.  Maybe she could swing by Billie’s for a beer tomorrow after work and ask around about her dream lover? She flung her pillow over her head and told herself to not be an idiot.

But after work the next evening, she swung into Billie’s. What could it hurt, right?

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