In honor of the WRW Readers and Bloggers Luncheon this weekend I’m highlighting a few authors today on the blog.
1.You could have chosen any profession, why a firefighter? I’m not a suit and tie kind of guy. I’m good under pressure, so I figured I’d play to my strengths. After being an Army Ranger, it felt like a good fit.
2. What’s the most challenging aspect of being a firefighter? Besides having to stomach our rookie Slater’s cooking? Probably dealing with the stuff we see. Calls can get really intense. But a lot of them turn out okay, so that makes it a lot easier.
3. Boxers or briefs? Boxer briefs. Best of both worlds.
4. Would you pose for a pin-up calendar, if it was for a good cause? And get the crap that goes with that? No way! I’d make a donation for the good cause, though.
5. What’s your guilty pleasure? (remember we have a PG-13 audience Kellan 😉 PG 13, PG 13…okay, then I’ll go with action movies. Isabella and I will sometimes stay home and marathon a whole bunch of them back to back. Then we make our own action 😉
6. Hard Rock or Country? Mostly hard rock
7. Favorite Movie? I’m going old school. Die Hard. Bruce Willis is a badass!
8. Most romantic thing you’ve done? I’m not really a hearts and flowers kind of guy, but lucky for me, Isabella’s even tougher than I am. I surprised her with a trip to the gun range last week. She loved it, and I loved that she did. Everybody won.
9. You open up your ipod, top five songs in your playlist? Moth Into Flame, by Metallica, Animals, by Maroon 5, Sucker for Pain, by Lil Wayne, Radioactive, by Imagine Dragons, and Til the Love Runs Out, by One Republic
10. It’s Sunday and Baseball is on the TV, who are you rooting for? I’m not much of a baseball guy. But if I had to pick…the San Francisco Giants.
Kellan made his way up Washington Boulevard, where he’d parked yesterday morning before shift. Funny how quiet the city could be before things like rush hour and regular workdays kicked in, all soft sunlight and clean storefronts. He slid in a breath of cool air, scanning the sidewalk and the two-lane thoroughfare where Station Seventeen was situated.
He saw the woman leaning against his ’68 Camaro from forty feet away.
Kellan’s pulse flared even though his footsteps never faltered. Long, denim-wrapped legs leading to lean muscles and lush, sexy curves. Loose, confident stance that spoke of both awareness and strength. Long, caramel-colored hair that she tossed away from her face as soon as she saw him coming, and God dammit, that was the second time this week he’d been blindsided by Isabella Moreno.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, wincing inwardly as the words crossed his lips. Not that he didn’t feel every inch of the attitude behind them, because after her f#&k-up had put his sister’s life in danger three months ago, he so did. But slapping his emotions on his sleeve wasn’t on Kellan’s agenda, good, bad, or extremely pissed off. Of course, Isabella already knew he was chock full of the emotion behind door number three, anyway.
She pushed herself off the Camaro’s cherry red quarter panel, sliding one hand to her unnervingly voluptuous hip while the other remained wrapped around a cup of coffee. “Waiting for you.”
“I got that.” His tone left the what-for part of the question hanging between them, and Kellan had to hand it to her. Moreno wasn’t the type to mince words.
“I need a favor. I want you to walk me through the scene of Monday’s fire.”
Jesus, she had a sense of humor. Also, balls the size of Jupiter. “You want me to take you back to the scene of a fire that gutted a three-story house just to give you a play by play?”
She nodded, her brown eyes narrowing against the sunlight just starting to break past the buildings around them. “That about sums it up, yeah.”
“It’s a little early for you to be punching the clock, isn’t it?” he asked. Most people weren’t even halfway to the door just shy of oh-seven-hundred on a weekday morning.
Moreno? Not most people, apparently. “What can I say? I’m feeling ambitious.”
Kellan resisted the urge to launch a less-than-polite comment about her work ethic, albeit barely. “I already told you and Sinclair everything I know.”
“Okay.” Her shoulders rose and fell beneath her dark gray leather jacket, easy and smooth. “So humor me and walk me through it again anyway.”
His sixth sense took a jab at his gut, prompting him to give the question in his head a voice. “Is this part of the investigation?”
“Why do you ask?” she said, and yeah, that was a no.
“Because you called it a favor, and you just answered my question with a question.”
Moreno paused. “I’m a cop. We do that.”
Nope. No way was he buying this. Not even on her best day. “And I’m a firefighter who’s not interested in putting his ass in a sling just to humor you with an unsanctioned walk-through.”
The RFD might offer a little latitude on firefighters revisiting scenes—a fact Kellan would bet his left nut Moreno damn well knew—but just because he’d worked the job didn’t mean he had carte blanche to prance through the place like a fucking show pony now that the fire was out.
Not that a little thing like protocol seemed to bother Isabella in the least. “Your ass will be fine. I’ll take full responsibility.”
“I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that one from you before.”
The words catapulted out before Kellan could stop them. Moreno flinched, just slightly, but it was enough. “Look, I need to get back onto that scene,” she said. “Are you going to help me or not?”
Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and a 2015 RWA RITA® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters. Visit her any time at www.kimberlykincaid.com or come check her out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kimberly.kincaid1) and Twitter (@kimberlykincaid).
Ten Tantalizing Tidbits from David Cavill (Bind Me Before You Go by Harper Kincaid)
RL: 1. How long have you lived in NYC and what are your top five must do’s?
DC: I’m all Brookyn – born and raised. Except for college and my deployments, the city has always been home.
As far as my top five must do’s? It really depends on the company. But since you’re a kick-ass romance blogger, I’m going to assume you want to know where I take Cassidy. Going anywhere with Cassidy is a top five experience, but that said, here’s my list, which – btw – also describes my perfect day:
69 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Hands down, the best coffee in New York and I’m convinced it’s because they’re the only farm-to-table coffee joint in the world. That means they get their beans fresh and direct from Bogota, Colombia every ten days. Sometimes I think gentrified Williamsburg is too far up its own ass for its own good, but in this case, the hype is justified. Cass and I are here almost every day.
4. EarWax Record Store
167 N 9th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Cross street: Bedford Ave)
I’m a music fan – mostly low-fi, indie rock and jazz. And everything is better when it’s played on vinyl. I’ve been coming here since they opened in 1990. There’s just something about getting lost in a record store, taking your time and flipping through the stacks, and finding something you didn’t even know you were looking for. Now, if Cass and I have a lazy Sunday on our hands, we head here.
3. Brooklyn Museum of Art
200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Gotta admit – I’m not usually into art museums. But Cass dragged me here recently because she heard they’re dedicated to women artists, especially one of her favorites, Judy Chicago, so I went along for the ride. The place was mind-blowing. I’m not telling you anymore – just go for yourself.
2. Peter Luger
178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Cross street: Driggs Ave)
I’m all about digging into a perfect steak and Peter Luger is worth the price tag. And they know how to make a Dublin Mule, my go to drink.
388 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Cross street: Powers St)
A great place to come for a couple of rounds of 8 ball. I’m teaching Cass how to play, but I have to admit, half the appeal is watching her bend over the billard table, driving the men crazy and knowing I’m the one who gets to take her home. Oh, and they have some of the best craft beers in the city.
RL: 2. Boxers or briefs?
DC: I like keeping my boys close by, so it’s boxer briefs for me. Never in white.
RL: 3. Would you pose for a pin-up calendar for charity?
DC: Hell no, but I’d get my best friend, Leo, to do it. He’s a ham and eats that s#*t up.
RL: 4. What’s your guilty pleasure?
DC: All my pleasure is guilt free. My favorite pleasure is tying my woman up in my ropes and making her beg for it. Hands down, my absolute favorite thing to do.
RL: 5. Favorite place in Central Park?
DC: I have to admit, I’m a fan of the zoo, especially the sea otters. They’re cute as hell and make me smile, even when I don’t feel up to it.
RL: 6. How did you get into Shibari rope?
DC: I saw a demo at Club Serve shortly after I first joined and signed up for lessons on the spot. I was hooked right away.
RL: 7. What is the one Broadway show that you want to see?
DC: Hamilton. I got us tickets to go soon though and I’m really hoping the show lives up to all the press it’s getting.
RL: 8. Most romantic thing you’ve done?
DC: I don’t do traditional romance, like Valentine’s Day and greeting cards. I think all that is a big bag of bulls#*t. That said, for her last birthday, I took Cassidy to the airport with nothing but our passports and a carry-on bag of essentials and told her to pick anywhere in the world she wants to go. She went out of her mind over that one. We ended up in Santorini, Greece for 10 days. I think that’s romance at its finest – taking your woman to a place she’s always wanted to go.
RL: 9. You open up your ipod, top five songs in your playlist?
She’s a Jar – Wilco
Such Great Heights – Iron and Wine
Blue in Green – Miles Davis
Love Supreme – John Coltrane
Feeling Good – Nina Simone
RL: 10. It’s Sunday night and the TV is on, what are you watching?
DC: If it’s football season, I’m watching the Jets. Otherwise, I like 60 minutes. But honestly, not a big TV guy. We’re usually over at my parents’ house for Sunday dinner. What can I say? I’m half Italian. That’s what we do. After dinner, my go to is a good bottle of red at home with Cass. Preferably with her naked under me.
For the umpteenth time today, she took out the card he had given her. The cardstock was thick and substantial, with raised calligraphy that said Cavill Security Group. She’d handled it so much that the edges were curled inward, almost as though if she didn’t call the number printed on there soon, it would fold into itself and disappear. The opportunity for something and someone different? Gone. It made the space in the center of her chest feel heavy, and she let out a breath to try to lighten the load.
The phone rang just then—and it was the customized ring assigned to the doorman downstairs. Allie ran back into the living room and grabbed the phone.
“Hello? And a good evening to you, Deacon…who?” Her eyes widened and then slid off to the side where Cassidy was. “Yes, that’s fine. Send him up.” She placed the phone back on the cradle. “Cassidy? Ca-Sa-DEE?”
“Do me a favor and get the door when it rings. Deacon said we’ve got a delivery coming.”
Cassidy’s eyebrows shot up. “Did we order something?”
She beamed back. “In a manner of speaking.”
“What does that mean?”
Allie smirked and waved her off. “You know me. I take my Ambien to sleep, then order s#*t online and forget about it the next day.”
There was a staccato knock at the door. Cassidy expected Allie to go for the door with the same gusto with which she’d gone for the phone, but Allie crossed her arms and held back.
“Okay…” Cassidy said.
She made her way to the door, and just as she was about to turn the knob, Allie called out, “You can thank me later, by the way!”
Cassidy had a very funny suspicion about where this was going.
She opened the door—
“Holy shit,” whispered Cassidy.
As if conjured from thin air, David stood in front of her, his burnished gaze singeing her skin. He glanced down and smirked when he saw his business card in her hand.
“Glad to see you still have it,” he said.
“What are you doing here?”
“Don’t listen to her,” Allie bellowed while gesturing like the goddamn grand marshall at a parade. “Our home is your home. Okay you two, I’ll see you later. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
As soon as Allie was outside and the door closed behind her, David moved.
He came to Cassidy and surrounded her small frame in his arms. And, without thinking, she wrapped herself around his rock solid middle as well. His body vibrated against hers.
I am so totally screwed.
“Seven days, Cassidy.”
She blinked a couple of times but didn’t respond.
“I’ve never had to wait seven days.”
“What are you talking about?” she balked, still in shock that the man she’d been pondering over was suddenly here, surrounding her with his spicy, masculine scent which made her head swoon more than the wine.
He regarded her for a moment before answering. “It’s been seven days since I gave you that card. I can only wait so long. So here I am.”
He could only wait so long? What did that mean? What if she needed a week? Or two weeks? She moved away from him, crossing her arms in front of her, like a shield. A really weak one.
“Well, maybe I wasn’t planning on calling you. Did you ever consider that?”
His eyes cast an amused glimmer her way. “So why is my card in your hand right now? If you weren’t planning on calling, you’d have tossed it.” He mimicked her wide stance and crossed his arms across his expansive chest.
She rolled her eyes and turned back to David. “Maybe I’m old fashioned. Maybe I want the man to call me. Did you ever think of that?”
“Yeah, I did, so here I am,” he said while dropping his warrior stance and coming closer to her. In a low and sexy voice, he whispered, “I waited for you to make the next move after I met you at the club last week. That was my first mistake, one I’m sure as f#*k not gonna make again. I decided to give you a week, longer than I wanted to, but it’s what I thought you should have considering what I’m asking from you. But guess what, honey. Time’s up. I’m done waiting. I want my two weeks and I want them to start tonight. If that’s not what you want, you need to let me know now and I’ll go.”
She took in all that was him, his deep green eyes, molten and charged for her. But his good looks and sex appeal weren’t what made him dangerous. It was how lightning fast he was able to read her, his effortless ability to get inside her head and under her skin.
His expression softened, with his gentle smile and kind eyes. He appeared almost…vulnerable to her. Like he might have as much at stake as she did. Could that be? Or was she making shit up in her head to make this kind of arrangement okay with her?
“If you don’t want me… If you don’t want this—” he gestured with his pointed finger back and forth between them “—then just say the word and I’m gone. I won’t come for you again.” He took another step closer, his gaze burning into hers. “But I’m really hoping you do want me here.” He placed his hands on his hips and blew out a breath, as if he was trying to keep it together.
She’d always assumed that a connection with another person only came with love and romance, but maybe a sexual connection was its own kind of intimacy. Hell, if her previous encounter with David was any indication, it would be a stronger, more powerful intimacy than anything she’d ever experienced.
And that’s what had prevented her from calling his number. Not the idea of being tied up or trying other forms of BDSM. No, that stuff was the easy part.
She was terrified of finally letting go with someone, of really letting him in, her soul stripped bare and vulnerable. Of actually being seen. He was all kinds of compelling to her, but she had to admit she was also afraid of not measuring up. She might have had a handful of lovers, but most had been clumsy-handed college boys. What could she offer a man like David Cavill?
So she knew she should turn her back on him and say thanks, but no thanks. But at that moment, she also recognized he was worth taking this kind of risk with. That if she walked away, she’d deeply regret it for the rest of her life. This was her chance to discover a side of herself she’d never given a chance to breathe—to live—and to do so without the fear of having her heart broken.
No chance for love meant no chance for loss. No commitment meant no risk.
Just remember, a quiet voice inside her head said. When it all falls apart, when you’re left in a puddle outside his doorstep, remember you had the chance to walk away but didn’t.
Besides moving to New York, going with David Cavill was the biggest calculated risk she’d ever taken. She just prayed it wouldn’t break her.
“Okay, David. I’m in. I’m all in.”
Born in California and raised in South Florida, Harper Kincaid has moved around like a gypsy with a bounty on her head ever since. She’s gotten to suck the marrow out of life along the way and is only banned from entering a handful of countries these days.
She loves writing stories about sexy, complicated people and giving her readers a literal and figurative happily-ever-after. When not writing the sexy, she’s got her nose in a book, spending time with her family and friends, and making people laugh ’til they snort. She’s tickled hot pink to be featured on Rae’s blog.Stalk her on social media and look forward to her latest release, Girl Breaker, on January 17, 2017.