Under My Umbrella

Under My Umbrella
Samhain Publishing
June 2010
Series:

It’ll take more than a fire hose to cool down this attraction…

Fated, Book 1

Rain, rain, go away. That’s Jenna’s mantra as she suffers through yet another rain-soaked walk home from work. At least the tight butt of the guy walking in front of her offers some distraction. When he turns around and asks to share her umbrella, she realizes his front view is as smokin’ as the back. What better way to get up close and personal with the object of her ogling?

Brett noticed his hot little neighbor weeks ago, but until now hadn’t worked up the nerve—or found the opportunity—to approach her. Too many hours at the fire station has left him longing for something more out of life. Like the company of a sweet, sexy woman. Maybe, if he’s lucky, kindling a relationship.

Jenna surprises herself again when she offers to let him dry off in her apartment. One minute he’s toweling off his hair, the next their chemistry explodes in the hottest sex either of them have ever experienced. And suddenly they’re both wondering if he’s the match to her tinder, or if it’s too much, too fast…


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Reviews

Missy at Fallen Angel Reviews gave Under My Umbrella 5 angels!> "Ms. Erickson took a normal situation and turned it into a wonderful storyline that reminded this reader that love can find you whether you are ready for it or not." Check out the full review here.
Karin at The Romance Studio gave Under My Umbrella 4 stars!> "The heat sizzles between Brett and Jenna from the very beginning and is almost enough to make steam rise from their rain soaked clothes. But even giving in to their attraction does not stem the sparks any time they're together. It's only when they're apart that harsh reality forces them to realize that it takes more than explosive chemistry to make a relationship. How they handle the questions they each have about whether or not what they have can be as permanent as they each want really illustrates their personalities and shows they're more than one dimensional characters. Those insecurities make it easy to relate to them and make this short story more enjoyable than it would have been without them. This is a well crafted story that fits the length while still leaving reader wishing there was more because Brett and Jenna are such likable, but sometimes frustrating, characters." Check out the full review here.
Emily at Sensual Reads gave Under My Umbrella 3.5 stars!> "Karen Erickson writes an intriguing story about two strangers who are getting the chance at moving from attraction to love." Check out the full review here.


Excerpt

Brett stood the moment he saw Jenna enter the restaurant, taking a few short steps to reach her since he waited in the lobby. He took her hands, unable to stop from planting a soft kiss to her upturned lips, and she smiled when they parted.

“Glad to see you too, stranger,” she murmured.

The area was packed with people waiting for a table since the restaurant had been open only a few short months and seemed popular. One of his buddies at the station had told him about the place, raved on how good the food was. A steakhouse that also specialized in seafood, he figured it covered a broad range to satisfy both himself and Jenna.

“You look…” His voice trailed off as he eyed her up and down. Her hair was loose, silky brown waves tumbled just past her shoulders, and she wore some sort of clingy black dress that did amazing things to her already bangin’ body.

“I look what?” she teased, her hazel eyes sparkling. She curled her arm around his, and he led her over to lean against the wall together while they waited.

“Beautiful.” Hot, sexy and completely fuckable.

But Brett didn’t want this to be just about sex. He liked this woman. Wanted to see if they could take this further.

“Thank you.” Pleasure lit her eyes, and he had the sudden urge to take her out of here. Take her back to his place or hers, strip that sexy dress from her body and touch her. Lick her. Bury himself inside her.

“Have you eaten here before?” Maybe if they talked about food it would distract him. Distract him from her delicious scent, the brownish pink color of her lipstick—the sultry glow in her eyes.

“No, but I’ve heard it’s good.” Her gaze dropped to his mouth, lingered there and he wanted to growl.

“Stop looking at me like that,” he admonished, his entire body tense. His cock throbbed beneath the fly of his jeans.

It was going to be a long night.

“Look at you like what?” Her expression was pure innocence though he spotted the mischief in her eyes.

“Like you want to kiss me,” he whispered close to her ear. A big mistake considering he could inhale her delicious scent, felt the silky soft brush of her hair against his cheek.

“I do want to kiss you,” she whispered back, her hand touching him, resting lightly against his chest. “I want to do a lot of things to you.”

Ah, God. He wasn’t hungry anymore, at least not for food. He wanted to get out of here. Couldn’t stand the thought of making small talk and pretending to have an appetite during what would end up being a two hour dinner.

More like two hours of torture. A torture he didn’t want to put himself through.

“You’re going to drive me crazy,” he admitted.

Her smile grew. “Then my plan is working.”

“You came here tonight with a plan?”

“Well, not really but just looking at you makes me wanna do…naughty things. To you,” she confessed.

That was it. He couldn’t take it anymore. Hooking his arm tighter around hers he started for the door, taking her with him. “Let’s go.”

“Wait a minute. You don’t want to have dinner?” She sounded truly shocked.

“Not with you looking at me like that and saying those things. Hell no. My apartment isn’t too far from here. Wanna come over?”

“Brett!” She stopped just in front of the doorway, and he stopped as well, wondering at her behavior. “We should at least have dinner first.”

He shrugged. “We’ll order a pizza after.”

She cocked a brow. “After what?”

“You know what.” He waggled his brows in return.

“You’re bad.” She gave a light slap to his shirtfront.

“And you like it.”

“You know it.” Jenna grinned.

“So is that a yes?” He was eager, ready for her to come to his place. His original plan to wine and dine her, get to know her fell by the wayside.

All he could think about was Jenna. Naked and in his arms, lips pliant, her body open and ready for him.

He shuddered in anticipation.

“Yes.” She leaned into him, pressed her soft, curvy body against his and he slid an arm around her shoulders, hauling her close. “I should say no. I should play hard to get.”

“Thank God you’re not,” he muttered as he steered her toward where he parked his freshly fixed pickup.

Jenna glanced up at him, a worried look on her pretty face. “Am I too easy?”

“Hell, no,” he growled. He didn’t want her thinking he found her easy, a quick lay—a woman he could care less about.

Damn it, he liked her. He was going about this all wrong showing it since well, he was treating her like a sex object but he couldn’t help himself. The attraction, the sexual heat between them was too strong to deny.

“I don’t like playing games,” he said after a pause as he led them into a city parking lot. “I’d rather we be honest with each other than you playing coy and me chasing after you. If you want me, you tell me.”

“I want you,” she admitted, her voice low.



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