Title: Caught Up In Us
Author: Lauren Blakely
Release Date: January 20, 2013
Source: Author/Taryn @My Secret Romance
Buy: Amazon| Kobo
Five years ago, Kat Harper fell into a dizzying summer romance with her brother’s best friend Bryan. It was a mad, crazy love full of kisses all through the night — but he broke her heart and she had to move on.
Five years later, Kat is finishing her graduate degree and building her business as a jewelry designer, when Bryan, head of his own successful company, walks back into her life. Bryan has been assigned to Kat as her new business mentor and the rules are clear. No hanky panky permitted. That works for both of them. Kat needs to grow her business to help her parents; Bryan needs to run a clean operation after his former business partner’s romantic scandal that rocked his firm.
Kat can handle that because she's totally over him... right? Except, he still makes her laugh. And he remembers all the things she likes. And he's more handsome now than he was then. Then there’s the spark between them — the simply undeniable chemistry.
Can they resist each other? Or are they willing to risk everything for a second chance at first love?
Lauren Blakely is an unabashed fan of clever jokes, toast, and good guys in novels. Like the heroine in CAUGHT UP IN US, she thinks life should be filled with movie kisses and coffee drinks. Lauren lives in California with her husband and children, and spends her days writing both true stories and make-believe ones.
You can find Lauren and contact her here-
“I have not been able to stop thinking about that afternoon. I have not been able to stop thinking about you.”
My heart leapt into my throat. “Really?”
He moved closer. He was so dizzyingly near to me it was as if every nerve ending in my body was exposed. The possibility that this wasn’t one-sided made me deliriously giddy. That it was more than just a romp on the couch in his office.
“I think about you all the time. I think about how beautiful you are and how smart you are and how funny you are, and how I want nothing more than to take you out to the movies…”
“What are your favorite movies?”
“Well just in case the guys committee is listening I’ll tell you The Fast and The Furious. Or The Hangover.” Then he lowered his voice and whispered. “But I’ll admit to you, only you, that it’s actually Casablanca.”
Pinch me now, I thought. Wake me up from this dream. Because right then, I closed my eyes and watched that perfect film unfurl in front of me, a romance that left you breathless no matter how many times you’d seen it. I could feel myself sinking into that heady state, like I was under a spell, transfixed and I could touch the scenes, feel every sensation the characters felt zip through me. They’d always have Paris.
I felt wobbly, and I swayed toward him. He caught me, and wrapped his arms around me, tucking me close to him. He pressed his chin against my head. “Kat.”
I melted into him, savoring the feel of his chest, even under his sweaty tee-shirt, against me. Here with him, I didn’t have a care in the world. Even though being with him was the riskiest thing in the world. I closed my eyes and flashed back to my parents, to the store, to my plans. Then to Professor Oliver, and his wife, and my business. Everything else was so much more important than a mere feeling. I knew that. I really did. But yet, I didn’t want anything more in my life right now than this moment, this closeness, this man.
“I’m dying to kiss you. I want to take you out to dinner, and walk around the city, and talk about anything and everything.”
I could barely feel myself anymore. My whole body was edgy, floating. This couldn’t be happening. But it was. I felt light-headed, like I’d just taken a painkiller and gotten that warm flush where it kicks in and spreads throughout your chest and belly. The little hairs on my arms were standing on end.
“But I can’t.”
Excerpt 2 (racy)
So much for my plan to be tough, to be civil, to be immune to his charms. I threw that playbook out the window and started writing a new one – one that was filled with payoff. This was the real starting over, because he’d called me pretty, he’d remembered my coffee drink, he’d told me he was glad to see me. This wasn’t one-sided and I was going to take what I wanted most right now. To be touched. To be kissed.
I removed my bulletproof vest, and spoke my mind. “Come here.”
He walked to the back of the couch and leaned down, his face inches from me.
“Hi,” he said softly.
“Can I?” he asked, and then reached a hand into my hair, letting my dark brown strands fall through his fingers. I leaned into his hand, like a cat, as my answer. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had started purring.
“Kat,” he said in a hungry voice.
I looked into his eyes, those crisp green eyes that drew me in. “I need you to kiss me now,” I said, as if it were a command.
“Consider it done.”
I closed my eyes as his lips brushed mine with a softness, tenderness and eagerness all wrapped up in one. I felt as if the whole office, the factory, the city was gone. There was nothing else but this kiss and I melted into him, as I had with all our kisses five years ago. But then, there was something new, something less innocent, as the kiss shifted into another gear. The way his lips suddenly crushed mine was feverish. It was frenzied, and it was electric, and full of need. I needed to feel him. I needed to touch him. I explored his arms, traversing the shape and size of his forearms and the strength in them, and then outlining the sharp contours of his flexed biceps, until I returned to his chest, then down to his belly, so trim and tight that I longed to touch and trace and hold onto his perfectly cut waist all through the day and the night.
He stopped, moving to the door, locking it this time, then returning to the couch with me.
“We can’t go all the way. Not even close,” I said, holding up my hand as a stop sign to sex.
“I’m good with that. But we don’t have much time for anything.”
“Do you want to stop then?”
He shook his head, and nodded to the bulge in his jeans. “Hell no.”
He wanted me as much as I wanted him. But did he like me too? Or was I just the girl who was hot for him and so, why not? A part of me knew better. A part of me knew I should pull back the reins. But there was a bigger part of me in that moment that didn’t care. Because my body had no questions and no qualms. Because inside all I felt was the weight of five pent-up years of missing him. My mind was a jumble, a mixed-up mess of hurt and want, but I didn’t know how to sort out the crazy rush of thoughts, and frankly, I didn’t want to. I was burning for him, so I let my body lead me on.
I touched his hair, his soft, thick hair that I’d missed running my hands through, then traced the back of his neck in a way that made him groan. Bryan’s hands drifted lower, down to my waist, and I didn’t stop him.