Exclusive Excerpt from Heart Strain
by Sammi Lee & Michele Notaro
“Why are we here? It’s a great idea, but you’ve never mentioned it before,” Holden says as we cross the parking lot toward the front of the gym.
“I don’t know. Drix brought up the fact he wouldn’t be able to work out for a while, and I’m hoping to get back to work soon, so… I thought it would be a nice change of pace.”
Holds laughs. “It really is. We spend so much time sitting in the hospital my butt is starting to flatten.” I grunt in response and hold the door open for him, pretending I’m not glancing down at his beautifully rounded ass while he passes me. It still looks good to me. Shit!
We decide to do a bit of what we both like. I agree to run with him on the treadmill, and he spends time in the weight room with me. His skin glistening with sweat calls to me. I want to lick it off him, make him even sweatier. I’ve never thought about hitting the showers in the gym to do anything sexual—I’m a cop for god’s sake and this is a public place—but for the first time ever, as I watch him do squats, the desire to haul him into the locker room and see him squat down to wrap his lips around my length is all I can think about. If I thought not fantasizing about Holds was difficult before, it’s nothing compared to how hard—pun intended—it is watching his muscles ripple with exertion.
As we finally make our way back to the locker room, I fight the images my mind’s been conjuring during our workout so that I don’t embarrass myself while we change. “Jameson, is something wrong?” he asks, grabbing my bicep and pulling me to a stop.
His touch breaks my resolve; honestly, it breaks my brain. Without saying a word, I turn to him and cup his face in both hands and stare into those sapphire blue eyes. As his pupils dilate under my intensity, his breaths become short and raspy, making him the only thing I see or hear. When he breathes out, “Foxy,” I can’t control myself any longer and lean in to capture his lips in a long, sweet kiss. My tongue is hit with the taste of the sweat that’s been dripping onto his lips, as I enter his mouth, an explosion of Holds—the coffee he consumes all day, the mint from the gum he was chewing before we got here, and something uniquely him—hits my taste buds. I pull back and pull him to my chest. We’re both sweaty and gross, but he lays his head on me and snuggles in for a moment before going to change.
Neither of us brings up the kiss for the rest of the night, no more than we’ve brought up the hot as hell sex we shared. Holds still hasn’t told me he’s coming home, and I left the hospital for a while earlier so if the brothers talked about it, it was while I was gone. However, just knowing he’s staying, I have some decisions to make.
About Heart Strain
When I get a call that my twin brother’s been shot, I’m in shock as I head back to Baltimore to be with him. Seeing him in a coma is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do; sitting here not knowing whether he’s going to live or die is the worst thing I can imagine. But at least Jameson is with me—he makes it more bearable, and I don’t feel like I’m in this alone. With everything going on, I probably shouldn’t be checking out my brother’s work partner, but I can’t seem to help it. Jameson’s been so sweet and kind and considerate; not to mention he’s so sexy I can’t keep my eyes off him.
My partner getting shot and ending up in a coma brings everything in my world to a screeching halt. He’s not only my partner on the police force, but my best friend and confidant. When I see his twin brother, Holden, sitting in the waiting room, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that he neither blames me nor pushes me away. Now I’m doing my best to take care of him and support him; if only I’d stop noticing how his emotions reflect in his eyes and wondering how it would feel to touch him.
Will the bonding that takes place during their long bedside vigils become more than they expected? Can they be honest enough with themselves and each other to take it to the next level? And if they do, will Holden be willing to sacrifice the life he loves for the brother he’s kept at arm’s length for almost ten years and the man who could end up being his everything?
Heart Strain is the first book in the Interlocking Fragments series, but is a standalone novel. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but the couples will show up throughout the whole series. This is a contemporary romance intended for 18+.
Available at: Amazon
About the Authors
Michele is married to an awesome husband that puts up with her and all the characters in her head—and there are many. They live together in Baltimore, Maryland with their two young boys and two crazy dogs. She grew up dancing and swimming and taught dance—ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, & modern—for ten years before her kids came along. Now she stays home to write about the sexy men in her head and does PTA everything—as long as coffee is involved. Two other tattooed moms run the PTA with her, and though she wants to rip her hair out from it, she still loves it.
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Sammi Cee was raised in a family of readers. Summer vacations consisted of a good book while sitting lakeside from as far back as she could remember. After growing up and having her own children, her appreciation of how the written word could transport you on an adventure, bring you to tears, or give you hope, took on a whole new meaning.
These days Sammi is watching her children develop into fine young ladies while doing the things she enjoys most: drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing her own stories.
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