I must say, Sara Jane Stone is a brand new author for me and what a delight it was to find her. Stirring Attraction is the second book in her Second Shot Series but you don’t need to read the first book to read this one….it stands on its own just wonderfully. Dominic is our hero and he is probably the most stubborn and hard-headed man I’ve read about in quite a while. He’s suffered a career-ending injury and is having himself a nice, big pity party for one! He has left behind the love of his life, Lily, after breaking her heart one too many times and going back on his word to return home for her. I truly liked Dominic…when he wasn’t wallowing in self-pity. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to climb into this book and either jump his bones for how deeply he loved Lily or to just beat the hell out of him because, seriously, no man can be this pig headed! But when he receives word that Lily has been attacked and injured and he comes home to face….pretty much everything he turned his back on, he doesn’t hesitate to begin making sure that she can feel safe and secure, at least on his watch, until he leaves again. He thinks he’s a failure who doesn’t deserve her, who has nothing to offer her, and has no idea what he is going to do with his life now, let alone give her all the great things he thinks she deserves. Now our sweet heroine, Lily. Well…..Lily is fantastic! This girl is spunky and sweet and has just the right amount of sass to handle Dominic without letting her emotions or heart get trampled on again. She expects him to leave again and is happy, reluctantly at first, to have him watch over her and make her feel safe and secure while she pulls her life back together. This girl is no quitter and I admired the way she fought to keep moving forward, despite the overwhelming fear she still felt that this attack was meant for her, and not random, and that she wasn’t safe. Together these two have lots of issues to resolve…. but the chemistry and love these two feel, despite their obstacles is very emotional and packed with just the perfect amount of tension, teasing, laughter, and mind-blowing sex. Stirring Attraction is an AWESOME second chance romance book and the author clearly and poetically maps out the many peaks and valleys a couple with so much history must navigate to get back to a place where they can start building a future together. There is a quick moving but easy to follow plot, some great secondary characters to add some extra sugar and spice, and an awesome ending that left me tingling all over and feeling great hours after I read the last word. This is one author I will be happy to read more from in the future and I especially looking forward to the next book in this series.
Would I Recommend This Book:
Yes, especially to my reading friends who like second chance romances, reconciliation romances, and spicy contemporary romances with a little bit of suspense and a whole lotta love thrown into the mix!
Final Star Rating:
to play the part of a damsel in distress, no matter how much she misses his tempting touch. He’ll leave as soon as she’s safe and Lily knows her heart will never heal.
“You painted your toenails pink.”
Dominic Fairmore stared at Lily’s bumble-gum colored nails. He didn’t trust himself to look up. Downstairs, his dad’s dogs made the familiar trip to the water bowl and back, probably stopping to sniff the bag of Chinese take-out he’d abandoned on the kitchen table. The animals’ nails tapped against the hardwood floors, but otherwise silence filled the farmhouse. His little sister was at the beach and his dad was pulling a double at Forever, Oregon’s woefully understaffed police station. And yeah, he kept track of their locations because at twenty-two he still lived at home.
Lily raised one perfect eyebrow. “I have two hours before my mom expects me home and you’re looking at my toenails?”
Her ironic tone pushed him damn close to his breaking point. He’d take her. Here. Now. Against the wall, pictures falling to the floor. Because he knew she reserved her humor for him. The rest of Forever saw a blond-haired, blue-eyed woman who charmed a room full of five-year olds day after day. A girl who’d been born here, grown up here, and put herself through the local university while still living at home to care for her wheelchair-bound mother and alcoholic father.
But Dominic saw the only girl he’d ever loved. If he closed his eyes, he could still picture her, walking down the halls of their high school. She’d been one year ahead of him. She’d graced the dreary high school halls with her sunshine smile and confidence. And yeah, her short skirts.
He’d memorized the way her cheerleaders outfit teased her thighs while she led the squad her senior year. He’d been a junior, but already shepherding the football team to one victory after another. And sometimes it felt like he busted his ass on the field and won the game just to see her smile . . .
But he couldn’t close his eyes and block out the way Lily looked right now. His gaze drifted up her calves. Every inch of bare skin wrapped around his heart like a noose. He took in the curve of her thighs and tried to go slow. His jaw tightened and his eyes disobeyed.
His gaze locked on the slip of fabric disappearing between her legs.
“Your panties match your toenails,” he growled. There wasn’t a hint of humor in his voice. He couldn’t picture laughing now. In two days, he’d wreck her heart. He would shatter their love and leave her with nothing but memories and the promise that he’d come back.
I swear I’ll come back for her.
But so much could change while he was on the other side of the country training to be all he could be. And later, once he deployed, on the other side of the world.
Two more days. Two more nights. How many times could he make love to this woman before they ran out of time?
“Are you sure they match?” she teased. Her fingers brushed the waistband of her panties and then her thumbs slipped beneath the pink fabric.
His hands formed tight fists at his sides, watching as she drew her underwear down to her toes. Her upper body stole away his view of the blond curls, instead offering the sight of her full, bare breasts hovering in front of her legs. Long locks of blonde hair drifted down as she compared the color of her underwear to her nail polish.
“Lily,” he growled and stepped closer.
She glanced up at him and slowly, as if she knew every movement of her body turned him on and pushed him closer to that place where he lost control. But hell, after six years together, Lily Greene damn well knew how to drive him crazy with lust and longing.
“My nails are a light pink. I think the bottle said ‘Ballet Slipper.’ But my underwear is closer to fuchsia.” She tossed her panties at him. “See?”
Years of training on the football field kicked in and he caught the slip of fabric in his right hand. “You’re right,” he said and he took a step forward. He threw her underwear down to the carpet without bothering to study them.
“You need to be home in two hours?” he asked.
Her teasing smile faded at the reminder of the reality beyond the bedroom walls. “You know I do.”
“We might not have time for the Chinese food.” He momentarily blocked his view as he drew his ‘Go Army!’ T-shirt over his head. He discarded the reminder of where he was heading in two days’ time. He wanted to leave this town and the dead-end future it promised, but not Lily.
“I hate Chinese,” she said.
She reached forward and grabbed onto the belt buckle his father had given him after he won the state championship with his high school football team. He pressed his palms flat against the wall, one on either side of her head. He couldn’t touch her. Not yet.
“I know.” He allowed her to pull him close, her fingers working to free his belt and undo his jeans. “I didn’t want to run the risk that you would want to eat first.”
She smiled as her hands won the battle with his belt. Drawing his zipper down, she leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “Smart man.” Her hands pushed his pants over his hips and then went in search of their target.
“Lily,” he gasped as her fingers wrapped around the part of his body that thought ‘slow’ spelled disaster. Hell, it just might. He wanted her so damn much he might come in her hand. “Careful,” he added. “Or I’ll be about as useful as I was the first time. In the front seat of my truck.”
“Have as much self-control now as you did at seventeen?” she challenged, her hand moving up and down now.
“You know it.” He took his right hand off the wall and cupped her jaw. Angling her lips up to meet his, he kissed her. He knew her mouth. He’d memorized the way she liked his tongue to tease hers.
His hand moved down her neck and over her shoulder. His fingers froze, hovering on her collarbone. He knew the feel of her soft skin as well as he knew his own. But dammit, he couldn’t take the weight of her breast in his hand, her nipple brushing against his palm, and still maintain control.
She broke the kiss. “Don’t hold back, Dominic,” she whispered. “You never have before. Don’t start now. You know how to touch me. You’re the only one—”
His growl cut off her hushed words. He was the only one who knew the color of her panties. The only man in her bed. The only one who heard her sly humor. And yeah, the only man in Forever, Oregon who loved her.
For now . . .