Beauty and the Biker by Beth Ciotta
Impossible Dream Series, Book One
A new contemporary series — Impossible Dream — celebrating hope, love, and the magic of the human spirit!
Five long-time girlfriends — known as The Inseparables — find themselves in their thirties and battling disillusion. Tangled up in real-life troubles and stifled aspirations, they’re ready to ditch their deepest desires .. until they stumble upon the peculiar matchmaking company, “Impossible Dream,” where they each find the rare opportunity to make seemingly impossible dreams come true.
A series of modern-day fairytales beginning with . . . Beauty & the Biker
PRINCE CHARMING IS OUT THERE. SOMEWHERE.
Miracles happen every day. Even in Nowhere, Nebraska. That’s Bella Mooney’s philosophy and she’s sticking to it! A children’s librarian who writes fairy tales on the side, Bella has earned the reputation of fanciful Pollyanna. No surprise that she applied for her “ideal man” via ImpossibleDream.com, an Internet company designed to make dreams come true. However, even whimsical Bella has real-life issues, forcing her to take drastic actions in order to spin her dad’s life (and in turn her own) for the better. As fate draws her into the troubling world of her new neighbor—a cynical biker with a scarred soul and checkered past—Bella finds herself falling for the most unlikely man, twisting her perceptions of true love and testing her faith in dreams.
FATE LANDED HIM IN NOWHERE.
Expect nothing. Anticipate the worst. As a detective with the Chicago Police Department, Joe Savage witnessed heinous crimes and acts of cruelty on a daily basis, obliterating his faith in humanity. When a personal vendetta cost him his job and a quirky inheritance offered escape, Joe packed it in and steered his Harley toward a small town bordering Tornado Alley and the Twilight Zone. Where better to lose himself than Nowhere? Resigned to a dark and lonely existence, Joe’s life is suddenly shoved into the sunshine when his eccentric neighbor offers him a chance he can’t refuse, especially after her kiss of hope rekindles his dead heart. Inspired and challenged by Bella’s infectious optimism, Joe dares to make the impossible come true.
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“Here’s the deal,” Bella said, bursting with anticipation. Is he or is he not a magical kisser? Because if he was, that was her sign. “Carson—that’s my ex, except he hasn’t accepted that fact—thinks he’s perfect for me.”
“What do you think?”
She didn’t want to detail her history with Carson. Admitting the reasons behind her poor judgment and bemoaning his manipulative pursuit were too personal. She’d glossed over the emotional aspects with her closest friends. Why in God’s name would she share them with a stranger?
Oddly enough, she didn’t feel the same when it came to citing their less than magical physical relations. Which only affirmed how impersonal those relations were. Her cheeks burned, but the words flowed.
“Carson doesn’t inspire earthquakes and fireworks, if you catch my drift. Then again no one ever has. Not that there’ve been that many,” she added. “I need to know it’s not me. That I’m not, I don’t know, broken somehow. That I’m not expecting too much. That there’s…hope. Don’t get a swelled head or any kinky thoughts, but I think you’re gorgeous—in a menacing kind of way—and fascinating. Like a tortured hero in a gothic novel. You make my insides squishy. That’s a first. In real life anyway—as opposed to going all soft for a fictional guy in film or literature. If you can’t shake my world then, well…maybe I should settle for Carson.”
“Are you done?”
Blushing profusely, Bella shied away. So much for derring-do.
Savage caught her elbow and pulled her close. “Don’t get a swelled head or any kinky ideas, but I think you’re beautiful—in an irritating angelic way.” He stroked her cheek then threaded his hands through her hair. “How old are you anyway?”
“You seem younger.”
“How old are you?” she asked.
“You seem older.”
His mouth crooked, implying a sense of humor. Ideal quality #1. “Do you want the earth to tilt?” he asked. “Or spin?”
It was the kind of arrogance Carson flaunted every day. Only Bella suspected Savage would make good on his offer. “You can do that?”
He held her gaze, weaving a seductive spell with spine-tingling silence.
“Spin, please,” she managed before the universe shimmied and glittered.
His embrace was tender yet possessive. His mouth soft and teasing then hard and demanding. This kiss… This. Kiss. Was overwhelming. All consuming. It buzzed through her body, head to toe, heart to soul.
In a magical kiss.
Forever and always.
She curled her fingers into his shoulders, his hair. Holding tight as the world spun off its axis.
She responded to his touch, his heat, his need.
She pressed against his body. Wanting more. Needing more.
His desire was evident and pushed Bella over the edge. She imploded, trembling with an aftermath of erotic sensations.
Compliments of a kiss.
“You’re not broken.”
His words cut through her sensual haze. Bella grappled for reality and balance. Heat suffused her cheeks as she bolstered her noodly limbs and met his intoxicating gaze. Assaulted by physical yearning and a riot of emotions, she could scarcely breathe. “Good. Great. Thank you.”
She backed out of his lethal embrace, willed dignity, and channeled the Inseparables. Any one of her friends was worldlier than her. Try as she might Bella couldn’t manage casual. Not when her heart and head pounded with a united thought.
He’s the one.
After months of sadness and unrest, in the midst of multiple personal trials, something good was happening. Unexpected and magical and charmingly improbable.
Savage dragged his hands over his face, through his hair. He looked sinfully handsome, dark and dangerous, and absolutely miserable.
Probably because her heart was in her eyes.
“I’ll taint your world,” he said.
“I’ll take my chances.”
About the Author
Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Dubbed “fun and sexy” by Publisher’s Weekly, Beth specializes in writing Romantic Comedy with a Twist of Suspense and is published in contemporary, historical, steampunk, and paranormal romantic fiction.
Beth lives in NJ with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat. A veteran professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing. To learn more about her colorful life, visit her website at www.bethciotta.com.
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Thank you for participating! ~Gaele (for Lisa)
Thank you for the lovely feature!