Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cover reveal! Walk With Me by Kaitlyn Stone

Since childhood, Kaitlyn Stone has gravitated toward fairy tales and happily-ever-after's, forever chasing the first love dragon. She is a self-professed adventure junkie, constantly talking her husband and family into some new life adventure, where they’ve learned to just buckle up for the exciting ride. When they do stay home, it’s in sunny Southern California located along the Pacific Ocean.


What dictates the path in life we take and who we choose to walk with?

After escaping her abusive parents, nineteen-year-old Kenna Sloane is determined to create an independent life, free of emotional distraction. The last thing this focused college student wants is a relationship, especially with a hot rookie cop popular with the badge bunnies.

When Kenna reluctantly agrees to a double date with Santa Monica cop Donovan Alexander, she’s launched on an exciting and dangerous journey. With time, she discovers some souls are instinctively drawn together to quiet the pain of their traumatic pasts. But even after the revelation of Donovan’s own secret burden, Kenna continues to battle the fear she may be too broken for her modern day knight in blue.
Can Kenna open her heart to the healing light of true love before peril strikes?

Title of book: Walk with Me
Series name: The Thin Blue Thread Series
Author: Kaitlyn Stone
Publisher: Bookstrand Romance
Total number of computer word count: Approximately - 80,000
Genre: Contemporary New Adult (Steamy)


It’s midnight, the day after my eighteenth birthday, and I’m escaping from my life of oppression and pain. With only the fear of being caught and dragged back to my cell of a life, I’m shortening the gap between what I know and the undiscovered world ahead.
The August air whips across my face and through the loose strands of my pulled-back hair. My internal will to survive, fueled by adrenaline, propels me forward into the night with no feeling of cold or discomfort. The wind stings my eyes and they begin to tear, blurring my vision as I sprint along the walking path between the condos and boat slips in the Marina, one foot in front of the other pounding the pavement. Thump, thump, thump. The same beat of my excited heart.
After two blocks I realize they’re not chasing after me. I slow to a fast walk, scanning the area ahead and behind me. My chest is heaving as I try to catch my breath and regain my thoughts, but I’m not tired. I could run for miles if I need to, and I will fight tonight to protect myself and my freedom.
I sweep the area one more time before ducking into the shadows of the next condo complex. Catching my breath, I lean against the wall of the entrance, pull out my pay-as-you-go cell phone, and call Danielle and her mom—my lifeline, my ride to freedom. This is it. I pace nervously under the cover of night, still on high alert, and wait for the transportation to my new life. Pumped from the adrenaline surge, my thoughts are spinning and making me dizzy, but assuredly I won’t be coming back here anytime soon, if ever. 


He clutches my hand and pulls me into the dining room and onto the dance floor. A slow song is now playing and couples are clinging to one another. My heart flutters with nerves. The first dance between a couple can be as intimate as the first kiss.
With confidence driving his actions, Donovan takes me in his arms and pulls me by the waist close to his body. The instant closeness changes my heart from a flutter to a steady drumming. Like I’m wrapped in a cocoon of Donovan, the rest of the dancers fade away and the loud music is subdued to my ears. My hands rest on his chest as we sway to the music in our secluded world. I’m reminded of our first meeting at the coffeehouse and how he made me feel the same way, like I was the only one in the room.
Donovan reaches up and tucks a strand of hair behind my ear before grazing his finger around my bare earlobe and down my neck. The touch sends electricity right to the ends of my fingertips. He lowers his lips to my ear. “Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?”
I blush at his words. The other guys I go out with never compliment me, at least like Donovan. I never expect the compliments and they never offer. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend and they weren’t looking for a girlfriend, so there was no need to court me or try to win me over.
“I think you may have said something like that earlier.” I focus on his lapel, stroking the smooth material between my fingers with a smile blooming on my lips like a flower that’s been deprived of the sun for years.
Donovan lifts my chin with his index finger to meet his eyes. “A girl as beautiful as you deserves to hear it again.”
I drink in his words, trying to quench my thirst, and lay my head against his strong chest. I exhale with pure contentment as Donovan enfolds me once again in a protective embrace and we sway rhythmically to the music.

“Pine is good to get the fire started or for short periods of time because it catches and burns quickly. It burns hot and fast. Oak is a denser wood—a more complex wood. You choose oak when you want a fire that lasts longer. It’s a little harder to get oak started. It takes patience and care in the beginning. But once it gets started, it just takes a little oxygen to ignite it and it can burn into the night.” He answers in a reticent tone, but somehow I think he may be talking about more than wood.
I’m staring at the flames and the multitude of colors when Donovan reaches his hand up to my face and brushes my hair back behind my shoulder. The warmth of his fingers burns into my skin and instinctively my face turns toward him. When I look into his eyes humor is absent, only passion remains. “You are so beautiful.” Without breaking eye contact he leans toward me for a kiss.
I close my eyes when his soft, warm lips touch mine and I exhale with a slight whimper. This sound fuels his momentum and he quickly deepens the kiss. With Donovan’s support, I lay down to the floor and he moves closer to my side, stretching out next to me with his torso over mine. He pulls his face back. “You keep surprising me, Kenna. Tonight has been fun. It’s not easy to find someone so sexy, so smart, and so funny. I think we’re connecting on so many levels and I’m developing very strong feelings for you already. Plus, you looked really good in your ‘bikini.’”
I say nothing in return, but he doesn’t wait for a response because he leans back down and covers my smile with his mouth and we begin kissing again. I don’t respond with words but my lips and body speak for me. My breath becomes ragged, matching his, and my hands wander over his chest, arms and back.
When I can’t take the heat building within me any longer, I sit up, pulling Donovan with me, rip my sweatshirt off, throw it to the side, then start for the hem of his. Understanding my intent, Donovan helps my shaking hands do their job dragging his shirt off. I drop my gaze to his hard muscles and reach up with one hand trailing my trembling fingers along his smattering of chest hair. I kneel up and straddle his lap, now using both hands, tracing his shoulders and arms. Donovan leans back with his hands and arms extended behind him, giving me full access to his upper body. So open and vulnerable.
My eyes catch the ripple from his six-pack and I skim my fingers quickly down to my new target. Using both hands, I let my index fingers cascade slowly down his stomach from his chest to the waistband of his pajama bottoms. I can feel him growing harder under me and I look up into his half-hooded eyes.
That’s it—game on.

Dropping his hands from my arms, Donovan gestures his hand around the room. “This is where I come to get away and lose myself or to just think. I can work out here for hours. There’s something about working with your hands” - he flashes me a devilish grin, grabbing at my waist and pulling me into him - “that clears the mind.”
I yelp at his manhandling and giggle trying to squirm out of his hold. Donovan at first tightens his grip on me, smiling salaciously, but then with a wicked glint in his eyes his posture changes and he starts tickling me on the sides. “No! Stop it!” I screech. But he continues his pleasurable torment, working one hand down to the back of my thigh. “Donovan! Please stop. I can’t take it. I’m going to pee my pants.” With my final plea he drops his hands.
We stand quietly facing each other, chests heaving from the short burst of excitement. With a wild gleam in his eyes, Donovan leans down and throws me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. “Donovan Alexander!” I scream in protest. “You put me down!” He ignores my demand and carries me out of the workshop and over next door.
“You’re so cute when you get all indignant. You want down?” he says and slowly lowers me to the floor inside his bachelor pad. I’m standing facing him with my body pressed against his. His eyes are searing into mine and his hands are securing me in place at the waist. My chest is rising and falling with deep, steady breaths and moisture and heat are building between my thighs. I’m so turned on by his caveman gesture of dragging me back to his den against my will. At this moment I want him to take me. A primal need exists deep within my body for Donovan to bury himself inside me and quite the dull ache that’s been building in my groin since the first day I’ve laid eyes on him.
There is no denying the raw sexual attraction to Donovan. And this is one area I can tell he isn’t passive about—sex. In public he is the perfect gentleman, so polite and respectful. But behind closed doors I bet an alter ego exists. He is commanding, passionate, and insatiable. I don’t know what makes me think this with my limited experience, but something tells me he is going to be the same in bed and I don’t know if I can wait any longer to test my theory. My self-control is waning after a delicious dinner with this perfect man and his perfect TV family. If he wanted to take me right here and now, it would be the dream ending to the evening.

I shift my body to face Donovan squarely. My eyes soften in sadness. He scans my face with tightness in his troubled eyes and a turned-down mouth. “I was worried you would lose respect for me once you learned of my secret and maybe even decide to move on,” Donovan admits.
How could he think I would move on because of this secret? If anyone should be running, it’s him. I’m damaged goods. I’ve built walls around me so high I’m starting to wither from the constant shadow cast on my being. But Donovan has already helped me break through some of my walls and I’m being drawn toward the sliver of steady light streaming in that is him. We are both injured souls from our pasts. Maybe together we can help heal each other and walk hand in hand toward the happiness that we both deserve.
“Donovan, I’m falling for you, too,” I declare with certainty. “And it scares me, but your honesty and trust with your secret make me feel like we are both starting at an equally vulnerable place and only good things can come from this point forward.”
Donovan gives me a half smile, zeroing in on his target of my lips. We lean toward each other with electrifying passion, pouring our unrestricted feelings into a kiss that never ends. He guides our bodies down to his bed and adjusts his torso over mine. The intensity of the kiss increases and we are all lips and tongue and teeth everywhere.

He drops his mouth to my neck and grazes his teeth on my ear. “I have needed this, I have needed you and I didn’t even know it until you came in to my life.” Donovan crushes his mouth to mine, forcing a moan deep from my throat. He teases my tongue with his and lets out a guttural growl as his hands start to wander down my shoulder to my waist and slowly back up to my breast. I arch my breast into his palm, begging for more of his touch. I hitch my leg over his, digging my hip into his side, feeling his hardened length against my thigh. I whimper from the tightening and pulling in my groin and begin grabbing at fistfuls of his shirt, trying to pull him closer to my body.
Donovan responds to my need for him to be closer by dropping his chest on mine with the support of one elbow and moving his hand from my breast to my hip and thigh hitched over his leg. He cups my ass and pulls it closer to his side, grinding me on his leg. The sensation from the friction of my jeans over my underwear is building and I moan and whimper louder and more frequently into his mouth. Donovan releases his grip on my ass and pulls me by the waist flat on top of him.
I betray my body, reaching behind me, taking a hold of Donovan’s hands, pulling them off me and up next to our heads, interlacing our fingers. I slow the kissing and steady the rocking. I pull my face back slightly and we smile at each other, basking in the afterglow of such passion. I think we both know how amazing it’s going to be when I completely surrender to him. But after hearing his confession I now want to wait—to make it special. This is different than with any of the other guys I’ve ever been with, and I want my first time with Donovan to be magical. This is going to be more than amazing sex. I can see that now. This is going to be the merging of our bodies, our minds, and our souls.

I look in to his half-hooded eyes and drop my lips to just a fraction above his. He opens his lips slightly and I mimic the action of kissing him but don’t actually touch his lips. The magnetic or electric pull between us is palpable. The further I pull back it wanes, but hovering my lips just over his builds in sensation. It’s like two magnets coming close together. I love this feeling—the building in intensity with each swipe of my lips close to his but not actually touching.
Donovan pulls his hands from mine and grabs the sides of my head, pulling me into him, crashing his mouth on mine, and detonating an explosive kiss that sends me reeling into outer space. Without breaking our kiss, he rolls me over on to my back, taking back control. I submit to him because I trust him. He must sense this because he slows the kiss and eventually stops by laying his forehead to mine as we catch our breath. He pulls his lips back from mine and swipes away the hair from my face, planting gentle kisses all over my lips, jaw, and neck.  I feel like we have just shared in something liberating for both our souls and we can now walk hand in hand toward that healing light.

“Now, that’s not fair. How can someone look so unbelievably hot in just my T-shirt and boxer briefs?” He makes me blush, which is not easy to do. He saunters over to me and wraps his arms around my waist, letting his hands slowly wander down the back of the boxers. Grazing my backside with both hands, Donovan gently grabs a handful. “These look so damn sexy on you. Forget about Victoria’s Secret.”
“I may have to steal these to wear at home,” I say. “I like the way the shirt smells of you.” I lift the collar, taking a whiff.
“Really? They’re clean.”
“I know I can smell the laundry soap, but I can also smell your scent on it.”
“Hmm. Something about that is sexy, too. Okay, you can take the shirt home, but we’ll keep these boxers here for you when you sleep over. Deal?” Donovan says, squeezing my bottom. “Now let’s get this cute little ass of yours into my bed.”
I giggle and pause at the foot of the bed. “Wait. What side do you sleep on?”
He points to the right side, furthest from the door. “I sleep on that side.” Which makes sense since the alarm clock is over there. So I walk over to the left side and slide in under the covers. Donovan takes a quick trip to the bathroom and when he comes out he turns the lights off, checks the locks on the door, and comes over to his side of the bed, slipping under the covers.
“Can I kiss you good night?” he asks, shifting on his side to face me.
“I would love that. Please do,” I purr at him.
The room is almost pitch black except for the faint blue glow of the clock radio, but I can make out Donovan is leaning in for a kiss. When our lips connect a warm glow begins to spread from my face to my neck and down my body. So slowly and gently we move our lips together. The contact awakens all the sexual feelings suppressed throughout the night, during our no-touching ride-along. Donovan lifts his hand to stroke the side of my face and cradles my head, deepening the kiss. His tongue is cool and tastes of toothpaste and Diet Coke. Our breaths begin to mingle and come at a more rapid rate. With every exhale Donovan absorbs the earlier tension allowing me to relax and succumb to him. We continue to kiss—lips, tongue, lips and tongue, making love with our mouths.
Donovan’s hand leaves my face and, starting at my waist, inches up to my right breast. Skimming the pad of his thumb along my erect nipple, he sends a shockwave of passion right between my thighs and I arc into his hand. His kissing becomes more urgent and our breaths come in quick short bursts forcing us to break. Moving his lips along my jawline to my neck and over to the sensitive spot below my ear, he continues kissing, licking and sucking on my neck and fondling my right breast over the T-shirt.
Moving his hand back down to my waist, he slips his hand under the shirt, stroking my bare skin and making me shudder. A small whimper seeps from my mouth, and like a beacon, the sound brings Donovan’s lips back to mine. With each stroke he moves his hand higher up my shirt. The anticipation of his hand touching my breast is almost agonizing, and I begin sucking and biting at his lower lip and teasing his mouth with my tongue. I want him to touch me so badly, but he’s taking his time. 

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