Monday, August 16, 2010
Love Haight by Melissa Bradley
Love Haight is my tribute to the 60's, a story that is very near and dear to my heart. Enjoy!
ISBN 978-1-60272-425-9 (Electronic)
ISBN 978-1-60272-829-5 (Paperback)
It is 1967 and the Summer of Love has just begun to light up San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury. Lily Roberts, a Vietnam nurse, has come here to lose herself in the psychedelic scene and forget the horrors of war. For Joe Sullivan, a rocker on the rise, the vibrant atmosphere is the perfect place to launch his band to the heights of success.
Ever since Lily's return from Southeast Asia, she's been disconnected, angry and plagued by nightmares. She attempts to forget everything through parties, drugs and alcohol. Her heated encounter with Joe scares her. He reawakens things deep inside she thought were long dead, but she's afraid to reach out, to trust in these feelings.
For Joe, his band is on the brink of stardom and the last thing he needs is a relationship, yet Lily has gotten under his skin and into his heart. He can't let her go, but she's on a self-destructive path he may not be able to save her from…
Lily and Joe just met the night before and since she's new in town, Joe jumped at the chance to show her around. He's picking her up for their little tour and the heat is already palpable
"What did he want?"
Lily's gaze slid in the direction of the question, and she saw Joe standing at the foot of the stairs. Too involved with the kid, she hadn't noticed him arrive. An odd warmth settled in her chest. She'd actually missed him when he left yesterday. Not that she'd let him know. There was an apology due first.
"Told me about some performance tonight. You're late."
Joe grinned. "I'm sorry. Problem with the hot water. Who's playing?"
"It's not a concert. Some group called Strange Harmony. They're putting on a play in someone's basement on Schrader." She stood and stretched.
"I've seen 'em. Cat called Larry Barsden is one of the founders. They're pretty hip, spread a lot of messages. You want to go?"
Joe cocked a brow at her outburst. "S'okay. No one said we had to."
Lily looked away, embarrassed by her vehement refusal. Striving for calm, she ignored him and reached inside her jacket for her sunglasses. She needed to keep it together. Breathing deep, she slid on the blue-tinted shades. "I'm not stopping you from going," she clarified. "I'm just not much for anti-war stuff. Besides, I'd rather not be stuck underground with hordes of people."
Joe gave her a considered look. "Yeah, things like that can get pretty crowded."
"I hope you enjoy yourself." She started down the stairs, calmer now.
He smiled up at her, green eyes twinkling.
"I'll make other plans for us."
She stopped one step above him. "Presumptuous, aren't you?"
"I prefer to think that I know what I want and go for it."
Lily eyed Joe coolly over the lenses of her glasses. He was determined, she'd give him that, but she'd fended off plenty of eager soldiers and knew the game very well. So what if he was temptation personified, standing there in his denim jacket, white tee shirt, and low slung, faded Levi's that emphasized his long, strong legs. She could handle him. Giving herself a mental shake she started to take the last step.
"Hey!" She squeaked when Joe wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her tight against him.
His eyes held a wicked glint. "Been wantin' to get you close like this again since we parted company."
Lily froze, all her senses on high alert. Oh Lord, Joe was trouble. A sensual haze slowly wound its way around them as her body absorbed the feel of him. His warm, clean scent was intoxicating and had her breathing deep, naturally tilting her head to his.
She brushed her thumb over his lower lip, touching the small scar underneath. Desire made it impossible to think.
"Something else I've been dying to do, too," he murmured, angling his head toward her.
"What?" Her voice was barely a whisper.
The soft touch of his mouth to hers sent shivers of heat through Lily. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and moved into the kiss. Joe's tongue glided along the seam of her lips, coaxing her to open and let him inside. He tasted like mint and coffee and something darker, more masculine.
Time stopped while they savored one another, the languid mating of mouths building a slow, burning passion. It was unlike anything Lily had ever experienced.
Tangling her fingers in the black silk of his hair, she gave herself over to the pleasure. So good, so out there. Kissing him was like tripping, wild colors exploding behind her eyes, her body on fire.
She whimpered when he pulled back and buried his face in her neck.
"God," Joe rasped, his breath hot and ragged against her skin. "We need to stop right now unless you want to take this upstairs."
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