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by Joan Chandler
Neal Sinclair meets David Bankston in a college town bar. He’s tall, dark, and handsome, and wears a Stetson like nobody’s business.
When they dance, inner passion heats up while inhibitions melt away. Neal quickly discovers David’s not a Southerner at all. He’s a Boston architect, in Tuscaloosa for only one night. The next morning, they struggle to walk away from something that caught them both by surprise.
Time doesn’t diminish the ache they feel in each other’s absence. Unable to stay apart, David arranges to take Neal to watch her beloved Crimson Tide play in a football bowl game. Reunited, they’re determined to make it work. When separated, they perfect the art of open communication. They each know that true love is a long shot.
But distance isn’t the only thing standing in their way. Unbeknownst to her, Neal’s overprotective father is, too. With so much conspiring against them, can a natural disaster turn the odds in their favor?
He trailed his mouth up toward hers and then covered it with a delicious kiss. “Mmm, you taste so good on my tongue.”
Neal melted into him and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I could say the same thing, David.”
They kissed until the room seemed noticeably hotter. Finally, David broke their embrace and said, “If we want to see the outside of this room, perhaps we should take a breather and go exploring. Much more of this and I won’t be responsible for what happens next.” He winked at her and then walked to the window. He pulled the curtains back to reveal an excellent view of the city. “What do you want to do first?”
“I need to hang up a few things,” she told him as she began to unlatch her suitcase.
“Take your time. I’m in no hurry.”
He sat on the side of the bed while she began to pull garments out one by one. By the time she’d hung up three dresses and pulled out two pairs of boots and a pair of high-heeled pumps, his mouth was hanging. And she still had a few items still to go.
“Okay, first of all, how did you get all of that in one piece of luggage? And secondly, we’re here for two nights. How can you possibly need that many outfits?”
“Don’t rain on my parade. You have no idea how tough it is to decide what to wear to the football game. I had to bring extras in case I change my mind.”
“It’s a no-brainer, Neal. Blue jeans and a sweater,” he said with a smug expression.
“You’re way off base. I want to look my best at a game this important. I’m perfectly happy to wear sweatpants to class, but ball games are held to a higher standard.” It occurred to her that David might not have brought any nice clothes with him. She quickly added, “But you should wear whatever is most comfortable to you. Sweats, jeans, a hoodie…whatever.”
He shook his head but told her, ‘It’s all right. I think I’ll manage to scrounge up something that doesn’t look like I’m a vagrant.”
“I’m sorry if it makes me seem prissy. I’m really not. But it’s a tradition at games. We always dress to the nines. Hey, if you think we’re bad, you should walk through The Grove at Ole Miss at any home game. Those girls are absolutely breathtaking. They give me Venus envy.”
He did a double take. “Venus envy? What does that mean, dare I ask?”
“It’s just something my friends and I made up. You know what penis envy is right? Of course you do. Well, this is the equivalent for sorority sisters. Some chapters are just so perfect and the girls are all so exquisite, that they achieve a level of perfection no one else comes close to. Since Venus is the goddess of beauty, we started saying they gave us Venus envy.”
David threw his head back and laughed. “I guess I missed out on a lot by having only brothers. When I was in college, the toughest decision I had to make was how many times I could wear my jeans before I absolutely had to wash them. I had no idea you girls have it so rough.”
“Tease me all you want. I’m still going to do my best to look like a model as I make my way to our seats in row quadruple N, or wherever they are.”
He pulled her into his embrace. “Neal, you’re beautiful no matter what you wear. I’ll be so proud to have you on my arm these few days.”
They kissed again, the experience still new and heady. They had talked for hours on end over the last month, getting to know each other and cementing their friendship. But being able to share physical contact was a privilege they didn’t take lightly. Their time together was very limited, due to the distance between them. And when David skimmed his hand along Neal’s skin, his touch made her tremble.
“Mmm,” she whispered. “I have so missed breathing the same air as you.” She ran her fingers down his arm, gently squeezing his bicep before trailing down to his wrist and then lacing her fingers with his. She looked up into his eyes.
“You shouldn’t look at me that way while we’re standing in a hotel room with a bed only a few feet away.”
“How am I looking at you?”
“With adoration. And trust me, it’s a fucking great aphrodisiac. I want to do so many things with you, Neal. And we never have to leave this room to accomplish most of them.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Joan Chandler is a Florida native who has lived in the Deep South all of her life. She is married with two children who are her pride and joy. She lives a double life of sorts, holding down a nine-to-five job during the day, and writing steamy romance at night—often with her black cat curled up in her arms as she types.
When she’s not spending her spare time working on her next novel, she loves to go camping, sharing girls’ night out with her friends, walking her two dogs, and watching college football.
BOOKSTRAND PUBLISHING: http://www.bookstrand.com/bama-bride
twitter account: @joanchandler1
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