Sunday, January 8, 2012

Excerpt: The Price of Passion (PG13/Contemporary Roman​ce)

The Price of Passion is the first book in a series titled The Morning After. This series deals with what happens when a couple experiences unexpected consequences after a night of passion.

I hope you enjoy the first book.

TITLE: The Price of Passion
SERIES: The Morning After
AUTHOR: Stephanie Morris
GENRE/THEME: Contemporary Interracial Romance
PUBLISHER: Sugar and Spice Press

Sierra Walker has never met a rancher as charismatic as Kaden Stasso. After an unexpected night of passion, she was now expecting a very special Christmas delivery. But if Sierra gives in to the formidable dad-to-be marriage proposal of convenience only, she knows she'll only be getting herself back into a position she vowed to be in again.

Kaden Stasso won't concede to anything less than marrying the woman who carries his child, for it is deeply engrained in his culture to take care of his own. But this marriage was to be in name only. Yet, neither he nor Sierra could refute the strong connection between them. No matter how much he or Sierra wants to deny it, they both start to realize that the price of passion might be higher than either of them expected.

Like Kaden himself, like his own mother had been.

To him, this issue was not debatable.

Sierra carried his baby. She would be his wife. And his child would share his name.

They’d be together on holidays, like a real family was. Kaden would be there on Christmas morning.

Maybe because he had so few good memories of his own Christmases, the thought made him very happy.

Yes, he’d be present for every event of his daughter’s or son’s life—the birth, school events, doctor’s appointments, everything. Just as it should be.

Leah had robbed him of parenthood once; he refused to let it happen again.

There was no room for negotiation.

The fact that Sierra was every bit as manipulative as Leah didn’t matter right now. No child of his would be a bastard, wear the label and be talked about. Not if Kaden had anything to say about it.

“We don’t even know each other,” she complained.

“It’ll happen.”

Reaching up, she grasped his wrists and tried to shove him away. In her eyes, he saw fear. A softer part of him wanted to ease up, tell her that everything would be okay, that he wasn’t the monster she thought him to be. He’d fought against her discomfort concerning men, of him, on their night. And he’d won. But he wasn’t about to do it again.

She was no different than any other woman.

A few months ago, she’d made her bed and invited him to lie in it. He planned to do just that.

“You don’t even approve of me,” she protested.

“Who cares?”

Her eyes drifted closed and her breaths came in uneven, small bursts. “I care.”

“We had a night together where we got along,” he said, recalling her sensual reaction to his touch and the slide of satin as he’d removed her clothing from her body.

He’d cupped her breasts in his hands, relished in their fullness and their response as her nipples beaded, begging for his caress. Even now, his body reacted just to the memory of her low moans. “We approved of each other just fine then.”

“Don’t remind me.”

Oh, but he wanted to. He’d been good enough for her that night, even if that wasn’t the case now.

“You have to see that this is a ridiculous idea.”

“You have to see that it isn’t.” His hold tightened once more on her shoulders. “What sort of mother would intentionally subject her child to being a bastard?”

“A bastard?” she parroted, disbelievingly. “This is the twenty-first century, Kaden.”

“Not in this town.” Even when he’d been young, when several single women had been having children, he’d been teased.

“You’re being archaic.”

“You’re naïve,” he retorted. “We’re in a small town and people will gossip. You’ve heard about my past with Leah. I heard about your pregnancy at the pharmacy. Think about it.” Kaden spent his entire childhood battling the label of not being wanted, getting into more trouble than he knew what to do with.

His mother had been called down to the principal’s office as many times as Kaden had. By the time he’d finished school, he’d been suspended at least two dozen times. He wouldn’t have been looked down on or taunted if he’d had a father.

“It’s more complex than that. I can’t get married again.”

“Why is that?”

Her hazel eyes clouded. She opened her mouth to respond, then closed it again. She had secrets, he saw, and he wanted every one of them discovered.

“It’s just not possible.”

“Not good enough—not good enough for me, not good enough for the child we made.”

He didn’t like the idea of being tied down again anymore than Sierra did. He’d promised himself he’d never let another woman finagle him, but he was prepared to forfeit his sanity for his own flesh and blood. Sierra had no choice but to do the same.

He threaded his fingers into her hair, then said, “This isn’t about you and me anymore.”

Her hazel eyes were wide, revealing, alluring. It had been her eyes that first fascinated him, making him want to know her better. They’d sparkled when she laughed, then later, they’d darkened with a passion that matched his.

“I’ve already sworn not to shut you out. Isn’t that good enough?”

“No.” He shook his head. “Every child deserves a father, no matter how you feel about the man you’re pregnant by.”

She sighed. “You’re out of your mind.”

“Possibly.” Despite the statements Leah had launched at him, breaking his heart, he had loved baby Jacob with his entire being, which was still in shambles from losing her. The loss of one baby who meant everything to him strengthened his determination not to lose another, especially one that was truly part of him. “But I’m willing to let you choose the date.”

“You can’t force me to marry you.”

Removing one hand from her hair, he cupped her chin, caressing the soft skin, his thumb brushing the side of her throat and resting where her pulse raced. “Would it be such a terrible thing?” he asked, softly, inquisitively.


Debby said...

Great excerpt. The morning after is always tough.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Stephanie Morris said...

Only if you wake next to the wrong person Debby ;-)