BY CHARLI WEBB
New Adult Contemporary Romance
The first time Skylar and Rowdy give themselves to each other completely--heart, mind, body and soul--is also the night Skylar disappears without a trace. Rowdy promised to love her forever. But forever is a long time when you’re only seventeen.
After years of waiting, Rowdy gives up on Skylar and tries to purge her from his memory with cheap tequila and one night stands.
When Skylar finally returns, Rowdy is no longer the shy, sweet boy she fell in love with. He’s bitter, angry and determined to protect what remains of his shattered heart. She’s determined to reclaim it, but first she has to put it back together.
Set in the eclectic town of Eldorado Springs, Colorado and Eldorado Canyon State Park, a rock climber’s paradise, “Naked Edge” is a new adult contemporary romance about perseverance, second chances and the healing power of love.
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Rowdy turns my hands over and kisses both palms. “I didn’t break any of my promises until after the funeral.”
My heart stops. I take a step back to give myself some breathing room. “Why then?”
“I ran out of excuses.” He shrugs. “You were nineteen. I couldn’t blame your absence on your parents anymore.”
“Is that when you started to hate me?”
“I never hated you.” Rowdy lifts my chin with his forefinger and ducks his head to capture my gaze. “I tried. Everyday since the funeral, I tried to hate you. But it never worked. I could be angry with you, furious even, but hate you? Never.”
I’m melting into a puddle of Rowdy-adoring goo. I need to reestablish a few boundaries, before I forget how. I rock back on my heels.
Rowdy slides his calloused palms down my arms, guiding my hands to his shoulders. He digs his fingers into my hips and pulls me against his body. Holy crap, he’s hard.
I instinctively lean into him. We’re both trembling.
I sway on my feet. “Can we sit down? I’m feeling a little lightheaded.”
He pulls back, and searches my face. “Do you need your inhaler?”
“No. I’m just nervous.”
He chuckles. “Me too.”
“I haven’t done this in a long time.”
“That’s not what I heard.” I push away from him.
He catches my wrists, completely encircling them with his fingers. His voice deepens to a growl. “What have you heard?”
“That you’re with a different girl every night.” I stare into his eyes, daring him to lie to me.
“That’s a gross exaggeration.” He lets go of my hands and sits on the edge of the bed.
I sit beside him and put a hand on his knee. “I get that you felt betrayed. And I understand why you broke your promise to never make love to anyone but me. But I don’t understand—”
“I didn’t break that promise.”
“Don’t lie to me, Rowdy.” My heart aches. I hate that he sleeps around, but I can forgive him as long as he stops doing it and doesn’t lie about it. If he lies, we don’t have a chance.
“I’ve fucked more women than I can count, but you’re the only one I’ve ever made love to.”
I really shouldn’t find that obscene remark the least bit endearing. I bite my lip to keep from smiling. I can’t let him think for one second that I’m okay with his promiscuity. Because I most certainly am not.
“I’ve never kissed anyone but you, either.” His cheeks flush. I definitely find that endearing.
“You’re joking, right?”
“I don’t like kissing, so I don’t do it.” He cups my cheek. “If anyone has a problem with it, they can walk away.”
“Has anyone ever walked away?”
He quirks one side of his mouth up into a lopsided grin then caresses my lower lip with his thumb. “Never.”
“That cocky attitude of yours is not the least bit sexy.” My shallow, rapid breathing and racing heart indicate otherwise. Who’s the liar now?
He brushes his lips across mine, barely touching them, softer than the stroke of a butterfly’s wing. He kisses my neck, right below my ear. “Did you seriously just use cocky and sexy in the same sentence?”
“I thought you didn’t like kissing.” I tilt my head, giving him better access to my throat.
He kisses a trail across my collarbone. “I don’t like kissing anyone but you.”
My eyelids flutter shut.
He brushes his lips across mine again. Once, twice, and then his mouth captures mine. His tongue sweeps across the seam of my lips, a subtle request for permission to enter.
I can’t refuse him. He tastes so good. A hint of cinnamon layered over something that is pure Rowdy. I search for an analogy so I can always remember it. His taste, his smell. God I missed it. But how do you describe the taste of pure bliss?
He moves slowly, gently. So tenderly. His kiss is just as I remembered. It awakens something deep inside me. Something that has lain dormant for the past four years. A whole-body yearning that’s so intense it’s painful.
I love that he’s being careful with me, but I need more. I keep one hand over his heart and tangle the other in his hair. I pull his face closer and suck his lower lip into my mouth.
A primitive, animalistic sound rumbles deep inside his chest, vibrating against my palm. He thrusts his tongue into my mouth. No longer gentle, he’s claiming more than just my lips. I follow his lead as he establishes a seductive rhythm that promises so much more.
(1) Signed Paperback of Naked Edge, (1) Swag Pack with CD of original songs from the book - US(1) Signed Paperback of Naked Edge and (1) carabiner (item theme from the book) - US
(5) eBook copies of Naked Edge - International