Today’s theme for Snippet Saturday is characters at work or play or living it up. I’ve picked an excerpt from my sensual romantic suspense, Playing to Win. Lane and Kate, the hero and heroine, have traveled to Taupo, which is in the middle of the North Island. It’s a beautiful place where I enjoyed many holidays during my teens. If you’re interested in seeing some photos check out the photo essay for Playing to Win.
Playing to Win by Shelley Munro
By the time Kate pulled on her lime green bikini, she could hear the children laughing and calling out to Adam and Lane. Danielle had grinned at her and hurried outside a few minutes earlier. Kate scanned her reflection in the dressing room mirror and scowled. She wished she’d packed her other swimsuit—the conservative one-piece. This bikini might be fashionable, but it showed far too much of her autumn-pale body.
“Stop dithering,” she muttered. She pulled on a shirt, hoping to yank on some confidence at the same time. After giving her bikini briefs one last twitch, she walked outside to the largest pool where the others were already in the water.
“Kate, you’re missing all the fun,” Jamie protested.
“Who wants to try the water slide?” Danielle asked.
“Me!” Seth shouted.
“Me!” Jamie echoed.
“I’m game,” Adam drawled to his wife.
In an instant, the boys were off with Adam and Danielle trailing behind.
Kate peered through the swirling steam and self-consciously shrugged out of her shirt. After dropping it with her towel on the side, she eased her way into the pool, letting her body adjust to the heat.
Suddenly, a hand snaked out and tugged at her calf, making her yelp in surprise.
Lane’s gray eyes sparkled up at her. “You took your time.” His gaze took in her form in the green bikini. “But the wait was worth it.”
The intense heat in his eyes made Kate sink quickly into the water. Her flesh tingled as his arm skimmed across her ribs, the sensation of overheating nothing to do with the water temperature and everything to do with the man’s roving eyes and hands.
“My imagination didn’t do you justice.” He pulled back to read her expression and flashed a roguish smile. “You’re stunning.”
Kate made a small choked sound and edged away, but his arm reached out and curled around her waist, tugging her to him and fitting her against his muscular chest. In the dim light, the shouts and laughter from the next pool seemed miles away, her entire world consisting solely of Lane.
“Kate, I just want to hold you.”
The need in his voice touched a twin chord within her and she released her unease. Slowly, she reached out to place a hand on his chest. A shudder went through him, the solid muscle bunching under her touch. One masculine finger reached out to trace the line of her bikini top. Kate’s head jerked up to meet his magnetic gaze. The heat in his eyes stole her breath.
He wanted her and the knowledge made her blood sing.
“Touch me, Kate,” he whispered, his eyes holding a dare, challenge and the stirring embers of passion.
Heartened, she explored, smoothing hands over broad shoulders, tangling fingers in his chest hair. Exercising the freedom he granted, she fingered flat male nipples. She pursed her lips, fighting a smile at his sudden intake of breath. Her heart thumped and her gaze shot to his again. Invisible energy arced between them when their lower bodies touched. She shivered when his erection brushed against her.
“Kate.” He dipped his head, trailing a line of tiny kisses across her brow then angled his kisses down toward her mouth.
This time it was her who stifled a throaty groan. It felt so good. She wound her arms around his neck and arched against his hard body, relishing the slide of wet skin against her breasts.
A giggle jerked them apart. Lane lifted his head and Kate spied the two young girls playing at the shallow end of the pool. Chuckling softly, Lane clasped her hand and tugged her into the dark shadows of the deeper water where the combination of steam and lack of light screened them from most prying eyes.
Kate shivered, the warm buoyant water lapping around her shoulders. Lane’s chest nudged her breasts and their limbs entwined below the water. Her heart fluttered wildly as his lips descended.
Hot. Heady. Seductive.
Her lips parted to taste him and she desperately wished her bikini top away so their chests were skin to skin.
“That feels good, Kate,” Lane said softly, his husky voice sending her nerves in a sensuous dance of delight.
His fierce arousal burned into her lower body, leaving no doubt as to the strength of his need. A throaty chuckle welled up from inside her and she wrapped her legs around him, pulling him closer.
“Excuse me, Kate!”
Kate jumped on hearing Jamie’s loud but guarded voice and thrashed against Lane’s chest. She swallowed a mouthful of water before Lane grabbed her.
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