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Warm Rush: Chasing Winter cover art

  Excerpt: Chasing Winter

  Rowan McBride

  Available now from Amber Allure.

  ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-296-5 (Electronic)

  ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-925-4 (Paperback)

Warm Rush: Chasing Winter © 2008 by Rowan McBride. All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced in whole or in part without author's permission.

"You know, Mr. Winter, I had the biggest crush on you."

My eyes rounded and my head shot up. "What?"

He chuckled, confusing me, warming me. "Yeah, it was really bad. I liked you so much when you moved in, and every time I got close to you, my stomach would flip over. I was so scared you'd see it and send me home."

How could I have missed something like that? "O-Oh."

His amusement didn't leave him. "One night I was up late, staring out my bedroom window. I saw you walk up onto your porch with this guy. At first I thought he was your friend, and then—"

My heart skipped a beat as I frantically tried to recall every date I'd ever had.

"—he took your face in his hands and kissed you, full on the mouth."

I'd always tried to be discreet about my love life, but apparently that night I'd decided to throw caution to the wind.

Keith touched my forehead, just long enough to sweep back a lock of hair. I kept it longer these days, to hide my face. "I was so jealous. But in a weird way, it made me happy, too. Because Mr. Winter kissed a man, so maybe someday he might kiss me."

This was surreal. "I had no idea."

He smiled, his expression gentle. "I know. You always saw me as this little kid. You were nice to me, you treated me like a friend, and you shattered me when you left."

At the moment, I was feeling a bit shattered myself.

The pad of his thumb glided over my left cheek. Totally unused to being touched there by someone not wearing a white coat, I jerked my head away. "What are you doing?"

Keith's smile widened a fraction. "I'm glad you're home. Did I say that already?"

I nodded, wary now. He was so close. When did he get so close?

He lowered his head so I could feel his breath on my lips. "I know I should take this a lot slower, but I only have a week before I go away to college."

I tried to lean away, and a big hand slipped around to my back, preventing my escape. "Take what slow?"

"This," he whispered, before covering my mouth with his.

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