Today we have an excerpt from Can’t Help Falling by Cara Bastone, available now. Cara’s debut Just a Heartbeat Away was out in June and will be on my list of favorites of 2020. I think her voice is fantastic and is a new auto-buy/read author for me.
Here’s the blurb for Can’t Help Falling.
The more you resist, the deeper you’ll fall
Serafine St. Romain doesn’t need her psychic powers to know she’s no longer in Tyler Leshuski’s good graces. True, she did tear him to pieces when he asked her out, accusing him of being shallow and selfish. Despite the energy crackling between them, the gorgeous sports writer is a no-strings, no-kids kind of guy. And Serafine, raised in the foster system, intends to be a foster parent herself. She won’t compromise that dream, even for a man as annoyingly appealing as Tyler.
In a simpler world, Tyler would already have gotten Serafine out of his system. For him, women equal fun. Not this kind of bone-deep, disconcerting desire. Life gets even more complicated when he becomes the guardian of his much younger sister. Suddenly, he’s way out of his depth. Serafine’s the only person who can connect with Kylie. He can’t jeopardize that for a fling.
But maybe…just maybe…he’s finally ready to risk everything on forever.
We hope you enjoy this excerpt!
Excerpt from Cara Bastone’s Can’t Help Falling:
His chest was wider than she’d thought it would be. It was covered in a mat of light hair, muscular but not bulky. He still had that same dancer’s build as he’d had in the videos she’d seen. His shoulders capped his body off in a round, strong way, rolling sinuously as he leaned forward. He balanced on his knuckles, kissing her again. She noticed that he was keeping his hands to himself, and so she did the same. She could feel the raw heat from his skin, but their only connection point was their mouths. When he pulled away, his eyes were even lazier than before, somehow relaxed and urgent at the same time.
“Let’s each do our own pants,” he suggested, which she thought was a grand idea. They both flopped onto their backs to lift their hips and shimmy their pants down in identical fashion. They peered sideways at the exact same moment and burst into laughter.
“This might be the least smooth seduction I’ve ever been a part of,” he muttered to himself.
“Including when you lost your virginity at a party and a drunk kid saw your butt?”
He laughed. “Why did I tell you that? And yes. Less smooth than that.” Both of them pantsless now, he rolled over her, and her braid got caught under his weight.
Shaking his head at himself, he rolled again, pulled her on top of him and let their bare legs tangle together as her weight settled onto him. He groaned and planted his hands over his face.
Huh. Sitting up so that she straddled his hips, his hardness pressing quite firmly into her panty-covered ass, she tugged his hands away from his eyes.
“Everything all right down there?”
He let out a long breath, his eyes stuttering on her chest, his hands compulsively going to the dip at her waist. “I just want you so badly, Fin. And you’re so—so—you hurt to look at. You’re like Helen of Troy or something. Seriously, if you’d been born in an earlier century, people would have worshipped you.”
“But that’s not even—” He tried again. “Fin, I’ve wanted this for a really, really long time with you. I had that major crush on you for so long. And then that went away. But then I got to know you again, and I wanted you in a different way. A stronger way. But I don’t think I even realized it. Because I wasn’t letting myself hope for it. I wanted it so badly that I knew it was idiotic to hope for it. And now I’m here and you’re naked and sitting on me and looking like that and, yeah… It’s a lot.”
It never ceased to amaze her, the kind of personal magic that words held. As soon as he said the words out loud, she could just stop guessing about it. His heartbeat had told her he was nervous, but now that she knew for sure, it was easier to understand. To quantify. And she could admit it herself.
“For me too.”
In case he didn’t believe her, she lifted his hand from the curve of her waist and pressed it to her chest so that he could feel her own heartbeat.
“I haven’t had sex in a long time,” she admitted to him, and then, deciding that since she was already straddling him, almost buck-ass naked, there wasn’t much point in holding back. “And I’m not sure I’ve ever had sex with someone who makes me feel…this.”
He sat up so that they were almost nose to nose. “Makes you feel what?”
Well, she wasn’t quite prepared for those kinds of declarations. She lifted one shoulder and dropped it. “Stuff,” she said stubbornly.
He smiled that easy smile of his and Fin felt some of her nerves abate. “I feel stuff for you too,” he whispered.
“I feel—” he held up two hands like brackets “—‘insert noun here’ for you.”
She laughed, cocking her head to one side and slowly unbraiding her hair, wanting to feel wild and unrestrained with him.
“I really really verb you,” she whispered.