This is a featured article column called FIRST KISS. We ask authors to share a first kiss scene from one of their books published in 2017. And each author graciously sent in an excerpt. Enjoy!
Title: Rising Star
Author: Terri Osburn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Buy Link: Amazon
Can love survive the bright lights of fame?
A popular DJ at the hottest station in Nashville, Charley Layton is doing what she’s always wanted to do: living in the heart of country music. Charley puts her career first and relationships second, but when a charismatic stranger in a black cowboy hat invites her back to his place, she decides to give herself one night of no-strings fun.
But Dylan Monroe isn’t a no-strings kind of guy. Charley is beautiful, brainy, and brassy as hell—the kind of girl he’s always wanted. When his record label books him an interview on Charley’s show, he’s determined to find out why he woke up alone, and when he can see her again.
With Dylan now the most eligible bachelor in country music, Charley doubts their fling stands a chance, but she’s willing to try. Dylan dreams of fame, but he also craves a life offstage with Charley. Can he convince her that both of their dreams are worth chasing, and that love is still possible, even in the spotlight?
FIRST KISS EXCERPT:
“Where are we going?” she asked, pulling her phone from her back pocket to text Matty.
“For a burger, as requested,” he replied, flipping on his blinker and taking an exit on the right. The sign said Ellington Parkway.
“But where, specifically, are we getting this burger?” Charley tried again, attempting not to sound like a woman who knew she was about to be murdered and chopped into little pieces.
Dylan reached across the giant console between them to pat her knee. “I’m not a serial killer, Charley.”
That’s what they all said. “I need to let Matty know where I am,” she confessed. “You know, in case you do kill me.”
“That would be a waste of time. I would never leave your body where you told your friend you’d be.”
“Spoken like a true serial killer.”
“Come on, Charley. I’m kidding.”
“I’m sure that’s what Dahmer said.”
“Fine,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m taking you to the Pharmacy.”
A man had only one reason to take a woman to a pharmacy on a Saturday night.
“Nope. Not happening. Take me back.”
“You said you wanted a burger,” Dylan countered.
Charley crossed her arms. “I did. But I’m not having sex with you to get one.”
The black hat smacked the back window as he threw his head back in laughter. “You really are something. You know that?”
She was something, all right. Something he was not having sex with. Regardless of how gorgeous, sweet, and protective he was. Or how good he smelled. Though he really did smell amazing. And was probably really good in bed. Any guy this gorgeous would presumably know his way around the bedroom.
You mean the man who might tie you up and lock you in his basement? she asked herself.
Her brain had a point. No orgasm was worth dying for.
“Regardless,” she said. “You can skip the pharmacy and go straight to the burgers.”
“Too late,” he said, making a left turn. “We’re here.”
Charley spotted the sign on the side of a nondescript white building. The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden. She hadn’t seen that coming.
“Who names a burger joint the Pharmacy?”
Dylan didn’t justify that with an answer.
“Looks like we got lucky,” he murmured, pulling into an open space on the curb before the entrance. “It’s a great place to eat, but parking is a bitch since they don’t have their own lot.”
Great. How good could a restaurant with no parking lot be?
After cutting the engine and the lights, Dylan undid his seat belt and bolted out of the truck. Charley didn’t like the look of the area and considered locking herself in and calling the police. But then her door popped open, and her escort flashed a sexy grin. “Come on,” he said.
The smell of perfectly cooked meat hit Charley in the nose, causing her mouth to water. Maybe she should give the place a chance.
“That smells like heaven,” she admitted, accepting his hand and sliding to the sidewalk.
Dylan held his ground, bringing their bodies into contact. “This will be the best burger you’ve ever had,” he said, close enough for her to notice a tiny scar at the corner of his mouth. “I promise.”
Charley forgot about food when his eyes dropped to her lips. “Best ever, huh?” she said, leaning into him.
“Only the best for the birthday girl,” he drawled.
And right there, beneath a dim streetlight, his lips lowered to hers and the world slipped away. Rising on tiptoes, Charley slid her arms around Dylan’s neck and melted against his muscled frame. One taste unfolded into an exploration that had nothing to do with geographic location. A hint of pale ale lingered on his tongue, and as his hands slid up her back, her bones turned to liquid. With a tilt of his head, Dylan deepened the connection, eliciting a desperate moan of pleasure and making her forget her resolve not to have sex with him.
Lost in sensations, neither noticed the group of revelers exiting the restaurant.
“Get a room!” someone called, as another gave a loud whistle.
Startled, Charley pulled away, thankful that Dylan held her upright, as her knees were no longer up to the task.
Struggling to catch her breath, she said, “We should probably go inside.”
His hat tapped her forehead as he nodded, breathing as heavily as she was. “I’m going to need a minute.”
Their proximity revealed his dilemma.
“Oh,” she whispered, forcing herself to put space between them. “I don’t usually kiss strangers on street corners.” Which made this man all the more dangerous. In less than an hour, he’d made her forget her anti-man policy. Though, technically, it was an anti-relationship policy. Didn’t mean she couldn’t follow Ruby’s advice and give herself a little birthday present.
“I’m glad you made an exception this time,” he mumbled. “Because that was a damn good kiss.”
Charley felt oddly flattered. “Thanks,” she replied.
His chuckle shot straight to her core. “No,” Dylan said. “Thank you. Now let’s go eat before I forget that I’m a gentleman.”