Hot. So very hot...
She lay against the picnic blanket and restlessly watched as he fanned his hand across her trembling belly, taking in her nakedness after he'd popped the buttons down the front of her dress. The material glided from her skin. She wasn't wearing a bra, which left him to concentrate on the scrap of pink cotton that kept her from being completely at the mercy of his hungry gaze. He slid his thumbs under the thin straps at her hips, slowly, ever so slowly, sliding her panties down until she was finally free from them. She moved to close her legs and he made a small sound of objection, instead coaxing her to open to him. She wriggled as the summer sun and his attention warmed her delicate flesh.
Then he was touching her...
Fingers stroked, probed, invaded, bringing her a pleasure that surely couldn't be real...
He leaned in, covering her mouth with his.
Too wet.too cloying.
She turned her head and he licked her ear instead.
No, no, she wanted to whisper. Down...there...
Penelope Weaver awakened with a start. Panting. Only it wasn't she who was out of breath. Or even the man that had been featured in her dream, as he was so often lately.
Instead, she stared at the blurry outline of her golden retriever/border collie mix and blanched away from his awful breath.
Penelope sat up. It took a few moments to gather her wits about her. She wasn't lying on a picnic blanket in Old Man Benson's field just outside town, but was rather in her own bed in her room in the house on Maple Street. The summer sun cut a path across her body, but it was early evening and she was fully dressed.
And the too wet kiss hadn't come from her fantasy man, but rather her eight-year-old dog.
She picked up the wind-up alarm clock from the nightstand. Just after 7:00 p.m. Just after seven!
Barnaby Jones would be there to pick her up any minute.
She sprung from the bed and rushed to the shared bathroom in the hall. She must have fallen asleep when she'd gone in to stretch out on the bed. It had been a long day at the small cafe she owned and ran on Main Street and she'd needed to rest her feet for just a few moments.
The cafe. Even now it seemed odd to refer to her shop as such. She'd originally opened the place to sell her tapestries and called it Penelope's Possessions, but when the lumber mill had closed down four years ago it had taken much of what made downtown Earnest a draw for visitors with it. Businesses had closed, storefronts were empty. She'd adapted, offering her wares on the internet, but the shop itself had gradually become a coffee shop. Not a difficult transition seeing as she'd always made a good cup of coffee and thanks to her grandmother and great-aunt, there was an endless supply of baked goodies.
Now it was simply known as Penelope's.
She considered her curly dark hair in the mirror, fluffing the flattened back, and checking the liner around her brown eyes. Aside from a slight crease in her right cheek, she didn't look any the worse for wear. She took a deep breath and straightened the front of the dress she had on. A dress not unlike the one featured in her picnic dream. Only it really hadn't been a dream, had it? It was a memory. A recollection of a time that had passed long ago. Yet still had the power to steal her breath...
Tori Carrington (Author)
Nicknamed the dynamic duo, the husband-and-wife writing team of Lori and Tony Karayianni began writing together in 1984, a scant 10 months after they threw caution to the wind and shamelessly moved in together. Twisting the old adage "Life is stranger than fiction," they describe their lives as being "better than fiction."
While their backgrounds couldn't be more different -- Tony was born near Olympia, Greece, and raised in Athens, while Lori is a Midwestern native of Toledo, Ohio-- they credit their successful test run and love for each other for leading them to the altar in 1987, and point to their love for romance and travel for leading them to writing.
They take great pleasure in constantly redefining exactly what constitutes "and they lived happily ever after" in both their writing and their personal lives. In their books you'll see Tony's keen eye for plotting and hunger for adventure, and Lori's love for vivid characters and the fundamental ties that bind us all.
Under their pen name Tori Carrington, Lori and Tony hit the ground running with their first book for Harlequin Temptation, Constant Craving, in January 1999 and they show no sign of slowing anytime soon. Their own five book miniseries, The Magnificent McCoy Men, launched in July 1999 with License to Thrill, followed by the second book The P.I. Who Loves Her in March 2000. The third book in the series, For Her Eyes Only, hits stores in July 2000, while the fourth, You Only Love Once, is scheduled for release in March 2001. The miniseries wraps up with the final book, Never Say Never, in the Fall of 2001.
In addition to the rave reviews Lori and Tony regularly receive for their work, their first book, Constant Craving, was a finalist in the Best First Book category for the 1999 Golden Quill Award, and it along with License to Thrill have been given the nomination nod for Best First Book and Best Harlequin Temptation in the 1999 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award