Friday, July 14, 2017
Book Spotlight - A Most Unlikely Countess, To Love a Wildcat #2
Painfully shy Liz Argon probably shouldn`t be dreaming of Veikko Aho, star goalie for the Philadelphia Wildcats. As she works side by side with 'The Count of the Crease' on his memoirs, she finds herself falling for the handsome goaltender. His tender ways with her and her mentally fragile mother are slowly claiming her heart.
If only Veikko wasn`t already engaged to a woman far better suited to move in to 'The Count`s' world. In book two of the To Love a Wildcat series, we`ll see if a glass slipper can survive in the rough and tumble world of professional ice hockey.
Here's a small snippet where Liz is searching for her escaped ferret in Veikko's mansion...
Veikko cocked an eyebrow questioningly. I shook my head then pattered to the closet. I emerged fifteen minutes later with no ferret, but with an enormous amount of envy that his wardrobe was so much better than mine. As was the closet that held it. I headed for his private bath.
“Elizabeth, perhaps if you didn`t chase him he`d come looking for you? We used to have a cat when I was a young boy that would mince right up to you, then, when you would reach for him to bring him in for the night, he would streak off. It was a game to him. Come, sit down beside me. We`ll wait for Gandalf to come to you.”
“It won`t work,” I said, my feet rather stuck to the spot I was in. Veikko lifted his upper body up to rest on his elbows.
“You won`t know if you don`t try. Please, I beg of you, come sit down quietly and wait for him,” he implored, patting the empty spot to his left. “I`ll tell whatever you wish to know,” he added as an incentive.
“I should have my tablet,” I whispered, struck with a gasping seizure of terror. Heart thundering he shook his head.
“This is not for the book. This is just between friends.” He yawned so widely his jaw cracked. Okay, sure. Friends. Of course. Yippee for friendship.
“Piglet and Pooh,” I murmured forcing my cold feet to move me to the bed. I crawled up onto the mattress. Grabbing the discarded duvet I covered myself to my neck. Veikko`s head rolled left. A quirky look appeared.
“Please, relax, Elizabeth.” His hands came to rest on his flat stomach. I inhaled through my nose. Okay, that didn`t help one damned bit. “What would you like to know? We`ll play truth or dare, only I will not make you do something stupid like run down Fenimore Lane wearing a chicken suit.”
“Do you own a chicken suit?” I asked. He chuckled and my muscles relaxed just a bit.
“Is that your question?” he slyly asked. I wiggled my toes as the bed`s warmth began to seep into my flesh.
“No. Well, sure, yeah, let`s start with that. Do you own a chicken suit?” I asked with utmost journalistic professionalism. The heater kicked on. Warm air circulated through the bedroom.
“No, but I did once date a woman that owned a feather whip.” The scamp winked. Heat seared my neck and ears. Burying my face into the cover, I shook my head as I clucked like a schoolmarm. “My turn,” he said then yanked the covers down so he could see my eyes I reasoned. “How many piercings do you have?”
“Do you mean now, or ones that I let heal closed?”
“All that you`ve ever had done,” he said. I did a quick mental count, making sure I tallied all studs that at one time had lined my ears.
“Why so many?” he inquired, rolling to his side. I shrugged. “No, you can`t not answer.”
“You already asked your question,” I informed him. He inclined his head graciously. “How old were you when you got your first kiss?”
“Elizabeth, such racy things you ask!” he feigned a swoon then laughed heartily at the snort that got free. “I was six. It was from a terribly forward girl who lived next door to my grandparents. One day, I was out picking flowers for my mother when she appeared. She took the bouquet, said thank you then kissed me on the lips. I thought it was the nastiest thing I had ever experienced! She then told me if I brought her a bouquet the next day she would show me what was inside her panties.”
“No she did not!” I gasped, holding onto my ankles. He looked very sincere.
“Oh, but she did! Of course, I had seen what girls have inside their panties. I had two little sisters who refused to wear pants or diapers for a solid year, but as I thought about it later, perhaps little Agda had something different? So, I gathered another bouquet and met her behind my grandparents’ tool shed. She showed me hers then I showed her mine. She seemed very fascinated by mine at the time but it must not have been too fascinating for she never asked for another peek or bouquet again.”
“That`s too funny,” I chortled, stretching my legs out in front of me, the bottom of my feet just touching his left thigh.
The man was a furnace. Within minutes my soles were glowing. That was how it started—with one story about a bouquet (pronounced boo-ket) for a curious girl. The night moved around us, time slipping past unknown and unseen as we talked about siblings, parents, music, and art, what makes us laugh hard and what makes us cry. I had never shared so much with another human being. Veikko pulled me close without ever touching me. We lay on our backs, all traces of unease gone from my body. I don`t remember dropping off. Sleep crept up on me on stealthy tippy-toes to tug me unknowingly into its embrace. I recall waking up a few minutes later though.
My eyelids sluggishly crawled upward. Sky blue eyes enveloped me. We were lying facing each other, Veikko and I. I wanted to say something witty or erudite but nothing came. All I did was nod when he silently asked for permission with his eyes. He rose up on one elbow. His head dipped. Just as his lips brushed mine I closed my eyes. That soft brush of mouth on mouth sent my pulmonary system into a wild spiraling escalation. Using every sense but sight I emblazoned this moment onto my memory banks, because I knew, I just knew, nothing would ever top his mouth on mine.