Tamara Mataya’s debut, The Best Laid Plans, piqued the interests of readers last year, and today we’re happy to reveal the cover (and an exclusive excerpt!) of her next book, Taken by Storm. While not erotic, the book is a very steamy contemporary romance about a firefighter hero (hello, sold) who’s brought together with his old high school nemesis during a flood. Here’s the official blurb:
Leilani’s plan was simple: Return for her father’s wedding, house sit for the happy couple while they went on their honeymoon, then get the hell outta dodge. She’d thought the worst thing would be returning to the town she grew up in (and despised). She was wrong.
A flash flood hits the small town, stranding Firefighter, Ryan, and a few strangers at the local bar. Worst of all, Leilani, his old high school rival – and last night’s scorching one-night-stand – is one of the people stuck in the bar. With waters rising, they need to stick together and wait for rescue.
The power grid’s knocked out, and cell phones aren’t working. When the others panic and leave, Leilani and Ryan are left alone in the dark. Fortunately, words aren’t necessary to keep the former rivals warm. But when they’re forced to leave their refuge, they must cooperate to navigate the flood-ravaged town and reach safety.
Rising waters bring them closer together. Rising tempers might tear them apart.
And now for the reveal!
Looks pretty sexy to us! Below is the excerpt, who knew playing pool could be this hot? Happy reading!
He reached out and brushed the inside of her wrist with the pad of his thumb, fascinated by the pounding of her heart, wishing it was too fast for a better reason than fear. Her skin was like ice.
“Your hands are freezing.” She let him take one between his and rub some heat into it. Her hands were so tiny compared to his, delicate and fine. Her nails were bare but well groomed and fairly short. He hated when women had long nails with garish colors. What was sexy about a neon talon? He hadn’t had time to appreciate that last night, too busy focusing on other parts of her, but she’d known just how to touch him—
She cleared her throat, and he looked up, realizing he’d been fixating on her hands. Goosebumps decorated the skin of her bare arms.
“I’m such a dick. Here.” He released her hand and shrugged out of his sweater.
“No, it’s okay, you don’t have to.”
But she didn’t resist when he wrapped his sweater around her. She shrugged it on and slid her arms through the sleeves. They were comically too long, and he rolled them up a few times so her hands could peek out the bottoms. God, she was cute in his clothes. “Just take it—you’re not even wearing pants. I bet your legs are freezing as well.”
But the skin of her thigh was warmer than he expected when he gently touched it with the back of his hand.
The farther his left hand slid up, the warmer it got. Her knees opened and his right hand got jealous, and investigated the temperature of her other thigh. Leila licked her lips and swallowed. He leaned into her, brushed his lips against her throat, felt the frantic pounding beneath her soft skin with his tongue. His pulse now matched hers. So much for calming her heart.
He caressed the dip of her waist, feeling huge and strong at her delicate size. She brought out protectiveness and care from him, but she wasn’t weak or really all that fragile. Switching to the other side, he nibbled at her jaw, breathed in her ear. She’d been an athlete and still had that strength, though she was small. Even when beneath him last night, the tightness with which she’d held him, the fierceness of her grip—
Her little squeak brought him back to himself. What the fuck am I doing? Hey baby. I know I just blackmailed you into staying in a disaster zone with me, and your bro might show up at any minute with a team of my coworkers, but let’s fuck on the filthy bar floor—or hey, how about the sticky bar top itself! I’m acting like a horny teenager.
With a shuddering breath, he pulled away, and briskly rubbed her upper arms through the sweater before removing his hands from her, and stabbing at the wedge of lime in his drink with the straw. He had to keep some space between them.
“Want to play a game of pool?”
Pool? Pool? Was he trying to get stabbed? She felt her eye twitch, and gently rubbed it, trying to make it look casual. He was giving her emotional whiplash. He blackmailed her into staying, then convinced her it was what her brother would want; making it sound all logical. Then he acted as if he was a caring boyfriend, gave her his sweater and warmed her up, oh God, he’d warmed her up, made her eyes practically cross with lust, then pulled away and suggested they play pool?
“Yeah, pool sounds awesome.”
He smiled—completely missing the sarcastic flatness in her voice. She wanted to slam his head into the bar in frustration, knock some sense into him! She hadn’t shivered because she was cold. His touch had brought every cell in her body to attention. The only temperature that had registered was the heat in his hands. I don’t want to play pool; I want you to fuck me like you did last night! Make me forget all about the shitty situation we’re in for just a while because I’m going out of my mind with worry. Please distract me!
He walked ahead of her. “I’ll rack!”
And I’ll break. Why was she letting him tie her up in knots again? Like she didn’t have enough to deal with today, she let him dive back under her skin and crawl around. Screw that. She’d scratched that itch last night, and shouldn’t have let him get close again. Not like she’d intended to get stranded anywhere with him. Besides, he obviously wasn’t looking for a repeat performance. No reason she should either.
The pool table was open—another small town thing she never saw in bars at the city. The ones she’d been to all charged. Ryan bent over to grab the triangle to rack, showcasing his tight ass and muscular thighs through his jeans.
No reason at all for a repeat of last night’s sex.
She lit a couple of the candles she’d brought over, setting them up on a nearby table. Maybe he wasn’t screwing with her, trying to turn her on just to prove he could. But maybe he was. Tease me once, shame on you … And two could play at that game.
She slowly dragged the elastic from her ponytail. Unintentionally—the fucking thing was too tight and moved super slowly, pulling so hard it tore a few hairs out, but damned if she was going to show the pain. She closed her eyes and pretended it felt awesome, and when the elastic finally wrenched free, and snapped her in the thumb, her sigh of pleasure wasn’t faked. Hopefully, some of the curls have held, and it looks sexily tousled, rather than weirdly half curled.
She felt his eyes on her as she finger-combed her hair and gave it a shake.
He hadn’t even racked yet. Score one for the visiting team.
Under the sweater he’d given her, he wore a thin, long sleeved blue t-shirt the exact shade of his eyes. He pushed the sleeves up and began loading the pool balls inside the plastic triangle—what the hell were those called? She tore her eyes from the tanned muscles of his forearms, and grabbed a cue, running her hands up and down it, as though searching for bends or flaws, knowing what it looked like, stopping just short of blatantly jacking it off.
Cue selected, she took the block of blue chalk and set it on the end. Slowly, she circled the chalk around and around, rotating it on the tip until it was covered in the blue powder. She bit her lip and inspected it, swiftly but gently rubbed the chalk back and forth on a couple spots that “needed” more coverage. Then she brought it close to her mouth and gently blew the excess away. Ryan dropped the triangle thing.
Taken by Storm releases digitally December 2. In the meantime, you can check out more hot contemporaries over on our Everything Romance page.