This is such a happy moment for me!
I want to send a special shout out to Rae Monet, the cover artist. She’s amazing!
Naked Hope is the first romance I ever wrote… the first draft was written more than twenty years ago… and while I’m not one to be self-denigrating… let’s just say that it was perhaps one of the ugliest drafts ever produced 😉
But, at last the story is what it was meant to be and I’m so pleased to be sharing it with you.
Naked Hope makes its debut in early 2013.
Below is a brief excerpt. You can read more on my website. Stay tuned for more updates, and if you’re in the northern hemisphere, stay warm! If you’re in the southern hemisphere… we envy you your beautiful summer!
XOXO Rebecca E. Grant
Love is Unstoppable
Naked Hope—Chapter One
The oppressive late summer heat clung to Jillian Cole like shrink wrap and followed her as she pushed through the heavy-framed door of the Wilson Institute. Air conditioning must be out again. She peeled off her light shrug and headed down the shiny tiled hallway.
Just outside Dean Chapman’s office, Nona, the dean’s administrative assistant, blocked her path holding a tall glass of ice water. “Take this in with you.”
Jill glanced at her watch. “He’s thirsty already? We haven’t even gotten started yet.”
Nona shook her head, a smirk flirting on her lips. “That’s for you.”
“For me?” Jill’s serious demeanor warmed. “Thanks, Nona. I noticed the air’s out again.” Gratefully, she lifted the glass to drink.
Nona’s grin broadened. She inclined her head toward the dean’s office. “Better save it for in there.”
Jill offered a confident snort. “No worries. After seven years, this meeting is practically routine. I act indignant and offended, Ross acts like he’s in charge, but in the end, we always manage a reasonable compromise.”
Jill swung open Ross Chapman’s door.
Two men’s heads turned. One man stood and took several steps in her direction.
She faltered. Her ice water sloshed. Before any spilled, she steadied her glass and took a less-than-delicate swallow. Sweat broke out and beaded across the back of her neck just under her hairline. Gavin Fairfield! Here?
Fairfield’s energy saturated the room like some kind of exotic elixir. The years had been good to him despite the highly publicized tragedy. Tall and tanned with well-muscled arms, Gavin looked as rugged and as aristocratic as she remembered, with two exceptions. The hair at his temples displayed a hint of premature gray that he wore well. More noticeable, though, were his eyes, heavy-lidded and watchful, indicating a great deal of experience keeping the world at arm’s length. Tragedy certainly had a way of tearing at the spirit.
“Ah, Dr. Cole, there you are! Come in, come in.” Ross greeted, pointing to the leather sofa on which their guest sat. “Maestro, I’d like you to meet Dr. Jillian Cole. Jill is in charge of our curricula for kids with traumatic brain injury.” Ross’ smile widened. “We’re very proud of our Dr. Cole. She’s this year’s American Psychological Association’s award recipient for Traumatic Brain Injury Research in Children. Jill, meet the maestro Gavin Fairfield. He is an eminent pianist, composer and conductor here with the Minneapolis Orchestra, and a member of the faculty at the University of Minnesota.”
Would he remember her? Jill extended her hand. The sweat collecting on the back of her neck gave way and trickled down her spine. Her lips stuck as they split over her teeth in what she hoped was a gracious, professional smile.
He grasped her hand, held it a beat longer than necessary, and allowed his gaze to probe hers.
Commanding and cast against his face with the symmetry of a poem, his eyes were a fusion of blue and gray. But where was the heat—the fire she remembered so well? She revised her earlier assessment. Haunted, not distant. However he might try to hide it, Gavin Fairfield harbored a deep sadness.
Jill approached the sofa, eying the nonabsorbent leather surface. If she didn’t stop sweating, she’d leave a telltale puddle.
More at www.rebeccaegrant.com