by Caroline Lee
One of my all-time favorite parts of Edisto Island is the sight of rain on the rivers. You can sit on a dock, facing the water and the salt marshes, and watch tiny pockmarks form as each raindrop hits. When the rain begins, they’re distinct and beautiful, but as the tempo increases, they become a steady roar and the river surface is a perfect little maelstrom of explosions, only an inch or two high. The experience is invigorating and soothing all at once, and you’re almost disappointed when the storm lets up.
But for Becks and Mac, their storm was only beginning. So I knew this metaphor, of rain on an Edisto river, was perfect for them. Their first kiss—their first mutual kiss, that is—is as wild and free and imperfect as each of them.
A simple nature metaphor isn’t going to suffice for what follows this kiss, though…
He laughed, and she reached over the side to splash him with water, which made him laugh harder.
When the first raindrops hit her head and shoulders, she thought for a moment that he was splashing her back. But then he looked up at the clouds, and she understood.
He bent back over the oars, saying, “I should get you home.”
“Why?” Becks lifted her face to the droplets. “I’m not afraid of gettin’ a little wet.” She inhaled, relishing the taste of the rain mixed with the salt. “It feels good.” Then she opened her eyes and met his and damn near fell off of her seat.
There was such a look of… of want in his expression that she had trouble catching her breath. His eyes devoured her, pulling away all pretense and knowing her the way no one else ever had. She could feel her own pulse in her temple, and she swallowed, breathless.
The gentle shower soon soaked them both, but neither cared. Rain was one of Becks’ favorite things about Beckett: the sounds of rain on the river and the sight of those millions of tiny pockmarks in the water, each swallowed instantaneously to be replaced by another droplet.
But right now, right here, she had no attention to spare. Her entire being was focused on this man. The rain had plastered his shirt to his broad chest, and she decided that she liked cotton after all. She could see each and every line of muscle and contour of skin, and she wanted—more than anything else—to touch him. To touch this man.
And this time—thank God!—nothing interrupted them. He reached for her as she leaned towards him, and his hands felt warm and heavy on her cheeks. Their lips met, and he tasted of salt and rain and cinnamon and adventure.
He tasted even better than she remembered.
A love of historical romance prompted Caroline to pursue her degrees in social history; her Master's Degree is in Comparative World History, which is the study of themes across history (for instance, 'domestication of animals throughout the world,' or 'childhood through history'). Her theme? You guessed it: Marriage throughout world history. Her favorite focus was periods of history that brought two disparate peoples together to marry, like marriage in the Levant during the Kingdom of Jerusalem, or marriage between convicts in colonial New South Wales. She hopes that she's able to bring this love of history-- and this history of love-- to her novels.
Caroline is living her own little Happily Ever After with her husband and sons in North Carolina.
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Caroline's Newest Release: Brothers of Baird's Cove: Renegade
Author: Caroline Lee
Series: Brothers of Baird’s Cove
Genre: Historical Romance
Smuggling gave him the freedom he needed…
To no one’s surprise, McKee Baird never fought in the War Between the States. His fiercely independent nature made it impossible for him to take orders, and his close friendship with a black man stopped him from fighting for his father’s South. But he’s found his own way to rebel against the new government the United States has imposed on him… and right now, the only thing standing in the way of his smuggling business is the intriguingly uninhibited Becks Middleton.
Their chance meeting gave her the excitement she’d been craving…
Becks has a life of freedom away from Charleston society’s rules. So of course she can’t help but be drawn to the stimulating renegade her mother invites to visit Beckett Plantation, even if she doesn’t approve of his profession. When the opportunity to seduce Mac arises, Becks takes that chance, planning on one night of passion before the dangerous smuggler leaves. But when she accidentally becomes part of his schemes, she can’t reveal the truth without risking his freedom. Joining him on his ship, Becks will face not just her growing love for Mac but a confrontation with authorities that will threaten their very lives.
Can the two of them reconcile their differences before their future is stolen away?