Will one night in Sin City equal a lifetime of regret?
On his way to be best man at his friend's wedding, Caleb Daniels has high hopes that his run of bad relationships has come to an end. He can't wait to lay eyes--and hands--on the funny and intelligent maid of honor. They've never met, but she's been charming him for weeks over the internet.
At first Lara Sinclair's cyberspace chats with Cal centered around the preparations for her sister's extravagant wedding, but it quickly blossomed into an intense online affair. Now she's more than ready to meet him face to face, and have his fingers stroke more than just the keyboard.
But before she can even say hello to the sexy groomsman, her trouble-come-hither, look-alike sister bursts her bubble with a bona-fide, happily-every-after emergency. And Lara finds herself faced with a heartbreaking choice.
Let her sister solve her own problems, or risk her budding relationship with Cal to help save the wedding--by pretending to be someone she's not.
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March 17, 2008
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Excerpt from Nothing Stays in Vegas by Moira McTark
The silence hung between them as they watched each other.
Cal was so close it hurt not to touch him. Not to reach out and brush the tight points of his nipples with her palms. Not to give in and pull loose the drawstring that secured the pants hanging dangerously low on his trim hips. Not to lose her fingers in that shock of wild hair.
That hair. Even as nervous as he made her, Lara couldn't help but smile.
Cal's chin pulled back, his brow furrowed. "What are you laughing at?"
"Your hair. It looks the same now--straight out of the ocean--as it did at breakfast this morning."
He rolled his eyes and, with a good natured chuckle, rubbed his hands back and forth over the thick spikes--just as she imagined he did getting out of the shower. "That bad? You don't even want to know what happens when I try to get it to lay flat."
"No, you look nice. I mean, it works."
Cal stared at her for a second, the laughter in his eyes dissipating. "Lara, why are you fighting this? What's between us is good, really good. I can't understand what was going on in Vegas, or why you don't want to talk to me about it, but Vegas was nothing. Things started for us when all we had were words, and from that alone I wanted you."
She tried to look away, but he pressed his palm against her cheek, gently forcing her to meet his gaze as he continued. "You and I have a connection that's making me want to tear the clothes off your body. I can't stop thinking about you. All I want is to touch you, to talk to you, to joke and laugh with you...I just want you."
Lara blinked, opened her mouth to speak and closed it again. What could she say? That every word out of his mouth made her want to wrap her legs around him? That all she could think about was having Cal's hands on her, his mouth, his body? And it wasn't lust alone--everything would be so much easier if it was.
No, she'd been falling for him since before they met when she read his first lame joke over the email. For weeks she'd been laughing at his sense of humor, marveling at his take on life. She couldn't get enough of him, be it his most mundane thought or his deepest revelation.
The fact that she cared about him as much as she did was the very reason she couldn't give in. A relationship started now would be based on lies and deceit. And he deserved better than that. They both did. And then there was Dette. She'd wanted so badly to settle down, needed the security this marriage would give her. She needed to know that she would be taken care of, loved. Once she had that security, she'd finally be able to stop pushing for the constant reassurances, testing for proof of commitment. Lara couldn't take it away from her.
The right thing to do was so clear in her head. Walk away. It was the rest of her mutinous body that couldn't abide by the judgment. And being this close to him wasn't helping her cause.
She took a step back from Cal and the heat rising off his bare chest. "I don't want to lie to you, but I can't tell you the truth about Vegas."
Cal took a step closer. "What are you so scared of?"
Another step away, her throat was dry, her mind racing. She was scared of the look of determination in his eyes. She was scared of hurting him, of giving in and being the woman who betrayed him. She was scared that if she kept pushing him away, eventually he'd stop coming back--that no matter what she did, she'd be doing the wrong thing. "Letting everyone down."
Another step closer. "You couldn't."
Another step back, into the unyielding wall. "You're putting me on a pedestal. I don't belong there."
Cal closed the distance between them. "I don't believe you."
Resting one hand against the wall above her head, he used the other to brush open the towel wrapped around her, exposing the sodden shirt clinging to her breasts. The corner of his mouth ticked up. "You're going to give in, Lara..." He ran his fingers feather-light across her collarbone, pressed one knee against the wall opposite the arm that flanked her.
Her breath sucked in, a pulse throbbed deep between her legs. She didn't dare look at him. His seductive confidence terrified her.
His voice was low, deep. "...because, I'm not going to play fair."
She swallowed hard. Having him this close was wreaking havoc on her body. The rippled muscles of his torso were only inches away from the puckered skin of her nipples and she ached to arch into him, to ease the need that had been growing in her for weeks. She wanted to stretch her hands wide over his stomach and absorb the touch and feel of every ridge, every hollow.
"Can you say you don't want me?" He ran his hand along the side of her ribs, across the swells of her breast, to the valley between her breasts.
She peered up at him from beneath lowered lashes. "I don't know what I want..."
"You don't know...if you want this?" His fingers stroked down to her abdomen, dipping into the top of her shorts so that his knuckles rubbed the soft skin below her belly button.