Release date: October 20, 2014
It took just one teasing wink and a sexy Irish lilt from bad boy Lorcan Byrne to turn Julie Denison’s world upside down. The problem is, he’s only in town for six months, and happily ever after isn’t in this world traveler’s vocabulary.
Julie’s worked hard to get her life in a good place – dropping substantial weight and getting a great job at her friend’s bakery. But this handsome charmer is just as tempting as any of the decadent pastries she sells, and she can’t resist his advances for long. Julie fully expects Lorcan to break her heart—but she’s planning to enjoy every second she can of their explosive chemistry.
After years of danger as a soldier and a spy, Lorcan fled to tiny Rockland, Maryland for some boring downtime. He didn’t count on meeting someone who could ignite his libido and soothe his damaged heart, and their passion soon leads to deeper feelings. But can Julie convince Lorcan he has more to offer her than just his wicked Celtic kiss?
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Living in a small town in a corner of Ontario, Canada, Karyn Gerrard wiles away her spare time writing and reading romance. Find Karyn Gerrard at www.karyngerrard.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @KarynGerrard.
An excerpt from His Wicked Celtic Kiss:
Six hundred fecking channels and not a bloody thing worth watching.
Lorcan Byrne stopped on yet another ridiculous reality show featuring squabbling housewives, and sighed. No wonder he never watched the telly. Why he’d even rented one he had no idea.
He clicked the remote again to turn the set off, but jabbed the wrong button by mistake, and suddenly a shot of a verdant, green hillside flickered on the screen. Lush orchestration filled the room and he recognized the tune immediately—“Isle of Innisfree.” The haunting melody and lyrics told the tale of an Irish immigrant longing to return home. An unexpected lump formed in his throat. Home. Looking across the vast expanse of concrete and untamed urban sprawl from his third story window, he could almost imagine lush meadows and glacial lakes in the Ring of Kerry.
Not that he’d spent much time in Ireland of late. He’d spent the last five years traveling the world as a soldier, and in Ireland’s secret service, experiencing things he didn’t like to think about, never mind talk about. The memories still haunted his dreams and had taken up residence in the dark corners of his soul.
He glanced at the telly. John Wayne was stepping down off a train. Ah. The Quiet Man. He hadn’t seen the film in years. Last time had been with his da one rainy Saturday afternoon when he’d been twelve. The lilting Irish accent of the narrator turned into white noise as he turned away, leaned against the window and sighed wistfully. Home.
All his adventures and still he wandered aimlessly from place to place. He’d been home visiting his family when his friend, Sullivan “Sully” McDermott had told him about the new job he’d gotten in Rockland, a small industrial city in the state of Maryland. Out of the blue, Lorcan decided to follow him. He’d thought a little boredom and simplicity could be just what he needed to help him forget. After all, a six-month temporary detour would just be another stop in a long line of casual jobs and fleeting relationships. While he’d enjoyed his recent visit with his noisy, boisterous family, something had been lacking. His brows furrowed. But he’d only been here six weeks so far, and he was already yearning for home again? It made no sense. Would he ever find a place of permanence? A place he felt comfortable and at ease? A place where he no longer would be disturbed by recollections best forgotten?
The rasping noise of a buzzer cut through his thoughts. He strode to the intercom and pressed the button.
“It’s Nick. Buzz me in.”
Lorcan hit the button then walked over to the window, his gaze scanning the parking lot below. Sure enough, there was Veronica’s Mustang. She looked up and waved to him, and he returned the greeting. Lorcan had promised to help them move some of Veronica’s things into Nick’s flat. With one last longing look at the Irish countryside, he clicked off the telly and laid the remote on the ledge.
Nick thumped at the door and Lorcan walked over to let him in. Standing at six-foot-five, Nick Crocetti took up the entire doorframe.
“Jesus, didn’t you hear me beeping the car horn?” Nick asked as he plopped down on the recliner. He gave the near-empty room a cursory look. “No sofa yet. Do you even live here?”
Lorcan glanced around his apartment. Nick was right. In the month and a half he’d lived there, he hadn’t bothered with personal touches or flourishes. He could effectively pack up his life in a couple of suitcases. Long ago he’d learned to travel light. “To answer your questions, no I didn’t bloody well hear you and I sleep here, nothing else. A place to lay my head. That’s all I need it for.” Lorcan sat on the end of the ancient wooden coffee table that came with the flat. The battered chair Nick lounged in had come with the place too. “How’s the arm?”
Nick clenched his fist and flexed his gauze-covered bicep. “The burns are healing. Still have the bandages, but at least I’m off the painkillers.”
“So you’re up to moving boxes?”
Nick nodded. “It’s only her personal effects. She’s leaving a lot of the stuff behind for now.”