Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Romantic Scene from Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders + #Giveaway

Every year, as Valentine’s Day approaches, I think about what it means to be romantic. We’ve all got different perceptions. For some, romance is a sweeping off your feet type of thing and for others it’s more of a long, slow burn. I’ve known people for whom marriage was the romantic summit and others—like me—who were more interested in the little things.

In Under Her Skin, Ivan wants Uma in ways he’s never experienced. He wants to care for her, cherish her, maybe spoil her a little, but he has no idea how to go about it. In this scene, Ivan’s spent the day getting ready to have her over for dinner. He’s nervous and excited and totally out of his element. It’s adorable and I’m so excited to share it with you!

A knock. Ivan wiped his sweaty palms on his pants and went to open it.
“Down, girl.” He nudged Squeak aside and pulled the door open.
Uma’s eyes widened as she looked him up and down, and her lips curled up into a gentle smile. “You look nice.”
“Oh. Thanks.” He ran his hand through hair that he’d actually brushed. He’d had to buy one of them too. “You too. C’mon in.”
“It’s a beautiful night outside. The sky’s insane. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many stars.”
“Oh yeah? Maybe I’ll take you for a walk later.”
Again, something he’d never done—walked with a woman. Angela would have rather gone straight to hell than spend time outside. “Go stargazing.”
“I’d like that.” She sounded like she meant it. Uma squatted down to scratch Squeak behind the ear, and Ive had to stop himself from grabbing her. He had to give her time, not maul her as soon as she got inside.
And seeing her down there, loving on his dog, was… He swallowed hard and turned away.
“The place looks amazing,” she said, still squatting, like maybe she wasn’t quite ready to come back up and get the evening started. He grabbed her hand and pulled her to standing, then led her to the table, feeling stupidly proud of his accomplishments.
“Oh, a tablecloth. Fancy! And wine? This is—”
Her hand landed on the chair back, and the scarf scrunched between her slender, white fingers. “It’s amazing, Ivan.”
There it was again, his full name. He loved that. The way she wouldn’t short him a syllable. He loved the smile too, how she blushed when he paid attention to her.
She took it all in, the meatballs, the cut veggies, the shrimp kebabs, the cheese. Red wine, white wine. Sliders and mini sausages. She laughed and turned to him. “Meat, meat, meat, and…cheese?”
“Hey, I cut some celery.”
“You think we’ll drink two bottles of wine?”
“I didn’t know what you liked, so I got ’em both.”
“You went way overboard.”
He sort of nodded, embarrassed at being called out but still a little proud that he’d managed to impress this sophisticated city girl. “Burgers are venison.”
“Did you hunt them yourself?”
“Them? No, I hunted it. They don’t come as burgers, you know, princess,” he teased.
“They don’t?” Her voice was flirty and light, just like that smile. Women didn’t flirt with him usually. No, usually he’d check a woman out in an obvious sort of way, and she’d either ignore him or let him know she was up for it. None of this sparkling eyes and flushed cheeks. More like dirty words and illicit touches. Then uncomfortable truck sex.
Uma looked happy, and still, her fingers fondled that scarf. He couldn’t pull his eyes away. She caught him staring and looked down. “What’s this?”
“Got you those too. In case…you know.”
It was the green one. The same color as those little dots in her eyes. It was beautiful against her skin.
The change came over her. Like a switch. Uh-oh. Her expression was strange. Maybe he’d gone too far.
The first scarf wafted around her neck, and she picked up the second one. The thicker, wider black scarf that he thought of as his. When her eyes met his this time, she looked positively
wicked. Oh man, this was the woman he’d hoped to see again tonight.

30095459Under Her Skin 
(Blank Canvas #1)
by Adriana Anders
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 1492633844
Her Body is His Canvas

A darkly possessive relationship has left Uma alone and on the run. Beneath her drab clothing, she hides a terrible secret—proof of her abuse, tattooed onto her skin in a lurid reminder of everything she’s survived.

Caught between a brutal past and an uncertain future, Uma’s reluctant to bare herself to anyone…much less a rough ex-con whose rage drives him in ways she will never understand. But beneath his frightening exterior, Ivan is gentle. Warm. Compassionate. And just as determined to heal Uma’s broken heart as he is to destroy the monster who left his mark scrawled across the delicate tapestry of her skin.

Blank Canvas Series

About the Author:
Adriana Anders has acted and sung, slung cocktails and corrected copy. She’s worked for start-ups, multinationals and small nonprofits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, two small children and fat French cat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the dark, gritty, steamy love stories of her heart.

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