Title: True Gold
Author: Michelle Pace
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Mystery
Cover Designer: Michelle Preast
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019 Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Raised in small town Iowa, Michelle Pace is an international best-selling, multi-genre author. After studying theater and vocal music and directing and performing in numerous productions, Michelle went on to earn degrees in both liberal arts and nursing.
Determined to avoid shoveling snow, she relocated to the Lone Star State with her husband, author L.G. Pace III. Michelle is a mother of three, and she enjoys traveling, live music, and is an enthusiastic amateur beer connoisseur.
Still most at home while entertaining an audience, her mission is to write gripping fiction, not fairy tales.
Author Links: Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6584652.Michelle_Pace
âThis is new.â I reach out to brush her tiny strap aside for a better look at the ink. The tattoo is an antique compass rose, the figure that displays the orientation of the cardinal directions on old maps. The design is actually really nice; a couple of roses and some leaves give the outer circle a wreath-like quality.
âNot really. I got it a long time ago.â Her voice is husky as my fingertip glides across her silky skin. Gooseflesh appears on her upper arm, and that gives me a thrill. âWhen I was likeâ¦twentyâ¦ maybe twenty-one.â
She turns around, and her hip brushes against the front of my zipper. Iâd say the contact made me hard, but I was halfway there watching her from outside. She looks up at me, and though sheâs had to crane her neck to meet my eyes since we were in middle school, itâs always felt as if she were the one looking down on me.
âI was dating the tattoo artist. I guess you could call it âdating.ââ Her tiny eye roll implies it wasnât one of her finer moments.
I tilt my head, my blood pumping something fierce between my jealousy at the idea that anyone else has ever touched her and her sheer nearness in this moment. âOh yeah?â
She nods, and a macabre smile flits across her face. âHe was tall. And a major know-it-all. Totally my type.â
I feel an appreciative smile working at my lips.
âWhy didnât you marry him?â Itâs a bold and weighty statement and her mouth drops open. She searches me, and for a rare, candid moment, I allow it.
âHe was mean.â I see something flicker behind those liquid amber eyes.
âSounds like a match made in heaven.â My voice is gruff, but Iâm glad I spoke the truth. Iâm even gladder for how solidly the blow lands, based on the way her perfect bow of a mouth turns down at the edges. In a surprising move, she lifts herself easily onto the counter so sheâs sitting on it, and I struggle to keep my eyes off of her well-defined arms and that gravity-defying chest. âThis doesnât have to be ugly, Connor. Letâs have a beer. Catch up. Talk about old times.â
I say nothing, and her lips form a slanted smile. âWe did have some good times, didnât we?â
Thatâs for fucking sure.
I could step between her legs right now. Slip her panties aside and bury myself in her tight, wet heat. It would be as easy as breathing, and three-quarters of me is ready to take the easy route. I move to the far cabinets away from her, putting temptation at armâs length. From there, I have an even better view, so I force myself to look away, grabbing a beer from the fridge. âNo.â
âNo we didnât have good times, or no we canât talk about them?â She sounds entertained.
I crack my beer and lock eyes with her. âWeâre not talking about us.â
Sheâs completely unreadable now, and that puts me on edge. âWhy not?â
I lean against the cabinet, sipping from my beer. âBecause Iâm not done being mad at you.â
She blasts an incredulous laugh and when I donât respond in kind, her laughter dies, and she gives me another thorough once-over.
âYouâre mad at me? Youâve got to be kidding.â
I tip back my can in response.
She lets out a sardonic chuckle, but sheâs obviously pissed. âThatâs rich.â
I wait for her to convince me that I shouldnât hate her. She seems to be waiting on something too. Her smile, the one that isnât really a smile at all, fades.
âYou promised me, Connor. You promised weâd always be friends.â Itâs nearly imperceptible, but her lip quivers. Most people wouldnât have noticed, but most people arenât me.
I wrinkle my brow, squinting at her in amazement. âYou were very clear, Lie. You said I should never contact you again. Howâd you put it? Oh, yeah. You said, âHave a nice life.ââ
Her shining eyes narrow into dangerous slits. Then, in a classic Lilah move, she wipes her expression blank, closing the shutters, blocking out any hope of peeping inside. âFair enough.â
I should be glad weâre on the same page. That weâre slamming the door on all of that shit. Instead, I want to roar. Frustrated, I chug my beer. By the time Iâm done, sheâs chewing on her bottom lip. Itâs a quirk of hers that Iâve always found sexy as hell, so itâs like a metaphorical kick in the nuts.
âIâm staying in my old room.â Sheâs either blushing, or sheâs still coming down from the crisp night air. âTake any of the other beds you like.â
My treacherous mind recalls the handful of times I snuck in her bedroom window, and I know exactly which bed I want to slip into. I hurry to grab my bag from where Iâd dropped it in the entryway. Iâm startled when she speaks again.
âYeah?â I turn, hopeful that Iâve finally gotten through her armor in some minute way. Maybe sheâll cry. Crying would be excellent.
âThank you.â Her earnest eyes tug at my worn and frayed heartstrings. âFor coming to help me.â
I drop my bags and stride toward her. Instead of flinching away, she leans forward in anticipation. Though we donât touch, we still clash like two storm fronts, me dark and ominous, her all lightning and show. Iâm close enough to kiss her, and she bats those long lashes, which used to be my undoing. The challenge in her smoldering gaze elicits a deep ache in my groin. I grip the counter top on either side of her thighs until my knuckles turn white.
âIâm not here for you,â I growl.