We did it! Late Friday I saw that we reached 40 reviews for The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos. Thank you so much to everyone who left a review! As promised, here’s Max and Savannah’s first kiss—in her point of view.
When their hands touched, his fingers grasping hers and lifting her from the floor, Savannah felt waves of warmth tingling through her. She wanted to ride that wave, drifting along wherever it carried her. As her feet found the floor, her hand remained in his.
She’d wanted him to kiss her from the moment they met in the coffee shop. Though he was a couple of years younger and not her usual type, he was sweet. He didn’t have the tall, muscular build that most of her boyfriends usually had, but give him a few more years and he’d fill out. Those full lips of his seemed like they were made for hers, locking into her like a puzzle piece. The stage was almost set. She just needed one more thing.
“I’ll be right back,” she told him. Before he could say anything, she danced out of his bedroom and into hers. All of her doubts no longer mattered. The heart wanted what it wanted—and at the moment, her heart was all about tangling in his sheets. Of course, if she was wrong and he had no feelings for her whatsoever . . .
She couldn’t worry about that.
Lifting the two canvases, she carried them out into the hall. She was about to take them into his room when movement from the living room caught her eye. Well, that was fine. They could always retreat to his bedroom.
If her sister—or anyone else in her family—knew her thoughts, they would give her a stern talking to about how she needed to focus, how she was once again tarnishing her reputation, and blah, blah, blah. She was sick of it. There was nothing wrong with a healthy sexual appetite. After all, she had to work off all that food she ate somehow.
Max knelt in front of an empty wall, stacking Chloe’s gifts into the shape of a tree. Her heart twisted. He was just so damn sweet. She could easily see herself having babies with him. She didn’t care that her thoughts were already careening that way. Sometimes love just took people by force. All she could do was hope she didn’t wreck.
Even if she did, she’d survive and move on.
She always did.
“Hold on,” she whispered to him, lugging the canvases into the living room. Giving up, she left one leaning against a wall and brought the bigger one to him.
“What’s that?” he asked, his voice husky.
Shivers ran through her. Oh yes, she was done for. All her life, she’d gone for the bad boys—the rugged ones with the dark looks and pasts, bodies built for ravaging and worshipping her body. Their hearts, on the other hand, not so much. It was time to do something different. After all, the definition of insanity . . .
She spun the canvas around, watching his face. “Ta-da!” She flipped on the light, revealing the Christmas tree she’d painted. It wasn’t her best work, but she was proud of it. She’d done it almost as an after thought, hurrying to get it finished after she wrapped up the other painting.
He blinked at her, and for a moment she thought he might be offended. After all, she’d probably stuck her nose into his Christmas plans far enough already. But he sprang to his feet. “I don’t know what to say, Savannah. This is perfect.” His voice was thick with emotion, and she felt her own eyes moistening. He crossed the room and pulled her into a hug. She felt herself melting into his embrace. “Thank you,” he whispered into her ear.
All systems go, she thought. Releasing the canvas, she wrapped her arms around his neck. “You’re welcome,” she whispered back, her lips brushing his ear.
This was it. He was going to kiss her, and to hell with what her family said about her libido. She held him close, feeling his heart beat against hers. She started to close her eyes, but noticed the forgotten second canvas.
Might as well seal the deal, she thought, pulling away from him. Already her body missed his touch, her skin aching to be near him again. Maybe this time it was the real deal. She always thought it was true love, until she ended up with a black eye or face to face with the other woman.
Grabbing the Christmas tree painting, she walked it across the room and slid it behind Max’s pile of gifts for Chloe. The scene was almost complete.
She scooped up the other painting, her heart thudding in her chest. If this didn’t reel him in, she’d know for sure that they weren’t meant to be. She’d let go of her silly feelings and focus on Chloe—and on finding another place to stay. By now she knew not to stick around when things weren’t working. One black eye, one broken heart was enough. She wasn’t one to hope for things to change.
She stood in front of him, holding the wrapped canvas like a baby. She hadn’t had any pretty paper, so her leftover packing paper had to do. Holding it out to him, she swallowed hard.
“What is this?” he asked in that husky voice.
She shivered again. She hoped he talked dirty in that tone. “It’s for you. I didn’t have a chance to buy you anything, and I didn’t really know what you would like, and, well, just look at it.” She was babbling. Biting her lower lip to shut herself up, she let her hands dangle at her sides.
Max peeled the paper off. He held out the canvas in front of him, studying the lines of Chloe’s face.
Her teeth dug into her lip. She was always nervous about doing portraits for people. Capturing someone’s true likeness and the essence of their spirit was nerve-wracking enough, and Max hadn’t even asked for it. He knew his baby girl’s face better than anyone else in the world. If she’d messed up even one line, he might find it offensive.
A gasp escaped his lips.
She swallowed hard, fists tightening at her side.
“It’s beautiful,” he said. “Thank you.”
Though his words sounded sincere, she still peered up at him from beneath her lashes. “You like it?”
“I love it, Savannah. How long have you been painting?” His voice rose in enthusiasm. Gently, he set the canvas down, leaning it against the couch.
Relief swept through her. Giving him a shrug, she said, “Since before I dropped out of art school.” Taking a step closer to him, she winked. “I wasn’t sure if I was gonna be able to finish it in time, and then you offered to go shopping. You’re so easy.” She gently shoved his arm, a smile playing on her lips. Shaking out her hair behind her, she steeled herself.
It was show time.
He laughed in response to her joke. “I’d say you have to buy me dinner first, but you cook for me all the time.”
She blinked at him, not sure her ears were working correctly. The heat spreading across his cheeks confirmed his words—and emboldened her. She closed the distance between them, ready to draw the curtain on her final act.
“That was stupid,” he said, backtracking. “I’m sorry—”
Pressing her lips to his, she cut him off. Doubt no longer plagued her. The second their lips touched, she felt the familiar tingles rocketing through her, caressing her. Might as well go for a standing ovation, she decided, and cupped the back of his neck, deepening the kiss.
When he kissed her back, lips gliding across hers like silk, his arms wrapping around her waist, she cemented her decision.
Tonight, she was all his.
Our next goal is 50 reviews. If you haven’t already, please go here and post a short, honest review—even if it’s a sentence or two, even if you didn’t love the book.
I promise you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t love this book. I’m really just looking to get as many reviews as possible so I can submit to sites like Bookbub and receive access to other marketing opportunities.
When we make it to 50 reviews, I will post a video of me reading another chapter from The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos!
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