Just One More Moment: Sneak Peek!

Chapters One & Two

She thinks happily ever after only happens in romance novels.
He can’t wait to prove her wrong.

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Chapter One

“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the-” Before the officiant could finish his sentence, Zach Dare swept his bride into his arms and dipped her head for a long, nearly-inappropriate-for-an-audience kiss.

Raven Walsh joined the rest of the guests, clapping for the newlyweds as they joined hands and made their way back down the white rose lined aisle.

“I adore a good second-chance love story,” Stevie Palmer, Raven’s friend and waitress at the bar she managed, said. Stevie rose from her seat and Raven followed suit, waiting for everyone in their row to file out and head for the reception.

Raven laughed. “You and your romance novels.” She shook her head at her book-loving friend. “But in this case, I have to say I agree.” Even she, with the lack of a relationship in her life, couldn’t deny these two deserved happiness and a long future together. “If anyone was meant to be together, it’s Zach and Hadley.” They’d lost each other once due to circumstances beyond their control and fought hard upon Hadley’s return. In more ways than one.

The bridal party, consisting of Hadley’s young sister, and all seven of Zach’s brothers, sisters, and sisters-in-law, followed the couple down the aisle. So did the best man, Zach’s best friend and business partner.

He also happened to be Raven’s boss and the star of her fantasies. Wearing a black, double-breasted tuxedo with wide lapels, a white shirt, and black bow tie, Remington Sterling was the epitome of sexy. His brown hair was lightly gelled. Choosing not to shave, he’d kept the beard she loved and imagined scraping along her thighs. Which would not be happening. Bad, Raven. She shouldn’t be having naughty thoughts about her boss.

He might flirt up a storm whenever they were together but as much as she wanted to know him better, and end up between the sheets, Raven had to keep her distance. Her past was always waiting to pop up and destroy anyone she got close to. These days, that past was getting closer than ever. She shuddered and pushed the thought out of her mind.

Remy walked up the aisle and stood parallel to her row. He caught her gaze, treating her to a wink before striding forward, leaving her with a view of his broad shoulders and back, and a tingling feeling low in her belly.

Beside her, Stevie let out a whistle. “That man wants you.”

And Raven wanted him. 

Too bad she wasn’t destined for the happily ever after Hadley had found. Raven didn’t begrudge her friend the love she and Zach shared. She just wished one day, she could have the same. But fate didn’t seem to cut her any breaks. Still, she’d created a good life for herself and wasn’t one to dwell on the negatives.

The people beside her started to move and Raven followed the woman next to her out of the row. A little while later, she and Stevie stood with a glass in hand, looking around the Meridian NYC Hotel room where the cocktail hour was being held.

“I have to say, this drink is delicious.” Raven took another sip of the wedding couple’s specialty offering, a peppermint white Russian, made with Kahlua, her favorite liqueur.

“Rich people and their signature drinks,” Stevie said. “My brother got married at the VFW Hall in my small New Hampshire town. Guests paid for their own alcohol. I’m sure you get it, right?”

Raven stilled mid-sip. For all outward appearances, she was just like Stevie. A New York City working girl. Her clothing was a mix of thrift store finds and affordable fashion, she shopped at inexpensive grocery stores and ate at home more often than she spent money in restaurants. When she did go out, she knew all the good but cheap places and her recreation choices were the same. Free museum days, outdoor art in the summer, and free movies at Backyard at Hudson Yards.

Her upbringing, however, was the same as Remy’s. Private schools, expensive restaurants, summers in Sag Harbor…


She shook her head. “Sorry,” she said to her friend. “I got lost in thought.”

“I was saying I’m sure you understand how out of place I feel at this wedding. The Back Door is much more my speed.”

Raven leaned over the table so she could talk lower and still be heard. “Actually, I grew up like this.” She gestured around the gorgeously decorated room.

“You’re kidding?” Stevie’s eyes opened wide.

Raven shook her head. “My biological mom died when I was five and I went into foster care. I was quickly adopted by a wealthy family and had all… this.” And so much more, she thought with a shiver.

Stevie raised her eyebrows. “But you’re so unaffected.”

Raven laughed. “Much to my mother’s chagrin. She wanted a frilly, girly girl. Instead, she got me.”

Stepping back, Stevie looked her over. “Well, if she saw you in that dress, she’d rethink her assessment, at least on the surface.” She lifted her glass to her red-stained lips and took a sip. “And if Remy’s stares are anything to go by, he also likes what he sees.”

Pleasure rushed through Raven at the thought. No matter how many times she pretended to ignore the man’s flirting and innuendos, she enjoyed it nonetheless. If she weren’t always on edge, waiting for her psychotic brother to be released from prison, she’d want nothing more than to indulge in everything Remington Sterling.

“Where did you find the gown?” Stevie asked. “After searching everywhere, I had to settle for plain black. It was the only one I liked.”

Raven placed her glass on the table and smoothed her hands over her floor-length dress. “Would you believe I found it in a consignment store? And you look incredible. Black always works.”

Raven might come from money but her mother had cut her off for reasons she had no desire to think about. Even if she had access to the family money, she couldn’t see the point in spending a fortune on a dress she’d probably only wear once.

“Good job! That color is incredible.”

The turquoise gown had stood out among the black ones, calling to her, and once she’d tried it on, she’d been sold. The blue-green hue complemented her skin tone and she’d loved the look of the halter top that dipped low at her cleavage.

She turned and looked over her shoulder to find Remy standing with a deep amber-colored drink in his hand. He talked with Asher Dare, Zach’s oldest brother, but his gaze was on Raven. In all the time she’d worked for him, spent time with him at the bar, and tried not to react to his flirting, he’d never looked at her quite this way before.

From the heated expression on his face, the deep flush highlighting his cheekbones, and the way his golden-brown eyes that matched the color of his whiskey drank her in, Stevie was right. He appreciated what he saw.

Stevie tapped her shoulder and Raven turned. “Oops. Sorry.” Raven blushed at being caught staring at her boss.

Her friend grinned. “Why does something tell me I’m going to be leaving this wedding alone?” They’d done their makeup and dressed at her apartment and had taken an Uber to the party together. When the night ended, they’d planned to split the car service, Raven getting dropped off first, then Stevie.

Raven shook her head. “I wouldn’t do that to you,” she said, her stare still on Remy.

He said something to Asher before making his way toward her with a predatory look in his eyes.

Stevie chuckled. “Famous last words, my friend. Famous last words.

Chapter Two

Remy glanced around the rose-filled room and knew the décor was courtesy of Zach’s mom, Serenity. All Hadley and Zach cared about was getting married and starting their lives together. Remy liked Hadley for his friend. She was as down-to-earth as a person could be. Sort of like Raven.

His gaze drifted to the woman who was never far from his thoughts. She stood with one of the bar waitresses and they talked as they sipped their drinks.

Remy was used to seeing Raven wearing her Back Door uniform; a pair of formfitting black jeans and a matching T-shirt with the bar logo on the back. Though she was tall and thin, her round breasts filled out the snug shirt and her jeans accentuated the sweet curve of her ass. She typically wore her long hair up in a ponytail on workdays and when he ran into her on days off, her light brown curls fell to her mid-back.

He’d thought she was gorgeous with a full face of makeup and casual clothes, but he hadn’t been prepared for the siren who showed up tonight. The turquoise dress accentuated her green eyes and draped her body, the low dip at her cleavage revealing what her T-shirts only hinted at.

He itched to unwind her hair now pulled into an updo. Then he’d thread his fingers through the soft strands, wrap it around his hand, and pull hard as he entered her from behind. Imagining the moans coming from deep in her throat, he thought about flipping her over so he could look into those teal-colored eyes and watch her face as she came.

She was so fucking hot but more than that, she had a good heart. How did he know? He’d seen her take a sandwich in hand each night and walk it out to the homeless man who all but owned the corner nearby. From the time he’d bought into Zach’s two businesses and met Raven, he’d been hooked.

“You haven’t heard a word I’ve said, have you?” Asher asked.

Caught, Remy forced his gaze away from Raven and glanced at Zach’s brother. “Not a word.”

Asher shook his head and laughed. “Nothing I can say, considering I’ve been in your shoes.” He looked around the room, finally locking his gaze on his young wife, Nikki. “Hell, I still am,” he admitted.

Asher and Nikki’s story was unusual. He’d taken his now wife to his Bahamas retreat as a favor to his best friend as a means of getting her away from a nude photo scandal. Since Nikki was much younger, not to mention his friend’s little sister, Asher had tried to keep his hands off. Needless to say, he hadn’t. It had taken a while, but they were now a solid couple.

Remy’s gaze came to rest on Raven again, watching her toy with a strand of hair dangling around her face.

“Oh, hell. Go for it already,” Asher muttered on a low chuckle.

With a shrug, Remy decided his friend had a point. It was time. His stare still locked with Raven’s, he made his way across the room and joined the two women standing by a high table.

“Hello, ladies,” he said, his focus never wavering.

“Hi, boss,” Stevie replied.

He glanced her way and smiled. “I think you can call me Remy when we’re not at work.”

She laughed. “Remy,” she parroted. “Since you’re here, can you keep Raven company while I go to the ladies’ room?”

He turned to see Raven glare at her friend and stifled a laugh. “Go ahead, Stevie. I’d be more than happy to take care of her.”

Stevie’s devilish grin told him she was playing matchmaker. Remy was so grateful he might even give her a raise.

He waited for the other woman to walk off before stepping closer to his prey. “You look beautiful tonight,” he said to Raven.

Edible, but telling her that would be beyond inappropriate. Not that he cared much for proprieties but he didn’t want to scare her off.

“Thank you.” Her eyes did a sweep of his body, ending with her gaze meeting his. “You’re looking dashing yourself.”

He grinned, pleased she wasn’t shy or backing away. “Thank you.” He took a sip of his drink and placed it on the table.

“I see the men have a signature drink as well. What’s in yours?” she asked.

“Whiskey smash. It’s whiskey with mint and powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Jury’s still out. I prefer my liquor neat. What’s yours called?” He pointed to the two glasses that were hers and Stevie’s.

“Peppermint white Russian.” Picking up a glass, Raven took a long taste and let out a groan of delight. One that had his cock perking up in his tuxedo pants. “Delicious.”

“Mmm. I’d like a taste,” he said, staring at her mouth because he wanted to sample the liqueur directly from her lips.

Her eyes grew heavy at his implication. “Here.” She offered him her glass instead.

Since it was the next best thing and her lips had already been on the rim, he accepted the drink and lifted it to his mouth. With their stares still connected, he drank. The thick, coffee liqueur mixed with vodka—Dirty Dare Vodka, no doubt—was sweet. “I agree. It’s delicious.” He placed the glass back on the table.

The lights began to flash, indicating they were ready to move on to the ballroom part of the night.

“Time to take our seats. I’ll see you later,” Raven said, the relief in her voice palpable. She started to walk away but Remy was onto her.

He caught up and hooked his arm in hers as they stepped toward the ballroom along with the rest of the guests.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Escorting you to our table.” He guided her around the slower people who had stopped to talk. “You’re at table two and so am I.”

She tripped and he steadied her, keeping her close. “Aren’t you sitting with the wedding party?” she asked.


He felt her stare and turned to wink at her before continuing to guide them to their destination. He’d asked Hadley to put them at the same table.

“Don’t worry. Stevie’s sitting with us, too.” It was natural that she and Stevie, and anyone else from work, would be together.

Hadley had originally put him with the Dares but when she’d shown him the seating chart, he’d noticed the work table was smaller than the normal ten-person round. He’d gladly offered to sit there. Zach’s soon-to-be wife had treated him to a knowing look and a pleased smile. Then she’d asked if his willingness had anything to do with Raven.

He’d answered her with one word. Everything. His seating choice was all about the woman beside him now.

They stepped into the large room and even Remy was overwhelmed by the sight. The tables had high, white rose centerpieces, and the lighting gave the space a light lavender glow.

“This looks… beautiful,” Raven murmured, obviously in awe.

Which surprised him considering she came from a wealthy family. Remy only knew as much about Raven as Zach’s hiring background check told him. The most curious fact was that her given name was Caroline Kane, yet she went by Raven Walsh. He had no idea why.

Raven was a gorgeous blend of contradictions he wanted to understand even more than he plain wanted her. She lived in the apartment upstairs from the bar and Zach mentioned she’d asked him to put an alarm system on the windows and doors before she’d moved in. Not that he blamed her, being a single woman living alone in Manhattan. But as a former detective and current private investigator, it sparked his curiosity.

Raven Walsh was a mystery. And Remy liked mysteries.

“The décor is beautiful,” she said.

He leaned in close and whispered in her ear, “Not as beautiful as you.”

Her lips parted and the sight had him desperate for a taste but before he could make a move, someone jostled them, killing the moment.

“Sorry,” a female voice said as the person rushed around them.

A flush stained Raven’s cheeks. He understood. His entire body vibrated with need, but he sucked it up and led her to the table he’d scoped out earlier. One set away from the speakers and near the dance floor, a place where he intended to take Raven into his arms and pull her tight against his body for the first time.

Most of the guests had claimed their seats, including Stevie, who stood beside her chair and waved at Raven. Remy released her arm and she rushed over to her friend, placing her purse on her chair.

Remy took his time walking over because there was just one seat left at the table.

And it was right next to Raven.


     If Raven didn’t know better, she’d say Remy had planned the seating, from them being at the same table to him ending up sitting beside her. They’d taken their chairs, waiting for the bride and groom to make their entrance, and Raven studied Remy’s profile.

     A waiter walked around the table, filling champagne glasses, and Raven decided to stop worrying and just enjoy a fun evening. Her other boss, a man she admired, had married the love of his life. The band played dance music that had her tapping her foot to the beat.

She picked up the glass and drank the bubbly liquid, aware that she easily got drunk on good champagne. So she nodded when the waiter asked if she wanted a refill and let the music fill her soul. Beside her, Stevie bobbed her head to the familiar chorus of the song while the man on Remy’s other side had engaged him in conversation.

Once they rose to welcome the bride and groom, the band grew louder and Stevie cheered. “Let’s dance!”

Finishing her third glass, Raven put the flute on the table and rose to her feet. “Let’s go!”

Lightheaded in the best way, her mood now high, they made their way to the crowded center of the floor and found an empty space. They shimmied and danced to the music, surrounded by other single women who rocked along with them. After a while, the music slowed, and Raven realized she was thirsty.

She felt his presence before she saw him. A warmth at her back and a firm hand on her waist as Remy turned her toward him. Stevie, Remy noted, had already walked back to their table.

“Dance with me.” It wasn’t a question.

She placed one hand on his shoulder. Before she could do the same with her other, he pulled her against him, winding his arms around her waist. The move forced her to do the same and she wrapped her arms around his neck.

Their bodies came into contact and there was no missing the hard ridge of his erection as they swayed to the music. Her sex pulsed with need and she felt her arousal soak her panties. A low growl reverberated through his chest and she couldn’t deny how much this man got to her.

“You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to feel you in my arms.” His low voice rumbled in her ear. “But you’ve been playing hard to get.”

Tipping her head, she met his gaze. “That’s because I am,” she said, unable to hide her grin.

He laughed and she felt his body shake. “Then it’s a good thing I not only like a challenge, but I’m damn good at getting what I want.”

“Whatever you say, big man.” And he was. To her five-foot-four, he towered over her at over six feet. But wrapped in his arms, she felt protected.

Watch it, Raven. Remember this isn’t meant to get serious.

He splayed his large hand across her bare back and it was all she could do not to moan at the warm, arousing touch.

Telling herself it was just a dance, not a commitment, she placed her head on his shoulder and allowed herself time to just be.

She breathed in deep, taking in his familiar sandalwood and musk scent. Whenever she passed by him at work, she would inhale on purpose, just to get a sniff, he smelled so good. If she had her way, she’d spray it on her pillow and breathe it in all night. No doubt she’d have erotic dreams of him if she did.

“Okay, ladies and gentlemen! Time to take your seats and start dinner,” the band leader said.

The rest of the evening passed quickly with good food, good friends, and a healthy dose of arousal with Remy by her side. He was a total gentleman, talking to the people at their table, but his focus was on her.

After dessert, when she thought she was home free, he rose from his seat and extended a hand. “One last dance,” he said. Again, not a question but an assumption she’d say yes.

And she did, standing, accepting his hand and letting him lead her back to the dance floor. This time, they came together naturally, moving in sync and silence. He held her close, and her body tingled with awareness and her panties were done for.

The band leader announced the last song and they began to play a final fun dance number. Instead of leading her to her seat where her purse was, he pulled her to a corner of the room far from the speakers, instruments, and noise.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Nothing. Tonight, everything has been right.” He placed a hand beneath her chin and tilted her head so she met his gaze. “Do you agree?”

She swallowed hard. Looking into his whiskey-colored eyes, she found it impossible to argue. “I do.”

He lowered his head slowly, giving her every opportunity to stop the inevitable, but they’d been building toward this all evening and she wanted this. So much. And then his mouth was on hers, warm, soft, and gentler than she’d imagined he’d be. He moved his lips back and forth, as if savoring their first kiss. Completely on board, she kissed him back, wrapping her arms around his neck and hanging on while he parted her lips and his tongue met hers.

A low groan rumbled through him and she rose onto her toes to take more. She wasn’t sure how long they stood in the corner, wrapped in each other, unaware of anyone or anything else until finally, he braced his hands on her hips and lifted his head.

Oxygen returned to her brain and suddenly she realized what they’d done. A quick glance around told her nobody was watching and she blew out a relieved breath. But even if they’d been caught making out like teenagers, she couldn’t regret the stolen moment.

“That was better than I imagined it would be,” he said, a hazy fog of desire in his gaze.

“And have you imagined us kissing?” She wanted desperately to hear his answer.

“Every night of the week.”

Surprise rippled through her at his reply. She looked at him, expecting his patented, sexy grin. Instead, his expression was serious as he held out his hand. “Come upstairs with me?”

This time he asked, and if anything would break through the walls she tried to keep high, that kiss and giving her a choice had done it. After what she’d been through in the past, telling her they’d dance was one thing. Informing her they’d be going upstairs to his room, quite another.

Remy had proven he was smart enough to read her needs and show he respected her choices. She found that, along with his alpha-like tendencies, hot as hell.

Finally, his question registered. “You booked a room?” She was surprised considering he had an apartment farther downtown.

He shook his head. “But I do have connections.” He winked at her and dammit, she was charmed by him. “And, if you say yes, I sure as hell don’t want to take the time to get my car and drive us to my place.” He reached out to tuck a stray strand of hair behind her ear.

The brush of his fingertips against her cheek had her trembling and her nipples hardened beneath her flimsy halter dress. The one that didn’t allow her to wear a bra.

“We’d be so good together, Raven.”

Yes. Yes, they would be, she thought, and swayed toward him as he spoke, his deep voice beckoning to her baser instincts.

She’d been fighting her attraction to him for so long, too afraid to get close to him. To anyone, really. But tonight he’d demolished her walls and she’d allowed herself to want something that in the long run, she couldn’t have.

But didn’t she deserve this one night of pleasure?

She couldn’t imagine him wanting more, either. He wasn’t the type of man to flaunt his affairs. In the time since he’d bought into the bar, she’d never seen him with a woman or heard him mention a serious girlfriend. She’d come to the conclusion that he was probably a one-night stand kind of guy, which worked in her favor.


His gruff voice broke into her thoughts. “Is the decision that difficult?” he asked.

It really wasn’t. She shook her head in reply.

“Is that a yes?” he asked and she nodded.

Before she could process her decision, he grabbed her hand and walked them back to the table so she could retrieve her bag. Although she wanted to say good night to the happy couple, they were surrounded by family with no way for Raven and Remy to get close.

They agreed to make their apologies later and soon he’d led her to the lobby, booked a room, and they’d taken a crowded elevator to the sixteenth floor.

When he’d asked her to come upstairs, she told herself it was one night. One she deserved, since she hadn’t been with any man in way too long and she knew sex with Remy would be incredible.

But as he slid the key card into the door and she heard the click, she was forced to admit there was more going on between them than just sex. He’d kept one hand on her since she’d agreed to join him tonight, maintaining the connection she’d begun to feel on the dance floor and that he’d solidified with a kiss she’d felt down to her toes.

Remy made her feel wanted and that was something sorely lacking in Raven’s life. But as much as she liked the warm, gooey feelings sliding around in her body and her mind, she warned herself that all she could have was this one night. So she intended to make the most of it.

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3 thoughts on “Just One More Moment: Sneak Peek!”

  1. Omg
    I can’t wait for the end of may to come so
    I have this on audible

    So far is sounds hot/steaming and amazing

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