Welcome to Sealed with a Kiss.
Today’s guest is one of my favorite ladies, Nikki Prince, and she’s brought along some yummy goodness for us to sink our teeth in to!
Check out her latest new adult novel, Swagger!
Nine years, two lives, one love.
We all have dreams. Mine were filled with college and the boy I loved, Cruz Montoya. But all that went up with smoke when he got sent to Juvenile Hall, my sister killed herself, and Dad up and left. My mother and I use that terminology loosely became a monster transferring her pains and disappointment and I became trapped.
Honorably discharged I’m back in Arlington Heights, the small town that only remembers the black sheep persona of my youth. I could list a dozen reasons for my return, but the only one that matters is Roxanne Waters. I should probably leave her be. I’m not much of a catch with PTSD and the childhood memories rattling around in my brain. Yet, I can’t walk away. There’s a darkness that surrounds the death of her sister, a secrets that’s slowly killing her. I’m going to find out everything. This is the moment of truth to see if we can make it or if I’m nine years too late.
I couldn’t believe I told him yes, I’d have coffee with him. What was I thinking? It’s plainly obvious that he’s trouble. A sexy, grownup trouble…a trouble I can’t afford. I didn’t even know if I could handle this kind of trouble. It came time for my shift to be over. Maybe he would let me out of my misery and not show. Okay, well misery is a harsh word. I’m way out of my league here and I knew it. Bad boys didn’t usually want me.
“Hey boss, I’m ready to take over.”
I look up and my relief is in and as always, she’s thirty minutes early.
My friend, Candy Minton. She and I have been friends ever since high school.
“Thanks Candy. I’m going to go into the office and reconcile something. The front desk is all yours. Make sure you remember to put down that you came in thirty minutes early, so we can pay you for that.”
“I will. Thanks for always letting me do that. Every little bit helps, need to get these damn bills paid.”
“No problem.” I smiled. I didn’t want any thanks but I didn’t tell her that. I’m definitely preoccupied and struggling with the fact that I was going to see him. I hurry over to the office and close the door behind me. I’m excited. I move to the small bathroom and check my makeup in the mirror. I needed to refresh it. I go to the desk, grab my makeup bag and head back to the bathroom. I have to make quick work of it.
Scrutinizing myself in the mirror, I brush on a little more eye shadow, and a little more eyeliner, then a last bit of lip gloss. My makeup is always light. I don’t overdo it. I’ve been blessed to have one of those faces that really doesn’t need much enhancing.
I sigh and head back into the office to look at the paperwork on the desk. I don’t want to touch it; not right now anyways I know it will be waiting for me later. I’m so hyped about Cruz and I can’t help but wonder what life would’ve been like if I’d gotten more than just those stolen kisses from Cruz.
It really wasn’t just about the kisses. It was everything before and after that. I always had plans to be an actress. To leave this small town and prove I could be somebody, not just Roxanne Waters from across the tracks, whose father owned the motel on the hill. Most of my days were spent at the motel and my nights were spent taking night classes at the local college. I wanted out of Arlington Heights well—that was true about 5 hours ago, before sexy Cruz came back into my life.
A quick glance at the wall clock tells me it’s time to get out of the office, so I can wait for Cruz at the front desk. I grimace as my stomach once again, becomes aflutter with nerves. He makes my heart beat fast and my insides heat up. I head out of the office, and as I walk up behind the counter, Cruz is there with a brilliant grin on his face. Damn. That smile, this man equaled to something very lickable.
His dark hair looked damp and combed back. He’d changed into a pair of blue jeans and a black button down Oxford shirt with the sleeves rolled up. “Are you ready for that cup of coffee, Roxie?”
Hell. I felt ready for coffee—ready for anything right at this moment. I barely, just barely hear the goodbye from Candy and manage to mutter a goodbye back. “Yep, I am.” I move from around the counter and walk next to him in a comfortable gait that soon matches his. This was going to be fun. Well, I hope it’s going to be fun.
“So, is that little coffee shop still on fifth and Exeter?” Cruz asked me as we stepped out into the fading sunlight.
It looked like such a beautiful evening, I couldn’t help but pause. The summer breeze seemed cooler in this part of the state because of the ocean. Though, for the area we’d had some record highs. Today wasn’t one of those days. The smell of the sea filled my lungs and I like it. I take a deep breath and sigh. “Mmm-hm, Mr. Bonaventure still owns it.”
“I remember him having the best coffee and cinnamon rolls. Huge cinnamon rolls. Would you like to head over there with me? I’m buying, and of course you can get what you want.”
I wondered if he realized that even though he’d been gone, a lot of people from the town had never left. This meant we were bound to run into people who recalled who he was and what happened. If he didn’t care, I wasn’t going to care about it—at least I was going to try. “I’m starving; I’d hoped you’d say that, you’re buying.” I giggled.
He rolled his eyes. “Damn, I forgot you had a serious appetite back in the day. In school, you could eat with the best of them, I see that hasn’t changed.”
“Nope it hasn’t.”
Cruz looked me up and down. “How do you keep such a sexy figure?”
“I do Pilates and jogging when I get the chance, plus I’ve always had a great metabolism.” He thinks I’m sexy!
“You look fabulous Roxie.”
I grin. It’s great knowing he thinks I look sexy and fabulous. Yeah, I mean I’ve been told it before but it didn’t seem cheesy to me since it came from him. Cruz saying those words seemed magical somehow.
Nikki Prince is a mother of two, who’s always had a dream to be a published author in the romance genre. Her passion lies in raising her children as readers, gaming, cooking, reading and her writing. Her mother can now breathe easy about the child who used to get in trouble because she was hiding books everywhere and reading when it wasn’t appropriate.
Nikki’s a multi-published author with several epublishing houses. She loves to write Interracial romances in all genres, but wants to let everyone know to not box her in, because there is always room for growth.
Nikki’s also a member of Romance Writers of America National chapter (http://www.rwa.org) and OCC/RWA local chapter (http://www.occrwa.org) and is a member of the board as Co-Programs Director. She is also a member of the online chapter Passionate Ink RWA, The Beaumonde RWA, and the Rainbow Romance Writers (RRW).