Series: Lengths #5
Publication Date: November 12th 2013
There’s no way Lydia--oldest and most responsible of the tight-knit Rodriguez clan--is going to let her nosy family find out about the uncharacteristic work screw-up that landed her a paid suspension. To keep busy and avoid panic, she enrolls in a life enrichment class. The first guest speaker is a handsome artist with a wicked smile and eyes that melt right through her.
Even the “ice princess” can’t help but feel an immediate spark that lights her blood on fire.
Isaac Ortiz is unquestionably the sexiest man Lydia has ever met. The talented son of a famous Spanish artist, he’s constantly moving from one new glamorous city to another, working if and when the muse visits him.
He also has a stare that makes Lydia’s heart race and hands that look more than capable of making her scream with pleasure. She shouldn’t be attracted to this free-spirit who makes all his own rules--but she is.
There’s just one hiccup....Isaac is nineteen.
Lydia has lived her entire life firmly inside the box, and being with a younger man is definitely outside the safe confines she enjoys.
So why can’t she stay away from him? And why is she seriously considering his proposition to take off to a place she’s never been...just because?
When Lydia is invited back to work with a cleared name, she should be overjoyed.
But the reality is, Lydia doesn’t know what anchors her life anymore...or if she wants to be anchored at all. Should she travel the world with Isaac? Or continue down the road that she’s worked long and hard to pave for herself? Choosing one means losing the other, and Lydia isn’t sure if she’s ready to drift with the current that’s pulling her by the heart.
Deo takes the board out of my hands and eyes it up and down. “You need a flatter board. How long you been surfing?”
“Three weeks,” I tell him.
Deo whistles between his teeth. “And you’re looking to crash those waves? Alright, man. Alright. I’m gonna hook you up, because you look like good people. Come with me. You eat lunch yet?”
“Uh, no, I haven’t,” I say as I follow him. He has my board under his arm and is talking a mile a minute over his shoulder.
“Well, let’s eat, right? I think Whit put some chili in the slow cooker. I hope you like shit hot, because that girl goes wild with the jalapenos. And her cornbread? Dude, you’re gonna wanna steal her away once you taste her cornbread.” He whips around after he says that, so fast I almost crash into him. “That was a joke.” His voice is totally still and serious. “I’ll have to hunt you down and beat the crap out of you if you ever actually tried anything with her. Clear?”
He grins, I guess at the look on my face. I’m not a small guy, and I’ve been in my fair share of fights and come out looking a hell of a lot better than the other guy, but this surfer has that maniacal gleam in his eyes that only the unhinged and lovestruck share. My father calls it the la mirada del mante desesperado--the gaze of a desperate lover.
It’s a look you do not--under any circumstances--fuck with.
I hold my hands up like a prisoner surrendering. “Crystal clear. I would never dream of getting between you and your lovely wife,” I vow.
He shakes a finger at me. “I like you. You worry me a little, cause you’re such a handsome asshole, and you’re shredding water that would make some ballsy dudes do a serious double take. But I can tell you’re a good guy. You got a job? You need one?”
“No. I mean, yes. I do. Have a job. I work for the university. I guest lecture and am part of their artist exchange hosting.”
There are times when I pop out of the world my father has me drowning in and realize there are many men who don’t give a damn about art. Many men who do things with their hands that don’t wind up hanging on museum walls, but that are used. Useful.
I tense, ready for judgement, but Deo seems interested in what I do.
Steph Campbell grew up in Southern California, but now calls Southwest Louisiana home. She has one husband, four children and a serious nail polish obsession.
Steph's works include Delicate, Grounding Quinn and Beautiful Things Never Last; My Heart for Yours and My Fate for Yours (with Jolene Perry); A Toast to the Good Times (with Liz Reinhardt) and the bestselling new adult LENGTHS series with Liz Reinhardt: Lengths, Depths, Limits, Ties & Riptides.
Liz Reinhardt was born and raised in the idyllic beauty of northwest NJ. A move to the subtropics of coastal Georgia with her daughter and husband left her with a newly realized taste for the beach and a bloated sunscreen budget. Right alongside these new loves is her old, steadfast affection and longing for bagels and the fast-talking foul mouths of her youth.
She loves Raisinettes, even if they aren't really candy, the Oxford comma, movies that are hilarious or feature zombies, any and all books, but especially romance (the smarter and hotter, the better), the sound of her daughter's incessantly wise and entertaining chatter, and watching her husband work on cars in the driveway.
She is the author of the Brenna Blixen series (Double Clutch, Junk Miles, Slow Twitch), the Youngblood series (Fall Guy, Perfectly Unmatched), and co-writes with the awesome Steph Campbell in the Lengths series (Lengths, Depths, Limits, Ties, Riptides).