COVER & EXCERPT REVEAL
RETURN BY LAND (Glacier Adventure Series #2) by Tracey Jerald
Release Date: October 12, 2020
Cover Design: Tugboat Designs
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Model: John DeWall
Genre: Contemporary Romance
I never expected my life to take the turn it did. I planned to raise my children surrounded by family and love.
But plans, and people, change.
As I began to pick up the pieces of my life, I found myself confronted with a wealth of memories tucked away inside me I’d long buried. Especially when I came face-to-face with the ones of Kody Laurence from summers long ago.
When we land together thousands of miles away from where we first met, can we return to the friendship we once had?
Or is it our time for something more?
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“Here’s to another demo week!” Kody holds up his beer. From my spot by my patio doors, I observe the crew lift bottles of beer, cans of soda, and water to toast him back with. “Once again, we’ve found a home that needs some help—”
“Maybe more than a little help in this case, boss,” one of the guys calls out. I can’t quite tell who through the smoke from the fire pit.
“True. But it makes the work that much more satisfying. And normally we’d be arguing over where we’re going to eat. We wouldn’t be thanked with a cookout by the person signing our paychecks,” Kody jokes.
All of the men and women around the fire laugh, including myself. “It was the least I could do to repair your sense of smell,” I call out.
That sets off everyone tittering again until Kody whistles to get their attention. “Okay, everyone, settle down. You may not know, but this isn’t just a house for me; it’s a part of my past. It holds a lot of memories because I helped in its construction. I know how it can shine, so don’t be surprised if I ride you a little harder for perfection.”
“When do you not?” Shane calls out, causing Kody’s team to laugh again.
“True,” he concedes. “But your heart never truly lets go of whatever happened with your first love—good or bad. Right now, she’s infuriated she’s been treated so shamelessly.”
Kody keeps talking, but it’s all buzzing in my head. Is he trying to tell me something? Slipping inside, I put my soda on the counter and grip the edges as tightly as I can. I think about the almost platonic kiss we shared yesterday, and I can’t blame the licks of the fire’s flames for the scalding heat that floods my cheeks. “Was it pity?” I wonder aloud.
“Was what pity?” I let out an agonized groan hearing Kody’s voice behind me.
“Nothing.” If I just avoid answering him, he’ll let the question drop. At least, that’s my experience with men.
But Kody Laurence is turning out to be an exception. Coming around the counter, his hand brushes my shoulder as he comes to stand next to me. “Come on, Flower,” he cajoles. “You know you can tell me anything.”
And those words drive a stake into the missing piece of my heart I never knew was there until yesterday. Moving back a step, I ask, “Really?”
Suddenly, the tension in the kitchen thickens so much, I’m certain it could be cut with one of the knives in the sink. I spin around and give Kody my back before saying, “Just head outside. I need a few moments.”
“You need time?” he clarifies.
I nod, unable to speak past the lump in my throat. What I need and what I want are two very different things. If I could have everything I wanted, I’d, what? Do nothing different, I realize, shoulders slumping. Except maybe I’d give Kody the gift of love.
He should have known what it felt like to have someone love him unequivocally. At least someone who was free.
His hand closes on my shoulder right before he spins me around. Kody’s infuriated. “And you don’t think seventeen years is long enough?”
What did he just say? But before I can open my mouth to get the words out, one muscled arm slides around my waist, yanking me up so our eyes are level. I brace my hands against his biceps. “Kody.” His name is a wish, a hope. And if I’m honest, a secret longing missing from my life for far too long.
“Time’s up, Flower,” he murmurs. His eyes still on mine, he cups my cheek with his other hand, holding my head steady as his head lowers.
Firm lips brush against mine once, twice. I twist my fingers in the overlong hair that curls just over the edge of his shirt collar, aligning our lips before starting to plead, “If you don’t mean it…”
The rest of the sentence disappears as Kody tips my chin and lays waste to my mouth.
God, if I had to die right now it would be okay because even in my dreams, I’ll never be able to recreate the feeling of Kody’s lips on mine. I can taste the tang from the ale he toasted with under the dark sky and the underlying passion of wasted days and nights. This is a kiss of intent, not of pity. And I’m shaken to my core.
My knees weaken under the onslaught, but Kody catches me. We break apart for air, each of us gasping. His opens his mouth—to say what, I don’t know—but I don’t give him a chance to speak, not with words. not yet.
Instead, I tip my head back and whisper, “Again.”
With a groan, he twists me until my back is pressed against the refrigerator. Smoothing his hands down my hips, he pulls me flush against his straining erection. “With pleasure.”
My lips are curved as are his. Long moments pass by where the world stops and time is only measured in his arms.
We’re interrupted by someone opening the slider. Both of our heads whip to the side.
“I was coming in for some more beer…” Shane begins.
Kody lets out a feral growl.
“But I think I’ll just come back later,” he concludes swiftly.
Even standing wrapped up in Kody’s arms, now that the kiss is over, I’m seized with terror.
What did we just do?
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Return by Air
(Glacier Adventure Series – Book 1)
AMAZON UNIVERSAL: https://geni.us/gVpG
Return by Sea
(Glacier Adventure Series – Book 3)
GOODREADS LINK: https://bit.ly/2ZAu7np
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tracey Jerald knew she was meant to be a writer when she would re-write the ending of books in her head on her bike when she was a young girl growing up in southern Connecticut. It wasn’t long before she was typing alternate endings and extended epilogues “just for fun”.
After college in Florida, where she obtained a degree in Criminal Justice swearing she saw things she’ll never quite believe and never quite forget, Tracey traded the world of law and order for IT.
Her work for a world-wide internet startup transferred her to Northern Virginia where she met her husband in what many call their own happily ever after. They have one son.
When she’s not busy with her family or writing, Tracey can be found in her home in north Florida drinking coffee, reading, training for a runDisney event, or feeding her addiction to HGTV.
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