Title: From the Ground Up Author: Jennifer Van Wyk Genre: Contemporary Romance Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing
Sometimes a first love needs a second chance
He can’t remember the last time he had his wife to himself…
She can’t remember the last time she felt wanted…
Life hasn’t slowed down since Tess and Barrett married over twenty years ago. After carting kids around, making dinner, enduring the stress of jobs, bills, life—it’s no wonder neither of them can remember the last time they had sex.
Or the last time they weren’t too tired to at least try.
Date night no longer consists of wooing, but going to the same restaurant and ordering the same food, then repeating the process.
The magic—is gone.
Life refuses to give them what they need—time alone together, so they take matters into their own hands. After all, a week away in a remote Michigan cabin is just what they need to light the fire in their relationship again.
The only problem? How do you fall back in love with each other when you never fell out in the first place? How do you re-build, from the ground up?
EVERYONE HAS GONE HOME from our after-game party. Maggie is spending the night at a friend’s house and, miracle of all miracles, so is Harper. Well, she’s staying at Lauren and Josh’s house. I have a feeling I know how that came to play, but I’m not gonna even bring myself to care that I know Tess discussed our lack of sex lately with Lauren. Hell, I talked to Josh about the same thing. And they’re good friends. They’ve been there once upon a time. Plus, they love Harper and her energy. They seemed excited to have her overnight.
I walk into our bedroom and notice that Tess has candles of all colors, shapes, and sizes lit around the room. I wish I had thought about doing that. I’ve been so focused on getting to the sex part that I’ve neglected the rest of it. She deserves the world, and I know I need to step up my game. I scroll through my phone and find some music to help set the mood that she’d already begun. After finding what I’m looking for, I place it on the docking station that doubles as my charger and alarm clock.
I’m stripping down to my clothes, just what the song is telling me to do, when my beautiful bride walks into the bedroom from the bathroom. Naked. Now, she could have slid on something sexy, like a nighty or lacy thing that pushes her boobs up, but any man will tell you this is way better. So much better, in fact, that I’m suddenly naked. No idea how I managed to get the rest of my clothes stripped so quickly, my clothes flung all over the room. I briefly think that I hope I didn’t throw anything on a candle, but a quick sniff tells me nothing is on fire — except for the spark that ignited between us the second I caught sight of her. She’s beautiful. Even better, she’s mine.
She’s had my heart since I held her hand the day she let me take her home from school when I was just seventeen years old. I was a goner then by that one touch. Then, the next night on our first official date, when we were crossing the street to go to the movie theater, her letting me hold her hand was all it took for my heart to race and my mind to go foggy.
“C’mere,” I command, knowing my girl loves it when I’m a little more demanding in the bedroom. She complies quickly by sauntering over to where I stand next to the bed. I pick her up and throw her playfully on the mattress. She laughs loudly, the sound a direct line to my quickly growing hardness, but it dies quickly when I crawl over top of her and press myself closer to her, not entering her just yet. I know as soon as I do it will all be over.
My mouth descends on hers, and I quickly slip my tongue into her mouth. Mine. I pin her hands above her head and grind myself into her, my message clear as to where this is going.
“Please.” She breathes out when my mouth moves from hers down to her neck, her collarbone, her bare breasts. They’ve gotten bigger, fuller over time. They’re amazing, and I prepare to ravish them.
“Not yet, sweetheart. You know I won’t last,” I mumble around her soft skin and grab her wrist when I feel her hand gliding down my stomach to where I want her the most.
Her back arches off the bed, pressing herself into me even farther. “Just… do-o-o something, Barrett. Please. I need you. So bad…” Her voice is a whimper and she wraps her legs around me, holding me to her.
“I need you, too. But first I’m going to take my time with you.”
“After. We have all night. I just need to feel you first. We’ll go slow next time.”
From the Ground Up is Jennifer’s first published novel, with the hopes of many more to come. Jennifer makes her home in small-town Iowa with her high school sweetheart, three beautiful and amazing kids, and one crazy Jack Russell terrier. This is where her love for all things reading, baking, and cooking happen. Jennifer’s family enjoys camping, boating, and spending time outside as much as possible. When she’s not writing or editing/proofreading manuscripts for the many talented authors she’s come to love, she’s sipping coffee or iced tea with her kindle in her lap or binging on Netflix.