I am thrilled to share an exclusive excerpt from The Two-Date Rule by Tawna Fenske!
Title: The Two-Date Rule
Author: Tawna Fenske
Publisher: Entangled (Amara)
Release Date (Print & Ebook): February 25, 2020
Genre: contemporary romance / romantic comedy
Tropes: Afraid to commit
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-two-date-rule
Willa Frank has one simple rule: never go on a date with anyone more than twice. Now that her business is providing the stability she’s always needed, she can’t afford distractions. Her two-date rule will protect her just fine…until she meets smokejumper Grady Billman.
After one date—one amazing, unforgettable date—Grady isn’t ready to call it quits, despite his own no-attachments policy, and he’s found a sneaky way around both their rules.
Throwing gutter balls with pitchers of beer? Not a real date. Everyone knows bowling doesn’t count.
Watching a band play at a local show? They just happen to have the same great taste in music. Definitely not a date.
Hiking? Nope. How can exercise be considered a date?
With every “non-date” Grady suggests, his reasoning gets more ridiculous, and Willa must admit she’s having fun playing along. But when their time together costs Willa two critical clients, it’s clear she needs to focus on the only thing that matters—her future. And really, he should do the same.
But what is she supposed to do with a future that looks gray without Grady in it?
From Tawna Fenske:
The Two-Date Rule is all about finding the sweet spot between planning for the future and living in the moment.
On the morning of their last day on duty, Grady shouldered his pack to start the eight-mile trudge out to the pickup point. He’d never been so eager to get home, to climb in a warm shower and let the water sluice down his body while his hands trailed down someone else’s. Willa’s, specifically. How had that happened? How had his fantasies gone from a rolling slideshow featuring a dozen different women to a replaying GIF showing only one?
Ethan’s voice jolted him out of his thoughts. Adjusting his pack, Grady picked up the thread of their usual banter about what they were most eager to get their hands on when they got back to civilization.
“Notorious IPA from Boneyard Beer,” Grady said. He actually craved wine more than that, but the guys would give him shit for naming something too highbrow.
“A hot shower that lasts twenty minutes,” added Bobby.
God, that sounded nice. Only in Grady’s mind, Willa was there with him, her breasts dappled in droplets and her hair slicked back—
“Yo, Grady.” Tony grinned. “You’ve got that look again.”
“The one that says what you’re looking forward to has green eyes and won’t go out with you more than twice.”
Busted. “I’m going straight to her house as soon as I get home,” he admitted.
“Going out?” Ethan asked.
“Because that would be a date,” Tony supplied.
The guys snorted and guffawed as they kept right on trudging.
“We’re staying in and ordering takeout Thai,” he said.
Tony snorted. “Is that what the kids call it now?”
The other guys laughed, though Ethan gave a pained groan. “Pad Thai. Or no, pizza. That’s what I want.”
Grady glanced at his watch, counting down the hours until he could get to the one thing he wanted most.
By the time they reached the pickup point, they were all exhausted. Dusk was falling, turning the sky purplish black. While the other guys made small talk with the volunteer driver, Grady checked his watch and wondered how late Willa would be up. He should go home and shower first, maybe get a good night’s sleep before turning up on her porch.
But when the truck pulled into town, he knew he couldn’t wait that long. He had to see her.
It was ten p.m. when he trudged up the driveway to Willa’s doorstep, dirty and bedraggled and so exhausted, he could barely stand. But the thought of seeing her again burned like an ember in his chest.
Her front door flew open before he even knocked. “You’re back.” She blinked at him in the porch light, green eyes luminescent as her hair fell loose around her shoulders.
“I’m back.” He reached up and fingered the dainty little strap on her blue and white sundress. She was wearing the silver star necklace but maybe no bra. Fatigue gave way to something more primal as she moved aside to let Grady slip past her into the house.
“I missed you,” he said as his arms went around her.
“I missed you, too.”
Stevie sniffed the leg of his jump suit and backed away, but Willa grabbed Grady by the lapels and pulled him to her. The kiss was fierce and hungry and left them both gasping as they backed down the hall together. Somehow they made it to the bathroom, crashing into walls and knocking a hairbrush off her counter with a clatter.
“Strip,” he ordered, though he was already doing it for her as she leaned down to turn on the water. The pretty cotton sundress went first as he tugged it over her head and tossed it on the bathroom counter. He was right about no bra, and her panties went next as he hooked his fingers under the lace and dragged them down her thighs.
Since he was down there on the ground in front of her, he wrapped his arms around the backs of her legs and nuzzled the warmth at her center.
“Grady.” She gripped the top of his head, swaying as he licked into her. “Oh my God.”
“This,” he murmured, slipping his tongue inside her. “This is what I’ve been craving.”
Not pizza or wine or any other comforts of home. Just Willa, slick and sweet on his tongue, gripping his fingers as he slid them inside her. Her hips moved in a slow arc as she fucked his hand, his face. Tongue buried inside her, he peered up to see her head thrown back in ecstasy, her breasts quivering with every panted breath.
“Holy shit,” she gasped as she clutched his hair and came hard around his fingers.
He palmed her ass, bringing her down slowly. He could do this all night. Every last ounce of his fatigue had fallen away, and he stood up and reached for her hand.
“Shower,” he said, hand under the spray as he bent to adjust the temperature. “Please tell me you’ve got condoms and I don’t have to run out to my truck.”
She grinned and pulled back the shower curtain. “Right there in the soap dish. I was ready for you.”
“Thank God,” he said and pulled her under the spray.
He knew he should take it slow, that he owed it to her to get familiar with him again. They’d been apart for two weeks, and besides that, they weren’t officially together. But as he pressed her up against the wall of the shower and rolled a condom on with one hand, he couldn’t think about anything but being inside her.
“Grady, hurry,” she gasped as she wrapped her legs around his waist.
He drove into her in one slick stroke, making them both gasp. Then he held still, waiting until her eyes opened and she looked deep into his.
“This isn’t a date,” he said as he began to move slowly, in, out, with languid strokes that made her groan. “But someday you’ll give me that second date. And then a third and a fourth and do you know why?”
Christ, why was he talking like this? About future plans, something he avoided like the fucking plague.
Willa’s response was a strangled gasp, not a word at all. Grady tilted his hips, hitting that spot he knew would drive her mad.
“This is too good for just a handful of dates,” he growled. “Too good not to last longer.”
She cried out, and Grady drove in again, pounding until she screamed and dragged her nails down his slick back.
He let go, too, shutting his eyes as the water sluiced down their bodies and his legs quivered with exhaustion and his heart nearly exploded.
It crossed his mind to tell her then. To say he wasn’t talking about sex, that that wasn’t what this was about.
But as she came down and smiled at him, he forgot everything including his own name.
When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA Award finalist, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”
Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, step-kids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. To find out more about Tawna and her books, visit www.tawnafenske.com.To learn more about all of Tawna’s books, visit www.tawnafenske.com
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