Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Number of pages: 240
Word Count: 62,000
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
Everything she knew to be true fell apart. Then fell apart again…
Michelle Willis is running from her past. What better place to hide than in the anonymity of New York City. Finding refuge in a tiny SoHo art gallery, she rebuilds her life one painting at a time.
A wrong turn sends Hunter McAvery on a crash course with disaster. He fights his own demons by following his big brother’s lead - drinking and bed-hopping his way through Manhattan.
A glance at Michelle’s self-portrait triggers emotions Hunter can’t tamp down. Driven to meet the artist, he discovers a fiery chemistry as their lives collide. But when their past threatens to tear them apart, can their love survive?
“I think pink is your color. It looks great against your dark hair.” Reaching past her shoulder, he curled a strand of her hair between his fingers and tugged gently before letting it fall onto her shoulder.
Meeting his gaze, she smiled. “Thanks.” Michelle wasn’t used to compliments. It’d been her goal to fade into the crowd and not to call attention to herself. But her self-imposed rules seemed to float away around Hunter McAvery.
Returning her smile, he continued the lesson. “After you slide your hands into the opening, you’ll wind the long strap around your fingers and wrist like this.” Holding her fingers in his hand, he wound the dangling strap around her palm and over her knuckles. “You want to protect the part of your hand that meets the bag.”
He stepped closer as he slipped the strap around the base of her thumb. When he brushed his fingertips against the sensitive area just below the fleshy part of her palm, a shiver shot up her arm and traveled to her belly. His warm breath ghosted her face as he circled the end of the strap around her wrist and secured the Velcro tab. Before she knew it, strong fingers captured her left hand and guided her arm to the warmth between their bodies. She itched to graze her fingers along his muscled chest, capturing his heat with her palm. Her gaze bounced to his neck and stubbled jaw, which clenched as he slid the other wrap over her hand. Slowly wrapping her other wrist, he secured the strap and held both of her gloved hands in his. “Make a fist,” he said huskily.
Tightening her hands into a ball, she tucked her thumb around the outside of her fingers like he showed her at the gym.
He squeezed her fists. “They look good. You’re a badass.”
Michelle snorted. “A badass in pink.”
“Let’s see what you got. Show me some upper cuts. Right here.” He tapped his abs.
“You want me to hit you?” She giggled.
“Sure. I can take it.”
Turning her palms up, she made a fist and alternated soft punches to his belly. His rock-hard belly. Each strike made her aware of how alive he made her feel. The force of impact sent ripples up his tight shirt, awakening the planes of his muscular form. She gulped back the desire to open her fists and run her fingertips along the line of each thick muscle.
His hands came to rest on her forearms, halting her movement. The pads of his thumbs stroked the sensitive skin near the inside of her elbow causing a delicious shiver up her arm. Michelle’s eyes met his. The fire brewing in his darkened gaze drew her in. Hunter stepped between her legs, nudging her back against the wall next to the mural. She closed her eyes and choked back a groan, wanting—no, needing—to grind her heat on his leg. Raising her arms above her, he pinned them against the wall on either side of her head. His scent flooded her senses as she lifted her chin to close the gap between them.
“I’m trying like hell not to kiss you.” Hunter straightened his back but didn’t loosen his grip on her arms.
Her skin prickled from the nearness of his body. She let her gaze drift to his lips. “Why?” she whispered.
He blew a slow breath between his teeth. “Nothing good would come of it. I’m not capable of giving or feeling… or offering anything much to you.” He shook his head but he didn’t move from her body.
“I don’t believe that.” Michelle wriggled her arms from his grasp. Her fingertips lingered on his corded forearms, which flexed under her touch. Easing a trail toward his shoulders, her fingers reminded her of a paintbrush’s first dab of color on a fresh canvas. She’d always believed each canvas had a personality of its own, and it was the symphony of the brush, artist, and canvas that created the work of art. She wanted to explore the blank canvas of Hunter McAvery.
She studied his arms, still caging her in. Protecting her. Wanting her. Her eyes met his gaze. He stared at her, unmoving, but a spark burned in his eyes. She held her breath, afraid to break his trance. Her palms smoothed over his shoulders and down his chest, stopping at the center of his ribs. Pushing into the muscles of his chest, she felt the strong beat of his heart on her fingers. “Kiss me, Hunter.” Raising her eyebrows, she dared to look him in the eyes, almost afraid of what she’d see.
“You don’t understand. You’re too… good.” He averted his gaze.
“Maybe you should let me decide what’s good for me.” She moved closer, his breath burned hot on her face, and he squeezed his eyes closed.
Her hands traveled up his chest and rested on the bulk of his strong shoulders. Pulling him in, her breasts molded into his chest and, finally, he crashed his lips down on hers. She met every stroke of his tongue as her fingers raked through the ends of his hair. Moaning into his mouth, she straddled his muscular thigh as warmth flooded her sex. She’d never felt more alive.
His hand grazed her cheek before taking her chin between his thumb and index finger and pulling away from their kiss. He tipped his forehead to hers, his raspy breath hot on her mouth. “Shit.”
Michelle widened her eyes. “What?” she whispered.
“You. Me. This just can’t happen. Not now. Not like this.”
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
A writer wasn’t at the type of my list of “things to be” as I was growing up. At first I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader (no joke), then a singer (until I figured out I really could not sing). As I matured I had more realistic aspirations: architect, teacher, and a businesswoman. I hadn’t considered writing as a profession until a few years ago.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
I’ve always written so I guess I’ve always been a writer. However, it wasn’t real to me until I signed my first contract in 2011.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
It happened pretty fast for me after I finished my first manuscript, within a few months.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I work full time in the corporate world.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest release is Colors of Us (McAvery Brothers series, 1). Twenty words? Okay, I’ll give it a shot: Artist and bartender lives collide opening old wounds. Unwilling to unlock their heart, but forced to reveal their true colors.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
I publish with Everngight Publishing.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Colors of Us took almost one year to finish because I planned and wrote parts the two other books in the McAvery Brothers series while working on the manuscript for book one.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m currently working on Alex and Miranda’s story, Passion of Us, book 2 in this series. I love the contemporary romance genre and have many more books planned in this genre.
What genre would you place your books into?
I consider contemporary romance to be my genre of choice. I’ve written erotic, BDSM and New Adult contemporary titles.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I tend to write what I like to read and I’m a contemporary romance girl.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
I love Hunter McAvery from Colors of Us. He’s trying so hard to turn his life around. He’s not afraid to face his past but doesn’t let anyone see the internal demons he fights on a daily basis. His feelings for Michelle come on hard and strong. Even though he wants her so much it scares him, he protects her by pushing her away.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing seriously for about four years. Stories always popped into my head based on life experiences and observations. One day I started writing them down.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I wrote where I can: coffee shops, in my car while waiting for my son, in bed before going to sleep, in my little writing nook and poolside at a book conference in Las Vegas (that’s where I am now!).
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes. I read my reviews. I find reviews helpful for the most part. Authors must develop a thick skin in the publishing business.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I usually struggle with the perfect title right before I submit the manuscript. An author friend helped my come up with the title for Colors of Us.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Some are made up and some are in honor of people I know. The heroine, Michelle, and her friend, Cheyenne, are named after two very special and talented women I know and respect.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I love eBooks but I also love their paper/hardback counterparts. I’ll read any media.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
My all-time favorite books is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve read it more than once and will probably red it again.
Do you think books transfer to movies well?
I do think they transfer well. I’m loving The Outlander series on STARZ.
Your favorite food is?
Any kind of pasta and seafood.
Your favorite singer/group is?
I’m into Ed Sheeran and The Script lately.
Your favorite color is?
Your favorite Author is?
I have too many to name!
Sandra Bunino is a romance author of several novellas including The Satin Rose Experience series. Her first full-length novel, Colors of Us from the McAvery Brothers series, released in August. She makes her parents proud by putting her MBA degree to good use dreaming up heroes who resemble David Gandy whenever possible. When not staying up past her bedtime torturing her oh-so-sexy heroes, she can be found shopping for shoes or saving turtles.
As a social media junkie in need of a ten-step program, you can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her new addiction, Pinterest. Sandra loves to read and chat with other readers, so she formed the Bunino’s Bookalicious Babes group on Facebook where they currently share their love of Jamie Fraser from Outlanders…and David Gandy, of course.
Bookalicious Babes Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/597429020306289/
Bookalicious Babes mailing list: http://eepurl.com/LuwPL