Winterfest is heating up in Abbott Springs... As the town’s yearly festival kicks off, cold days turn into steamy nights, new flames will be ignited, and old romances will be rekindled.
All Sami Abbott ever wanted was permission to be herself. At home, she aims to be the perfect daughter but never measures up. At college, she’s the bold girl who had a one-night stand with sexy musician, Alex Hamilton. When he arrives unexpectedly in Abbott Springs, her worlds collide and she must reconcile the girl she tries to be with the person she really is.
**ALL ABOUT US is a light, contemporary, new-adult romantic novella by New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Marilyn Brant. It's also available as part of the ALL I EVER WANTED anthology!**
Mom had put a batch of orange-cranberry scones in the oven just before she’d headed to the parade. I was busy drizzling the icing on the last row of them when the bells on the front door jingle-jangled. I glanced up, expecting to see a local person I’d known forever, who needed a break from the parade crowd.
I expected wrong.
“Hey. Heard through the grapevine you were here.” He grinned briefly at me, and my heart became a puddle of melted icing.
“Eavesdropping on the townspeople again?” I said lightly. “Collecting Abbott Springs gossip or maybe just inferring it?”
He shrugged. “Somethin’ like that.”
He was dressed much like he had been yesterday—black leather jacket, different jeans, old sneakers—but he didn’t look the same. Nothing obvious, like his hairstyle or his piercings. It was more like an intensity in his expression. Like he was searching for something.
Alex took several strides toward me. We had the serving counter between us, but it didn’t seem like much of a barrier.
He swallowed and glanced at my hands. I was holding the icing bag near the scones, twisting it so my fingers had something to do. Little dribbles of sweet white icing had leaked out and begun to run down my hand, but I’d barely noticed.
He pointed. “You’re, uh, dripping.”
“Yeah,” I said. Time to finish putting the drizzles on the remaining scones. He watched me do this with interest but in silence. When I was done, I saw him lick his lips.
Must be hungry.
I set down the icing bag, wiped my fingers clean and slid a fresh scone onto a plate. “Would you like one? They’re good. Just out of the oven.”
He nodded but didn’t take the plate from me. “Can I come back there?”
Alex slipped through the swinging door and joined me. I was still holding the plate out for him. He took it from me this time…and immediately set it on the counter.
“Oh, sorry! Did you want a fork?” I reached toward the silverware.
But he put his hand on mine. “No, Samantha,” he whispered. “That isn’t what I want.”
He nudged me toward the kitchen wall nearest us until my shoulders were touching it. Until the zipper of his leather jacket pressed against the red Abbott’s Sweet Confections apron I was wearing. Until I could feel his breath on my forehead.
Then he looked into my eyes and waited until I’d tilted my head up toward him and licked my lips and leaned a little closer. Then he smiled and brought his mouth down on mine.
Everything about our kiss said hunger to me. We were in a place filled with heaping platters of food, but Alex was the only thing in the whole building I wanted to devour. I could really feel the roughness of his stubble on my cheek, smell the crisp January air when he exhaled, taste the warmth of his tongue as it mingled with mine and left me wanting more. More of him. All of him.