Visions of Love (Arden’s Glen Romance #3) by C.M. Albert
Rosalie Alexander never fit in. Raised by adoptive parents in the small town of Arden’s Glen, her mixed Latina skin and ability to talk to the dead kept most folks away. When her radio program takes off and a small TV network offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse, visions of love are the last thing on Rosalie’s mind. But when the town’s sexy young surgeon goes and mucks things up by setting his sights on her, Rosalie’s heart is torn in ways she never expected.
Dr. Zade Zampogna had everything going for him: Sexy? Check. Doctor? Check. Rich? Check. But he missed the excitement of the large hospital he transferred from in order to take care of his aging mother. When she passes unexpectedly, Zade has nothing left to keep him in the small community. Until . . . Rosalie. He knew from the moment they met that she was the one, and he would stop at nothing to win her over.
Despite the charming doctor’s persistent and flirtatious attention, Rosalie doesn’t know if she can trust Zade’s intentions—or if she even wants to. When resistance crumbles, and her visions unearth secrets she’d rather leave buried, will Rosalie grab her one shot at stardom or take a chance on something a little closer to home—love?
Excerpt Visions of Love by C.M. Albert
It was as if Zade was pleading for Rosalie to understand. As if her opinion of him mattered. He was so vulnerable in that moment, opening up to her as if they were equals. She did the one thing she promised herself she wouldn’t do—especially on their first date.
She placed her hands on both sides of his face and she leaned forward and kissed him. It was slow and soft, just a brush of her lips on his. It wasn’t meant to be sexual, it was meant to comfort, to heal. But he wanted more. She found him kissing her back—really kissing her this time. His mouth was warm yet strong, his teeth nipping gently at her lip as he explored, tasting her. Slowly, patiently, lip on lip.
She’d never had girlfriends to talk to about stuff like this, though she’d had her fair share of kisses since her high school mistake. But she had nothing to compare this kiss to. It was familiar and gentle, as if she were remembering the kiss rather than experiencing it for the first time. But when his tongue parted her lips, gently finding hers and connecting for the first time, she felt the spark. The tingle that Brecken always told her she would feel when she found “the one.”
She never believed in it before. And she wasn’t letting her mind even consider it now. But the energy between them was absolutely electric. There was no denying that. His tongue swept along hers slowly, leisurely, despite the heat that was simmering between them. She was tangled up in their shared grief, and their shared passion. She didn’t want to mingle the two, but she couldn’t let go of him either.
Emptiness. She had no one else to grieve with, so she clung to him, her hands finding his hair and deepening the kiss. Before she knew what she was doing, she found herself in his lap, curling into him. Her mouth found his neck, his ears. She rubbed her cheek along his jawline, his stubble shooting spears of lust straight between her legs.
“Rosalie,” he groaned against her hair, as she brought her lips back to his. This time she drew in his bottom lip, sucking it in as her nails scraped his five o’clock shadow while she held his face in her hands. She loved the rough brush of his scruff against her palm and the confident caress of his tongue as it matched her pace—slow and languid, deep and sensual.
It shocked her when he was the one to pull back first, taking a deep, shaky breath. “God, Rosalie. I want you so bad it physically hurts,” he said, pressing himself against her bottom to make his point. Her whole body shivered with anticipation, with desire. “But I want you more than just this one night. And I don’t want to make a mistake taking things too fast.”
Rosalie backed up, sliding off his lap. She ran her fingers through her hair to straighten it, drawing in her swollen bottom lip as she did. She nodded, her mind agreeing that this wasn’t the time or place to take this further. Hell, she wasn’t even the one looking for this—this thing—with him. But logic doesn’t always answer when there’s a knock at the door. And what her heart heard was rejection once again.
She stood up, looking for the sandals she’d kicked off earlier. “You’re right,” she mumbled. “Absolutely right. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Zade grabbed her hand, pulling her back into his lap. “I didn’t say I didn’t want you, Rosalie,” he growled. “I was actually saying you deserve better than that on a first date. I want to give you more than that—in time. If you stop pushing me away.”
Their eyes met, his searching hers for answers she knew she kept buried deep. “I don’t know how to do this, Zade. I truly don’t. I don’t know what you want from me—but I’m pretty sure it’s not something I can give you.”
“Rosalie, I want nothing and everything from you. I’m sorry if that terrifies you. It terrifies me too. I never planned to stay here, to find someone worth staying for. Arden’s Glen was supposed to be a temporary stop for me,” he said, resting his forehead against hers.
“And it still can be, Zade. Nothing is stopping you.” She leaned forward and kissed him one last time, regret and confusion crushing her heart and making it hard to breathe.
“Take me home,” she whispered.