#NewRelease #Excerpt – Darker Water by Lauren Stewart

Title:             Deeper Water

Subtitle:       Carson and Laney’s After Happily-Ever-After

Series:          Once and Forever #3

Author:        Lauren Stewart

Genre:          New Adult/Romantic Comedy

Release        Date: Feb 11, 2018

Word Count: 57,000

Two people can only tread water for so long

 A steamy new romantic comedy with the characters you fell in love with in Darker Water and Virtually Impossible.

My name is Carson Bennett.

The first time I slept with Laney Temple was two years ago.

At the time, I thought I deserved a medal for all the effort I put into making it happen. I ended up with so much more than I’ve ever deserved.

Now, with everyone and my brother getting hitched, I think I’m finally ready for the next big step. To make what Lane and I have better and stronger. Deeper. I’m just not sure if she’s ready.

Unfortunately, life isn’t all bacon and glitter just because we say three little words to each other.

When we’re horizontal, our communication couldn’t be better. And the other forty-nine percent of the day—when my pants are zipped, her bra is hooked, and nobody’s hands are anywhere fun—it’s still easy and full of laughs.

It’s just that last one percent we haven’t quite figured out yet.

Time’s ticking. And if we don’t repair the cracks soon, water is going to rush in and break this whole damn thing apart.

~ ~ ~

Carson and Laney are back! Just in time for Valentine’s Day. Get a look at their after happily-ever-after and be there for Hayden and Andi’s island wedding.

*Deeper Water is not a true standalone contemporary romance novel like the others in this series. You will enjoy it much more if you read Darker Water first. I suggest starting there.

Darker Water, book one in this series, will be on sale for only 0.99

from Thursday, Feb 8 until Thursday, Feb 15th

Email: ReadLaurenS@gmail.com

Website: www.LaurenStewartAuthor.com

FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/LaurenStewartAuthor

FB Reader’s Group: www.facebook.com/groups/laurenstewartauthor/

Twitter: @ReadLaurenS

Bookbub Author Page: www.bookbub.com/authors/lauren-stewart

Newsletter: www.LaurenStewartAuthor.com/news

 

iBooks Exclusive Pre-order: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/deeper-water/id1334953702

Amazon, Nook, Kobo & Paperback pre-order links available Februrary 8th

Goodreads

Lauren Stewart’s other work

Darker Water (Once and Forever #1)

Virtually Impossible (Once and Forever #2)

Hyde, an Urban Fantasy (Hyde, Book I)

Jekyll (Hyde, Book II)

Strange Case (Hyde, Book III)

No Experience Required (a Summer Rains novel #1)

Second Bite

Lauren Stewart grew up reading Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, James Clavell, Piers Anthony, and Agatha Christie, which explains why she can’t seem to stick to one genre at a time. She loves emoticons and hates when people speak in the third person, so…

I got to the more romantic stuff pretty late, but paranormal romance was what changed me from an obsessed reader into an obsessed reader AND writer. I think my writing style comes from a mash-up of all my early favorites and my new ones, women like JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Nalini Singh, Charlaine Harris, and Janet Evanovich. Wow, how much would you pay to be invited to that dinner party?

I want to make people think, cry, and giggle, not necessarily all at the same time (although it’s great when it happens). In every one of my books, you’ll find elements of other genres – fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women’s literature, all with a touch of humor.

Because what doesn’t kill us should make us laugh.

What Inspired Me to Write This Book?

This whole series began on a dare—that I wouldn’t be able to write a standalone novel that ended in a happy ending (until then, I’d always written series where one couple takes a few novels to reach their happy ending).

What can I say? Definitely not that I can pass up a challenge because I can’t. And so, I wrote Darker Water.

Darker Water was a twist on The Frog Prince, with the heroine believing she has the metaphorical power to turn good men—princes—into assholes—frogs. Because all the men she’d fallen for had seemed perfect right up until she found out they were total pricks. So what does she need to make her believe in love again? A frog, of course. An asshole who, because of her love, finally shows us that he’s been an amazing man all along.

The fairytale at the beginning of that book (and for the next five books) came to me as soon as I started typing. It just flowed and set up the entire framework for the story. The second part of Laney and Carson’s fairytale, at the end, encapsulates what they’ve learned and where they’re headed.

When I was challenged by readers (remember how I said I can’t say no to a challenge?) to give them more of Carson, I did.

Deeper Water is a continuation of Carson and Laney’s love story, what I call their after happily-ever-after, as well as that of Hayden and Andi, the main characters from Virtually Impossible (Book #2). I’ve always been a firm believer that stories don’t end on the last page of a book, just like our love stories don’t end when we say “I do.” At least I hope they don’t because that would be awful.

So in this book, Carson and Laney run into some hurdles and have to repair a few cracks that occur in all relationships, regardless of how wonderful they are.

Who Will We Meet in This One?

First let me say that it turned out to be a great way to explore relationships at every stage. For instance, Laney’s parents who’ve been married for almost thirty years are in this book. Hillary and Eric, Laney’s ex-roommate and her boyfriend have been together for more than a few years. Emilia, Andi’s married bestie/boss and her husband have been married for a few. And Carson’s mother, Renee? Well, she’s had experience with a lot of different phases with a lot of different husbands. Ha.

As for other people we’ll meet or meet again? Carson’s evil stepsister, Anna. Hayden’s ex-wife who I absolutely adore, Clare. And we also get to know Andi’s screwed-up friend Sara whose story will be in Immaterial Defense, the next book in this series.

So it’s a pretty full cast for my shorter-than-normal book. I guess I just can’t say goodbye to any of my characters. Don’t be surprised if one of my paranormal characters appears in this series.

It might be a challenge, but then, you know how I feel about challenges.

 

Lane pulled me deeper until the water was about waist-high. She slipped her hands around my neck and jumped into my arms. I gratefully caught her under her ass, and she wrapped her legs around me.

“Am I too heavy?”

“Not at all. But if a shark comes along, you know I’m going to drop you and run for it, right?”

“Of course,” she said, smiling. “No problem—I can handle a shark.”

“What if it’s a big shark?”

“Depends who’s measuring.” Laughing, she ground her hips on mine, and my big shark woke right up. “Men always seem to think things are larger than they actually are.”

“You’ve never complained before.”

“I complain all the time, just not about that.”

“I’ve never heard you complain. You must be doing it wrong. Try whining more next time so I know.”

“Like this?” she asked in a high, nasal voice, her nose and upper lip rising and making her look as close to unattractive as possible.

“That’d do it.” I tried kissing her, but with her mouth contorted like that, I got more teeth than lip. Pina Colada-flavored.

She pulled away. “What were you talking to your brother about at the bar earlier?”

“Do you always think about my brother while we’re kissing?”

“Jealous?” she asked. The brat. “Or do you just not want to answer the question?”

“Always, and no. I’d rather make out than talk about Hayden.”

“Then answer quick so we can get back to it.”

I sighed. “Fine.” I spoke faster than an auctioneer on speed. “He planned a surprise wedding gift for Andi back home. I’m helping him with it.” Done speaking, I leaned in for my prize.

“Really?” Pulling away, she did that girlie inhalation that lifted her breasts up beautifully, as well as her brow and the corners of her mouth. Like she was the world’s most perfect marionette or something. “How romantic! What is it?”

I shook my head. “If I tell you, it won’t be a surprise.” I would’ve zipped my lips if my hands weren’t happy where they were—cupping her ass so nicely. Good thing the water was deep enough to cover us or the thirteen-year-old kid staring at us from shore would’ve gotten quite a show.

“The surprise is for Andi, not me. So spill.”

As much as I liked to tease her, she’d find out eventually. “Promise you won’t say anything.”

“I promise.”

“Promise me that if you break said promise, you will let me do every deviant thing I can imagine to you while saying, ‘Please, sir, may I have some more?’ Complete with the English accent.”

She stared at me for a minute, stunned or maybe trying to figure out what deviant thing I could be referring to that we hadn’t already tried.

“Promise,” she said finally, in an English accent.

“That’s my girl.” I kind of hoped she told someone.

 

Short Book Quotes

Fairytale Beginning:

Once upon a time, there was a frog who, with great care, held the heart of the most beautiful woman in his entire world.

 

Fairytale Ending:

For this couple, as with all others who are destined to be, “happily ever after” means they will never give up… on themselves or on each other.

 

Laney:

It was as if we were both experiencing the same thing, feeling the same emotional component.

Oh, who am I kidding? He probably wasn’t thinking anything at the moment. Or, best case it was something like, “Ahhh…oooh…goooood.”

 

Carson:

I need to know—yes or no.” He swallowed. “Do you believe we have a future together?”

“Yes,” I said without thinking. “I can’t imagine my life without you. But we still have a lot of stuff to work on before—”

“Sorry,” he said, his smile stopping my heart for a second. “I quit listening after you said yes. We’ll deal with the rest of it later.”

 

“Well,” she said, still waving to her parents, who’d just gotten caught by the crowd. “My father might still be under the impression I’m a virgin, and the man I’m with respects my decision.”

I swallowed my laugh. She wasn’t kidding. “Oh, I respect your decisions, babe. Completely. For instance, I respected your decision to ride me like a cowgirl the other night. And I had all kinds of respect for you when you dragged me into that restaurant bathroom a couple weeks ago because you needed to fuck right then and there. And that thing you did with your tongue the other—”

 

“Get dressed.” She pulled away from me and tossed me a t-shirt. “I promised them we’d be there.”

“And I promised myself we’d use all these condoms before going home. I allocated a certain number for each day, and we can’t fall behind.” I shrugged. “One of us is going to have to break their promise, Lane. Guess what my priority is.”

 

As much as I liked to tease her, she’d find out eventually. “Promise you won’t say anything.”

“I promise.”

“Promise me that if you break said promise, you will let me do every deviant thing I can imagine to you while saying, ‘Please, sir, may I have some more?’ Complete with the English accent.”

She stared at me for a minute, stunned or maybe trying to figure out what deviant thing I could be referring to that we hadn’t already tried.

“Promise,” she said finally, in an English accent.

“That’s my girl.” I kind of hoped she told someone.

 

 

 

 

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