I’m thrilled to share an excerpt from Sugar and Ice by Brooklyn Wallace! This f/f opposites attract age gap romance centers a sweetheart WNBA player and an ice queen campaign manager who meet at a super secret lesbian speakeasy. It’s out on November 11, 2018. Look at the incredibly stunning cover!
Here’s a note from the author about the excerpt:
I am so excited to share this excerpt from the third book in the Rose & Thorns Social Club collection, SUGAR & ICE! This excerpt is from the early stages of Gwen and Jackie not-quite-but-maybe relationship. Jackie is clearly smitten. Gwen is just a little bit smitten, too.
As a heads up, this excerpt includes sexual activity.
An Excerpt from Sugar and Ice
“Maybe you should take the night off.”
“This is me taking the night off,” she said. She punctuated her point by running a fingernail over the outline of my pussy through my boxers. I hissed and bucked up toward the contact, earning a triumphant grin from her.
I traced my thumb underneath the dark circles under her eye and sighed. “You know what I mean.”
She frowned and narrowed her eyes into slits. I wasn’t sure if she was assessing me or trying to make me burst into flames. Then suddenly she threw her hands up and shrugged. With a slight shove, she pushed away from me and left nothing but cold air where she’d once been.
“Well, if you’re not going to fuck me, I might as well be productive.”
Before my endorphin-fueled brain could process the words, she was up and out of the bed. My eyes dove to her ass in her lacy pink underwear—her lacy pink underwear that matched her lacy pink bra and God what had I been thinking—before she slipped out of the room entirely. I stared after her, confused and horny.
Here I was, sitting in nothing but pants and a sports bra, aroused out of my mind, as I watched the space the woman who put me in this state had just vacated.
“What?” I called after her, voice somehow high-pitched and hoarse at the same time.
Gwen came back, a stack of papers in her arms and a pair of thick-rimmed glasses perched on her nose.
“You said I should take a break,” she explained with a shrug. She sat on the bed next to me and poked my ribs until I moved over to give her room. “So I’m taking a break.”
“Yeah, but I meant, like, do you want to take a nap and then get back to it, or . . .” I licked my lips and looked down at where she was hunched over the papers, looking elegant and put together and way too fucking unaffected by what had just happened.
She scribbled something down and then looked up at me, one perfectly shaped eyebrow cocked. “Are you calling me old?”
“I’m calling you a tease.”
She smirked and shrugged. “You’d be correct.”
She went back to writing without so much as another look at me. I sat there, just wondering if this was some elaborate prank, or maybe a test. After twenty minutes, I gave up and just started watching her work until I stopped counting the minutes altogether.
I watched her fingers, painted the same cherry red as the dress that was now abandoned on her living room floor, run over lines of text as she hummed softly. Her head of curls bounced as she nodded to herself. An errant curl clung to her forehead and my fingers twitched with the need to brush it away.
I didn’t know how much time had passed with me just watching her when she straightened up with a groan. She cursed under her breath and rotated her shoulder.
“Maybe I am getting old.”
“Maybe. Or it could just be that you’re sitting hunched over like a tired goblin,” I pointed out.
She shot me a dirty look. Before she could spit what would no doubt be a cutting comeback, I got up and positioned myself behind her. I placed my hands on her shoulders and dug my thumbs into the tight muscles at the base of her neck.
“Jesus, you’re carrying half the world’s stress reserves right here!”
She shivered and let out a muted groan. “That’s what happens when you run a campaign.”
“How’s that going, by the way?”
She snorted. “You don’t actually care to hear about political drudgery.”
I wanted to know everything about her. “Sure I do.”
She launched into a rant about pundits and campaign personnel I gathered were important, but whom I had never even heard of. I felt almost dumb not knowing what important political figures in my own district were up to, but I loved hearing her talk passionately and snippily about it all the same.
I kneaded my fingers into a particularly stiff bundle of nerves. She grunted and threw a warning glance over her shoulder. Feeling impulsive, I placed a kiss to the area by way of apology. I felt her stiffen under my hands before she relaxed again, shifting to fit more comfortably between my thighs.
“Do you do this often?” she asked softly, after ten minutes of her coming up with creative insults for a swath of political commentators.
“Not really. Sometimes my roommate bullies me into it, though.”
“Mmm, I bet this is how you get all the girls.”
I snorted. She turned her head and cocked a questioning brow at me. I cleared my throat.
“Um, not exactly. Not all the girls.”
Or most of them, or even some of them. None for years until now, in fact, but I couldn’t tell her that.
“I find that hard to believe,” Gwen replied flippantly. I could tell she was digging for more information, goading me. “Not with hands like these.”
I dug my thumbs deeper into her shoulders until she gasped. “You like my hands, huh?”
It was a poor attempt at deflecting, and she instantly picked up on it.
“Mmm, I do. I bet your other girlfriends did, too.”
“Fishing for something, Crawford?”
“I’ve never been good at subtlety, that’s why I didn’t last as a congresswoman.” She twisted around until she was looking directly at me. “Are you seeing anyone besides me, Jackie?”
“Not at the moment, no.”
“What number conquest am I?”
“That’s not an answer.”
“I’m not dignifying that question with one.”’
She studied my face in the stretch of silence of that followed. Then suddenly she smirked, and I knew I was fucked.
“You’ve always been shy, but I’ve never known you to be defensive.”
“I’m not being defensive,” I snapped, defensively. “Truth is, I don’t know what number ‘conquest’ you are. Also, ‘conquest’ is the dumbest word ever.”
“That is true. Look, if you’re worried about hurting my feelings, don’t be. This isn’t exclusive. It’s fun. Casual.”
I flinched at the word but shook it off. Right. Casual.
I waited for her to continue, but she didn’t. Clearly a power play, which was fine with me. I had enough self-control to play this game.
“ . . . Gwen, come on.”
She tilted her head and regarded me evenly. “Am I being invasive?”
Actually, thinking about it, I realized that no, she wasn’t. Not entirely, anyway. Given this nameless thing we’d fallen into, didn’t she have a right to know if we were exclusive? Hell, didn’t I?
“I’ll answer yours if you answer mine,” I said instead.
Her eyes lit up, interest clearly piqued. “All right, that’s fair enough. I’m guessing you have something you wanna ask me. What do you want to know about me?”
More About Sugar and Ice
One ice queen, one sweetheart, one last chance at happily ever after.
Gwendolyn Crawford is Superwoman personified. She runs her ex’s senatorial campaign while battling gossip rags, sleazy opponents, and her self-righteous former father-in-law. She does the job well, and as far as she’s concerned, that’s all she needs. Besides, there’s no time for romance. Not even when a pair of bright eyes catch hers at the highly exclusive Rose club.
Jacklyn Dunn is stuck in a rut. After a devastating stress fracture ended her WNBA career, she’s mostly been dodging her agent and binging TV. Then she meets Gwen and starts to wonder if there’s more to life than wishes and regrets.
There’s no denying the sparks between them. Jackie thrills in melting Gwen’s ice queen heart, and Gwen is instantly hooked on Jackie’s sweetness. But romance isn’t easy for two women in the spotlight. Stress, tabloids, and their own fears threaten to shake the foundation of their budding relationship. After years of building up walls, the two must open themselves up to love—and to getting hurt—to find what truly makes them happy.
A Bit About Brooklyn
Brooklyn Wallace is a romance-writing millennial from the great state of Texas. She daylights as a librarian and moonlights as sad TV gremlin who dabbles in pop culture and fan studies.
She writes tropey, opposites-attract romances about people who are difficult to love, with generous dashes of angst, humor, and ’80s references for flavor. Voted “North Texas’ Least Relatable Socially Anxious Lesbian,” her interests include anime/manga, TV/film, fan studies, Broadway, and podcasts.
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