Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for Fierce Grace by Jess B. Moore. I will be sharing an extract from the novel.
Annabelle Dare is in a good place. She landed a sweet job, teaching at the quaint Fox River Elementary School. She has everything she needs: teaching music and sharing an apartment with her best friend. A simple life, she’s convinced, is all she needs.
Asher Grace knows who he is and what he has to offer. Nothing. A poor boy from the wrong side of town, steel worker, with too much weight on his shoulders as he is trying to hold his family together. Best choice is avoiding too-sweet-for-her-own-good Annabelle at all costs.
Annabelle falls in love with the way she comes to life with Asher. He awakens a hunger for life and love in her that she didn’t know she possessed.
Asher must learn his worth beyond his upbringing and his past. Annabelle must learn to stoke the fire of life as it burns within her and learn how close she can get before the flames lick her.
Buy Fierce Grace here.
**Note from Jess B. Moore: I’ve pulled this extract from an intimate scene early in the book. The first time Annabelle and Asher have been alone together, talking and opening up with one another.
I like this scene – and chose to share it with you – because it tells us so much about each of them. We have their desire, but also their need to get to know one another first. Asher is protective of his family, and swamped about worries where Annabelle is concerned. You also have your first peek into Annabelle’s past – one she isn’t quite ready to share yet.
My body responded to his nearness, to his words, until it took all my effort not to lean into him. I couldn’t move away. Not while he looked at me with desire painted on his handsome face. My feet wanted to lift onto my toes and push me upward for a kiss. I stared boldly at his lips.
Asher moved first, not breaking the spell, but weaving it. He brought his hands to my arms, moved them slowly up and down. My heart raced and my fingers tingled and all I wanted was to fall into his warm chest and clutch hold of him. Then he took my hands and directed us to the living room.
He sat on my sofa, like it wasn’t totally strange he was there with me. I sat down too, leaving an entire empty cushion between us. I was reading too much into little things, and tried in vain to stop the crazy pounding of thoughts in my skull.
“How many brothers do you have?”
It was the first normal thing to pop into my head as a topic of conversation. I knew he had brothers, plural, from mentions here and there. The Grace brothers were a source of whispered gossip in Fox River, and I had generally ignored anything I heard about them. Asher was the only one I’d met, which seemed strange in such a small town. He’d mentioned an older and physically bigger brother the night before.
But after asking, it seemed like the wrong thing. Jumping into the personal without looking first. His face was carefully guarded when he answered.
“Two. One older. One younger.” Asher paused, clearing his throat, and had to make himself continue. “Hudson is turning thirty this year. Which is unbelievable. I can’t figure out how we got so old.”
“Speak for yourself.” I swatted at him and he let out a laugh. He watched my movements, and it helped him relax, to sink into the couch.
“Brandt is twenty-four. He’s … well, he’s got a lot of growing up to do yet.”
He sounded both protective and pissed when he talked about Brandt. I had oh so many more questions. But I thought better of it, and let it drop.
He nodded, his face serious. Of course with his secretly paying attention, and having asked Nate and Kendra about me, he would know my age.
“I’m trying to convince myself I’m not too old for you.”It sounded like an excuse. Not a very good one either.
“It’s four years. That’s nothing.” I rolled my eyes at him.
Age is a funny thing. When you’re young, every year matters. If we talked about me being fifteen and him being nineteen, then yeah, he would be too old for me. Even when we met, I was twenty-one and he was twenty-five, and he seemed a lot older. I had still been in college, living without a lot of responsibility, very little insight on the Real World. He’d had a legit job that required hard work, and had been supporting himself for who knows how long. The age gap was big at some point. But over the course of a couple of years, it had dwindled. Now we were both simply in our twenties. No big deal.
“Do you have siblings?”
“No.” I shook my head, “Only child.”
I’d always wished for a sibling, a little sister to follow me around and keep me company. I romanticized the whole notion, imagining a sweet and spunky little girl who would adore me. We would have been best friends. But I outgrew those childish fantasies about the time my dad succumbed to alcohol and became a monster. I wouldn’t want my precious imaginary sister to grow up in my house after all.
Another note from Jess B. Moore:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this exclusive sneak peek from Fierce Grace and it leaves you wanting more!
Fierce Grace is available through Amazon, in digital and paperback:
My debut novel, The Guilt of a Sparrow is also available (with ties to Fierce Grace) here.
I hope you enjoyed reading a small piece of my book, and that you want to get to know Annabelle and Asher even more now!!
With mirth & moxie,
Jess B. Moore
About the Author:
Jess B Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.
Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.
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