#CoverReveal: The Education of Sebastian + Caroline by Jane Harvey-Berrick @jharveyberrick

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Synopsis
The Education of Sebastian
Trapped in a loveless marriage, thirty year old Caroline Wilson moves to San Diego after her military husband earns a promotion. Feeling lost and alone Caroline strikes up a friendship with young local surfer Sebastian Hunter.

Sebastian has more than friendship on his mind when he runs into Caroline on the beach. But when sparks fly friendship turns into an illicit love that threatens them both.
The Education of Caroline
Now a successful journalist, Caroline heads out to report from the front lines of the war in Afghanistan. Love is the last thing on her mind when she crosses paths with Chief Sebastian Hunter.
Will this chance encounter reignite the erotic passion of their past?
Excerpt
The Education of Sebastian Excerpt
My hands were still trembling and I was in danger of tipping the rest of the water onto his pillows. He took the glass from my hands and placed it on the tiny bedside table.
“Come and lie down with me,” he said, tugging gently on my hand. “Just lie with me. I’m not going to do anything you don’t want, you know that.”
He pulled me down and held me in his arms, softly stroking my hair. We lay there peacefully. Somewhere in the room I could hear a clock ticking—my life was passing with every second.
He continued to soothe me, kissing my hair, stroking my back and my arms, threading his long legs through mine.
“Do you want to hear a bedtime story?” he said, quiet humor in his voice.
“Not funny,” I muttered into his chest.
He laughed gently. “You’ll like this one. It starts with a girl and a boy … a motorcycle and a full tank of gas.”
“Very romantic.”
“Told you you’d like it.”
“Well, the boy says to the girl, ‘Hey, baby, let’s go see the world.’ And do you know what the girl says?”
“‘I’m washing my hair’?”
“Ha! No, not quite. She says, ‘Let’s go see Italy because the whole world starts there’.”
“She sounds like an idiot.”
“Hey! This is my bedtime story.”
“Okay, I’ll be quiet.”
“Is that even possible?”
I punched him lightly on the arm and he laughed.
“Okay, so the boy says, ‘I’ve got an idea. Let’s fly to Switzerland…’”
“On the motorcycle? Because I should explain to you…”
He put his hand over my mouth, so I kissed the palm and snuggled in a bit more.
“‘Let’s fly to Switzerland, drive over the Alps and then we’ll go to Milano and see Il Trovatore at La Scala’.”
“That’s the opera where everyone ends up dying.”
“You said you’d be quiet.”
“Sorry.”
“So, then they stay at this amazing hotel where they have breakfast in bed, served on silver plates…”
“And they scappati in the morning because they can’t pay the bill?”
“Yeah! Then they ride off on their trusty motorcycle and go to Verona, one of the most romantic cities in the world…”
“It’s not romantic—that’s where Romeo poisons himself and Juliet stabs herself to death.”
“Shh! Then they drive down the spine of Italy, stopping to eat pasta … and have a lot of sex…”
“This story is NC-17.”
“Yeah, that’s because it’s my bedtime story. Then they ride to Salerno and take this little mountain road to a tiny village called Capezzano Inferiore and they meet all these wonderful, crazy people who turn out to be cousins and aunts and uncles of the girl, because she’s kinda crazy, too…”
“And then what?”
“They live happily ever after.”
I sighed. “Okay, that was a pretty good story after all.”
“Told you you’d like it.”
I felt very comfortable lying in his arms and my attack of guilt and disgust was slowly passing.
He didn’t speak after that and neither did I. We drifted to sleep, wound around each other.
A loud crash woke me suddenly. I sat up, disoriented and panic-stricken in the darkened room.
“Oh, fuck. Mom’s home,” said Sebastian sullenly. “Are you okay, Caro? Don’t sweat it; she won’t come up here.”
My heart was pounding; it was so loud I felt certain he must be able to hear it knocking against my ribs.
“Are you sure? Is your door locked?”
“I haven’t got a lock—I put the chair up against it when I want some privacy.”
I couldn’t believe how casual he sounded. I almost leapt out of my skin when he reached out to stroke my hair.
“I’ll go see if she’s passed out,” he said, reading my mood.
I nodded, nervously twisting my wedding ring around my finger.
He frowned, then rolled off the bed and gently opened his bedroom door. He was gone for less than a minute while I waited anxiously.
“She’s out cold—like I said. No problem.”
He pulled the chair up against the door, letting all the clothes slide off into a heap, then wedged its wooden back tightly under the handle.
He turned slowly, staring down at me.
From the look on his face, I guessed he wanted to cash in the rain check on the make-out session I’d promised him. I definitely wasn’t on the same page; the adrenaline rush caused by Estelle’s noisy return had freaked me out.
I pulled my cell phone out of my jeans pocket and flipped it over to check the time: it was after 1 am.
“It’s late,” I whispered. “I should get back.”
“Stay. Please.”
He sat down next to me again and ran the tips of his fingers down my arm.
“We don’t know when we’ll have another night together,” he said persuasively, kissing my shoulder. “What difference does it make if you go now or in a few hours?”
When he didn’t meet any resistance, he pushed me gently back onto his bed and used his body to press me into the thin mattress. I could feel that he was already aroused. Boy, it didn’t take much. I still felt shaken, but at the same time it thrilled me that I could make him feel that way, make his body respond that way.
“Stay,” he whispered as he ran his tongue up my neck and tugged at my ear lobe with his teeth.
His right hand rode up under my t-shirt and cupped my breast, circling his thumb over my nipple. “Please stay.”
Excerpt
The Education of Caroline Excerpt:
It was dark when I woke up; I realized I wasn’t alone.
“Hey, baby,” he whispered. “I didn’t mean to wake you—I just wanted to see you.”
He was sitting at the bottom of my mattress again. I peered into the dark, his outline faint against the darker shadow of the wall.
I rubbed my gritty eyes and reached out for him. “You’re too far away,” I grumbled, holding up my arms toward him.
He uncoiled himself from the floor, and tried to stretch out next to me, but his boots hit the door.
“Fuck,” he muttered, “they’ve given you a damn hutch to sleep in.”
“At least it’s private, Sebastian,” I said, running my finger across his stubbly chin.
He smiled. “Yeah, that’s something.”
He leaned over me, taking his weight on his arms, and kissed me, softly. I think he just had a simple goodnight kiss in mind; I certainly didn’t.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and locked our faces together. Needing more, I pushed my tongue between his lips, and explored his mouth hungrily. He tasted of salt and mint gum. Desire bloomed inside me and I ran my hands down his back, resting them on his fine ass, feeling the rough material beneath my fingers, and squeezed hard.
“Are you sure, Caro?” he breathed.
“Yes,” I whispered back. “Here and now.”
He groaned softly, and I felt the weight of his body press down onto my chest.
“But you’re going to have to get naked,” I added.
He sighed and pushed back from me.
“It’s going to take some explaining if the Taliban attack and I run out of your room with my ass hanging out,” he replied.
It was a fair point, and he was only trying to protect my honor and act professionally, just as I’d asked. And yet … I weighed up the pros and cons, realized he was right, and decided to strip him anyway.
We’d come under enemy fire today, and faced it together. I realized how lucky I was: surviving had made me damned horny, and I craved a bout of rough, life-affirming sex with my gorgeous fiancé. I felt, quite literally, that life was too short not to grasp something so good with both hands.
This man, lying in my arms, had told me over and over again that he loved me—that he’d always loved me. And, despite everything that fate had thrown in our path—time, distance, and age difference—we were in love. The why and how didn’t seem to matter anymore: finally, finally I’d accepted that this was real and that it wasn’t going to go away—that Sebastian wasn’t going to go away. I’d accepted that he was beautiful and sexy and younger than me; and that women with far better bodies and far fewer years would want him, too. And I’d accepted that he wasn’t perfect, and had a string of conquests on at least three continents; and I’d accepted that life was going to continue to throw new hurdles in our path—and I didn’t damn well care.
It wasn’t perfect: so what? Life isn’t perfect: life is what happens while you’re waiting for your moment in the sun and if you miss it, waiting instead for the perfect illusion that Hollywood sells, then more fool you. I’d spent half my life waiting for the right moment: I was done with waiting.
“Time to get naked, Chief,” I ordered.
“Make me,” he shot back.

MeetTheAuthor
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I started writing contemporary romance two years ago. Before that, I didn’t think I could write a sex scene. Turns out I can!
My lucky number is 13 because I was born on the 13th and live near a haunted castle by the ocean. My number one past-time is watching hot surfers get changed into (and out of) their wetsuits.
My husband doesn’t read my books. My mother does.
Writing is my love, my hobby, my total addiction. All my characters are important to me and whisper their stories, even when I’ve finished writing their books. That’s why you’ll often find bonus chapters/out-takes from various books, because those voices just won’t be quiet.
Seb Full Sleeve
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The Education of Sebastian

2 comments:

  1. Really glad you liked the cover, Nana Prah! It's by the very wonderful Hang Le. She's so talented and I thought her cover really showed the story of Sebastian and Caroline's story. THANK YOU! And thanks to Love Bites and Silk for sharing :D jx

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