Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Sarah Smith | Exclusive Excerpt: SIMMER DOWN

October 6, 2020

I pick up all the pillows, toss them back on the bed, straighten out my clothes, and climb under the sheet.

The heat inside me has officially cooled. My eyelids grow heavy. When I blink, I don’t see Callum anymore. Every muscle in my body is relaxed, free of tension at the thought. Soon I’m asleep. It’s deep and hard and everything good.

Until I start to dream.


Dream Callum is a million times nicer than real-life Callum.

Dream Callum spoons me from behind, my absolute favorite. How did he know?

He presses his clothes-free body against mine, a perfect shell for my hot and bothered self.

None of this is real. That doesn’t make it any less divine.

He wraps his arms around me. They’re so thick that when pressed against me, they cover most of my naked chest. Leaning back, I groan.

“You like that?” he asks.

I nod a yes, then moan again.

Those thick lips press against the back of my neck. “What do you want, Nikki?”

When his voice is this low, this gentle, it makes my eyes roll to the back of my head. The hottest sound in the world is Callum’s English accent rolling off his tongue in a soft, guttural tone.

I twist my head around so I can get a better look. I make out those expressive eyes, his defined jawline, that perfect pouty mouth.

“You know what I want,” I rasp.

“Naughty girl.” A smirk completes his admonishment.

He starts a trail of kisses down the side of my neck, to my collarbone, across my breasts. I’m gasping, running my fingers in his honey-blonde hair that looks almost light brown in the dim glow of my bedside lamp.

Those thick lips make easy work of crossing my stomach, gliding down and across, skimming all the way to my hips. Goosebumps fly across every inch of me. When he makes it between my legs, I’m panting.


I can’t talk, I can’t breathe, I can’t see straight. Not when his mouth is this good. I’d give anything to explode right now, to let the pleasure waves wreck my body until I’m a panting, shrieking mound of flesh and bone.

But not yet. I have to get this out. He has to know. And I need to hear him to say it.

All I can do to steady myself is tug my fingers through his hair. His smirk widens. He likes it when I’m a little rough it seems.

His lips land on the inside of my right thigh, then the inside of my left. My head falls back at the feel of his soft lips against the most sensitive patch of skin on my body.

“Wait,” I gasp.

I’m talking to the ceiling with my eyes closed. This won’t do. When I finally connect with his hazel stare, he’s no longer smiling. It’s a frown, but also something more. Something hungry and desperate.

“I just. . . I want you to say you’re sorry. . . for how mean you were. . . when we met.”

It’s a struggle among struggles to get the words out when all I want to do is press his face between my legs and relieve the fire inside me.

His brow lifts a touch, and his expression softens all the way to tender. And then he lowers his face right where I want him. “This is how I say sorry, petal.”

Shrill beeping hits my ears. I open my eyes and turn my head to the alarm clock on my phone.

Alarm. That explains the unwelcome noise. I shut it off, press a pillow over my face, and groan. Cock-blocked by my own phone.

“Damn it,” I half yell, half groan.

My bedroom door whips open to reveal Mom peering at me with worried wide eyes. Her hair is pulled back and she dons one of my dad’s old t-shirts, tied into a loose knot at the waist, and a pair of gray leggings. I’ve interrupted her morning calisthenics routine with my sex-dream-induced shouting, it seems.

Anak, are you okay? Why were you screaming?”

Sitting up, I clutch a pillow to my chest. Why was I screaming? Well, I almost got what was most certainly mind-blowing dream oral sex from my nemesis, but my alarm so rudely interrupted.

I opt for a white lie instead. “I’m fine. I just had a leg cramp. Sorry to wake you.”

Her hand falls against her chest and she nods, then pads out the door. Lemon scurries after her. Mom wishes Lemon good morning in a cheery voice, then there’s a sound of cat food hitting Lemon’s metal dish.

Great. I’m lying to my mom on top of having sex dreams about a guy I don’t even like. And now I’m left with a phantom ache between my legs that I can’t do anything about because I share a home with my mother.

I toss the pillow back on the bed and waddle to the bathroom, wondering how the hell I’m going to get through today’s shift with the star of my hottest sex dream ever working ten feet away from me.

(C) Sarah Smith, Berkley Romance, 2020. Reprinted with permission from the publisher. 

SIMMER DOWN by Sarah Smith

Simmer Down

In this finger-licking good rom-com, two is the perfect number of cooks in the kitchen.

Nikki DiMarco knew life wouldn’t be all sunshine and coconuts when she quit her dream job to help her mom serve up mouthwatering Filipino dishes to hungry beach goers, but she didn’t expect the Maui food truck scene to be so eat-or-be-eaten—or the competition to be so smoking hot.

But Tiva’s Filipina Kusina has faced bigger road bumps than the arrival of Callum James. Nikki doesn’t care how delectable the British food truck owner is—he rudely set up shop next to her coveted beach parking spot. He’s stealing her customers and fanning the flames of a public feud that makes her see sparks.

The solution? Let the upcoming Maui Food Festival decide their fate. Winner keeps the spot. Loser pounds sand. But the longer their rivalry simmers, the more Nikki starts to see a different side of Callum…a sweet, protective side. Is she brave enough to call a truce? Or will trusting Callum with her heart mean jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

Romance | Multicultural [Berkley, On Sale: October 13, 2020, Trade Size / e-Book, ISBN: 9781984805447 / eISBN: 9781984805454]

About Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is a copywriter-turned-author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight and she discovered her auntie’s stash of romance novels. She’s been hooked ever since. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking, eating chocolate, and perfecting her lumpia recipe. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and adorable cat Salem.


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