Sisters in bloom, p.1
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       Sisters in Bloom, p.1

           Melissa Foster
 
Sisters in Bloom


  Sisters in Bloom

  Snow Sisters, Book Two

  Love in Bloom Series

  Melissa Foster

  “Smart, uplifting, and beautifully layered. I couldn’t put it down!”

  -- National bestselling author, Jane Porter on Sisters in Love

  This is a work of fiction. The events and characters described herein are imaginary and are not intended to refer to specific places or living persons. The opinions expressed in this manuscript are solely the opinions of the author and do not represent the opinions or thoughts of the publisher. The author has represented and warranted full ownership and/or legal right to publish all the materials in this book.

  SISTERS IN BLOOM

  All Rights Reserved.

  Copyright © 2013 Melissa Foster

  V3.0 R2.0

  This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

  Cover Design: Regina Starace

  WORLD LITERARY PRESS

  PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

  A Note To Readers

  Sisters in Bloom is the second Snow Sisters book. While it may be read as a stand-alone novel, for even more enjoyment you may want to read the Snow Sisters in series order. In book three of the Snow Sisters you will begin to meet the Bradens, a family of six hot, wealthy, and lovable siblings. The Bradens will join the Snow sisters in this light, fun, and sexy nine-book series—Love in Bloom—and I hope you fall in love with Danica, Blake, Kaylie, Chaz, the Braden siblings, and all of their friends, just as I have.

  Watch for the full LOVE IN BLOOM series:

  Sisters in Love, September 9, 2013

  Sisters in Bloom, September 9, 2013

  Sisters in White, November 9, 2013

  Lovers at Heart, December 9, 2013

  Destined to Love, January 9, 2014

  Friendship on Fire, February 9, 2014

  Sea of Love, March 9, 2014

  Bursting with Love, April 9, 2014

  Hearts at Play, May 9, 2013

  PRAISE FOR MELISSA FOSTER

  "Steamy love scenes, emotionally-charged drama, and a family-driven story, make this the perfect story for any romance reader."

  Midwest Book Review (on Sisters in Bloom)

  “HAVE NO SHAME is a powerful testimony to love and the progressive, logical evolution of social consciousness, with an outcome that readers will find engrossing, unexpected, and ultimately eye-opening.”

  Midwest Book Review

  "TRACES OF KARA is psychological suspense at its best, weaving a tight-knit plot, unrelenting action, and tense moments that don't let up, and ending in a fiery, unpredictable revelation."

  Midwest Book Review

  “[MEGAN’S WAY] A wonderful, warm, and thought-provoking story...a deep and moving book that speaks to men as well as women, and I urge you all to put it on your reading list."

  Mensa Bulletin

  “CHASING AMANDA – the MUST READ THRILLER OF 2011. Intelligent, entrancing, luminous.”

  Author Dean Mayes

  “COME BACK TO ME is a hauntingly beautiful love story set against the backdrop of betrayal in a broken world.”

  Bestselling Author, Sue Harrison

  For the sisters my mother couldn’t give me, but who found their way into my heart: Stacy Eaton, Natasha Brown, Kathie Shoop, Amy Manemann, Rachelle Ayala, Bonnie Trachtenberg, Emerald Barnes, G.E. Johnson, Christine Cunningham, and Wendy Young

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-One

  Chapter Thirty-Two

  Chapter Thirty-Three

  Chapter Thirty-Four

  Chapter Thirty-Five

  Chapter Thirty-Six

  Chapter Thirty-Seven

  Chapter Thirty-Eight

  Chapter Thirty-Nine

  Chapter Forty

  Chapter Forty-One

  Chapter Forty-Two

  Chapter Forty-Three

  Chapter Forty-Four

  Chapter Forty-Five

  Chapter Forty-Six

  Chapter Forty-Seven

  Chapter Forty-Eight

  Chapter Forty-Nine

  Chapter Fifty

  Chapter Fifty-One

  Chapter Fifty-Two

  Chapter Fifty-Three

  Chapter Fifty-Four

  Chapter Fifty-Five

  Chapter Fifty-Six

  Chapter Fifty-Seven

  Acknowledgments

  Chapter One

  Kaylie Snow didn’t just have to tinkle. She had to pee. If she wasn’t out of bed in two minutes, she’d very likely not make it to the bathroom, and then she’d have to explain to her fiancé why the carpet was wet. She pulled the sheet over her naked, burgeoning belly and sat up, watching Chaz’s chest rise and fall with each peaceful breath. She stifled the urge to lean over and kiss his barely parted lips. He’d been working so hard; he really did deserve to sleep in. The morning light streamed through the curtains, reminding her of the morning after they’d first met. Surely her bladder could wait one small minute while she savored those memories. She’d had far too many margaritas celebrating her best friend Camille’s impending wedding, and Chaz had been only mildly tipsy when they’d left Bar None together and headed to his place. She remembered thinking that she wanted to run her hands through his wavy blond hair, which set off his ocean-blue eyes like jewels. And she’d desperately wanted to kiss him, just as she did now.

  She’d waited a long time for that first kiss. They talked until five in the morning, when—tucked perfectly into the curve of his arm, her head against his muscular chest—they’d fallen asleep on the couch in his living room. When she awoke, the sun was warming the room, and his unkissed lips slightly parted as he slept. She could feel their connection as if it were another person in the room, and she’d known in her heart that she’d found the man she’d one day marry. She reached over now and ran her finger over the prickles of whiskers that lined the chiseled edge of his jaw.

  He rolled onto his side, snuggling deeper into the pillow, and shifted just enough to jiggle her bladder. She winced, pressing the heel of her hand on the mattress to push herself to her feet—not an easy task at thirty-five weeks pregnant. As she raised herself off the bed, she felt Chaz’s hand fold into her own.

  “Come back,” he whispered.

  Kaylie turned, holding the sheet across her heavy breasts. “I have to pee,” she whispered.

  “Then come back.” He squeezed her hand gently and then let her go.

  After Kaylie went to the bathroom, she washed her hands and inspected herself in the mirror. Naked Buddha. She turned sideways. Beached whale. She turned to
the rear and looked over her shoulder. Oh, God, that’s even worse. What had she been thinking last night, believing each of Chaz’s compliments about how gorgeous she looked? The evening before came tumbling back to her. The phone call from the Denver nightclub, the one she’d sung in for the last two years. Just another in a long line of lost singing gigs that she’d hoped to secure for after the baby was born. She was a good singer! Audiences loved her, and she’d never missed a single gig. She’d always dreamed of being offered a record deal; now it seemed as if her pregnancy changed everything, like she had a tattoo on her forehead that read, Don’t hire me. I’ll have a baby soon and it’ll make me unreliable. She’d cried for twenty minutes, blaming herself, the baby, and even Chaz. Later she realized she hadn’t really meant a word of it; she’d just been overwhelmed. Chaz had stuck right beside her, calm and empathetic, and she’d fallen for every one of his lines about how sexy and beautiful she looked and how wonderful of a mother she’d be. He’d reeled her right into his loving, secure arms and whisked those worries away.

  Look at me. That’s it! No more sleeping naked. She ran her hands along the pockets of flesh that had somehow gathered above her waist. Jesus, I have love handles? She’d been a size five since she was a teenager. How could she have love handles? Babies grew in the uterus, not above the hip bones. What the hell is this all about? She patted her blond hair into submission—sort of—brushed her teeth, and then grabbed one of Chaz’s T-shirts from his dresser drawer before returning to bed.

  Kaylie lay on her back, her legs bent at the knees. She restrained herself from feeling the love handles that now seemed to silently taunt her. Just knowing they were there was making her cranky. She felt her chest tighten, and clenched her fingers around the edges of Chaz’s shirt.

  Chaz curled into her, his knees tucked under hers and his arm across her narrow hips, below her enormous belly. He rested his head on her shoulder, and she listened to his breathing, each breath calming her nerves a little bit more. She felt so safe when she was with Chaz. No wonder she hadn’t put on clothes last night. She believed anything that came out of his mouth.

  “Wanna think about names?” he whispered.

  “We agreed not to.” When Kaylie first learned she was pregnant, they’d decided not to find out the gender of the baby. There were so few real surprises in life that they wanted the birth of their baby to be one of those moments that really grabbed them by their hearts in a way that nothing else ever could. For that reason, and with her doctor’s permission, she’d had only one sonogram. She wasn’t a high-risk pregnancy, and she was so young that her doctor saw no reason to have more; Kaylie had been relieved. The idea of lying on the table with her baby on that screen—close enough to reach out and touch—would have been too hard to turn away from.

  Kaylie was also adamant about not trying out names before it was born. She’d never understood how a child could have a name before the parents had met it. What if a Charles was really a Michael? It would be hard to change the name to fit the personality or looks of a baby if they’d been calling it Charles for nine months.

  She and Chaz were so much alike. They agreed on almost everything, and Kaylie had dated enough men to know just how lucky she was. She closed her eyes, thinking about the things she had to do today. She was meeting her older sister, Danica, and her mother, whom she hadn’t seen in—gosh—a year? Had it really been that long? Guilt settled in around her. Her mother was once such a big part of her life, but ever since she found out that her mother had stayed with her father after learning of his affair, she no longer saw her mother in the same light. The strong woman she thought she knew seemed weak and almost pathetic. Now that Kaylie was going to be a mother, she found herself thinking of her own mother more often, but she had no idea how to handle the anger and disappointment she felt toward her. Once again, she tucked away these uncomfortable thoughts about her mother. They were too difficult to deal with right then. She had other pressing issues that she could not ignore.

  Her nerves tightened against the incessant nag in the back of her mind, the one that reminded her that it had been months since her last singing gig. The one that reminded her that her sister Danica would never let her career just fade away, unless that’s what she wanted. Kaylie felt powerless to change the path of her failing career, and determined, fearless Kaylie had never felt powerless in her entire life.

  Chaz moved his hand slowly across her pelvis, then traced gentle circles on the underside of her belly. “Gracie?”

  “We’re not doing this,” she said, smiling despite her desire to chew on her worry for just another minute or two. She brushed his bangs from his forehead.

  “Felix?”

  “Chaz.”

  He scooted up beside her and whispered in her ear, “Jezebel? Bambi?”

  She giggled. The stress of her love handles and the nagging were fading.

  He nuzzled against her neck, bringing his hand over the crest of her belly, and then dragged his index finger straight down from her collarbone, between her breasts, to the arch where her belly joined her diaphragm. Shivers tickled her spine. She folded her legs to the side, leaning them against his.

  “I’m meeting my mom and Danica for lunch.”

  “Mm-hmm.” He kissed her shoulder, slipping his hands beneath her T-shirt.

  “I haven’t seen Mom in ages. I’m kinda nervous.”

  He slid the shirt over her head, and she arched as he pulled it off, her hair showering down around her face.

  “Don’t be,” he said. Then he was on his knees beside her, one arm on either side of her body.

  She traced a vein running over his biceps as he lowered his mouth to her breast. She gasped as he flicked her nipple with her tongue. Pregnancy had heightened her senses, and Chaz played into them with tantalizing care. She laid her head back, arching her neck, trying to hold on to her concentration, think through the impending meeting with her mother and her career troubles. But he shifted to the other breast, exposing her wet nipple to the cool air, and she grabbed the back of his head with a wanting moan.

  Chaz ran his tongue along the outside of her breast. “Want me to stop?” He lifted her breast and lapped at the delicate skin beneath.

  “No,” she said breathlessly. Her hormones had been on overdrive since her fourth month of pregnancy.

  His mouth trailed her side, her ribs, and then the area just above her hip.

  She guided him back up, away from those newly formed love handles, and drew his mouth to hers, opening to him as his tongue moved slow and deep, exploring her, consuming her. She felt his hardness against her leg, and she pressed into him. His hand dropped to her other hip, sinking his fingers into the flesh of her thigh. Every nerve ending flamed with heat. She arched into him, her belly an unforgiving guard between them.

  She sat up, and he moved with practiced care onto his back. Tension from the lost gig eased as his hands reached for her hips and she straddled him, hovering just above the tip of his desire. He arched toward her, and a sly grin spread across her lips. This had become her favorite part of pregnant lovemaking—taking control, making him wait. She leaned forward, her hair circling their faces, and she kissed him gently on his forehead, his cheek, his chin. Chaz tried to catch her lips with his, but she was too quick. She took his hands in hers and secured them under her knees, and then she leaned into him again, gently licking the edges of his lips.

  She lifted her body higher, then pressed his erection flat against his belly, lowering herself onto him, teasing him, not allowing him to enter her. She glided up and down along him until his eyes were so full of hunger that she thought he might beg her for more. She relished in controlling his release. She kissed his chin, his neck, and then sucked just below his ear, until she knew he couldn’t hold out much longer. She ran her tongue down his chest, taking his nipple into her mouth and using her teeth ever so lightly while he writhed beneath her, begging for her to take him inside. Finally, breathless with her own desire, she reached be
tween her legs and guided him into her, sucking in air with the shock of him.

  He opened his eyes and pulled her into a deep kiss. Kaylie felt the worry about seeing her mother ease from her shoulders and back. His hands slid down her sides, and she flinched, searching his gaze for hints of disgust from the thickness of her expanding waistline. She watched his eyes fill with desire and then flutter closed as he melted into the feel of her. She relaxed into his touch, her worry disappearing with each sensuous movement, until her self-consciousness, and thoughts of her wavering career, were almost—almost—gone.

  Chapter Two

  Kaylie looped her arm into Danica’s, feigned a smile, and hoped she was pulling off a brave face. “Here we go, sis,” she said sarcastically, as they headed from the parking lot toward Felby’s Restaurant.

  Danica cocked an eyebrow. “It’ll be fine. Mom’s excited to see you and that belly that’s carrying your evil little spawn.”

  Kaylie elbowed her sister. “Why do you call her that?”

  “Because you could never give birth to anything evil, so it makes me seem like an appropriately bothersome sister.”

  “You’re just jealous,” Kaylie said. She’d always thought Danica would settle down and have a family before she did. Danica was two years older, and until recently, she’d been a practicing therapist. She tended to live a more stable, mature lifestyle than Kaylie, whose singing career meant late nights surrounded by drunken people. It didn’t exactly lend itself to creating a stable schedule for a new baby. Kaylie put her hand on her belly. Much to her chagrin, her career seemed to be pushed further and further to the sidelines during her pregnancy.

 
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