Roz Alexander has a new FF holiday romance out: Higher. And there's a Giveaway.
Where do dreams go to wait?
Tali Blue is definitely going back to finish her last semester of rabbinical school...eventually. When she moved back to her hometown seven years ago to help her grandparents raise her younger sisters, she planned on it being temporary. Now though, she has a stable job and a stable life surrounded by the people she's known forever. It's all just fine - and then there's the incredibly annoying surprise of Maple.
Maple never meant to be successful. She just wanted to make weird art and practice her Ladino. And just like that, 15 years of adulthood has built a solid career, a great reputation as an art instructor, and a lackluster love life. It doesn't help that she's been spending all her free time consumed with making it as a Sephardic Jew into the Jewish art world that never seems to have space for her. And it definitely doesn't help that she's strictly a butch-for-butch queer. And then comes a sex goddess in the form of short, chunky, smoking hot, and incredibly nervous, butch, Tali Blue.
When Tali's love of family, Maple's art ambitions, and a Rosh Hashanah effort to #savethebees force these two together, both of them may learn that the only way out is up, together. This new year the honey is dripping on a lot more than apples. Higher is a steamy, butch-for-butch, grump-sunshine sapphic romance about what happens when you choose to take your dreams higher.
About the Series:
This entire Hot for the Holidays series is about queer Jewish people (and the people who love them) falling in love and having hot, explicit sex that can be read in any order and all year round.
Roz is giving away a $10 bookshop.org gift card with this tour:
Forty-five minutes later Tali was done ha-cha-cha-ing down the hot oatmeal, scrubbing every inch of her body, and blow drying her short hair into something resembling a nice coif. She exited the bathroom into her bedroom, not unlocking the bathroom door into Anna’s room. Let her have to walk around as payback! It was a holdover from childhood when Beth and Anna played pranks on each other and Tali.
She was about to whip off the towel and dive into her closet for an outfit when she realized Maple was sitting on her bed. Looking at her.
She gripped the towel tighter, conscious of how it barely met across her hips. “What are you doing in here!”
“Want me to avert my gaze?” Maple’s tone was pure hunger, even while a teasing glint shone in her eyes.
“Why are you always early to everything? It’s ridiculous! Did Anna send you up?”
“Why are you always so late? And, yes. Both of your sisters did. I’m sure they’ll find this amusing that I made it just in time.” She stood and took a step toward Tali, who backed up, her shoulders and ass meeting the doorframe. “You don’t look embarrassed though, so maybe you’re as amused.”
“It’s a towel, why would I be embarrassed?” Tali swallowed around a surprising lump in her throat. And had it suddenly gotten much warmer in the room? She glanced over to double check she’d remembered to close the windows that morning. Yep, shut tight. The AC must be off or something.
“What is this look then? Is it your tell?” Maple was practically purring, a sound Tali didn’t realize humans were capable of until that moment.
“I’m great at poker. No tells here.” But her voice was growing faint, which indeed seemed to be a tell all on its own.
“No? What about me?” Maple was almost on top of her now, and Tali was torn between putting a hand out to stop her, and gripping her floral button-up to pull her closer. So many of their conversations took place over the phone and through text. Having her there, in front of her, reminded her how handsome and tall she was. How strong her arms looked. How irritating that smirk was. “If I wanted to kiss you, for example. What would my tell be?”
“Uh.” Tali felt herself at a crossroads. Maybe one they’d been at for some time. “You lick your lip.”
Maple startled at that, the smooth top energy sliding away for a moment while she considered that information. “In a sexy way?”
And here was the moment Tali knew it was up to her to choose what path they’d take. She wasn’t sure how to move forward in either direction, so she chose honesty. “Yes.”
Maple’s smile was staggering before it turned dangerous. She placed a hand on the wall above Tali’s shoulder and leaned in until they were a whisper apart. And then she slid her tongue slowly across her bottom lip, staring into Tali’s eyes.
“Yes,” was all Tali could manage. Yes, like that. Yes, please kiss me. Yes, I want this. Yes, yes, yes.
Maple’s other hand slid up the side of the towel, reaching the top and tucking her fingers under its edge. The look she gave Tali turned to one seeking permission. And Tali was going to give it, was going to enthusiastically consent to whatever came next, was going to…
“TALI!” Beth shouted as she swung the bedroom door open. “You locked the go—”
Tali moved faster than she could ever remember moving in her life. She meant to spin back into the bathroom and slam the door behind her, but Maple’s hand was still tucked into the towel.
So, instead, she pulled herself free of the fabric, falling naked onto the cool blue tile. Maple, eyes round as the moon, spun away from her, holding up the towel to block the sight from Beth while she managed to move forward and shut the door with her foot.
Forget every embarrassing moment before this. This is how I die of embarrassment. There’s no coming back from this. Beth will literally never let me live this down. And Maple…
Tali groaned and rolled around on the floor helplessly. She was stuck in here without her towel and with no clothing. Maybe she’d take up sewing and emerge one day in a beautiful button-up and slacks made out of the Moomins shower curtain.
They are a physically/progressively disabled, white, trans person with ADHD and have more interests than time in the day. You can find them spoiling their three terrible cat-beasts; connecting to their Jewish culture through moon-worship, plantcraft, and cooking traditions; and making weird art when they're not writing or stewarding a native pollinator garden with their beshert.
Author Website: www.rozalexander.com
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