Dissident (Excerpt)

7:05:00 PM


══ BOOK INFO ══
The Bellator Saga: The First Trilogy (box set of the first three books)
{Cover Reveal: February 22 | Release: February 29th}

Synopsis:

"This series is off the chain. OFF. THE. CHAIN. Gutwrenching, heartwarming, frightening, loving, sexy as all living hell – it’s life in a book." - Beverages and Books

Two souls intertwined. One epic love story.

Get swept away in the passionate romance between political opposites Caroline Gerard and Jack McIntyre in the first half of The Bellator Saga.

This set contains the first three books in the series, Dissident, Conscience, and Sojourn.

dissident new cover
Dissident
Rising Democratic star Caroline Gerard is reluctant to fall in love again after losing her husband. Can Republican playboy Jack McIntyre break through her grief and capture her heart? Told mostly in flashback and set against a chilling fascist backdrop,Dissident is a rollercoaster ride of political intrigue, passionate romance, and undying love.

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Conscience
Caroline faces the biggest challenge of her life when confronted with the cruelty and sadism of her captors at The Fed. Hope fades quickly, even as she holds onto her one last bit of sanity and her unshakable belief that her husband will rescue her. But is that faith just a mirage?

Sojourn
Reeling from her experiences at The Fed, Caroline tries to forge ahead and create a new identity. But that’s hard to do with the ghosts of the past constantly whispering in her ear. She is determined to find the rebellion and move on with her life, but what will she find when she arrives there?

Includes bonus material featuring a deleted scene from Sojourn, a sneak peek at Phoenix, and a never before released love scene told in Jack’s first person point of view!




Dissident
Caroline set up a playlist on her iPod speaker system and Jack started to teach her a few basic moves. After several songs, he even managed to get her to do a small lift.  She had the jitterbug, Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, and foxtrot down in a couple of hours.
“You catch on fast,” he said. “Incredibly fast.”
“I don’t know how I’m doing it.”
“Let’s try something with a little quicker pace,” he suggested. “See how you do with that.”
Caroline put “Sing Sing Sing” on the stereo and they started to dance. A minute or two in, she realized that she’d forgotten it was an almost five minute song.  By the end of the dance she was winded. As the music stopped she doubled over, trying to catch her breath.
“You’re killing me, McIntyre.” She looked up at him. He had barely broken a sweat.
“Maybe you’re right,” he said. “Maybe you do need to get to the House gym more.”
“Jackass,” she panted. “If I weren’t so tired I’d punch you.”
“That would be quite improper behavior coming from the nicest person in Congress.” Jack pulled her to a standing position. “How about a classic waltz instead? It’s less jumping around.”
“Okay,” Caroline said. “Just give me a second.”
They cranked out a few more slow dances, and she was again amazed at how quickly she’d caught on. They were twirling across the basement floor to a waltz by Dvorak. Caroline felt as if she was floating on air. Jack’s hands were secure and confident, but gentle. He guided her from move to move, and she realized she didn’t want the dance to end. But soon it was over, right after she’d twirled out of his arms and started laughing.
She clapped her hands, spun around, and turned to him, breathless. She tossed her head back and laughed again, amazed at how she’d managed not to trip over herself yet again.
“This is fun,” she said.
Jack smiled at her. “You really are quite good for a beginner.”
She tried not to blush. “I have a good teacher.”
The next song came on. Caroline recognized it immediately. “The Way You Look Tonight.” She’d forgotten that she added it to the playlist. One of her favorites.
She closed her eyes. “Oh, I love Tony Bennett’s version of this song.”
“Well then, my lady, let’s take this one a little slower.” He reached for her hand and pulled her closer to him.  She put her arms around his neck and leaned in. His cologne smelled so good. They started to dance.
“You’re lovely,” Jack murmured into her ear.
Was that directed at her, or was he mimicking the lyrics?
He was holding her closer than she thought was necessary for a dance between friends, but she wasn’t about to complain. They moved slowly but they’d been practicing all night and were starting to fatigue. Caroline leaned into his shoulder as if it were the most natural thing in the world, not realizing that they had almost completely stopped dancing.
“Caroline?” She heard Jack’s sweet voice again. “I’m not sure we’re dancing anymore.”
“Does it matter?” She lifted her head up.
Jack looked into her eyes. “Not unless it matters to you.”
He slowly brought his lips to hers. She didn’t turn away this time but closed her eyes and waited. It was sweet, kind, tender…and definitely not platonic. And it felt incredibly good, the pleasure wafting over her. She’d forgotten what it was like to be kissed, really kissed. She didn’t want him to stop. Jack cupped her cheek in his palm and pulled her closer to him with his other hand. Caroline brought her hands up to his hair and held them there, not wanting it to end.
She had been wondering what it would be like to run her hands through those gorgeous, perfect silver locks. His hair was soft, and she traced her fingers through it as Jack teased her tongue with his. She wanted to tug at it, bring him even closer to her, but then saw Nicky’s face in her mind and pulled away.
Caroline covered her mouth with her hand. “What was that for?”
Jack withdrew his hand from her waist. He seemed to be confused. “I-”  
“It was the music,” she stammered. “We - it’s a romantic song. It’s hard not to get sucked into it. It’s fine.”
She thought Jack looked a little unnerved, but he recovered quickly. “Sure. Just a little kiss between friends. It didn’t mean anything.”
“Right.” Caroline kissed him on the cheek. “See? Nothing whatsoever.”
“Yeah.” Jack looked at his watch. “It’s late. I’d better head home. I have to get up pretty early tomorrow.”
“Not a problem.” She exhaled, grateful for the escape. “Thanks for the dance lessons.”
“Anytime,” Jack said. “I mean that.”
“I know.”
“See you on Tuesday?” he asked. “Lunch, maybe?”
“You bet.”
She turned off the music and escorted Jack up the stairs, watching him through the window as he started his Cadillac and drove away. It was nothing, that kiss.  That song, the entire night…they’d gotten too caught up in the entire thing. Dancing could be an extraordinarily sensuous experience between two people who knew what they were doing, and Jack was an excellent instructor. It was only natural that she felt such incredible physical chemistry with him. That was it. Nothing more.
But Caroline was still trying to avoid the thought running through her mind – her increasing desire for him to turn his car around, run through her front door, and take her in his arms again.



Author Bio:

Cecilia London is the pen name of a native Illinoisan currently living in San Antonio, Texas. She's filled several roles over the course of her adult life - licensed attorney, wrangler of small children, and obsessed baseball fan, among others. An extroverted introvert with a serious social media addiction, she is the author of The Bellator Saga, an epic, genre-crossing romance series. You can catch all of her quirky updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or at her website.

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