It's time for a bit of shameless self-promotion from me :) The next book of my romantic suspense series with The Wild Rose Press is finally out. Cover of Darkness is the second of five, and features Bryn from Out of Her League.
Blurb: Targeted by a terrorist cell, Bryn McAllister survives a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut only to be left to die in a desert cellar. When she is rescued by Navy SEAL Lieutenant Declan McCabe and his team, Bryn must rely on the handsome officer to get her to safety. But just when she thinks the nightmare is over, family friend and legendary CIA operative Luke Hutchinson recruits her and McCabe to help track down the terrorist mastermind responsible for the attack.
With Bryn determined to see the terrorist brought to justice, Dec joins up to protect her, prepared to do whatever it takes to keep her safe during their dangerous mission. Battling the explosive attraction between them, Dec fights to keep his distance from her so he can do his job and keep her alive. But when plans falls apart and Bryn is captured, he must make the agonizing choice between his duty as a SEAL and the life of the woman he loves.
When Dec knocked on Bryn’s door, she didn’t answer. After calling her name and waiting a few seconds, he figured she must still be in the bathroom and used her extra key. The shower was running behind the closed ensuite door. How long had she been in there now? Long enough to have a good cry by herself.
He knocked. “Bryn, you okay in there?”
She didn’t sound fine, but he’d give her some more time. Four minutes passed, then five, and still the water ran. “Bryn, say something.”
“I’m f-fine,” she repeated.
More time passed, and with each minute, his tension levels increased until his gut was tied in knots. “All right, that’s it. I’m coming in,” he warned, and jimmied the lock free. A cloud of steam hit him, thick and humid as it wafted from behind the shower curtain. She didn’t say a word, didn’t give the slightest indication she was aware he’d intruded on her privacy. “Bryn, tell me you’re okay at least.”
The hell she was. He covered the four steps to the bathtub and gripped the edge of the plastic curtain. When she made no objection he grew really worried and pulled it aside to peek in.
She huddled in the tub, fully clothed, directly under the spray of scalding water. Her dark eyes were haunted as she gazed up at him, arms wrapped around herself, shaking, her hair plastered to her skull. “I’m fine. J-just cold.”
Something twisted in his chest, as though a giant fist had reached in and squeezed his heart. “Baby,” he whispered. Unlacing his boots, he tossed them aside and climbed in beside her, fully clothed, squeezing against the wall to pull her into his arms. She burrowed into him like a frightened child waking from a nightmare. Only she hadn’t been dreaming.
Heart aching for her, he held her tight, her shivers wracking them. The water beat down on them and he bent over her, sheltering her from the full brunt. Her fingers curled into his wet shirt. Her face pressed against the base of his throat, warm breath washing over his sensitized skin. He stroked one hand down her hair and the length of her spine, marveling at how perfectly she fit against him. She calmed, her breathing becoming slow and even, the convulsive shudders subsiding. Then she sighed and leaned her weight against him as though content to remain in his arms under the cooling flow of water. His body, however, was raging hot. If he didn’t put some distance between them soon, he wasn’t sure he could hold back.
“Better now? Want me to order us some food while you get out of these wet clothes?”
“Okay.” But she didn’t move. In fact, she didn’t seem in a hurry to go anywhere. She turned her face into his neck and nuzzled him, setting every nerve ending on fire. Her lips touched a kiss under his ear, making his growing erection jerk. Not good.
He set her away from him, surging to his feet and grabbing a towel to drape around her. “I’ll let you dry yourself off,” he blurted, snagging another towel for himself, stripping off his soaked t-shirt and tossing it in the sink on his way out. When he shut the door behind him, he leaned against it and took a deep breath, scrubbed a hand over his face. God. Another second in there with her and it would have been too late. As it was, his hand was shaking as he picked up the phone and dialed room service.
He rubbed the towel over his hair, peeled off his jeans and underwear, then wrapped the towel around his waist, flopping down on the bed while he waited to place his order. Bryn wasn’t thinking straight right now, he reminded himself. She needed soothing, to feel safe and protected, and she needed sleep. Shoving her down onto the mattress and getting inside her as deep as he could get wasn’t going to help matters.
Maybe something light to eat, fruit and cheese and bread or something, to settle her stomach and help her unwind. He’d have to check out some of the more serious cuts and scrapes she’d suffered, too. Maybe rub her neck for a while. Then he’d tuck the covers around her and stay while she slept, so she wouldn’t be alone. In case she had nightmares. He knew how much of a bitch flashbacks could be.
Still on hold, he turned his head at the sound of the bathroom door opening, and the air sucked right out of his lungs. Bryn stood, backlit in the doorway, stark naked, every gorgeous line of her body silhouetted in eye-popping relief. Her black gaze stroked over him like a caress, bold and possessive as she crossed the room toward him in a movement he could only describe as a prowl. His penis leapt to urgent attention.
A voice came on the other end of the line, but Dec didn’t hear a thing besides the roaring in his ears. He dropped the receiver into the cradle with a clack, his heart thudding against his ribs.
Oh, shit. He was so screwed.
Poor Dec :) Hope these two characters keep you entertained!