Great news: Amira Press contracted my fourth novel, UNDER MY SKIN. Read on for a sneak peak!
When coffee shop owner Rachel Crowe overhears her neighbor being murdered, she doesn't think her life can get any more complicated. But when the detective on the case turns out to be the very man she kicked out of her store the night before, she realizes she's wrong.
From the moment Detective Alex Williams laid eyes on the raven-haired owner of his favorite coffee shop, he's been drawn to her. When she becomes the key witness in his homicide investigation, he takes it upon himself to protect her at all costs.
As the killer closes in on Rachel, the couple are thrown into very intimate and dangerous situations. Can Alex convince her to trust him before the killer catches up with them?
The pounding on the door startled a scream out of Rachel, who’d just begun to calm down. Realizing it was likely Alex, she grabbed her full wine glass and walked to the door. With one hand on the Slugger, she checked the peephole.Rachel slid the locks open. “You didn’t have to come.”
Alex barreled past her into the apartment. She shut the door and locked it, laying the Slugger back against the wall.“You were coming apart. I had to do something.”
“I was just scared and acted impulsively. I don’t even know why I called you.”
“Because you were scared.”
“Which we’ve established.” She held up her wine and took a deep breath. “I’m fine now.”
“Bullshit.” “Alex…don’t make this out to be something it’s not. Really, it’s nothing more than the hysterical theatrics of a female. I’m a Pisces. We tend to dramatize everything.”
“I’m a Pisces.”
“Are you into all that astrology crap?”
“It’s not crap for your information, and yes, I am. My best friend’s an astrologer.”
Alex rolled his eyes. “Let me guess: ‘text 4820 to 825 to receive your latest love match.’”“Oh, shut up.”“The aliens obviously forgot to remove your probe when they dropped you back on earth.”
Rachel’s lips twitched despite herself. “Really. I’m fine. Better than fine.”He looked so innately masculine standing in her feminine apartment. His big, wide shoulders were covered in a black T-shirt that stretched across his muscular, well-defined chest and were tucked into a pair of faded jeans. She wondered if they were the same jeans he’d worn when he’d knocked her on her ass. If so, she wanted him to turn around so she could get a look at his caboose. The man had the finest ass she’d ever seen. O-kay. Time to sip the wine.
Alex stalked around her tiny apartment like a big, untamed tiger. He walked to the baker’s rack where her TV and DVD player sat, tested its sturdiness. He eyed her collection of movies; a lot of murder/mystery, episodes of Cold Case Files and Forensic Files and thrillers with several chick flicks scattered in between.
Rachel sipped her wine and watched his big body move with animal grace as he prowled.Alex stopped at her large book case and scanned the titles. He looked over at her.“Do you have an obsession with death?”
She frowned. “No. I just like forensics and mysteries. Lots of people do.” Mine just started after my husband tried to murder me. Alex made a noncommittal noise and approached her where she stood against the glass veranda door. She smelled the sandalwood on him and her blood began to warm.
He grabbed the wine from her hand and took a sip. “Aren’t you on duty?” she asked.
“Nope.” He sucked wine from the bottom of his lip. Rachel stared at those lips, mesmerized. So mesmerized, she didn’t realize he’d closed in on her until she felt his body heat against her.“What is it about you, Rachel Crowe?” he whispered.
“What do you mean?”
“I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since I knocked you off that ladder.”
“Maybe you have brain damage from chasing too many murderers.”
He shook his head. “I don’t think so.” He leaned forward, his lips brushing her ear, her neck. “You smell good.”
It had been so long since she’d felt this kind of passion. Too long. Hell, had she ever felt like this? “We shouldn’t be doing this. I’m a witness. And you don’t trust me.”
He placed one large, warm hand on her collarbone. “Trust doesn’t have anything to do with it, Rachel. It rarely does.” Rachel felt sorry for him even while she wanted to leap into his arms and rip his clothes off. He held such little regard for emotions. Each time she’d seen him, the first time notwithstanding, he’d been as aloof as the lone tiger she’d imagined just moments ago.His fingers wrapped around the back of her neck and he drew her face to his. “But, you’re right,” he said, his lips a breath away from hers, “we shouldn’t be doing this.”
Then why did it feel so right? Rachel wondered. Never had she felt so safe, and she reveled in the sensation. He closed the gap and captured her lips with his own.