Genre: contemporary romance / romantic suspense
Length: novel (97,470 words)
Release Date: January 2009
When Regan Ashford and her brother’s best friend, Damien Shaw, first met, sparks flew, but her fiery spirit and his bad-boy reputation prevented them from ever acting on the strong attraction burning between them.
Can influence the present
Now, a decade later, Damien, returns from his self-imposed exile a changed man, attempting to redeem himself in the eyes of the woman who’s captured him all those years ago. But Regan, still chafed from their last encounter, stubbornly refuses to have anything to do with him and her icy rejections hurt her as much as they hurt him.
And endanger our future
But even as he breaks Regan’s armor, Damien knows it can never last, for he is a hunted man. And old enemy has emerged from the shadows of his past, a ruthless enemy whose lust for revenge will not be denied, and who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.
And the easiest way to kill a man is to aim for the heart…
Some of the books on this site contain material of a sexual nature or graphic violence and are only suitable for adults. By reading the excerpt below you release me as the author of any responsibility.
“Leaving so soon?” Damien asked in a low voice.
“I have things to do.” She zipped her bag, still turned away. “What are you doing here?”
“I want to talk to you.”
“There is no us, Shaw.”
Hearing her use his last name made him want to roar. Instead, he just growled softly, menacingly, and watched with pleasure how she stiffened. In two steps, he was behind her. He grabbed her upper arms and turned to him.
Regan lifted her chin, her eyes sparkling, ready to do battle.
Seeing her like that, angry, eyes flashing, cheeks flushed, he forgot everything and everyone, and took possession of her parted lips. Regan’s world turned foggy, until there were only the two of them. Damn, but he was a tough man to be angry at. Not with that mouth. Sighing, she closed her eyes, circled her arms around his neck, and just let go.
Damien growled again as her fingers tunneled in his hair and her tongue stroked boldly against his. Leaving one hand at the nape of her neck, he let the other trail down her back. Cupping her buttocks, he lifted her, taking pleasure in her entwining her legs around his waist and arching her back, pressing her breasts against his chest. Regan was beyond reason, beyond shame, as she kissed him with all the pent-up passion of the last ten years. She rubbed herself against his body like a cat, whimpering as he deepened the kiss.
He laid her back on the bed. He ran his hand down to rest on her belly, and reluctantly broke the kiss, lifting his head to look in her languid, desire-veiled eyes. “After this,” he rasped, “do you still insist there is no us?”
“Shut up,” she murmured, and pulled his head down, “and kiss me.”
He grabbed her wrists, and pinned them down beside her head. “Not yet, Regan. Tell me.”
Her gaze held his for a long moment. “I don’t know. Is there?”
“Yes, damn it,” he hissed. “There has always been just you and me, Regan.”
She chuckled humorlessly. “And dozens of others.”
“I’ve changed, Regan.”
Her eyes turned sad. “Have you?”
He lessened his grip on her wrists. “You know I have.”
“I don’t know, Damien.” A tear trickled down her cheek. “I don’t.”
She sounded so sad and confused; his heart did a funny flip in his chest. He lifted his big body off hers, and lay beside her. He brushed at the stray tears with the pad of his thumb. “Baby, I swear there’s never been anyone else. Not in all these ten years.”
She looked at him with those big eyes of hers, sniffling softly.
Deciding to take the plunge, whatever might happen, he smiled, and kissed the corner of her mouth. “Since the day I saw you, my heart has belonged only to you. You ruined me for every other woman.” His mouth brushed over hers, and she sighed. “I love you, Regan,” he murmured against her lips.
“I love you, too.” She crushed her lips to his and pushed him onto his back. As she straddled him, her hair curtained them.
He lifted his arms to play with her hair while she nibbled at the corner of his lips. “I love your mouth,” he murmured, and captured her lips in a sizzling kiss.
Regan sighed through her nose as his rough palms travelled over her bare shoulders, down her back, and stopped at her waist, where he splayed his fingers on the patch of skin between her jeans and top. Their tongues danced and stroked, and she burrowed her fingers in his hair.
Damien groaned, and slid his palms under her top. She looked so sexy in that thing, he’d wanted to do this from the moment he walked through the café door. Smoothing his palms up her sides, he groaned again. She wasn’t wearing a bra. God help him.
Regan, hearing his growl and feeling him harden under her, smiled against his mouth. “I was hot,” she murmured.
“You still are,” he growled, and plunged his tongue deep.
She melted against him, and wiggled her hips seductively. She chuckled as his hands shot to her hips, stopping her.
“Don’t,” he rasped.
“Don’t what?” she breathed, and wiggled again, smiling at his groan. “Oh, this?”
“Tease,” he smiled, dragging her mouth back down to his.
“Proud of it.” Her kiss made his toes curl.
One hand resting on her bottom, the other travelled back under her top again. Brushing his tongue against hers, he cupped one soft breast, feeling her nipple pucker even more against his palm.
Feeling his hand on her flesh almost made Regan come off the bed. Arching her back, she moaned into his mouth…
“One day you’ll be mine, Kitten. You will give me those words and let me do whatever I want with you. I swear, Kitten, one day I will have you.”
It was as if someone dropped a bucket of icy cold water on her. What was she doing? She broke the kiss and looked down at him.
“Regan?” He frowned at the fear in her eyes. “Baby, what is it?” He lifted his hand to caress her cheek.
She flinched as if struck. “Don’t touch me.” She scrambled off him, and hugged her waist. She reminded him of a caged animal.
He sat up, trying to take her hand.
She jumped back. “God, I’m so stupid!” She grabbed her bag, and rushed to the door to open it in near panic.
His palm smacked against the wood, snapping the door shut. “What’s wrong?”
“Let me out of here!”
“Regan, look at me.” He lifted her chin, but she slapped his hand away.
“Why?! So you can laugh at me? At how stupid I am?”
He shook his head. “Regan, I don’t understand a word you’re saying. Why would I laugh at you, baby?”
“Don’t call me that!” Regan was on the verge of tears, but there was no way she was going to break down in front of him. There was no chance in hell she would give him that satisfaction. “You got what you wanted. You got your revenge.”
“What are you talking about?”
She laughed. “Stop with this farce, Damien. Just stop it! I told you I loved you, didn’t I? Like you predicted. Like you swore I would. What more do you want?!”
“What—” Then he remembered. The words he had spat in her face in anger. “Oh, God, Regan, this has nothing to do with what I said ten years ago. Baby, I love you.”
“Please, don’t.” Her voice broke. “Just stop, okay. You’ve tortured me enough. Just let me out of here.” She turned her eyes, brimming with tears, toward him. “Please…”
With stinging eyes, he stepped back from the door, and watched her wrench it open. He listened to her running footsteps, while his heart was slowly shattering.
Here’s a list of some of the songs I listened to while writing this story (some of them are even mentioned)…
- Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls Of Fire
- Momoko Kitadai –Only In My Dreams
- Sarah McLachlan – Full Of Grace
- Nine Inch Nails – Closer
- Roxette – It Must Have Been Love
- Bon Jovi – Always
- Bon Jovi – Bed Of Roses
- Pat Benatar – We Belong
- Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
- Bon Jovi – In These Arms
- Godsmack – I Stand Alone
- Stevie Wonder – Part Time Lover
It’s quite a “mellow” list, but that’s because I find romantic and sad scenes a lot harder to write than action.
» This novel underwent a brutal editing process. More than 12k words were dropped for the final version, cutting the word count under the magic 100k mark..
» The names of the two main characters, Regan and Damien, come from two classic horror movies, The Exorcist (1973) and The Omen (1976) respectively.
» This novel features three cars I’d love to have.
Regan drives the cute Mini Cooper S. I could actually afford that, the other two are completely out of my league.
Damien’s choice of “beastie” is a Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 Roadster, while Mick drives a Jaguar C-XF Concept.