Elijah is the last man in the entire world Maria should be with. He’s a dark, gritty, lawless bounty hunter—the exact opposite of the man she loved and lost, the man who gave up everything for her. Only Elijah is not the type of guy to back down. He’s used to getting what he wants and he’s set his sights on the raven-haired seductress.
Time is not on Maria and Elijah’s side. There’s a new threat to the soul sister, one Maria never thought she’d have to face again. And this time, the stakes are life and death.
Maria quickly learns that the things she wants most in this lifetime may just be the things that have the power to destroy her.
His hands are all over me. He moves them up my back until both hands are threaded through my hair, holding me in place, while he devours my mouth. His ardent tongue searches for mine, and I comply with equal passion. He tastes of minty beer and man. A mind-melting concoction.
The wall between us is gone. Obliterated by his honesty. I can no longer deny this man what he wants. What I want. What we both need. Each other.
Eli kisses me so hard, and for so long, my lips are swollen and bruised when he pulls away on a mighty breath. His chest rises with every inhalation. “You can’t stop this,” he murmurs, his lips a succulent snarl of desire.
I shake my head and firm my jaw, ready to take whatever he can give me and more. “No. I can’t.”
“We are fire and ice, baby. Both run scalding hot when stimulated. I want to make you mine. Make you forget him, and everything and everyone that came before. This heat between us, it’s all-consuming.”
If you’ve ever opened a Whitman Sampler, you recognize the liner includes a guide to each chocolate. So if you’re looking for the caramels, the chocolate whipped mousse, or the molasses chew, you’re assured you’ll find just what you want. Audrey’s books are like the famous Sampler. You know with every book she writes you’re sure to discover well developed, mouth-watering characters, a strong storyline, maybe a bit of danger and intrigue, and always love and happiness that melts your heart and most certainly sizzles the sheets. Life, by Audrey Carlan, delivers on this sweet recipe for success, leaving her readers blissfully sated on the confectioners of her prose.
This is Maria’s story. She fought to rescue her soul sister Kat from the scorching fire in the theatre and bears the cuts and bruises, survivor’s guilt and loss from that day. She wants to be a fighter…she is, but there’s only so much any woman can take. She has nightmares, fears that bring her to her knees, and now she has Eli. But Tommy’s bulked up, sexed up, dirty talking alpha doppelganger may not be enough to keep the danger of her past from spilling over into her present. He’s back. He’s gonna take a swing at taking what was once his.
Everywhere I look, men in black suits and uniforms are piling into the church, their shiny badges glinting sparks of light in every direction from the mid-morning sun’s rays. The red, white and blue flag draped over the casket in front of me should make me proud. A hero has fallen, and the sea of men here to pay their respects should give me a sense of closure. It doesn’t. Tommy is dead because of me. Killed in the line of duty, protecting my best friend.
What’s worse is that I wouldn’t have it any other way. I believe in my heart that I had just started to fall for Tommy, but Gillian, my best friend, is the only family I’ve ever known. He knew that. If he hadn’t, I don’t believe he would have put himself right in the middle of the fray against a deranged killer. He saved my soul sister’s life, and in exchange, he gave his own.
How do I live with that? There is no book I can read that will absolve me of my heartache, my guilt. There is no prayer I can say that will change the fact that the man I had just begun to love, to believe could be the first man I could trust with my heart, is now gone.
He lifts his head enough so I can see his appreciative, sexy grin before he licks and kisses each nipple. On cue they both pucker up for more attention.
Jesus I’m a sex-starved ho.
He swirls his tongue around one tip. “I’ll play with you later.” He promises the one before licking and sucking the second. “You, too.”
I snicker and push at him. “Suficiente, Cazador. Enough. I’m closing up shop. No more. I need food, Ibuprofen, coffee, and some time away from your polla.”
He pouts and backs up then looks down at his dick. “Don’t worry, man. She didn’t mean it.” He offers his cock.
I shake my head and slip off the counter and head back into the shower. Eli turns to come in. I place a hand on his chest. “You remember what happened the last time we tried to shower together a half hour ago?”
He bites down on his bottom lip his eyes twinkling with mirth. “I’ll never forget.”
“Exactly. Use the other bathroom please and we’ll meet in the middle.”
“What? You don’t trust me not to jump you?” He grins and glances down my naked body and back up. Again, his dick starts to harden.
I shake my head. “No. I don’t trust me.”
He chuckles and backs away with his hands up. “Fine, fine. How’s pizza sound?”
I close the shower door and get under the spray. “For breakfast?”
“Babe, it’s almost noon now. We’ve been fucking all morning.”
“Mierda. Time flies when you’re on your back,” I sigh satedly.
“Or the chair, or against the sliding glass door, or the balcony, or the shower, or the vanity…” he says, reminding me of all the places he took me last night and this morning.
“Cállate!” I groan and drop my head. I wait a few moments while Eli leaves the bathroom, and then I hear the water start to run in the other room. Shame builds in my heart and spreads out through my veins as the realization of what I’ve done truly hits. Tears fill my eyes and fall down, hidden within the sheet of water rushing over me.
How am I ever going to look at myself in the mirror again?
I spent an entire evening and half a day having filthy, dirty, wild, uninhibited sex with Elijah Redding. The brother, of the man who gave his life to protect me and my best friend from a murdering stalker. I’m definitely going to hell. The sobs release and I cover my mouth.
The little devil on my shoulder sends a thought barreling through my head. Then again, if I’m already going, why not go out with just-fucked hair and a dozen orgasms.
Good lord, I’m so messed up.
Yep, definitely going to hell.
“We are fire and ice, baby. Both run scalding hot when stimulated. I want to make you mine. Make you forget him, everything and everyone that came before. This heat between us, it’s all-consuming.”
I close my eyes and lean my forehead against his, praying I’m making the right decision. “Burn me,” I whisper against his lips. “Set me on fire.” I press my mouth against his and nibble on the plump bottom lip. “I want to forget. Today, just make me forget.”
A red devil appears on my right shoulder and a white angel on my left. Red Devil is fist pumping the air and cheering as though she’s won a marathon and received a shiny new trophy. White Angel is wagging her finger and shaking her head obviously disappointed. Then, Red Devil walks along my shoulder, throat punches White Angel, and shoves her off my shoulder.
Audrey Carlan is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She writes wicked hot love stories that are designed to give the reader a romantic experience that’s sexy, sweet, and so hot your e-reader might melt. Some of her works include the wildly successful Calendar Girl Serial, Falling Series, and the Trinity Trilogy.
She lives in the California Valley where she enjoys her two children and the love of her life. When she’s not writing, you can find her teaching yoga, sipping wine with her “soul sisters” or with her nose stuck in a wicked hot romance novel.