When it comes to Romantic Suspense and hot Alpha Male warriors turned bikers, no one and I mean NO ONE writes them better than Julie. I told her once that I’ve claimed Nate (from the first book) as mine. His heroine was just going to have to live with it. She laughed at me and then made him a father upping his sexiness. So when Carlos came along I was prepared to like him, but holy crap three chapters in he was vying for my attention the way Nate had, and he almost won but hello Nate. So when it comes to Julie’s heroes Carlos is second in my heart, and oh so delicious. With Full Throttle out now I had to share a snippet of this freaking awesome book. Julie agreed with me so here it is…
Had Steady ever felt such unfettered joy? Had he ever known such unmitigated bliss? It was like he’d taken a hand grenade of happiness to the chest, his heart blown wide open. And, si, for a moment there, and despite what he’d told himself standing out in the rain, he’d allowed old hurts, old insecurities to seep in. But Abby… wonderful, delightful, beautiful Abby had obliterated all of his self-doubt with four little words.
I still adore you…
His instincts took over before he formed another thought. Grabbing her wrist, he pulled her into his lap, cradling her against him, holding her as close as he’d always dreamed. Overwhelmed with the desire to get closer still. As close as a man and woman could be… “Abby,” he whispered her name, peppering her beloved face with kisses. He drank the tears from her skin, reveling in their salty sweetness on his tongue. “Oh, Abby, I’ve always adored you, too, cariño. From the first day I met you, you’re all I could think about. Dios, how I wanted you. It drove me mad.”
He wasn’t aware she’d been squirming, struggling in his embrace, until she suddenly stilled, going stiff as the scalpels back in his duffel bag. He lifted his head to look down at her, not surprised to find her eyes wide. But the fragile, volatile expression on her face gave him pause. She looked like she could shatter with one misspoken word. Which was why he asked very carefully, very quietly, “What is it, neña?”
“Y-you wanted me? All those years ago, you w-w-” She didn’t go on, simply shook her head in disbelief. He smiled down at her, loving the way her hair curled around her face when it was wet. Loving the faint pink color of her makeup-free lips. Loving how her long lashes turned from dark brown near her lids to blond up by the tips. Loving her.
“Of course I did,” he told her, bending to kiss her nose. “You were like this delightful, spritely, incandescent thing capable of lighting up the whole world. I was a moth to your flame, Abby. Surely you knew that.”
And he was accused of being reticent with details? Well, how about them details? He’d damn near waxed poetic! Hooah!
She shook her head. Then, in consternation, he watched her face crumble before she buried her nose into his bare chest. The dear, exasperating woman was shaking with the struggle to hold back tears.
“Hey, now,” he murmured, rocking her from side-to-side, patting her narrow back, taking pleasure in her smallness, in her nearness even though he was flabbergasted by her tears. “What’s this all ab-”
That’s all he managed before she pushed back to look at him, her green eyes puffy and swollen, the tip of her nose shiny, her pale cheeks splotchy. The poor woman was a mess, no joke. But he’d never seen her looking more beautiful.
“I didn’t know.” She shook her head. “Why didn’t you ever say anything?” she demanded as a sob turned into a hiccup.
Madre de Dios, could she be any more adorable? If she were, he didn’t think he could take it. “You were so young, Abby. Too young. And even if that wasn’t the case, I was a nobody. And you were the soon-to-be president’s daughter.”
“Why do you keep saying that like it’s a thing?”
And though he didn’t think it was possible to love her any more, those simple, heartfelt words had the warmth in his chest, the joy in his heart expanding ten-fold. “Because, to most people, it is a thing.”
“You’re crazy,” she insisted, catching her bottom lip between her teeth. His teeth itched to do the same. Catch that plump piece of flesh between them before he reintroduced his tongue to hers. “If anything, you were… are… the one who’s too good for me.”
His crack of laughter competed with the rumble of the deluge pounding on the roof. “Oh, Abby.” He burried his face in her neck, inhaling the delightful aromas of Palmer’s cocoa butter lotion, Downy dryer sheets, and clean, clear jungle rain. “Only you could possibly believe that.” And, then, the idiota in his pants finally took notice of the fact that her skirt-covered bottom was pressing down on it. The tell-tale rush of blood surged to his groin, making his scrotum tighten and his dick pulse.
His thoughts instantly turned from the past to the present. From old hurts and misunderstandings to new possibilities. He loved her. She admitted to adoring him – which wasn’t exactly the same as dropping the L-bomb, but it was close, right? Right. And the storm was probably going to rage for at least another hour. Which meant he had a minimum of sixty minutes to finally, finally do the things to her in reality that he’d been doing to her in his fantasies for nearly a decade.
It wasn’t going to be enough. Not nearly enough. But it was a start. And for now, it’d have to do. He turned his face slightly, whispering in her ear, “I wanted you Abby. I wanted you then. I want you now. Let me have you.”
Abby’s body thrilled at his nearness, at his hot breath whispering in her ear. But her heart ached with sadness. Oh, how she wished she could give him what he wanted. But, if she let him have her without him first knowing what had happened, her part in what had happened, it would be another deception. And she was finished with lies. Finished with secrets.
She’d wanted to wait. Wait until they were somewhere safe. Somewhere he wouldn’t think twice about turning his back and walking away from her. But, unfortunately, the time for her confession had come…
“Carlos,” she whispered, her breath shuddering when he flicked his tongue into her ear. Her toes curled at the warm, wet intrusion. Her sex throbbing when her mind conjured up the image of him sticking his thick, rasping tongue somewhere much more intimate. “There’s something you need to know about- Oh, God!”
His hand had travelled under her tunic. His big, callused fingers finding her distended nipple and pinching ever so gently yet insistently. She felt that caress from her breast all the way down to her clitoris. The little bundle of nerves tingled violently with every pluck of his fingers.
No. No! She couldn’t give in to the pleasure he pressed on her, to the hot demand of his mouth when his lips landed atop hers. She turned her head, panting. Dizzy. “There’s something I have to confess to you, something you have to know.”
“Not now, Abby,” he groaned, taking her hand and placing it over his distended fly. She’d felt the twitch of his big thigh muscles beneath her bottom, noticed the subtle trembling of his solid arms around her, but that was nothing compared to the throb of his cock against her palm. So big. So hot. So tempting. It took everything she had not to curl her fingers around him. “I want you too badly.” He bit the flesh over her throat, his teeth a gentle, stinging reminder of the power he kept in check. Her breath huffed from her lungs in a stuttering exhale. Her brain went fuzzy with passion, with pleasure. “I’ve wanted you for too long. I need you to let me-”
“But you wouldn’t want me if-”
“God, Abby,” he implored her, flipping her onto her back against the mat, wedging his hips between her thighs and stroking against her. Her eyes crossed and threatened to roll back in her head. “Please, please. Let me have you,” he begged. “Let me show you all the things I’ve been dreaming of showing you since you were eighteen.”
Sonofa-! This man. This man was killing her. And in that moment, for one second, she allowed herself to revel in her own death.
“B-but the-” she began, only to lose her words on a gasp as he stoked forward again. The cotton of her skirt was deliciously abrasive, damp from the deluge and from her body’s excitement.
“Don’t worry,” he said between kisses against her throat, between licks and gentle bites and insistent sucking. “We have a while. Long enough, I think. And the rain will drown out our cries.”
Holy cannoli! Just the thought of Carlos throwing his head back, crying out her name as an orgasm burst through him, as he poured his lust inside her, made her blood pop and fizz like it’d been carbonated.
“I hurt, Abby,” he breathed against her lips. She opened her eyes to find him looming over her, his palms braced on either side of her head, his shoulders bulging with the strain of holding himself aloft. Black hair fell across his forehead and his midnight eyes sparkled in the dim light, imploring her even more than his words. “I hurt so badly from wanting you. Let me have you. Help me make this hurt go away.”
And in that moment she knew she’d give him anything. She may hate herself later, and he would certainly hate her later. But right here and right now she would let him have, let him take, anything he wanted. Swallowing down the ache at the back of her throat, refusing to let the tears pricking behind her eyes fall, she wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled his mouth down to hers, whispering against his lips, “Okay, Carlos. Take me…”
Carlos “Steady” Soto’s nerves of steel have served him well at the covert government defense firm of Black Knights Inc. But nothing has prepared him for the emotional rollercoaster of guarding the woman he once loved and lost.
Will all he’s got be enough?
Abby Thompson is content to leave politics and international intrigue to her father – the president of the United States – until she’s taken hostage half a world away, and she fears her father’s policy of not negotiating with terrorists will be her death sentence. There’s one glimmer of hope: the man whose heart she broke, but she can never tell him why…
As they race through the jungle in a bid for safety, the heat simmering between Steady and Abby could mean a second chance for them – if they make it out alive…