Sunday Snippet: Hell on Wheels by Julie Ann Walker

Ever since I discovered Black OP’s books years ago they have remained one of  my favorite genre’s in romance. There is just something about the men and women who continue to serve long after they have left the military or one of the alphabet soup agencies. Brand new author Julie Ann Walker is definitely going to be on my keeper shelf just from this book and the next book in her fabulous series Black Knights. Here is a snippet from her book Hell on Wheels (one of my favorite books of the year).

“Nate?”

The sight of Ali standing in his open doorway instantly snapped him back to the present.

Thank God.

Too much more of that and he’d have to go see that shrink Boss kept harping about. Although, if he was really honest with himself, he probably should go. Back when he’d been with the Marines, he’d known a lot of guys who’d been forced by their commanding officers to go through some form of therapy. And even though most of them had gone in kicking and screaming, they’d come out the other side more balanced, more accepting of the horrors of war. So, yeah, it could be a good thing, but the thought of telling a perfect stranger what he’d done made him break out in a cold sweat.

Wiping a clammy hand across his forehead, he vaulted from his chair to pad barefoot across the small room. Once he got to the door, he realized he’d just left behind his worst nightmare to stand directly in front of his wildest fantasy.

Well, almost.

Minus that flimsy cream thigh-length robe, it would be his wildest fantasy. Because he could just make out the faint hue of…was that blue?…bra and panties so lovingly covering everything he’d ever dreamed of putting his lips on. Her Disney princess face looked even more innocent scrubbed clean of make-up, and her hair was damp in front, wet little tendrils sticking to her cheeks and jaw.

Geez, just kill him now and get it over with.

“Ali? What’s wrong?” he managed to ask through a mouth that wanted to drool like a dog. For some reason, the temperature in the room jumped ten degrees.

“Can I talk to you for a minute?” she peered up at him, all sweetness and light.

“Sure,” he made to step out into the hall, but she halted him with a hand on his forearm.

He would not think about how she’d dug her nails into that same arm as she’d reached her climax that day on the beach. Oh, hell no. He would most definitely not think of that.

Shit. Now that’s all he could think about.

“In private?” She glanced furtively down the hall to Becky’s closed door.

No, no, no, no. Supremely bad idea. “Uh, sure.”

He backed up and held the door wide, surreptitiously glancing around his bedroom to make sure nothing untoward was left lying about, like the candid photo of her he usually kept hidden in his nightstand. The one Grigg snapped the summer before he died. The one where Ali’s golden hair was caught in the soft breeze coming in off the ocean and her head was thrown back in laughter. The one Nate looked at so often the edges were starting to bend.

Luckily, it was still buried in the top drawer of his bedside table under some cough drops, tissues, and a dog-eared John Grisham novel.

Shooting one last glance down the hall, he quietly closed the door.

And closed Ali into his bedroom.

Just the thought had his crotch tightening.  Not good.  Not good at all.

It was super strange how his pulse could stay metronome steady while he was inches away from a drug lord, jihadist, or enemy combatant but raced out of control the minute he was alone with one little wisp of a woman.

“What’s wrong, Ali?”  Hopefully this time he’d get an answer.  Preferably something he could quickly solve so he could shoo her out, double-time, because right at that moment his gaze snagged on her clasped hands.

And somehow, despite the fact he’d never really considered fingers sexy before, he wanted to get his lips on hers.  They were just so darned cute.  So petite and slender – just like her – and perfectly polished a seashell pink.  They virtually screamed female!  And lord knew that was something he’d gone without for a long while now.  Too damned long…

“What did Delilah say to you tonight?” she asked, her brow puckering adorably.

Well, wasn’t that just a kick in the nuts?  It was also the dead last thing he expected to hear.

“Uh…”

“We’ve known each other for a dozen years and I think that was the first time I’ve ever heard you laugh like that.”  She took a step closer.

Whoa.  Not good.  And getting not gooder by the minute.

Not gooder?  His brain was ceasing to function.

“Uh…”

Now she was standing in front of him, so close he could sense the soft feminine heat rolling off her body in gentle waves, and the sweet aroma of her honeysuckle shampoo mixed with the scent of Ivory soap on her skin.

Where was that humming coming from?  Was all his blood rushing to his head?

“Uh…”   And what was the question?  He swallowed and tried to drag in a much needed lungful of O.  Was it just him, or were the walls closing in?

“It’s a bit strange, don’t you think?” she asked.

Yeah, it was all very, very strange.  Strange that she was here in Chicago.  Strange that she was being chased by some spook.  Strange that Grigg had put her in the position to be chased by some spook.  Strange that she was standing half-dressed in his bedroom.

His. Bedroom.

Strange that she was looking up at him imploringly instead of watching him like a mouse might watch a hungry hawk.  Not to mention the fact he felt very, very strange.  Like maybe he was about to pass out.  Bam!  Down for the count.  And wouldn’t that impress upon her what a macho-man he really was?

“Ali-”

“What?”

Yeah, what?  What was he about to say?  Get out, maybe?  Get naked?  Now, that was much more likely.

He’s the bad boy she’s always wanted…

Nate “Ghost” Weller has loved Ali Morgan nearly half his life. But he’s done something so heinous he’s convinced she’ll never forgive him if she discovers the truth, so he keeps his feelings and his secrets to himself. Then she blows into town with a mother lode of bad guys on her tail and Nate can’t deny she’s in serious trouble. Unfortunately, he’s the only one who can help her.

She’s the good girl he’s kept at arm’s length…

Ali knows Nate as the most solemn, aloof man on the planet. Sadly, he’s also the sexiest. For years she’s avoided him, unable to stomach his dark scowls and brooding silences… especially when she secretly yearns for his touch. Now she must rely on him to save her from the malevolent shadows ghosting her every move. When the bullets explode, so does their passion. But can love really conquer all? Or are some things just too terrible to forgive?

 

Share

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: