She's every man's carnal fantasy...and the target of one's revenge
At a Phoenix gentleman’s club, Lea dances as SiNN, her body bared and vulnerable to her male partner, her features hidden behind a feathered mask. To the men watching, she’s a sensual enigma, submissive and seductive with no face, name or history. Not even Lea knows her real origins.
A man from the past does and wants her dead.
Not on the watch of U.S. Marshals Jake Gabriel and Toby Quinn. Commanding and decisive, Jake not only wants Lea’s safety but to have her naked and yielding beneath him. To Toby, she’s all he should resist but cannot.
Protected by them at a secluded estate, Lea’s drawn to their potent masculinity and the raw male lust in their eyes. Inviting desire and an emotional connection, she submits to both at once, surrendering to their most shameless hunger along with her own wanton needs.
All while a killer edges closer…
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Gripping her keys in one hand and pepper spray in the other, she rounded the corner and stopped.
The blond from inside stood near her rusting Ford Fiesta.
Surprise, curiosity, and desire rippled through her, matching the unmistakable longing sweeping across his face.
His reaction didn’t last.
Authority returned quickly, hardening his features, dismissing his previous lust, telling her he recalled he was here on business, and not of the corporate variety.
Unfortunately, that only left the government, as in the INS or Uncle Sam. After seeing her on stage, he must have presumed she was an illegal and got paid under the table.
Her initial arousal and confusion turned to fast indignation. How dare he. As a good, upstanding citizen, she reported her tips…for the most part, and figured that was why he was here, giving her his I-want-you-but-you’re-in-deep-doo-doo look. He intended to either check her immigration status or audit her. Damn. If he took her vehicle because she hadn’t paid enough taxes, she’d be totally screwed, not able to go to school or work. Her stomach twisted.
She couldn’t figure out how he’d even known she was SiNN and the vehicle was hers or she’d leave early.
Unless a bouncer here had told him, caving because he had his own tax problems.
Idiot. When she got her hands on the SOB, he’d regret the day he—
Her pulse jumped at the voice from behind…deep, resonant, possessive.
Even before she turned, she knew she’d face the man in black. The way he spoke matched what she’d imagined in her mind. A protective, masculine tone, commanding but also safe, calling to the female within her. She met his dark eyes, his irises sparkling in the parking lot lights.
Unlike the blond, he was close enough for her to sense his restrained strength and heat…the male animal within him barely controlled.
Everything went still, the traffic sounds, noisy insects, and masculine laughter receding beneath her wildly pounding heart. Held by his potent allure, she couldn’t think, breathe, or budge.
He slipped his hand into his back pocket.
Her pulse leaped. Acting on instinct, she stepped to the side, putting distance between herself and him. His shirttails hid the bulge behind his fly. The erection she sensed he sported.
It should have frightened her further, but didn’t. No more than the blond guy by her car.
Having grown up around strangers, she’d acquired the ability to read them quickly. These men didn’t seem to be physically dangerous, though they were clearly together. They knew her name and had come out here for an ambush. Now all she needed to know was what kind. The blond seemed prepared to hassle, not harm her, while naked passion flickered in this man’s eyes.
Her legs weakened.
“Ms. Baptista.” He spoke quietly, the way a guy would if he wanted no one except her to hear. “I’m Jake Gabriel from the U.S. Marshal’s Service.”
It took a moment for his words to register. Even then, she didn’t understand. U.S. Marshals here to speak to her? Why?
He opened a leather wallet and showed her a circular gold badge, a large star in the center.
Very impressive, but it didn’t tell her what this meant for her. Bewildered, she looked at him.
He regarded her pepper spray then inclined his head toward her car. “That’s my partner, Toby Quinn.”
She wanted to look, but couldn’t. Jake had captured her full interest. She guessed him to be six-three, given how he towered over her. This close, she caught his leather and musk scent, an intoxicating mixture. The faint breeze ruffled his glossy black hair, freeing a strand.
It fell forward, grazing his forehead, the tip touching his dark eyebrow.
Tantalized, she had an insane urge to ease the lock back then trail her fingers over his rich skin. She could almost feel its heat, the bite from his beard-stubbled cheeks.
He closed his wallet. “You need to come with us.”
That she understood. Sort of. Her arousal receded beneath renewed alarm. “What? Why?” He couldn’t be arresting her. He’d better not try it. She frowned. “I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m in this country legally. I pay my taxes.”
Amusement flickered across his face. “This isn’t about your status or taxes.” His tone was gentler than before, the way a man would speak to someone he valued. “You’re not in trouble, but you do need to come with us.” He slipped his wallet back into his pocket and rested his hand on her upper arm.
His warmth and tempered strength jolted her, sending her heart to her throat where it pounded so fiercely the world spun.
Breathless, she could barely speak. “I don’t understand.”
“I know.” He glanced past her to Toby then met her gaze. “You’re in danger.”
Tina is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist who writes romance for every taste – ‘heat with heart’ – for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic novels were Readers' Choice Award winners. Another three were named finalists in the EPIC competition. One of her erotic contemporary romances was chosen Book of the Year at the French review site Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for one of her erotic romances. Two of her titles received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Another two won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.
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