Read An Excerpt

by Kimberly Van Meter

Genre: Harlequin Superromance, Series

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A part of him was itching to know the details of her messed up life but he kept that curiosity under lock and key. He didn’t need to know. When he looked at her he tried not to see the girl he’d fallen helplessly in love with back when they were kids and she was like a bright, shiny star in the black void that had become his life. He’d been the quiet loner and she’d been the popular girl who attracted people like bees to honey. Gorgeous and wealthy, spoiled and willful, yet for whatever reasons, she’d befriended him during a time when nothing seemed right nor would it ever be again in his young life and she might not have realized it but that one act of kindness had sealed her fate. And his as well. By the time they reached high school, his heart had secretly belonged to her.

She could’ve had it all. Hell, she practically already had at the age of sixteen. So when had it all gone to shit?

Thomas advanced and as he prepared to click the handcuffs in place — his mind in all sorts of places but not focused as it should’ve been — he was taken off guard by what she did next.

The woman clocked him.

Painful stars burst behind his eyes and he crashed to the floor but before he landed he grabbed blindly and by sheer luck he managed to snag her sneakered foot, sending her tumbling to the worn carpet as well. She landed with a soft grunt and tried to kick his hand free but he was already losing the birds flying around his head and he lunged at her. She turned into a kicking, scratching she-devil and it was all he could do to keep from getting her size nine in his face.

“Let me go,” she hissed as they struggled but he’d managed to put his full weight and the last part came out as an outraged gasp. 

She was shorter than him but at five foot nine she wasn’t a petite little thing. She’d always been curvy in all the right spots and if it hadn’t been for the pulsing agony in his temple he might’ve been distracted by all that soft, womanly flesh pressed tightly against him. When he was a teen he’d fantasized about what it might feel like to be hip to hip with this woman, but in his wildest dreams he never imagined that when it happened she’d be doing her best to kill him.

He managed to secure both her hands but it wasn’t easy. The woman had skills. Both their breathing was labored, which made her breasts push against his chest and he could feel the soft caress of her breath against his face. She smelled of cinnamon candy and some kind of herbal lotion or oil that you might find in a specialty store. It wasn’t patchouli — that stuff made him sneeze — but it was something that someone might enjoy as an incense. Whatever it was, the scent called up images of warm bodies sliding against one another in a darkened room, urgent whispers and hands caressing. Hell, did she douse herself in some kind of aphrodisiac? He blinked hard against the images his mind happily threw at him in concert with the aroma assault and he tightened his grip on her hands until she couldn’t do much more than twist beneath him. He stared down into a pair of deadly calculating eyes that radiated anger and retribution and he knew if she had half the chance she’d brain him and be on her merry way.