Exclusive Advanced Excerpt: Sinner's Revenge by Kim Jones
So the last book Kim Jones released, Sinner's Creed, caused quite a bit of controversy, as the book did not end in a traditional HEA. In fact, it made RT Web Editor Kristin cry buckets on the subway. But we're ever the optimists (we are romance fans, after all) so we wanted to check out Kim's newest title, Sinner's Revenge, which has recieved another stunning RT review, which includes the phrase, "your ability to cope with not turning the next page will be nonexistant." Now that's a challenge if we've ever heard one! Sinner's Revenge won't be out until July 19, so hopefully this scene will hold us over until then.
When I first saw him I knew he was the one who could make me happy. Even though he tried to conceal it, there was a playfulness about him. He wasn’t trying to flirt with the waitress, it just seemed natural. I could tell the demons he carries haven’t always been there.
I watched the way he narrowed his dark eyes at her, then countered the move with a small smirk. The way his middle finger tapped lightly on the table, drawing attention to his rough and calloused hands. The way he sipped his beer slow, making sure to lick his lips after his pull—teasing the waitress with thoughts of what he could do to her with his mouth.
What he could do to me.
He was no fool. He knew I was watching. When he stood, he made sure to walk around the side of the table that gave me a full view of him. He was shorter than six feet, but not by much. His body was lean, but muscular and toned. The white polo he wore contrasted perfectly with his tanned skin—the sleeves clinging tightly to his sculpted arms and across his broad chest. His jeans sat low on his waist and hung loose on his legs.
The tattoos on his arms formed a beautiful, intricate pattern that started at his wrists and disappeared under his shirt. They seemed to hold some type of meaning, one that couldn’t be deciphered by anyone but him.
Even though he dressed the part, he seemed to be out of place. It was as if he was fighting to fit in, but really didn’t belong. Unbeknownst to him, I felt the same way.
He disappeared inside without a single glance in my direction, but somehow, I felt like he was watching me — fully aware of every thought in my mind. The air seemed to grow thicker without him near. I found myself longing for his return so I could find what it was about him that made me feel like I’ve never felt before.
Was there really such a thing as instant attraction? I’d read about it in books, watched it in movies and dreamt of it, but was it real? Or was I so obsessed with finding something to replace the monotony in my life that my subconscious had conjured up this feeling I had?
My thoughts shatter, my dreamy state lost as I’m approached by a guy at the bar. The light breeze blowing across the patio allows his scent to waft toward me and I cringe from the expensive cologne overkill. Even his breath smells like Dolce and Gabana.
“Can I buy you a drink?” The young, attractive guy asks. He’s mid-twenties, really good looking and has the kind of hair that begs a girl to run her fingers through it. But even his silky locks can’t get the image of short, black hair hidden beneath a white ball cap out of my thoughts.
“No.” I’m hoping my short answer is enough to persuade him to move the fuck along. Through my peripherals, I can see his stance is cocky, his smirk is confident and his ego isn’t suffering in the least. He’s so sure of himself, that he orders me a fruity cocktail — immediately stereotyping me to be the kind of girl who enjoys that shit. His boldness tells me one thing — he’s looking to get laid.
On my left, another one approaches. Maybe they’re friends. Maybe they’re hoping for a little three way action. Maybe there really are desperate women left in this world who fall for this type of bullshit. The new guy leans on the bar. Looking over the top of my head, he holds a conversation with the asshole on my right. He’s telling him that what I need is a shot, not a cosmopolitan. His actions tell me that his is a certified schmuck. The kind that gets girls drunk and takes advantage of them. He’s pretty sure I’m one of those girls.
“You on vacation, or you from around here?” I don’t acknowledge him. He laughs with the other one, moves in closer and speaks again. “I like your legs.”
I’m counting. I usually start back from ten, but I’m already past the point of pissed off, so I’m in the negatives. I’m trying to ignore them. But my body is buzzing. My strong desire to see them in pain is overpowering my control.
“You must have a boyfriend.” He ducks his head and tries to meet my eyes. When I turn on my stool to face him, prepared to unleash my wrath, my eyes land on him.
He’s just standing next to the bar, his eyes on me. They’re cold, unfeeling and distant. I’m still staring, my mouth slightly parted, my breath a little heavier when his eyes leave me and focus on the bartender. With the slightest lift of his index finger, he gives the command for another beer. It’s such a simple gesture. There’s nothing worldly about his demand. But he makes it seem so powerful and lethal—like with just the lift of his finger, he could turn everybody in the bar to dust.
I’ve forgotten the other men, but they haven’t forgotten me, and their eyes follow mine to the man standing there as if this is his world and we’re just living in it.
“Who? This guy?” He claps the man hard on the shoulder, but he doesn’t budge. His eyes drag ever so slowly and deadly to the hand that remains on him.
“Get your fucking hand off me.”
It’s all I need to know that he is the one who can protect me. His words are so dangerous and threatening that the air grows colder with their iciness.
The scent of cologne fades slightly as the men stand to attention. They’re tall and muscular, built with bodies that were trained to fight. Even though they stand between us, the force I feel radiating from him is unwavering.
“Or what, Adam Levine?” They laugh, taunting him. He is outnumbered. Outsized. The odds are against him. But he’s unaffected. He’s not intimidated, afraid or the least bit worried. And something tells me that his confidence isn’t just a front.
When the fingers on his shoulder curl the slightest bit, my eyes widen, making sure to capture every moment of what I know is coming next.
The sound of a fist meeting flesh echoes around me, a second before a limp body falls at my feet. Then the face of the man that was beside him is met with the worn wood on the bar, splattering blood in every direction before sliding to the floor.
It took less than three seconds. Now it’s over. And the silence is everywhere.
His eyes are locked on mine, his arms hanging loosely at his sides. His breathing is controlled but I can see the veins in his neck pulsing with the rush of adrenaline. He’s not smiling. He’s not angry or happy or proud. He’s just as expressionless as I am.
He grabs his beer from the bar, stepping over the motionless bodies that lay unconscious on the floor. He throws some money down and nods to the bartender. Then, he turns to me, his narrowed dark eyes holding me in place. Once again, his index finger extends slightly, this time in my direction.
I’m completely undone. Chaos surrounds me, but my focus is solely on him.
And as I watch him leave, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the one...
The one who is going to break my heart.