Publication date: May 26th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
21 ALL NEW Contemporary Romance stories by New York Times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors.
Love when it’s hot? So do romance writers. Especially when we’re writing about gritty alphas, angsty bad boys, sizzling attraction, and unrequited passion.
So loosen your buttons, turn the fan to oscillate and join us for this steamy, groundbreaking bundle of summer tales that are hot hot hot.
ALL THE AMAZING AUTHORS:
Helen Scott Taylor
Brandy L. Rivers
Aaron closed his eyes and absorbed the warmth of Fiona’s arms around his neck. Her silky hair tickled his skin and filled the air with the fragrance of cherries from her shampoo. Just her touch pushed back the darkness that had threatened to overwhelm him. Much of the time he could keep his terrible memories locked away, but occasionally something would rise from the mire and he’d be right back there, reliving a shooting he’d witnessed, or worse.
He gathered Fiona’s hands in his and lifted them to his lips. He’d been such a fool. When he first went undercover, he’d imagined coming to tell her about it afterwards like some movie star playing at being a detective. The reality had shocked him. In the last six years, hardly a day had passed when he wasn’t terrified he’d be found out and killed. And the deeper he got, the more he had to play the role. He’d felt like he was digging his own grave and burying himself.
“Talk to me if it’ll help,” she whispered.
“I’m not allowed to until it’s come to trial and the cases are over.” Even then he wouldn’t want to tell her, wouldn’t want to disgust her and shock her. He kissed her hands again. “You’re sweet and good and everything that’s right with this world. I need to keep you separate from the darkness.”
There wasn’t a day that Kim hadn’t loved Bruce. Never in a million years had she doubted that they would be together. At seventeen, they were inseparable. She couldn’t imagine, as she stared up at the thousands of stars in the dark Montana sky not kissing Bruce or feeling his touch on every other day like this one, when she would gaze up at the light of the moon or the bright blue sky.
But then, you never forget the taste of your first love. He touched her the way no other man could. It was imprinted on her soul—the way she molded against him, skin to skin, with each breath. Each moment with him, kissing, touching, or just talking, the sound of his voice melted her soul and had her yearning to see him again before he even left.
She didn’t believe her lips would ever forget the taste of his love. His touch, his smile, the light in his hazel eyes when he held her face in his hands the very first time he’d kissed her—it was all burned forever in her memory.
“Hey, baby.” He came up behind her, sliding his hand over the flat of her stomach. He lifted her hair and pressed a kiss to her cheek before sliding his lips down the soft skin on her neck. He was pulling her back with him into the shadows.
“Where are you taking me?” she asked, then giggled. She couldn’t help it, as he had his hand under her shirt. He’d pulled the long cotton fabric free from the waistband of her jeans and was running his hand over her skin. His belt buckle was pressing into her. She craved the feel of him all the time and mourned his touch when he was gone.
“Where your daddy can’t find us,” he said. He had his hand on the rail of the wooden ladder that led up to the loft. “Go on.”
She didn’t hesitate as she climbed the rail. She could hear the tractor purring in the field. The sound carried, so she knew as long as she could hear it in the distance, they had time alone. “You weren’t supposed to be here today,” she said. “You said you couldn’t come, that you had to pack.”
He pulled her to their space in the loft where the hay bales were stacked against the dark planks. She climbed over the two bales and into their hidden spot, a bed of hay with an old blanket thrown overtop. It was where they always met, where they hid out together. It was where they’d met last night, when she’d snuck out of the house after her parents were asleep. It was where they’d last been together—touching, tasting, exploring each other.
“I couldn’t leave without seeing you again.” He pulled her down with him so they were lying side by side. Her body had a mind of its own and responded to Bruce, moving closer to him, her legs tangled with his, her hands pulling at his shirt, kissing him as she threaded her fingers through his short brown hair. She loved his hair, how it too seemed to do whatever it wanted. The natural waves always had that messy bad-boy look, and every time he cut it, it made the smile that lit up his face and his eyes stand out on his cheeks. And his lips…full and so kissable. Oh, and could Bruce kiss. She loved his long, lean body, his legs, how much taller he was than her—how much stronger. She truly believed he was forever hers, and he wouldn’t let anything come between them.
But she was wrong. Oh so wrong.
“Just one more kiss,” he said as he leaned over her. “I need to know you’ll wait for me.”
“You know I will. I wish you didn’t have to go.” She wanted to cry. It would be ninety-three days of hell until she could feel his touch again, feel his lips on her again, feel his love again. Life was so unfair.
“Kim! Kim!” It was her mother calling out.
“I have to go, but I don’t want to,” she said, rolling onto her back, her hands above her head.
He kissed her one more time and pulled a strand of hay from her hair. “I’ll call you. I promise I will. Baby, remember I fall in love with you over and over every single day. Nothing will come
between us. Remember this, feel this.” He took her hand and pressed it to his beating heart. “It’s for you, only for you, that my heart beats. This moment, the way you look now, the blueness in your eyes and how they smile only for me and beg me into your loving arms, the way your long hair teases me and has that curly, messy look even when you try to brush it straight…”
Not a day had gone by without her remembering those last moments together—almost twenty years ago, now. She’d promised to be his forever…that was, until she married someone else.