It's time for a sneak peek into the upcoming release, One True Thing, a romantic thriller that will have you squirming in your seat from the heat between the characters and the danger pressing down on them from all sides. Enjoy the peek inside...
Excerpt of One True Thing
"Don't you want to...talk or something?" he asked.
"About my feelings?" Her lips twisted. "It sucks. It hurts like hell. It pisses me off. There. I talked about my feelings. We good now?"
He'd never met anyone like her. Vanessa Warren was definitely a one-of-a kind. She sauntered to him, almost like a predator about to go in for the kill, stood on her tiptoes until her breath caressed his chin, and whispered, "Make me believe in something good, something better than a lie."
He grabbed her ass and lifted her up until they were eye-to-eye. Hair licked with fire slipped across his face when she leaned over him, all color and warmth. He wanted this, wanted her. This is why he had come, to feel this again, this agony of desire that he had suppressed for years.
Fingers twisted in the strands of hair that teased him. He crushed her to him, ravaging her mouth like a dying man grasping at life. Tongues clashed. Teeth nipped. And he fell past a point he had never thought to cross, not that he cared, not that it mattered. In his mind, he could see the lights of the city, blurring with speed and spinning beneath them.
God, she felt good. Intoxicating. Her lips nibbled across his neck.
“I shouldn’t want you so much, but I do. I can’t stop myself,” she whispered.
“Why do you want me?” He curled his fingers into her hair and pulled her up to his face. “Tell me.”
“You wanted me when you didn’t know who I was. We were just two people, strangers, without a past or a future. I knew you wanted to fuck me against that mural, beneath that tarp, I saw it in your eyes, thought about it all damn day. Then tonight there you were. You walked up those stairs like a predator, seeking me out, sweeping me away.”
“You want to be swept away?”
Silky strands slipped from his fingers as her head moved across his chest and he surrendered as he had known he would. He carried her from the balcony to the bedroom and fell backward on the mattress with her velvet-encased body draped across him.
“Damn dress.” She propped herself above him and grimaced. “Help me out of it?”
“With pleasure,” he whispered against her neck.
His fingers moved to the discreet zipper at her side and — with his gaze never leaving hers — he slid it down. She shrugged it off her left shoulder. As if unwrapping a Christmas gift, he wasted no time in sliding the rest from her lean, toned body. Velvet hissed down her torso and slipped from her legs. Clad only in strapless bra and panties with her hair falling in wild layers past her shoulders, she kicked the tangled material off her feet and flashed him a devilish smile.
“You’re deadly.” But what a way to die.
Off came the bra. She grinned like the seductress she was and tossed it away. “I’ll be gentle.”
“Don’t lie to me anymore.” His hands covered her breasts, claiming them. “Game’s over.”
“Wrong, Nic. It’s just getting started.” She pushed his shirt from his shoulders and breathed against his neck.
He grabbed a handful of her hair and crushed his mouth to hers. No going slow. The need to satiate the lust was too strong, too overpowering. Every kiss, each touch set off a chain reaction of moans and longing.
Somehow — as if in a trance — he stripped free from his clothes. There was no going back now. But it’d been too long since he’d had this release, this intensity of emotion, felt the wildness pumping through his veins. Years of abstinence abandoned in one night. He’d think about why later. He had to have her. Now. Fast. Hard.
Legs wrapped around him, she urged him to thrust inside her. Take her. Mindless passion erupted when he entered her with one sure, hard movement. Hands were everywhere. Glorious. Every sensation electrified his skin. Their lips found each other in the dark as they moved as one ferocious animal with one singular thought: possession.
“It’s been too long,” he said into her mouth.
“I love the way you feel inside me,” she said. “Please, Nic. God, Nic.”
That’s all it took. The sound of his name coming out of her mouth at that moment. The huskiness of her voice, the warmth of her body encompassing his, her hand pulling at his hair. Damn.
But she was with him all the way, biting his shoulder and clawing at his back. Energy bled from his soul, powerful and intoxicating. Sweat soaked their bodies like a layer of oil. Damp hair stuck to his neck and forehead.
“Don’t move,” she instructed against his ear. “Stay inside me.”
He pushed his hands into the hair against the sides of her face and struggled to decipher her features in the dark. “I couldn’t wait. It was too—"
“You’re not complaining are you?” She squeezed her thighs around his hips and laughed.
“Me? No, I was just—"
“You talk too damn much. Next time we’ll go slow.”
“Ten minutes from now too soon for you?” Her tongue flicked across his lips.
“Make it five.”
Hours later he watched her sleeping, smiled at her little snore, and disentangled himself from her arms. He couldn't sleep, not with questions raging through his mind. Naked, he walked to the balcony and looked out over the quiet streets of Barcelona.
Too many years had been spent rushing from one project to the next and rejecting all emotional entanglements. Yet here he was with a woman that came with a warning label—and he didn't want to be anywhere else.
Looking out the sea where a distant ship had docked, its lights illuminating its deck against the dark water and sky, he thought of the past he'd left behind eleven years ago.
He should have told her — somewhere between confessing his love for coffee and making love to her — he should have admitted his tainted past that would surely be brought to light by some ambitious reporter now that their pretense had become reality.
"Now this is what I like to see when I wake up in the middle of the night." She curved her hands over his ass and bit his back.
He smiled at the greeting.
When she stepped next to him — also bare-assed naked — and stretched her arms to the sky, he sighed at the vision she presented. Moonlight bathed her bare breasts, not overly large and not too small, just right for the size of his hands. Hair shimmered down her back as she tipped her head back, eyes closed, and sighed.
"I think my next resort will be a nudist colony," he said, "as long as you plan on visiting me as often as possible."
"I'm always seeking a getaway." She faced him, her finger tracing a line up the center of his chest. "Tell me what you're thinking. Regretting our little lie already? Scared of what being affiliated with me might do to you?"
"Nope." He snagged her hand in his. "I'm more complicated than you may have thought when you picked me up on that dusty road. I'm thinking of that."
"Ah, I see." She shrugged. "Does this have something to do with the bloody past that Pam made sure I knew about at the party?"
He gaped at her, shocked at her words. "You know?"
"Not really," she admitted, linking her arms behind his waist and looking up at him. "All I know is that you had a daughter, Pam was the godmother, and that there was a funeral. I'm sorry about that...it must have been hard to bury a child."
He never talked about this with anyone. Not a soul. He slipped his fingers through her hair and sighed. "It was a long time ago."
The fact that she didn't press him to tell his sorry tale warmed him to her even more. She accepted that there was something horrible looming in his past without one selfish thought about how it could impact her. He wanted to tell her —here in the moonlight with the sea breeze kissing their naked skin after multiple orgasms had broken down his defenses — yet he didn't want to let the past shadow the present or distract from the danger chasing her.
"You don't need to stay with me," she whispered. "We both got what we wanted, had some fun, but you can go. I'll make a statement that we broke up. The world doesn't need to know your story. Just go if that's what you need to do. No hard feelings."
He knew he should take her up on that offer, get dressed, kiss her goodbye, and go back to his life with a fabulous memory of making love to liquid fire. Yet he couldn't seem to move away from her.
"Are you really staying in Barcelona to work as an art restorer at the museum?" he asked. "Despite everything—"
"Yes, I am." She lifted her chin a bit higher. "It's a dream come true for me and I'm not letting these bastards stop me from doing it."
"Then would you be open to..."
"To?" she asked when he let the sentence drift off.
"Dating me? For real? I've been called boring in the past so—"
"You are far from boring." She smiled and broke eye contact. "Can I help with the mural?"
"Yes." He brushed his thumb over her cheekbone. "I'm hoping you will anyway."
"I'd love to go on a date with you, Dominic." She kissed the center of his chest and his heart melted. "
"Then that's what we'll do. When all this is over, we'll date each other like proper adults."
He wrapped her in his arms, resting his chin on the top of her head and closing his eyes. He wished he could stay here, like this, forever, but knew his days of hiding had come to an end the moment she'd stopped to help him on a dusty, country road.
Releasing worldwide on March 22
From the back cover...
One little lie leads to a whole lot of trouble.
Reclusive international resort developer, Dominic Piazza, needs a date to ward off his matchmaking parents. When he persuades the notorious Vanessa Warren to play his girlfriend for the night, he has no idea he's stepped into the crosshairs of kidnappers who will do anything—destroy everything—to get to her.
Power...it's a heady drug.
Vanessa Warren is America's favorite rebel. Daughter and granddaughter of US Presidents and sister to a future one, her family connections and notoriety are seen as leverage for manipulating the White House—if she's captured.
One true thing...
Trapped in a rapidly escalating international terror plot, Dominic and Vanessa's lie becomes the only real thing in the midst of betrayals, conspiracies, and murder. As their world falls apart, they suddenly only have each other to rely on against ruthless people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Who can they trust? Who is behind the plot—her own family, a political rival of her family's, or a terrorist organization? How far will the kidnappers go—what will they be willing to sacrifice—to control the power of the White House? Is there anywhere in the world where they can find safety?
Available at all distributors worldwide on March 22
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