Witness to Passion
Guarding Her Body # 1
By: Naima Simone
Releasing June 16, 2015
Under his protection and in his bed…
For Fallon Wayland, birthdays are just another reminder of her looming spinsterhood. This year is shaping up to be no different. Unfairly fired from her job, dumped by her boyfriend, and oh yes, witnessing the murder of a high-ranking lieutenant in the local crime family… Yeah, birthdays suck.
Ever since a disastrous, hot-as-hell kiss years ago, soldier-turned-security specialist Shane Roarke has avoided his baby sister’s reckless—and gorgeous—best friend. Yet when her life is threatened after she witnesses a gang hit, he insists on protecting her…even if she objects.
The two are forced to hole up in a safe house. Alone. Passion long denied erupts between them, burning away their inhibitions. But even as layers—and clothes—are peeled away, danger closes in. Shane and Fallon might finally have a chance at love…if they survive long enough to see it.
“Can’t sleep?” Shane asked.
“No,” Fallon murmured. “It’s too quiet.”
He nodded, rising to his feet from the couch. The dog tags around his neck clacked against one another, drawing her attention to the wide, naked expanse of his chest. How she managed to sound calm and unaffected by the sight of all that taut skin should be filed under minor miracles. Especially since inside her panties she popped, sizzled, and lit up like a damn Fourth of July fireworks show.
“Here.” He scooped up the television remote from the fee table and tossed it to her. “Take the couch.” He bent, picked up his pants, and turned to step into them. “I’ll sleep on the—”
“Jesus Christ.” She caught the remote on autopilot, the sheet dropping from her numb fingers. Horror poured through her in a thick, choking deluge. Before her mind could catch up with her body, she was closing the distance between them. Her hands were reaching for him, gripping his hips above the low-hanging black band of his boxers and unbuckled, sagging pants.
Her eyes were drinking in the terrible scars marring his back.
Shane went unnaturally still, and the tensing of his muscles telegraphed his intention to jerk away. But she tightened her hold, ignored the fact that she’d violated his unspoken edict regarding her touching him.
“Please,” she whispered, unable to prevent the pain and fear from seeping through. Maybe he detected it, detected the desperate need. Because, though he didn’t relax, instead remaining as rigid as a statue, he didn’t move away from her.
Didn’t leave her.
Emitting a sound caught somewhere between a whimper and a sigh, she gently—reverently—traced the gouged-out flesh just below his waist, the hard, puckered skin surrounding the old wound. Pressing her forehead to his shoulder blade, she smoothed fingertips over the long, ridged scar aligning the bottom of his spine. Stroked the raised, shiny mark the size and shape of a nickel on the back of his upper arm.
Grief for his suffering, panic at the realization of just how close she’d come to losing him pummeled the breath from her chest, leaving a hollow, agonizing ache behind. Of course she’d known he’d been hurt; only a serious injury could’ve kept Shane from returning to the Army he loved.
But four years ago when she’d received that call from Addy about Shane being shipped home, her friend had told her he’d been shot. That’s it. She hadn’t detailed the gravity the scars covering his body conveyed. They’d kept her in the dark. Purposefully.
“You wouldn’t let me come to the hospital,” she said.
“No,” he stated, voice flat.
“Why?” she demanded softly. He didn’t reply, only fisted his fingers at his sides. “I would’ve come. If you’d let me, I would’ve,” she murmured, then bent and brushed her lips over the scar on his waist.
Jolting as if struck by a bolt of lightning, he whipped around, a fierce frown darkening his face. “What the hell are you doing?”
Naima's love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Linda Howard many years ago. Though her first attempt at writing a romance novel at 11 never saw the light of day, her love of romance and writing has endured. Now, she spends her time creating stories of unique men and women who experience the dizzying heights of passion and the tender heat of love. She is the wife to Superman - or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent - and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Rafflecopter Giveaway (Ignite Prize Pack including: 3 digital Ignite titles: Make Me Up by Avery Flynn, Fighting For Keeps by Seleste deLaney and His Last Redemption by Clarissa Yip. And a set of the Secrets and Sins series in print: Gabriel, Malachim, Raphael and Chayot (Intl winners will receive Ebook substitute))