He found her handcuffed to his bed. Can they unchain her memories in time to save her life?
When pharmaceutical researcher Alexis Knight returns home from the Amazon jungle in a quest to reclaim the year of her life lost to amnesia, she discovers a host of changes have taken place in her absence. Not only has the shy, geeky boy she knew years ago transformed into a virile, confident hunk, he's bought her family home and is in the process of turning her late mother's bedroom into a den of iniquity.
When Jake O'Malley finds spitfire Allie handcuffed to his bed, accused of breaking and entering, his first thought is that his dreams have been served up to him on a platter. Then he realizes she's not acting when she says she doesn't remember the past year, nor her own mother's death.
As Jake eases Allie past her grief, her journey to reclaim her memories entwines with an exploration into the world of BDSM. Just as their psychological duel to dominate heats up, they make another, more chilling discovery.
There's a reason Allie lost her memory--someone wants her dead.
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July 30, 2007
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Excerpt from Lost but Not Forgotten by Mackenzie McKade
Friday night everything about Allie said she was aching for a fight. The scowl she wore added to the worry wrinkles pressing into her forehead. Her movements were quick and sharp as she paced the floor, only stopping to flip the sleeve of his jacket lying across the couch. Guess he was lucky she didn't toss his coat on the floor and stomp up and down on it.
From the second the door closed behind him, she had moved like a caged tigress--restless--walking a path in the already worn carpet of the living room. Fact was she'd been like this ever since the gas leak incident night before last.
Through the split in the black robe she wore, he caught a glimpse of her thigh.
What did she wear beneath the flimsy silk robe?
A fire blazed in the fireplace, casting shadows. As if the room needed any more heat than what this particular woman already generated. Wind whistled through the chimney, stirring the flames. Orange and red sparks sputtered from the hearth.
As Jake unlaced his boots, he watched Allie make another tour around the room. She stopped and glared at everything that belonged to him. First was a piece of Western art hanging where a picture of an old English cottage use to be, then his coat rack, and finally his shoes from last night. Each time she passed one of the items, she made low grating sounds.
Stuffing his socks into his boots, Jake remembered he'd seen Allie in a similar tirade before, but somehow this one seemed more formidable. She was putting all her pain and guilt behind it. The best thing for him to do was to march up those stairs and ignore her.
Boots in his hands, he made for the stairs.
"Where are you going?" she barked.
Jake clenched his teeth and tried to remind himself that she was grieving. Anger was one of the steps toward healing.
He'd been there--done that.
There were many times he had wished to go off on someone, but didn't. Fact was there was no one else for her to take it out on except for him.
He reached the first step before he turned around and replied, "Upstairs. Shower."
Allie flapped her arms like a bird taking flight and made a discouraging huff. "Sure. Make yourself at home."
He took a deep breath. Patience. She's hurting. He started back up the stairs.
"But it isn't," she bit out sharply.
Midway up the stairs, he paused and once again turned toward her. "Isn't what?"
Fists propped against her hips, she haughtily raised a brow. "Your home."
He was exhausted, too tired to argue with her. The rain had interfered with finishing the home he had promised would be completed today. The customer had said she understood, but he hated falling through on a promise. He was a man of his word.
For a second, he listened to the splatter of raindrops pelting the windows. Darkness had fallen early. He prayed his crew retrieved all their equipment and they'd made it safely home.
And now there was Allie to deal with.
The little spitfire stood at the bottom of the stairs, aching for a fight. Her eyes sparkled with fury.
Just ignore her. He shook his head and continued up the stairs. "Not tonight, Allie." The pattering of heated footsteps followed.
"Don't walk away from me," she huffed from behind him.
He didn't stop until he was in his bedroom. Neither did Allie as she swung open the door he had closed. It hit the back of the wall with a bang.
Great. Just one more thing to fix.
She stood in the middle of his room glaring at him. Even as he shrugged his arms out of the straps of his coveralls and jerked his shirt off, baring his chest, she remained apparently unmoved. That is if the fire in her eyes was any indication.
As he undid the buttons on the side of his coveralls and began to drag them to his hips, she stuttered, "W-what are you doing?"
"Undressing," he responded.
Color dotted her cheeks as her eyes widened. "Here?"
He glanced around the room. "Uh. Yeah. Bedroom."
She pinched her lips together. "You don't scare me."
His undressing wasn't meant to scare her. He only wanted a warm shower, something to eat, and the comfort of his bed. "Fine." He dropped his pants around his ankles, baring the white briefs he wore.
When his thumbs slipped beneath the elastic band of his briefs, she cried, "Jake." Her voice was shrill. "You wouldn't."
"Look, Allie, we've played this game before. You know I will. So either stand there or get out of my room."
She steeled her shoulders, giving them a little shake that said, "Go ahead."
His briefs fell around his ankles and he stepped out of them.
The muscles in her throat tightened as she swallowed. With just a grin, he dared her to look away.
Instead, she nailed her gaze right on his hips, making his body's temperature soar. All thoughts of exhaustion and needing a shower flew out the window. His cock jerked alive, lengthening and arching toward his belly button.
"Come here." The timber in his voice deepened. Man, he wanted to hold her in arms.
Nervously, she wet her lips. "Not interested." She raised her eyes to meet his. If he wasn't mistaken, the fire burning in her gaze wasn't fury any more, but arousal.
Jake took a step forward. "Liar."
Her body swayed as if to move away from him, but she stood firm.
He took another step toward her. "If those perky nipples pressing against your robe are any indication, I'd say you're very interested."
Allie snorted. "In your dreams, buddy."
Another step brought him closer, until he stood directly in front of her. He leaned down, bringing their faces within an inch of each other.
"Kiss me," he whispered. She smelled of lilies and soap and a night filled with pleasure.
Their gazes locked in a mental battle.
"Never," she snarled. Her chin tilted arrogantly.
His nose lightly touched hers. He caressed her softly, urging her to close the distance between their lips. "Kiss me."
He heard the ragged breath she sucked into her lungs. "No."
Slipping a palm to the nape of her neck, he felt her silky tresses against the back of his hand. "Kiss me." As he applied pressure, she stiffened, resisting him.
Fine. Now wasn't the time. She would come to him sooner or later.
Jake released Allie and stepped backward. Without a word, he walked past her, out of the bedroom and into the hall bathroom. He pushed the door closed. Leaning against the cool wood, he glanced down at his engorged erection.
"Looks like another hand job, buddy."
After stepping into the shower, Jake twisted the faucets to start the water. Temperature regulated, he allowed the steamy water to wash over his tired muscles.
Damn, but he was tired, add to that horny and he was in a difficult position.
He raised his face to the flow of water, which suddenly turned icy cold.
"Shit," he shouted, jumping from the shower, dripping water all over the floor as he grabbed a towel. His once hearty cock died a fast death, shriveling close to the shelter of his body. "Arghhh..." He shivered, wrapping the towel around his shoulders.
Safely outside the shower, he stood twisting the cold water completely off. Scalding hot water met his touch. "Sonofabitch." He jerked his hand back. "What the hell is going on now?" As he turned the faucets off, the soft tinkling of laughter sounded from behind the closed door.
"Allie!" he yelled.