David Metcalfe seduces women for a living. However, after several years as an undercover operative, using his dashing good looks to facilitate the quest for justice has lost its appeal. And when a retaliatory attack lands him in the hospital, he decides it's time to move on.
When friend and former colleague Detective Stevie Soltice comes to him with a special request, it's hard to say no. Especially when the operation involves rescuing her daughter from The Way, a secretive cult isolated deep in the Appalachian Mountains. Stevie believes the only way in is through the founder's daughter Thea, a beautiful but lonely woman whom they hope will be vulnerable to David's unique talents.
When David meets Thea, she turns his life upside down. Her dedication and passion stir things inside him he's never experienced before and he finds himself falling in love for the first time. But the deception complicates things. And eventually he must decide what's more important. His love for Thea or the welfare of an innocent young girl?
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Essential Seduction by Nikki Soarde
He was confused? She'd never known the meaning of the word until now. She wanted to turn and run from him. Wanted to just walk away and forget she'd ever made the mistake of indulging her passions, and abandoning everything she'd ever learned about discipline, sacrifice and spirituality. Only when you had nothing, when you lacked the distractions of physical pleasures and learned to discipline your need for self-indulgence, could you truly find yourself. Could you truly be happy.
But no level of spiritual fulfillment had ever made her feel like this. Had ever made her feel this "happy". How could she walk away from that? It was just asking too much.
Instead she gave herself over to it. She lost herself in his mouth, languished in his kiss. In the slow, succulent movement of his lips. The sweet, sweet sensuality of it. The hardness of his chest against her breasts. The subtle rasp of his whiskers beneath her palms.
He was the one to break the kiss. He slid his hands up beneath her hair and cupped the back of her head to hold it firm as he withdrew. "What are you doing to me?" His voice was thick. His fingers curled, fisting in her hair and pulling her head back.
And there was something in his eyes. Something almost...primal.
She felt a fresh and unfamiliar ripple of excitement. "I'm not doing anything."
"Like hell you're not." He bent his head to feast on her exposed throat and she closed her eyes in pleasure. "But whatever you're doing, I like it."
She savored his mouth on her flesh.
"You mentioned a special place."
"Yes. I did." She found the strength to separate from him. She managed to step away, but those few moments left her knees weak and her skin dewy. She grabbed his hand once again. "This way."
She led him through the trees, along the path she'd discovered almost two years before. The path had been overgrown and obviously long forgotten, but when she found where it led she marveled that anyone could forget such a place.
They stepped out of the trees into bright yellow sunshine. It was almost noon, and the sun was high in the sky allowing it passage through the canopy of trees that surrounded the hillside oasis. A waterfall on the far side of the pool cast up a shimmering spray and sent ripples skimming across the surface. The sunlight sparkled and danced like a million fairies coated in diamond dust.
Thea heard him whisper, "Wow," as she began stripping off her grubby clothes.
"I know. It's beautiful, isn't it?" She kicked off her jeans and reached for the hem of her T-shirt. "Be careful, though. The moss on these rocks is slippery." Her bra and panties came off next.
"Wh-what are you doing?"
She hesitated on the rocks for but a moment. "I hope you can swim. It's deeper than it looks." Because she'd been here before and knew the water intimately, she dove in head first. The water was cool, refreshing, perfect. It washed away the sweat and grime of the morning, and it made her feel new. She was in her own world here. Here she forgot everything but the sun and the trees and the glory of being alive.
She broke through the surface and breathed deep the scent of flowers and pine. She looked around and was surprised to find her recruit still fully clothed and standing on the shore--staring at her.
"Well?" she yelled. "Aren't you coming in?"
"I'm shy." But his grin belied the words.
"If you're worried about shrinkage, I promise not to giggle."
"Very funny." But at last he began to move his clothes.
She tread water, watching intently as he peeled off his T-shirt and then his jeans. When he turned around to remove his shoes and toss his clothes beneath a tree she had to bite her lip to keep from groaning. She hadn't really had a good view of his backside in the coffee-shop washroom. And now she realized how very fortunate she was to be afforded another chance to see it.
His ass was small, firm and round. It just begged to be squeezed, licked and nibbled on. His back and shoulders above a narrow waist, rippled with muscle and sinew. And, impossibly, inflamed her desire still more.
When he turned back to face her it was apparent that, at this point at least, shrinkage was not an issue.
She swallowed thickly, and tore her eyes away to meet his gaze.
He said nothing. Just grinned and made an effortless dive into the water.
He must have gone very deep because Thea lost track of him almost immediately. She searched the crystal clear water frantically, trying to anticipate where he would surface. But when his arms slid around her waist from behind, it was as if he'd appeared out of nowhere.
His skin was warm against hers despite the cool water that surrounded them. His lips on her throat were hot. His lips coasted along her shoulder as their legs churned beneath them keeping them afloat.
"Why did you bring me here?" he asked.
"I thought that was obvious." She wanted to turn to face him, but his grip on her was vice-like.
"One moment you tell me to get lost, and the next you're dragging me off to an intimate mountain retreat?"
"I'm a woman. I'm allowed to change my mind."
"You're a woman, all right." One hand skimmed across her rib cage to cup a breast and thumb a nipple. "I won't argue that point."
"I was hot and tired and irritated and I just wanted--oh." His other hand had shifted lower, cresting her hip bone and probing between her thighs. She began to swell beneath his touch. She couldn't suppress the soft moan that welled up in her chest when his fingers sank inside her.
"You're wet," he observed.
"Very funny. I'm immersed in water."
"Trust me. I know the difference."
"Mmm. I'll bet you do." The words slipped out on a murmur as her head lolled back against his shoulder.