One wrong keystroke in one simple email was all it took to bring JD Devine and Jill Hawkins together. But the friendship that followed was anything but simple. Two years of laughter and tears, arguments and secrets, has brought them closer and resulted in a stronger bond than many married couples share. And yet they've never made love. On their two-year anniversary, everything changes. Upon Jill's arrival home after their celebration dinner, a man attacks and tries to abduct her. JD rescues her and whisks her to safety, but the reality of almost losing Jill forces JD to face his true feelings and unleashes a passion that startles them both. It also forces JD to spill his secrets. Determined to avenge his wife's murder and bring to justice the corrupt corporation and the woman responsible, JD infiltrated the organization and has been accumulating evidence against them. But now with his identity revealed and a killer on their tails, all bets are off. JD and Jill join forces, blazing a trail of passion and healing old wounds, even as they fight for their lives and seek to complete JD's quest for justice. Reader Advisory: Story contains male/male sex scene.
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Roguish Hearts by Nikki Soarde
"JD?" she whispered into the dark.
He started awake as if he'd heard a gunshot rather than a whisper. "Jill?" In a heartbeat he was at the bedside. He cupped her face in his hands, staring at her in a way that made her heart thud against her chest.
"Yes, it's me," she said, trying to sound flippant. "Last I checked, anyway."
"Are you okay? Anything hurt? Headache?"
"No, no. I'm...I think I'm okay. What happened? What was--"
And then he kissed her.
He threaded his fingers through her hair, cupped the back of her head and held her firm while his mouth took absolute possession of hers.
Startled at first, she stiffened, but soon melted beneath the warmth of his hands and the fire she sensed in his kiss. When at last he broke away she went limp in his hands, gasping for breath.
"What? What the hell was that?" He'd never kissed her before. Beyond the occasional friendly peck, their lips had never met. Oh, she'd imagined it enough times, but her dreams hadn't even come close to the reality.
He smiled but it didn't reach his eyes. He brushed some hair from her face, touched her cheek. "I almost thought I'd lost you."
He nodded, all traces of the smile evaporating. "Yes, I did. And I've never been so scared in my life."
She tried to remember to breathe. How could she breathe with those eyes looking at her, pressing in on her, surrounding her?
"What happened, JD? What did that man want? Why did he want to hurt me?"
He brushed his thumb over her cheek, touched her hair, skimmed his hands down her arms. "He didn't."
He leaned in, his cheek brushing hers as he drew in a deep breath. As if he were breathing her in, memorizing her scent. And she could smell him, too--a powerful mixture of Polo cologne, rain and the faint musk of sweat. His whisper sent shivers skittering down her back. "He didn't want to hurt you, baby, he wanted to hurt me."
Without purpose, and in reflex to her confusion, she lifted her hand. As she did so her fingertips brushed across his stomach. She felt the ripple of muscle, the smooth, firm texture of his skin. Unable, or perhaps unwilling to stop herself, she pressed her palm against his rib cage and felt the steady thud of his heart. "I don't understand, JD. Why did he want to hurt you, and then why go after me? Why are we in a motel? And why--"
His tongue was tracing her jaw, and his hand cupped her breast through the thin fabric of her blouse.
She wanted to cry. Cry from a desire so long denied, cry from confusion. Her voice trembled as she asked, "Why are you doing this, JD? Why are you doing this now?"
He took her face in his hands once again, pressed his forehead to hers and she felt the warmth of his breath against her lips as he spoke. "I'll explain it all later. I'll explain everything." He kissed her, quick and hard. "But now--just right now--I need to touch you, feel you, be inside you." His hands fell from her face, slipped beneath her blouse. Warm and strong, they bracketed her waist. "Please, Jill. I've never needed anything quite so much as I need to make love to you right this minute."
Tears stung her eyes at the raw need in his voice, and she chose not to question him, but to give herself over to her desires. And to his.
"All right" was all she said and then lost herself in him.
His mouth joined with hers, hard and hungry. A small voice in the back of his mind whispered for him to take it slow, be gentle, tease and savor. But that tiny whisper was drowned out by the deafening roar of need.
He could sense the surrender in her, the submission and trust, every morsel of vulnerability like tossing dry sticks on the flames in his soul. It was as if she'd just opened herself up to him, laid herself bare.
Ironic since at that moment he was the one who felt defenseless, stripped of every bit of armor he usually wore to protect himself. Jill had always had a way of sneaking in under his defenses, of touching places he didn't really want touched, but now, tonight, there were no guards, nothing to hide behind. Only him and her and the passion that he'd been denying too long. And now that he'd given himself over to it, he couldn't get enough.
Her skin was like cream running through his fingers, her lips tasted of rain. When they parted in invitation he gave in to his hunger and sank into her, tasting every corner of her mouth and thrilling to the soft whimpers and purrs of pleasure that rumbled through her chest and into his.
He kissed her deeply and hard, holding her tight and ravishing her mouth until her fingers curled and her nails sank into his back. He pulled back, afraid that he was going too fast, that he would lose control. Knowing he had to slow things down, he broke the kiss. He murmured her name, sipping at her mouth, nipping at her lips, only to give in to instinct and take her again, assaulting her tongue and allowing her to ravish his. He could have kissed her like this for hours, savoring the sweet press of their bodies, the way her soul seemed to connect to his. But even as he had that thought, he acknowledged it wasn't enough.
"JD." Her voice was breathless. "What was that? What's happening?"
He met her searching gaze, felt seared by it. "Something that should have happened ages ago." He cupped her chin, held it. "I want you, Jill. I need you. Do you understand that? Do you get it?"
Eyes wide, she licked her lips--and nodded.
Suddenly frantic, his fingers fumbled with the buttons on her blouse. In his haste one popped off and he mumbled an apology. But she only smiled, her hands skimming his chest, cresting over his shoulders and sending fresh desire flashing through his veins.
"You know I've never seen you without a shirt," she was saying as she pushed the fabric from his shoulders. "But my God..." She pressed her lips to his shoulder, flicked out her tongue. "It was worth the wait."
He groaned. "Then we're even." Her blouse finally fell to the floor and her bra followed. He cupped her breast, her small, pink nipple hardening against his palm. He could feel the flutter of her heart and her sharp intake of breath. "Jesus, Jill." He bent and drew her breast into his mouth.
"What?" She ran her fingers through his hair, drew him closer. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." He suckled her nipple, laved it, savored it, moved to the other side and lavished his attentions there as well. "Nothing's wrong. You're amazing. You're perfect."