We all have secrets.
Some so closely guarded for the safety of ourselves–and others…
Lily won’t consider a permanent relationship. When she meets the singer of a rock band at an underground nightclub, she’s disarmed by his sensual voice and mischievous good looks. After an icy introduction, Lily warms up to Nico’s charms.
He’s a computer geek by day, and rock star by night. How could she resist such a combination?
She can’t–but must keep an emotional distance. No one would understand her furry little secret. It could be dangerous. Especially during the full moon.
Yet, she might be the one in danger…
Ignite is the third installment in the Underground Encounters series, set in a club that attracts supernatural creatures.
Each book features a different couple–and possibly a different species!–and can be read on its own.
Step into Vamps, a thrilling new world of steamy paranormal romance featuring sexy shifters, thirsty vampires, wicked witches, and gorgeous gargoyles.
After having a coffee and muffin at a café near the Salem Willows, I wandered down to a bookstore in the main part of town. I scanned the new releases in search of something to sink into while I did my laundry that afternoon. I know—yet another fascinating weekend.
“What an oddly pleasant surprise. Fancy seeing you again, Cara.”
Cara? Why did that name ring a bell?
Oh crap—that was the fake name I used. Just once. With one person. Who had that faint British accent.
I glanced up quickly to verify it was him. Those hazel eyes looking directly at me confirmed my hope or fear or whatever it was, as each emotion vied for dominance. For a moment, I lost my surroundings, mesmerized by his eye color. The earthy-brown on the outer edge faded into a mossy-green gradient closer to the pupil. Then I glanced away since guilt flooded me next. Even though his band’s website was public, I couldn’t help but think I’d been snooping.
“I’m surprised you remembered,” I said, finally finding the sense to respond.
Glancing away from his face wasn’t enough to distract me as my gaze assessed his body. He wore faded jeans and a black T-shirt with a white skull on it. The shirt was just tight enough for me to make out a cut torso beneath. He was lean and cut, showing he worked out on a regular basis. A tattoo of the VC scrolled logo extended from under his sleeve.
Hmm, what other tattoos did he have hidden under his clothes?
“How could I not? You made it so difficult to get even a fake name out of you.”
He smiled and it made me blush for reasons I didn’t quite understand. What I did know was that he still looked hot as hell. Even hotter now than he did onstage. A literary bad boy in a bookstore.
And smelled even more intoxicating. Although the scent of his masculinity and the sweat from playing onstage had elicited an involuntary sensual response from me the first time we met, now I found it even more difficult not to bury my face in his neck. I would inhale the heady fragrance of him, the faint scent of soap lingering on him. I’d bet it was Irish Spring.
Act normal. Act normal.
“What can I say?” I recovered quickly. “I’m a private person. I don’t give out my personal information to someone I just met. Not even to computer geeks who double as rock stars.” I flashed him a smile, which was a mistake. He looked at me so intensely that I forgot my intention of flirting as my mind now swarmed with questions. Time sped up and slowed all at once. Why was he looking at me that way? Did he realize the effect he was having upon me? What the heck was happening? Whatever it was, I didn’t like this feeling of being out of control.
I had to break the eye contact to gain some perspective on the situation. But when I looked down, I made the unfortunate mistake of looking directly at his crotch, which threw me off-kilter in a different way.
“Find anything promising?” he asked.
My cheeks burned. Oh God, yes! There is so much promise right there.
“Umm.” I looked up at him again.
“A book,” he clarified. “Did you find any promising reads?”
You idiot! I scolded myself. I put down the second book in the dystopian series in a conscious effort to break the eye contact and regain some semblance of control. I had to rein in the lust that was making an ass out of me right now.
“Not yet. The first book disturbed me so much. I kept reading, wanting to know how it would play out. But I don’t know if I’m ready to climb on the roller coaster ride again just yet. Maybe something lighter? What have you got there?” I asked, looking at the book rather than at him.
You’re babbling. Stop it.
“The third book in this historical fantasy series. Definitely not a light read. I love these books so much that I hate them.” He ran his hand over his close-cut hair as he laughed, his even, white teeth gleaming.
“Why is that?”
“Because I can’t put them down. I can’t get anything done without wanting to run back to the book to see what happens to the characters next. And when something happens that blows my mind, I take it personally. Even though I know it’s all fiction and the characters aren’t real. It’s ridiculous!”
“Wow, that’s quite an endorsement. I may have to give it a go myself.”
“Do it. No, don’t do it. You’ll love me and hate me for it.”
I looked up at him once again and felt my insides betraying my attempt to control my emotions. “Well, now I’ll have to try one,” I said. “Where are they?”
“I warned you,” he said with that mischievous smile that I’m sure disarmed many other women besides me. “Come with me.” He led me to a display with several books with images of goblets and crowns and other medieval elements on the covers.
From behind me, he reached around and grabbed a book. His breath tickled the back of my neck and my eyes almost fluttered closed from the unexpected, intimate warmth. When he placed the book in my hand, his fingers touched mine and lingered.
I took a deep breath to center myself and skimmed the back cover.