The Darkest Sunrise duet was one of my most gripping reads of 2017, and we are back in that world with Tanner Reese’s book—a standalone spin-off story, out tomorrow. Enjoy a little sneak peek!
Brushing the hair off her face, I allowed my fingertips to trail down the soft slope of her jaw. With gentle pressure, I tipped her chin up. “Why is talking to me about your life embarrassing?”
Her eyes opened and immediately focused over my shoulder. “I… I don’t know. Have you seen you, Tanner? Airing my dirty laundry in front of a guy like you is a little, well…intimidating.”
I tried not to let the “guy like you” comment sting by assuming she was referring to my good genes.
“So this is about looks? Have you seen you, Rita? Trust me when I say I am not stalking you for your dazzling personality. Honestly, you scare me sometimes. But you have a nice ass, so here I am.” I winked to be sure she knew I was kidding.
She glared at me, unimpressed. “I’m serious.”
“Fine. Then seriously, Greg is a dick, but whatever bullshit he does or doesn’t pull doesn’t reflect on you. You have nothing to be embarrassed about.” I paused. “Well, except for the fact that you mounted me when we first met. I can’t wait to tell our kids about that one day.”
“Talking about children is not casual!” She shoved at my chest. “I should have hit you harder when we were playing Slapsies.”
Refusing to let her go, I stole a peck at her lips. “See. Scary.”
“Maybe. But you can talk to me. I told you that the other night and I meant it. You can even look at me when you do it too.” I swirled a finger around in front of my face. “I promise you won’t see anything but understanding up here.”
Her face got soft. “You’re a sweet guy, Tanner.”
“And so humble,” she deadpanned.
I tsked my teeth and shifted her deeper into my front. “Aw, shucks. Now, you’re just flirting.”
Her eyes were twinkling with humor, but her face remained stoic. “Are you going to take me to lunch or what?”
“I don’t know. Are you going to unload on me instead of ignoring my texts from now on? You’re giving me a complex with all the chasing I’ve had to do in the last few days.”
Her sexy mouth fell open in mock horror. “You? A complex?”
I nodded, bending to nip at her bottom lip. “I know. I know. It’s hard to see past all of my raw sexual magnetism. But believe it or not, I have feelings too.”
“Oh, yeah,” she purred. “And what are those feelings right now?”
Unable to hide my smile, I dropped my mouth to hers and whispered, “Asiago mac and cheese.”
Her lips parted, a gasp fluttering out. “Dear God. Who’s flirting now?”
“Me. Absolutely. Unquestionably. Me. Christ, it’s been three days and you’re just now catching on to this?”
When she burst into laughter, face-planting into my chest, her arms folding around my hips as she hugged me, I realized how wrong I’d been.
The terror and exhilaration of jumping out of a plane at fourteen thousand feet had nothing on the pure adrenaline-fueled high of finally finding a woman like Rita Hartley.