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A one-night-stand should not become an obsession.

Maddox Wade is a man used to getting what he wants. Raised on the wrong side of the tracks, what he wanted most in life was to never be poor again. Now with billions at his disposal, his only wish is to free his sister from killers. What he didn’t count on is the one-night-stand that he can’t stop obsessing over. A woman who could prove to be his downfall.

FBI Special Agent, Pepper James, has it all — a stellar career, friends she loves, a doting father. Only Mr. Right is missing from the picture, and when he shows up in the form of a handsome, mysterious billionaire, Pepper doesn’t hesitate to embrace the romance, or the heat.

But when intel on her new case suggests her mystery man is guilty of human trafficking, Pepper must ignore her heart and do her job. Or risk compromising the career she’s worked so hard to build.


Lashell Collins


Book Series: 

A feisty, by-the-book FBI agent risks everything when she discovers the man she loves is involved in her new case in Lashell Collins’s new Romantic Suspense novel—part of her brand new Agent Pepper James series—and I have an excerpt for you.

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This woman. 

He didn’t understand it. Couldn’t put his finger on it. But there was something about her that had reached out and grabbed him the moment he glanced across the bar and spotted her.

That sounded like a cliché, but he’d be damned if it wasn’t true.

He saw her and something inside him lit up like a torch.

It wasn’t just her beauty. That part was obvious — creamy light brown skin and eyes like smokey quartz. Medium brown hair that fell to her shoulders like woven silk, and bone structure that seemed sculpted from the finest bronze. And since the hot pink dress she was wearing left very little work for his imagination to do, he could already tell the rest of her was as sexy as her mile-long legs.

But picking up women in bars? 

Hell, he didn’t have the time. Not to mention the fact that when it came to dating, he was always leery of motives. 

He was well aware that his bank account sometimes drew the wrong kind of attention from the fairer sex. Plus, he was always so damn busy working. So what he was doing right now? Trailing after this woman like a dog follows the scent of a female in heat? This was rare.

Rarer than rare.

This was insane. 

This was a byproduct of all the stress and frustration. A result of the raging fear and desperation.

He’d been so focused on Maxi for days. But tonight, he’d done all he could. Tonight he would sweep it aside and give his mind something else to focus on. A reward for all of his hard work and effort. A respite from all the worry. That’s what Pepper was.

Sweet, spicy Pepper.

He didn’t even know her last name. And maybe that was for the best. That was the way one-night-stands went after all. Not that he’d had a lot of them, but of the few he’d participated in, names weren’t really important.

An image of Pepper’s legs and those sexy high heels ran through his mind. He wondered if he could get her to leave those on. With her sassy attitude she just might oblige him.

He followed her to an upscale apartment building in the heart of the city and followed her inside. They were silent as they crossed the lobby and waited for the elevator. It was almost as though they weren’t even together. But once the door swooshed closed she turned to him and crooked a finger. When he leaned closer she pressed her lips to his.

That was all it took to stoke the fire.

His arms wrapped around her, his hands gliding over her back and down. 

He cupped her ass, giving it a light squeeze, and Pepper opened up for him. His tongue met hers, drawing a soft moan from her as their kiss deepened.

He had her back against the elevator wall, pinning her in place when the bell dinged, announcing her floor.

He dragged himself away from her and followed her out of the lift and down the hall to her door.

As she fumbled with her keys he ran a single finger up the back of her left thigh and beneath the short skirt of her dress. She hissed out a breath when he gently grabbed a handful of bare ass. To his astonishment and pleasure, she wore a thong under this much-too-short dress.

The door opened and they lurched inside. He closed it behind them. 

An instant later, she shoved him backwards into the door, and locked her mouth onto his again. 

Excitement surged through his chest. 

“You like it rough, Sparky?” His voice was a croak after that kiss, but he had to ask. “Or you just want to be in charge?”

“Does it matter?” Her words came out on a breathless pant.

“Sure it does. Tell me your flavor and I’ll try to give it to you.”

“My flavor is shut up and fuck me.”

Oh yeah. You found yourself a fun freaky-deaky in this one, Maddox.

He grinned at that thought and peeled out of his jacket.

They moved through her apartment with jerky, frantic steps — kissing and stripping and groping and dropping clothing like they were leaving a trail to follow later.

In her bedroom, Pepper remained firmly strapped into the driver’s seat, and Maddox had no problem with that. He let her lead him over to the bed where she pushed him backwards. He fell into the center of it, naked and ready.

Part of him was more than fascinated to see where she would lead. Was his new friend a Dominatrix behind closed doors? Or was she simply playing out a fantasy with a mysterious stranger? Either way, Maddox was more than willing to play along.

For now.

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