The last thing he wanted was what he needed most...
Six agonizing months after a slug collapsed his lung, Sergeant Justin Harrison manages to return to the one place where he shines—the San Diego homicide division. Nothing will stand in the way of proving he is fit for active duty. Especially not the long-legged brunette who just stumbled into his crime scene.
Photographer Paige Conroy spent years hiding from her past. Then a late night telephone call brings it crashing back. An old friend is in town and needs her help. When she arrives at his hotel room four hours later, he's dead.
Suddenly, she's the target of a madman, and Paige must turn to Sergeant Harrison for protection. But who is the bigger threat to her... the faceless assailant she fears will steal her life or the dark-eyed detective she knows could steal her heart?
Palm flat against his chest, her hand streaked up, slipped beneath his jacket and skimmed down his side. Her fingers curled into his shirt. From somewhere deep inside, sanity returned. Alarm bells chimed in her head like a gong. Her body tightened as a chill ran the length of her spine. She pulled her mouth from his, pressed trembling hands against his shoulders and staggered back, out of his arms.
“Paige…” His voice hoarse, and tinged with confusion, he reached for her.
“I can’t do this. I’m sorry.”
The intensity of what they’d just shared rocked her foundation. Never before had she felt anything so powerful, experienced anything so right. When he touched her, when he pulled her to him he made her forget everything but him. Gone was her fear, her anxiety. In its place raged need stronger than she’d ever known. Longing so powerful she’d been helpless to resist. Until the placement of her hands upon his smooth washboard of muscle registered. Reality slammed back into place.
How could she have forgotten so quickly? The one thing she feared most was there, right there beneath her right hand, beneath the cool polymer of his Glock. The memory of him holding that same side of his body as pain stole the warmth from his eyes settled in. Followed quickly by the remembered pain of loss.
“This is wrong.”
“I want to take you home tonight,” he replied as if he hadn’t heard her protest.
“You ask too much of me.”
“It’s too much to want to protect you? Too much to believe you should be safe?”
Her body still vibrated from his touch. When her eyes darted to the bed near her and his followed.
“It doesn’t have to be that way. As much as I would love to carry you to that big bed over there, it doesn’t have to be like that. Let me keep you safe.”
Safe. She would feel safe with Justin. No longer alone, no longer afraid. But who would keep her safe from him? Being with him felt so right, so natural, and powerful. That was dangerous. She’d been that route before, had stood on that precipice of pain and loss and she was in no rush to return. This time, she didn’t think she would survive.
where dangerously sexy & happily-ever-after collide