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Never start a fire you can’t control…
Connor Bannon is supposed to be dead. Dishonorably discharged from the Navy SEALs, he’s spent the last two years working as a street enforcer in Brooklyn for his cousin’s crime ring. Through a twist of fate, he’s now in Chicago, working undercover to bust criminals. But when a cute little arsonist joins the team-all combat boots, tiny jean shorts, and hot-pink hair-Connor’s notorious iron control slips.
Erin “she’s getting away” O’Dea knows two things. She hates authority. And… Nope, that’s it. When she’s forced to operate on the “right” side of the law, her fear of being confined and controlled blazes to the surface. The last thing she expects is a control freak like Connor to soothe her when she needs it most. Worse, something behind the sexy ex-soldier’s eyes ignites a dangerous inferno of desire. One that invites Erin to play with fire. And one that could get them both killed…
As if her thoughts had made him appear, Connor strode into the courthouse. Her pulse started beating double time, her stomach muscles tightening. Good Lord, the man was a fucking panty dropper. She’d only been away from him for a few hours and it felt like years since she’d experienced his presence. In jeans and a fitted gray T-shirt that molded to his muscles like her hands itched to do, he personified confidence and authority. Hot, rugged male. His gaze connected with hers immediately and darkened. She thought back to that morning when he’d dressed in the early morning light, his abs flexing as he pulled the shirt over his head. His erection barely contained by his boxers. She’d never been one to beg for anything, but she’d been seconds from offering him her mouth. Pleading for the privilege of sucking him off.
Conner shook his head at her with a sexy half smile on his face, as if he could read her thoughts across the room. He stopped at the metal detector and walked through after the security guard beckoned him forward. When the woman grabbed her wand and instructed him to raise his hands in the air, something ugly reared its head deep inside her. The detector hadn’t even beeped. There was no reason for the personal service. When the woman smiled at Connor and ran a hand down her ponytail, Erin propelled herself forward, boots echoing on the polished marble.
Erin hissed as she drew even with the guard. “If you’re done feeling up my boyfriend, I’d love a turn. We were in a rush this morning.”
The guard dropped the wand, letting it dangle near her thigh. “Did you just hiss at me?”
Erin hissed again.
“Okay.” Connor stepped between them, winking down at her. “We should go. Don’t want to keep the clerk waiting.”
Appreciation spread in her belly like honey. He hadn’t chided her for her behavior or apologized to the woman on her behalf. Instead he’d given the impression they were on their way to get married, appeasing her jealousy in one fell swoop. “That’s right.” She sauntered toward the elevator. “There’s vows to be exchanged. Rings to put on fingers. Shit like that.”
She glanced behind her to find Connor staring at her ass as she walked, so she put a little swing in her hips and savored his groan. Damn. She’d definitely never had this much fun at a courthouse.
A moment later, she and Connor stepped into an empty elevator. She hit the button for the top floor even though the clerk was on the first, and leaned back against the wall, looking up at him through her eyelashes. “How was your morning, baby? Was it worth leaving me in bed, all hot and bothered for you?”
“Fuck no, it wasn’t.” He crooked a big finger at her. “Climb on up here.”
She stood behind him now with her lips parted and cheeks flushed, watching him stroke himself off like a hormonal teenager. It shouldn’t have made him hotter, not when he didn’t fully understand the problems she obviously had knocking around inside her beautiful head. He should stop now and make her explain, tell her she couldn’t touch him anymore until he knew what she was going through. But there wasn’t any turning back. Not right now, not with his cock heavy in his hand, ready to erupt.
In the mirror, he could see her fingers smoothing against each other, as if she were imagining what it would feel like to replace his hand with her own.
Jesus. He liked having her watch. If her expression had been any different, it might have been another story. The look of wonder, the renewal of arousal that transformed her as she came slowly closer, had him clenching his teeth to prolong the moment. Fuck, though, it hurt. The front of her panties were wet from riding him until she came. Her flat stomach peeked out under the edge of her shirt, reminding him once again how crazy he was to yank it up and see what she hid underneath. At the same time, she looked like an innocent who’d stumbled upon something very, very bad happening and God, it made him want to corrupt her even more. Sick. I’m sick. His balls drew up tight…the tingling began at the base of his spine…
“You should leave,” Connor grated, squeezing his eyes closed. Christ, any minute now…he couldn’t wait any longer. Looking at her, knowing he couldn’t touch her, was killing him. At the same time, his mind was projecting images in a desperate attempt to send him over the edge and find relief. Erin straddling his face, hands cuffed behind her back. Erin’s eyes going blind, ankles around her ears, as drove into her like a madman. “Go, Erin.”
He didn’t hear her move. One second she was standing at the door, the next she was standing on the rim of his bathtub, just beside his left shoulder. Closer. Her tits were eye level and it took every ounce of self-control inside him not to suck them into his mouth, right through her T-shirt. A tiny moan dropped from her lips as she leaned close, watching his hand work his stiff cock. She placed her open lips on his neck and dragged them higher, where she licked at his ear.
“What are you doing?” he demanded. Do it again.
“What feels right,” she whispered, stroking his fingers over his chest. “Tell me what you’re thinking about. Is it me?”
“Of course,” he shouted. “You don’t want to know any more than that.”
“Yes, I do.” She lightly scraped her fingernails down his back, and he growled. “I want to know what I’m missing out on. Tell me.”
Connor broke away, allowing them both to suck in oxygen. “Stay. I’m sorry. Stay.” He bent his knees to bring them eye to eye. His spoke of torture, but he was trying to hide it. “Look at me. I can handle this. I want you here. Don’t leave.”
“I don’t know if I can handle it,” she whispered.
His heavy breaths ceased. “What do you mean?”
She drew out a lighter from her back pocket and ignited the flame. It cleared her head a little, allowing her to search for the right words. Words that wouldn’t sound crazy. “I like touching you. It makes me feel really…good. And there isn’t a whole lot that makes me feel good, you know?” Her throat closed up. “I wish you could touch me, too. I don’t think I can stay here knowing I’m hurting you by making myself feel good…and I don’t think I can stop touching you. It feels like a must.”
A flare of panic flashed across his face. “I shouldn’t have said what I did earlier. You just caught me off guard.” He massaged his forehead with four fingers. “Did I scare you? Is that why you’re really leaving?”
“No.” She shook her head. “No.”
“Okay. Jesus. Okay.” He was silent a moment, but gears were turning behind his eyes. “You need to touch me and I need you to stay. Let’s give each other what we need. All right?”
Why was this so damn confusing? She’d only met this man yesterday and they were already tangled up in her web of fucked-up issues. He should want to be clear of her, shouldn’t he? No one else had ever bothered with her this long before. “Why? Why do you need me to stay? I—”
“I won’t rest,” he growled. “I’ll think about you somewhere, scared like you were last night, and I’ll go fucking crazy.”
Her heart lurched, dislodging her pride. “I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time. If the only reason you want me here is to play nursemaid to the crazy girl, that’s not going to work for me.”
“You know there’s more to it. You know.” He visibly centered himself with a deep breath, appearing to debate with himself. “I’ve got my own skeletons, Erin. They don’t rattle so much when you’re around. Your touching me…it makes me hot. But it soothes elsewhere.”
She knew her expression was pathetically hopeful, but couldn’t find a single shit to give. “Yeah?”
“Yeah,” he repeated. “I’m not going to lie, Erin. Yes, I want to sleep with you like hell. But only if it’s healthy. Would you trust me enough to go slow? A little at a time?”
Her pulse hammered out of control. “You touching me?”
Connor watched her closely. “When you’re ready. Not before. Never before.”
This is where she should climb down the fire escape and vamoose toward the street. A weight pressed down on her rib cage, making it difficult to draw a breath. It felt like the point of no return. But Connor’s eyes grounded her.
Safe. He’s safe.
“Okay, baby. Slow.”
His body drained of tension. “Thank you.” He leaned in and brushed their lips together, gently, reverently. “First, we talk.”
About the Author:
Thank you for your interest in my books! I’m Tessa and I live in the crazy, loud, overcrowded borough of Brooklyn, New York. I love it here. This city is a constant source of inspiration, which is why I’ve decided to set my most recent books in the Line of Duty Series here.
I moved to New York when I was eighteen, the day after I graduated high school. Threw my suitcase in the back of a Chevrolet Cavalier and drove across the country to find my adventure. I’m still finding it, little by little.Thank you for being a part of it.
The idea for this book was something I have never read before. We have a group that is kinda like….. Well let’s say the justice league….but there more like the Anti-justice turned justice 🙂 I haven’t read say thing like this and I have to say I enjoyed it. I got a copy of this book from netgalley for this blog tour.so what did I like about this book?!? Well let me tell you.
- The plot was a lot different than I expected it to be. From the description we get an idea but reading it, how it pans out….just wow. Very amazing. I thought the author did a great job on describing this world that Connor and Erin live in. I was blown away.
- Connor was……complicated to say the least. He made me laugh and made me mad. But overall I liked him as a person. he was more struck than the others in this book but I think it was because of the seal training,
- Erin…..she confused me. I felt for her, anyone with a past like hers would mess a person up. That being said….some of the things she did were very confusing to me, I can’t go into details because it could spoil it but by the end of the book I truly felt for her and liked her. She was snarky and mouthy, it made the book enjoyable
- The heat in this book was……. Great…..I liked how this author did it. I was worried about how something’s would play out, but they worked out, Connor had a dirty ass mouth that I LOVED.
- The secondary characters were great all on there own. I won’t go into detail but the first part with Austin..,.,,I didn’t expect that at all! It had me laughing!
Ok so this doesn’t change my review at all but I received this file from netgalley and the format was annoying. It’s not the author’s fault and maybe I just got a crap copy but it was annoying, but it didn’t take away from the story and plot itself.
Overall this story was awesome and made me have the feelings. I would recommend this book to everyone to read. Go in not thinking you know what’s going to happen!
Signed copies of Risking it All & Up in Smoke
$100 Amazon Gift Card (2 Winners)