For ten agonizing years, Alec Westwood has been keeping a secret from the world. At nineteen, he nearly committed the most horrific of crimes—murder in cold blood—and narrowly escaped the assigned task with his life. When a stunning young woman crosses his path wearing the insignia for the underground organization that recruited him, he vows not to let fate get a second chance. But when the enchantress gives him a kiss that leaves him spellbound, Alec realizes the power she holds is greater than all his strength and fortitude combined…
On the run from her psychotic fiancé, Lena Benson vows to forge a new life, even if that means befriending a witch, and practicing the craft of the devil. But when her new friend Jack tells her to stay away from Alec Westwood, the man she believes her fiancé hired to track her down, and the handsome stranger she kissed in a tavern, Lena vows to take matters into her own hands. Alec may have the charm, but she’s calling the shots this time, even if that means resisting the man responsible for giving her the most intimate kiss of her life, a man who’s eyes and touch rob her, literally, of sense…
As he opened the door to his office Alec realized that papers wererustling. He stopped, blinking in disbelief. Shock turned to anger. Angerturned to rage. Lena was there, her back turned toward him, her hands in hisfiling cabinet. She was going through his files!
The papers in the cabinet said nothing about him whatsoever. But it wasobvious enough what she’d been looking for. And she was about to find out therewere consequences to her actions.
Alec slammed the door, causing the pictures on the wall to shake. Thefiles slipped from Lena’s hands. They scattered as they hit the tiled floor.
Fear quaked in her hazel eyes as he walked toward her. God, he couldjust lay her back and take her right there on the desk…
“What the hell are you doing in here?” he demanded. He watched withfascination as she swallowed, her Adam’s apple moving lightly against the curveof her neck.
“I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I didn’t think—”
“Didn’t think what, that you’d get caught? I’d imagine not, or youwouldn’t have broken into my office. I’m calling security.” He reached for thephone.
“No, wait!” Her soft hand came against his. “Please don’t do that.Please.”
Alec winced. The desperation in her Lena’s voice struck him somewherewithin. The tempting view of her cleavage didn’t hurt either. No, he hadn’tjust spent the last ten years trying to escape the past only to be destroyed byit now.
He captured her wrist. “Do you have any idea what you’ve just done?Those files are confidential! I guess whoever trained you failed to inform youthat you just broke about five different laws. I hope it was worth it.”
“Trained me?” There was surprise in her soft voice. “No one trained me.I came here on my own.”
Stunned by her statement, Alec released her. Was she serious? Whatreason could she possibly have for coming there aside from the obvious? Thewoman was either the greatest liar on the planet or else the world’s worstunderground spy. Either way, those quivering lips of hers were just demandingto be kissed. He slid the phone back into the receiver.
“You came here on your own?” He stalked toward her. “No one sent you?”
“No one. I sent myself.”
"Is that right?” he said, smiling as she backed into his desk. “Andjust why would you go and do a thing like that?”
“Because.” She looked at the floor. “I don’t know. I was curious. Aboutyou, I guess. I’m sorry.”
Alec smiled. It was oddly thrilling to hear that she had gone to somuch trouble to gather information about him. Even if it was only part of aplan to take his life.
“You broke into the private office of a doctor because you were curious? Of course it means nothing toyou that my diplomas are hanging around the room. Tell me, Lena, what is itabout me that’s gotten you so curious?”He put his hands at her sides, pinning her in place. “Had I been in the sameposition as you, my dear, I suppose I might have been just as tempted. I am arather fascinating subject matter, aren’t I? But I guess that’s just thedifference between you and me. I have something called ethics. A good thing tohave when you’re in my line of work.”
Alec found himself regretting his last statement. Why did she have tolook at him that way? What reason could she possibly have to be hurt? “Lena,I—”
“You have the nerve to lecture me about ethics? You lure me into ahallway, kiss me against my will, and you have the nerve to say I’m unethical? Perhaps you ought to belooking in the mirror when you say a few of these things, Dr. Westwood!”
“Perhaps I should.” His voice rose. “But I’m not the one investigatingpeople. Am I?”
“Investigating people?” She blinked.
Alec drew a breath. Not only was she an excellent liar, but he neverdreamed he’d succeed in getting her as steamed as he was. He wondered if shewas equally aroused.
“No, of course not.” He leaned in close. “A sweet, innocent woman likeyou investigating a dark scoundrel like me? You and I both know that’s notwhat’s going on here. Don’t we, Lena?”
“What do you mean?” Her hazel eyes sparkled with question.
“You play it like you’re so naïve. You play it very well, in fact, butyou and I both know it’s just an act.”
“An act?” She bit her lip. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He ran his fingertips down the length of her sleeve. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. The way you become so flustered every time I get close to you. You try to hide it, but it’s written all over your pretty face. You weren’t satisfied by our last encounter, and you thought you’d come over here and try again. Only this time”—he looked into her eyes—“I believe you want morethan just to be kissed.”
“Who the hell do you think you are?” she demanded, fighting to slip free of his grasp.
He held her in place. “You’re a smart woman, Lena. If you didn’t want to be here, you wouldn’t be. Go ahead. The door’s right there.”
Alec bit his tongue. He’d definitely gone too far with that one. He’d all but offered her a way out. Releasing her, he watched and waited. But to his astonishment, Lena didn’t move.
A smile crept upon his lips.
She wanted him. Wanted him as much as he did her. There was no denying that now. She wanted him, and he was going to give her exactly what she’d asked for. Not to worry, my sweet. No reason for either of us to be ashamed about something we both want so much…
He brought his face to hers so that their lips were almost touching. But he didn’t kiss her. Not yet. Lena believed she didn’t want him, thought herself immune to his charm. He was going to make sure she knew exactly how much she wanted to be there.
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At two years old, Jessica became a devoted fan of both listening to and reciting the books her parents would read to her at night. When she was a little older (about four), she sought a greater challenge in her life, and began making up stories of her own, acting them out with her dolls. “When the dolls got “boyfriends,” she says, “I knew I was getting too old for dolls!”
As a romance novelist and a reader alike, Jessica is most intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer…but little trouble enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances are those where the hero is already seducing the heroine from that first point of contact. “Isn’t it the hero’s job to seduce?” she says with a grin.
Jessica loves to see the sparks fly when a stubborn, domineering hero crosses paths with a bold, feisty heroine, and uses the combination frequently in her stories.
When she’s is not writing, Jessica enjoys listening to asmuch80’s music as possible, watching the same re-runs of Smallville over and over, shopping for exceptionally unique cameos, and taking long walks in nature where she can daydream about anything romantic. Though she resides in Central New Jersey, her heart belongs to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.