"Powerful characters ensnare you from the first page of this intoxicating and exhilarating story."
Reviewed by Mandy Burns
Posted December 5, 2010
Erotica | Romance Suspense | Contemporary
Dr. Sophie Gable can't explain her attraction to Thomas
Nicasio. She's only seen him in passing while at the
office, but just looking at him makes her insides warm and
feverish. The moment Sophie sees him at her home by the
lake with a lost look in his eyes claiming to have come for
her, Sophie knows something is terribly wrong. She's not
sure why, but Sophie feels compelled to help Thomas any way
A few weeks ago, Thomas Nicasio's life was going well, then
tragedy struck when his brother and nephew were killed in a
boating accident sending Thomas into a whirlwind of grief.
To top it all off, the FBI is claiming his father is the
boss of the Chicago Mob. Unable to gain his bearings,
Thomas seeks out the one woman who makes him feel peaceful
by just looking at her, but he can't help but fear that
something just isn't right.
This book is EXPLOSIVE, intoxicating and exhilarating, all
at the same time, with its powerful characters ensnaring
you from the first page. I loved it!
A scorching new novel from the national bestselling author
Dr. Sophie Gable didn't expect her peaceful getaway to be
shattered by the arrival of the half-dazed, dead-sexy
Thomas Nicasio, an ex-Navy explosives specialist. Even
though he's traumatized, Thomas can't resist the urge to
overtake Sophie-and her willing submission makes him want
her all the more.
But danger is lurking close by, and if he can't face the
demons of his past, he and Sophie could be the next
victims in a pattern of meaningless violence.
Her fingers delved through thick, surprisingly soft hair,
searching for wounds on his scalp. A shiver coursed
through him when her hand reached the base of his skull.
She caught his scent. Despite his obvious illness and
uncharacteristic disheveled state, Thomas Nicasio smelled
Cautiously, she met his stare.
For a few seconds, neither of them moved. Sophie suspected
neither of them breathed.
â€śDid you hit your head, Tom?â€ť she asked eventually, her
fingers resuming their careful search.
â€śI donâ€™t think so.â€ť
â€śHave you been drinking?â€ť she asked, even though sheâ€™d
inhaled his breath and already suspected that he wasnâ€™t
drunk. He shook his head.
Again, he shook his head. She pushed back his bangs. Her
gaze shot to his when she saw the discoloration near his
hairline on his left temple.
â€śYou have been hit.â€ť She reached for the wrist of his
right arm, holding his stare all the while. Her mind
churned when she glanced down and saw the abrasions and
flecks of dried blood on his knuckle.
â€śYouâ€™ve been in a fight,â€ť she stated tersely. Did a shadow
of defiance cross his features, or was that her
imagination? Well, perhaps she had sounded accusatory. It
wasnâ€™t her place to judge him, after all.
â€śAre you in any pain?â€ť
â€śSick to your stomach?â€ť
He shrugged negligently.
â€śHow is it that youâ€™re here, Tom?â€ť she asked, despite the
memory of what heâ€™d said earlier.
I came looking for you, Sophie.
He wasnâ€™t entirely lucid, after all.
â€śDo you know someone who lives near here?â€ť she prompted
when he didnâ€™t speak.
â€śNo. I only know you.â€ť
â€śWellâ€¦why did you come looking for me?â€ť she couldnâ€™t
resist asking in an anxious rush. â€śDid you find yourself
getting ill on the road and need a doctor? Did you
remember me telling you I was vacationing here, at Haven
A spasm went through him and he cupped his right brow with
â€śIâ€™m taking you to the emergency room in Effingham,â€ť she
declared, alarmed by the sight of what must have been a
jolt of intense pain going through him.
â€śIâ€™m not going anywhere.â€ť
â€śBut youâ€™ve got to, youâ€™re not well andâ€”â€ś
â€śIâ€™m not going to the hospital,â€ť he grated out between
She went completely still at his harsh tone. She
considered calling the police, but then he opened his eyes.
The two words leaving her own lips surprised her a little,
but she felt as if she didnâ€™t have a choice once sheâ€™d
looked into those twin pools of turmoil and anguish. â€śYou
might have a concussion, but youâ€™re feverish, as well.
Iâ€™ll get you some Tylenol and then you need to rest. Will
you at least promise me to do that for now?â€ť
â€śIâ€™m not sleepy,â€ť he said hoarsely. His gaze lowered. Heat
flooded her cheeks. He stared at her breasts covered in
the thin bikini top. Her body responded to his blatantly
sexual gaze against her will. Her nipples stiffened
beneath the flimsy fabric.
He stepped toward her.
Sophie stepped back.
â€śYouâ€™re ill. You need to rest. Is there someone you want
me to call? Will someone be missing you in Chicago? Never
mind. Come on,â€ť she said when he just stared at her. She
waved her hand and led him down the dim hallway to the
guest bedroom. She turned on the light and inspected the
state of the room. She hadnâ€™t been in it since early June,
just after Andy and his wife Sheila had visited for a
Her mind sifted through his symptoms, trying to make sense
of his bizarre presentation as she bustled around in the
guest bath, laying out clean towels and getting Tylenol
out of the medicine cabinet. His feverish state implied
that something physical was going on, but the pain sheâ€™d
seen in his eyes just moments ago argued for something
psychological. The bruise on his temple wasnâ€™t massive,
but she knew the brain could sustain considerable injury
from a blow without any obvious external trauma.
Of course there was no reason why his condition couldnâ€™t
be both physical and psychological, considering the amount
of stress Thomas must have been under recently.
Who had he been fighting with, and why? Oddly, it didnâ€™t
surprise her to consider Thomas engaging in a brawl,
despite the fact that she was used to seeing only his
polished work image. Sheâ€™d always sensed a rebel existed
beneath the smooth exterior of his perfectly tailored
suits. Maybe it was the tilt of his jaw that made her
think it, or the gold flecks that flashed and burned in
the deep green of his eyes; or a smile that was sweet, but
just a tad cockyâ€¦slow in coming and breathtaking upon
Or maybe it was just because Sophie knew heâ€™d spent the
first years of his life in a working class Southside
neighborhood far from the perfectly manicured, sweeping
green lawns and multi-million dollar homes of Lake Forest,
where Thomas had gone to live with the family that adopted
him. A kid growing up in Morgan Park would have known how
to use his fist. Besides, heâ€™d only worked in the private
sector for the past few years. Before heâ€™d taken up the
reigns of his own business, heâ€™d been in the military, but
Sophie couldnâ€™t recall at the moment if Andy had ever
mentioned in what branch heâ€™d served or what his duties
She grimaced as she filled a glass with water from the
tap. She felt guilty for not taking him to the hospital,
even though the chances were that the emergency room
physician would recommend nothing more than close
observation of Thomasâ€™ symptoms for the next forty-eight
And either way, Thomas had flatly refused to go, so what
choice did she have?
Her level of anxiety upon entering the bedroom was
unprecedented since her first year of medical school.
She carried the Tylenol in one hand and the glass of water
in the other. He still stood just inside the threshold of
the door. She was relieved when he took the Tylenol
without argument. He stood behind her while she turned
down the bed, making her highly self-conscious of her bent
She added his blatant sexual stare into her formulary of
symptoms, even though Thomas Nicasioâ€™s hot eyes hardly
left her feeling analytical. Was he in a manic state,
perhaps? That would explain his hyper-sexuality, the
sudden need to impulsively escapeâ€¦
â€¦but not the bruise, fever or dazed confusion.
Was she safe with him there in the house with her? She
glanced back at him and their gazes held. She exhaled
â€śWhy donâ€™t you get into bed?â€ť she asked, glad to hear that
her voice didnâ€™t audibly tremble. He stepped toward her
and Sophie glanced down, avoiding that laser-like stare.
She knew she should have backed away, but she didnâ€™t.
Not even when he spread one hand along her naked hip.
She held her breath and clamped her eyes shut when she
felt his thumb gently rub across a dried smear of paint.
Her lungs burned by the time he bent his long legs at the
knees, and he wrapped her in his arms.
He encompassed her. In that full, fertile moment, she felt
Thomas Nicasio in every cell of her being.
He nudged her hair back with his nose and pressed his
entire face to the side of her neck. His hardness pressed
against her softness, stark and potent.
Her heart throbbed erratically in her chest at the
sensation of his hot mouth moving next to her sensitive
â€śSleep with me, Sophie. I need your cleanness so much
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