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Dirtiest Secret

Dirtiest Secret, April 2016
Stark International #4
by J. Kenner

Bantam
Featuring: Jane Sykes; Dallas Sykes
336 pages
ISBN: 1101967455
EAN: 9781101967454
Kindle: B018CHH3B6
Paperback / e-Book
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"It was wrong for them to be together, but it was even harder to be apart."

Fresh Fiction Review

Dirtiest Secret
J. Kenner

Reviewed by Sherri Morris
Posted April 21, 2016

Erotica | Romance Erotica Sensual

The Stark International novel series from best selling author Julie Kenner starts a new spin-off series with DIRTIEST SECRET.

Jane Martin and Dallas Sykes are brother and sister by law and adoption, but not in blood. Their bond started the night Dallas was dropped off at his Uncle Eli Sykes house by his birth mother, who was unable to care for him. When Eli adopts Dallas as his own, it made Jane his step-sister.

After a troubling few years, 15 year old Dallas is sent away to London for school. When Jane goes to visit him, he sneaks out of his dorm room to see her. The pair are kidnapped and held for ransom. While going through this traumatic experience of their abduction, the two get even closer, perhaps a bit too close. Once rescued, Jane and Dallas struggle to come to terms with what happened to them and why. Ultimately they go their separate ways and over the years keep distance between them.

Now 17 years later, Jane is an author of an abduction series with happy endings. Jane's therapy for what happened to her and Dallas is on the pages of her books. She wants to fight the illegal organizations who endanger children with their rescue attempts for profits. She feels responsible for the botched rescue attempt made on the location where she was kept and the loss of lives by the vigilante rescue team her step-father Eli had hired to find Dallas. She has always carried the burden that it was her fault she was released and Dallas was held for an additional three weeks.

Dallas has handled his abduction in a entirely different way. Also known as the "King of Fuck," a reputation he has been building for years, he has a list of women that have been touched by him miles long. He is also head of the secret organization, Deliverance. With a few men he trusts, his organization is untraceable. Its purpose was originally to locate the people who kidnapped him and Jane. However, now it has evolved to help bring other kidnapped children home safely. The exact organization Jane wants to fight against and bring down.

DIRTIEST SECRET was a chance to gamble with a taboo forbidden love that I feel only Julie Kenner could pull off. Her characters are impeccably written and her story line has enough sexual tension, and steamy sex scenes to keep readers glued to its pages. Each character has been trying to live their lives after their ordeal, but without each other, they have just been surviving. Their love and passion for each other is what these two need into order to move on. DIRTIEST SECRET is everything I have come to love from Julie Kenner. There is suspense, sexual tension, and a cliffhanger at the end that leaves me wanting more!

Learn more about Dirtiest Secret

SUMMARY

From the New York Times bestselling author of such “sizzling Stark novels” (RT Book Reviews) as Release Me and Say My Name comes a Stark International Novel featuring provocative bad boy Dallas Sykes—the first in a new trilogy in the S.I.N. series.

It was wrong for us to be together, but it was even harder to be apart.

The memory of Dallas Sykes burns inside of me.

Everyone knows him as a notorious playboy, a man for whom women and money are no object. But to me, he’s still the one man I desperately crave—yet the one I can never have.

Dallas knows me better than anyone else. We bear the same scars, the same darkness in our past. I thought I could move on by staying away, but now that we’re drawn together once more, I can’t fight the force of our attraction or the temptation to make him mine.

We’ve tried to maintain control, not letting ourselves give in to desire. And for so long we’ve told ourselves no—but now it’s finally time to say yes.

Excerpt

1

The King of Fuck

Even by Southampton standards, the party at the nine-­thousand-­square-­foot mansion on Meadow Lane reeked of extravagance.

Grammy Award–­winning artists performed on an outdoor stage that had been set up on the lush lawn that flowed from the main house to the tennis courts. Celebrities hobnobbed with models who flirted with Wall Street tycoons who discussed stock prices with tech gurus and old-­money academics, all while sampling fine scotch and the season’s chicest gin. Colored lights illuminated the grotto-style pool, upon which nude models floated lazily on air mattresses, their bodies used by artisan sushi chefs as presentation platters for epicurean delights.

Each female guest received a Hermès Birkin bag and each male received a limited edition Hublot watch, and the exclamations of delight—­from both the men and the women—­rivaled the boom of the fireworks that exploded over Shinnecock Bay at precisely ten P.M., perfectly timed to distract the guests from the bustle of the staff switching out the dinner buffet for the spread of desserts, coffee, and liqueurs.

No expense had been spared, no desire or craving or indulgence overlooked. Nothing had been left to chance, and every person in attendance agreed that the party was the Must Attend event of the season, if not of the year. Hell, if not of the decade.

Everyone who was anyone was there, under the stars on the four acre lot on Billionaires’ Row.

Everyone, that is, except the billionaire who was actually hosting the party. And speculation as to where he was, what he was doing, and who he was doing it with ripped through the well-­liquored and gossip-­hungry crowd like wildfire in a windstorm.

“No idea where he could have disappeared off to, but I’d bet good money he’s not pining away in solitude,” said a reed-­thin man with salt-­and-­pepper hair and an expression that suggested disapproval but was most likely envy.

“I swear I came five times,” a perky blonde announced to her best friend in the kind of stage whisper designed to attract attention. “The man’s a master in bed.”

“He’s got a shrewd head for business, that one,” said a Wall Street trader, “but no sense of propriety where his cock is concerned.”

“Oh, honey, no. He’s not relationship material.” A brunette celebrating a recently inked modeling contract shivered as if reliving a moment of ecstasy. “He’s like fine chocolate. Meant to be savored in very limited quantities. But so damn good when you have it.”

“More power to him if he can grab that much pussy.” A hipster with beard stubble and a man-­bun wiped his wire-­rimmed glasses clean with his shirttail. “But why the fuck does he have to be so blatant about it?”

“All of my friends have had him.” The petite redhead who pulled in a six figure wife bonus smiled slowly, and the flash of her green eyes suggested that she was the cat and he was the delicious cream. “But I’m the only one of us to enjoy a second helping.”

“All your friends?”

“How much pussy?”

“At least half the women here tonight. Maybe more.”

“Man, don’t even ask that. Just trust me. Dallas Sykes is the King of Fuck. You and me? Mere mortals like us can’t even compare.”

Three floors above the partygoers, in a room with a window overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Dallas Sykes sucked hard on the clit of the lithe blonde who sat on his face and writhed with pre-­orgasmic pleasure. The blonde’s cries of “yes, yes!” mingled with the throaty moans of delight coming from the curvaceous redhead who straddled his waist while he finger-­fucked her hard and deep.

They’d surrendered to him, these women, and the knowledge that they were his tonight—­for tenderness, for torment—­cut through him. A wicked aphrodisiac with an edge as sharp as steel, and at least as savage.

He was drunk—­on sex, on scotch, on submission. And right then, all he wanted was to get lost in pleasure. To let all the rest of the shit just melt away.

“Please.” The redhead’s muscles clenched tight around his fingers, and a tremor ran through his body, his need for release now so potent that it crossed the line into pain. “I’m so close, Dallas. I want you inside me. Now. Oh, god, please. Now.”

He could barely understand her words, lost as they were in the wet sounds of his mouth on the blonde’s sweet pussy. But he heard enough, and in one wild, rough movement, he rolled the girl above him to the side, so that she stretched and trembled on the bed, her nipples hard and her pussy slick and open and inviting.

Dallas felt his body tighten with need. With desire. But only for release. He didn’t want either of these women. Not really. Their company, yes. The escape they offered, sure. But them?

Neither was the woman he craved. Neither was the girl who had both saved and destroyed him. The woman he wanted.

The woman he could never have.

And so instead he sought pleasure and passion in the violent rapture of hard, hot sex.

“Sit back,” he said to the blonde as he pushed away his dark thoughts and regrets. He reached for the crystal highball glass and downed the last of the Glenmorangie, relishing the way it burned his throat and buzzed his head. “Back against the headboard. Legs spread wide.”

She nodded, moving eagerly to obey as he urged the redhead off his waist. “Fuck me,” the redhead begged. Her green eyes flashed, her expression pleading. Her lips were swollen, her skin flushed. She smelled of sex, and the scent—­so familiar, so dangerous, so goddamned compelling—­made him even harder. “I want you to fuck me.” Her words were a pout—­a plea—­and Dallas almost smiled in response.

Almost, but not quite.

Instead he lifted a brow. “Want? Baby, this isn’t about what you want. This is about what you need.”

“Then I need you to fuck me.”

His lips twitched. He liked a woman who knew her own mind, that was for damn sure. And the redhead truly amused him. He’d plucked her from the crowd downstairs because he’d liked the way she’d filled out the flirty black dress that was now crumpled in a heap on his bedroom floor. That, and the fact he happened to know that she had a cousin who worked for a government official in Bogotá, and that connection might prove handy one day.

As for the blonde, Dallas had no particular agenda with her. But he appreciated her limber little body and quiet obedience. Right now, she was sitting exactly as he’d told her, her legs wide apart and wonderfully vulnerable. She wasn’t moving a muscle, but the beat of her pulse in her throat telegraphed her excitement at least as much as her tight nipples and hot, wet pussy.

He met the redhead’s flashing green eyes, then nodded toward the blonde. “You want to get fucked. I want to watch. And I promise you, she wants to do whatever I say. Sounds like a perfect recipe, don’t you think?”

The redhead dragged her polished white teeth over her lower lip. “I’ve never—­”

“But you will. Tonight.” He met her eyes. “For me.”

She licked her lips as he slid off the bed and stood. She was still sitting, her knees pressed into the mattress as she sat back on her heels. He leaned forward, then took her in a long, slow kiss. She tasted of strawberries and innocence. He wanted to devour the first; he wanted to erase the second. “Hook your legs around her waist and kiss her deep. Suck her tits. Touch her however you want to. But she’s going to fuck you with her fingers while you and I both imagine it’s my cock. And, baby? You’re going to come harder for me than you’ve ever come for anyone.”

“And you?”

He could hear the tremor of excitement in her voice and knew that he had her. “I’ll be right here,” he said as he took her hand and urged her toward the blonde, who was flushed pink with anticipation. He moved behind the redhead, cupping her breasts as she put her legs around the blonde’s waist, then he squeezed her nipples hard as the blonde’s fingers slid into her core.

Pressed against her back, he could feel every tremor of pleasure, every quickening in her pulse. And as she started to shake with a series of little convulsions, he slid his hand between her legs from behind, dipping his fingers into her wet pussy. As he did, his hand brushed up against the blonde’s, whose sensual moan shot straight to his cock.

Next, he slid his now-­slick finger up to tease the redhead’s ass as she bucked against him, her body clearly on fire from this dual assault. “Dallas,” she moaned as her body shook with release. “Oh, god, Dallas, this is so fucked up.”

“That’s the way I like it, baby,” he said. “That’s the only way I play.”

It was true. He liked his sex dirty. Wild. He wanted to be reminded of who he was. What he’d become.

The King of Fuck. He’d heard what they all called him, and he had to appreciate how apt—­and ironic—­the moniker was. Because god knew he was fucked up. His whole goddamn life was an act. A facade.

He was damaged goods. As broken as a man could be. But he’d turned that shit around. Claimed it. Made it his own.

Maybe he would never again have the woman he craved in his arms, but if that was his reality, he was going to damn sure make the most of it.

With his free hand he reached down to stroke his cock. The sensation of his sex-­slicked palm moving rhythmically over the steel of his erection mingled with the wild, almost feral sounds of the two women. He closed his eyes, imagining another place. Another woman.

He thought of her. He thought of Jane.

But not like this. Not fucked up. Not like a goddamn evening’s entertainment, as fungible as a night at the movies and at least as unimportant.

Except everything was fucked up. Him, most of all.

Goddammit. He needed to shut it down. These thoughts. These wishes.

All these damn regrets.

The sharp trill of his cellphone startled him from his thoughts, and he slid back away from the redhead who cried out in protest.

“Sorry, baby.” His voice was tense, his chest tight. “That’s the one ringtone I always answer.” He grabbed his phone off the bedside table, lightly brushing both women’s skin before turning his back to them and taking the call.

“Tell me,” he demanded, expecting the worst. His best friend, Liam Foster, wasn’t due to report in until the next morning. If he was calling now, it meant something had happened.

“It’s all good, man,” Liam said, his voice as close to excited as his military training would allow.

“The child?” Dallas had sent his team to Shanghai to recover the eight-­year-­old son of a Chinese diplomat who’d been kidnapped ten days prior.

“Fine,” Liam assured him. “Dehydrated. Malnourished. Scared. But he’s back with his family, and physically, he should make a full recovery.”

Physically, Dallas thought, the word sounding vile in his head. Because that wasn’t all of it, was it? Not even close.

He shoved the thoughts aside, forcing himself to focus. “Then why are you—­”

“Because the German asshole who grabbed him tried to trade freedom for intel. He knows, Dallas. This dickwad Mueller knows who the sixth kidnapper was.”

The words were simple. The impact on Dallas wasn’t. His blood turned to fire. The room turned hot and red. He wanted to beat the shit out of the sixth man. He wanted to curl up into a ball and cry.

He wanted to finally know the truth.

There had been two in charge of the six fucks who had snatched them—­and surely this sixth man could identify his employers. First, there’d been the main guy who sat back, keeping his hands clean, but who was dirtier than all of them. That man lived in Dallas’s memory only as hints and impressions. He’d been smart. He’d kept his distance. But he’d been the puppeteer, the one who’d hired the six and pulled all the strings.

Dallas and Jane had come to think of him as the Jailer, and he’d spoken directly to Dallas only twice. He’d told Dallas that he deserved it all—­every moment of agony, every pang of fear, every prick of humiliation.

And then there was the Woman. She was supposed to feed and tend to Dallas and Jane, but instead she brought pain and fear along with a twisted darkness and a bone-­deep shame that hadn’t faded even after Dallas was free of the confinement of those mildewed walls.

But he wasn’t fifteen anymore. He wasn’t locked in the dark, tortured and hungry and helpless.

He might be damaged goods, but he had money and power and he knew how to wield both like a goddamn medieval mace.

“We’re getting close to ending this thing,” Liam said. “We use this douchebag’s intel to grab the sixth. We interrogate him. Get him to tell us who hired him. It’s the last puzzle piece, Dallas. We get that, and you can finally say that it’s over.”

Dallas closed his eyes and drew in a breath, soaking in the words. Liam was wrong, of course. It would never really be over. But he couldn’t deny the anticipation that was building in him. The fantasy that he really could end this.

For himself.

For his sanity.

But most of all, for Jane.

Excerpted from DIRTIEST SECRET by Julie Kenner Copyright © 2016 by Julie Kenner. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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