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Excerpt of Broken Angels by Anne Hope

Purchase


Samhain Publishing
September 2010
On Sale: August 24, 2010
Featuring: Zach Ryler; Rebecca James
239 pages
ISBN: 1609281586
EAN: 9781609281588
Kindle: B003YCPDJO
e-Book
Add to Wish List

Romance Suspense, Romance Contemporary

Also by Anne Hope:

Soul Chase, December 2013
e-Book
Soul Thief, September 2013
Hardcover / e-Book
Soul Deep, February 2013
e-Book
Soul Bound, June 2012
e-Book
Broken Angels, August 2011
Trade Size / e-Book
Broken Angels, September 2010
e-Book
Where Dreams Are Made, August 2009
Trade Size / e-Book
Where Dreams Are Made, November 2008
e-Book

Excerpt of Broken Angels by Anne Hope

The harbor shivered, and from its depths a figure sprang. She walked toward him, bathed in starlight, her body glistening, her hair streaming wet and wild down her back.

Zach's next breath snagged in his throat.

A siren, he thought. A mythical creature rising from the sea to seduce him.

His lungs felt crushed, deprived of air. The walls of his throat narrowed as an electrical charge pulsed across his nerve endings.

Then he realized the siren was Becca. She'd gone for an evening swim. She loved swimming at night because the water was always warmer then. Shadows played along her curves, making her hips rounder, her stomach flatter, her breasts fuller. Her hair was a deep bronze, her skin a translucent ivory in the pale light of the moon.

His body instantly responded to the sight of her, hardening, aching, until he couldn't remember why he'd vowed to keep his hands off her. None of it seemed to matter anymore.

She grabbed a towel from the porch railing and swathed it around her figure, and it took all of his self-control to bite back the protest that scratched at his throat.

"I was wondering where you disappeared to," he muttered instead. His voice sounded gruff.

"After I tucked Noah and Kristen in, I decided to go for a swim. You were busy with Will, and I can always use the exercise." She lowered her body next to his, smelling of the sun and the sea. Water dripped from her hair. Rivulets trickled over her shoulders and slid down her arms.

Unable to stop himself, he captured one of the drops with the back of his index finger. It was cool against her warm skin, silky. Their gazes locked, and awareness sizzled between them.

"Did Will go to sleep okay?" Her question pierced the cloud of lust enveloping him.

"Yeah." He let his hand fall away before he was tempted to explore more of her. "He was exhausted after all that crying."

"Not to mention all that fun in the sun." A hazy smile ghosted across her lips. "We had a pretty full day. The kids were really excited, weren't they?" The tenderness on her face shook him. It was the same look Lindsay always used to get whenever she spoke of the kids.

He eyed her steadily. An image of her playing in the waves with the pack earlier today flashed through his mind. "You're really something with them." He couldn't suppress the note of wonder in his voice. "I never expected it."

She gave a self-deprecating chuckle. "Half the time—correction, most of the time—I feel like I'm in way over my head." Bolt ambled onto the porch to sit beside her, and she stroked him absently. Zach's gaze was drawn to the gentle rhythm of her fingers as she threaded them through the dog's lustrous coat. He remembered how those hands had felt on his body when she'd massaged him last night, the way they'd twined in his hair and chased the tension from his limbs.

"But I understand them. Understand how they feel," she added, oblivious to the dangerous path his thoughts were taking. "I get Noah's anger, Kristen's totally delusional hope, Will's tantrums."

Zach made a sound that was half laugh, half snort. "At least one of us does."

"You're being too hard on yourself as usual. You're great with them. I can see how much they look up to you."

"That's because I'm tall."

Her heartfelt laughter filled the night. God, he'd missed hearing her laugh. The sound of it made a strange energy pulsate in his pores and burrow deep within the marrow of his bones. It took all his self-control not to reach out and touch her again. Instead, he clasped his hands together and let them hang between his knees.

"Can you answer a question for me?" He stared at his joined fingers, unable to look her in the eyes for fear of what he would see there.

"Sure."

"When I suggested adoption, why did you refuse? I thought maybe you believed you couldn't love a child that wasn't biologically ours. But now that I see you with these kids I can't help but wonder—"

"You thought I couldn't love a child I didn't give birth to?" She sounded offended.

He ventured a glance in her direction. Even in the dark he couldn't miss the indignation that flamed in her cheeks.

"I didn't know what to think," he answered honestly. "You were so set against it."

"Because I was angry. Because if I couldn't have what I wanted, then I wanted nothing at all. It was the injustice of it, the unfairness. Why should I be deprived the joy of feeling my child grow inside me when it came so naturally to everyone else? Adoption felt like acceptance, like throwing in the towel."

"Would that have been so bad?"

"At the time, yes."

"And now?"

She hesitated. "It doesn't really matter anymore," she whispered. "The choice is no longer mine to make." He barely heard her past the whoosh of the waves.

"That sounds oddly like acceptance."

"Maybe it is. Even I have to give up sometime." Her inflection held a hint of amusement, but he wasn't buying the flippancy.

"Is that what this feels like to you, giving up?"

She was quiet for a long time. The waxing moon haloed her head and made her eyes sparkle like liquid gold.

"No," she answered with more conviction than he'd expected. "It feels like family."

Vulnerability sparkled in her eyes, more potent than her glistening skin, her clingy swimsuit, the small towel wrapped around her breasts and hips. Zach lost the battle and extended his hand to cup her face. Her skin was soft, an odd blend of velvet and satin.

He never should have allowed himself to touch her. Now the need to kiss her blinded him. She turned her cheek into his palm, moved closer...

Excerpt from Broken Angels by Anne Hope
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