Susan Heim on Writing is pleased to be a stop on the book tour for Savage Secrets, by Cristin Harber! We kicked off this tour two days ago, but I have a brand-new excerpt for you, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy (warning: it’s “hot”)!
About the book:
Caterina Cruz has no home. No loyalties. No objection to exacting torturous revenge. Her life’s mission is to destroy the terrorist who murdered her family. Then she steps into an elaborate game of charades alongside a Titan Group operative posing as an arms dealer -- and her newlywed husband. The sexy distraction may be more than she can handle.
Attacked with a psychedelic drug weeks before, Rocco Savage is plagued with hallucinations that threaten his new rank as Titan’s second-in-command. No one knows, and he wants to keep it that way. Throwing him further off his game, he now has a wife with her own secrets he can’t crack and an agenda he can’t control.
Their mission -- an elaborate deception of heated glances and passionate kisses -- spins out of control. With Rocco's mind already compromised, can he keep his secret and his distance? And with Caterina's tragic past controlling her every move, can she keep the con up long enough to secure her revenge? Or will both go down in flames?
An excerpt from Savage Secrets:
“I pushed you into this. I was manipulative.” She banged a key. The harsh noise punctuated her word. “It’s the job. My training. I do things almost without thinking. Push people even when I shouldn’t. You could be home, watching your awful TV.” She nudged his shoulder then dropped her chin.
“Don’t knock it ʼtil you try it.”
Her half smile and sad head shake were a punch to his gut. “You could be anywhere but here.”
Her voice was like velvet, flooding his senses and causing a rush of tingles to erupt on his chest. He swallowed and didn’t know what to say or where to bring the conversation. Anywhere but here. They were on the edge of a talk, and he’d never been one for that. He could say he’d been drugged, and the aftershocks were messy. But that would earn him pity. Or he could mention how badly he wanted to kiss her lips, taste her skin…
Cat’s slender fingers drifted over the piano keys. She’d given him just enough rope to jump in deep. Or strangle himself. Either or, but jumping anywhere with her sounded fun.
“I want to be here.” There. That was talking. A big explosion of honesty.
She nodded, her fingers played with more strength on the piano. “This is a good gig. El Mateperros is a big catch. Guess I can’t blame you for wanting to stick around.”
What? The job hadn’t entered his mind. “I don’t give a shit about El Mateperros.”
She angled her face toward him, and the browns in her eyes intensified. “But…”
“I want to be here.” His heart expanded in his chest. The beat, beat, beat thudding against his ribcage. He could barely swallow. Barely speak. All this honesty was going to kill him. “With you.”
“Me?” she whispered, her fingers stopping on the keys.
“I’m here for the wrong reasons.” With the tips of two fingers, he touched her wrist and skimmed up her silky forearm. Shivers bit his shoulders. Something about touching the smoothness of her skin made her even more irresistible. If he hadn’t f---ed their partnership up enough earlier, he was about to do it again.
“You.” Rocco touched her chin, her jaw line. His fingers brushed into her thick hair, then back. Both of his hands cupped her face. “I’m here because I couldn’t walk away. From you.”
A sharp, little breath pursed her lips, and her eyes flashed like daggers. “You’re crazy.”
The surprise and defense washed away. Her head tilted, cheek resting against his palm, a fraction of a move that weighed heavily. It was a go, the thumbs-up he didn’t think there was a chance of getting. Ever. Especially after today. From under thick eyelashes, she stared up, so close and not moving. He lowered his lips to hers, and she softened. This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be. He’d walked in expecting a boot in the ass and now … His hands slid down her cheeks, her neck, across her shoulders.
Caterina sighed, and her eyes closed. Touching her, causing those little erotic, enticing sounds and reactions, he’d have her on the bar beneath him before he thought better of it.
His lips slanted over hers. The contact was fire. Flames roared through his blood. Red wine flavored her kiss, rich and exotic. She tasted like heaven. Her mouth parted, inviting him. Their tongues met. He wrapped her into his arms. Holding her to him wasn’t nearly enough. The clothes had to go. He’d die to see the naked swell of her breast push against his chest. Just the thought made him throb.
“About time you kissed me.” Caterina twisted on the bench, straddling her legs around him and grinding against his lap.
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