TITLE – Too Much to Lose SERIES – Dirty Little Secrets AUTHOR – Samantha Holt GENRE – Contemporary Romance LENTH (Pages/# Words) - 75000
Have you ever been so desperate you made a decision that would haunt you forever?
She became a porn star.
Jess is on the run from her past. She has no friends, no life. She tries to forget everything that happened to her all those years ago. After changing her image, leaving her home and getting a new job, she’s determined it won’t happen again. If that means never being close to anyone ever again, then so be it.
If only Hunter O’Reilly didn’t make her wish things could be different.
Hunter needs this job. After being screwed over by his partner—make that ex-partner—his investigation business is on the line. Already in debt, he eagerly takes on the job of finding some stolen money at triple his going rate and all leads point in Jess’s direction. He expects problems at that price. But he doesn’t expect to fall for her.
However, no job is ever that simple. When he’s forced to spend more time with her, the lines between business and pleasure are blurred. And once Jess’s life comes under threat, they have to make a decision, can they both overcome Jess’s past?
EXCERPT - PG
“If you’re in trouble, I know some people who can help.”
“I’m not in trouble. Really, I’m not. I mean who would want to kill me? I know bankers aren’t exactly popular—” she lets loose a shaky laugh “—but I’m harmless.”
Harmless? Not sure about that. Jess sends my heart racing, makes my skin clammy. She’s driving me insane. Harmless? No way.
“What do you want me to do?” I ask.
“Shall I stick around?”
“Oh. No, you don’t need to do that.”
“I don’t mind.”
“I’m fine. Seriously. Thank you for today. You must be tired and I bet your side hurts.”
It does, but I’m not going to admit to that. “It’s fine.”
“Look about that kiss....”
“That was my fault.”
“I kissed you.”
“You did.” I can’t resist letting my mouth curve upwards. She kissed me, but I don’t know if that’s a bad or a good thing. While my pride basks in it, the voice inside that keeps pulling at my gut wants to scream at her to run while she still can. I’m no good for her. “But I kissed you back,” I point out. “And I should not have been... er... touching you out there.”
She draws her bottom lip between her teeth. “It’s okay.”
Hell, how do those two tiny words send an arrow of need straight to my cock? It’s okay that I was kissing her? Or touching her up? It’s okay that I want her so badly I nearly bent her over my bike to fuck her?
Before I can dwell on it anymore and make an even bigger fool of myself, I get to my feet. “Will you let me stay?”
“I don’t think so. It’s too risky.”
A hard knot forms in my throat. I’m more dangerous to her than a crazed gunman it seems. She might be right. If—when—I find that money, her whole life is going to come crashing down.
“Don’t answer the door to anyone. Be careful. Call me if you need me. In fact, call me tomorrow.” She follows me to the door. “Please?” I add as uncertainty dashes across her face.
Jess opens the door and I step out. “I’ll call you,” she says when I turn to face her.
She rolls her eyes and her mouth curves. “I promise.”
Those lush lips snare my attention and my own smile drops. My skin feels hot and itchy, my pulse urgent. This is insane. I rest an arm against the door frame, my feet still firmly planted on the other side of the threshold and bring my mouth slowly down on hers. She softens but doesn’t touch me. We’re divided by the invisible line between the corridor and her room. I can’t help thinking of it as symbolic. We’re divided by secrets and lies.
Not that any of that matters once our lips connect. I swear I’ve never wanted to kiss a woman so much. Kisses are about the end game. But not with Jess. I want to drown in her kisses, to kiss her all day and see if I ever tire of them. I suspect it’s unlikely.