Today I’m featuring an excerpt from Marie Harte’s third book in her The Works series. This is a new release so please welcome Marie!
WETWORK (The Works, book #3)
New Release by Marie Harte
He might command her body, but she owns his heart.
Trevor Doran is trying to fit into civilian life now that he’s no longer working secret missions for the government. But his job as a financial investigator for a security firm doesn’t give him the thrill he needs. With his last love dead from a mission gone wrong, he doesn’t need that kind of life anymore. Does he?
His attention soon turns to the beautiful, shy Emma Clark—a friend of his sister’s who intrigues him. He’s getting a vibe from her that makes him want to know more. Is she as submissive as she seems? When Emma starts receiving unwanted attention from a secret admirer, he steps in to help. Then the case he’s investigating at work gets messy. Danger’s afoot, and it’ll take all his skill to keep Emma safe. And all her patience to get Trevor to open himself up to putting his heart at risk and loving again.
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So strange to find the shy Emma Clark so perfect for him. Dana had been outgoing, brash, sexy and sure of herself. Emma was shy, funny, and insecure. He knew she didn’t understand her appeal, which made her that much more attractive. Unlike Dana though, Emma was overly caring. She went out of her way to make him feel comfortable, and he had to admit that pleased him to no end.
They connected in so many ways, but they hadn’t connected physically yet. Ever since that last kiss, he’d kept his distance. He’d meant it when he said he wouldn’t rush her. She looked at him with desire, but she didn’t seem ready to embrace her feelings. And with his own self-doubts, he didn’t want to tangle with her yet either.
It made no sense that he should feel such affection and lust so soon for her. Especially not now, when he should have been missing Dana all the more fiercely. Just last week marked the anniversary of her death. Dana, a woman who’d matched him in all ways. A fighter, a killer in high heels who knew which pressure points to use to disable a man. Lethal with a knife or a gun, beautiful, sexy…and dead.
He had to work to see her in his mind’s eye, and that bolstered the grief he wanted—needed—to feel. But then an image of Emma’s soft smile, her shy eyes, her vulnerability tugged at him and made him want to smile.
He swore and shifted in his seat, aroused and no longer surprised by it. The need to own Emma, to control her, ate at him. He wanted so much more than tame sex with her. But would she be able to accept that? Could she obey him, open to him the way he needed her to?
With a frustrated sigh, he turned back to his computer and forced himself to finish working on some financial statements for the firm’s other cases. By five thirty, he’d had enough distance from the woman he couldn’t stop thinking about. He packed up and rejoined Emma at her bakery. With her small staff on alert, everyone continued to look for anyone or anything suspicious.
No one had found anything yet. Which meant he’d need to spend more time protecting her. Sleeping in her house, seeing her, hearing her, breathing her in. He muffled a groan and studied her.
She wore her hair up in a ponytail, a Sweets ‘n Tweets tee-shirt and jeans making her look all of twenty years old. Too young for me, he tried telling himself. But he knew he only had ten years on her, thirty-four to her twenty-four. Not too old at all for what he had in mind.
Two men sat talking quietly while an older woman gathered her belongings and left the bakery.
He gave the men a cursory glance, recognizing John, the computer guy, and Garrett, a regular, close to John’s age, who had a sweet tooth and a fondness for Emma. He seemed innocent enough, though John remained a potential suspect in Trevor’s mind. He hadn’t taken anyone off his list, though, and made a note to go over Garrett’s background again. This time in more detail.
“Closing time,” Garrett said with a wink as he noted Trevor.
The regulars had noticed his presence and teased Emma about it. She’d confessed he was her new boyfriend, following his advice on how to explain his presence. Plus he wanted to see how her secret admirer took the news she was no longer available.
Because she wasn’t. Period.
John nodded to his buddy. “Come on, Garrett. We can continue our conversation at my place.”
Trevor made a mental note of the pair’s closeness, wondering how many other customers spent a lot of time in the bakery. John, Garrett, Mitchell, Thomas, Amelia, Sue. The list went on. Emma had loyal customers, sugar addicts needing a fix.
But for food or for Emma? Hell, Trevor even considered himself one of her many admirers. He sighed as John and Garrett left.
Cat poked her head out from the back. “I’m taking off since Trevor’s here.” She waved at him. “Hi.”
“Hey, Cat. Let me walk you out.”
He went out the back with her and waited until she got into her car and left. Then he returned to Emma, who waited for him while she finished wiping up her baking racks and cookie trays .
“I locked up the front. The tables are clean. We can go.”
“Okay.” Was it just him, or did her eyes seem even darker today? Tendrils of her hair had escaped the band holding it up, and his fingers itched to stroke the downy softness of her neck. Her bruises had faded, and he had the insane urge to plant new marks…with his mouth. Small stings from his lips to show everyone she belonged to him.
“Trevor?” She licked her lips. “I-I know you said I needed time. But I, well, would you kiss me?”
He’d been hanging on by a thread for days. Now she wanted him to kiss her, in the safety of her store.
Well, hell. “Kiss you?”
She blinked, doe eyes staring out at the big bad wolf. Her gaze traveled slowly down his body, resting on his evident erection. “Oh, er.” She sighed, bit her lip, and met his gaze with a shy one of her own. “I want you to kiss me…everywhere.”