An introvert, Special Agent Francesca moves to Las Vegas to escape her powerful, domineering mother. On arrival, multiple obstacles challenge her. She needs to approach a father she’s never met, a man who doesn’t even know she exists. Then she must play the role of a loving fiancée with a stranger. One who makes her question every unexpected emotion he provokes. Craving the chance for real undercover work, she grabs the opportunity to be involved in cleaning up gang corruption in a nasty neighborhood. When she poses as the new owner of a hotel, the deadly-dangerous situation ramps up and she’s forced to fight her way from one conflict to the next.
Sean Collins, Psychiatrist and LVPD Profiler, has never known anyone like Francesca Donovan. From first sight, he believes her to be a screwball but her beauty and maddening personality attracts him. Despite her prickly disposition, which gets them into a load of trouble, her rotten driving skills and her constant battles, he’s hooked. Once he’s roped into a mock engagement with her, his desire to make it real takes precedence over everything else in his world.
A wet tongue licking her nose woke Francesca from a lovely dream in which she was making out with Sean. A hot, sexy and knowing lover, he’d almost taken her to the ultimate peak. Hating to let go of the fragile threads to her fantasy, Francesca had no choice. The tongue had turned into tiny teeth and they were nipping at her chin.
She gathered the puppy into her arms and soothed him with caresses. Then she looked at the body lying way over on the far side of the mattress. Sean’s back was turned to her and she listened to his breathing.
The man rolled over to face her. “Sweetie has been crying since I put you to bed and crawled in myself. He wouldn’t shut up, until I finally picked him up and put him beside you.”
Francesca spat out the strand of her hair caught between her lips. She gathered the unruly mass, twisted it and pushed it away from her face. The pillows lifted her high enough to read the clock and she noted it wasn’t yet morning. Rousing slowly, she realised she still wore her sundress and her cover was a throw blanket from the closet.
Embarrassment took over. Despite the fact that she hated to apologise, Francesca didn’t hesitate when it became necessary. “I’m sorry for passing out. I don’t drink very often. I can’t seem to hold my liquor very well.”
Turning her way, he bent his arm and put his head on his hand. “You can’t hold your liquor at all. I’m surprised what came out of your mouth before you slid out of the chair.”
Terror took hold. She laid her head down on the puffy pillow and stared into the darkness. “What did I say?”
“Mostly about how you always wanted a puppy but the Snow Queen wouldn’t let you have one. Then you ranted about how children need mommies and daddies, and it was a crime against nature if a mommy didn’t even tell a daddy there was going to be a baby.”
“Not all. You went into detail about how mommies should love their babies more than anything else in the whole wide, wide wor—”
“Stop! I get it. I was deplorable and boring.”
“No, your pain tore my heart out, and all I wanted to do was beat Mommy with a stick and kiss you better.” He slid close to her, lifted the now sleepy puppy over to his side and took her in his arms. “What were you dreaming about?”
Shyly, she let her finger trace his perfectly-shaped eyebrow. “Why do you ask?”
“Lady, once I put you to bed, I thought nothing could keep me awake tonight. Then I heard your moaning. It nearly had me crawlin’ the walls.”
She chuckled low, hiding her glee since the joke was on him. “I can’t tell you.” No way would she admit that they had been having hot sex in her dream, and the sounds had been in appreciation for what his hands had been doing.
“So…did my performance satisfy you?” He kissed her cheek, then pulled back to wait.
Feeling her eyes widen before she could curb the move, she asked, “How did you know?”
“You called my name. Then you moaned. Then you laughed and moaned again. I’ve been lying here worried about that laugh.”
She rose to kiss his cheek in the same way he’d put his lips to hers. “Are you that insecure?”
“Not usually. But then women don’t normally laugh when I make love to them.”
“Let me assure you, I wasn’t laughing at your performance.” Another kiss followed, and this time she moved closer to his lips.
“Please tell me it had nothing to do with the size of any body parts.” Faked horror made her laugh softly.
As if that sound brought back memories, he reacted. Not waiting for her reply, he swooped in, the naked warmth of his arms and chest surrounding her. Once again she fell under a spell as his kiss reignited the earlier flames.
Soft tongue, yielding lips and a sucking rhythm guaranteed her investiture in his caresses, to the point where every thought fled and only emotion survived. Shivery and loving the sensation, Francesca engaged in giving as well as taking. Her arms circled his neck, and she filtered her fingers through his hair and then then stroked his back.
Pulling her blanket aside, Sean leaned back long enough to lower the tiny straps on the sundress now twined around her waist and upper thighs. “Here, let’s get that off of you.”
She helped him and loved the grin that lit his face when he saw her naked breasts. His eyes zeroed in on hers and the sultry gleam caught her in its strength. She found herself being pulled in, swirling, her pulse now crazy and her breath uneven. Unable to deal with such intensity, she lowered her lashes and arched her body.
Trailing his lips from her mouth, to her neck, up near her ears and back down over her breast-mounds, he licked and softly bit her hungry skin. Nearing the outer side of her breast he hit the one spot on her body that tickled. Her giggle stopped him. Full of devilment, he leaned back. “So that’s what made you laugh?”
Biting her lips to stop the merriment, she nodded. “It tickles.”
Movement to her left caught her attention and she shifted. While the puppy growled his dislike of their activities, he began to circle. Then he squatted and let loose.
“No, stop!” Lunging, Francesca tried to get to him, but having Sean’s body partially covering hers left her no wiggle room.
Sean’s face landed on her chest and the moan that rumbled through his body made had her start laughing again. “Macho-man’s just a baby.”
Sean got out of the bed and slid on his pants. Then he lifted the shivery pup and placed him on top of the towel bed he’d made for him earlier. Dawn was breaking and the room was light enough for them to be able to make out the larger than expected wet stain.
Francesca couldn’t stop herself. “The puddle’s on your side, Sean. Kinda looks suspicious don’t you think?” Typically, teasing didn’t come easy to her. But with this man, it seemed to fit. When he smirked, worry emerged and made her listen.
“Sorry, sweetheart. The room’s registered to only one person. You!”
Author of The Vicarage Bench Series, Angels with Attitude Series, Vegas Series, Elvis Series and the brand new sizzling romantic suspense series called Undercover FBI. Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island and writes her romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
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