A perilous homecoming…
Everlasting is the second book in the heart-soaring and electrifying Evers, Texas, series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Ryan. A true masterwork of contemporary romantic suspense, it is the story of a beautiful artist returning home to danger, and to a love she never imagined. Exiled by her father, the town sheriff, at age four following the murder of her mother, Katelyn Bowden is finally coming back to tiny Evers, against the wishes of her now-dying parent.
The new sheriff, ex-New York cop John Davies, fears Katelyn’s life is in jeopardy from a killer who was never caught. Though she resents the handsome lawman her father has always loved like a son, Katelyn is confused by the passionate sparks that fly whenever they are together. But, will John be able to save her when a murderer finally emerges from hiding?
And two hours later, she was just as frustrated and let down as she had been in the parking lot.
Are you kidding me? They were in a secluded, romantic spot by the water without another soul around. They talked about everything and nothing. They laughed and teased each other. They ate way too much food. Everything from chicken salad to peach cobbler, packed by the sisters. John held her hand, let his fingers brush her arm or the back of her neck as they talked, and even traced circles on her stomach as they lay on a blanket stretched out next to each other. But, he hadn’t kissed her yet. And Katelyn was just about ready to burst.
“Tell me more about your sculptures, Katelyn. Why do you work with metal? Why not stone or, I don’t know…wood?”
Katelyn’s brain was currently primarily a mixture of mush and sweet, puffy clouds. At least that’s what it felt like every time John traced another one of his circles. The heat pooling low in her hips and stomach didn’t leave a whole lot of room for coherent thought and conversation at this point.
“Um, what?” she asked, somewhat dazed as she stared at his hand tracing its pattern.
Damn him. He knows perfectly well what he’s doing to me.
John smiled that wicked grin he had when he was up to something. “I’m glad you came home, Katelyn,” John said, his hand now still on her stomach spreading heat through her whole body, making her tingle with anticipation.
“I’m beginning to be pretty happy about that, too,” she said with a smile as her eyes dropped to his mouth again. She had a really hard time not focusing on his mouth. He had really full lips that somehow looked like they’d be both firm and soft at the same time. They made her want to lean up and lick them. Just the tiniest little bit. Nothing more than a little flick with her tongue to see what he’d do.
Her breath caught as she let her fantasy take over, but a split second before she acted on her thoughts, John laughed. Deep and low and so knowing. As if he knew what he’d been doing to her all this time. How he was teasing her.
John leaned in close, almost touching his mouth with hers, but leaving the smallest of margins. He was teasing her. Well, she could tease, too. She moved just a hair closer to him, rolled in and put her hands on his chest.
Hard rock. But, warm and oh, so much better than rock. Katelyn couldn’t breathe as she slid her hands over the thin fabric of his T-shirt pulled taut over hard lines and sculpted muscles, and she wondered briefly if she’d pass out from holding her breath before they had a chance to kiss.
She let herself look up. That may have been a mistake. When she met his eyes, she was utterly lost in the intensity of what she saw reflected in them.
John stilled for a minute, then wrapped his arms around her, trapping her against him. He crushed her to him so deliciously, she never wanted to break the connection. And then his mouth was on hers, and it wasn’t slow or gentle or questioning. It was all-encompassing. John kissed the way he did everything in life. All out. All or nothing. And Katelyn wanted to give him nothing less.
She slid her arms up his chest and looped them around his neck, pulling him ever closer as his tongue swept hers. Every part of her body was responding to his demands, and Katelyn forgot all about any ideas of taking a break from men.
But two seconds later, Katelyn heard a deafening crack cut the air and John moved faster than lightning, pinning her beneath him on the ground. The John she’d been kissing was gone and Sheriff John Davies, unyielding and all business, was in his place. Confusion swamped Katelyn. Was that really a...a gunshot?
Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children, two mostly-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing.