In the Caribbean for his best friend’s wedding, ex special-ops officer and security expert Ryan McLean meets a beautiful woman in the hotel bar. Their connection is immediate and intense, and they spend a passionate night together with pleasure as their only goal.
But when Ryan wakes the following morning to discover the beautiful woman has vanished, along with millions worth of jewels from the safe of the Saudi prince staying in the suite next door, he realizes their meeting wasn’t accidental and becomes determined to find her.
A notorious thief known to authorities only as the Dragonfly, Mariana Lora has one final job to complete before she’s free from the oath that bound her to a life of crime, but the sexy-as-hell Marine she spent one explosive tropical night with is hot on her heels at every turn. She has to outwit him to stay out of jail, but fighting their magnetic attraction soon becomes a game neither one of them can resist.
When Mariana’s last job goes dangerously wrong and she needs Ryan’s help to survive, he has to decide if their game of cat and mouse is only a game, or if he can trust this beautiful thief with something no woman has ever stolen: his heart.
There’s a part of me that’s thrilled about the way things are going. Ryan’s making this all extremely easy on me, that’s for sure. But there’s another part of me— a bigger part— that’s worried.
I like him.
For someone in my line of work, that can be deadly.
It’s not just the way Ryan looks or kisses or his straightforward, no-bullshit style. It’s not only his wacky sense of humor or his obvious intelligence. It’s all that, plus he’s this big, macho Marine with a cocky swagger who’s strong enough to survive gunshots but touches me with true gentleness, both with his hands and his eyes.
The man has a sensitive side.
There’s nothing more irresistible to my cynical heart than rugged masculinity paired with tenderness. Every other man I know is ruthless to his core.
It’s times like these I wish I weren’t so observant.
“Dinner’s at eight,” says Ryan, smiling his signature cocksure smile. “What room you in, Angel? I’ll pick you up.”
No matter how much I like him, the odds of me letting this man into my room are about as good as the odds that lightning will strike me dead where I sit. “Let’s meet in the lobby.”
Before he can ask why, I lean forward and kiss him.
It proves an effective distraction.
He takes my face in his hands— another thing I like more than I should— and softly groans into my mouth as our tongues sweep together. Dangerous adrenaline floods my veins. I try to maintain intellectual distance, like an outside observer, but the man is a champion kisser. His lips are filled with mind-altering chemicals. They must be, because within seconds, I’m lost, clinging to him like I’m drowning and he’s the only thing that can save me from going under the next big wave.
“I dig the little noises you make,” he whispers, gently biting my lower lip as he cradles my head.
“Noises?” I repeat, too blissed out to be horrified I might be making some kind of unattractive animal sounds into his mouth.
When was the last time I was kissed like this?
“Little growly kitten noises.” He kisses one corner of my mouth, then the other. He says hotly into my ear, “I wonder what kind of noises you’ll make when I have my face between your legs.”
I summon a vivid picture of myself naked on my back in a bed, Ryan’s golden head between my thighs, writhing and screaming my way through a thermonuclear orgasm. I try not to pant.
He allows me to pull away, but the expression on his face is dark and intense. I think he might grab me at any moment and haul me off into the bushes, caveman style.
Over the roar of my pulse, I say coolly, “Don’t get ahead of yourself, cowboy. You’re still in the friend zone. Any more assumptions about where this is headed and the friend zone is where you’ll stay.”
I amuse him, evidenced by his gruff chuckle and jaunty salute. “Yes, ma’am.”
I toss my hair and rise from the barstool. Instantly, he’s on his feet too. “See you at eight,” I say.
He looks crestfallen, like a little boy left alone at the playground. “You’re leavin’ already? It’s not even four!”
Mierde. Why does he have to be so adorable? The contrast between his sweet, boyish side and his macho, mouthy side is maddeningly disarming. “I have some work to finish up this afternoon. My article’s due to my editor today, and I haven’t wrapped it up yet.”
He looks at me for a beat. His expression changes into something unreadable. Gone is the little boy. In his place is a man who is watchful and speculative, his eyes the chilly blue of an iceberg. It’s the wolf I saw earlier, the one lurking behind the swagger and smiles.
“Of course,” he says, without a shred of emotion in his voice. “I understand. Duty calls.”
This time when he smiles, it sends a shiver down my spine.
Want to read the other standalones in the Wicked Games series? Find out more about WICKED BEAUTIFUL and WICKED SEXY below!
About WICKED BEAUTIFUL
Life coach and best-selling author Victoria Price has it all: a successful career, fabulous friends, a fantastic penthouse in Manhattan. What she doesn’t have—and doesn’t want—is a husband. Fifteen years ago her high school flame broke her heart so badly she swore she’d never love again. Now she makes millions teaching other women how to be just like her: a ruthless bitch.
Drop-dead sexy restauranteur and infamous playboy Parker Maxwell has only three rules for the women he dates: no questions about his past, no expectations for the future, and no spending the night. When he meets Victoria, however, he’s willing to break his own rules if it means sating the explosive desire she arouses in him. What he doesn’t know is that the alluring Victoria Price used to be the mousy Isabel Diaz, the girl he deflowered and dumped long ago.
Presented with a perfect opportunity for revenge, Victoria decides the game is on. But when her connection with Parker proves more than just skin deep, she has to make a choice: continue with her plan for payback, or risk her career, her reputation, and her heart by taking a second chance on love?
A badass ex-Special Ops officer and a smartass hacker fight a dangerous enemy…and a blistering attraction to each other.
Connor Hughes is an ex-special ops officer, CEO of Metrix Security, and bonafide badass. His private security firm is renowned for its effectiveness. He’s renowned for his lethal precision and iron self-control. But when the former Marine meets a gorgeous young hacker with a mouth as smart as her brain, his control unravels in ways he never could have predicted.
Tabitha West is a genius MIT dropout with a bad attitude, an obsession with Hello Kitty and piercings in unmentionable places. Tabby amuses herself by outwitting the most secure technology systems on the planet. Known in hacker circles as Polaroid due to her photographic memory, she’s as secretive as she is accustomed to working alone. So when Connor decides she’s the only one who can help him catch a cyber criminal intent on taking down one of his clients, she tells him exactly where he can stick it.
But when the cyber criminal turns out to be the Hannibal Lecter of computer crime—and a dark presence from Tabby’s past—Tabby and Connor are drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. They quickly find themselves fighting not only their common enemy, but also an explosive desire that threatens to consume them.
When the stakes are this high and the game this deadly, will falling in love be the most dangerous move of all?
A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.
She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.
Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.