Revenge can be sweet…and desire deadly!
Revenge can be sweet and desire deadly—or so Officer Elle Taylor finds out upon learning that her father is the late Chicago mobster Montgomery ‘Black’ Kearns. When an unknown enemy targets Elle’s mother, she leans on her ex-lover and Kearns’ enforcer, Durant Kane, for help.
Durant Kane is no stranger to trouble, especially the kind that comes with a gun trained on his face and an angry woman attached. But Elle’s something different, something unexpected and sweeter. He never could have imagined coming to feel so deeply about her, even if his own disastrous path in relationships hadn’t left him so wary. But he’ll have to take the risk if he doesn’t want to lose the woman he’s come to realize he can’t even think of living without.
With her best friend murdered, the man believed to be partly responsible under the nose of her gun and a stranger looming in the shadows out for blood, Officer Elle Taylor is running out of time and people to trust. Will Elle risk crossing the forbidden line between duty and love once and for all, before a murderer strikes, leaving her life in flames?
Publisher's Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. It has been revised and reedited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.
General Release Date: 11th June 2019
Three months before…
Everyone has a guilty pleasure. Some give in once and can walk away afterward, while others become a slave to it. Given the wicked spasms pulsating between Officer Elisha ‘Elle’ Taylor’s thighs, which side she fell on was clear.
Seeing Durant Kane again had cracked open her wall of defense. Elle gritted her teeth as she waited on her coffee. Her usual early morning joint was filled with commuters, the normal hum of conversations and steady traffic. She watched the handsome man standing at the entrance of the diner. His golden skin, brilliant blue eyes that hinted at wise-cracking cynicism and cropped blond hair gave him the air of a playboy. Sophistication and confidence defined every move he made.
The shrewd gleam in his baby blues that Elle knew oh so well matched his smooth-talking ways. She swallowed the lump in her throat. She had no right thinking of him that way. Doing so only made her feel a traitor to the uniform. She shook her head, deciding that should have been heeded before she’d visited his bed. Yet, she couldn’t stop from taking in his striking profile. The dark designer suit lined his tall, muscular frame exquisitely. She noted that same potency registered with several of the men Durant stood with as he gazed occasionally at traffic. They seemed intent on his every word. She was addicted to him in all the ways that shouldn’t matter to a cop, but as a full-blooded woman—that was a different story.
Elle turned as Durant looked in her direction, a slow smile tugging at the corner of his lips. She faced the counter. Where the hell is that coffee? She needed to be on the road and not recounting the ways he’d made her come a year ago. Knowing he still had the ability to captivate her attention made her blood boil.
Guilty pleasures… Elle knew of them. She was experiencing one right now. The swipe of his tongue across his lips made her stomach clench. She balled her fist. Moments later, she felt the brush of his hand as it grazed her lower back. She didn’t dare turn around, and with the steady stream of people roaming the diner, no one would notice that Durant was standing inappropriately close behind her. The heat from his breath fanned the back of her neck.
“Excuse me, Officer. So rude of me to reach over you.” He leaned forward, grabbing a menu.
“I should shoot you.”
“A pleasure to see you as well, Elle.” She could hear the smile in Durant’s voice.
She raised her eyebrows, ignoring the sexual intensity spreading throughout her body. “I doubt your associates would see it that way.”
Durant chuckled. “That’s why they’re waiting outside.” The sound of his laughter was rich and filling, just as he’d been when their bodies had intertwined.
Elle squeezed her thighs together. “Perfect, a henchman who does delivery.”
“I try to be as accommodating as possible to my employees and otherwise.”
“Is that what you’re calling it these days?”
“There are many names for what I want to do to you.” He moved closer, the hard muscles of his chest now pressing against her back. An innocent onlooker would only see a man perusing the menu and not the sensual heat ricocheting between them.
Durant snaked his right hand to the side of her waist and over her belly to tug her backward. Her ass brushed his erection. “What’s good here?” he said against her ear, inhaling her scent.
“Get your hands off me.” Elle’s eyes fluttered for a moment before she pushed away, only to feel his hand clamp tightly against her again. Her body responded swiftly. She bit her lip to stop from moaning out loud. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. “Damn you! If I scream—”
“If you scream, it’ll be a sound I’ve been longing to hear,” he replied huskily.
“Officer? Your coffee. We threw in a couple of chocolate glazed donuts for the wait.”
Durant edged back, pretending to be intent on his menu.
Elle jerked away from his intimate lock and turned her attention to the cashier, flashing a tight smile. “Thanks.” The caffeine would do little to smooth over the tumultuous emotions rumbling within her.
She turned to find Durant’s eyes glowing. “If you ever try something like that again, I will shoot you, Kane.” She maneuvered around him, wanting to put as much distance between them as possible.
He looked over his shoulder. “You never told me what was good.”
“Try the fact that you are still standing.”
Once outside, the cold winter air drowned out the heated vibrations swirling around her. Fortunately, it was the end of her shift.
It was not normal to feel like this, to act like some wanton teenager. It was definitely not her customary ‘love ’em and leave ’em before attachments could be formed’ style. She had stayed away from Durant since that night. Being around him clouded her judgment, yet his heated gaze had reeled Elle in, reawakening a forbidden desire that that threatened not only her sanity but also her job.
There was a higher price to be paid if she gave in to her cravings, though—the forbidden truth was she’d never felt more alive.
Elle opened the door to her cruiser. They lived in two separate worlds and nothing would change that. Sleeping with the enemy was dangerous and none of her training had prepared her for a skilled criminal like Durant Kane.
The grin on his face was evidence enough that he was in over his head. Durant nodded his head vacantly at something one of his guards whispered in his ear. He narrowed his eyes as he watched Officer Elle Taylor drive off. It would take more time than he cared to admit to get her out of his system. He had a big shipment tonight to get ready for. He couldn’t afford any slip-ups, especially when some of Black’s underlings were already questioning his loyalties. In order to shut down any further misgivings about his intentions with regard to the organization, Durant had had to beat one of them in a good, old-fashioned fistfight, which Black had enjoyed.
Durant had been undercover on this case too long to let things go south. He couldn’t afford giving in to the attraction he felt for the officer any more than she could, though the desire lay in wait like an animal hungry for its prey.
He sat in the back seat as his driver and guards talked among themselves. In his hands were the coffee and chocolate Danish his boss, Monty ‘Black’ Kearns, craved. The thick dossier on Kearns exposed a fondness for sweets, murdering competition—fifty at last count—and anyone who questioned his judgment.
The man was a monster and believed to be responsible for at least that many ruthless killings in the last ten years alone. Durant shifted his attention from the pastries to the rush of pedestrians going about their daily lives. Did they carry the ghosts of their pasts with them along every step they took, just as he did?
Regardless, he’d long since passed the threshold of being a normal citizen. Every day he was in this world, the more ‘normal’ seemed to fade.
Durant gritted his teeth. ‘Normal’ for men like him didn’t exist. He made his own rules. The house with the picket fence had been broken into and ravaged, leaving him with nothing but a burned-shell reality of what once had been. He’d live with his choices for the rest of his life—if he could call this living—and he didn’t expect anyone to understand his plight or the path he was traveling, least of all a good girl like Elle.
* * * *
“Hello, Honey,” a digitized voice whispered into the receiver. “Or should I call you…Mother?”
Alaina Taylor frowned in confusion at the mention of her old nickname. “Who is this?” It wasn’t her daughter, Elisha…Elle. Her only child would not play games on the phone. She tightened her hand around the cord. At the caller’s silence, Alaina asked again, “I said, who’s calling?”
“Your other child.”
A chill swept through Alaina’s body at the venom in the stranger’s voice. “I don’t have time for your foolishness.” Her heartbeat sped up. It can’t be, she thought. No, this is someone’s sick idea of a joke and nothing more. After all this time, she refused to think there was any other possibility. That life was dead. Gone. She couldn’t relive that pain. Never again.
“Whoever this is, you have the wrong number. Do not call here again.” Alaina started to hang up, but the laughter on the other end stopped her.
“You think it’s that easy, bitch? You ruined my life.”
“I-I don’t know what you’re talking about. How did you get this number?” Alaina sagged into the couch. “I don’t know what sick game you’re playing, but—”
“Game? I guess you could put it that way. You certainly played with my life.”
“I told you, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why are you doing this? I’m hanging up—”
“No! You listen very carefully, Honey. You may not know me, but you will. I’ll make sure of it. You are not the victim, though you play that role so well. I’m the one you threw away like garbage.”
Alaina closed her eyes when a wave of nausea hit her as she finally accepted the caller’s identity. “I-I had no choice. I tried to do the best I could.” The words came out in a hoarse whisper. “Do not try to find me. Do you hear me?”
“Now that sounded mother-like, very authoritative, but there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop me, now is there, old woman?”
“Why are you doing this?”
“You’ll find out soon enough. I’ll be seeing you real soon.”
The line went dead.
SAMARA KING is the author of sexy contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Writing romance has been woven into Samara's world since her days of sneaking to the back of the library in grade school...of course, at some point, there was studying (usually after the end of a chapter.) When not dreaming up her latest hero who may or may not resemble the likes of Morris Chestnut, Channing Tatum or the latest MUST-HAVE-HIM archetype, Samara can be found jamming out to music, sipping on her favorite drink: cinnamon coffee or if the mood calls for it -- because let's get real -- often life requires Moscato while watching This Is Us, shopping for plants she cannot kill, and dancing.
Currently, she writes for multiple publishers, including her own imprint Crave. Previously, Samara cohosted SoundNOff, a poetic format for poets and spoken word artists and hosted InCharacterN10, a former showcase for authors on Blogtalkradio.com/samaraking. Her well-received poetry collection, The Ebony Kryptonite, preceded her poetic EP, Stripped Barefoot, a sultry mix of poetry and spoken word, which went on to reach #20 in Chicago’s Top 40 on Reverbnation in September 2013.
Samara resides in the Midwest, mixing city life with her family...and characters who never sleep.