[BookStrand Romantic Suspense, HEA]
At nineteen, Alec Westwood nearly committed the most horrific of crimes—murder in cold blood—and narrowly escaped the assignment with his life. When a stunning young woman crosses his path wearing the insignia for the organization that recruited him, he vows not to let fate get a second chance. But when the enchantress gives him a kiss that leaves him spellbound, Alec realizes the power she holds is greater than all his strength and fortitude combined.
On the run from her psychotic fiancé, Lena Benson vows to forge a new life. But when her new friend Jack tells her to stay away from Alec Westwood—the man she believes her fiancé hired to track her down—she takes matters into her own hands. Alec may have the charm, but she’s calling the shots, even if that means resisting a man whose eyes and touch rob her, literally, of sense.
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
Trista’s sweet laughter filled the air as Lena opened the door. The little girl was pointing her finger up at the doctor. His back was turned in her direction, but he was tall and had wavy, black hair. There was something strangely familiar about him.
Lena had never been to Memorial Hospital before. How would she know anyone who worked there?
“I’m not a little monkey,” Trista said, laughing. She gave the doctor’s white coat a tug.
“Oh yes you are.” He pressed a finger to her little nose.
“No, I’m not.” She laughed, pushing him back. “You’re a monkey head.” Her eyes lit as she turned around. “Miss Lena!”
Fresh tears formed in Lena’s eyes. She raced to the bed, throwing her arms around Trista. Faintly, she heard the doctor’s clipboard hit the floor with a smack.
She must have bumped into him as she ran by. But there was plenty of time to apologize.
“Trista, I’m so glad you’re okay,” she said, holding the little girl tightly against her chest.
“I’m all better now, Miss Lena,” Trista said. “I bumped my head. But it’s okay now.”
Lena did her best to hide her watery eyes. Trista seemed completely unfazed by what had happened. It was as if a different child had cracked her head open on the playground.
“You scared me today,” she said softly. “We’re going to hold the handlebars every time we ride our bikes from now on, aren’t we?” She turned to the doctor. “My God, I don’t know how to thank—”
Lena gripped the bar surrounding the bed. She could hardly believe what she was seeing. Trista’s doctor was the man from Valley Tavern, the man from Julia’s backyard. He was none other than Alec himself!
A doctor—he was a doctor! Wearing a white coat and looking at her with eyes as wide as her own. With a professional ensemble to compliment his handsome exterior, he was the heartthrob of every woman’s fantasy for sure.
Suddenly, he began to look her over more slowly. With his deep blue eyes locked with hers, intensity transformed to pure, wicked deviltry. He wasn’t simply looking at her, as he had those other times. He was challenging her. Daring her to speak first. She swallowed, tightening her hold on the handle of the bed.
“Trista,” a soft voice called from the doorway.
Lena released the breath she’d been holding in. She’d almost forgotten about the little girl sitting beside them. Suddenly there were two other people in the room. A man, with curly blond hair, like his daughter’s. And a woman with a long brunette mane.
Well, it was better late than never. She’d begun to think maybe Trista was an orphan. After a brief reintroduction, she decided to give the family a few minutes alone. She went to the door, assuring herself that she definitely needed some air.
Clutching the doorknob, she jolted as a hand touched down on her back.
“A moment of your time, Miss Gallagher.”
Alec was right behind her, their bodies practically touching. She didn’t dare turn around out of fear that she might fall straight into his arms—exactly where he wanted her. He placed his large, warm hand over hers and turned the doorknob, urging her into the hall. Moving steadily behind hers, his body forced her to either walk forward or risk bumping right up against him.
Moments later, Lena found herself in a dimly lit corridor—a place she was certain no one else in the hospital even knew existed. Though, the darkness didn’t make it any easier to hide her trembling hands. Her heart beat wildly as Alec circled her, caressing her body with his sinful blue eyes. She moved back a step, coming against the wall.
A mischievous smile formed on Alec’s lips. Putting his hand against the tile behind her, he barricaded her exit.
“Lena Gallagher.” He shook his head, making a tsking sound with his tongue. “Imagine that. Allowing an innocent child to fall from a tricycle. What sort of a negligent caregiver does a thing like that?”
Lena’s face burned. “Negligent caregiver? I—”
“It’s certainly a good thing I was there to come to the rescue. But then that’s just the kind of man I am, you see. Lucky for you. Otherwise”—he lowered his voice—“you’d be in an awful lot of trouble right now. Wouldn’t you?”
“Are we through here, Dr. Westwood? I wouldn’t want to take up any more of your precious time.”
“Now, now, Miss Gallagher. That isn’t any way to speak to the man who just saved your little girl. Not to mention job, I’m sure. Correct me if I’m wrong. That makes the score two to zero. Does it not?”
“Is that what this is to you? Some sort of sick game? Trista could have died! No doctor with any true ethics would try to take advantage of something like that. Just how big of a jerk are you?”
He grinned. “Don’t you wish you knew?”
She put her hands against the front of his jacket, shoving him back as hard as she could. “I’m leaving.”
She started forward, but he caught her by the arm. Her eyes came wide open as she turned around. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Perhaps you ought to think more carefully before making bets you have no chance of winning. I let you walk away from me once. This time, I don’t intend to make it quite so…easy.”
“What do you want from me?” she asked in a whisper.
“You know what I want, Lena. And I know that you want this as much as I do.”