Daryk “Dare” Nyght is a man on the edge. As a trauma surgeon in the Army, he has seen his share of combat, but his high-risk lifestyle has left him burnt out and in desperate need of some peace. A man without a home, Dare heads to the small town of Breakers to get some rest and spend some time with a few friends, but what he finds there is more than he ever expected...
Evelyn Beaumont is a woman who seems to have it all. Evie has grace, beauty and wealth, but she hides from painful memories by burying herself in her work at the rescue center she runs. When these two lost souls come together in a clash of wills, the sparks between them are undeniable. Will passion be enough or can they find a way to open their hearts for a chance at true love?
Stalling, Dare bent down and picked up a stick. Pulling back his arm, he let it fly and watched as all four dogs gave chase. “First, I want to say I’m usually not such an idiot around women. I think it’s just you.”
He shot a look at her. “Why don’t we write it off as my stupid moment of the day and forget about it?”
Evie paused, considering. “Do you have many of those?”
“What, stupid moments? I’m male, so that would be yes. I think we have a quota each day or we just don’t feel right.”
He heaved out a sigh. “You...disturb me.”
That had her stopping in her tracks. Offended to her core, she glared at him with her hands on her hips. “Excuse me?”
“See, even the way you glare at me. That shouldn’t turn me on.”
“It...I...” She lost her ability to speak. Did he really just—
“Damn it, Evie,” he said as he took a step closer. “I shouldn’t have missed seeing your face today.”
Her mouth opened, then closed as she struggled to form a response. She took a step back, then another. “No. You said—”
“I know what I said.”
“Then we should probably just avoid each other from now on while you’re here.”
Dare took another step forward, closing the distance between them again as he slowly shook his head. “I’ve tried that. It doesn’t seem to be working.”
“Well, try harder,” she snapped. She started to take another step back, but stopped when she realized he had her retreating.
He burst out laughing. “Damn, woman. You sure do know how to stomp on a man’s ego.”
“That’s not all I’m gonna stomp on.”
Still chuckling, he wrapped an arm around her waist and jerked her to him, making her gasp. “Why don’t we try this instead?”
Dare’s mouth came down on hers, hot and hard. A low moan tore from Evie’s throat at the pleasure of feeling him against her. She knew she should protest, push him away or something, but her hands simply grabbed onto his shirt, needing something to anchor her as he took her under, into a sea of sensation.
Evie gasped again when he pulled her closer so she felt the steel hard spike of his erection again her stomach. It seemed to burn her through their clothes, and made her ache for more. He took advantage when her lips parted and pushed his tongue deep, stroking and tasting. Not to be outdone, she gave up fighting and met his desire with her own. She took the kiss deeper, tilting her head to the side, fitting them together like two pieces of a puzzle.
She lost herself in the kiss, taking and giving in equal measure. His other hand delved into her hair, tugging her head back and the small sting made her shiver. Time seemed to stop while they were locked together. Her hands slid under his shirt of their own volition. Feeling the hard contours of the muscles on his back made her knees go weak and another moan of pleasure broke free. She wanted to touch all of him, to stroke her hands over his hard body until he was as mad for her as she was for him.
This was passion.
This was wild, lust-driven need.
Gasping, she pulled back. Sweet Jesus, what was she doing? Here she was, making out with Dare out in the open where anyone could see, and she didn’t even like the man...did she?
Dare’s grip on her tightened, holding her firmly in place when she tried to move away from him. “Hey, princess? You think you can tell your boys to stand down?”
Evie blinked in confusion. God, his kiss had practically fried her brain. Shaking herself to focus, she quickly realized that all four of her dogs were issuing low, menacing growls. Looking down she saw they were all fixated on Dare, waiting for her command to attack.
“No, babies. It’s okay. Dare is a...friend.”
“You wanna try to say that a little more convincing? I’d like to keep all my body parts where they are,” he said wryly.
She repeated her words, resting her head on his shoulder and smiled at the dogs so they would understand she wasn’t being hurt. Three of the dogs relaxed, their tails wagging as they sniffed at Dare’s shoes, but Gawain still seemed to eye him suspiciously. “Smile,” she ordered, keeping her voice soft and calm.
Dare glanced down and tried to smile, although he was pretty sure it came out more like a grimace. A few seconds ago, he’d been damn close to dragging Evie down onto the grass with him. From the moment he’d touched her everything else had simply disappeared. She’s felt so right in his arms, and the taste of her was even better than he had imagined. Then he’d felt that itch on the back of his neck right before he’d heard the growls.
It had been a mistake to kiss her like this, without planning or preparation, but he just couldn’t help himself. And now he’d had a taste of her he wanted more. So much more. It would have been better if he’d walked away before he’d touched her, because now he wasn’t going to be able to.
He was a damned man now.