Holly Spencer is a 22-year-old IT major who’s ready to graduate and find her place in the world. What she really wants is a good job and a condo with a view.
But when she’s rescued twice in one day by a mysterious man who claims to be a fae warrior, she’s plunged into a world she grew up believing existed only in fairy tales, and is forced to run for her life from warring factions who all want her dead.
Shadow’s on a routine mission when he runs headlong into Holly—the soul mate he’d given up on ever finding. Even when she refuses to believe they’re meant for each other, he fights to protect her from the very thing that brought them together, even when it means making a dangerous deal with Fate to save her life.
Holly still had to face the things that caused her fear, and as much as Shadow made her feel safe, she couldn’t quite let go of the responsibility of taking care of herself. She couldn’t in good conscience give him any hope when she had no idea what she faced in the next few days. That kind of trust required more than she was ready to give just yet. Still, resisting the temptation to give in to their attraction was becoming more and more difficult.
“I know you’ll do everything you can to protect my life, and if I survive this mission, we can talk about my heart,” she said into his chest.
“You’ll survive,” he said. “I’ve already saved you twice. I’ll do it as many times as I need to.”
“As I recall, the last time it was a team effort,” Holly teased. “If I hadn’t shifted form, you wouldn’t have been able to carry me away.”
She heard his laugh rumble in his chest. “Very true. That just proves what a good team we are.” He pushed her back just a little to look her in the eyes, “And as I recall,” he said, a wicked grin spreading slowly across his lips, “the last time I saved you, you were wearing only a smile. Is that going to be a habit?”
“You wish. What does that have to do with anything anyway?”
Still holding her close, he traced the line of her dress, down one shoulder, across the valley between her breasts, and back up again, making her shiver.
“Nothing. I was just thinking about how impressive it was.”
He leaned in and laid a gentle kiss on her cheek, then pulled back enough to stare into her eyes again. His lips were soft and warm, and she forced herself to breathe, her resolve already weakened. One of his brows went up and a slow, confident smile developed on his lips before they descended toward hers. His kiss was tender, followed by another and then another, until they grew more ardent and she stretched eagerly to reach him. He slanted his lips on hers, coaxing her mouth open enough to slip his tongue inside. She met his with her own, the taste of him—wine and evergreen and bonfire smoke—so masculine and intoxicating she wondered if Fate had arranged that as well. All her arguments against surrender evaporated as she moved herself against him, encouraging his ardor to become more firm. He licked deeper into her mouth and a soft moan escaped her throat. Somewhere in the back of her brain—which seemed to have suddenly taken a back seat—she admitted that she was his to do with as he pleased.