Obscene wealth and a toxic family taught Joss Bradlee to care about no one. He moved through life in a caustic shell, fending off gold-diggers with his sharp tongue and abrasive personality. But a stubborn submissive saw past his nonchalant act, and he fell hard and fast for a girl he didn’t deserve. When she accidentally stumbled into the line of fire, he moved heaven and earth to protect her, even if it meant letting her go. Eight months later, he ensures her safety and tracks her down, finally ready to claim the one person that matters. The only problem—she wants nothing to do with him.
On the run for close to a year, Kim Tran receives a surprise call from the man who’d put her life in danger. His family hired assassins to kill her, but he’s somehow convinced they still had a chance. With their entire relationship built on a lie, she resists the instinct to sprint straight into his arms. Faced with a social divide no sane person would bridge, she cuts her losses and breaks her own heart. But the Dominant she loves has other plans, and he’s spent his entire life getting his way. Too late to run and with nowhere to hide, she faces an adversary well versed in all her weaknesses.
At the Carnivore Club, two exhibitionists meet for a battle of wills, lured by a one-night stand service, misplaced cat, and several helping hands. With the aid of handcuffs, disciplinary measures, and a capture game, a reluctant sub rediscovers the pleasures of bondage, the thrill of display, and the ecstasy of surrender.
Her fingertips tingled by the time she reached the interrogation room. Sucking air into her lungs, she flattened her palms on the entryway. Regaining equilibrium through the slight chill, she focused on spacing out her breaths. Her nipples might have tightened to painful peaks, moisture might coat her palms, but she had no doubt she’d spend the night alone.
The Dom she wanted to play with resided on the opposite end of the continent. Even if he were right in front of her, she wouldn’t—couldn’t—allow their lives to tangle again.
Squaring her shoulders, she turned the knob and pushed the heavy slab. The ground dropped out from under her the moment she spotted her date’s familiar reflection in the two-way mirror.
Joss’s mouth curved, the smile grooving his stubbled jaw. White cuffs peeked out the ends of his gray jacket sleeves. Silvery links glinted under the white, fluorescent light. With his pale hair tied in a queue at his nape and his collar open, he embodied a modern-day Viking.
“I come in peace.” He lifted his wrists, which were handcuffed together and chained to a metal ring on the floor. Full of mischief, his jade eyes sparkled. Her reaction to his playful salutation brought an unwelcome realization. Time hadn’t muted the bond between them, their sizzling chemistry all the more potent because of the months spent apart.
The sight of him shattered her defenses. Trouble in an expensive suit, he’d worn the same wicked expression when they’d met. It was her first day working as a hostess at a BDSM club in Boston. They’d chatted, he’d swung by her station a few times, and, after her shift, he’d materialized with a piping-hot pumpkin spice latte in hand.
Even then, she’d suspected him to be more than he seemed—a ruthless man wearing the mask of a dilettante. She should have walked away, should have trusted her instincts and steered clear of someone so far out of her league. While claiming to be a corporate errand boy, he’d drawn attention wherever they’d gone, his charisma as palpable as the crisp scent of his expensive cologne.
But the heartbreaking loneliness she’d sensed had stretched their walk into a stroll along the Charles, a harmless coffee into hours of conversation and laughter. Despite her misgivings, they’d become friends. That step, she’d never regret.
“What are you doing here?” The impulse to throw her arms around his broad shoulders an obsession, she rooted her heels to the floor. All dreams must end. Hers did months ago.
Why, then, did it feel as if a new one was about to begin?