Kendra is in danger, and she doesn’t see it coming. It’s a good thing the tall, dark, handsome new neighbor she’s falling hard for is there to protect her. A good thing, too, that he’s more than meets the eye—with a dangerous secret he doesn’t want her to discover. Their romance and passion is undeniable, but will Kendra accept Darius for what he is if she finds out the truth?
"This is a great story. It was hot and romantic. I can't wait to read more from this author. You will love it!" -By bosborne, Amazon.com Reviewer
She shuffled up the three steps of the neighbor’s porch, feeling like she was in familiar territory because she’d been in the house plenty of times and knew it well. Kendra knocked.
She listened but couldn’t hear a TV. The windows were dark. Maybe he’s asleep. She wondered which bedroom he’d taken. The master was nice but dated, and the guest room was right outside her bedroom window.
She knocked a second time—harder.
A howl broke out in the night, then another.
“Hello!” she shouted. “Anyone home?”
The lock clicked. The door opened. Her neighbor stared down at her, his dark eyes narrowed in his stern face. He looked mad.
“I’m so sorry to bother you—”
His eyes shifted to stare over her shoulder. He grabbed hold of her upper arm and pulled. “Get inside.” His deep voice sounded cryptic—as if she were in danger and in need of his protection.
A shiver traced down her spine. Her new neighbor forced her into his home. He smelled good, like the wilds beyond her house, pine needles and fresh earth, rain and cool autumn air. Kendra couldn’t help but breathe deep when her body collided with his bare chest. She turned her face to the side and saw why he had been so rough.
The dog was bounding straight for the open door.
He snapped it shut and slipped the bolt. A yelp and a thump broke the silence.
“Is that your dog?” she asked.
His house was pitch black. Kendra tried to see more than the pale light of the moon shining through the thin gauze curtains, but everything was obscured by the darkness. “I, um, saw it in my backyard. Thought maybe it was yours, so I came over to let you know.”
“I don’t have a dog.” She felt his chin brush the top of her hair. He inhaled. His fingers gradually released her wrist. She wanted him to keep holding her, as ridiculous as that seemed.
Claws grated against the door.
“Should we call animal control?”
He took a step away from her. The cool air in his house parted them. She wanted to step back toward him, breathe him in, touch his rock-hard chest with her fingers, get lost in his body heat and the closeness of another person.
“Animal control,” he repeated as he pulled the curtain aside to look out. “No. Not a good idea. He’ll go away in a while. Just wants to hunt, most likely. Probably snuck out of his owner’s yard to find . . . a girlfriend.” He chuckled.
“Oh.” She felt silly now for bothering him, and a little disoriented in the dark house.
He cleared his throat. “I’m so sorry. Let me turn on the light. I was working in the office.” His shadow mingled with the darkness until she hadn’t a clue where he was. She heard his feet brush over the carpet. A light flicked on, illuminating a very empty living room. There was only a brown couch. The once cluttered room that had filled her with a sense of home and warmth was now cold and empty.
Kendra glanced around before her attention returned to him. He was hardly dressed, wearing only a pair of pajama pants that weren’t even tied. She wondered if he had underwear on. It didn’t look like he did. Heat flushed her cheeks. She lifted her chin, focusing on his bare, chocolate-colored chest. He was even better close-up.
“Um, I’m your neighbor, Kendra Billings.” She extended her hand.
He smiled, his white teeth bright in his dark face, his eyes roving over her body, up and down, up again to her face. “Darius Cooper.” His palm met hers, warm, hot. He was all man, dominating and forward. She shivered when he stepped back again.