Sometimes passion has a price …
When sexy Stark Security Chief Ryan Hunter whisks his girlfriend Jamie Archer away for a passionate, romance-filled weekend so he can finally pop the question, he’s certain that the answer will be an enthusiastic yes. So when Jamie tries to avoid the conversation, hiding her fears of commitment and change under a blanket of wild sensuality and decadent playtime in bed, Ryan is more determined than ever to convince Jamie that they belong together.
Knowing there’s no halfway with this woman, Ryan gives her an ultimatum – marry him or walk away. Now Jamie is forced to face her deepest insecurities or risk destroying the best thing in her life. And it will take all of her strength, and all of Ryan’s love, to keep her right where she belongs…
“I adore all of the women in my life,” he says. “I’d do anything for them.” He’s looking at me as he says it, and my heart flutters in my chest. But I’m not sure if he’s including me in that group, or if the hint of meaning I hear in his voice is nothing more than my imagination.
I shake my head as I frown, trying to clear my thoughts.
“Fine,” I say, though it’s not true. Our rhythm is off, and it’s scaring me. We’ve always been in sync, even before we were dating. And now—well, now it almost feels like he’s deliberately keeping me off balance.
I want to get back to normal, and I don’t know the path, and my lack of confidence is frustrating me.
“Are you heading home?” Ryan asks.
I shake my head. “Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t decided. You?”
“Moira and I are taking Mom back to the hotel.”
I wait for him to invite me along, and when he doesn’t, I say, “It’ll be nice for you guys to have time to chat in the car. But she usually crashes early, doesn’t she?”
“Oh. Um.” I lick my lips. “Because I was wondering if you wanted to meet me somewhere. We could get a drink. We could talk.”
“Talk,” he repeats. He meets my eyes, and I see the question in them—have I changed my mind? Am I going to say yes?
I glance down at the floor.
“Talk,” he repeats. “No, I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”
I look up, frustrated. “But, Ryan, I just—”
“I have plans. I’m going to Westerfield’s.”
“Oh.” Westerfield’s is one of the hottest clubs in town. It’s also a Stark property, which means when Ryan goes he gets the full VIP treatment. Something that never fails to snag the attention of the female patrons. Most of whom are usually drunk. And wearing outfits that are barely big enough to keep a Barbie doll modest.
“Oh,” I repeat.
I wait for him to suggest I join him there, but all he says is, “It really was great that you came.” Then the bastard leans in and kisses my cheek. He kisses my f*cking cheek.
J.Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.
In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.