Friday, March 28, 2014
When eight parade floats explode during the annual Fourth of July celebrations, Agent Chris Harmer must find who planted the bombs before the terrorists strike again. His troubles aren't isolated to terrorism. Chris falls in love with the FBI's feisty psychiatrist, Alexis Osborne. She won't commit to someone who doesn't share her religious values, and Chris has no desire to convert.
Fourth of July was originally published in 2007. I loved being able to re-edit it the past few months and redo the cover. It will be available April 12th.
Chris followed every movement Alexis made. She was breathtaking in the fitted, cap-sleeved gown. If only she wasn’t a Christian, bubbling with Biblical passages. He forced himself to quit staring, turning to gaze over the spectacular view of the city. Millions of lights blinked against the black sky.
“How do you like the party?” He initiated the small talk when Alexis didn’t respond to his earlier comment about not drinking. He smiled to himself. He liked this feisty side of her.
Alexis shrugged. “A little too joyous for my state of mind.”
“Exactly.” Chris angled his body toward hers. “I don’t think it would be asking too much for the elite to mourn for those who were killed.” He shoved his fingers through his wavy hair. “Maybe I’m wrong. They’re probably acting happy to disguise their shock.”
“I hope so.” She tossed her short curls. “A lady in there just had the nerve to tell us how the events of the Fourth had ‘ruined her fireworks.’ It made me so mad I told her off.” Alexis’ doe-like eyes glistened in the soft light. When she continued, her tone was much softer. “I’m so heartbroken for all of the victims and their families. How could she be so callous?”
“Oh, Half-pint.” Were those tears? His softly spoken words seemed to bring more brightness to the dark depths.
“I’m okay,” she muttered, brushing at her eyelids. The tears spilled over, clinging to her lashes despite her efforts to hide them.
“No, you’re not.” He wiped the proof from her silken cheeks.
Tilting her chin up, he read sadness and heartache in her dark gaze. Chris couldn’t resist. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. The hug was meant to be something akin to a brotherly expression of concern. The feelings it stirred in Chris were nothing of the sort.
Fighting desire, he ushered her head to his chest before he made the mistake of kissing those soft lips. Her intoxicating perfume floated up to him and he experienced the urge to protect her and...no, he wouldn’t let himself think that.
“It’s been all I can do to keep going,” Alexis’ voice rumbled against his chest. “To not give in to despair. The only time I haven’t been upset in the past two days is when I’ve talked to you.”
Her head jerked up. Her eyes grew wide as she looked up at him. “Oh, help,” she gasped. Covering her mouth with her hand, she turned away.
Chris hated her leaving his embrace, but he loved the appealing pink glow tinting her face. “You enjoy talking to me?” he asked, unable to contain a small chuckle or hide the smile splitting his face.
“Yes,” Alexis admitted with a barely audible whisper.
Her head was down as if she were afraid to look him in the eye. Warmth rushed through his body. This woman was amazing. From years of working in the same department, he knew that every comment she made was genuine. Could it be possible she was interested in him? He gently grasped her upper arms, relishing the feel of her warm flesh beneath his hands. He propelled her back toward him.
He was so taken by her beauty he didn’t pause to think as he drew her nearer. He saw her lips part slightly, her anticipation evident. He felt her soft breath against his mouth; they were only centimeters apart. He didn’t waste any time deliberating over his actions. He only felt the rightness of holding her close, completely enraptured by the magic of the moment.
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