Meet Ex- Navy Seal Connor in UP IN SMOKE!
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BlurbNever start a fire you can't control...
Connor Bannon is supposed to be dead. Dishonorably discharged from the Navy SEALs, he's spent the last two years working as a street enforcer in Brooklyn for his cousin's crime ring. Through a twist of fate, he's now in Chicago, working undercover to bust criminals. But when a cute little arsonist joins the team-all combat boots, tiny jean shorts, and hot-pink hair-Connor's notorious iron control slips.
Erin "she's getting away" O'Dea knows two things. She hates authority. And... Nope, that's it. When she's forced to operate on the "right" side of the law, her fear of being confined and controlled blazes to the surface. The last thing she expects is a control freak like Connor to soothe her when she needs it most. Worse, something behind the sexy ex-soldier's eyes ignites a dangerous inferno of desire. One that invites Erin to play with fire. And one that could get them both killed...
ExcerptAs if her thoughts had made him appear, Connor strode into the courthouse. Her pulse started beating double time, her stomach muscles tightening. Good Lord, the man was a fucking panty dropper. She’d only been away from him for a few hours and it felt like years since she’d experienced his presence. In jeans and a fitted gray T-shirt that molded to his muscles like her hands itched to do, he personified confidence and authority. Hot, rugged male. His gaze connected with hers immediately and darkened. She thought back to that morning when he’d dressed in the early morning light, his abs flexing as he pulled the shirt over his head. His erection barely contained by his boxers. She’d never been one to beg for anything, but she’d been seconds from offering him her mouth. Pleading for the privilege of sucking him off.
Conner shook his head at her with a sexy half smile on his face, as if he could read her thoughts across the room. He stopped at the metal detector and walked through after the security guard beckoned him forward. When the woman grabbed her wand and instructed him to raise his hands in the air, something ugly reared its head deep inside her. The detector hadn’t even beeped. There was no reason for the personal service. When the woman smiled at Connor and ran a hand down her ponytail, Erin propelled herself forward, boots echoing on the polished marble.
Erin hissed as she drew even with the guard. “If you’re done feeling up my boyfriend, I’d love a turn. We were in a rush this morning.”
The guard dropped the wand, letting it dangle near her thigh. “Did you just hiss at me?”
Erin hissed again.
“Okay.” Connor stepped between them, winking down at her. “We should go. Don’t want to keep the clerk waiting.”
Appreciation spread in her belly like honey. He hadn’t chided her for her behavior or apologized to the woman on her behalf. Instead he’d given the impression they were on their way to get married, appeasing her jealousy in one fell swoop. “That’s right.” She sauntered toward the elevator. “There’s vows to be exchanged. Rings to put on fingers. Shit like that.”
She glanced behind her to find Connor staring at her ass as she walked, so she put a little swing in her hips and savored his groan. Damn. She’d definitely never had this much fun at a courthouse.
A moment later, she and Connor stepped into an empty elevator. She hit the button for the top floor even though the clerk was on the first, and leaned back against the wall, looking up at him through her eyelashes. “How was your morning, baby? Was it worth leaving me in bed, all hot and bothered for you?”
“Fuck no, it wasn’t.” He crooked a big finger at her. “Climb on up here.”
The heat is off the scale…
Connor, Bannon, and Erin O’Dea are thrown together because they are bad. Part of a special group tied to the Chicago Police Department, they are going to work undercover to investigate a crooked politician. That’s kind of ironic given their background. Erin doesn’t want to go to prison – or worse – so while she is grateful for the opportunity, that doesn’t mean her demons have gone away. Connor has his own issues to deal with but suddenly finds himself caring more about Erin’s needs than his own. There is a lot at stake and one misstep could bring it all crashing down.
I didn’t realize this is the second book in this series but it worked well as a standalone. Connor and Erin are two of a group brought together because of their unique abilities. Along with all that skill though are personalities with a lot of jagged edges and personal issues. From the minute they sat down in the meeting room I knew this was going to get interesting. Erin has this brash, in your face persona that is peeled away, layer by layer, to reveal the hurt and vulnerability that lies beneath. She is not a shrinking violet, however, far from it. She knows her own weaknesses but is strong nevertheless. Connor is attracted to her in a way he’s never known but while he’s all about control that is the one thing Erin can never give up. The chemistry and heat between them is off the charts as Connor uses words and actions to prove to Erin he is what she needs. With their pasts shaping them, and sometimes intruding on, their present the conflict and drama is non-stop. I loved this roller coaster of a hot and steamy ride that had me alternately laughing, cheering and getting misty. I have one to catch up on in the series and look forward to more!
Connor broke away, allowing them both to suck in oxygen. “Stay. I’m sorry. Stay.” He bent his knees to bring them eye to eye. His spoke of torture, but he was trying to hide it. “Look at me. I can handle this. I want you here. Don’t leave.”
“I don’t know if I can handle it,” she whispered.
His heavy breaths ceased. “What do you mean?”
She drew out a lighter from her back pocket and ignited the flame. It cleared her head a little, allowing her to search for the right words. Words that wouldn’t sound crazy. “I like touching you. It makes me feel really…good. And there isn’t a whole lot that makes me feel good, you know?” Her throat closed up. “I wish you could touch me, too. I don’t think I can stay here knowing I’m hurting you by making myself feel good…and I don’t think I can stop touching you. It feels like a must.”
A flare of panic flashed across his face. “I shouldn’t have said what I did earlier. You just caught me off guard.” He massaged his forehead with four fingers. “Did I scare you? Is that why you’re really leaving?”
“No.” She shook her head. “No.”
“Okay. Jesus. Okay.” He was silent a moment, but gears were turning behind his eyes. “You need to touch me and I need you to stay. Let’s give each other what we need. All right?”
Why was this so damn confusing? She’d only met this man yesterday and they were already tangled up in her web of fucked-up issues. He should want to be clear of her, shouldn’t he? No one else had ever bothered with her this long before. “Why? Why do you need me to stay? I—”
“I won’t rest,” he growled. “I’ll think about you somewhere, scared like you were last night, and I’ll go fucking crazy.”
Her heart lurched, dislodging her pride. “I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time. If the only reason you want me here is to play nursemaid to the crazy girl, that’s not going to work for me.”
“You know there’s more to it. You know.” He visibly centered himself with a deep breath, appearing to debate with himself. “I’ve got my own skeletons, Erin. They don’t rattle so much when you’re around. Your touching me…it makes me hot. But it soothes elsewhere.”
She knew her expression was pathetically hopeful, but couldn’t find a single shit to give. “Yeah?”
“Yeah,” he repeated. “I’m not going to lie, Erin. Yes, I want to sleep with you like hell. But only if it’s healthy. Would you trust me enough to go slow? A little at a time?”
Her pulse hammered out of control. “You touching me?”
Connor watched her closely. “When you’re ready. Not before. Never before.”
This is where she should climb down the fire escape and vamoose toward the street. A weight pressed down on her rib cage, making it difficult to draw a breath. It felt like the point of no return. But Connor’s eyes grounded her.
Safe. He’s safe.
“Okay, baby. Slow.”
His body drained of tension. “Thank you.” He leaned in and brushed their lips together, gently, reverently. “First, we talk.”
About the Author:
Thank you for your interest in my books! I'm Tessa and I live in the crazy, loud, overcrowded borough of Brooklyn, New York. I love it here. This city is a constant source of inspiration, which is why I've decided to set my most recent books in the Line of Duty Series here.
I moved to New York when I was eighteen, the day after I graduated high school. Threw my suitcase in the back of a Chevrolet Cavalier and drove across the country to find my adventure. I'm still finding it, little by little.Thank you for being a part of it.
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