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My Sinful Desire (Sinful Men #2)
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I live my life by a few simple rules — let no one in, trust only my family, and don’t ever spend more than three nights with a woman.
Those are easy enough to abide by when I meet gorgeous, captivating and absolutely brilliant Sophie Winston. Who wants nothing more than to explore all her sinful desires with me after dark. Desires that put me firmly in control in the bedroom.
That works for me — as long as I can keep the secrets I need to protect. Not only the ones about my family, but the ones about how she’s interwoven into my dangerous past.
But the night she learns the truth, I’m faced with a stark new choice — let her go or give up control of my heart for the first time ever.
Trouble is, the past is chasing both of us right now and it just caught up.
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The light was playing tricks on me.
The golden haze of the late-afternoon sun, and its halo glow around her, was some kind of illusion. No way, no how was it possible for anyone to be so gorgeous that she actually shimmered.
Mirage was the more plausible explanation for the platinum blonde stepping out of the Aston Martin at three o’clock in the afternoon on a Thursday in July, looking as if she belonged in a gangster movie. She was the woman they all fought over. The woman who brought the men to their knees.
From the pinup dress, to the pouty lips, to the gleaming car that stretched a city block—or so it seemed—she was . . .
Glamorous. Sultry. Voluptuous.
My fantasy woman.
No question about it.
I stared shamelessly over the top of my aviator shades as I walked along the palm-tree-lined sidewalk that framed police headquarters, cycling through the right icebreaker for a woman like that. A woman who wore a black dress with a cherry pattern and bright white sunglasses—busty and bold enough to roll up to the Las Vegas Municipal Court building at midday looking like sin come to life.
With one hand on the car door, she glanced to the left, away from me, and pushed her sunglasses on top of her head. In her other hand, she held a phone, a notepad, and a pen. She bumped her rear against the car door, shutting it with her ass.
What a lucky car door.
I half wished she’d drop the pen, so I could swoop in and pick it up. Bend down, grab it before it rattled to the street, and gallantly present it.
Then I’d get her number with that pen. She’d be the type to push up the cuff of my shirtsleeve and write it on my arm.
Checking my watch, I saw I had two minutes to spare before I met with the detective. I could do this. I could meet her in 120 seconds.
The sun pelted its hot desert rays at me, radiating off the sidewalks, as I ran a hand along my green tie and cleared my throat. I looked up from my phone, and instantly we locked eyes. Hers were blue like the sea. As she caught my gaze, she arched an eyebrow.
This was it. No time for lines. Just talk to the woman. “Seems I’ve been caught staring,” I said as I reached her.
“I’m afraid I’m guilty on that count too,” she fired back, her voice laced with a torch-singer sultriness, her words telling me to keep going.
She twirled the pen in her hand absently.
I tipped my forehead toward it, figuring this was indeed the best entrée. “Incidentally, I’m astonishingly good at picking up pens that beautiful women drop outside our fine city’s government buildings.”
Her lips twitched. Red. Cherry red and full. I wanted to know what they tasted like.
She brought the pen to her lips, danced it between them, raised her eyebrows in an invitation, and then let it fall. It clattered to the sidewalk. “Is that so?”
The pen was like a promise. Of something more. Of flirting, and then flirting back. Of phone numbers to follow. And then some.
“That is so,” I said in a firm voice, bending down to pick up the writing implement, just as Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” crooned from her phone. I rose, and she was tapping her screen, sliding her thumb across it.
“Must answer this. But thank you so much for rescuing my pen. By the way, I like your tie.” She reached out to trail a finger down the silky fabric, her hand terribly close to my chest. Then she held up that finger, asking me to wait.
“So good to hear from you,” she said into the phone, keeping her eyes on me the whole time. “I can’t wait to see you tonight at the gala at Aria,” she said, arching an eyebrow at me as she emphasized that last word. “It’s going to be a fabulous event, and we’ll raise so much money. My only hope is there will be some gorgeous man there in a green tie who can afford a last-minute ticket.”
I shot her a grin—a lopsided smile that said yes, the man in the green tie could absolutely afford a ticket.
I nodded my RSVP to the gala. She waved goodbye and walked down the street.
Suddenly, I had plans that night.
Was everyone I encountered today hired from central casting? If there was a dress code for police detectives, rule number one must be “Thou shalt not tightly knot a tie.” John Winston had taken that to heart and was sporting the slightly-loosened look, as if he’d been tugging on his navy tie all day, frustration increasing as he questioned belligerent suspects. The other hallmarks of the job were straight out of Hollywood too, from the striped button-down with the cuffs rolled up to the paper cup of deli coffee on the desk in his office. Even the stubble seemed to have been custom ordered to fit the part of a homicide detective.