Authors: Laurie Roma
Jason MacBain is the perfect agent. Tall, dark, and deadly, he is a man who lives by simple rules—kill the bad guys and protect the world. Closed off from his emotions, Jason has never believed in love and doesn’t need anyone. But all that changes the night he meets Bella Moretti…
Isabella Moretti is a famous chef struggling to reclaim her life after she survives a vicious attack. Moving back to Chicago to recover and be closer to her family, Bella meets Jason and is frightened by the passion he stirs inside her. But now that Jason has found Bella, he is determined to claim her as his. And when her stalker reappears, Jason is under pressure to gain her trust, find a way to keep her safe, and do whatever it takes to end the threat to her for good.
Bella is forced to trust Jason with her safety, but does she dare trust him with her heart?
Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Siren Publishing, Inc.
ABOUT THE E-BOOK YOU HAVE PURCHASED:
Your non-refundable purchase of this e-book allows you to only ONE LEGAL copy for your own personal reading on your own personal computer or device.
You do not have resell or distribution rights without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner of this book.
This book cannot be copied in any format, sold, or otherwise transferred from your computer to another through upload to a file sharing peer to peer program, for free or for a fee, or as a prize in any contest. Such action is illegal and in violation of the U.S. Copyright Law. Distribution of this e-book, in whole or in part, online, offline, in print or in any way or any other method currently known or yet to be invented, is forbidden. If you do not want this book anymore, you must delete it from your computer.
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
If you find a Siren-BookStrand e-book being sold or shared illegally, please let us know at
A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
First E-book Publication: November 2012
Cover design by Christine Kirchoff
All cover art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
Letter to Readers
If you have purchased this copy of
by Laurie Roma from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
Regarding E-book Piracy
This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.
The author and the publisher work very hard to bring our paying readers high-quality reading entertainment.
This is Laurie Roma’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Roma’s right to earn a living from her work.
Amanda Hilton, Publisher
To my ladies Mika, Iliyana, Kera, and Wendy… You have cheered my successes, offered a helping hand when I faltered, and provided invaluable inspiration. Thank you for all of your support and dedication.
And to my mother, a special thank you for always believing in me and encouraging me to follow my dreams…
Copyright © 2012
There is always that moment that you wish you can take back after an accident occurs, but unfortunately…you can’t…
With a sigh of resignation, Bella looked at the large body she had just spilled her drink on and found herself staring at the solid wall of a broad, muscular chest encased in an elegant black tux.
Wow, she thought as her gaze continued to slide further up, way up, until meeting the most striking pair of gunmetal gray eyes that she had ever seen. Those eyes were set in one of the most spectacular faces she had ever seen.
Not handsome in the classical sense, his features were strong, harsh with angular planes that screamed
! Midnight-black hair was pulled back from his aristocratic face and seemed to be tied at the nape of his neck. This man oozed sexuality, a perfect specimen of extreme masculinity that made Bella’s heart rate kick up a beat. Never had she been so attracted to someone so instantly.
perhaps my night has just gotten better.
Minutes ago Bella had been silently cursing her friend Liz for dragging her to this benefit event. It was not that this charity auction wasn’t a good cause, but rather that they usually turned out to be so…
Until a year ago Bella had been one of New York’s youngest executive chefs working for a chic, prestigious hotel. Isabella Moretti had made a name for herself and was used to her share of posh affairs, mixing and mingling with elite society. Over the past few years, Bella had begun to hate these types of events more and more, tired of the same people and the same slick sheen of pretension that seemed to emanate from the city’s upper crust and social elite.
Bella would have been able to decline if Liz hadn’t been one of the chairs of this event, but she was, and as one of her best friends, Bella was stuck.
She had just moved back home to Chicago a few months ago to be closer to her friends and family. She needed the support that they could provide after her life had drastically changed that night a year ago. Chicago had always been the home in her heart, a place to return to in order to heal. Bella’s parents had owned a bar in the city that her middle brother had taken over when they had wanted to retire. They still lived here, and family was what she needed now.
Liz’s grandmother had lived next door from where Bella had grown up, and from the moment they met, Bella and Liz had been instant friends, more like sisters. There was very little if anything they would not do for each other, and God knew that Bella had needed Liz more this year than ever before.
Dammit, she could deal with one night of boredom for her best friend.
Lost in thought, Bella had been staring past the crowd with a glazed look of boredom, nodding occasionally at someone, smiling politely when called for.
She had stuck around long enough to placate Liz and now could slip out on the balcony and sneak a cigarette. It was an occasional habit, only necessary when she was under extreme stress. Liz didn’t approve of her habit, which Bella usually just laughed at and rolled her eyes, but Liz was bound to accuse Bella of trying to escape her duties of the evening. Liz had pleaded with her to help socialize and mingle amongst the crowd to encourage people bidding on the silent auction items strategically placed around the room.
She had done her duty, and the night was almost over, thank God!
I need to get laid.
Bella laughed quietly, reveling in the freedom of that statement.
This was her first real social outing since she had moved back to Chicago. Some of these people knew her through her connection to Liz or through her family, but most knew her through her own personal achievements. Bella’s own minicelebrity status aside, she was extremely happy that she wasn’t in New York anymore, and even more so that the majority of these people didn’t know what had happened to her.
She sighed again before taking a long gulp to finish her glass of her champagne. Placing it on the tray of a passing waiter, with a smile she grabbed a fresh one.
The waiter bobbled for a moment at the impact of her smile, but Bella didn’t notice. Trying to make a quick escape, she spun around in the direction of the balcony and ran smack into an immovable object, spilling her glass of champagne on the arm that automatically reached out to steady her.
“You should be more careful, little girl,” his cultured voice clipped out in an icy British accent as his hands gripped her firmly in his grasp.
Bella looked up. And up and up, until her gaze was captured by those amazing gray eyes. His stoic face gave away nothing, but it took a moment for her to recognize that those eyes were now hard, flashing silver in annoyance.
“I’m so sorry,” Bella exclaimed on a whisper, patting at the spilled liquid that was soaking into the arm of his suit jacket while trying not to laugh nervously. She flashed a small, friendly smile.
Damn hot and an accent
. It took her a moment to focus.
Wait…what did he say?
Her smile wobbled.
One of his eyebrows rose in a mocking silence, and her smile completely disappeared.
She took a step back, releasing herself from his hold. Her voice lost any hint of friendliness. “Look, I said I was sorry. It’s not like I did it on purpose. Besides, what do you expect when you’re lurking behind someone like that?” She tried to hold back a smirk, sincerely glad now that she had spilled her drink on this jerk.
His jaw clenched and released.
Telling herself to relax and not cause a scene, she tried a different approach. “How ’bout I buy you a drink, and then we can call it even?” Bella suggested, trying to shake off her annoyance.
“The drinks are free,” he replied in that same icy tone, looking at her with that stupid, blank expression again. “Besides, are you even of age to be drinking?”
Bella’s eyes slightly widened as she gasped softly. At twenty-nine sure, people were always assuming she was younger than she looked based on her petite stature but
what the hell
Bella had always dealt with people assuming her height or lack thereof was some sort of indication about her age since Bella was only five three, but she was curvy in all the right places and she knew that in her killer, sexy bronze dress that hugged her curves, no one could mistake her for anything less than a full-grown woman.
She knew was not an average beauty, her exotic features more intriguing with small slanted catlike eyes of amber, small nose, and lips that she thought were too full. Her prized curly mahogany tresses hung loose down to the middle of her back. She pushed her hair behind her ear with her right hand and was at a loss for what to say. No matter her lack of height, she was a small pack of dynamite when pissed. Bella’s Italian temper boiled to the surface, and she saw red at that condescending tone he had taken with her.