Nothing he said anymore made sense, even to himself. Frustrated, he left her alone in the bedroom. All those months--after all of those notes postmarked from around the world--all of those images of her on television--he’d imagined the men drawn to her. He had imagined her lonely and hurt by his silence seeking comfort from another lover. Hell, maybe it had been easier to imagine that instead of believing his actions hurt her.
“You don’t have any faith in me at all, do you?” She stood behind him. “Not one ounce.”
He flinched. Needing more space, he moved to the kitchen and preoccupied himself with looking into the refrigerator. What to eat, what to eat...
Arms folded across her chest, she stared at her feet. “God, I’m an idiot. A big fool, that’s what I am.”
“I have faith in you. It’s me that I’m not so sure about these days,” he said to the orange in his hand. He peeled the orange without looking at her but knew she paced next to him in the small kitchen. He chanced a glance up at her and winced at the distant expression on her face. He hated looking up at her. Hated it. He had once been able to lift her up and screw her against the wall if he wanted, but now...now he peeled an orange and wondered what the hell to say next.
It would be easy to let her back in, as easy as breathing. Talking to her felt like a much needed shot of normalcy. He dropped the orange to the counter. “You said we don’t know anything about being married and you’re right. We don’t. So what do you want?”
She perched on the counter, her dress rising up her thighs again. “I’d like to eat the Chinese I brought. Devon’s picking me up in a few hours. We’re meeting a source in the park at midnight. There’s someone we need to find...anyway, I needed a break and, for some reason, I thought you’d be a nice change of pace.”
He grinned without looking away from the skin exposed between the hem of her skirt and the top of her boots. “You dress like this for a source?”
“I dress like this for you.” Her fingers touched his forehead. “I never really got to dress sexy for you, except in Greece.”
He dragged his gaze over her body before looking in her eyes. He had no idea what to do with her. “Who’s Devon?”
“My producer slash photographer. She’s good...I like her.” She caught her lower lip between her teeth and stared at him.
“Meeting a source at midnight sounds dangerous.” He smiled because he knew it probably was and that she’d always tempt Fate. People like her ran in when others ran out. His smile faded at the memory of her running back into the line of fire to save him. “I thought we were fighting a minute ago, now you want to eat Chinese with me?”
“Yeah, well, I’m unpredictable like that.” She broke the gaze and reached for the bags he hadn’t noticed sitting next to her hip.
His hand slid up her thigh. Her skin felt like heaven beneath his hands. His thumbs pressed against her inner thigh. Both hands moved up her leg. He wanted to undress her. Taste her.
She opened her knees...just a little...enough. He pulled her close and kissed her knee. His hand caressed her thigh beneath the hem of the dress. His fingers skimmed across red silk panties.
“I don’t want to hurt you and am afraid I might. PTSD, they tell me in all this therapy they make me do. I hear stories of men turning on their wives in the middle of the night, being lost in a nightmare and I’m capable of that, Hope. I am,” he said against her skin.
“I can handle you.” She pulled his hair. “Have a little faith.”
“Do you really want to deal with me? Isn’t your life complicated enough?” Damn, she felt good. His hands curved over her hips.
“Not really. I’ve been a little bored.” She slid toward the edge of the counter.
He didn’t know what he was doing. Stay. Go. Fight. Flee. But he did know that this felt right. Being with her was the only thing in months that felt real, that felt natural.
His fingers slid beneath the panties and pulled them down. He met her gaze, thumbs pressed against her wetness.
She bit her lip, eyes alive with a dare.
“This is crazy,” he whispered without looking away from her. “You and me together again. It’s not realistic.”
“We’re unconventional, remember? A colonel and a reporter falling in love in a war zone was pretty unrealistic, too, yet we did it. We couldn’t get enough of each other, that’s what I remember.” She slithered her hips closer to the edge of the counter, the heels of her boots resting on the arms of his wheelchair. “You want to touch me and guess what? I want you to touch me, too.”
Oh, yeah, he wanted to touch her. Taste her. Bite her. Fuck her. But if he did any of the things he wanted to do, that would seal the deal, reunite them, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to be anyone’s husband.
“You’re bad for me.” He bit her knee while his fingers slid down the zipper of the boot. “You’re gonna send me over the deep end. Is that your plan? To have me committed?”
“I never tell my plans.” She drank from the bottle of ouzo and he briefly wondered when she’d grabbed it.
He removed first one boot and then the other until her legs were bared and open in front of him. He’d always loved her shapely legs, the way the muscles curved, the way her skin felt beneath his fingers. He ran his hands over them, always so smooth, and cherished her compliance.
She held the bottle down to him and he took a drink without looking away from her face. He loved that she was equal parts naughty and nice, half badass and half angel. The liquor burned his throat, reminded him that he had most definitely survived.
“I can’t make you any promises,” he said before licking the inside of her thigh.
“I wouldn’t believe them anyway.”
He grinned against her skin and inhaled the heady scent of her. His fingers slid inside of her as he closed his eyes, relishing the feel of her closing around him. Her hands were in his hair, her ankles linked behind his neck. He pushed the skirt up higher with his free hand before grabbing the liquor bottle and pouring ouzo between her legs. He licked her, sucked, delighting in the combination of tastes. His fingers moved in and out, faster and faster. She poured more alcohol for him as if feeding him from above. He sucked it up, unable to get enough.
She wiggled her hips closer, hands gripping his hair, feet pressing against the backs of his shoulders. When her thighs pressed against his ears and her buttocks clenched, she moaned, “I’ve missed you so much.”
And then she was sliding down and over him until their mouths were clinging to each other like two people long starved for the other. He pushed the dress up even farther, the palms of his hands molding her breasts over her bra.
“You’re the best medicine a guy could ever dream of having,” he said when she broke away to breathe.
“You’re the same guy I married, never doubt that.” Hands framing his face, she stared into his eyes. “You’re still that guy.”
He buried his face into the hair tangled around her shoulders. He wished it were true.
A knock on the door had her abruptly leaping from his lap and yanking the dress down. He felt cold with the absence of her hot body against his. He blinked at the sudden change, hand going to his mouth still wet from her.
“Michael?” Becky’s voice. The door slammed open after another brief knock. “Warren and I are here to go over the custody papers.”
“Ever hear of privacy?” Hope met his gaze, disappointment in her eyes. “A closed door means wait to be asked in, at least that’s how I was raised.”
“You again. Damn, it smells like a liquor store in here, what’s going on?” Becky stood, hands on hips. Her husband, Warren, stood behind her looking like the over-worked lawyer he was with his tie askew and black hair a mess. “I thought you’d be out stirring up some trouble.”
“I came here to cause trouble instead.” She shrugged before grabbing her boots from the floor. “I didn’t know you were meeting with Warren tonight. I should let you go.”
He nodded and fisted her panties in his lap, effectively hiding them from view. His gaze drifted down to her thighs. “Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.”
“I’ll call Dev...tell her to meet me at my place instead.” She lingered in front of him. “At least you’ve got Chinese food.”
“Well, I’m glad we...got that out of the way, you know...talked and stuff,” he said, ignoring Becky and Warren who watched them.
“Me, too. Progress.” She met his gaze with a grin on her swollen lips.
Sometimes heroes fall and take the ones they love down with them. Colonel Michael Cedars and reporter Hope Shane fell in love in a war zone, but then the world blew up, and splintered their lives in two.
Michael Cedars returns home from Afghanistan wounded and unsure where he fits in this 'new normal' of civilian life. Unsure if he'll walk again, he questions his abilities as a man, husband, and father. Accustomed to giving orders, he's thrown into a world where he doesn't know the rules anymore and no one is respecting the officer in the room.
Hope isn't one who gives up easily—not on her marriage and not on the innocent victims of a human trafficking ring she's investigating. As the danger of her story intensifies, she struggles with her own post-traumatic stress disorder and a husband who resists her love.
Danger intensifies as Hope searches for truth and justice. Everyone she loves is at risk. Will her reckless pursuit of the human trafficking ring jeopardize their lives?
Michael knows she needs him, but doubts his ability to be the hero she still believes him to be. Is he still the man she married or has he become a liability that could get her killed?
What the reviews say…
5 stars Extremely talented
Although this book is marketed as romantic suspense it also covers some serious issues, such as people trafficking and post-traumatic stress disorder, adding further depth to a book that is rich in plot and personal conflict already. Nothing prepared me for the literary quality of this novel. Regular romance and suspense fans get more than enough here to be satisfied by the great chemistry between the main characters and the intriguing story lines. However, if you - like myself - want a little bit more out of a book than you will find it in the well-handled and insightful passages about trafficking and PSD, issues that are handled with care rather than in an exploitative or decorative manner.
Easton clearly cares about what she writes and it pays dividends, her book is surprisingly impressive and certainly recommended. (see full review: http://www.amazon.com/Reckless-Endangerment-Amber-Lea-Easton/product-reviews/0615801617/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1)
5.0 out of 5 stars
Gritty At Times, Realistic, With An Immensely Satisfying Romance and MysteryBy
This review is from: Reckless Endangerment (Kindle Edition)
By the end of Reckless Endangerment I can sum it up by saying it's Triple-H......heartbreaking, heartwarming, and heartpounding. It's full of likable and fully fleshed-out characters, realistically depicted issues related to the aftermath of war, and it presented a fast-paced mystery surrounding human trafficking that kept me on the edge of my seat. It shows that atrocities not only occur in faraway lands but outside our front door as well. As two people deal both mentally and physically with the hand war dealt them it's only through love and acceptance that true healing can begin and a HEA can be fully achieved. (Read full review: http://www.amazon.com/Reckless-Endangerment-Amber-Lea-Easton/product-reviews/0615801617/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1)
5.0 out of 5 stars
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Reckless Endangerment (Kindle Edition)
I love this book! The author did a great job of writing a contempary novel with all the twists and turns that make it impossible for you to put the book down!! I am really impressed with the author's use of hard hitting problems facing today's society and intergrating them into the story line. This is not just another cookie cutter, predictable romance!! I highly recommend this book for all who looking for a novel with a little something extra! (Read full review at: http://www.amazon.com/Reckless-Endangerment-Amber-Lea-Easton/product-reviews/0615801617/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1
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