Today on Tantalizing Thursday, I'm shining the spotlight on my new release, Ex-Pat! It's an adrenaline pumping, action-packed romantic suspense about an Ex-Pat pursuing a dream in Mexico and an undercover DEA agent who walks the line between right and wrong. Take a peek inside!
From the back cover...
Maggie Madison is finally living the life of her dreams in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico where she partners with two old friends to own a beach bar named the Purple Parrot. It has always been her fantasy to chuck the corporate world of Chicago to embrace a simpler life of tourists and margaritas, and when her dad dies and family divides, she decides to take the plunge.
Her old friends are running a side-game with the cartel. When Maggie discovers that the cartel not only has its fingers in her business but also owns her condominium building, it's too late to get out. Torn between the cartel and a corrupt local government that runs the police, she becomes immersed in a game of survival.
Salvador Acosta (alias Cruz) has been an undercover DEA agent for too many years to count. He thought he had lost any semblance of humanity after the things he has seen and been forced to do for the sake of the greater good. When he encounters Maggie, he has a choice to make—blow his cover by helping her or watch a good woman be torn in two. He has made this choice before—and has always chosen loyalty to his country over compassion for an innocent—but this time is different. Maggie reminds him of who he used to be before darkness eclipsed any hope he had had for a normal life. She reminds him of home—of love and laughter and possibility.
As they traverse a dangerous affair in the shadows, they know that they are risking their lives with every kiss. Danger lurks around every turn as the two navigate their way through corruption, deadly foes, and false allies for a chance at love and freedom. Can they escape the grip of a relentless crime syndicate as they succumb to the pull of desire?
"We are intense."
She grinned. "We are."
"We are not having sex."
She arched an eyebrow and smirked. "And last night you told me we shouldn't be seen together, yet here we stand sharing our stories on a deserted beach straight out of a movie scene."
"Have you ever had sex on a beach? It's overrated."
"Maybe you were with the wrong woman."
She turned and walked toward the water. She stopped, swayed her ass, and slowly shimmied out of her shorts to reveal the blue thong and her delectable ass. She strutted toward the water without looking back at him.
He pulled off the t-shirt and jogged to catch up. He splashed past her and dove head first into an oncoming wave. He swam hard in the sea, using all of his pent up energy with every stroke. It felt good to swim like this without armed men around and with someone who knew who he really was. He treaded water and watched her emerge next to him.
"This is incredible," she said with a laugh. "It's like we have the world to ourselves."
He slipped beneath the water and swam toward shore. Conflicting and fiery emotions swirled in his heart. He could escape for a few hours, but the knowledge of what Navarro's crew was doing back in Playa del Carmen hung heavy on him. Not that he could stop it—if anything, he would be witnessing something horrendous if he were there. He didn't stop swimming until his knees smashed into the sandy bottom.
Maggie rose up from the water next to him. Droplets slid down her long legs as she moved away. He grabbed her ankle. She looked down, water sliding down her flesh and wet hair sticking to her neck. She resembled a sea goddess observing her next victim before she sank to her knees in front of him.
He moved his hands up her thighs. His thumbs slid beneath the pale blue cloth of the thong before gliding over her waist. He inched forward and kissed each flying dove tattooed on her side before licking salt from between her breasts. He curved his hands over her ass before finally claiming her mouth with his.
She gripped his shoulders as he laid her down in the shallow water. Waves undulated around them, pushing their bodies together as they devoured each other's mouths. Tongues danced together in erotic exploration. His hands roamed her flesh from hip to breast and back again. Sand slid around and beneath them in a sensual caress.
Maggie's legs wrapped around him and held him close. Her fingers were in his hair, on his face, over his shoulders.
The Caribbean washed over them and into their mouths. They laughed and kissed and breathed as one. Nothing existed beyond this moment or outside of this place.
"Tide's coming in," he said after another wave nearly tossed them onto shore.
"Yeah, we're going to drown."
He rolled off of her and dragged her to her feet. They stumbled through the pull of the water until firmly on dry sand. He fell back onto a towel. She grabbed his erection and nibbled his shoulder. He closed his eyes and allowed her to touch him wherever she wanted. When her tongue flicked over his mouth, he grabbed her by the hair and ground his lips against hers.
He fumbled with her bikini top until he finally pushed it off of her body. He flipped her onto her back and paused a moment to appreciate the site of her naked breasts. Smiling, he flicked his tongue over a nipple before sucking on one breast while squeezing the other. She surpassed his fantasies. Her body was made to be worshipped by him. She tasted like salt and sweat and beer.
She pressed her hips against his erection. Her fingernails sunk into his back.
He wanted to bury himself inside her, rock into her hard and slow, watch her eyes widen with desire and orgasm.
He buried his face in the curve of her neck, both hands on her breasts, and wrapped within the circle of her limbs.
"We need to stop," he muttered.
He opened his eyes, propped himself up enough to look into her face, and stared into hers.
"I don't want to stop."
"Maggie, you're worth more than a one-time thing."
"Why does it need to be a one-time thing?"
He sobered, the joy of the moment fading now that they were on solid ground. "Because when we get back, I belong to Navarro."
She rolled away from him and stretched out on her own towel. Bare breasted and covered in sand with her wet hair sticking to her face and neck, she looked like a mermaid who had washed up onto shore.
"In my world, sex is not taken seriously," he said, still propped on his elbows. "It is a commodity to be traded, recreation that means nothing."
She looked at him through narrowed eyes but remained silent.
"You mean something more than that to me."
"You don't know me."
"I know that you have been the only good thing in my life for three months," he said with a small grin. "You have been the one thing I looked forward to every day. Whatever horrendous event unfolded, I would think...tonight I will see Maggie. In two hours, I will see Maggie. If I can just survive this moment, I will see Maggie. And that would be enough."
"You break my heart, Salvador."
Hearing her say his true name broke something open in his heart that he had locked away a decade ago. He crawled to her and traced a finger through the salt and sand combination on her skin. "Say it again."
He kissed her slowly before falling backward on the sand and blinking at the sky. "Now you cannot say my name again until we are far, far away from here."
They lay next to each other for a few minutes, serenaded by the steady hum of the ocean.
"This is a perfect place," she whispered.
The sun had drifted far to the West.
"Close to perfect, but not really."
"I have seen better."
"You're a buzz kill. I am positive I am not the first person to tell you so."
He smiled at the sky and reached for her hand in the space on the sand between them. She curled her fingers against his palm. He had learned long ago to live for moments only--and this was a moment worth cherishing because he knew it might be the last one they would ever share.
Keep reading and grab your copy today!