Emmaline Force has dedicated her life to using her gift of seeing and hearing ghosts to help the living understand the spirit world. Devastated after catching her fiancé cheating, Emmaline allows her best friend and partner-in-crime, Matt, to take a ghost hunting case far away, at Paradise Island Ranch Resort. However, she isn’t prepared for the deep and inexplicable connection she feels for one of the owners.
Haunted by more than a ghost, Blade Sanchez is tormented by dreams of a past he can’t recall. Tender, loving moments are interspersed with nightmares of a malevolent spirit murdering his wife and unborn child. Once Emmaline sets foot on his ranch, the pieces begin to fall into place, and he recognizes the woman of his dreams. He finds himself torn between this timeless love and the ghost who threatens to take Emmaline’s life—again.
Finding each other was fate, but it will take more than that to overcome the malevolent spirit intent on destroying their happiness.
Word Count: 68,418
He tried to move past her, but she reached out and snagged his shirt. She held the flannel material in her fist, the small buttons digging into her palm. “Blade, be reasonable. Maria called us, so why would you think we’re trying to trick her? Or you?”
He crowded her, pushing her back until the edge of the desk pressed into her upper thighs, and then he kept going. She had to release her hold on his shirt to brace herself against the table or she’d fall backward. Blade followed, pressing his hard body against her softer one, and resting his palms on the desk on either side of her. “How much do you charge for your services?”
The urge to take a swing at him was almost overwhelming. Fury overrode any fear she might feel. “Are you threatening me?”
His eyes roamed from her lips, down to her heaving chest, and back up. “I don’t take kindly to people who take advantage of my sister’s good nature or her unfounded fears. Now answer my fucking question.”
Oh, damn. He was so sexy when he was angry. Emmaline pressed her thighs together and licked her lips. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He got in her face and growled. “Don’t play games with me. I’m not some stupid guy who’s a sucker for a pretty face, sexy legs, and a spectacular rack. You came all the way here from Michigan, and you’re planning to stay a while. How much are you charging my sister for your time?”
She wanted to answer, but her brain had short-circuited. His dark chocolate eyes mesmerized her, as did the waves of furious passion emanating from him. The stable and office fell away, and she had the sense she was traveling through time. The way he held her became intimate instead of threatening, and she felt her body softening, yielding to his touch. He kissed her, his lips warm and insistent, stealing a moment of forbidden pleasure.
His hand cradled her head, controlling the kiss and holding her as if she were precious. His tongue invaded her mouth, and dizzying feelings erupted in her core, the likes of which she’d never experienced. When he broke away, she gasped for air, but he wasn’t finished. No, his lips grazed her neck and chin, marking a damp path to her ear. He licked the shell and nipped at her lobe, and she moaned when his lips found a sensitive spot just below her ear. Seeking an anchor, she grasped his shoulders. When he pulled her closer and pressed his body to hers, she melted into his embrace. Only when his questing hand lifted the hem of her shirt did she shove him away.
The spell broken, Emmaline gazed at Blade. Her heart pounded wildly, and she was more than a little shocked. He blinked a few times, bewildered, and then he stepped back.
Emmaline smoothed her skirt and tried to step past him. The curious turn of events had left her very confused. His hand shot out, and he grabbed her arm. “Wait. You never answered me.”
“Right.” She exhaled and closed her eyes. Their exchange seemed so long ago. “How much am I charging Maria? Nothing.”
“Liar. It costs you in time and resources to be here. How much, Emmy?”
She shook her head, but she didn’t look at him because she didn’t want to chance drowning in his bottomless eyes. “I do this because I want to help people, not to make money. I charge nothing. We usually stay at a hotel, but there aren’t any around here, and Maria said we could stay in an open room. This is costing Maria one room and meals. That’s all. Please let go of me.”
His grip slackened. She pulled free and fled the stable.
Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.
I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.
I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.