September 9, 2016

Friday Flames Welcomes Viviana MacKade!

Welcome to Friday Flames, where literary heat will warm your senses!

Today I welcome Viviana MacKade!

From a rich bedroom, a murder is ordered.

She had to die. Yoga instructor Ann Holloway’s sunny life is wrecked when a group of men break into her apartment and kill her sister. A rough, broody stranger snatches her from the killers’ jaw, but she has no clue about who these people were or the reasons behind the attack.

He was too scarred to really live. Burned-out former Marine and leader of the Team, Mark Carson thought he was doing a teammate an easy favor by picking up a couple of girls. How wrong. When his friend is killed, shadows build over the Team’s loyalty, and Ann’s life starts meaning more than his own, Mark is thrown into a different game. Now it’s personal.

From NY to sunny Miami, Ann and Mark run into a maze of lie, betrayal, and death, where love is the only, terrifying certainty.

And when truth unravels, they will risk all to survive.

THE AIR WAS SOAKED with heat. The few particles of oxygen that didn’t drown didn’t quite reach the bottom of Ann’s lungs. It was thick and sultry.
The sky, clean and huge, supervised Miami with its merciless blue stare; underneath, cream and red beach chairs hemmed the topaz water of the pool; further on, a white rail closed the world away.
Sitting on the poolside, Ann inhaled all that summer mugginess like the most refined smell. As her feet splashed the perfectly cool water, she closed her eyes, tasting the freedom. It wasn’t real, but lying for few moments would help keep her sanity. She needed to pretend it was just a vacation.
“I give you ten minutes before you’re burned,” Mark said, standing at the poolside. He hadn’t changed from jeans and t-shirt, but didn’t seem too bothered about the implacable heat. “I can bring the umbrella closer if you want.”
“Don’t worry, I’m okay. Unless it’s too hot for you, and you want some shade. I mean, you’re fully dressed.”
He sat at her side, took off his shoes and rolled his jeans; for a second, Ann saw him young and carefree, getting ready for some fun. “I was born in this sun,” he said. “I don’t burn. I don’t get too hot.”
“Excuse me, Mr. Florida.”
She didn’t see it coming. She felt his hand on the small of her back, a steadfast shove and then sassy cool water everywhere. The quivering shape of Mark chased away the leftover of black memories. The last time she was under water, it hadn’t been of her own will. But he was up there, and she was safe.
Ann let herself drawn in the pleasure of the wet, muffled world around her. When she touched the bottom of the pool, her mood was flying high. So much so, that she thought his pushing her into the pool deserved retribution.
She met the air with thrashes and messy pushes, up and down the surface, gurgling words and spitting water. “Can’t... swim.”
A splash, and Mark’s arms were around her. He pulled her up, tight against his chest as his worried eyes inspected her. “Are you all right?” he rushed. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know, I’m sorry.”
As mean as it was, laughter bubbled in her throat; she tried to contain it by pressing her face against his shoulder.
“What?” he asked, even more worried than before. “Talk to me, Ann.”
She let it free, a full, rounded laugh, shaking her from head to toes. She clung onto him as it wore off, feeling guilty and giggling when she met his even face.
He ran a hand over his eyes to wipe away rivulets of water dripping from his hair, his face, his neck. Did he know how good he looked right now?
Under her palms, he was solid as a rock, all tough muscles and warm flesh. His heart beat fast and strong. She scrambled closer against him, wrapping her legs around his waist. “Do you really think I can’t swim?” she asked, her throat suddenly tight.
 “Would I take the chance?”
His lips were beautiful, their hard line calling to be smoothed, seduced into a smile or a kiss.
“I’m completely dressed,” he scolded.
She lifted her chin, the laugh still in her eyes. “Well, next time think twice before pushing me into a pool.”
He tightened his hold on her waist. “That’s very mean.”

“I’m sorry.”

“No, you’re not.”

“Okay. But you started it.”
“I did.”

“I’m glad,” she said, looking down at his mouth.Mark didn’t fight. He didn’t want to. Not with the heat of the sun rubbing his back and her cool fingers skimming up and down from his neck to his short hair. He was tired of holding back, tired of wanting her and denying himself the salvation hidden in her arms.
She surrounded his brain like the mist of a dream, a sinful fairy wet and smiling. And strong and delicate like the words of a spell, she surrounded his body. Her hard nipples rubbed against the thin fabric of his t-shirt. Her lips were parted, and when she licked a bead of water he stopped breathing.
His palm found the small of her back, slid down to grab her and press her hard against his aching crotch. Her sharp intake of breath punched on his brain.
He knew that danger lurked over them, knew that he would be ashamed of letting his desires run him, but in that moment, everything he needed surrounded him. The heat, the rocking of cool water, and Ann.

Kissing her wasn’t the only thing he could do. It wasn’t the right thing to do, either. But if he didn’t do it, he might as well get out of the water and put a bullet into his head. So he kissed her.
She didn’t hesitate, but grabbed his hair and pulled him in. The taste of her, the way she answered to his mouth, the dance of her hips against his seized upon his control, upon his better judgment.

Wild with need, he pushed her back against the pool wall. Both hands ran down her sides, squeezing her waist, losing willpower, losing himself as she rubbed against him.
Her breathing was a war cry; her legs the sweetest torture; her hands weapons whose feather touch hit him hard and low.
Thoughts were far away, so were the reasons why he believed he shouldn’t take her. He only had to unzip his jeans, push the tiny bikini aside and he would be inside her, where he belonged.
He hit the wall of reality with a crush at the noise of the door crashing open.
His mind stripped down to icy clarity, his body switched to combat mode. He turned, pushed her behind him to shield her and face whoever had walked in.
Three girls, armed with big beach bags. They looked at them, and left for the chairs, giggling and whispering.
As the adrenaline wore off, Mark looked for Ann’s face and his heart nearly drowned for what he saw. Her eyes never lied. It wasn’t gratitude, and it wasn’t just sex. It was something beautiful.
Shitless scared, his heart drummed a hymn of joy.Gently, he sat her on the poolside. “I need to change.”He pushed himself out of the water.

“Mark,” she called, but it was too late.His eyes shunned away from hers as he handed her a towel. Without a word, he walked away.

Club Lighthouse Publishing, available as e-book and paperback
Amazon, available as e-book and paper on demand.

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Welcome to my romantic world - I look forward to your comment!