I’m very excited that Wicked Burn re-releases today. If you haven’t read it yet, or if you take a re-read, I hope you will let me know your thoughts.
Now, here’s a first taste of Wicked Burn!
His dark brown hair fell over his brow as he bent to retrieve a bottle from a lower shelf. When he stood, her gaze brushed appreciatively across his ridged abdomen, the sweep of his wide shoulders, and the hard, delineated muscles of his upper arm. Most of the men that she knew would have put on a shirt in this situation. But Niall was glad that he hadn’t. He was such a beautiful, sinuous male animal that it seemed a shame to cover his body.
He never responded to her attempt at small talk, but Niall found that his silence didn’t make her feel awkward. When he handed her a glass through the window, she held it up in a brief salute and took a drink. Her sensual appreciation of the taste must have shown on her face, because he gave a small smile before he took a swallow of his own. Heat expanded in Niall’s lower belly at the sight of the muscular movement of his throat.
“You approve,” he stated rather than asked.
Niall blinked. Had he been reading her mind? A modicum of common sense returned to her, however, and she realized that he’d been referring to the liquor, not his beautiful body.
“I don’t drink much, but when I do, I’m a Scotch drinker. This happens to be my favorite brand,” Niall said. She realized that her voice had become unintentionally husky as she stared at his mouth. His upper front tooth slightly overlapped the one next to it. She thought of what it would feel like to run her tongue over that sexy little imperfection, and then wondered how many women he encountered every day who had the exact same fantasy.
She forced her eyes away from him and transferred her gaze to the windows. It unnerved her, this strong, unprecedented physical reaction to him. She felt awkward and foolish, like a gangly teenage girl.
She took a deep, uneven breath and tried to focus on what she saw. His apartment faced east, granting him a spectacular panoramic view of Chicago. The lights of the high-rises shimmered in the black, winding river. The Riverview Towers offered their residents every luxury and convenience: a concierge, a dry cleaner, grocery delivery, shopping, and a central location in downtown Chicago. Residents and the corporations for which they worked paid sky-high prices for the flexibility and conveniences of the apartments. But to Niall the temporary residences felt depressingly sterile. She longed for the stability of a home again.
“So what’s your excuse for staying in this god-awful place?” she asked him when he came around the corner into the living room. She glanced up when he leaned his hip against the counter next to where she sat on a stool.
“I’m working in the city for a while. I sleep here Tuesday through Thursday nights and drive home on Friday.”
“To the suburbs?” Niall asked as she took another sip of Scotch. With him standing and her sitting, her eye level was at his chest. His nipples were dark brown and even more
erect than she’d speculated when he was feet away from her instead of inches. She inhaled slowly, and the male scent that she recalled all too well from sharing the elevator with him filled her senses, more subtle, but nevertheless more potent, than the fumes of the Scotch.
The desire that he’d awakened in her reared its head, causing a shimmering sensation of heat to spread along her tailbone, only to surge and swell at her sex, liquefying her in a matter of seconds. His singular gray eyes flickered down to her lap when she stirred restlessly on her stool.
“I have a farm downstate. You?”
She blinked. “Oh . . . I’m waiting for my condominium to be ! finished. Hopefully, I’ll be out of here in a month or two, but they keep putting me off.” She shrugged and gave a shaky laugh. “It could be worse. I work downtown at the Chicago Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art, so Riverview Towers are convenient. If it weren’t for the fact that I feel like I live in a beige and white nightmare, things would be great,” she added with a chuckle.
“What’s your name?”
She paused in her mirth. “Oh, sorry. I’m Niall. Niall Chandler.”
She started to put out her hand for a friendly handshake but paused in surprise when he began to laugh. “What’s so funny?” she asked in amazement.
He set his drink on the counter as he stilled his mirth.
“Your name. You’re the most feminine thing I’ve ever seen in my life, and you’ve got a boy’s name.”
Niall inhaled sharply. He was usually so terse and impassive that it unsettled her to hear him compliment her—for that was undoubtedly what it had been, given the warm, husky tone of his deep voice.
Her anxiety mounted when he took her glass from her stiff hand and set it next to his on the counter.
“I’m Vic.” His hand rose to cradle her chin, lifting her face until she met his gaze. Niall’s pulse throbbed madly at her throat when she saw the heat in his gray eyes as they fixed on her
“Now that we’ve got that out of the way . . .” His head dropped slowly. “Let’s get down to the good stuff, Niall.”
Wicked Burn, Available in mass market paperback, May 1.