Excerpt of the romantic suspense, Duplicity, Book Three of the Wanderlust Series (all stand-alone novellas)...18+ content
"I'm sorry." Larry treaded water behind her.
"You should be." She blinked away the tears, unwilling for him to see her crying after he'd basically instructed her to do so earlier.
"I can't explain it."
"I didn't ask." She moved away from the hull and swam toward the back of the boat, tired of swimming and needing space. She spit water from her mouth before grabbing the ladder leading up the back of the stern.
His hands closed over her fingers. His breath caressed the side of her face. "I am not a Hollywood caricature of anything. I'm me. This is who I am."
She closed her eyes and savored the sensation of his naked body sliding against her backside. "But you don't like plates?"
He laughed and rested his chin on her shoulder. "Can we just forget about all that? I will be the first to admit that I'm an asshole."
Unsmiling, she turned within the circle of his arms, wrapped her legs around his hips, and pushed the wet hair from where it streaked across his face. "Why did you think someone paid me to pretend? Why would anyone go to such extremes?"
Something flickered deep within his blue eyes but he didn't look away. "I've got sort of a fucked up family. It's a long story, one I'd rather not discuss, but this is me. What you see here, what I've built on Grand Cayman, my friends, all of it...one hundred percent authentic."
She curved her thumb along his cheekbones and nodded. "I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm not a bad person. I don't want to die."
He shook his head. "I won't let that happen."
"You said you weren't my bodyguard," she reminded him with a small smile, once again trying to hold the tears at bay. "You're just my captain, remember?"
"Yeah, well, I'm full of shit." He smiled against her lips before licking the salt from them. "I really am sorry for losing it up there—"
"I forgot about it the moment you stripped," she whispered against his mouth.
"One drunken night is a hook up and nothing more...but the second time feels much more deliberate." He hesitated a breath away from her face, his blue eyes dark with both desire and concern.
"Let me guess," she pressed closer to him, enjoying the feel of the metal ladder pressing against her back while the warm Caribbean Sea lapped against their bodies, "you're not the kind of guy who usually has more than a one night stand."
"Stop worrying about the kind of guy I am."
"That means I'm right?" She nuzzled her nose against the side of his face. The dread that had sunk her heart only minutes earlier dissipated.
"Do you really care about anything beyond this moment?" He brushed his lips over her neck, his massive body making her feel small and vulnerable in the water.
She didn't care about anything except the sensations of warm water, metal, heat, salt, his body, his mouth, his breath. Sounds of the rope holding the dingy behind the main yacht slapping against the hull competed with the sound of her heartbeat reverberating in her ears.
She slid her hands down his chest to his waist and back again. "I totally understand why the coeds go for you even though you're past your prime."
He laughed against her neck before pulling away and looking her in the eye. "Past my prime, huh? My bet is that we are the same age."
Her lips twitched because she knew she'd hit a nerve. Obviously, they were both in their thirties, but she hadn't been able to resist a dig. Feeling more adventurous than she had in a long time, she grabbed the steps of the ladder, unwrapped her legs from around him, moved up toward the boat, and pressed her breasts against his face. He licked her abdomen as she slid past him toward the deck and she smiled at the gleam in his eye.
He followed, covering in her body with his before she was fully out of the water. Flat on the lower deck used for divers to come in and out of the sea with the ocean sloshing beneath them, he captured her mouth in a kiss that left her breathless with need.
Passion from the night before had been fueled by whiskey, but today it erupted from pure desire. She couldn't get enough of touching him, kissing him—couldn't get enough of him manhandling her as if she were his plaything.
No man had ever before triggered her into this frenzied lovemaking. She craved him. It was as if inhibition had evaporated in the sea breeze and all common sense had been left on land.
He nipped, pinched, licked, and kissed every inch of her until she slapped her hands at her sides and prayed for release. The boat rocked beneath them, saltwater splashed over their joined bodies, and the sun dipped lower in the sky.
He consumed her, his body claiming hers while his mouth crushed her lips.
From the back cover...
Nothing bad happens in paradise...or does it?
Lexi Dubois is in trouble. On Grand Cayman for business, she discovers the company she's been working for is funding a human trafficking ring—and the money trail leads back to her. Scared for her life, she charters a boat for a week to hide from the men on the small island who want her dead and to buy time to find enough evidence to take them down. The last thing she expects—or wants—is a torrid affair with the hot captain and dive master.
Larry Gibbon has been running a charter dive boat operation in Grand Cayman for years. He's seen it all—and done his share of creating havoc. But when a mysterious woman charters his boat for a week—alone—he has no idea what trouble she's bringing aboard.
The ocean is vast and unforgiving, but will Larry's knowledge of the Cayman Islands and Lexi's relentless determination to survive be enough to save them?
**The Wanderlust Series consists of stand-alone adventure romance novels. Occasionally, characters from previous novels may make a cameo, but each story truly does stand on its own merits.
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