Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she’s perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother’s bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.
When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won’t accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.
Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.
So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.
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I needed to hold him. Kiss him. Taste him. I was nearly blinded by my desire for him.
When Bennett pulled open his door, he seemed bowled over to see me. “What are you—”
Before he could get the words out, my lips were on his. I walked him backward into his apartment, shut the door with my foot, and forced him hard against the wall.
“Avery,” he moaned into my mouth.
Yanking his shirt over his head, I saw goose bumps swell across his skin.
I licked and sucked his neck before dragging my tongue down his chest. I stopped to flick against each of his nipples and watched how they hardened in response.
Bennett knocked his head against the wall. “Jesus.”
I felt powerful in ways I hadn’t experienced before. And it was a major turn-on.
When I continued down Bennett’s stomach, his breaths shot out fast and hard.
I kissed along the path of the tornado on his ribcage, and his stomach trembled in my wake.
Then I trailed my tongue along his hip bone, turning him to continue on to his back. I was determined to get a decent look at his hourglass tattoo.
I studied it, caressing it with my fingers. It was outlined in black, with the sand inside a burnt orange hue. The hourglass itself was misshaped—almost like it was melted—just like the one in his drawing.
“Tell me about this one.”
He was trying hard to control his breathing. “Always been interested in the concept of bending time.”
I slid my hands along his waistline while he panted.
“There’s a saying that goes like this: The hourglass freezes in moments of sorrow. Races along in moments of bliss.” He spun and pulled me to my feet. Cupping my cheeks, he gazed into my eyes. “The very concept of time is a demand. That you own it, savor it, mean it. Before you waste it . . . or it wastes you.”
Then he fused his mouth to mine, his kiss so intense, it was as if I were unraveling from the inside. Like he was siphoning my breaths out of my body.
He broke the kiss, and we stood gasping against each other.
“That’s totally hot,” I mumbled.
He reached around my waist. “You’re totally hot.”
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About Christina Lee
New Adult/Young Adult author. NA Contemporary Romance, ALL OF YOU, releases September with Penguin. BEFORE YOU BREAK in 2014. Repped by Sara Megibow.
Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones (dot com) jewelry.