One more easy job, life coach and empath Jamie Donovan promises herself. Then she’ll take a well-earned break from her booming business to properly grieve the loss of her mother and pull herself together. When that job turns out to be an ambush intervention for Las Vegas heiress Layla DeGrasso, all bets are off. But Layla isn’t Jamie’s biggest problem on her new job. That honor goes to her client’s hot as hell bodyguard, Axel. Damn those abs.
Axel Frasier is finally free from the Army and is trying to make a name for his fledgling network security firm. When he lands a promising contract at Lush, Victor DeGrasso’s crown jewel on the Vegas strip, a few quiet weeks of system analysis beckon. But a twist of events force him back into the role of bodyguard, one he swore he’d never play again. It wouldn’t be so bad if he could only keep his head on straight around his clients’ distracting life coach.
Jamie needs to move past the baggage her mother has saddled her with, while keeping Layla on track. Axel can’t afford to be distracted by lust and doesn’t trust the lure of more. Neither is ready for true love, but the nights in Las Vegas are long and lonely…
Heat. Movement. Escape. Jamie craved release. Her mind wouldn’t click off. Thoughts of work and family plagued her, but not for long. The bright lights of Las Vegas still illumined the darkness as she walked confidently into the club. The first rays of dawn were not far away, but she would take what she needed before they called her back to reality. Surveying the room, she chose her partner carefully. She approached with confidence, and the chase began. After a slow build-up, she was desperate for more. More heat. More movement. More quiet space in her head. She chased what she craved with ruthless enthusiasm.
The pounding beat thudded through her body, mirroring the racing of her heart. Heat built within, a hot flush burning her skin. The rhythm was incessant, grinding. Jamie was caught. It’s not enough. It will never be enough. She shut down the negative voice in her head and gave her body over to the moment, the movement. It would be enough for now.
She sprinted towards her release. Freedom beckoned. All she had to do was reach for it. She bore down, racing for the finish. Muscles screaming, sweat streaming, she panted for breath as she reached her peak, finally satisfied.
When the treadmill kicked into cool down mode after her five-mile hills challenge, she sucked a deep breath down into her heaving lungs. Keeping her legs moving, she came back down from the high of that final sprint.
For some, the gym was a chore, a duty, or an ego stroke. For Jamie, it was a sanctuary. When she ran or lifted, she clicked her mind off. No duties, no clients, no emotions or intuition. As a life coach, she was committed to being available to her clients. As an empath, she required alone time to recharge her emotional batteries. It was difficult to find balance between the two extremes. Thanks to a few “real life makeover” segments on Ellen that had gone viral, she was a household name. Fame made it even more difficult to find the time for herself. The exhaustion a brutal workout provided helped her maintain control.
It also helped her ignore her recent sexual drought. If she got herself tired enough, she could almost forget that it had been a year since a man had touched her without an ulterior motive. And a hell of a year it had been. Between her skyrocketing fame and the death of her mother, she was reeling. She was ready for a well-earned break, as soon as this last contract was finished.
She wiped down her treadmill and turned to tackle the free weights when a startled squeal escaped from her lips. He’d come in silently. She hadn’t noticed his presence in the hotel gym, but he had to have seen her. There was no avoiding him now. After a second glance, she wasn’t altogether sure she wanted to. She might be okay with her drought, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t appreciate watching a hot summer storm through the window.
He sat on the resistance machine, gripping the foam covered handles back near his shoulders. Each outward press caused the muscles in his chest to swell with exertion. His sweat-damp white t-shirt did little to hide some serious pectorals. And his arms, good Lord, his arms. They stretched the sleeves of that t-shirt to the breaking point. She had the irrational desire to feel them wrapped around her.
Another press drew her gaze further. The tendons in his hands and wrists clenched as he began to press the bars away from his chest. Those hands sparked a thousand instant fantasies in Jamie’s sex starved brain. He oozed danger, like a biker gripping the handlebars of a Harley. His short-cropped black hair read military or prison, and the beard spoke of rugged survival. Danger was the only clear thought Jamie could latch onto, as she nodded a quick hello and spun away to the free weights. How long had she been staring?
About the Author
Winner of Cherry Adair’s Finish The Damn Book Contest, Eva Moore writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance, after leaving a career in the classroom to raise her daughters. Forever Nights is the fourth and final book in her Girls’ Night Out Series. Eva now lives in Silicon Valley, after moving around the world and back, with her college sweetheart, her three gorgeous girls, and two Shih Tzus who think they are cats. She can be found most nights hiding in her closet/office, scribbling away, and loves to hear from the outside world.