Publication Date: July 31, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Suspense, Contemporary, Romance
With a deadly target on his back, DEA agent Luke Calder’s plan is to drink away his impending demise. Except instead of getting blessedly drunk, in walks a woman with a much deeper story than she’s leading on. And he definitely wants to know more. Especially when he learns she might have intel he needs. He’s not cool with lying to her, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And what starts out as simple surveillance turns into so much more.
Cassandra Stone is having a bad night. Her boyfriend’s been cheating because she’s not “adventurous enough” in bed. So, she does the next logical thing—she goes in search of a dark, dangerous one-night stand. Instead, she finds smoldering eyes, deep dimples, and the killer smile of a guy who won’t leave her alone. Damn him. He says and does all the right things, making Cass believe that good men still exist. Until she learns why he took an interest in her in the first place.
Luke strode around to Cass’s side of the table. “All right, ladies, I think you’ve had enough fun for one night.”
“No!” all female voices said at once.
“We’re ssssstill playing.” Cass looked up with pleading green eyes that made him want to carry her straight downstairs and not go to sleep. If she was up for it and wasn’t forty sheets to the wind, he might consider doing just that.
“I’m winning,” she said, holding up her hand. “See? I’ve got thhhhhhree aces and two nines.” She squinted and pulled the cards closer to her face. “Or is that four nines? Yes! Four! I see four of them!”
The rest of the women slapped their cards down on the table and chose to pour another round into their empty glasses.
“Does that mean the game’s over?” Cass looked around the table with an innocent expression that made him chuckle.
“Yes,” Estelle said, searching her small purse. “You cleaned us out. I ain’t got another nickel to my name.”
“Like that’s different from any other poker night,” Rose said, lifting her whiskey to her mouth and taking a sip.
“Come on,” Luke said with a hand out to Cassandra. “Bedtime.”
“Again?” Cass pouted. “Why do you always tell me what to do? I’m purrrrrrfectly capa-bobble. Cape-ab-able.” She cleared her throat. “Cap-a-ble to get myself to bed on my own.”
He signaled toward the door to the basement. “By all means.” This should be good.
Her lips bunched and she crossed her arms. “No.”He cocked an eyebrow. “Excuse me?”“You h-heard me.” Hiccup. “I’m not ready for bed.”A snicker sounded from the other end of the table.
Daring a glance, he caught Ash’s shit-eating grin.“Oh, you’re de nitely ready,” Luke said, reaching for her elbow.
She jerked away, tilting her head to the side and lifting her eyebrows in challenge.
Lips of those seated around the dining room table danced.
“Cass,” he said. “You’re drunk. You’ve taken all their money. It’s time to go to bed.”
“Fine,” she said.
“Good.” He reached again. “Let’s—”
“You go,” she said, leaning away from him. “I’m f-fine with my ffffriends.”
He inhaled two deep breaths. When that didn’t calm him down and she didn’t show any sign of getting up, he said, “I’m going to count to five and if you’re not up, so help me...”
She hesitated, not out of panic, but in defiance. Then she reached for her shot glass that had been refilled.
“Don’t you dare,” he said in a voice he hoped was like steel.
A devious grin curled on her lips. “Or what?”
“Or...” Christ, he didn’t know. He’d spank her? Yeah, that would go over really well for the both of them. Her heated stares and the hard-on he was trying like hell to cover up would love a good round of spanking. But hell, why not?
He bent close to her ear, lowering his voice so their audience couldn’t hear. “Or else I’m going to take you downstairs, throw you over my knee, and spank you.”
She turned slowly, wearing that sex kitten expression again. The stop-him-dead look. “Do you promise?”
God. Damn it.
Blood rushed from every extremity and pooled right where it was biologically designed to. He quickly dropped to his knees so no one at the table would get a front-row glance at his reaction.
“Cass,” he said in a soft, low voice. “You’re killing me.”
She must have heard his plea, because her expression changed to something much less stubborn. “Good.”
He pulled back, waiting to see if she’d smile or laugh. Something to show she was joking.
She didn’t. She stared at him straight-faced without fidgeting.
“Good?” Luke whispered to Cass.
“Mmm-hmm,” was all she said.
“That’s it? You’re going to make a comment like that, all serious, and then not elaborate? Why?”
Hiccup. “Isn’t it obvious?”
See, this was why he didn’t tangle with women. They were crazy and confusing and never knew what they wanted outside of the bedroom. Hell, half the time they didn’t know what they wanted in the bedroom until he showed them.
“Why don’t you explain it to me?”
“You’re confusssssing me,” she said. “A lot.” She punctuated the word with a poke of her finger to his chest. “How do I know you’re nnnnot like the resssssst of them.”
The rest of who? Other men?
He waited, figuring she’d go on. Seemed like he was going to wait awhile because the only thing she was communicating was a puzzled expression. The wheels were turning, but he didn’t think the hamster was still on the wheel. Probably fell off and passed out after the third or fourth shot of whiskey.
“Cass,” he said through a sigh.
She stood from her chair. “Forget it.” Hiccup. Then a swift nod to the others at the table. “Good night, ladies. It was fffffun.”
About the Author
Christina believes that laughter really is the best medicine, which is why in her stories she blends a healthy dose of hilarious hijinks with gritty suspense.
When she’s not writing fun contemporary romance or quirky romantic suspense, Christina can be found devouring books in every genre, watching Chris Hemsworth on TV, playing board games with her family, working out, checking out Chris Hemsworth on Facebook, napping, stalking Chris Hemsworth on Instagram, and shopping…for Chris Hemsworth’s latest DVD.
Christina lives near Baltimore with her husband and two sons, who give her an endless supply of humorous material to write about.
She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Maryland Romance Writers.