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A predator stalks paradise and she’s next
© Gabriella Hewitt
On a tropical isle, Frankie Montalvo discovers roots to a past she never knew. Tales of witchcraft, missing girls and el chupacabra surround her, but it will take more than superstitions to scare her away. Determined to create her own home, she enlists the help of an enigmatic beach bum.
She doesn’t want to fall for a drifter who will probably break her heart and move on, but when both she and her home are attacked, it’s in Rico’s arms that she finds safety and protection. All she’s ever wanted was to settle down and live life on her own terms, but someone has other plans and Frankie must decide—is Rico her lover or her enemy?
Special Agent Rico Lopez has been to the depths of hell and back. He returns to his native island of Vieques to forget an ICE mission gone wrong only to find himself caught up in the search for a neighbor’s daughter—a victim of the legendary el chupacabra. Paradise has a predator and all leads point to a dilapidated old plantation and its sexy as sin owner. Lying to Frankie is the only way to do his job, but is he protecting her or himself?
As the net around them tightens and their lives are put on the line, he’ll learn the greatest danger he’s ever faced is the risk of losing his heart.
ExcerptEnjoy the following excerpt for Dark Waters:
God save him from stubborn females.
He pulled a lock pick out of his pocket and went back to the kitchen door. In a matter of minutes he was inside. His eyes swept the kitchen, noting the clean counters and dishes lying in the draining board. The scent of onions and garlic lingered in the air. Well, she’d obviously eaten.
He retraced his steps from the afternoon until he was at the bottom of the staircase. He could see where Frankie covered over the hole he’d made with a patch of plywood. As much as he wanted to run up the stairs, he didn’t dare. Carefully, he tested each tread before taking a step.
While moonlight filtered into the rooms downstairs, up here, with all the doors to the hallway closed, he could barely see his hand in front of his face. Quietly, Rico made his way down the hall until he came to Frankie’s door.
He rapped lightly. Still no answer.
Moving to the side of the door, he reached over, turned the handle and gave it a small push inward. He glanced in and then slowly stepped over the threshold, grateful for the moonlight that enabled him to see.
Fresh sheets covered the bed. The room looked neat and tidy.
What the hell had happened to her? God help him if she’d been snatched…
He didn’t pause to wonder why his fear she’d had an accident had morphed into something worse. He didn’t have to.
This house had him on edge, while his mother’s request had him balled up so tight he could bounce.
A sound caught his ears. Exiting the room, he moved silently down the corridor. The noise grew louder, like a herd of sick cows. When he reached the room where the sound came the loudest, he threw open the door and went in low and fast, ready to deal with the threat.
Frankie rose before him, moonlight casting its soft glow on the water droplets sliding down her torso and into the claw foot tub she stood in. Her mouth opened and closed and, in that second, Rico catalogued every gorgeous inch of her, from her perfect, dusky-tipped breasts to her shapely thighs.
“What do you want?” Her voice came out reed thin, her eyes wide.
He’d terrified her. Rico held his hands out, palms open. “I brought your truck back, Frankie. When you didn’t answer the door, I got worried and let myself in. I’m not here to hurt you.” He spoke low and soft, willing her to listen to his words. He almost missed the change in her eyes from fear to majorly ticked off, but he wasn’t left in doubt long.
Frankie exploded into action. She grabbed a bar of soap and hurled it at him, hitting him smack in the chest.
Instinctively, he caught the soap before it fell to the tiled floor. “Want me to get your back?” Relief coursed through him. Not only was she okay, she was in kick-butt NY mode. He could live with that.
“Get out!” she screamed. “Out! Out! Out!”
The gentleman in him grabbed up a towel and held it out to her. The other side of him wanted to wipe every drop of water off her sexy body, but he highly doubted she would let him.
Frankie seized the towel and wrapped it around her. “Get out!”
“I’m going. But, why are you taking a bath in the dark?”
“Because the damn fuse blew and I wasn’t about to go traipsing around the house wet and naked. Satisfied?”
Hell, no! But, feeling a definite tightening in his groin at the image, he decided not to answer. Safer that way. At least with this woman.
“Now are you leaving or do I have to get mean?”
“You got a weapon on you? All I saw—”
“Shut up, Lopez. I swear you’re dead meat.” Her hands tightened into fists at her sides.
“Need a hand getting out of the tub?” he asked hopefully.
“That’s it. You have five seconds to get out of this room or you and that toilet brush are going to become personally acquainted.”
“Okay, you win,” he said, holding his hands up in the air in mock surrender. “Anything but the toilet brush.” He winked at her and left the room, shutting the door with an audible snap. Leaning against it, he closed his eyes. He could hear her stepping out of the tub. Could imagine her rubbing that lithe body down and wished he were the towel. The image of Frankie rising up from the water like some goddess out of a Greek myth would stay burned onto the back of his eyelids for a long time. And if he told her, she’d probably try to have them surgically removed.
He grinned so hard the sides of his mouth hurt.
The bathroom echoed with her creative curses in both Spanish and English. The woman sure had a mouth on her.
Feeling incredibly lighter, Rico spoke through the closed door. “Frankie?”
“Would it make you feel better if I got naked too?”
Want a chance at that GC? Answer the following question:
Rico offered to scrub Frankie’s back. Shower scenes, sexy or not? What are some ways you get creative with water?