by Marianne Rice
Rocky Harbor Book Two
Rachael Riley is back home in Rocky Harbor, but she’s not the same woman she once was…
After being rescued from an abusive relationship, Rachael is nothing more than a shadow of her true self. The only place she manages to find some degree of comfort is in the kitchen, hiding behind her apron as she continues to shut everyone out. Her foster sister knows that the real Rachael has been broken and reaches out by signing her up for self-defense classes with the hope of getting her outgoing, confident and nosey older sister back.
Jake Morgan has done more than his time and is finally free of his past…
Teaching self-defense is Jake’s way of giving back, compensating for what has been taken away from him years ago. He’s well aware that most women in his class have a backstory, and avoids getting emotionally involved by keeping his distance—until a beautiful, blue-eyed woman walks in. Jake is instantly drawn to Rachael and sees the inner confidence she tries to hide behind her blonde bangs and hunched shoulders.
Wanting to know the story hidden behind those blue eyes, Jake sets out to break down every barrier Rachael has built…
As Jake helps Rachael find the strength she once had, a secret of his past is revealed and threatens to ruin the safety they have found in each other. There’s more connecting them than just their mutual attraction. Once their pasts finally collide, revealing a devastating truth, Jake’s feelings and commitment toward Rachael is put to the ultimate test.
There is no guarantee when it comes to love, but sometimes all a broken heart needs to heal is sweet strawberry kisses…
Genre: Foodie RomancePurchase link(s): Amazon BAM B&N
Content/Theme(s): Contemporary, Self-defense
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Excerpt & More
Clearly he didn’t want to give her the specific details. The guilt from the past six years had done its damage. Knowing her brothers liked their space when they were dealing with the demons from their past, she attempted to lighten the mood.
“Your mom and sister are beautiful. Doesn’t seem fair that you got stuck with the ugly genes.”
Jake cocked his head at her. The tension slipped away, replaced with heat radiating from his eyes. “I told myself I’d be slow and gentle with you.”
“What if I don’t want you to be gentle?”
He cursed before he kicked Rachael’s legs out from under her and cradled her to his chest as they fell to the sand. She landed on top of him right before he devoured her mouth. His hands clamped hard on her butt, pulling her harder into his body.
Oh, he felt delightful. Hard and rigid. Everywhere. From his six pack abs rubbing against her belly, to the man of steel arms casing around her hips, to the obvious arousal making an impression against her crotch. They fit each other well. Her five foot seven frame nestled in all the right places of his hard body.
Jake’s tongue didn’t have the same gentle caresses as earlier. He licked and tasted the inside of her mouth, leaving no spot untouched.
Rachael gave as much as she received, grinding her body into his, forgetting they were on a public beach. She felt like a wanted woman who was about to be ravished.
Jake abruptly switched positions, pinning her into the sand and hovering over her body. “Damn. You did it again.”
“You make me forget.”
“No. Never be sorry. You’re good for me, Rachael Riley. I like forgetting things when I’m with you.”
Truth be told, Rachael forgot about her skeletons when she was with Jake as well. Or rather, she forgot she was insecure and afraid of a man’s touch. Forgot to fear saying the wrong words, wearing the wrong thing, being the wrong person.
With Jake, Rachael could be…Rachael.
“I like forgetting things too.”
“Yeah?” That gorgeous rakish grin erupted. “Like what?”
“Like we’re on a public beach and I was dry humping your body.”
His chocolate eyes turned darker and his gaze landed on her mouth. He licked his lips like a predator getting ready to go in for the kill. Or at least the bite.
Jake kissed her neck and murmured in her ear. “We can be at my place in fifteen minutes.”
Cold water splashed on her—literally. The tide had come in and soaked her lower half. Jake swore before hauling her to her feet. “I didn’t know the tide would be coming in so quickly.”
The cool water brought her back to reality. Rachael wasn’t the type to do pelvic grinds in public. Her girly parts tingled at the memory, so wanting to relive it. Soon. But logic took over and cooled her down once again.
“That’s okay. I should get going anyway. I have to get up early.”
Jake nodded in defeat and took her hand in his. Their walk back to the parking lot was too short. He’d occasionally bump shoulders with her and she’d knock him back, trying to throw him off balance. Once Jake knocked her too hard and she nearly toppled, but he caught her before she could fall. Not that she would have minded him falling on top of her again.
“You’re stronger than you look, Blondie.”
“Don’t you forget it.”
“Doubtful I will. My purple eye is a constant reminder.”
He walked her to her car and engulfed her in his strong embrace. They held on to each other for a long time before breaking free. “I’m not going to kiss you again.”
“Oh.” Her heart frowned, as did her face.
“Come on, Blondie. Don’t make that lost puppy face or I will kiss you again.”
“You say it like a bad thing.”
“It is. I’m trying. Really trying. I pride myself on my self-control, only I seem to lose it when I’m around you. I’m tempted to toss you in my truck and haul your beautiful ass back to my place and show you six ways to Sunday how amazing I think you are.”
“You’re not the type of girl who goes for my kind, so I need to work a little harder to gain your trust. Prove to you I’m not the same kind of guy who hurt you.”
Rachael’s gut dropped to her feet and she gasped. She wanted to lock away the last five years of her life, to pretend they never happened.
“I won’t ever hurt you. And when you truly believe that, I’ll show you how un-freaking-believable we can be together.” He took her sunglasses out of his pocket and slid the frames over her ears.
No poet could sweep her off her feet like rough-around-the-edges Jake Morgan. He dropped a quick kiss to the top of her head and opened her car door for her.
“See you on the flip side, Blondie.” He winked before jogging over to his own truck.
Six ways to Sunday needed to happen.
Purchase link(s): Amazon BAM B&N
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Be on the lookout for Marianne Rice's future release(s): Wounded Love coming May 2017 and Playful Hearts coming June 2017
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