Golden Heart Award nominee Brynn Kelly makes her electric debut with Deception Island, an intense, fast-paced, action-packed thriller. In the steamy jungles and azure waters of an Indian Ocean paradise, a rogue French Foreign Legion officer and a Californian con woman become unlikely allies — and lovers — in a life-and-death battle against 21st-century pirates and slave traders.
Rafe Angelito thought he was done with the demons from his past — until his son is kidnapped. Blackmailed into abducting an American heiress, the legionnaire soon finds himself trapped in paradise with a fiery, daring beauty who's nothing he expects… and everything he desires. But when he uncovers her own dark secret, Rafe realizes he's made a critical mistake — one that could cost him everything.
Playing body double for a spoiled socialite was supposed to be Holly Ryan's ticket to freedom. But when she's snatched off her yacht by a tall, dark and dangerous stranger, the not-quite-reformed con artist will make a desperate play to turn her captor from enemy to ally, by any means necessary.
Yet as scorching days melt into sultry nights, Holly is drawn to the mysterious capitaine, with his unexpected sense of honor and his searing touch. When they're double-crossed, they'll have to risk trusting each other in ways they never imagined… because in this deadly game of deception, it's their lives — and hearts — on the line.
"Faster," she whispered. "Harder."
He breathed out slowly. "Patience, princess." First, he wanted to hear the urgent panting that told him she was close, because once they sped up, his satisfaction was inevitable. He wanted to take her with him, to hear her cry out again.
He scraped his teeth against her smooth shoulder and kissed it. Leaving his thighs to hold them up, he wandered his hands up her body and cupped her breasts. He flicked her nipples with the pads of his fingers until they tightened, then rolled them between thumb and finger, his fingernails grazing the tips. Her breath became husky, somewhere between a groan and a plea.
He pulled her head down and kissed her deeply, increasing his rhythm in concert with his tongue's plunder. She took the hint, her fingernails biting into his shoulders as she held on, the pricks of pain at the burning in his thighs bolting lightning into his groin. His quads were about to cramp. Merde. He reluctantly left her mouth and lay back on the hammock, gripping her hips as she drove him ever closer to the edge.
He closed his eyes as the fog of oblivion descended, muffling her crescendoing cries, the ocean, the wind, concentrating his every sense on the place they were joined. He kneaded her derrière, the skin slippery with sweat. She tipped forward and balanced her hands on his pecs. Too late for control. If she wanted to be in command, he'd let her. His desire wound tighter and tighter as she rode him, the darkness closing in.
A strangled cry burst through the haze — Holly, toppling over the edge. He exploded, the shock spiraling through him, scalding the muscles in his thighs even as it gave release, and shooting up his chest to release a yell of pressure from his throat. He bucked with the aftershock, swearing loudly as they wound down to stillness. No anger. No darkness. Just release, as sweet and cleansing as absolution. He took a scraping breath.
She slumped onto him, panting. He drew up his legs, wincing, and hooked them around hers. A shudder racked her body.
"Cold?" he said.
"Didn't think so." Full sentences in English would be beyond him for a while.
He kissed the top of her head and wrapped his arms tightly around her as she flattened into him, her cheek on his chest. A fresh breeze played on his face. Their skin was slick and hot, the blanket under his back was soaked. His body begged him to push her away, to let the air cool his sweat. He didn't move. He wasn't one for embracing after sex, especially in heat like this, but a release like that called for a slow comedown. His head spun. Was it the otherworldliness of the island, the knowledge that they were alone in the jungle, just a forgotten part of the ecosystem? Was it the craziness of the whole situation? Was it because he was tenser than he'd been in his life, in every possible way? Because sex had never felt like that before — like it meant something beyond the physical, like more had entwined than just their bodies.
"La petite mort," he muttered.
"It's a French saying. 'The little death.' The — I don’t know the English — transcendant feeling when you lose yourself in an orgasm."
"Transcendent? Oh yeah, I get that — I got that, just now."
"I'd always thought it was exaggerated. But now…" He'd died a little, lost control and brought it back. Not a risk he should have taken with Holly, but it was a positive.
"La petite mort," she repeated, awkwardly. "I like it."
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