Author: Nicole French
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Fed up with the trappings of fame, he traded his world of Hollywood for a quiet life on Newman Lake. He was perfectly happy living as an island. Until he met her.
Returning home with nothing but a failed music career, all Maggie Sharp wants is to rebuild her life. A life that doesn’t involve the surly, arrogant stranger now living across the lake.
Still, there’s something about Will…Something familiar. Something Maggie can’t quite put her finger on…
She only wanted the spotlight.
He gave up his life to escape it.
The real question is if they can remain discreet.
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I sucked a breath through my teeth. “Feeling like what?”
“Like this.” He took a step toward me, and I fought not to step backward. Will had a quiet authority about him, and in the shadows of the moon, his shoulders seemed to broaden, his legs seemed to lengthen. He seemed larger than life.
When he had me backed up against the porch railing, he raised a hand, floating his fingers around my jaw, over my cheeks, but never actually touching me. I arched toward his hand. I couldn’t help it. But he hovered, never making contact.
“You make me feel…” Will started. “Out of control.”
I couldn’t move. “Oh?”
“Like I actually have to care about what someone else thinks. Like I’m not alone anymore.” He paused. His eyes opened wide, following the path of his fingers as they took hold of a strand of hair in my ponytail and twirled. “And for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I don’t want to be.”
He tugged lightly on the strand, and I felt the slight pinch like an arrow through my body, shooting down my arms and legs, and coming to throb in that place no man had been for so, so long. I bit my lip. Will’s eyes dilated.
“Tell the truth, Lil. What do you want?”
You. The word echoed distantly, like a bell tolling from miles away. I didn’t understand it. I was broken. A mess. What should I want with this man? We had a connection, sure, but overall, he was nothing but trouble. He was grouchy. A loner. Clearly had serious social and emotional control issues.
And yet. There was no denying that something was here. Since we met, it certainly felt at times as if the universe itself was tilting on its axis, trying to knock me into him. Breakdown after breakdown. Meeting after meeting. And now…
I tipped my chin up so I could look directly at him, drawn like one of the moths circling the porch light. Winging through the dark, ready to dive into his golden inferno.
“I don’t want Lucas,” I said quietly, drifting my gaze up and down his naked torso. A sheen of sweat glimmered in the moonlight, which also made the shadows of his muscles—the square pectorals, the solid rack of abs, the lickable V that dipped beneath his shorts—that much more evident.
Will followed my gaze, and his hand dropped. He stepped between my legs, and his unique scents engulfed me. Working all afternoon only made them that much stronger—the scent of pine trees, lake water, and man swallowed me with a heady rush that made me shake slightly. And it was then, only then, that he finally touched me. My waist was encircled by his wide palms, so broad that his fingers nearly touched on either side. It was relatively innocent, but the intent was clear. Just like last night, he held me still; I couldn’t move unless he wanted me to. For that moment, I was his.
When I looked back up, his eyes were fixed on my lips. Unconsciously, I licked the lower one. His pupils dilated even more.
“Lil,” he whispered as he leaned a little closer.
“What are you waiting for?” I murmured. Now I was the one staring at his mouth—so soft and full under his newly trimmed beard.
I panted. Will swore.
“Fuck it,” he growled. “I don’t fucking know.”
Sometimes you don’t know you wanted something until you have it. Sometimes you don’t know you need something until it’s there.
His mouth found mine in a fury, one that surprised me for about a half second before. The hands at my waist gripped so tightly, I almost couldn’t breathe, and I felt like I was strangled—not for lack of oxygen, but for lack of him. Will’s lips made me feel like I was breathing for the first time; like I’d been under water my entire life, and he was the air I’d never known I needed.