Excerpt: NOT WITHOUT RISK by Sarah Grimm — Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Available at AMAZON and all major retailers
He has a killer to find and doesn’t need a leggy brunette clouding his investigation.
Six agonizing months after a slug collapsed his lung, Sergeant Justin Harrison manages to return to the one place where he shines—the San Diego homicide division. Nothing will stand in the way of proving he is fit for active duty. Especially not the long-legged brunette who just stumbled into his crime scene.
Photographer Paige Conroy spent years hiding from her past. Then a late night telephone call brings it crashing back. An old friend is in town and needs her help. When she arrives at his hotel room four hours later, he’s dead. Suddenly, she’s the target of a madman, and Paige must turn to Sergeant Harrison for protection.
But who is the bigger threat to her… the faceless assailant she fears will steal her life or the dark-eyed detective she knows could steal her heart?
He wore black. Jeans and a snug knit shirt tucked into the waistband, topped with a blazer-style jacket of leather. He was dressed to go out, dressed to please the eye and stir the blood. He definitely stirred something in her. Heat crawled up her torso, warmed her from the inside-out. She raised her hand to the base of her throat where her pulse beat wildly.
“I don’t believe imagination got the best of you.”
“You’re the only one who doesn’t.”
His eyes were dark and unreadable as he studied her. “It’s okay to lean on someone, you know. We all need to at times.”
It wasn’t good to make it a habit, the way she had been doing lately. “I’ve never felt so out of control.”
“You look pretty together to me.”
Because he saw what she wanted him to see. On the inside, she was slowly falling apart. She needed to get a grip before she forgot herself and asked him to hold her. Or just closed the distance between them and rested her head against the warm solace of his broad shoulder. She ached for comfort, longed to be pulled against the hard planes of his chest. Wrapped in his strong embrace, while his calloused hands stroked her back.
Expelling a breath, she studied him through a veil of dark lashes. He was a cool one, the way he controlled that lean and muscled body. She would bet he never felt vulnerable, stripped and exposed as she did right now. Just his presence in the same room calmed her, restored a bit of her peace. Imagine the comfort of his embrace.
As her legs suddenly went weak, Paige forced away the thought. She couldn’t get involved with him. Couldn’t let herself care.
She dragged in a shaky breath. “I’m sorry I’ve wasted your time.”
“I never said you were wasting my time.”
She’d been so afraid, coming out of a nightmare then hearing someone move around downstairs. So sure of what she’d heard, certain of someone in her studio. Now…
Maybe it had been a dream, or the panicked imaginings of an exhausted mind. “I must be overreacting.”
“It would be understandable.”
She closed her eyes against the kindness in his voice. Snapped them open at the brush of his finger beneath her chin. He tipped her face to his. “Then there’s the broken bottle in the darkroom. Imagination doesn’t explain that.”
Relief filled her. She wasn’t losing her mind, after all. “Thank you.”
“For what, doing my job?”
“For answering my call, even though you were probably busy with something else. For believing in me. Again.”
“We aren’t going to start this again, are we? I wasn’t busy.” He lifted his hand and traced his fingertip along her jaw. “I had dinner with my mother earlier. On my way home, I stopped off for a drink. That’s where I was when you called.”
The caress of his fingers across her skin made her pulse trip. “I’m glad.” She wasn’t supposed to care where he went or who he spent his free time with, but had to admit to being thrilled he hadn’t been on a date. Just the thought of him touching another woman the way he touched her now made her stomach clench painfully. “I’m glad you weren’t busy.”
“It wouldn’t have mattered.” His fingers continued to dance down her neck before settling at her throat. “Busy or not, I would have answered your call.” His free hand slid around her waist, eased her closer until his warm breath brushed across her lips. “This is where I want to be.”
Longing swamped her. Her pulse thundered in her ears. She lifted her hand, placed it against the center of his chest. “Justin.”
His lips brushed against hers lightly, gently and her mind clicked off. Her body reacted immediately, instinctively. Her blood heated. Her bones melted. Sensation shot through her like lightning bolts.
His kiss was as hard and demanding as the body pressed against her. His hand moved from her neck, fisted in her hair and dragged her head back as his mouth continued to seduce. His taste seeped into her. Something between a moan and a sigh slid up the back of her throat. She knew she should pull away. She told herself to pull away. Instead, she parted her lips and surrendered.
You can find Sarah HERE: