A scarred hero…
Dan Colton was once the CIA’s golden boy, a get-things-done cowboy who believed forgiveness was better to ask for than permission. But performing the devil’s work was always easy with his angel’s face, a damn good asset to have whether he was charming agency superiors…or training submissives in his dark dungeon role plays. Until his face was taken away. An act of ultimate bravery has spit Colton back out as a bitter shell, unsure how to relate to the world without his physical calling card. His only condolence is dreaming of revenge on the bastard responsible for the fire that disfigured him, but when that plan backfires, he is a beast without prey—tormented by a beauty he cannot touch. A willing submissive…
Tess Lesange, known around the CIA’s Vegas office as “The Laser”, has only one Achilles heel—in the form of the brooding agent who once wouldn’t give her the time of day. Since Dan Colton’s accident, they’ve become friends, even trusting each other with some of their kinkier secrets. What are friends for, right? Wrong. A dangerous masquerade…
Now Dan has become Tess’s greatest joy, toughest torment, and most sinful desire. Thoughts of surrendering to his rough brand of domination consume her, but Dan thinks of her as nothing more than the brainy analyst in the next office over. Still seeking the submissive dream, Tess takes matters into her own hands and journeys in disguise to one of the desert’s most elicit kink clubs. When the Dominant she meets there is also beneath a mask, his voice so alluring and familiar, she wonders if karma has conspired to fulfill one of her deepest fantasies…and what price she’ll have to pay for it come true. Is she willing to sacrifice everything she’s built in a friendship with Dan, for one unforgettable night in his dungeon?
Tess jumped out of her chair. Literally. Not that it had been a particularly comfortable chair. She’d found another wingback in the second of Catacomb’s living room areas, hoping she’d have better results in here at the whole calm-down-and-talk-to-somebody-dammit efforts.
And did all that go for you, missie? Did changing rooms help you escape one drop of the feeling that you’ve showed up at Prom without a date, three damn nights in a row?
She’d given herself until eleven o’clock to get the stick out of her ass and strike up a conversation with somebody, or just leave. No use sticking around until midnight when she didn’t even have mice, a pumpkin, and glass slippers to worry about.
And all of a sudden, her fairy godmother of BDSM had gotten a huge clue.
And delivered a prince who defied her wildest, kinkiest dreams.
And not because he instantly reminded her of Dan.
Get off the Colton crazy train! Now!
It was his hair. It looked so much like Dan’s dark blond waves, she was initially captivated—though her perception was likely hindered by the thick velvet strings from his mask, tossing all kinds of shadows through his thick style.
And about that mask…
Sometimes great minds really did think alike. Though it covered half his face and transformed his eyes into daunting mysteries, she tilted a little smile. She was looking for daunting, right?
She’d just had no idea how much. And one look at this man, powerful and beautiful and looming before her in nothing but his huge black boots, faded jeans, and that mask, revealed he probably had a doctorate in daunting.
She’d only concentrated on his covered parts so far, too. The face she couldn’t quite decipher. The legs, endless and powerful, converging at a bulge beneath his zipper that stripped the moisture from her throat. But everything else was…
It bore repeating. Probably out loud. If she could only figure where the hell all her air had gone.
He was beautiful. Almost unreal. She’d only had this sensation a few times in her whole life, like the moment she’d gazed at her first Michelangelo statue in Rome, or gasped at a Cirque performer who supported three others in his palm. His lean but rock-hard build emphasized every captivating striation of his muscles: the hard ropes of his neck, the shoulders and arms that rivalled Red Rock for ridges, the abdomen that was another mountain range all on its own, as well. He moved a little closer to her with grace that reminded her of an eagle’s flight, deadly force honed for efficiency and grace.
Was he even real?
She yearned to reach out and learn that answer for herself.
She’d never been more afraid to move in her life.
She cleared her throat. Tried to straighten her stance—but then wondered if she should lower her head, instead. Or bow. Or curtsy? Or shake his hand? Hell. She was the girl who’d read every damn research book on dungeon etiquette, right? But now she really did feel like the girl at the prom with toilet paper attached to her heel.
“Hi,” she finally managed. “I—I mean hello. Hello, Sir. I—I mean—”
If she really had something to say after that, it would’ve have disappeared as soon as he lifted her hand between both of his and stepped closer, as if trying to figure her out more fully. His skin was firm and warm, his grip a steady command his eyes still impossible to read. “Ssshhh. Breathe, red.”
Red. Though she liked playing up the unique color of her hair, she always cringed when someone used the too-typical nickname. But on his lips, the words were transformed into something new. Magical.
“Breathe. Right. Okay…right. God. I am so sorry. You must think I’m so—” She injected a weak laugh. “I’m normally better at the whole stringing-a-sentence-together thing, I promise.”
Why was she blowing this so bad? And why did he make it worse with his disarming grin and his tightening hold? And the simple force of his presence. And the intensity of his nearness. And the potency of his scent. How could the combination of Scotch and dust suddenly smell so incredible?
“Why are you sorry? I’m the one who intruded.”
“Oh, yeah. ‘Intruded.’” She blew out a pseudo raspberry. “Because there was so much going on here in my corner to intrude on.”
“There would have been.” His mutter edged so close to an animal’s timber, she shivered a little. Tess had listened to enough radio spy chatter over the years to know the small disc on his neck was a voice distorter of some sort, which should have raised her wariness—instead, it only added to his allure. Her pulse thrummed, a current strange yet wonderful. While she felt at once safe, she also knew she shouldn’t…not this much, not this fast. The conflict only hastened to her reckless heartbeat, especially as he added, “Then I would’ve had to bounce a few skulls together.”
“Why?” She knew how stupid it sounded. The possessive snarl beneath his words spoke enough meaning for anyone to figure out—except, perhaps, for her. The “protective” thing was usually her gig, a default when one was looking out for sisters who were “the pretty one” and “the smart ass,” so grasping the concept that anyone wanted to look after her in the same way…
Weird. Very weird.
But ohhh…so nice.
Still, she braced herself for his teasing chuckle. Maybe some sarcastic quip at what a “silly subbie” she was for not comprehending his intent.
Once more, the man turned her expectations sideways. No. Fully upside-down. Her senses careened as he released a hand, lifting it to her jaw, yanking up her whole face for the focus of his fathomless gaze. “Why?” he repeated. “Because I’m pretty well set on having you all to myself tonight, rose.” His fingers pressed in. “Unless you aren’t interested in what you see?”
She laughed. She couldn’t help herself. “You’re kidding, right?”
“At the risk of being trite, do I look like I’m kidding?”
“At the risk of being obnoxious, do I look like a nun? Because that’s the only situation I can imagine you being turned down, Sir Sexy.”
Air pushed past his smirk. His thick stubble disguised the exact edges of his lips but the flash of his teeth briefly showed her that they were curved and lush…and maybe a little wicked.
Wicked. Right behind daunting on what she’d come here looking for.
Book #1: Saved by His Submissive:
Book #2: Handcuffed by Her Hero:
Book #3: Surrendering Her Sergeant:
Book #4: A WILDer Wonderland:
Book #5: Wet for Her Warriors:
Book #6: Hot for His Hostage:
Bestselling romance author Angel Payne has been reading and writing her entire life, though her love for romances began in junior high, when writing with friends on “swap stories” they’d trade between classes. Needless to say, those stories involved lots of angst, groping, drama, and French kissing. She began getting a paycheck for her writing in her twenties, writing record reviews for a Beverly Hills-based dance music magazine. Some years, various entertainment industry gigs, and a number of years in the hospitality industry later, Angel returned to the thing she loves the most: creating character-based romantic fiction. Along the way, she also graduated with two degrees from Chapman University in Southern California, taking departmental honors for English, before writing five historical romances for Kensington and Bantam/Doubleday/Dell. Angel found a true home in writing contemporary-based romances that feature high heat and high concepts, focusing on memorable alpha men and the women who tame them. She has numerous book series to her credit, including the Kinky Truth series, the Secrets of Stone series (with Victoria Blue), and the popular W.I.L.D. Boys of Special Forces series, as well as several stand-alone titles. The Cimarron series and the Once Upon a Sin series both launch in 2015. Angel still lives in Southern California, where she is married to her soul mate and lives on a street that looks like Brigadoon, with their awesome daughter and Lady Claire, the dog with impeccable manners. When not writing, she enjoys reading, pop culture, alt rock, cute shoes, and hanging at the beach with family and friends.