Reaching for sunlight...
Finn survived the ambush and came home to me, but in his head, the battle is still raging. He’s falling apart and I’m trying my best to pick up the pieces of him, to find the us we used to be. I love him as much as I ever did, but love isn’t enough to fix this. I thought telling my father about our relationship would be the hardest thing we’d ever have to face. I was wrong.
Lost in shadows...
All I wanted was to be worthy of Carrie. One mission, just one, and I’d be able to give her the future she deserved. Then everything went wrong, leaving me tainted and broken. Carrie wants me to be who I was, but all that’s left is what they made of me. I’m no good for her. No good for anyone like this. I have to figure out how to move forward. Alone.
Sometimes love isn’t enough…
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I pulled back and studied him. His eyes were shut, and his cheeks flushed. He looked so freaking hot like this. Turned on and ready for me. All mine. “Are you sure you’re ready?”
He smoothed my hair off my face. “Of course I’m sure.”
“Okay.” I reached for the bedside light, but he snatched my hand before I could turn it on. “What? What is it?”
“No lights,” he rasped, his fingers tightening on mine. “I like it like this.”
“Finn...” I swallowed hard. “You don’t need to hide from me.”
“I’m not. I don’t want your dad to know.” He let go of my hand and hauled me closer. “That’s all.”
I wanted to believe him, but I didn’t. He hadn’t let me see him yet. Hadn’t even taken his shirt off in front of me. But I couldn’t push it. Couldn’t push him. “Okay.”
I kissed him, holding myself back again. I wasn’t sure how to be with him when he was being like this. Should I be bold? Or should I let him take the lead? I was out of my league here, and I knew it. He broke off the kiss and cursed under his breath before saying, “If you don’t want this from me anymore, then you can leave. I understand.”
“I want this.” I tried to kiss him again, but he didn’t let me. “Finn, what’s wrong?”
“You’re acting as if you can’t stand the thought of kissing me,” he rasped, his hand flexing on my hip. “I get it. I’m fucked up now and—”
I slammed my mouth down on his, shutting him up before he insulted himself again. It was killing me to act as if he was going to break at any point, and I was done listening to him put himself down. Freaking done. He was gorgeous, injuries and all.
His mouth opened under mine, so I slid my tongue inside, seeking his. As soon as I found it, heat shot through my body, making me tremble. I deepened the kiss, needing more of him. Needing to kiss him, touch him, love him. It had been too long since I’d gotten to kiss him like this. Feel him like this.
His uninjured hand skimmed up my side before running down my arm. I shivered and ran my hands down his pecs, to the waist of his boxers. He arched his hips a little bit, pressing his erection against my core. God, that felt good. So good. For the first time since he’d come home, I wasn’t thinking of him as Finn, injured Marine.
He was my Finn, and I needed him as badly as he needed me. “Fuck,” he moaned, arching into me again. “Lose the clothes.” “Yours first.” I slid down his body, pressing my open mouth against his neck.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes steamy New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out of Line, came out September 2013. She also writes bestselling Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts.Since receiving her first contract offer under the pen name Diane Alberts, she has yet to stop writing. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
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