Fracture by Amanda K. Byrne
Publication date: April 21st 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Every nightmare has an end.
There’s no way Nora can ignore the beating. Same heavy boots. Same curses, same pained groans. But that was two years ago, and this a different man, a different part of war-ravaged Sarajevo. This is her second chance. She has to try.
And then she’s stuck with him, nursing him, putting up with him. Declan’s an ass. He’s rude and tactless. He’s arrogant. Dismissive.
Charming. Intense. Caring when she needs it most – and least expects it. He tears away the numbing fog that’s been her constant companion and offers her a way out and a way home.
And it damn near destroys her.
Nora’s survived two years in a war zone. Can Declan show her how to live?
It starts to rain as I jog through the streets, circling and detouring to pick up my bag of food. Rivulets snake under my coat collar, my hair plastering itself to my head. My jeans get in on the action as well, sticking to my legs. I drip all over the floor as I climb the stairs to my flat. Hopefully the bread stayed dry. Well, dryish.
Declan hasn’t moved from his spot on the couch, his eyes glued to the monitor of his laptop. He grunts in response to my hello, and I leave the food in the kitchen. I squish past him to the bedroom, wincing at the trail of wet behind me.
Peeling off my clothes is a lot of fun, the fabrics heavy and adhering to my skin in places. I drop them on the bathroom floor and retrieve a towel. My teeth are starting to chatter as I pull on a clean pair of panties. “Hey, Declan? Could you put on the tea kettle?”
His answer is unintelligible. I toss the towel through the open bathroom door and dig through the clothes I piled into the closet in an attempt to straighten up the tiny room. I have a pair of fleece pants. I swear I do.
Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. I shut the door, didn’t I? Dammit, where are those pants?
“What did you say? I didn’t hear-” I whirl around, sweatshirt clutched to my chest. “Oops. Sorry.” The wide, sly smile doesn’t make him look the least bit sorry.
“Out. I asked you to put the kettle on. I’m freezing and I want tea. Out.” Turning my back, I tug the sweatshirt over my head and resume hunting for the pants. A strangled noise behind me must be my imagination. As is the flash of heat in Declan’s eyes when I glance over my shoulder. “What?”
No one should be able to move that fast with a walking boot on. I’m braced against the wall with my legs wrapped around his waist before I can blink, desire shadowing his face. “Want me to warm you up?” he murmurs.
“No.” Dammit, I was going for strong. Not breathy with need.
“Too bad.” He takes my mouth and a searing heat zips through me like a wildfire. Yes. I need this. Need him, need his lips and tongue and oh god his tongue, his fingers clamped on my hips. Moaning when he drags his mouth away, I tip my head back to give him better access to my neck, biting my lip when his tongue completes a particularly wicked maneuver at the fragile spot under my ear.
Lacing my fingers through his hair, I plunder his mouth as he does mine, wanting him to be as crazy with this need as I am. It swirls between us, a whirlpool threatening to drag us down, and his hand slips under my sweatshirt and finds my breast.
I want to know what his skin feels like against my mouth. I want to taste every inch of him, and then go back and do it again. I want him under me, over me, inside me, making me forget, making me live.
The heat of his hand and his mouth is gone as quickly as it came on. I stare at him, confused, dazed with lust. He stopped. Why did he stop? Especially when I can tell how ready he is?
He slides his hands down my thighs and unwinds me from his waist, dropping me on my feet. “Warm enough now?”
And he limps out of the room, cast thunking with every step.
When she’s not plotting ways to sneak her latest shoe purchase past her partner, Amanda writes sexy, snarky romance and urban fantasy. She likes her heroines smart and unafraid to make mistakes, and her heroes strong enough to take them on.
If she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking hot chocolate, and trying not to destroy her house with her newest DIY project. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and no, it really doesn’t rain that much.
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