Lana Grayson was born to write anything and everything to do with romance. Her favorite genres range from the dark and twisty to the lighthearted and sentimental—as long as the characters are memorable, the story is fun, and the romance is steamy. Lana lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, and, when she isn’t bundled in her writing chair, she’s most likely cheering on the Steelers or searching for the ‘Burgh’s best Italian restaurants.
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Sequel Cover (Controlling Interests, out July 15th)
He dared to kiss me.
Not a gentle, story-book kiss meant reassure my fears and redeem my trust in the man slinking into the overgrown forest to steal I wasn’t prepared to give.
Not a passionate, lust-crazed demand that would fuel our desire and trap us both in the carnal urges and natural cravings that existed only within the wilds.
Nicholas kissed me because I was his. He was my captor. Everything his family promised and everything he threatened would come true.
His lips crushed mine with a ragged, possessive heat. My body pinned against the tree as he slammed my wrists hard into the bark. He forced one arm to my side and drew the other over my head. I struggled, but his nibbling, expert pressure against my mouth forced a gasp.
From my parted lips, he attacked. His tongue stole a flick against mine. I twisted against his hold.
And I was punished.
Nicholas pushed, trapping me against his body. I weakened in his power, amazed by the stirring unwanted sensations sizzling the tempted rapture over my skin.
Everywhere he touched burned—a fiery indignity and searing passion. He treated me with disrespect, and I seethed against the strength that so easily took my kiss.
The molten response bubbled inside me, folding and rising and taking me with more demands than his embrace.
My core tightened.
My legs trembled.
I hated him.
More than Reed or Max. More than Darius.
But my body betrayed everything sane and good and reasonable within my soul and blackened it with the corruption of the Bennetts. He held my hands. He pinned me. His strength moved against my petite frame as though he could break through me and the redwood with a single vigorous thrust.
I imagined his ferocity.
But Nicholas pulled away. His breath tore through his body just as ragged as mine. I struggled to smack him, but he didn’t release my hands.
I didn’t think he’d ever release me.
I wasn’t sure I wanted him to.
“Your fate is decided, Ms. Atwood.”
I bit my lip and stared at his. Mistake.
“And what fate is that?” I asked.
For the first time in a week I took deep, healthy breaths, but my body refused them all. Nicholas towered over me. The button on his suit jacket slipped, revealing a trim waist and broad, muscular chest waiting beneath the dress shirt.
He was close enough to touch.
Close enough to be dangerous.
“I don’t belong to anyone,” I whispered. “Least of all a Bennett.”
His eyes traced the ottoman where his family displayed my nudity. I didn’t react. He prowled closer, herding me toward the desk.
“I should bend you over right now.”
“You wouldn’t dare.”
Why did I challenge him? I should have just run.
He seized me, and I twisted in his arms. Nicholas was far stronger than me. He forced me over the desk and I thudded on my stomach. He avoided an awkward kick and pinned me with an arm over my back.
My skin prickled in a sudden sweat as he moved behind me. His hips pressed against mine. I arched. Reflexively. Instinctually.
He curled his hand in my hair and chuckled. “You like this.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Why lie to me?”
“And who would save you, Ms. Atwood?”
“You’re scaring me.”
He didn’t care. “Am I hurting you?”
Was that the distinction? Hurting me?
Physically, no. He simply held me against my will. Again. Wielded his strength over me and dragged my body where he wanted it. I could scramble away without pressing harder against him. He chided me with a soft whisper of my name—an angel’s voice with a devil’s intent.
He liked that I still tried to struggle.
“This as an opportunity,” he said. “We’re offering you every luxury. No responsibilities. No commitments. Just a beautiful home for you to enjoy with every amenity at your fingertips.” His hands slid over my hips. “This could be a life of pleasure.”
I tried to focus on anything but how our bodies touched. “You think this would be pleasurable?”
His voice lowered to a growl. “When I take you, it won’t be by force. You will surrender to me.”
My breath rattled in my chest. “Never.”
“It’ll happen. Soon. Why deny me?”
“Why would I ever give into you?”
His hands tightened. I resisted a groan. “I’m offering you a place in my bed. A partnership with a sweet reward.”
“Nothing you ever do to me will be sweet.”
“Another challenge?” Nicholas hauled me up only to sit me on the end of the desk. I groaned, too dizzy with fatigue to stop him from spreading my legs. He stepped in, pushing against the part of me he planned to capture. “Would you like a demonstration?”
“You’ll have to be more convincing than that.”