Hi friends!! I’m super excited to share an (as you see) exclusive excerpt from Shannon McKenna here today! She’s been a guest at ALBTALBS a few times, and is a total sweetheart. And if you haven’t read her books before oh my gosh you definitely need to!!! … Shannon was kind enough to send quite the scene from In My Skin so I hope you enjoy it! 😀
Welcome to the secret world of the Obsidian Files! Book after book, the stakes keep getting higher for my genetically and biotech-modified heroes and heroines.
Luke has plenty of his own inner demons to fight, to say nothing of the long deadly shadows of his past, and the constant looming threat of his former captors and mortal enemies, The Obsidian Group.
The last thing he needs is to get broadsided by a feisty, gorgeous, indomitable woman. The stupidest thing he can do is give in to temptation.
But Dani makes him burn … and he just can’t resist the heat.
More than human …
Years ago, a group of stray teenagers were swept up into a top-secret experimental research program funded by The Obsidian Group, a shadowy cabal of super-rich global moguls. Brain stimulation, nanotech, gene modification and cybernetic implants were used to mold the runaways into lethal supersoldiers … and expand the boundaries of being human.
Obsidian’s attempts were spectacularly successful—if not quite in the way the researchers had intended. Their captive test subjects rebelled, burned the Midlands Research Facility to the ground, and vanished.
Now, years later, this band of rebels live under deep cover and keep their incredible abilities secret, trusting only those in their own tight-knit group.
But the shadow of the past keeps getting longer. The Obsidian Group hasn’t forgotten them—and they will never give up the chase.
The Obsidian Files are their stories …
Luke remembers a few things. Just not his last name, or anyone he ever knew. He knows that he’s a supersoldier, genetically enhanced and loaded up with brain implants. He just escaped from a year-long hell of captivity, and to protect his family and friends from his tormentors, he blocked his memories. Now he needs those memories back, fast…or he and those he loves will die agonizing deaths.
Luke’s dangerous plan to reconnect with his past—and stay alive in the present—has drawn his enemies’ attention to the tough and sexy Dani LaSalle. He’s duty bound to protect the luscious beauty from the evil pursuing them, but he can’t control the scorching desire she awakens in him.
Dani’s strict routine has been trashed by Luke’s explosive arrival. This rock-hard slab of valiant, smoldering manhood appears out of nowhere, saves her life, spirits her away to his mountain lair and bewilders her with tales of sadistic researchers, enhanced assassins. Is this gorgeous, problematic sex god just plain crazy—or is she? But Luke can do things with his mind that are just as wild as what he can do with that body…and she can’t say no.
And there’s no time to wonder. As their passion burns hotter, Obsidian moves closer…and Luke and Dani must place their lives and their hearts on the line just to survive…
What in freaking hell had she gotten herself into?
Dani paced back and forth in the bedroom. She couldn’t handle any more of this crazy crap. She didn’t have room for it, couldn’t process it, couldn’t even begin to figure it out.
Nothing made sense. The demon car she couldn’t control, Naldo’s death, the capsule, the attackers. Luke himself.
She had no idea if he was who he said he was. She desperately wanted to believe that he was honest and sane. But she fucking hated his story. She didn’t want it to be true.
He’d blasted into her life on a wave of bloody violence. Dragged her forcibly into some strange new world where she didn’t want to be.
Not even with him.
She wished she didn’t want him so much. He was so powerful and skilled and tough, to say nothing of freaking gorgeous. He had saved her bacon, and yes, she craved his protection. Intensely. He was so seductive. Begging her to trust him. So big and beautiful and strong and gentle. An amazing kisser. And so intensely focused on her.
That rang all her bells like nobody’s business. His skills and his physical power would be seductive even if he weren’t so fucking fine. Sauntering around with the burning eyes and the sensuous lips and the steely-muscled, mouthwatering ripped torso on blatant display. Crazy or not, he sent bolts of heat through her body. It messed her head all up.
No pelvic decisions here, LaSalle. Keep it cool.
Part of her was ready to believe his story. Wild as it was, the world was wilder, and she’d seen some seriously weird shit in her life, both as a nurse and before. The scars that he and Naldo shared made a compelling case for the story just as he told it.
But please. Believe all of it? Everything he said? The science-fiction shit? Fuck no. She just couldn’t.
There were other possibilities. Dangerous ones. Number one on the list was her own altered perception of reality. Trauma messed people up. It changed how they saw things. Made them vulnerable. Easy to manipulate. She wasn’t going to let herself be fooled like that. She’d seen female patients in the ER who’d gotten themselves into a world of hurt after being rescued by a “hero.” Some men smelled blood and moved in fast. Help you change that tire, honey? Are these assholes bothering you?
Who knew, maybe Luke had somehow manipulated her instincts the way he’d manipulated his own car. Maybe he’d isolated her out here, far from help, no phone, no map, to tear down her defenses. It was a classic mind control technique. Tried and true.
She couldn’t risk it. She couldn’t trust herself right now, and she sure as shit didn’t dare trust him, no matter how badly she wanted to.
No matter how freaking out-of-this-world delicious he might be.
So get the fuck out of here. Now. Any way you can.
She searched the room, feverishly. Found her blood-stiffened sweat shorts and put them back on. Her flip-flops were still chalky with plaster dust and spotted with dried blood, but they were all she had, so on they went.
Luke’s pistol still lay on the floor by the bed. It surprised her that he just left it there. She scooped it up and moved quickly through the kitchen, looking around for car keys for the Porsche. Maybe they were still in the ignition. The car had been running when she got into it last night at her house. Back in the real world, which seemed very long ago and far away.
She sneaked out into the garage, peering into the gleaming SUV. No keys. It was all locked up tight, and so was the garage door. No remote control for that, either.
Now she was crying. Shit. Tears streaming silently down her face. Shaking like a baby.
She picked her way back to the bedroom, steeling herself. She had to deal with him. The water had stopped hissing. Then came the squeaky scrape of the shower door.
She barely breathed in the moments that followed until the bathroom door opened.
The sight of him hit her hard, along with the waft of warm, scented steam. His big, gorgeous body, backlit by light and fog, like some over-the-top rock video. He stepped into the light. His dark eyes were fierce with interest, like she was a puzzle he needed to solve. He looked only at her face. He didn’t seem to notice the gun clutched in her hands.
As if it didn’t matter. As if it couldn’t hurt him.
“I am not afraid to use this,” she told him.
“I don’t think you’re afraid of anything,” he said.
Hah. She wished. That voice. So deep, so fucking calm. It was weird.
“Give me the car keys,” she said. “I’m out of here.”
“You’re not my prisoner, Dani,” he said gently. “You never were.”
“Then give me the keys and I’ll just disappear. I’ll leave your car someplace where you can retrieve it. Just tell me where. And I won’t tell anybody about you ever. I owe you big for what you did for me at my house, but I decide where and how I do things, understand? Always. My choice.”
“Of course,” he said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love that about you.”
“Just stop it,” she snapped. “Where are the keys?”
“Don’t have any,” he said.
She gaped at him. “Huh?”
“Keys. I don’t have any. They’re superfluous. For me, anyhow. I start the car with my brain implant.” He took a step toward her.
“Get back,” she warned. “Get away from me.”
“Dani,” he said. “Put the gun down. I swear on my life that I would never hurt you. For any reason.”
“Really? What if I stood between you and that … that thing that was in Naldo’s chest? What would you do then?”
His eyes were hypnotically intent as he took another step toward her. “I would move you gently to one side,” he said. “Without hurting a single hair on your head.”
She edged away from him. “Back off,” she warned.
“No. I have to do this.” A blur of whip-swift movement made her yelp. Suddenly, the gun was in his hand, and she was in his grip.
Dani exploded in a panic, slapping and shoving. Luke placed the gun on the dresser and just held her, barely seeming to notice the scratches or blows.
Somehow she just ended up getting closer and closer to him, clamped to his broad, steely chest. Overwhelmed by his nearness. Just like in the laundry closet.
His breath was minty. He’d brushed his teeth while in the bathroom.
That incongruous little detail made her shake with silent, hysterical laughter.
“What?” he asked. “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing. Let go of me.”
But in her twisting and struggling, she’d knocked loose the towel he’d wound around his waist. It dropped to the floor. Suddenly she was in the arms of a stark naked guy with an erection the likes of which she had never seen.
Her gasp choked off, and she redoubled her struggles. “Oh, for the love of God, Luke! Seriously?”
“Damn,” Luke said. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to wave my dick at you. For the record, you knocked off my towel, not me. I didn’t do this on purpose.”
“So put your damn thing away, already! Stop slapping me with it!”
He held firm while she wiggled and flopped. “I can’t let go of you while you’re freaking out on me,” he said. “I might get hurt.”
“Right. Like I could ever get the drop on you. Not in a million years.”
“I’m not risking it. You were holding a gun on me a minute ago. Sorry about the boner. You’re super hot, and I’m all worked up from combat stress. But you’re safe with me.”
“Safe? Like I was in the closet with you?”
“You survived the closet.” His voice was a growling rasp. “You did just fine.”
“You bastard.” She struggled in his arms as his thick, hard cock swung against her thigh. It felt as hot as a brand to her shivering skin. Broad and blunt. It made her breath short and her heart pound madly. She was crazily furious. So angry, she felt almost drunk.
She stared into his intense eyes, feeling the power in him. Craving it.
He burned with it. Wildfire hot. Their faces were so close now. She smelled that minty breath again. He leaned over her, like he was inhaling her scent. A flush of hot arousal stained his cheekbones.
“Don’t you rub your dick on me, you pervert,” she hissed.
“You’re the one who’s moving. I’m just trying not to get punched and slapped.”
“You are so full of shit,” she said. “Just shut the fuck up.”
“Make me,” he said.
And out of nowhere, she was kissing him.
The instant his hungry mouth made contact with hers, she was spellbound. Desperately struggling to get closer to him, fear swept aside in favor of the hot, wet writhing now of his warm, seeking lips, his probing tongue, his sweet-salt taste. Every frantic kiss kindled a wild craving for more.
Her legs wound around him, pressing that yearning ache at her crotch against his heat, his strength. He hoisted her up easily, and she was no lightweight. She was tall, big-boned, with muscles, curves, heft, but he was so insanely strong it just didn’t matter.
God, she loved it.
Her back hit the wall. His fingers wound into her hair, her arms around his neck. Kissing, moaning, tasting, opening. Tongues dancing. A tender, desperate devouring.
Luke shifted her body over his, positioning her hips so her clit rocked tenderly against the shaft of his cock. He pulsed her slowly, sensuously against himself, his big hand holding the small of her back, pulling her ass up tight with each squeeze of her thighs, except that this time he was naked, and that was awesome. This time she could feel all his scorching heat, the texture of his skin, the rasp of his chest hair. No thick, stiff body armor blocking her from all the good sexy hot stuff.
Her whimpering moans were lost against his wild kisses. She made sounds she couldn’t control with each foaming wave of energy that crashed through her.
A rush of pleasure overwhelmed her.
His arms kept her from falling. Bright sensations rippled deeply, sweetly, through her entire being. They spread out into infinity as she came … and came again …
When the pulsations had eased down to a steady glow of warmth, he was still holding her. Rock steady. His huge, stiff cock stood at attention, pressed against her belly.
He kept right on melting her with sensual kisses as he let her slide down his thighs. When her toes and then her feet touched the floor, he rested his forehead against hers, their eyes still locked, brushing her cheekbone and her jaw, with his scratched, scabbed-up knuckles.
“Holy fuck,” he whispered. “That was amazing.”
A quick peek down ascertained that he was still … oh, yes he was.
She actually blushed at the sight of his stiff cock, high and hopeful against her belly, swathed in the folds of the baggy T-shirt she wore. Ready and eager for action.
“Are you, uh … OK?” he asked.
She almost laughed from sheer nervous energy and shyness and excitement, but that would sound weird so she gulped it back. “Um, yeah. I’m OK. How about you?”
“I’m great,” he said. “I just felt you come. Best thing that ever happened to me.” He paused for a moment. “That I know of.”
“But you’re still … up.”
He grinned. “You’re so hot. What do you expect?”
Oh man, that grin just did her in. She could have controlled herself if he’d stuck to the sternly smoldering vibe. But those cute dimples, that flash of teeth, the grooves in his cheeks, the smile lines creasing around his eyes, transformed his chiseled male beauty into something utterly irresistible.
She smiled back like a starry-eyed idiot. Then compounded her mistake by grabbing his cock, squeezing and stroking. She’d lie awake nights for the rest of her life wondering what she’d missed if she didn’t find out what he felt like in her hand.
For starters, hot and hard. So broad, with that heavy pulse of heartbeat against her palm, and she loved the shocked spasm of pleasure that went through him at the caress.
It made her feel strong. Dangerous, even. A femme fatale who drove men wild with helpless desire. Yeah.
She needed so badly to feel strong right now.
“Oh, God. Dani.” His voice was uneven as she pumped his hot, velvet-skinned cock with her hand. Soft, smooth skin sliding over the steel-hard, swollen shaft. The throb in her hand was incredibly exciting.
“What?” she asked.
He covered her hand with his own, jerking it roughly. “You’re killing me.”
“Well, don’t die,” she said. “I need you alive and kicking, my man.”
He grinned. “OK. I’ll stay on the planet. If it pleases you.”
“Oh, yes. You do please me.”
“Thank God.” He slid his hand down between her thighs, caressing her until his fingers were sliding over the thin cotton of his boxers covering her pussy. He made a low, growling noise of satisfaction as he felt her warmth, then slid his fingers beneath the fabric. She cried out at the shock of intimate contact.
He went still. “OK?”
“Don’t stop,” she whispered.
Luke blew out a sigh of relief, laughing under his breath as he caressed her. It felt wonderful. He had the touch, releasing—and stoking—exquisite sexual tension from her clit with every skillful flicking stroke. Just … right. Oh yes … yes. She moaned with excitement.
“You’re so slick and tight and hot. I want to taste you. Can I go down on you?”
She pushed his chest, a sharp burst of restless anger charged with sex. “No.”
He stumbled back, startled. “What the hell? What did I do wrong?”
“Shut up.” She tried the same move, but he’d recovered himself now. This time it was like shoving a big tree with deep roots. He didn’t budge.
“I didn’t mean to piss you off,” he said cautiously.
“You didn’t. Stop talking.” She whipped off the T-shirt, flinging it away.
He sucked in air, stunned by her tits. And why not. Tight dark nipples, a sexy bounce. Luke looked like he’d been sucker-punched.
Time for the knock-out blow.
She hooked her thumbs into the waistband of the boxer shorts and shimmied them down over her hips. She stepped out of them when they fell and advanced on him.
He reached for her. “Dani—”
“Don’t. Talk.” She slapped his hand down and shoved him once again, in the direction of the bed. “Just lie down.”
He walked warily backward. “Whoa,” he murmured. “Tough.”
“You better believe it.” She waited while he reclined on the rumpled bed, and climbed onto him, straddling him. She took a moment to strike a sex-goddess pose, glad to have done some self-indulgent grooming lately, trimming up her muff as if she had a lover to impress. He looked … well, impressed barely began to cover it.
She feasted her eyes on the spectacle of Luke’s big, stunning naked body stretched out in all its male perfection, his eyes blazing up at her, fascinated.
His huge flushed cock, stiff and eager, rising from the thatch of dark hair.
He held it up for her, stroking it roughly as he devoured her with his gaze. “I stand ready to serve,” he said. “My God, you’re hot.”
“Yeah. Prepare to burn.”
So what’d you think? Have you read any of Shannon’s books before? Will you be reading this one? You can pre-order In My Skin here! The book is out Tuesday, so everyone please also join me in congratulating Shannon on her newest release! <3