Last be definitely not least, the fourth and final novella in Undercover Lovers is our exclusive excerpt today. It’s written by Dee Tenorio! I think Dee Tenorio is an incredibly underrated romance author, and often suggest her books to people. Especially ones that like contemporary romances. Stay tuned for a giveaway, and all. You likely all know it already, but the book blurb is as follows:
Saffron Burton – Sensual food critic posing as just another customer
Tucker Lamb – Smooth as butter former conman posing as nerdy professor
Shane Madison – Dead sexy private eye posing as a Strippendale’s dancer
Katrina Killian – Brazenly sexual cop posing as a gang member
Four ultra-sexy stories by four great authors, with one theme!
Convicted by Dee Tenorio— Crusty sheriff Cade Evigan doesn’t date convicts, not even ones as irresistible as Katrina “K.K.” Killian. The woman may have gotten under his skin—and once, on the hood of his car—but the sultry biker had criminal written all over her. He has to stay away.
When the crap hits the fan and the case she’s been working on for two years cracks wide open, Katrina heads straight to the hills to protect the one man she cares about. But some temptations are impossible to resist and she knows if she stays with Cade for the night, odds are her cover isn’t the only thing getting blown…
“God, you say the sexiest things. Quick, say something else fun. How about, Grab your ankles, babe, I’m coming in for a landing.” Trina’s slow, dirty grin did terrible things to Cade’s self-control. She was always like this. Taking every little thing
and making it into something sexual, something that tempted him to laugh. Though he had to admit, he’d walked right into that one.
“We’re not having sex. Your clothes have blood on them and they’re cut up. Besides, I need to check you for any other injuries.”
“Aww, come on, Cade. You’re missing the point of the game. Hot to trot damsel-in-distress—”
“With bruised ribs.”
“—alone in a mountain cabin with inexplicably-single sex god—”
“Hardly.” There were plenty of explanations.
“Since I’m the only one of us who’s had sex with you, I don’t think you get a vote.”
He was not going to give her the smile she was hunting down. He couldn’t allow it. Trina collected his moments of weakness like a kid after baseball cards. But once they were hers, she cashed them in for pieces of his soul. He simply didn’t have enough left to let her play her games.
On the other hand, if she wanted to call him a sex god, who was he to argue?
“I’ll get you something to sleep in. While I do that, how about you get back to telling me what happened?” He got up off his knees, distancing himself from all that beautiful skin across her belly by heading to his chest of drawers on the other side of his bed, as many feet from her as the one room cabin would allow. Bruised or not, he’d never seen anything as tempting as her in his life.
“It’s pretty simple really. Carter has a delivery service up and down California. His crews pick up shipments of heroin in Tijuana, drive it up the Grapevine and drop it in Fresno for wider distribution. I was part of an infiltration team that fed into three different biker crews in California. Of the six of us, two have retired and three are dead. I’m the last one and none of us have managed to get enough evidence to knock out the main buyer pulling their strings. Or even find out who it is. My old partner cut off a major supplier last year, but he got made in the process and there were others just waiting to take the supplier’s place. All I know about the current ones is that they’re Colombian and about ten times more willing to kill than the last guy’s men. I was this close to getting what we needed and now there’s no way it can happen. If Frank or anyone else from Wheels of Pain finds me before I can reach my DEA handler, I’m dead.”
“You’re skipping something.” The sixth sense that had kept him alive in Afghanistan had a bead on Trina and her half-truths. It always had. Which was why he’d never been able to fully trust her. Want her, yes. Need her, even, but from the beginning he’d noticed the signs. The way she’d deflect by hitting on him. How she’d subtly look away before she talked. She had no trouble staring Carter in the eye as she lied to him—he’d seen her do it—but she couldn’t do it with him. It meant something that she almost never looked him in the eye anymore. Until now.
“Just that your department is corrupt.”
He snorted, reaching in for one of his T-shirts. “Tell me something I don’t know.” That was why Rick had asked him to join him in Marketta. Because he needed someone to watch his back. Only for Rick had Cade considered it, even if the Rick he’d found on arrival wasn’t quite the fun-loving kid he used to know.
He touched the plain cotton in the drawer, frowning at the texture. No, this wouldn’t work. He closed it slowly, listening to Trina shifting uncomfortably on the couch. Like him, she was too long-legged for it. There was no way to lay on it without bending a leg or letting something hang off it. Plus those cushions could support the Washington Monument without denting. No, she wouldn’t be able to sleep there and neither could he. She’d have to share the bed with him.
A pulse of dangerous elation danced through his veins.
Squelching it wasn’t even possible. A dead man would get excited about sharing a bed with a woman like her and for all that he’d tried to bury his emotions, he wasn’t dead. Unfortunately for him, no one drove that point home more than Katrina Killian.
From the start, she’d made him wish he could be different. Made him wish he was still the guy with all those hopes about changing the world and saving lives. The one who laughed easily and trusted. That guy had died with so many others, thousands of miles from here, under a killing sun that never seemed to set, in sands that never seemed able to satisfy its thirst for blood. He’d let him die, purposely burying his soul so he could survive. So he could wake up day after day and not hate himself for being able to walk away.
With her, though, he not only could feel, he felt too much. He had no choice about it. At first he’d fought it. Resented her slipping past his guards with a smile or a tease, mocking the control he thought he had. But then he began to look forward to it. To her insane little pick up lines. Her unexpected humor. The vitality she infected him with that made the rest of his day easier to get through. That made waking up something to look forward to instead of dread.
He wouldn’t be fooling anyone if he told himself he wasn’t mentally doing back flips to finally lay her in his bed, in his arms, and hold her all night long. But if he was going to live that fantasy, shouldn’t he go all the way with it?
He turned to the closet, pulling open the doors where he’d put stuff he didn’t want taking up space in the little house he rented in Marketta. Where, under thin plastic, uniforms he’d never wear again and crisp dress shirts from years gone by waited like specters. He pulled a shirt out, the snowy white fabric sliding across his fingers like cool water. It would fit over her lush curves with room to spare, probably covering her at least to mid thigh. His best imaginings starred her in his uniform shirts, a button or two giving little more than lip service between the high globes of her breasts. Those tiny silk panties of hers playing peek-a-boo with every step she took.
If he gave her this to wear, his cock would turn to fucking stone with no relief in sight. Just hours and hours of unrelenting sexual torment until he could safely get her out of there.
He stole a quick glance at her, all that ebony hair flowing like ink over the arm of his couch, her lean body encased in dirty white leather, the toes of her matching boots pointing up as she stretched her legs with a wince.
I’m a masochist.
It wasn’t anything he didn’t already know about himself. He gripped the shirt in a stranglehold and headed back her way. “You need help sitting up?”
She grimaced as he knelt beside her again, but shook her head, already lowering her legs to the ground. Biting off a curse, Cade fit his hand to her back, supporting her regardless of her grudging acceptance. She never liked help. He never gave a shit. He considered it one of the better quirks to their relationship.
Trina took a deep breath, carefully, while he held his in anticipation that she could do it. The air came in and went out with any serious hitches. “See? It was just running up this mountain of yours that made it so bad.”
“You still haven’t said why you had to.” He didn’t care how many deflections she threw out there or how pissed he was that she might actually be telling the truth now, after all this wasted time. He could play being calm better than most, especially knowing every second of that calm was keeping her off balance enough to stop lying to him. No matter what, he wasn’t letting her get away without answers. It had been more than a year of this. He deserved them and he damn well better get them.
Did you find yourself leaning in closer and closer to the screen as you read on? What’s going to happen? Will Cade have a night filled with torment, or bliss? (Personally I think the latter would be fantastic, but with Trina’s ribs, I’m betting not. Or, I’d actually be annoyed if they did because hello bruised ribs. Nothing to mess around with. Pun intended.)
Bio: Dee Tenorio has a few reality issues. After much therapy for the problem—if one can call being awakened in the night by visions of hot able-bodied men a problem—she has proved incurable. It turns out she enjoys tormenting herself by writing sizzling, steamy romances of various genres spanning paranormal mystery dramas, contemporaries and romantic comedies. Preferably starring the sexy, somewhat grumpy heroes described above and smart-mouthed heroines who have much better hair than she does.
The best part is, no more therapy bills!
Well, not for Dee, anyway. Her husband and kids, on the other hand…
Isn’t that excerpt just “!!!” Even while I was formatting, before I’d read it and just skimmed it my thoughts were “oh mah gahhh.” Which yes. Is the epitome of all those years of lit crit and academia. Alongside the fact that it’s the wee hours in the morning. (Hello 3 AM!) Enough of me – and look. A giveaway! Complete with a very simple “how to!”
Dee wanted me to add for her:
I’ll give away 2 copies of UL to a randomly drawn winner who answers the question: Could you resist the one you love, if you knew they were keeping secrets?