There was no hesitation. No fumbling to get the right angle. 

Raif kissed like he seemed to do everything else, decisively. With impeccable talent.


Tara swallowed a sigh of pleasure as his mouth possessed hers. It was persuasion and invitation and such pleasure. Inevitably she responded.

How could she not?

For days she’d been acutely aware of Raif, not just as a protector, but as a man who drew her lonely body into tingling awareness. Even the warning voice of past experience, telling her that men weren’t always as they seemed, died under his kiss.

This was better than any of her fervid imaginings.

Tara leaned closer, higher, hands fisting in his clothes and tugging him down to her.

The arm around her back tightened. Heat blossomed where she fitted between his thighs. Her wayward mind imagined them wedged together like this but without so many clothes, and suddenly she had trouble getting enough oxygen.

Raif’s hand lifted to her jaw, her cheek. She felt the slight burr of calluses against her skin and shivered, her senses deliciously heightened. Long fingers pushed past her ear, into her hair, gripping, massaging, and delight whirled through her, making her shake and her knees loosen.

She inhaled the scent of male spice and sandalwood, absorbed the rich taste of him and needed more.

Her hands rose up the back of his head to tunnel through thick hair, clamping his skull and holding tight.

A low sound vibrated from his mouth to hers, a deep, murmuring growl of masculine pleasure. Tara’s nipples peaked hard against him, heat drilling down to that needy spot at the apex of her thighs.

Is this why she’d felt so ready to stand up to Raif? Almost taunting him when she could see he was annoyed? As if she wanted to spur his anger till he snapped. As if she hoped he felt this electric spark too.

That couldn’t be it. Her anger had been justified. He had no right to order her about.

And yet…

And yet her righteous indignation died as he swept her close and made her feel things she couldn’t remember ever feeling.

Desirable. Cherished. Powerful. As if she could level mountains with a sweep of her hand. And lose herself utterly in this man’s earthy desire.

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