#1 USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks continues her suspenseful and sizzling Slow Burn series with this fourth book—a mesmerizingly sexy tale of a strong, brilliant woman who encounters the one man who makes her lose all control.
Eliza Cummings fought free of a monster who terrorized her when she was an innocent teenager and helped put him away for good. She took a job with Devereaux Security Services and devoted every hour to taking down the very thing she’d nearly become. No one, not even those closest to her, know her darkest, shameful secrets. But now the killer has been set free on a legal loophole and it’s only a matter of time before he comes for her. Eliza’s only choice is to run and lead the monster away from the people she loves.
Wade Sterling has always lived by his own rules, a law unto himself who answers to no one. He’s never professed to be a good man, and he’s definitely not hero material. Wade never allows anyone close enough to see the man behind the impenetrable mask—but one woman threatens his carefully leashed control. He took a bullet for her and the result was more than a piece of metal entrenched in his skin. She was under his skin and nothing he did rid himself of the woman with the courage of a warrior and who thinks nothing of putting her life before others.
But when Wade sees a panicked and haunted Eliza he knows something is very wrong, because the fool woman has never been afraid of anything. And when she tries to run, the primal beast barely lurking beneath his deceptively polished façade erupts in a rage. She may not know it, but she belongs to him. This time, Eliza isn’t going to play the protector. She was damn well going to be the protected. And as long as Wade breathes, no one will ever hurt what is his.
Eliza came awake with none of her usual crispness and ready- to-take-on-the-world attitude. She felt as though she’d been hit by a truck and her first instinct was to roll over and pull the covers over her head and sleep for several more hours. Even as she knew she wouldn’t do any such thing, it was still a nice thought. Still, she thought she could give herself another five minutes before stumbling out of bed and into the shower.
For once, things were slow at Devereaux Security Services after a veritable shit storm of activity over the last several months. She only hoped something popped up when she went into the office today, otherwise it was going to be another boring- ass day at work.
Just as she roused herself from her laziness and threw her legs over the side of the bed to stand, the landline on her nightstand rang. She glanced down at it, frowning. If it was Dane or anyone else from DSS, surely they’d call her cell. A quick look told her that her cell phone was on the nightstand charging and a glance at it also told her she hadn’t missed any calls. If this was a telemarketer calling her at oh-dark-thirty so help her she was going to hunt them down and shove her foot as far up their ass as she could.
If it weren’t for the fact that it could be one of her coworkers she would have simply ignored the ringing all together. With a sigh, she yanked up the phone and barked an unwelcome hello into the receiver.
There was a short pause and then the clearing of a throat. “Miss Caldwell? Melissa Caldwell?”
Eliza froze, her blood turning to ice in her veins. She hadn’t heard that name in ten years. Hadn’t been that person in ten years. And in two seconds flat, her past had slammed into her present like a speeding train.
“What do you want?” she asked in a dull voice.
“This is Clyde Barksdale, district attorney for Keerney County, Oregon.”
She knew damn well who Clyde Barksdale was. Like she’d forget that it was him she’d worked with to put Thomas Harrington away?
“I take it this isn’t a social call,” she said acidly.
“You’d be correct.” The DA emitted an exhausted sounding sigh. “Look, there’s no easy way to say this but Thomas Harrington won an appeal to overturn his conviction and he’ll be set free in three weeks’ time.”
Eliza’s knees folded and she landed with a hard bounce on the bed. She was utterly numb with shock, and she shook her head in an effort to dispel the fog and confusion surrounding her. Was this some fucked-up dream—nightmare—she was trapped in?
Maya Banks is a #1 USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, Scottish historical romances. She is the author of the Breathless Trilogy, the KGI novels, the Sweet series, and the Colters Legacy novels.
She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a Calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group.