Sometimes passion has a price …
When sexy Stark Security Chief Ryan Hunter whisks his girlfriend Jamie Archer away for a passionate, romance-filled weekend so he can finally pop the question, he’s certain that the answer will be an enthusiastic yes. So when Jamie tries to avoid the conversation, hiding her fears of commitment and change under a blanket of wild sensuality and decadent playtime in bed, Ryan is more determined than ever to convince Jamie that they belong together.
Knowing there’s no halfway with this woman, Ryan gives her an ultimatum – marry him or walk away. Now Jamie is forced to face her deepest insecurities or risk destroying the best thing in her life. And it will take all of her strength, and all of Ryan’s love, to keep her right where she belongs…
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“Kiss me,” he says, and I close my mouth over his, losing myself in the sensation of being body on body like this, so close I can’t tell if the heartbeat I’m feeling belongs to Ryan or me.
We move slowly at first, but there’s no holding back, and soon our motions are frenzied. Soon, he’s exploding inside me. Soon, I shatter in his arms.
“Oh, baby,” he murmurs when we’re sane again and he’s looking at my face with eyes filled with love. “You are so beautiful.”
I bend and kiss him—my heart overflowing. And I can’t help but think how different it is with Ryan than the men I’d been with before. Before, when a guy called me beautiful, I’d mentally cringed, at least a little.
Because the truth is, I am beautiful. It’s not an ego thing—it’s just an empirical fact. It’s useful, and I’ve definitely traded on it. But it’s not who I am. Not the heart of me. And in my life BR—Before Ryan—whenever a guy called me beautiful, I never knew if he cared about me, or if he was just happy to have a pretty piece of a**.
With Ryan, I know without a doubt that he loves me. And the beauty he sees in me is more than what a camera sees.
He sees the whole woman. A lover, a friend. He sees a girl he can laugh with. That he can talk to. A woman to spend long, lazy nights with. A woman with hopes and dreams and fears and doubts.
He sees me. Jamie Archer. And that’s a really nice feeling.
“I love you,” I say, those little words just spilling out of me. “You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.”
The moment I say the words, though, I regret them. Not because they aren’t true—they are.
But because I can see the response on Ryan’s face, though he knows enough not to say the words out loud.
If that’s true, then why won’t you marry me?
J.Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.
JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development with AwesomenessTV/Awestruck.
Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.
In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.