by Amber Daulton
Rekindling the flames of love has never burned so hot.
Lies. Betrayal. A blown undercover mission.
After ten years away, DEA agent Jarrett Brandt heads home to pay his respects to his deceased brother and hide out from the cartel kingpin who wants him dead. The last thing he needs is Marissa, his high school sweetheart, tempting him with her sassy smile and showing him the life he gave up. Add on his judgmental parents, and he’s ready to hit the road.
Widowed mom Marissa Reinn never had much luck with the Brandt boys. First Jarrett broke her heart, then she lost his brother—her husband—to a bullet. Vowing to uncover Jarrett’s secrets, she succumbs to the passion still burning between them instead.
When a team of assassins find him, Jarrett and Marissa will have to work together to survive and protect her son. How will they seize their second chance at love with their lives on the line?
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Second-chance Romance, Romantic Suspense
“You can trust me, Jarrett. I won’t tell your parents anything you don’t want me to.” She sighed and stood as well. “You used to tell me everything. We never kept secrets.”
Jarrett paced between the coffee table and fireplace. “My parents’ opinion doesn’t matter. Dad would still throw up my juvie record or the fact that I’m not a cop, even if I was a model citizen. I’m not that lost, angry kid anymore. I know who I am now, and it’s not someone you’d want to know.”
“God, you don’t understand. Marissa, I’ve missed you so damn much. I’ve laid awake so many nights wondering what my life would’ve been like if I’d stayed here.” When he made love to other women, he imagined Marissa beneath him or above him, panting his name. When the nightmares of blood and gore faded, he dreamed of her. Those bittersweet memories and what if scenarios were almost worse than the nightmares. “I’ve done things I’m not proud of.”
“I hated you after you left, but I’ve gotten over it. Everyone feels regret and guilt over something. It’s all about being human.” She dashed away her tears. “I told you mine last night. Will you please show me the same courtesy?”
“At least tell me what you did last Christmas. Jason made it crystal clear that he didn’t want you alone. He wants you to have a tree.” She pointed at the Douglas fir. “Well, there you go. What did you do last year?”
Jarrett licked his dry lips, heat swelling in his cheeks.
He’d joined the Consuelo gang last December and spent the holiday in a slummy apartment with five thugs who sold cocaine on the streets of Albuquerque. Living around his drug of choice had nearly destroyed him.
“What about your last birthday?” Marissa blocked his path and braced her hands on her hips. “Did you have cake or go out with a bunch of buddies and get drunk? Did something horrible happen? Why won’t you tell me anything?”
He shoved a hand through his hair. “Damn it, Marissa. Yeah, I got drunk. A few of us went to a strip club where I fucked two dancers in a backroom. Is that what you wanted to hear?”
Her eyes widened as she stepped back.
Way to go, you fucking idiot. He brushed his shaky hands on his button-down shirt to steady them. “Marissa—”
She strode past him with a high head and left the room. Her cold shoulder skewered him, but he didn’t deserve better.
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About The Author
Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through Daulton Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.
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