Title: Tempt: A Wicked Sanctuary Novel
Author: Marie Tuhart
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Wicked Sanctuary...surrender your inhibitions
Escaping her ex-boyfriend’s horror-themed campout, Sierra Blake stumbles into a world she never imagined. Curious and spirited, but with a history of picking the wrong man, she must learn to trust her instincts and find her inner strength to become the woman she is meant to be.
Max Preston has shut himself off from women, until Sierra crashes into his life. An intense attraction ignites inside him, and he’s determined to make her his.
Discovering a new confidence under Max’s protection, Sierra finds herself falling for him. But when his too-perfect ex-wife triggers old insecurities, she runs--smack into her own past. Can she rise above old scars and fight for true love?
Sierra fought the urge to take a step back at the rough male voice. Blinking the rain out of her eyes, she stared at the bare male chest. Her heart pounded as she allowed her gaze to travel up the sculpted pecs, to unsmiling lips, stormy hazel eyes, straight, medium length black hair and a pair of red devil horns on his head. The man was tall, over six feet.
She swallowed. “Sorry to bother you. If I could borrow your phone, I need to call someone to pick me up.”
The man made a noise in the back of his throat. “Ralph,” he said over his shoulder, “towels please, and lots of them.”
His husky voice sent a shiver down her spine. Must be the rain. He was staring down at her.
“Get in here before you catch a cold.”
“But the floors…” She was dripping water from everywhere.
He reached out and took her by the elbow before pulling her into the foyer and slamming the door shut behind them. “Floors can be cleaned. You’re shivering.” He glanced down at her. “May I?” He gestured to her feet.
She nodded without thinking. He was right; she was soaked and cold. Her gaze shifted as he knelt down and unlaced her boots.
He was wearing dark, well-worn, loose pants and a pair of soft black shoes. Okay, maybe he was afraid she’d stomp on his toes.
“I’m sorry to disturb your party.” She ignored the zing of arousal shooting down her spine as his fingers curved around her ankle after removing her boots.
“The horns.” She waved toward his head.
He grinned, and her breath caught in her throat.
“Ah, yes. Saints and Sinners party.”
Halloween party. She’d totally forgotten Halloween was next week.
Another man, carrying towels, came rushing out of the doorway down the hall. The man in front of her grabbed the top one, shook it out, and offered it to her.
“Thank you.” She took the towel and rubbed her face. Warmth enveloped her skin. She bit back a delightful moan. The towels had been heated.
“Take the backpack off.” She obeyed without thinking.
Sierra shrugged the pack off and dropped it to the floor, then rolled her shoulders. When did her pack grow so heavy? She didn’t have that much in it.
The man shook out another towel and draped it over her shoulders before taking the one in her hands and replacing it with another one. “Ralph, grab one of the robes, please.”
“Sure, boss.” The man lumbered off.
“That’s not necessary. If I could just use your phone.”
He stared at her. She drowned in those hazel eyes. This was a man used to being obeyed, and she could play the game, at least for now. “Thank you, Mister... I don’t even know your name.”
“Max.” His gaze traveled from the top of her head to her toes and back again. Sierra’s spine stiffened and her chin rose.
“Max…” She used the stern voice she used with some of her co-workers. “I do apologize for pulling you from your party. All I need is a phone to call a friend to come pick me up.”
The gleam of respect that flashed in his eyes boosted her ego. After the last twenty-four hours, she needed to be reminded she still had a backbone. “Did your car break down?”
“No.” She wasn’t going to lie.
“How did you get here?”
“Walked.” Now wasn’t the time to get into the whole story.
His eyes narrowed. “Where did you walk from?” There was that note of steel in his voice once again.
Sierra let out a sigh. “The campground.”
Ralph appeared holding out a white robe. Max took it and held it out to her. By the weight of his stare, she had a feeling if she didn’t put it on, there would be an argument, one that had her losing.
With a sigh, she slipped her arms into the robe. She wobbled on her feet as Max pulled the fabric over her front, then before she could say anything, he lifted her into his arms.
“What are you doing?” Her voice was high as she instinctively put her arms around his neck.
“Carrying you. You’re swaying on your feet. I don’t want you to faint.”
“I never faint.” But after today who knows. She ground her teeth together but didn’t argue any further.
“Get the door, Ralph.” The man, Ralph, held open the doors for Max to carry her through. Music floated down the hallway. It had a heavy beat to it. His long strides ate up the distance to another set of doors on the left. Max pushed through them.
Sierra’s eyes widened when she realized they were in a restroom area. What kind of house was this?
Max lowered her to her feet in front of a set of showers. “Please get in and get warm. You can hand me your clothes, and I’ll make sure they are dried.”
“This isn’t necessary. I’m fine..” She stared up at him. “All I need is phone, I’ll make my call and wait outside so I don’t disturb your party.”
Max crossed his arms over his chest, and she shivered. “You are soaked to the bone. I don’t want you to get pneumonia. So please take a shower and let me dry your clothes.” The words were said with a bite to them. “I’m a tolerant man, but having a woman in distress brings out the protective instinct in me.”
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Universal buy link: https://books2read.com/Tempt-Wicked-Sanctuary
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