Thorns, Book 2
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: September 2008
Caught in love's undertow...
Rescue swimmer Ethan Thorn is used to pulling people from the swirl of the ocean, but he never expected to pull a woman straight out of his past. Denae Button was the first woman who meant more to him than great sex, until he realized she was his brother's fiancée. Now the one woman he hoped never to see again is back—with the three-year-old son he never knew he had.
Denae knows she's made her share of mistakes, especially when it comes to the Thorn brothers. Royally screwed up by her religious-zealot parents, now she just wants to be a good mother. She doesn't want anything to do with Ethan—and she knows the feeling is mutual—but she can't deny him a chance to know his son. Even if facing the Thorn family means confronting a past she'd rather leave behind.
A resurging riptide of love drags Ethan and Denae back into each other's arms. But exposing the secrets that nearly destroyed the Thorn family could tear them apart for good.
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(In Love Down Under)
"Spicy, sexy, and touching at the same time... a scorching hot read that tugs at your heart."
—Award-winning author Emma Wildes
Nate grew quiet, but every once in a while he opened his eyes, peeking. A few minutes later, De surprised them both by joining them.
With her sexy legs bare, she stepped over his outstretched legs and climbed into the small bed with Nate. The boy rolled over to press his face into De's body.
They made a nice picture.
It was a few minutes before De lifted up partway. "He's asleep." She eased over her son to stretch a foot to the floor. When her second foot touched down, he caught her hand in his. Though he acted to help her over him, he wanted to drag her down to the floor with him.
A thrill rolled though his bloodstream as the touch lingered. His prick hardened. Pressed against the confines of his pants.
"Oh." She let out a gasp alerting him to the fact she felt the heat between them.
He had trouble catching his own breath. It'd been like this for them before... Instant combustion.
Steady once more, De jerked back. "Sorry about that." She wiped her hand on the long T-shirt she wore. "Well, he's asleep for the night."
"Yeah." Enjoying the quick rise and fall of her breasts, he pushed to his feet.
"Well, I guess we'll see you tomorrow then?"
"Eh, you bet."
De's arms folded under her breasts. Watching her nipples pebble caused arousal to tingle in his balls. Sweat coated his palms. It'd been a while since he'd fucked. Maybe that was the deal with his increased reactions to her. It had to be.
Still he wanted to know. Needed to know. And no time like the present to find out. Using two fingers, he reached out and caressed the pulse in her graceful neck and slowly ran them down along the vee in her night shirt.
His fingers slid across to drag over a single nipple.
On a moan, her hips arched, her breasts thrust forward.
He stepped into her space to press his stiff prick into her.
He inhaled roughly, enjoying the feel of her along his body.
Christ, she smelled good. Damn good. He inhaled again. Nuzzling her temple, his mouth buzzed a kiss. He shifted impossibly closer. Lips trailed a line of kisses to her mouth. Greedily he played over her lips. He groaned at the feel of her mouth under his as she opened for him. Her sweetness made him drink. His thirst for her shuddered through him.
It's been too damn long.
The fire for her that'd stayed kindled nearly brought him to his knees at the feel of her hands on his chest.
The craving, the yearning he'd always had for her erupted on a groan. He deepened the kiss. His tongue and lips explored, teased hers. His rigid prick throbbed in need.
It's been too damn long.
"I missed you, De." He relished her sweet taste.
The soft sounds she made caught in his mouth. His balls drew up in warning.
"I missed you so damn bad." No one had ever compared to her. Not ever. He wanted her back. What she'd done to him. The way she'd made him feel.
Groaning, he slid a hand down her body to cup her hip. He pressed his hard prick into her.
Focus, mate. Ignore your own growing need for release.
He eased back to allow his hand to trail under the nightshirt she wore. Her panties were wet to his touch.
She gasped into his mouth.
"I missed you, luv."
De whimpered on an arch of her hips.
His free hand caught the back of her neck to keep her anchored to him. Her pussy was hot as he worked her clit through the cloth.
With a turn of her head, she broke the kiss off. "Ethan." Her hand pushed at his chest.
He stilled. A new type of tension sank into his muscles.
Nervously she pressed her hand over the heartbeat in her neck. "Ethan..."
"Yeah?" He eased back to look into her gaze.
"I've already experienced this... move of seduction." She motioned between them. "And I have the proof to show it."
Cold water washed over him, through him. What the hell had come over him? Trying to seduce De? What was he thinking? He hadn't. Unless it was with the head below his waistline.
No. It'd been more than his prick thinking. She'd been hot for him too. He'd felt it. But he'd abandoned her. Hell, he'd not only abandoned her... She'd never been his. She'd belonged to his brother. A bloody fine mate. A second chance wasn't something he deserved. Guilt and a rising tide of insecurity caused him to step away to give her space.
"I have to be at work early tomorrow." She led the way from the bedroom to the entryway. "You're welcome to visit Nate. We'll be here by five most days. But... but... " Her arms went back under her breasts. "I'm a mother, and the last thing I want to do is become involved with a player again."
Ethan's teeth clenched. He hadn't been a player since she'd walked out his door.
"What we had was a fun time..."
Fun time? His arse. She'd bloody well had the time of her life. He'd made sure of that. Hell, what they'd shared those two weeks had been the best of his bloody life...
She turned away from him to pull the door open. "It was no more than sex."
Only sex? He'd thought he'd suffocate from wanting her. Even after he'd tried to forget her. De had gotten into his system. She'd affected his life just as his calling for a career as a rescue swimmer had.
When she faced him, her face held tight lines. "Let's stick to being friends for Nate's sake."
Muscles along his back bunched. Rejection wasn't something he'd ever experienced before. She'd just rejected him and he disliked it. Disliked being compared to the man he once was.
"Sure, for Nate." He forced a smile. "Goodnight, sheila. I'll see you both tomorrow."
"Hooroo." She closed the door before he left the steps.
Christ. What had gotten into him? And why did he want to prove he'd changed?