This week we have some hotness from Kris Michaels, the alter ego of a happily married wife and mother who loves to write erotic romance with a twist of military flavor.
About the book:
Agent McKenzie is nobody’s ‘yes’ boy and has the letters of reprimand to prove it. He smells the stink of political maneuvering in this case, and he can see the handwriting on the wall. Hell, the words are three feet high and written in crayon. Someone in his own agency wants a target on Liam Mercier’s back, but McKenzie would be damned if he’d put one there. The damaged man currently in his custody needs his protection, not manipulation. That’s why he’d agreed to use a safe house that was off the grid. Throwing away his rarely used FBI procedure book had nothing to do with the protective urges he felt around Liam. Nope, not a damn thing to do with heavy doses of desire, or spikes of lust. He was just doing his job, after all, he has a killer to catch and a victim to keep alive. Protecting his best bet of taking that sick bastard down was his civic duty.
Forced to face the nightmares of his past or lose his pension, Liam Mercier did the only thing he could do. He walked back into his personal hell. The man assigned to protect him is everything Liam wanted and needed—four years ago. Leaving the small island of sanity he’d been existing on could cost him everything. But being hunted by a genius, sadistic killer without the protection of the sexy, intense, agent was a guaranteed death sentence. Fate had dictated Liam’s course four years ago. The only thing he questioned was when his killer going to finish his work.
Steele pounded up the staircase. Worry tore at him. For the last four days, Liam had been withdrawn. He’d claimed it was a side effect of going off his medication, but in his gut, Steele knew better. Since their first morning together, Liam hadn’t slept more than a handful of hours and barely talked, other than short replies to direct questions. The man literally ran himself into the ground. The intensity of facing what Miller did, not only to him, but also to each of his victims, nearly consumed Liam. Running seemed to help him cope, but without proper sleep and food, Steele honestly didn’t know how much longer Liam could go on.
When Steele tried to comfort him, he’d pulled away, become distant. Doc Morgan said it was a typical response to the stress. She’d held extra sessions with Liam to help him cope with the memories the autopsy reports had dredged up. She’d told Steele that giving the briefing would be a big milestone in his recovery.
Steele wouldn’t classify the briefing today as big. Massive, gigantic, or colossal perhaps. Big didn’t hold a candle to what Liam was dealing with right now. Alone.
Steele knuckled Liam’s bedroom door, opening it without waiting. The room was empty but the sound of the shower drew Steele toward the en-suite bath. Steam billowed out as Steele moved in.
Liam stood naked beside the shower. Silver and red scars decorated his body in a sick twist of ivy and heart scrollwork. Seeing the scars in the daylight and in their entirety filled Steele with anguish and rage.
“This is what he did.” Liam focused on the falling water.
“He took my dignity, my sense of safety. He raped me, physically and mentally. The others didn’t live. He told me I was his special gift from God. He believes we are meant to be together for eternity. He won’t stop. He’ll come for me.” Liam lifted his gaze and Steele witnessed the devastation held in the chocolate-brown depths. “By the time they deciphered my notes and found me, I’d given up. I wanted Miller. When he… I wanted to please him, to be good enough for him so he’d stop the pain. I wanted to be what he said I was.” Liam’s voice broke into a sob.
Steele shut the bathroom door and stripped out of his suit, placing his automatic on top of the hurriedly shed clothes before he crossed the room. His hand fell on Liam’s shoulder but the anguished man didn’t move or acknowledge the touch. “Liam, let me help.” Steele brought his chest to Liam’s back and peppered his shoulders with quick, light kisses.
Liam closed his eyes and nodded his head. A slow, fat tear trickled down his cheek.
Steele continued pouring attention on the man. “Do you know what you are?”
“An abomination. A sick, twisted abomination.” Another tear dropped, traveling the same path.
Steele paused at the comments. Why would Liam think he was the abomination? Miller was the fucking animal. He turned the shattered man toward the bathroom’s full-length mirrored wall. “No, you’re a survivor. Open your eyes, angel.”
Liam opened his eyes and winced at the reflection. Steele slid both arms around Liam’s waist. He belted the shorter man to his body with one arm and snaked the other up his chest, lightly grasping Liam’s jaw. He leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “You’re strong. So damn strong, babe. You did what you had to do to survive. The man you have trapped in your memory isn’t the man I see. You are neither his creation nor his exhibit. You are bruised and a little broken, but you are so much more than what he did to you.”
“I’m not. How can you say that? How can you even touch me?” The anguish and sorrow behind the question nearly floored Steele.
“Because I see you, not what he did to you. You are an amazing man. Dedicated, caring, and so damn strong. When we were together I saw the hot flush of arousal build over your chest and creep up you neck. I saw your eyes darken into the most intense shade of brown, so dark with desire that they’re almost black. And that mouth… Fuck, you are every gay man and straight woman’s dream.”
A Heart’s Desire is available on Amazon and free on Kindle Unlimited.
Kris Michaels believes in meeting life head on…as long as there is an ample supply of coffee, whiskey and wine! She believes love makes this crazy life worthwhile. When she isn’t writing Kris enjoys a busy life with her husband, the cop, and her two wonderful sons. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter and check out her webpage.