Publication date: May 20th 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.
Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.
Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.
MALL SCENE in TORIN'S POV
Raine was standing in front of a mirror when I arrived at the store. Smiling, I leaned against the wall and watched her. Mine. That was who she was. Mine, the woman who’d come to mean the world to me.
“You look stunning.”
She whipped around and gasped. “What are you doing here?”
“Looking for you.” Thin straps left most of her shoulders bare, but I loved the way the back of the dress dipped and exposed her smooth, unblemished skin. A dress guaranteed to incite a riot, or screw with a man’s head. She wasn’t wearing a bra, which presented so many possibilities. Unable to resist, I pushed against the wall and moved closer, needing to touch her. Claim her. “Following your essence hasn’t been easy. You’ve been all over the mall.”
“Yes, your essence.” The freckle on her nape was begging me to lower my head and kiss it, but I knew I wouldn’t want to stop there. “Andris is back, so I thought I’d give you a heads up.”
“Where was he?”
“He took a friend home.” I blew out a breath. “You take my breath away, Freckles. You always have, but in that dress... I want to claim you and to Hel with the consequences.”
She went still, her eyes wide. I held her gaze.
“The color adds green flecks to your eyes, and the material,” I imagined running my hands down her hips and pulling her closer, “hugs your lush curves in just the right places.”
When she didn’t respond, I took that as permission to indulge myself. I put my hands on her hips and slowly pulled her closer until our bodies touched. The feel of her body against mine went straight to my head. My heart pounded hard with excitement. No woman had ever had this kind of effect on me.
“If you were mine,” I whispered, “we’d have a private dance for just the two of us before I shared you with the world.” The lock of a cubicle clicked, warning me her friend was about to join us. I willed runes to appear on my skin and became invisible.
“Who are you talking to?” Cora asked, sticking her head out of the changing room.
“I, uh, I was talking to myself,” Raine stammered.
“How could you say that is cute? You look fabulous,” Cora said. “Turn around.”
Raine turned and I reached out and ran a finger down her back. She trembled and stumbled as though her knees had given away. I wrapped my arms around her waist, her back resting against my chest. Not able to help myself, I pressed my cheek against hers and inhaled. She smelled great.
“You okay?” Cora asked. “You just stumbled.”
Raine stiffened and tried to move from my arms, but I refused to let her go.
“I did?” she asked weakly. “I must be more tired than I thought.”
“Then let’s finish here. Oh, and you’re buying that dress or I’m never shopping with you ever,” Cora threatened, moving closer to the mirror to study her own reflection.
“I’ll shop with you,” I whispered in Raine’s ear. “You can buy anything you want.” I kissed her shoulder. She trembled. I loved the way she reacted to my touch. I pressed my lips along her neck and kissed the freckle on her nape. I wanted more. Greedily, I suckled her skin, nipped and soothed it with my tongue. She moaned and closed her eyes, tilting her neck to give me better access.
“What are you doing?” Cora asked, studying her through the mirror since I was still invisible.
“I’m, uh, imagining I’m dancing in this dress,” she said in a squeaky voice then tried again to put some distance between us. Once again, I refused to let her go. “I’d love to buy it, but it’s outside my price range.”
“Charge it,” Cora said. “Your mother gave you a credit card, didn’t she?”
“No, just the debit,” Raine said.
“I have money, Freckles,” I whispered against her shoulder. “Plenty of it. I’ll buy it for you. You can wear it just for me.”
“Okay, I’ll buy it,” she said, wiggling. I chuckled and let her go.
As she disappeared back into the changing room, I walked through the store unseen and headed to the nearest mirror. I couldn’t wait to see her dolled up for Homecoming Dance.
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