Bitter and alone, Etienne de Rémorcy haunts the forest around the ruined plantation of Fin d'Espoir. He has sworn to never again taste human blood. Then a fierce storm and a runaway horse bring a slender, raven-haired beauty to his lair. When she begs him to take her, he cannot resist.
Madeleine and Troy hope that a carefree vacation in tropical Jamaica will reignite their faded passion. On a mountain trail ride, Maddy's horse bolts, carrying her deep into the jungle. Injured and lost, she is saved by a giant of a man whose mere presence kindles unbearable desire. By the time she understands his dark nature, it is far too late for her to escape.
When Maddy returns, Troy finds her greatly changed : ravenous in bed, restless and disturbed otherwise. The elegant stranger he meets on the beach holds the key to her transformation - and soon has seduced Troy as well.
Tortured by his conscience, Etienne is determined to set the young couple free. But their love may be his last hope for redemption.
Note: This book was previously published by Totally Bound under the title Fire in the Blood. It has been edited and updated for this release.
She must have loosened her grip. Lightning arced through the sky, followed by a crack of thunder that rattled her bones. The stallion froze, screaming its terror to the freshening wind. It rose on its hind legs, beating the air with its front hooves and dashing Maddy to the ground.
Lightning snaked across the clouds. Like its twin, fiery pain forked in Maddy’s ankle. The horse reared above her prone body, ready in its mad fear to crush her into the muddy earth. Grimacing with the effort, she tried to roll out of the way, though she knew she was too late.
“Whoa now, my pretty. Du calme, du calme.”
A man’s voice, deep and resonant, full of power. The stallion responded immediately, dropping back to all fours and hanging its head. A tall figure stepped out from behind a tree and grasped the bridle. “Good boy,” he murmured in the horse’s ear, gently stroking its muzzle all the while. “No need to fear now. Calm down.”
The transformation from a crazed beast to a docile pet was close to instantaneous. The man’s voice had a similar effect on Maddy, slowing her racing heart, even easing the throbbing in her ankle.
The stranger loomed over her, a huge man-shaped shadow. Full night had arrived, and Maddy could see nothing of the man’s features. She shivered and felt her heartbeat quicken once again. She was lost and alone, crippled by an ankle that was sprained if not broken. What could she do to protect herself?
He sank on his haunches next to her aching, muddy body. “Are you hurt, Miss?” he asked, his vowels rounded by the traces of French. Maddy’s fear melted in the warmth of that rich voice. The scent of roses tickled her nostrils. The pain in her ankle dwindled to an occasional annoying twinge.
The man’s skin reminded her of the Blue Mountain coffee she and Troy had enjoyed at breakfast, a brown so dark it was almost black. Raindrops gleamed on his smooth cheeks and pooled in the hollow of his throat. Looking at him made her thirsty. He was powerfully built, with massive shoulders swelling out from his worn denim vest. Underneath, his muscled chest was bare. A tight frizz of black hair grew in the furrow between his breasts.
As he crouched at her side, his jeans stretched taut over his thighs but hung loosely around his narrow hips. Another line of kinky curls ran down from his navel to disappear under his waistband.
His face was the visage of a Nubian king, prominent cheekbones and a fleshy nose with elegant, flared nostrils. His liquid-brown eyes were set wide apart, in deep sockets protected by the fine arch of his brows. His proud forehead rose above them, up to the tight-knit black frizz that covered his skull.
And his mouth… Maddy couldn’t stop herself from staring at those full lips, mahogany-red against his rosewood-dark face. They were parted in a half-smile that revealed the pearly white of perfect teeth.
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