Day 5: Shadow of the Hawk by Julie Miller
Posted by Opal Carew
A Marine whose soul is tortured by his mystical abilities puts his life—and heart—on the line to rescue a Plain Jane school teacher and her students from an archaeological field trip gone horribly wrong.
Sarah McCormick had one last shot at adventure. Resigned to the life of a spinster, the prim school teacher planned to lead five teenage girls to the shadowy isle of Tenebrosa. There, in a tropical paradise, they would study an ancient people and perhaps learn something about themselves. But a mountain of a man upset her plans–a handsome Indian who claimed she and her students would be in peril. And when the virile ex-Marine swore to protect them, Sarah wondered what’s in jeopardy–her body or her heart?
Hawk had to admit that he longed to be enlightened by the brainy beauty. He’d seen the shy schoolmarm cut a man to ribbons with her sharp tongue, and he was haunted by visions of schooling her lush, surprisingly soft lips in passion. He’d touched her only as a protector, but in those moments he’d discovered how delicate and decidedly feminine her long, lithe body was. Now, threatened by an evil as old as Tenebrosa itself, Hawk knew that her kiss could stave off the shadows and their love could light the way to paradise.
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“You shouldn’t be out here alone.” His voice vibrated across the distance, a bare whisper in the encroaching night.
” Are you following me?” He advanced on her, and Sarah involuntarily backed away as he quickly closed the distance with his long strides.
She jumped back from his hoarse command. The flashlight clattered to the ground, and her hair snagged on something behind her. She reached back to free her braid from its entanglement, and Hawk lunged forward.
He grabbed her wrist and yanked her toward him. At the same instant, he reached into a pocket of his vest and pulled out a knife. Not a knife. A sword! A wicked, twelve-inch killing thing that glinted in the twilight.
He raised it above his head and swung it down with deadly force. Sarah screamed. She jerked her shoulder away from the sure blow and rammed into the brick wall of his chest. His arm trapped her there like a steel vise and lifted her clear off the ground. She pounded with her fists and kicked with her legs, pummeling for all she was worth, frantic with the knowledge that he would attack her, desperately frightened to realize how much bigger and stronger and unyielding he was than she.
“Sarah! It’s over now. It’s okay.” Her feet touched the ground and his shoulders curved over her, blocking out the rest of the night.
His chest muffled her screams. Through her daze of panic she heard low-pitched reassurances crooning in her ear. The arm that had cinched her to him still held her just as tightly but he splayed his fingers and stroked up and down the side of her rib cage, soothing her like a frightened animal.
As the hazy grip of panic began to clear, she realized that she felt no pain. He hadn’t stabbed her after all.
“What?” She gasped, gathering her composure as much as her breath. “Why?”
Her senses returned and she remembered the knife. The big knife. She angled her head back because she could move no further and slapped at his shoulder. “What are you doing with a weapon like that here? It’s stupid and dangerous—”
“That’s better. I’d rather see you spitting mad than afraid.” She wanted to stay angry with him. She wanted to vent her frustrations, but his unexpected teasing undid her. She stopped her tirade and noticed his mouth, mere inches from hers.
She caught her breath at the sheer masculine beauty of it. Straight white teeth framed by firm, thin lips. They were close enough that she could feel his warm breath fanning across her face. She inhaled the soapy, clean, masculine scent of him, tinged by the faint pungency of the insect salve he, too, wore.
Sarah’s stomach flip-flopped. An unusual heat sparked there and curled lower as a whole new set of sensations vibrated through her, every bit as powerful as her anger, but much more pleasurable. His chest was so hard, his hold unbreakable yet so gentle, his mouth so tempting.
She stared at that temptation and discovered she couldn’t speak. Her throat tightened with a customary clench of shyness. She damned her cursed inability to voice her desires. She wanted to savor the rush of adrenaline coursing through her. She wanted to channel it in a way a woman and man could share together. She wanted him to kiss her. She wanted him to want to kiss her. And yet she knew he wouldn’t. All she could do was lecture him. All he could do was put up with her.
“You were backing into a web.” As if sensing her clouded ability to speak, Hawk took over the duties for her. Grateful for the change of topic that doused both her desire and her embarrassment, she relaxed and followed the inclination of his head. He twisted his right wrist and lifted his knife to eye level. Skewered at the end was a brown, hairy spider the size of two Ping-Pong balls stuck together.
“Spider! Big spider!” she shrieked.
She spun and buried her face in his shoulder. As hard as she had hit him before, she now clutched him tightly, clinging to fistfuls of his shirt and vest. She felt his arm flinch as he flicked the horrid creature into the jungle and wiped the blade clean on his pant leg.
He shifted his stance and wrapped both arms around her, catching her more fully in his embrace. He tugged at her braid, picking out the sticky white residue that had caught her hair. He bent his head and cooed into her ear, calming her with whispers in a language she didn’t understand. The ups and downs of the day caught up with her and she sagged against him, weary with emotional fatigue, grateful for his gentle, steadying strength.
“That’s it, honey. You’re gonna be all right. You’ll beat this like you beat those bureaucrats back home.”
About Opal CarewHi. I’m Opal Carew and I write erotic romance for St. Martin’s Press and Samhain Publishing, and I self-publish stories. I also write romance as Amber Carew. So why do I like writing erotic romance? I like being able to push beyond traditional boundaries. I like dealing with a female character who is growing and evolving – questioning her sexual boundaries and pushing past them. My stories usually include menage a trois. It is great fun to write a heroine choosing between two equally appealing heroes... or more. These aren’t women who just jump into bed with anyone. They find themselves in an unusual situation – something exciting and erotic – but a situation where they have to push themselves beyond their comfort level. As a result, they grow as a person. So often fear holds us back – of what others will think of us, of what we will think about ourselves – and we don’t follow our hearts. These women push past that fear. Get a free erotic romance read by joining my Reader Group. Just copy and paste into your browser ==> OpalCarew.com/ReaderGroup
Posted on February 21, 2015, in Bookshelf, Boxed Set, Heroes, New Releases, Other Authors and tagged Action, Alpha, alpha male, Author, bad boy, Bestseller, books, boxed set, Julie Miller, Military, romance, Romantic suspense. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.