From New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss: Protecting a celebrity in Hollywood isn’t easy, but protecting Emily could break his heart.
As a world-class dancer at the height of her career, Emily enjoys all the perks of fame—the parties, the glamour, the tours—but they’ve also attracted the attention of a dangerous ex-boyfriend hell-bent on getting her back.
Enter Carter Kincaid, a bodyguard so crushingly sexy he takes her breath away.
Carter’s the best in the business, and Emily is—professionally speaking—off-limits. But when it comes to stirring his desires, she’s making all the right moves. What’s happening between them is so hot it could get both of them burned. As Emily’s past gets closer, Carter is willing to break every rule of the job to save her. But letting Emily into his life also means letting her in on the secrets of his own past. For these two, falling in love could be the greatest risk of all.
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CD Reiss is a USA Today and Amazon bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up, she’s at the well, hauling buckets.
Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere, but it did embed TV story structure in her head well enough for her to take a big risk on a TV series structured erotic series called Songs of Submission. It’s about a kinky billionaire hung up on his ex-wife, an ingenue singer with a wisecracking mouth; art, music and sin in the city of Los Angeles.
Critics have dubbed the books “poetic,” “literary,” and “hauntingly atmospheric,” which is flattering enough for her to put it in a bio, but embarrassing enough for her not to tell her husband, or he might think she’s some sort of braggart who’s too good to give the toilets a once-over every couple of weeks or chop a cord of wood.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.
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"Are we going to have another 'about last night' conversation?" I asked.
"If you want to."
What did I want to say? Everything. but mostly, I wanted to tell him how much I liked kissing him and how conflicted I was. I wanted to demand answers immediately and give him space at the same time.
All the words tried to jump forward, but when he stopped at a light, our eyes met in the rearview. The words landed in a tangle, unsaid.
He tapped the steering wheel when he turned it, using both hands for the first time since I'd gotten in.
"Hey," I said.
"Yeah?" He briefly looked at me in the mirror.
"What happened to your hand?"
"Burn." he brushed his left hand over the bandage at the top of his palm, right where you'd burn it if you were picking up a hot pot handle. He caught my eye in the rearview again.
I didn't know if I believed him.
"What were you cooking?"
"And you still went to get a Danish?"
He rubbed his upper lip with his left hand and tapped the wheel with the bandaged one.
"I burned my eggs."
Right. Hot pot. Burned hand. Smoke-filled kitchen.
"You know what's funny?" I said.
"The Three Stooges."
"I don't know anything about you. You could live in your mother's basement."
"That's just where I bury the bodies."
Blatant avoidance. It had been cute before; now it was getting on my nerves.
"Are you married?"
He could have been lying, buy lying liars always lied. There wasn't a thing I could do about that except make sure I asked.
Something was wrong. We'd kissed twice, and twice he'd shut down. I should have been the one shutting down. I was the one with all the ex-boyfriend baggage. Why was I the one who was always so willing?
But there he was in the front seat, driving with both hands on the wheel, glancing at me once in a while to make sure I wasn't choking on my tongue in the back seat. Discomfort radiated out of him.
Here I was with my hands in my lap thinking about ways to kiss him again.
He pulled into the little lot and wedged into a space. He turned off the car, popped his seat belt, and stared at the wheel for a split second too long. I was about to open the car door myself when he turned all the way around, arm over the back of his seat, bandaged hand on the back of the passenger side.
"Kissing you..." He stopped and looked at my lips so intensely I folded them back and bit them. "You're dangerous. I can't even see your lips, but I can taste them. I couldn't brush the taste of you out of my mouth this morning. Right now. The honey. I can taste it but not enough. I want to kiss you again, and I can't. I lose my shit around you. I can't do it. My job is control. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
My jaw loosened, and I let my lips go.
"No, I don't. I've met bodyguards before. You're a stoic bunch, but you're not all celibate. And if you think this is easy for me, you're wrong. I'm afraid too. I'm afraid you're going to get hurt because of me. last night..." I put my fingertips to my lips as if that would keep the choking sob from coming. I kept it back. "Last night he showed me he's back, and if he'll hurt me, he'll hurt you."
If I thought seats would be a barrier between us, I was wrong. He launched himself between them and placed his lips on mine. Our third kiss was unexpected, uncomfortable with him stretched between front and back. I wove my fingers in his hair, giving him my mouth, and taking his.
I wanted that kiss to tell him it was all right. He could lose control. He could bemore than a protector. He was as safe with me as I was with him. But I couldn't without lying to both of us.
He yanked his lips away.
"Trust me." He leaned his forehead against mine.