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Hot Knight in Paradise
by Sofia Harper
Stranded in paradise with no way to get home, Leah Smith needs a miracle, and fast.
Instead, she gets Marshall Jackson, surely the sexiest man alive. Too bad he’s got an emotional wall around himself–and her only hope of getting off the island … Marshall has a strict no damsels in distress policy, but there’s something about Leah that makes him want to break his own rules. He agrees to let her work in his bar until she earns enough to get home. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is to deny the scorching attraction between them. Soon hot island nights provide balm to their wounded souls, but will these two flawed exiles make peace with the past in time to claim the future they deserve together–or will paradise be lost?
“I find it hard to believe a man like you would consider bartending his calling.” She gave him a dubious look. “And I’m feeling like a margarita. Got some limes?”
“Of course.” He opened the compartment where he kept the salt. Using some of the tequila, he lined the lip of the glass.
“How’d you know I wanted salt?”
“If you want lime, you want salt.” He took his time making the drink. “You’d be amazed how listening can change the world.”
He cut the lime in quarters, placing one on the rim, the rest in another cup. “Now I didn’t say you didn’t get something out of what you do. I said it’s probably not your calling.”
The weight of his past darkened his tone and he leaned against the bar for support. “You can save someone’s life by what you say.”
She sipped her drink and then sucked on the lemon. Her breath whooshed out. “You make a damn good margarita.”
“Thanks.” He nursed his bourbon as he tried to beat back the memories, but then her hand was on his face, bringing him back to the now.
“Hey, where’d you go? We’re debating.”
“Political analyst,” he said.
“I’m not that cynical about mankind,” she said.
Her tongue flicked out, licking at the salt from the corner of her mouth. His mind blanked. When his brain came back online he could only wonder if the tartness of lime would complement her taste. She must have noticed the expression, because her gaze went to his mouth.
Her tongue lashed out again. “It doesn’t make me uncomfortable when you look at my mouth with an I-want-tobite-you expression,” she said quietly. “Though I want to say my eyes are up here, but—”
She bit her lip, and his gaze followed the action. He wished she’d look away, make a joke…anything to break the moment, but his heart rammed against his ribcage.
“I’m insane,” she murmured.
Marshall frowned, finally tearing his gaze from her mouth. Leah pushed their drinks aside and leaned over the bar, and then her mouth was on his, and he couldn’t think. His lips parted automatically, and she was there, supping on the taste of him. Leah’s tongue explored urgently, as if they’d been kissing for eons, and he matched her rhythm.
“Wait,” Marshall said, pulling back, which was probably the dumbest thing he’d ever done in his life.
He knew if she had enough time to consider what the hell they were doing, she’d end it and run. He took advantage of her moment of confusion and untied the scarf holding back the soft curls.
“There,” he sighed.
This time, he claimed her mouth. The kiss lost its urgency, and still the taste of her seared his tongue. He had the time to nip and lick, noting the softness of her lips and how the lime only made her taste better. He couldn’t be anywhere but in that moment. He tightened the hold in her hair, forcing Leah still and allowing him to deepen the kiss. He made illicit promises with his teeth and tongue until she moaned in his mouth, and it took everything in him not to have her there on the counter.
With the little room he allowed, she pulled back. “Wait.”
He loosened the hold on her hair. Leah climbed the counter, knocking over the stool in the process. Once settled in front of him, she fisted her hands on his shirt and yanked him forward. Forgetting honor, he pressed against her, felt the heat between her thighs along his erection. Keeping a hand in the curly strands, he exposed her neck. He sucked softly at first and then hard on the flesh between her neck and collarbone. Her legs tightened around his waist, binding him to the heat. Trailing kisses up to her ear, he bit the lobe. She gasped.
“Do you want me to stop?” he whispered.
“Yes,” she moaned.
Top ten things you don’t know about me:
1. Cotton or Silk?
4. Describe your workspace
I’m doing revisions, rewrites, editing, new words…it’s a bit of a mess at the moment. It used to look like a desk but I can’t tell with all the cups of coffee and water bottles on it.
5. Sports fan or just tolerate it?
Maybe a middle of the road here. I do enjoy yelling at the TV during football and basketball season, but I don’t have a favorite team.
6. Who is your biggest influence on writing?
Recently I realized I was heavily influenced by Robert B. Parker. His books are 90 percent dialogue.
7. Favorite food –
I never get tired of pizza. This is a problem because I’m lactose intolerant. Heck, it may be why.
8. When did you start writing?
I was nineteen. I’d just given birth to my son. I couldn’t ignore the urge anymore. Plus I had a lot of free time. He slept a lot.
9. If money were no object, where would you like to live?
Hawaii and Maine. Hawaii in the winter and Maine for the rest of the year. I’d miss California but I’ve lived there practically my entire life.
10. What’s next for you?
I just put out a release and I’m currently gearing up for my last of the year releases for my other pen name, Melissa Blue. So my brain is scattered and I don’t know if I’m coming or going. But I’m excited. I’m closing out two series. I can practically hear my fans saying, “Finally!”
In 2004, Sofia Harper began her writing career as a romantic suspense author. A bit problematic because she couldn’t write anything mystery-like to save her life or even her characters. On a whim, she penned a contemporary where there was no dead body or explosions to save her from the dreadful middle slumps of a book. It was only the characters and what they had to deal with. She hasn’t looked back since. She continues to write contemporary romances, mainly under a different pen, filled with sassy heroines and unlikely heroes. These stories are filled with one-liners, but heartfelt and sexy.
Outside of writing, Harper works as a mail clerk for the federal government, has a paralegal certificate (that she has more use for as a dust pan) and is a mother of two rambunctious children. She lives in California where the wine is good and, despite popular belief, is not always sunny. Harper plans to spend the rest of her days writing, raising her children and drinking good wine. Occasionally she’ll brush her hair and get dressed, but that’s optional.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/sofiaharper.author
Goodreads Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7154484.Sofia_Harper