Release Date: June 27, 2019
Cover Design / Photographer: FuriousFotog
Model: Randy Richards
When tragedy strikes, how long does it take the heart to heal? For Ben Stevens, it has taken ten years and an understanding woman who has stood by him.
Prosecuting the man responsible for Ben’s anguish brought him into Rachel’s life. To keep him there, she’s played by his two rules: no labels and no “L” word.
With Sheriff Cahill retiring, Ben assumes the position of Cloverville County Sheriff. Reconciling his past with his present has led Ben and Rachel to a minefield of unexpected connections. Armed with newly discovered information, will he be able to let go of his past, or will it put his future with Rachel in danger?
Without saying a word, she took his hand and led him to the bedroom where she stopped short of the bed and turned toward him. Her gaze locked on his. “Make love to me, Ben. Please.” Her words were barely above a whisper.
He never broke eye contact as he lifted her shirt. “You didn’t have to ask, Rach. That was a given.” She ducked her head when the shirt passed over her face. “Showing you how much I love you is as fundamental as breathing these days.”
She raised on her tiptoes. “I’ve waited so long to hear you say that.”
“Wait no more, my love.” A whimper left her as tears filled her eyes. “Don’t cry, Rach. Tonight is the first of many nights for us to be together.”
She blinked. “I never thought I’d hear anything like this from you.”
Ben kissed the tip of her nose. “I know. I’m sorry I waited so long. Let me make it up to you.”
A smile tilted his lips. “I love that you don’t wear a bra around the house.” She had only unbuttoned a few buttons when he reached behind his shoulder blades and pulled his shirt over his head. Before he had a chance to move, Rachel licked one nipple then the other. His hands clamped onto her hips. “God, Rachel…”
She rolled her eyes toward his face. “You like?”
“Yes, baby. I like very much.” Slipping his thumbs in the sides of her yoga pants, he pushed them to the floor. “No panties?”
“You know I don’t wear them at home.”
“Glad some things don’t change.” She slipped the button through the hole in his pants and slid her hands around to his hips when he grasped her wrists. He opened his mouth to say something, but closed it and furrowed his brows. Staring into Rachel’s eyes, he swallowed. “I … want … to make love to you … bareback.”
Rachel blinked. The tears from earlier finally made their way over her lids. “Yes,” she whispered as her head bobbed up and down. “Yes.”
A bright smile formed on Ben’s face. “Thank you, baby.” He lifted her and laid her on the bed.
Rachel cocked an eyebrow and smiled. “Why are you so nervous?”
“I haven’t had sex without a condom in ten years, and I’m about to feel you, really feel you for the first time, Rach. I’m kinda freaking the fuck out.”
“Me, too, Ben. This is the first time I’ve ever had sex without a barrier.”
He slid into bed beside Rachel and held her close. He could hear the beating of both of their hearts. “A thirty-five-year-old man isn’t supposed to be nervous about sex.”
She ran her hand through his hair and down his jawline. “The nerves are because this is more than sex. Even though we’ve made love many times, it’s the first time since we’ve declared our love out loud.”
He leaned in and kissed her as his hand skated down her back and over her hip. Cupping the cheek of her ass, he gently squeezed. Her hand snaked down his chest and around his back as her body pressed into his with her hands stroking up and down his back. Their bodies moved in rhythm as their whole beings—mind, body, and soul—synced. Ben’s body became rigid as Rachel’s softened.
One of his hands wrapped under her thigh and lifted it, exposing her most intimate place. The back of his fingers skimmed across her bundle of nerves and a shiver ran through her. “You’re wet, sweetheart. Are you ready for me?”
“Yes, Ben … yes.”
He rolled her to her back and followed her over. He rested on his elbows as he looked into her eyes. “I love this … making love with you, going to sleep with you by my side, and waking up with you.”
He kissed her lips, and her fingers plowed into his hair. “For all the times I didn’t make you feel special … you’re the center of my world.” He kissed her jaw, and she flexed her fingers. “For all the times I’ve taken us for granted … I’m sorry, and I’ll do better.” He kissed her shoulder, and her fingers relaxed. “For all the times when I didn’t give you what you needed from me … you’re my best friend.”
He slid down and took one of her breasts into his mouth. She moaned, and he knew he was giving her what she needed. He released her and looked into her eyes. “For every time you comforted me when I couldn’t break free from grief … I will be your rock.” He moved to the other breast as she arched her back for him. “For every time you felt as though you were second … you will be first from now on.” He kissed her other shoulder. “For all the times I haven’t told you … I love you.” He kissed her jaw. “I’ll always love you.”
His kiss was urgent, needy, hungry, and her arms wrapped around his neck. He didn’t release her before he deepened the kiss with his tongue requesting entrance. She granted entry as her legs sawed up and down his, and he rolled his pelvis into her.
“I’m going to take care of you,.” He lined himself with her and slowly entered her body. Her eyes closed and her head tilted back, baring her neck for Ben to take advantage. He kissed the exposed skin. “Rachel, you’re so beautiful.” He pushed up on his hands, causing her arms to fall from around him and watched as a flush ran down her body. The love in her eyes shone bright, and he couldn’t believe he’d never noticed it before—this woman was his destiny.
Rachel’s hands cupped his face as if she knew he’d had an epiphany. A demure smile appeared on her face. “You’ve ruined me for anyone else, Ben Stevens.”
He rocked into her as he dropped to his elbows. “God, Rachel, I was blind for too long.” He peppered kisses over her face. “I love you. Love you.” The tears fell from his eyes as his movements increased. “I’m yours, sweetheart.”
Rachel’s arms curved up his back, leaving a hot trail in their path as she dug into his shoulders. “Yes, Ben, right there, yes. I love you … always.”
“Let go, Rach. I’m right behind you.” She quivered in his arms as her body released what felt like an earthquake. As the aftershocks waned, Ben’s release shot through his body like a rocket leaving him utterly sated.
Unwelcomed Greeting (Book 1)
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Unfinished Business (Book 2)
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Unexpected Guest (Book 3)
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Uninvited Visitors (Book 4)
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Unbridled Passion (Book 5)
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Unchartered Territory (Book 6)
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About the Author
I’m Savannah Maris, a southern girl and hopeless romantic. I’m passionate about writing stories that incorporate southern charm with a little spice.
I grew up on a farm in a small southern town with a love of sports, dance, and music which usually find their way into my books. My husband and I have two grown children. When I’m not writing, my husband and I are attending sporting events, traveling, or working.
What will find in my books? You’ll find suspense and romance in the Riverton Crossing Series. If contemporary romance is what you’re looking for, try Crossroads of the Heart.
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