Rescued (Alley Kitten #1)
by Phoebe Rose
Coming November 10, 2015
Twenty-three year old startup founder Thomas York has no time for dating. And even less time to to deal with the litter of (adorable) stray kittens who’ve claimed his patio as their new home. But when Tessa — a passionate animal rescue volunteer — shows up to help, even Thomas can’t deny the mad attraction between them.
A born nurturer, Tessa Cantalupe’s used to caring for everyone but herself. Time and again she falls for guys who shred her soul. Will Thomas be yet another scar on Tessa’s heart, or is there a good guy underneath all the bluster and ambition? And will she dare to let him rescue her?
My heart skips. Body’s screaming Yes… but my body is a known traitor. “Depends on how well you kiss.” Body has wrested control of voice function.
“Great.” He smirks, unfazed—no, delighted—by my swagger. “Can’t wait for my performance review.”
He leans in and I close my eyes. His approach is slow and deliberate, a tease in and of itself. I’m terrified he’s never going to get to me. But then his warm lips close on mine with the lightest pressure, and without warning I’m thrown into his orbit, towed into the deep rhythms of his body. His heart’s hypnotic, steady pounding. The force and heat of his chest surging against mine, divergent tides. His energy surrounds me, bright, frenetic, irregular. An alien vibration, yet somehow familiar too. I press my lips against his softly, surrendering to the pleasure of touch, touch as travel to another’s world.
Gently he takes my face in his hands and guides me closer, so much closer that I’m almost sitting in his lap. Burying thick fingers in my hair, he kisses me more firmly, drawing out my lower lip, biting. I gasp. No moaning, I chide myself, like that’s going to help. I’m in over my head.
Every guy I’ve ever kissed has had a different vibe. Gid’s was playful, languid and sly like a ferret. My last ex-boyfriend’s was brittle, reticent. Then there’s my first kiss, an anonymous dance-floor grope at a sketchy all-ages club called Intensify. The boy had a wild energy that pulsed and skipped and jolted like a torch in the rain… for all the twenty-five seconds we explored each other until my BFF crew, fearing for my rep, dragged me away. Intensify-boy is the only thing that can begin to compare to this man.
He pulls back, and I open my eyes to see him looking at me expectantly. Checking on me, I realize. I’d gone nonverbal there.
“You…” I try to catch my breath. “Are not what I expected.”
He gives me a serious look. “And what exactly did you expect?”
I regret my snark the moment his face falls. He looks lost, dejected.
“Then why kiss me?”
I open my mouth and helplessly close it. I don’t know how to tell him the truth. That when I saw him talking to a scared feral cat, it was like his mask slipped and I caught a glimpse of something. Something light-bright, moving fast, maybe feral itself. And then I kissed him and he was on fire, and maybe I need to borrow some of his fire, because I feel like a candle that’s been snuffed out.
I can’t answer with words, so instead I reach for him. Our lips lock and he grabs the back of my hair, rougher, growling, holding my face still so he can kiss me deeper. My nails rake the back of his neck, urging him on. I’m soaring, melting. The tip of his tongue pushes my lips apart. Feeling languid, I open my mouth to let him taste me. He tastes like the whiskey, smoke and ocean. This is the real firewater. This here.
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