by Sybil Bartel
Impossible Promise #1
Published by: Carina Press (HQN)
Publication date: March 23rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Three years ago, Layna Blair listened in horror over a telephone line as her parents were murdered. When the killer said she was next, Layna panicked and made a deadly deal—his secret in exchange for her life. She’s paid the price every day since, becoming a prisoner in plain sight.
Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson offers Layna a way out—her freedom, his rules, no questions asked—and she takes it, despite knowing what her keepers do to people who get too close. She doesn’t know Blaze is fighting his own demons or that beneath his warrior façade is a man on the verge of breaking.
Embarking on a wild revenge mission with Blaze and his smooth-talking best friend, Talon, is not what Layna signed on for. But attempting to run when Blaze has made no secret he intends to make her his is a reckless mistake. With the killer closing in, it’s up to Blaze to save them all—and to Layna to realize that she’s risked the one thing she can’t afford to lose.
Book one of two / 93,000 words
Heat level: Steamy; not for under 17, it has open door sex scenes.
Buck cut the engine and turned to face me. “Talon’s flirtatious to the point of being obnoxious but he’s a good guy. Don’t take his inappropriate comments to heart. We’re here because I trust him and because when I’m with my mom, he’ll keep you safe.”
He’s leaving me here? To keep me safe? I looked down at my lap, unable to process why I suddenly wanted to cry.
“Hey.” Buck’s fingers gently tipped my chin. “Look at me.”
The glow of the floodlights made his eyes look almost colorless.
“I promise I won’t let anything happen to you.”
I had no one. And in one single sentence, I’d become someone to somebody. I couldn’t breathe with the emotions threatening to drown me in hope. “Why?” I choked on the single word, tears slipping down my cheeks.
Gentle thumbs wiped my hot tears. “Because you’re mouthy and sexy and I want to kiss you more than I’ve ever wanted to kiss a woman.”
His deep voice stole my breath before his lips landed on mine and stole my reason. I didn’t think about my arms going around his neck. I didn’t think about him pulling me to his chest. I didn’t think about the incredible scent of his skin or the feel of his hard muscles and simmering body heat. I didn’t think about what I was doing or where I was. I didn’t think at all. But when his tongue touched mine? I thought I’d die.
A shiver racked my body and the sound of need coming from my chest terrified me. Gripping a handful of my hair, Buck crushed his lips against mine as his hand splayed across my lower back, pressing me deeper into his embrace.
This wasn’t a kiss. I’d been kissed before and this wasn’t even close. This was me being ruined. Touched, marked and taken, it felt like my heart had just been branded. Buck branded. Panic seeped into my veins and spread. But his lips moved to my neck, and desire shot through me like freedom. Free to be me, free to be a woman, free to touch a man. I threw my head back and moaned at the exquisite feel of his hands and lips on me.
“Layna.” His hoarse voice saying my name was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard.
My fingers ran through his soft hair and I pulled him closer.
Buck groaned and dragged his teeth along my ear. “We have company.”
I grew up in Northern California with my head in a book and my feet in the sand. I dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew me into the world of storytelling. I love the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes me swoon.
I now live in Southern Florida and while I don’t get to read as much as I like, I still bury my toes in the sand. If I’m not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in my backyard, you can find me spending time with my handsomely tattooed husband, my brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
Here are ten things you probably really want to know about me.
- I grew up a faculty brat.
- I can swear like a sailor.
- I love men in uniform.
- I hate being told what to do.
- I can do your taxes (but don’t ask).
- The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks me out.
- My favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—I can’t decide.
- I have a thing for muscle cars.
- But never reply on me for driving directions, ever.
- And I have a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell my husband.