For fans of Maya Banks’ KGI series, prepare to meet the men of the Delta Force Brotherhood, a sexy new contemporary series where kicking ass and living hard is just how they roll.
EXCERPTS: from HARD PLAY by Sheryl Nantus
He got to his feet and stretched out, feeling a familiar hum through his muscles in anticipation of getting to business.
It took a second to find a fresh T-shirt in the duffel bag, his other one damp from Jessie’s hug.
Dylan pulled it on, trying not to think too much about how she felt in her arms. He didn’t want the distraction. He didn’t need the distraction.
But, Lord…she’d felt so good and right.
He walked to the rear of the mobile home and tugged back the curtain serving as a door for the bedroom.
Jessie lay there on the single mattress, sound asleep. One hand was tucked under her cheek, her face slightly obscured by her long, blond curls. Her other hand was tucked between her legs, her knees pulled up almost to her chest. There was a softness in her features, the hardcore professional mask slipping away and letting the woman show through.
Warmth spread through his chest. It was hard to suppress the urge to drop onto the bed and pull her into his arms, to kiss the top of her head before moving on to kiss other parts of her body.
Strong. Smart. Sexy.
He couldn’t fault her reasoning, no matter how much he wanted to. She’d seen an injustice inflicted on her family and tried to work within the system to right the wrong. But when she couldn’t, she’d pursued her own path.
Much like he and his men did.
Dylan pushed the thought away. There’d be time later to ruminate on Jessie Lyon and what part she could have in his life. Right now they needed to get up to Mount Charleston, to the cabin the Brotherhood kept for retreats.
He went to the front of the trailer, away from temptation.
A pair of headlights illuminated the small road sign at the end of the lane for a few seconds before going black.
Dylan reached out and flicked the light switch, plunging them into darkness. He peered out the window as the car turned down the road, the engine going silent.
Could be somebody with a wonky car, the engine cutting out and the driver hoping for enough momentum to coast all the way home.
Could be something else.
The driver’s window came down as the car came level with the darkened trailer and something flew out.
It wasn’t a flurry of bullets.
It was much, much worse.
Jessie swung at him with her right fist, a move easily blocked with his left hand. Instinctively Dylan stepped in and spun behind her, trapping Jessie against his chest. Her arms were pinned and she struggled to break free.
“Look,” he said in her ear, trying hard not to be aroused by her movements as she wriggled again, thrusting her hips back. “I get you want revenge. I get—”
He gasped as her elbow drove home into his ribs. Dylan released her with a grunt, pushing her away.
Jessie moved into a fighting crouch, gasping for air.
She was tough, he’d give her that.
But he wasn’t going to give in to her demands.
At least, not easily.
“You’re not in any shape to be trying this.” Dylan tried not to stare at her mouth, the flushed skin adding to his desire. “You should be in bed.”
He flinched inside at the double entendre.
Jessie raised an eyebrow and smiled. “Make me.”
Dylan pulled up, unsure what he’d heard.
She feinted to the side with a low laugh and he grinned, feeling the hot flash of adrenaline race through his body.
“Show me what you’ve got,” Jessie said. “I can take it.”
“We’ll see about that.” Dylan went at her with a roar, taking her to the ground with a measured fall.
Despite her week’s incarceration, she proved a tough opponent, sliding free of Dylan’s hands more than once as they grappled on the carpet.
He was surprised at her strength, her ability to hold her own. The simple twists and grips he’d started out with to test her skills had shifted to tougher, harder holds as she continued to press on.
He’d made a mistake, underestimated her recovery rate. She wasn’t just keeping up with him, there was a distinct possibility she was going to beat him.
That wasn’t acceptable.
He went at her, put her down on the carpet and pinned her there on her back, her right arm stretched and in danger of being hyperextended. Her gasp made him wince, knowing he was hurting her.
He didn’t want to. But he couldn’t let her think she was going to waltz into the line of fire with a kiss and a swish of her hips.
“Fuck.” The word came out through gritted teeth as she struggled to pull her arm free.
“Tap out,” Dylan said. “Just tap…”
She rolled and slipped away, landing a punch to his thigh in retaliation, dangerously close to his groin.
Jessie got up, shaking her right hand.
“That’s enough.” He stood up. “You’re good, but I can’t…”
She bent over and rushed him, knocking the air from his lungs as they fell together to the carpet.
“I’m more than good enough.” She glared at him. “I’m better.”
He didn’t hesitate now, gripping her hips and flipping her over. Dylan straddled her, pinning her hands at her sides.
“All right. All right. Now let’s stop this before one of us…” He swore as she wrenched her hand free and grabbed at his belt buckle, using the grip to pull him down on her and throw him off-balance.
He groaned, his hips instinctively thrusting toward her. The weakness had her springing free with a laugh.
Dylan rolled to his feet and shook his head. “You’re making this hard on yourself.”
She raised an eyebrow and fixed her gaze squarely at his crotch. “I think it’s the other way around.”
ABOUT SHERYL NANTUS
Sheryl Nantus was born in Montreal, Canada and grew up in Toronto, Canada. A rabid reader almost from birth, she attended Sheridan College in Oakville, graduating in 1984 in Media Arts Writing.
She met Martin Nantus through the online fanfiction community in 1993 and moved to the United States in 2000 in order to marry. A firm believer in the healing properties of peppermint tea and chai she continues to write short stories and novels while searching for the perfect cuppa.
She loves to play board games and write haiku, although not usually at the same time. Her and her husband have attended the Origins Game Fair for over a decade, most recently as members of the Library, the GAMA-sponsored literary area.
She has published multiple books with Samhain Publishing and Carina Press. In 2011 she won two second-place Prism Awards from the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA for her steampunk romance, “Wild Cards and Iron Horses” and the first volume of her superhero romance trilogy, “Blaze of Glory”. In 2013 she won a third-place Prism Award for her paranormal romance, “Blood of the Pride”.
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