Category: Romantic suspense
LETTING EVIL IN
When Michael goes on a photographic assignment to Brazil and fails to return, Kristi and her son fly to Rio de Janeiro, desperate to find him. Instead she finds that during the cold New Jersey winter, her husband has spent his time in steamy chat rooms with Nara, a young woman desperate for attention and involved in the Rio drug world.
As she searches for Michael in exotic but crime-ridden Rio, Kristy finds herself way out of her league. She turns to Italian-Brazilian Federal Agent Tony Lamazzo for help. As the harsh truth of her marriage brings a dose of reality to her life, she finds the temptation of getting closer to the strong, capable—and totally hot—Tony difficult to resist. She’s in Brazil on the Day of Dead, a day when Brazilians go wild. Why shouldn’t she go wild with Tony, for just one night, before returning home to start the new life alone she’ll have to learn to make for herself?
But when her son vanishes too, Kristi doesn’t know where to turn. Michael’s affair with drug-dealing Nara has exposed them all to the murderous wrath of a ruthless drug lord, and while she longs to trust Tony, she can’t trust his powerful and politically corrupt family. But in the dangerous slums and rainforests of Brazil, the danger mounts for both Kristi and her son, and a cold-blooded enemy has an agenda of his own. If she trusts Tony, she might save her son. Or it might just get them all killed…
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBj0-Y90NNA&feature=youtu.be
They wandered along the sand in the honeyed glow of evening, making their way towards the lights of the hotels. As they reached the beach steps, Kristi stumbled and felt Tony’s hand steady her. Poor guy, always saving me, she thought. He makes me feel protected. Some men are like that. She was sure women would love him. Any woman with any sense would want a man like Tony. She wondered if he was married.
Sitting down on the second step, she wiggled her toes in the warm sand.
“Tell me about yourself,” she said. “Have you always lived in Rio?”
He shook his head. “I was born in Sorrento, Italy. My father’s Italian and my mother’s Brazilian/American. They came to Brazil with me and my brother when I was ten. My father’s a rancher in Bahia. It’s a ways from the city. I went to college in Boston.”
“My mother wanted me to. Her parents live there. It was great, I loved it. Boston is so different from Rio.”
For some silly reason she was delighted to hear he’d been to college in a city she knew. “I grew up in Boston. Which college did you go to?”
He laughed. “You’re not going to believe this. I went to Berklee College of Music. I hoped to be lead guitarist in a famous band.”
She beamed at him. “You studied music! Josh is going to be so impressed! I can picture you. I bet you had long hair. Yeah? Curly, long hair. Did you play Hendrix?”
“Yeah. Voodoo Child. I rocked.”
“You’ll have to jam with Josh. Will you do that? Before we go? Please!”
Almost unconsciously she turned her head to look at him. As he was sitting on the step below her, they were almost eye to eye. His half-smile was sweet. Sexy. It made a shiver run through her. She jerked her gaze away. Suddenly she felt lost. What was she doing on the beach on a tropical night with this good-looking stranger? It would be fun to be single, to be flirting with no worries or complications. Was Michael doing that somewhere close by? Was he having an affair? Maybe her whole family was about to be shattered, like hers had been when she was not much younger than Josh. Tears filled her eyes. Quickly, she wiped them away. Then without meaning to, she gave a loud sob. You’re not going to cry! She forced herself to stop. She hiccuped. Some tourists passed by, carefully looking the other way. Oh God. What was she doing!
“Kristi,” he said, softly. “Whatever it is, we can figure it out. My brother, Rafael, is working on finding your husband. He is Deputy Chief of Civil Police. He’ll do everything anyone possibly could do. We’ll find your husband.”
Embarrassed, she nodded.
“Come on. Let’s get you back to your hotel,” he said, sounding awkward as he helped her up.
“I’m sorry I cried like that. I didn’t mean to.”
“I got an email yesterday. It was from Michael. It showed him hugging a local girl. They were at the beach right here in Copacabana. Michael had on those horrible little Speedos and the girl was wearing a mini bikini. They looked as if they were having a ball. I don’t know why he sent it to me.” Again, her eyes filled with tears. She blinked hard to hide them. “I don’t know what he thinks he’s doing. How can I ever take him back? I don’t even want him back. I don’t feel the same way about him. But what about Josh and the twins?” Now she’d told him all her problems again. What was wrong with her!
He sighed. “Oh Kristi.” Reaching out, he took her hand tentatively as if taking hands was not something he normally did. His fingers were hard and his palm callused. She liked hands like that. She felt a hot quiver run through her. She pulled her hand away. Where was she going with this? Was she crazy?
Of its own accord it seemed, her body leaned towards him. She slipped her hand back into his. The feel of his hand felt natural, comforting. Holding hands was underrated. She really, really wanted to hold his hand. She could feel the heat of his body where it touched hers. “You’ve been really nice to Josh and me,” she said. “I feel so strange. What if nothing was the way I thought it was for all these years?”
“Don’t judge anything now.”
“I didn’t know you did marriage counseling.”
He shrugged. “I only know it from the worse case scenario. If anything good happens, don’t consult me.”
“I was. She left me. It was my fault.”
She was about to ask what happened, when the first big drops of rain pelted down. “Want to make a dash for it?” he said. Fingers locked, they ran through the drizzle. As they reached the hotel foyer, he let go of her hand. They stood apart in the brightly lit elevator. Without meaning to, she again swayed closer to him, feeling her shoulder touch his warm arm. Self-consciously, she moved away, noticing the muscles of his arms and chest outlined by his damp tee-shirt. Rain pasted her wet tee-shirt to her body. Wondering if he could see her nipples, she pulled the clinging fabric away from her damp bikini top.
She unlocked the door and walked into the room. They were both wet. For a moment they just stood, looking at each. Then Tony laughed. “We’d be better on the balcony,” he said. “We’re dripping on the carpet.”
“Would you like a hot shower?”
“Not much point. I don’t have anything to change into.”
“Well, at least we can dry off a bit.” She grabbed two of the big, white towels and followed him out into the night. The air outside was balmy, much warmer than the air-conditioned room. Steam rose from the wet tiles, but the patio furniture was dry, protected from the rain by the balcony above. Tony crossed over to the railing and stood looking at the view, which Kristi noted was meltingly beautiful: white waves crashing, reflections of car lights shimmering on rain drenched Avenue Atlantica, the glittering lights of the favelas on the slopes of the mountains and hunched above it all, the dark jungle-covered morros.
She handed him a towel and stood watching he pulled off his damp shirt and began to dry himself off. He looked soooo good. He was just so indescribably hot and her husband was such an indescribable jerk. As he turned towards her, she quickly pulled her eyes away from his athletic body and found herself looking at his mouth. He had a beautiful mouth, lips tilted slightly up as if he’d never be able to look really angry. She wondered what it would be like to kiss him. There just seemed to be too much space between them and she had to close it. She moved towards him. His eyes, thick lashes still wet with raindrops, looked into hers. She closed her eyes and turned her face up to his. His lips touched hers. She knew she hadn’t left him much choice. His mouth was gentle, his lips warm and firm. She’d imagined a passionate kiss. She didn’t quite know what to do with a gentle one. His kiss was almost shy. Warmth throbbed through her. She was hot enough to melt. She longed for him to kiss her more.
He pulled away slightly, his hands holding her upper arms. “You’re so beautiful,” he murmured, stroking a tendril of wet hair back from her cheek. “Your husband is an idiot.” His eyes were filled with an emotion that sent a thrill through her. It was so good to feel appreciated, to feel again that someone thought she was beautiful. He looked at her quizzically. “I should leave.”
Ellie Eden thinks the next best thing to hot romance is reading or writing about it. And she finds it even better to be somewhat scared or totally petrified at the same time. That's why she loves Romantic Suspense/Thrillers. She favors strong, protective alpha heroes, but finds murderous but good-looking bad guys fun too, at least on paper. And she loves to escape into an exotic, preferably crime-ridden, location. In another life, Ellie Eden writes as Ellie Crowe, the best-selling author of two cultural travel books about the Hawaiian Islands and a number of award-winning biographies about mostly alpha heroes such as Surfer of the Century, the Life of Duke Kahanamoku.