Title: Ace of Spades by Sandra Owens
Aces & Eights Series Book Three
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Length: 301 pages
Two FBI agents struggle with desire in the shadow of a killer, in the third installment of Aces & Eights.
Nate Gentry has been a rock for his two younger brothers since the day their mom walked out and left them with their abusive father. Now that they’ve grown up, he’s watched Alex and Court fall in love and settle down. But Nate isn’t made for romance. He keeps his relationships casual. And getting casual with his partner is a fantasy he can’t shake…
Taylor Collins has feelings for Nate, too—and though they run hot, her best friend on the team is strictly off limits. Until a spark in his eyes says, Go for it. But reaching out could prove to be a bad move now that they’re working closer together than ever, and on the most dangerous case of their careers.
An investigation into a brutal series of murders is stirring up bad memories for Taylor, and neither she nor Nate can imagine how close to home it’s going to hit. When it does, Nate will risk everything—including his heart—to keep Taylor safe.
Nate pushed his beer aside and leaned forward, resting his arms on the table. “I owe you an apology.”
“For being an ass yesterday.”
She laughed. “That’s pretty much your usual self. No reason to apologize.”
“If that’s true, why do you even like being friends with me?” He’d never given it much thought, but no matter how moody he got, it didn’t seem to bother her. Taylor was always her happy self, pretty much ignoring his grouch. That was one reason he liked her. She let his shit roll over her, and more times than not, he forgot to be grumpy when he was with her. But what did she get out of their friendship? He couldn’t think of much.
“Because someone needs to be your friend.” She smiled as she reached across the table and touched his arm. “Because I like you. Other than your brothers, I’m probably the only person you don’t scare. I don’t know why. Just one of the mysteries of the universe, I guess. Because I think you need me in your life.”
“I don’t even know what to say to that.” He hadn’t even cried when his mother had left, but this woman’s words had him blinking his eyes against the sting in them.
“You don’t have to say anything.” She took her hand away from his arm, and he wanted to grab it back. “So when are you going to agree to have an affair with me?”
He choked on the beer he’d just swallowed. “Just get that right out there, why don’t you?”
“Well, when it’s what we both want, why not?”
“Yeah, why not?” He stared into blue eyes that he could drown in. “Because I’ll only end up hurting you.”
“I won’t let you.”
“You can’t know that.” If he could believe she wouldn’t let him hurt her, he’d scoop her up this very minute and take her straight to his bed.
She peered at him over the rim of her wine glass. “And if I do? Then what’s stopping you?”
His integrity, what little he had? “I’ll never marry. If you fall in love with me, that’s what you’ll want. Since I can’t give that to you, I’ll hurt you.”
The biggest grin he’d ever seen on her face appeared. “Already, you’re refusing a proposal I never asked for or wanted. Another reason why I like you, Nate. You’re amusing even when you don’t mean to be.” Her smile faded. “So, here’s the thing. I’m not husband shopping. I just lust over your body.”
“You’re testing my limits, Taylor. You know what they say. Be careful what you ask for.”
A best selling, award-winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She’s jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed thrilling stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing.
Sandra is a member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll and a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, CRAZY FOR HER. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.