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Buttoned-up collars. Comfortable routine. This is Katrina Hammond's career at a London auction house—until she's whisked off to Spain to evaluate the private collection of dark and sexy Sergio Teodoro. He's dominant, commanding, totally in control…and he sees another work of art in the exquisite Katrina—one definitely worth admiring. And
But another surprise awaits Katrina in the shadows of the impressive Teodoro villa. It's Sergio's younger brother Nicolas, a disinherited and passionate artist whom Katrina finds equally irresistible. And she's more than willing to risk a little sibling rivalry. But there may be more to Sergio and Nicolas's erotic games than Katrina imagined. Something dark, dangerous, and reckless.
The moon barely struggled through the clouds, and as Katrina looked at the grounds below the window they were was so dense with foliage that all she could make out at first was inky darkness. Tentatively, she opened the window. She struggled to see, but as her eyes became accustomed to the gloom, she saw a figure moving below. Moonlight brushed the side his body, making him seem ethereal and ghostlike. A hand lifted.
Anticipation rippled through her, and she returned the wave. When she did, the figure moved quickly to the wall beneath her. For a moment he disappeared from view, and she realized he was climbing onto the ground level window ledge below, where a storage room below housed cleaning equipment.
Leaning out of the window, she felt like Juliet looking for her Romeo. That tale had ended badly, and the mental connection made her shiver. She knew this was wrong. She was supposed to be working for her hosts, her clients, the people who had commissioned her on behalf of Pocklington's to undertake this job. Instead she was colluding with the disinherited son, a man she had been warned about, a man who was lurking around the building like a thief in the night.
What the hell am I thinking of?
Then she remembered the way Nicolas had looked that morning when he had connected with her, and she felt torn. He had his motives. She was attracted to the man, but was he just using her? It did matter to her. Over the course of the day while she'd been anticipating seeing him again, she'd thought it didn't matter, but deep down it did. When you are attracted to someone, you want them to be attracted to you for the right reasons, the same reasons. Either way, he was on his way up here, scaling the wall by moving up the jutting plinths and ledges, and he was about to climb into the gallery.
I'll confront him before he touches me. Yes, find out what he really
wants from me.
Stepping back, she watched as he came through the window, awed at the easy way he moved, every limber flex suggesting fitness and vitality. He grinned at her as he landed on the floor and then straightened up.
Oh, but he was gorgeous.
"You can't use the door like a normal person?" she said, a soft laugh escaping her.
"I have the security code, but every time it's used, it is logged by the system. I don't want to use it at night unless absolutely necessary."
She recalled Elaine hitting a panel to one side of the front door as they left the house that morning. Presumably the doors could only be opened from the outside if you had the code.
He closed the window behind him and glanced around.
She noticed fondness in his eyes as he looked across at the collection on display. That struck her oddly. Did he want it? Was that what this was all about and, if so, had he taken the missing pieces?
"The dining room window was open the other night," he added.
For the first time, she noticed that he spoke simply, as if he was still learning English and sometimes had to reach to find the appropriate word. Sergio was fluent. Then she noticed something new, a scar, a thin red line on his cheekbone. "What happened to your face?"
"The argument continued after you had gone." He shrugged it off. "It is nothing."
Nothing? They were fighting verbally and physically. God, she was a fool to let him in. "You shouldn't have risked coming here again."
"I had to come." He eyed her up and down, slowly and deliberately.
The weight of his stare made her feel weak. How was it that he affected her so easily? Did he represent desire, or rebellion? Or do I understand just enough about psychology to cripple myself with it?
She backed away.
His smile faded.
"What is it that you want from me?" she demanded.
His eyelids dropped, and he stepped away from her, moving between the cabinets, looking in at the contents. "Please don't be afraid, that is not my intention."
Slowly, she turned on the spot, keeping her eyes on him, watching him as he moved through the gallery space.
He paused, ran one finger along the top of a glass display case, and then glanced back at her. "Last night, you said you wanted me."
Swallowing, she forced herself to lift her chin, to face him. "I did... But I'm working for Sergio. I shouldn't even be talking to you."
A slow smile passed over his face, and he returned his attention to the cabinet.
Was this leading her into big trouble? "I hardly know you," she whispered, "and I don't understand what is happening here."
"You don't understand the desire?" He flashed her a teasing glance as he continued his circuit of the gallery.
Oh God, the look in his eyes right then made her melt. "That part I understand completely." She folded her arms, attempting to give herself a backbone. Apparently one look at him had made it melt away into nothing. "I mean...I'm not sure about everything else."
"I understand that." He leaned his head to one side to observe a set of small plaster figurines, early models of the larger ones that stood on pedestals, before he continued.
"Katrina, when I originally made contact with you, it was to talk about all of this, not risk my neck for the sake of another kiss." He gestured around the gallery with one hand. His mouth lifted on one side. Then he moved on, strolling in and out of the cabinets. "I needed to know what my brother was doing with the family collection, and I..." He glanced around the gallery. "I wanted to see the collection one last time."
He looked back at her. "But now that I am here, I find it is you that I want to see, more than any of it."
Her pulse raced, anticipation crackling in the air between them.
"I think perhaps it was the lure of an amante that has brought me here, as much as the art." Brooding, hungry eyes fixed her on the spot.
A delicious shiver ran up her spine. Oh, how that made her want him, and how hard it made it do anything other than respond in kind, her body craving his.
He was closer now, having circuited the display cases, a mere four paces away. Her pulse raced, her body hot and alert with anticipation. Her resistance was melting, but unease still wrestled with the desire increasing inside her. "I'm concerned. Sergio was acting crazy this morning. You've been injured. This doesn't feel right. It's dangerous. Wrong."
"I had to come, to see you." His voice, deep and suggestive, claimed her. "I've been thinking about you all day. This morning...I wanted to take you out of here myself."
Take me away, away from the job, so that Sergio can't sell the art?
And then his hands on her body took away every last shred of rational thought, any ability to question his motives.
He cupped her cheek in one warm hand and kissed her, brushing his lips over hers and barely making contact. The gentle caress was powerfully seductive, nonetheless. "I want you," he whispered against her mouth.
The possessive edge to his words brought about a rush of heat, a liquid density inside her that had responded to his secret and forbidden presence.
Her head dropped back, and she stared into his eyes. Their bodies were touching, and she swayed under his spell. Her lips parted, yearning for more, her legs felt weak.
His hand was grasping her around the waist, squeezing her closer, so that she could feel how hard he was. "This desire between us, you want to know more of it, don't you, just as I do?"
There was still time to end this, to do the right thing, the professional thing. This was her telling moment.
Yes, or no?
She ached for him, an undeniable sense of wanting that he had stirred in her, a nagging need that had to be fulfilled. Her heart raced, her blood on fire for him. There was no turning back, not now. At her core, her body silently throbbed its response.
Yes, oh yes!
What the reviewers say:
"Reckless is a thrilling read that keeps the reader engaged. Katrina,
Nicolas, and Sergio heat the pages like a match burning every page. The world that the three share is fascinating. I loved the setting and atmosphere especially when Katrina gets to the country home. Saskia Walker creates passionate characters that almost grab the reader and pulls them inside the pages. With a great plot, she weaves a tale that is hard to put down. The way she molds the characters into the storyline is cleverly done and the secondary characters add great finesse to the theme of the story, making it a superb read." Cherokee, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
"Then the mystery started unfolding, the plot thickened, our heroine blossomed, and the confusion over which brother was the hero and which was the villain made the story exquisitely interesting. The book was enjoyable, the tension high, and I found myself really caring about the characters, including and especially Katrina. The
sex is tortuously tender and the hero very in control of making certain the heroine enjoyed every second, which made reading the scenes a steamy experience." Karen Haas, for JERR
"This was a really intriguing mystery. I had clues as to what was going on, but certainly didn't expect what the author revealed at the end. The relationship developed at a steady pace, and the sex was steamy. Definitely a good read to invest your time in." Reviewed by Chris for Night Owl Romance.
"Reckless is an erotic, suspenseful novel that leaves the reader on edge. The lush, descriptive detail moves the story at a nice even pace, with each question the reader might have neatly cleared up by the author. Each of the main characters are intensely believable and the secondary ones help to put the story lines into perspective. The dialog flowed, the emotions either intense or light and flirty as
needed. Each love scene is charged with a sense of danger, tension, and erotic heat. With a climactic ending and a blossoming love, Ms. Walker leaves the reader clamoring for more Reckless." Shannon, for The Romance Studio
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