Smoke and SinThe Perfect Gentlemen, Book 4
When a killer threatens these former lovers, can they stay together or will their past keep them apart forever?
More than a decade ago, Roman Calder had a scorching affair with the sister of one of his best friends. Augustine Spencer drove him so crazy he thought of nothing but her. The only thing they did more often than heat the sheets was fight. Unprepared for the intensity of their relationship, Roman broke things off and concentrated on the things that made sense to him: his career and putting his best friend, Zack Hayes, in the White House.
Gus Spencer is known to Washington insiders as the president’s secret weapon. Gorgeous and brilliant, Gus runs the press pool with the determination of a shark. No one dares to cross her, not when she’s known for having a spine of steel. But long ago one man melted her down. Despite the fact that she’ll never forgive Roman for breaking her heart, now that they work together she can’t get him off her mind.
When a dangerous investigation leads both Roman and Gus to London, the heat between them becomes unbearable. As they begin to unravel an international conspiracy, they find themselves falling all over again. But when a killer threatens their world, can they fight to stay together or will the sins of their past keep them forever apart?
** Series must be read in order **
Gus moved into his space, her hand wrapping around his tie. “Hang on. You’ve got this knotted wrong. It’s too short for this suit. Can’t have the great Roman Calder looking less than perfect.”
Yes, there was his heart. It was thudding in his chest because she was touching him for the first time in years. Gus was always careful. Even when they worked together long into the night, she made a concerted effort to keep distance between them. Now she moved in close and he could feel the brush of her breasts against his chest as she righted his tie.
“What’s happening with Zack and Liz?” he reiterated, staying perfectly still under Gus’s hands. He didn’t want to give her any reason to stop. Being so close to her, he could feel the heat of her body, smell the delicate scent of citrus that clung to her. Desire warmed his blood.
She twisted the tie with an expert hand. “Well, after years of flirtation your boy suddenly decided that he no longer wanted my girl. It’s like getting dumped—and hard—when you least expect it, and you didn’t even get the fun stuff that might have made the upset worthwhile.”
Roman had to defend his best friend. He also had to keep up the pretense to prevent Gus from guessing the real reason Zack had put distance between him and his press secretary. “I’m sorry Liz is hurt, but I doubt Zack meant to make her feel as if their relationship was anything more than professional. I should probably be less surprised that Liz developed feelings for him. Zack has a certain charm, I suppose, and I know many women view him as a challenge. Still, for him they’ve always shared a strictly working rapport.”
Her hands didn’t stop working, but her eyes suddenly lifted, met his. Roman worried Gus could see right through him.
“Really? I find that interesting since I’ve watched them together for the last few years. He tends to her as often as she does to him. But then I suppose my instincts aren’t the best when it comes to the Perfect Gentlemen.” She released his tie and tried to step back.
Gritting his teeth, Roman caught her hands gently in his. “It’s not the same, Augustine. What’s happening between Zack and Liz is nothing like what happened between us. Zack’s never touched her. Don’t paint him with the same brush. He’s not a bad guy.”
“But you are? Somehow, I don’t think you see things that way.”
He knew he should let her go, knew touching her, being this close, was dangerous, but he couldn’t force himself to step back. For the first time in thirteen years, she was looking at him. She was giving him an opportunity to explain himself.
Had he been waiting all these years to do exactly that? He’d tried to call her over and over after that night. She’d changed her number, and he’d convinced himself it was for the best. The very next time he’d seen her, she’d been so cold that he’d sworn the memories of her warm smiles and hot embraces couldn’t possibly have been real. He’d let more than a dozen years slide by since then. He thought he’d gotten over their affair. He’d even convinced himself that he’d fallen for another woman. Later, he’d pondered marriage. Having a family had actually crossed his mind once or twice. Inevitable as he’d gotten older, he supposed. Maybe parenting wouldn’t be so terrible. Maybe he’d matured enough to be a decent father. Roman didn’t know.
What he knew for damn sure was that he was right back here with Augustine. Full circle.
“I see myself as the man who hurt you when I didn’t mean to.”
She backed away, ending the contact with a laugh that didn’t sound even vaguely happy. “Roman, that was forever ago. I don’t think about it.”
That was his cue to puff up and toss back the “fact” that he thought about her even less. At least that’s what he would have done in the past. Before Joy died. Before they’d lost Mad. Somehow enduring all that, knowing that life guaranteed no tomorrows, had made him less combative. “I think about it a lot. All the time lately.”
5 Stars! “Two AMAZING characters. One UNDENIABLE connection. A SECOND CHANCE they never knew they wanted. SMOKE AND SIN was absolute PERFECTION!”
-Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads
A complete home run! “I couldn’t put this book down, for the heat and the angst, the passion and the pain drew me in.”
-April’s Blog of Awesomeness
5 Stars! “Smoke and Sin kept me up all night, even when I did go to bed my mind kept playing out all the possibilities. As the authors take us closer and closer to the big finale I'm about to burst with excitement and curiosity.”
-iScream Books Blog
“Smoke and Sin is an edge of your seat, oh my God- did that just happened, scandalous and sexy read.”
-Coffee, Books, Life Blog
5 Stars! “Hot, angst filled, dramatic and full of surprises. This second chance at love story kept me up until 3am and then all I wanted to do was re-read it.”
-Top 10 Romance Books Blog
5 Stars! “AMAZING! I absolutely love Shayla Black and Lexi Blake's Perfect Gentlemen series as it legit has the perfect combination of action, romance, heat, a compelling storyline and HOT characters!!
-Bookgasms Book Blog
5 Stars! “EPIC MUST READ! [Shayla Black and Lexi Blake] are the Queens for romantic suspense novels delivering 5 Stars of passion, red hot lust with a side of mystery and suspense!”
– Wit & Wonder Books
5 Stars! “Smoke And Sin is a thrilling, exciting, fast-paced, super sexy read that gets a RIVETING FIVE SHOOTING STARS!”
– Marie's Tempting Reads