Excerpt: An Affair of Deceit by Jamie Michele

An Affair of Deceit
By: Jamie Michele
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Published: March 30, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense

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Diligent attorney Abigail Mason doesn’t have a lot of time–not for the father, a legendary spymaster, who abandoned her years ago, and not for the charming CIA agent who’s suddenly asking questions about his whereabouts. But her interest is definitely piqued–just what has her father done to find himself in the agency’s crosshairs?

A trained psychologist, Agent James Riley doesn’t need his degree to figure out that the persistent, sexy Abigail will be a problem? both for his investigation and his heart. And while he needs her cooperation, he’s not ready for the hands-on, dangerous role she insists on taking in the search for her father.

As the two uncover startling truths about a secretive past, can Riley shield the woman he’s come to love from a madman who wants her to pay for the sins of her father?

 

 

With great effort, she cracked open her eyes.

Riley was climbing into bed beside her, trying in vain to be quiet. Her senses awoke as she breathed in distinctly French scents of lavender and rosemary, gloriously edible. He must have bought a new soap. She felt suddenly dirty and wished she’d taken a bath as well. There were few things as pleasurable as sliding into bed after a scalding rinse, and indeed, wet heat radiated from his body to hers.

His legs rustled under the thin cotton sheets. One of his feet connected with hers.

“Sorry,” he mumbled.

“No problem.”

Was his foot bare? Well, that seemed perfectly normal. She surmised that not everyone wore socks to bed, particularly in this warm climate. She opened one eye to see what else he wore—and struggled to keep from gasping.

He wore nothing, at least nothing on top. He was lying on his stomach, his face turned toward her, his pretty green eyes closed. One tanned arm propped up his head, and the other stretched out in front of him. A strong hand rested near her nose. Although his wavy brown curls were still wet, he looked asleep.

Abigail, on the other hand, was absolutely awake and a little angry. What nerve he had, coming to bed without a shirt!

Damn it, she was a prude. She wished she’d taken off more clothes.

No. She shouldn’t have taken off more clothes; he should have kept himself covered. It wasn’t on her to remove—it was on him to stay dressed, for crying out loud.

She wondered if he was wearing underpants.

What a thought! Her entire body shivered. He wouldn’t be so disrespectful. Would he?

Curiosity threatened to overwhelm her, but she refused to succumb. She would…not…look!

Instead, she tugged the sheets up in a big, decisive motion, but something went wrong: the ancient cotton billowed like a sail in full wind. In the seconds it took the musty cloth to settle back on their bodies, she saw with crystal clarity that Riley wore nothing but a pair of white boxer shorts. His long legs were tanned, toned, and naked, mere inches from hers.

Cool sweat materialized on her forehead. She closed her eyes but couldn’t forget the perfect curve of his muscular butt under the crisp fabric of his shorts.

How dare he? Was she so easy to resist that he could sleep nearly naked next to her without a wink of interest? Irritation welled inside her.

“Did you leave your pajamas at home, Dr. Riley?” she said, her voice loud and shrill in the nearly empty room.

“What?” he grumbled. “Oh, give me a break. This is how I sleep.”

“This is hardly a normal sleeping occasion.”

“Abigail, I’m tired. I’m not going to fight with you. And I’m not getting out of bed. You said I could share. Now deal with it.”

Fine.

 

Award-winning romance writer and former zookeeper Jamie Michele has wrestled a giant python, hand-captured a rogue vulture, and brushed the teeth of an alligator, but when she decided to write a novel, she did the unexpected: she didn’t write about animals. Instead, she indulged her long fascination with international espionage, merging it with her deep knowledge of the trials of love to produce AN AFFAIR OF VENGEANCE (Montlake Romance 2012), winner of a prestigious Golden Heart from the Romance Writers of America. Now trapped in a very boring suburb, Jamie writes sexy, page-turning romances while managing her own little zoo, which consists of three cats and two exceedingly handsome great apes.

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