I don’t know how I let it happen but I’m a couple of books behind in the HORNET series. I’m about halfway thru Book 5 and remembering again how much I love them! (And I’ll definitely be moving right into this one & letting you know what I think of both of them.)
HORNET Book 6
by Tonya Burrows
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Leah Giancarelli makes balancing her new role as a single mom look easy, but she’d have crumbled if not for her late husband’s best friend, Marcus. She has her issues with HORNET, an elite hostage rescue team—after all, Danny would still be alive if he’d never accompanied them on their last mission—but Marcus has always been by her side, a strong shoulder to lean on…
Until, after one impulsive kiss, he’s so much more.
Eaten alive by guilt, Marcus takes off, leaving both HORNET and Leah behind. Alone is easier. Safer. Because his feelings for Leah are all kinds of wrong, the worst kind of betrayal, and he can’t trust himself not to act on them.
But Danny’s death was only the beginning. Whoever hired the hitman is looking for something, and they think Leah knows where it is…
Each book in the HORNET series is STANDALONE:
Once she reached the pool and garden, she staggered to a halt. She didn’t know where to go. She was trapped inside this villa because someone wanted to hurt her. Just like how someone had hurt Danny. Pulverized his heart. The same heart she had listened to every night for thirteen years.
She jolted when Marcus touched her shoulder. She felt like she’d jump out of her skin if the wind blew in the wrong direction.
“I’m sorry,” Marcus said and turned her toward him, dragging her into his arms. He held her tight and pressed his face against the top of her head. “I shouldn’t have— I’m so sorry.”
She wrapped her arms around his waist and held on until the tremors passed. He felt safe, and she savored it even though she knew it was a false safety. The crash of emotions she felt toward him were anything but safe.
He eased away and gazed down, worry creasing his forehead. “Are you okay?”
She nodded, but when she tried to speak no words came out. She cleared her throat and tried again. “I thought I was ready to know how he died.”
He cradled her face in his hands, and she’d never seen his eyes so kind, so tender. “Danny’s last thought was for you and the kids. He loved you so much, Leah. That’s all you need to know about what happened that day. That’s all you need to hang on to. Let me carry the burden of remembering the hard parts, the ugly parts, for you.”
She brought her hands up to his wrists. “That’s not fair to you.”
“He’s dead and I’m alive. I’d say that’s plenty fair.”
She wasn’t sure what made her do it, but she stood up on her toes and pressed a kiss to his mouth. Maybe it was the emotional upheaval of the last few minutes. Maybe it was the way he looked at her with such tenderness, like she was the most precious thing he’d ever held in his arms. Maybe it was because she’d been yearning for the kind of connection she once shared with Danny. She’d never felt alone when he was alive. Now it was nothing but lonely days followed by even lonelier nights.
It was selfish, but for a moment, she wanted to be selfish.
Right now, she just wanted to feel something other than anger, hurt, fear, and sorrow.
Marcus’s muscles tensed as she slid her hands from his wrists to his shoulders. He wasn’t responding to her kiss.
He just stood there, all statue-like. She drew away, heat flooding into her cheeks.
Dammit, that had been stupid. “I-I shouldn’t have—”
Marcus released a shuddering breath and grabbed her around the waist with his big hands, drawing her flush against his hard body as his mouth descended on hers. He wasn’t gentle, wasn’t asking. He was taking, devouring, and nerve endings she forgot she had sparked to pleasurable life.
Every worry vaporized in the heat of his kiss. Every fear.
Every horrible image filling her mind. Everything. He made it all disappear. She gripped his shoulders, clung to him, feeling anchored for the first time in a year.
But then he released her.
The action was so abrupt she wobbled and nearly fell over. No more anchor. He’d ripped it away and left her drifting again.
Marcus stared at her with hooded eyes, his chest heaving with ragged pants. Since he wore nothing but sweatpants, it was impossible to miss how the kiss had affected him. He was aroused. Very aroused. Her gaze skimmed down to the tent at the front of his pants, and she felt an answering clench of need deep in her belly.
Marcus casually covered his erection with one hand. “I, uh, have work to do before the team gets here.”
He spun away, poised to bolt like she was a dangerous creature he had to escape. She couldn’t let him. If she let him run now, he’d keep running. That was what he always did.
“Marcus, wait.” She caught his hand and he glanced over his shoulder at her. Their gazes clashed, held. In his dark eyes, she saw the heat of desire, but also the blaze of anger. Was he angry at her? Or himself?
She dropped his hand, letting him go. He didn’t move. Just stood there, half turned away, a muscle ticking in his jaw.
“It’s not right,” he finally said so softly she wasn’t sure she’d heard him correctly.
“It’s not right.” This time, there was no doubt in his voice. He waved a hand back and forth in the empty space between them. “This. You and me. Can’t happen.”
Tonya Burrows wrote her first romance at age 13 and hasn’t put down her pen since. Originally from a small town in Western New York, she suffers from a bad case of wanderlust and usually ends up moving someplace new every few years. As of now, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with The Boyfriend, a diva schnoodle, a plucky pug-mix, and #writercat.
When she’s not writing about hunky military heroes, Tonya can usually be found kayaking, hiking, or road tripping across the country. She also enjoys painting and B grade disaster movies.
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