Kellan might not have the mob ties his brothers do but that doesn’t stop him from being a bad boy …
Bad Boys Gone Good series
by Christi Barth
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kellan Maguire’s on the run from the mob, living a secret life. The only bright spot is his U.S. Marshal handler. Yeah, he wants to handle her….a lot. And in spite of all the rules it would break, Federal Marshal Delaney Evans secretly fears she’d risk everything for one night with Kellan. Even though Delaney’s career, her entire world, could implode if she admits how important he is to her. And all that is before the biggest complication of all hits…
Kellan clasped a thin bracelet around her left wrist. A silver key and a heart-shaped lock dangled from it. “This is my way of saying thank you. A reminder that you’ve got my heart all locked up now.”
All that thick blond hair hid her face as she stared down at her wrist wordlessly. For a while. For too long. Long enough that Kellan focused on the rushing of the river and the squawk from ducks at its edge.
Shit. Was it too much? Had he pushed too fast?
Delaney slid out of the chair to her knees. Then she threw her arms around his neck, locking her crossed wrists at the back of his head. “Thank you. I . . . I never planned on having someone feel like this about me. I was sure I didn’t want it to happen. But I’m genuinely thrilled to hear you say all this.”
Never planned on—what did that mean? How many secrets had she still not shared?
This near whisper of an admission sounded as if it was wrenched from deep inside of her. Pushing for more seemed like a sure-fire way to set off one of their old habitual fights. And Kellan was damn pleased that it’d been a while since they’d fallen into that trap. They deserved one of those OSHA safety signs—It has been 10 days since our last incident. “Any time I can provide a thrill, I call it a good date.”
“I’m truly touched. I wish I had something to give you. For making me feel so special.”
“No way. That’s like writing a thank you note for a thank you note.” On the other hand, he could press his luck a little more. Because Delaney was damned hard to read. “You could maybe let me know if and/or when you feel the same way.”
Her eyes flew wide open. “Can’t you tell?”
Maybe? The thing was, “maybe” didn’t cut it. Kellan needed to know. “I don’t like to raise at the poker table unless I’m damned sure of what I’m holding—and what everyone else is holding.”
“Oh, for God’s sake.” Delaney rolled her eyes and dropped her head back. But to Kellan, her oh-so-habitual look of annoyance was simply adorable. “What is it with men? Not every analogy has to come down to poker or The Godfather.”
“That movie actually never played in my house. I guess now I know why.”
“Ironic.” Delaney wriggled up against him. Then she kissed him, slowly. Softly. When she started to pull away, Kellan tightened one arm around her waist. Okay, sort of her waist. More that he started there before immediately moving down to anchor his hand on her sweet ass. Then he took charge of the kiss.
He liked to take charge in the bedroom. And, surprisingly, his hard-as-nails, normally take-charge marshal seemed to relish it when he did. Just more proof that they were right for each other.
So Kellan drew out the kiss. Kept it soft. Tender. Romantic, to suit the day and the setting. He wanted Delaney to go back over these kisses, these stolen moments, a hundred times a day on all the days when they were stuck hundreds of miles apart. Until he figured out a way to keep them together.
There had to be a way.
USA TODAY bestselling author Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series.
Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.
2 Series Blankets, Mug and Notebook