For Hannah, Mercy Island is a refuge, a new beginning, and a place to find safety in her own skin. Here, in this peaceful, beachside place, she will rediscover all those pieces of herself her abusive ex stole away. For Bear, Mercy Island is a prison, a backwater, a place he can’t wait to escape. Away, in the city, he’ll chase his dreams and lose the bad memories haunting him.
When Hannah's home is damaged in an ugly storm, Bear offers his handyman services to repair it—a last job and a pretty girl to pass the time before he heads out. But Hannah is terrified to lose herself in another relationship, and Bear isn’t in it for the long haul.
However, their simmering sexual attraction refuses to be ignored, and just because love isn’t on the line doesn’t mean sex isn’t on the table. A no-strings-attached brief fling to curb the tension and take the edge off. No ties. No emotions. No pain.
But love has a way of coming in the windows, even when you’ve slammed the door, if only Hannah and Bear can stop looking to the past and find hope in their future.
The air was buzzing. His gaze questioned me. Dared me.
I kept on kneading. Silence fell between us, but our desire was so damn loud I couldn’t drown it out. I wanted him so bad, I ached. An ache only his lips against mine would satisfy.
Was I willing to throw caution to the wind and go for it? His leaving be damned. And just kiss him. Cross that item right off the list.
He handed me a dish and I popped the dough inside to leave it to sit for half an hour. He did the same. I covered it with cling film and washed my hands. All distractions from the need unfurling in my body like a flower in bloom.
I met his gorgeous green eyes and grinned sheepishly.
He held my gaze, not looking away, not letting me look away either. How could he do that, lasso me with his stare? He’d done it from the first moment I saw him through the windscreen of his car.
He took a step closer, slowly, as though testing the water. I didn’t back away. Hell, I was so damn ready for this, I felt like grabbing his shirt and yanking him towards me. Another step until he was standing close, his body-heat mingling with my own. Face nearer, his lips met mine, a soft quick touch. A short second of space, then he pressed his lips to mine again, firmer, and lingered this time as we breathed each other in.
I backed away, far enough to peer up at that gorgeous face, into those eyes. Our lips met once more, firmer now. He opened my mouth and his tongue found mine, warm and silky. My stomach tugged and tensed with the sensation. I tilted my head so his mouth slanted over mine as I sought more from him. The quietest mewls sounded in my throat, yet it had the power to explode my yearning like a flame to dynamite. I deepened the kiss, tasting, wanting.
I didn’t want to, I really, really didn’t want to, but I dragged myself away from that mouth and body. I couldn’t look at him for a moment, couldn’t trust myself, and yet couldn’t make distance between us. I wanted to scream. And I wanted him so bad, hard, dirty and endlessly, just like in my dream.
My chest was heaving. I traced my finger over my lips; I could still feel him there and I ached for more. We stared at each other, trying to ignore the crackle in the air, the magnetic pull, the deep crushing desire.
He leant closer. I wasn’t going to stop him. Couldn’t. His hands crawled under my shirt, touched the skin of my stomach. Oh that feels so good. My muscles quivered. I sighed as he gripped my waist and pulled me to him. Chest to chest.
And we were kissing again with fervent lips, breath and tongue. I couldn’t not kiss him. And editor or not, I didn’t give a rats about that double negative. My hands were on his waist, back, arse, and I was pulling him harder to me.
‘Do you know how good you taste?’ he whispered as he nibbled and sucked at my lips.
That tongue and the sweet salty scent of his hair and skin. I wanted more. Needed more. And he gave it, long warm licks against my tongue until I couldmelt to the floor.
I managed to drag myself away and look up at him.
He smiled so warmly, his eyes bright and cheerful. ‘Hannah,’ he said in his deep, delicious voice.
I grinned and blushed until I had to look away. ‘We better get these pizzas cooking.’
He laughed. ‘Yes.’
Jacquie has a business degree, has studied post-graduate Writing, Editing and Publishing at The University of Queensland, and is currently finishing her research dissertation as a student of the Master of Letters program at Central Queensland University. She is an author of a number of digitally published novels, novellas and short stories that are emotionally driven and possess unique themes beyond the constraints of the physical universe.