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by J. Haymore
Publication date: October 20th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
He is everywhere. He surrounds me, permeates the air, wends his way under my skin. I can’t escape his strength, his intensity, his presence.
There’s nowhere to run.
Nowhere to hide.
But even if I could escape…would I be strong enough to leave?
I needed something—something big—to get myself out of the rut I’d fallen into after the car accident that killed my sister. This sailing trip was meant only to mark a new chapter in my life. Until Ethan Williams stepped on board.
Ethan radiated confidence. His darkly handsome good looks and ocean-blue eyes mesmerized me. But it was the way he looked at me that drew me in. He wasn’t looking at my past or at my scars, but the real me behind all that baggage I was trying so hard to leave behind.
But Ethan had secrets—dark, dangerous secrets. I was trapped in the middle of the ocean in a tangle of lies, sex, and violence. The problem was, I was happy to be trapped forever…if it meant I could have him.
Warning: Swept Away is a 4-part serial. This story is messy and twisted and very, very sexy. It is not for people under 18.
A shuffling movement comes from the direction of the navigation area. It’s Ethan, of course. Without trying to—without wanting to—I track his every movement whenever he’s near.
The trampoline grows taut beneath me as he steps on it. He sits beside me and stares up at the sky for a moment. Just having him this close washes heat over my skin.
He’s spoken to me over the past few days, of course. It’s unavoidable. He’s put on the mask of the unflinchingly polite gentleman again. It’s no wonder he’s good in business. He can be hard, terse, and commanding, but he can also be gracious and charming.
He turns to me and asks quietly, “Are you okay?”
This is the most personal question he’s asked me in days.
I give him a tight smile. “I’ve been through worse.”
“Yeah.” There’s a gruff edge of emotion in his voice.
He doesn’t know the half of it. I told him about my parents, but not about Em and the accident and the cause of my limp. He doesn’t know that I was almost killed in a convenience-store shooting, and that the only reason I’m lying here right now is because of a Good Samaritan who took a bullet for me.
Ethan lies beside me, stretching his tall form out next to mine. He’s large, and his weight makes the trampoline dip. My muscles tighten so my body doesn’t roll toward him. “Look at the stars,” he murmurs.
“I never thought I’d find it so peaceful out here.”
“What did you think sailing across the ocean would be like?”
“Dangerous,” he answers. “Uncomfortable. Miserable, actually.”
I turn to him, raising a brow. “Really?”
“Then why did you come? I know you said it was something you needed to do. But if you thought it would be dangerous, uncomfortable, and miserable, then why?”
He laughs quietly, but he doesn’t answer.
Fine. By now I know how private he is.
I stare at the stars brightening the sky. Below us, the Temptation dips and rolls. All is silent except for the gentle slosh of water against the hull.
“Tara,” he murmurs. His tone draws my gaze. He turns fully onto his side, propping his head up on his hand as he watches me.
“Have you ever been on a runaway train?”
I give a soft snort.
“That’s what I feel like I’m on right now.”
My lips twitch up, but they don’t quite make it to a smile. “Then put on the brakes, and you’ll stop moving before you crash.”
“It’s not that easy.”
“Because… I’ve tried to stop it since I… Since the first moment I saw you on that ramp and every day since then. But it isn’t going to work. I’ve tried, and… And I can’t.” He swallows hard, but his gaze doesn’t leave mine, not for a second.
My heart starts to pound. Emotions grab at me, excitement and fear and hope, along with a sharp edge of anger. “You’ve been doing a fine job of it for the past few days.”
He reaches out and touches my cheek. It’s just the gentlest touch, but it sends a bolt of electricity through me. “No. I’ve been doing a shit job of it. I’m good at pretending, but if you knew what was going on in my head—” He breaks off abruptly. After a quiet moment, he adds, “I can’t stop it. I can’t ignore it. Trying to is only going to make me crazy. So I’m done trying.”
USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Haymore is the author of sexy historical and contemporary romance.
You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.