Title: Illicit Desire
Author: Taylor Michaels
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Raphael is everything I should run away from… Cora Milan came to Miami to get a fresh start, away from the memories and stigma that followed her and her brother at home. When she’s mugged, Raphael Ortiz rescues her. He’s sexy, successful, and dangerous—Miami’s most eligible bachelor and it’s most elusive. A cartel lord who lives on the wrong side of the law, with only a veneer of respectability. He is the exact opposite of a clean slate, and he makes no apologies for wanting her. When Raphael forces his way into her life, Cora knows she should run. But the attraction between them is undeniable, and Raphael is a man accustomed to getting what he wants. The more she loses herself in him, the deeper she is drawn into Raphael’s criminal world. But when her past, and his present collide, both of them will be left grasping for the only thing that can save them from the darkness around them—each other.
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Miguel nods, and pours two shots of tequila. He passes me one silently. "Want to tell me what's going on with the new girl?"
My hackles rise, and I swallow hard to keep from lashing out at my best friend. He stares at me, the friendly facade gone. In its wake, a serious-eyed young man stares at me, too smart for his own damn good.
"Nothing," I say, and toss back the tequila.
"Shit, boss. Don't give me that. You gave her an executive position in the company, and a check for thirty five grand. As gestures go, that's pretty fucking grand."
I give him a sour look. "She's an employee, and she was hurt on our turf—we don't let that go unanswered."
"You did answer that, Rafe. We retaliated, and you paid your debt. So what the hell is going on here?"
He goes quiet, waiting, and I think.
She's fascinated me since I first saw her, pale and beautiful on the steps of my building, completely lost in herself. So sweet and innocent. And I haven't gotten her out of my head since. I can't keep lying to myself and saying it was because of the mugging—that shit is common enough in my world that had it been any other girl, I would have forgotten it before I went a city block.
"She didn't care who I was. She wanted to know what happened to her purse. She didn't give a fuck who I was."
"So fuck her, and get her out of your system,” Miguel says, brutally.
"What do you think I'm doing?" I snap.
"You just ordered Lou to some backwater town in Alabama. You took her to your apartment. And gave her a job two doors away from you. Whatever you're doing, you aren't getting her out of your system. What do you think will happen when she does sleep with you, and you're ready to move on—what are you going to do about the fact that she's now an executive in the fucking company?"
"You brought her in, Raphael—the cartel will want answers. Benni will want them. Are you ready for that?"
I snarl, a wordless threat, and Miguel goes quiet. "I know exactly what my family will demand, Miguel. Don't presume too much."
He says something short and succinct in Spanish, and I flash a smile, my anger breaking. Some of the tension in his shoulders eases.
"I hope like hell this girl is as amazing in bed as you think she'll be."
I think about her, panting against the wall, and let a smile turn my lips. "She will be."
Taylor Michaels is the pseudonym for Nazarea Andrews. Her books tend toward dark adult romance. She still likes chocolate and wine and book boys a little sexier than they should be. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook and loves hearing from readers. When not writing, she can most often be found playing taxi driver for her three daughters, hanging out with her husband at their small business, or burning dinner. She lives in Georgia.