Jennifer West lives a vibrant life, taking risks in her personal life…one man at a time. On her quest to find Mr. Right, she meets Jake Donavan. A man with some serious sex appeal. Yet he falls under the Mr. Wrong category. He’s an ex-black ops agent, working head of security for S-Tec. Jennifer’s mugging sends up a red flag, and Donavan works behind the scenes to discover her attacker. But there is something she doesn’t want him to discover, yet no secret can stay buried forever. As her stalker closes in, Donavan shows his gentle side—a man he hasn’t allowed himself to be in a long time.
Danger is rising and only one man may protect her…
Jennifer West strode down Main Street with her Penn State crew; girls she loved and trusted with her whole heart. Especially Brooke Stone. She eyed her best friend, loving how beautifully confident she appeared. Brooke needed this night to blow off steam. Life had thrown her friend a shit-ton of curveballs after losing her uncle to cancer and stuck with his debts.
But no more.
Tonight Jennifer and Brooke would shake off their hectic workweeks and have some much-needed fun.
Mike waited for her. He was about average height with wavy brown hair and sparkling blue eyes. So lean, the guy could work a pair of jeans. They’d met after her decision to try skydiving; a feat she’d enjoyed. He’d been her instructor, and they’d hit it off. One drink. Two drinks. They’d ended up parting their zippers.
He met her and her girls at the door of her favorite bar, Looney’s. His squad of dudes swarmed the front entrance, looking all hot and magnificent. This would be a great night, full of fun and excitement.
She had faith.
Mike snatched her up in his arms, laying a hot kiss across her lips. Nope. He did nothing for her—like their night had been. Stale. Lifeless. Forgettable.
She knew deep down, she couldn’t continue this path of guys and too many nights. But she hated to think that her life would boil down to her own company in her high-rise apartment…alone. Yet she wasn’t game for more forgettable moments either.
Something had to change.
As her party people moved ahead of her, she lagged behind. Not that she minded. There was no reason to appear too eager.
Out of the corner of her eye, Jennifer saw him. The him she thought she’d never see again.
He is here?
Her lusty reaction flamed.
She chalked up her horn bee response to him as normal. He hit at least 6’4 of pure muscle—the kind that resembled The Rock, but hotter. His close cropped hair added to his sexy factor too. The pure chocolate sin of his eyes held a darkness beyond color, a mystery she’d never solved in their brief time together. He had a Roman nose with high cheekbones down to firm lips. He had a mouth that knew every inch of her too. They had hooked up. She wouldn’t think about him now. Maybe he’d leave if she ignored him.
She had to forget him and she’d make herself. Her brain was on board with that concept, but tell that to her heart. Giving herself a mental shake, she would turn the corner on his dark and dangerous vibe.
Donavan’s eyes narrowed and his firm, drive-me-wild lips were set in a firm line. He towered over her, making her feel all soft and feminine.
He is too close.
She hated that she cared.
He invaded her personal space, his hand enclosing her wrist. “I need to speak with you, Red.”
Jennifer jerked her arm away. “I have nothing to say to you,” she volleyed, taking a step forward, trying to escape him.
“What game are you playing at?” he growled. “I have something serious to say.”
He crowded her, as if he were trying to intimidate her. Her jaw hardened. “I’m sorry, do I know you?”
She knew she was being bitchy, but he chose now to act as if he gave a crap? That he knew her? No, not happening. Butt hurt, she would not be. As far as she knew, he didn’t even know her name. That wasn’t grounds for an urgent conversation.
*Subject to change prior to publishing
Author Note: This story is a standalone. A part of Under the Sun crosses the timeline of Beneath Her Skin and some familiar characters make a reappearance.