Series: The Darkness Within #2
Author: Taylor K. Scott
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 25, 2022
It all began with a sex addict, a swinger’s party, and a smug American!
Actually, it began when I slipped into bed with a man who wasn’t my fiancé; a sexual pro with enough charm to break down my resistance.
However, I am a Farrington, an heiress to the family business, but only when I marry my fiancée.
Gabriel Harrison was supposed to be a distraction during a mutually agreed reprieve from my engagement. So, imagine my surprise when I find myself looking into his eyes at a swinger’s party.
Could fate be pushing me against the life I always believed to be my destiny?
People see me as the protector; the loyal best friend; the man who fought for his country. But to Francesca Farrington, I was merely an irritant to taint her perfect holiday.
The girl was both nuts and rude. But she possessed something inexplicable, something I couldn’t ignore. After one hot night between the sheets, she left, and I moved on.
Or so I thought.
A year later, she’s standing in my house with a bowl of keys.
My demons have kept me guarded, but could fate be telling me to take a chance on this beautiful enigma?
This is the second novel in ‘The Darkness Within’ series. The first novel, ‘The Darkness Within’ is available now on kindle unlimited. It is a standalone but does mention character from the first novel.
Free in Kindle Unlimited
It might be early, but my eyes have well-adjusted to the dim light; I can see more than enough to reach out for the small, black, velvet box that is currently sitting inside of my hotel room safe. Pulling it out like it’s something fragile, something that might break if I so much as breathe on it, I hold it in the palm of my hand for a while. After what feels like much too long to be standing still while mid-getaway, I take a chance and glance over at the naked man still lying on top of the king-sized bed I just vacated. Gabe’s huge body is wrapped around the white cotton sheet, cuddling it as though it’s a warm body. This, together with his gentle breathing, allows me to let out a sigh of relief, knowing that he’s still safely sleeping. I wait for the guilt to creep through me, but it doesn’t. Not yet.
When I finally make my peace with what I’m about to do, I quickly pace towards my bag. It’s already sitting on the small table next to the door, just waiting for me to whip it away so I can begin my walk of shame. It’s where I finally decide to open the box and slip the diamond band onto my ring finger. It feels uncomfortable, weighty, and cold, so I flex my hand a few times to try and adjust to it being there again. It still feels tighter than Gabe did being inside of me last night. The memory of which causes me to blush with a distinct heat spreading over my cheeks.
“Morning!” The word floats across the room before I can make my silent escape. I find myself closing my eyes to it, as if the action will wipe away the reality of him having caught me.
My breath catches at the sound of Gabe’s deep, croaky voice. Without conscious thought, I quickly drop my arms to my sides to try and conceal the ring, and with it, my betrayal. I must look guiltier than the kid who got his hand caught inside the biscuit tin. His soft laughter that immediately follows my hasty decision to try and hide my secret, permeates through me, effectively taunting me with the knowledge that he’s already seen it.
“No need to hide it from me now, sugar,” he grins with judgment, causing my eyes to dart to the floor with the guilt that has finally caught up with me.
When I eventually find the courage to face those penetrating eyes of his, the ones that had held my gaze a number of times in the throes of passion last night, I find him casually resting the back of his head against his hands. He is clearly amused by this sudden revelation and seems to be thoroughly enjoying my discomfort, especially with his naked body and arrogant smirk unashamedly on display for anyone to gawk at.
Come on, Cesca, it was his confidence that both frustrated and captured you in the first place!
“Enjoy the rest of your holiday, Gabriel,” I finally mutter with an embarrassed quietness. We stare at one another for an awkward moment before I finally pick up my bag and turn to leave, hoping against hope he will let me do so without any other words.
“Francesca?” he calls just as I’m about to walk out the door, and without any hint of urgency. I don’t bother to turn to face him, instead, I brace myself for whatever he’s about to deal me. Something that will no doubt be full of judgment. “Congratulations!”
In reality, I live a bit of a crazy life with my husband and two daughters, who always keep me smiling. When I’m not running around being a wife, mother, and infant school teacher, my nose is usually inside of a book or lost behind a screen, typing away at my newest story. I love a bit of choccy, a good glass of wine, and getting lost in music which often gives me the inspiration for my writing.