Saturday Excerpt: The Stranger by Anna del Mar

Want to kick off your weekend with a thrilling adventure featuring an irresistibly strong hero? We recommend The Stranger by Anna del Mar!

About The Stranger:

0816-9781459294301-bigwWhen a mysterious stranger is your only hope…

The scars of the past have left their mark, both physical and emotional, on former military pilot Seth Erickson. Off-grid in the far reaches of the bitter Alaskan wilderness, he wants only to be left alone with his ghosts. But he can’t ignore a woman in need—beautiful, stranded and nearly frozen with fear.

Summer Silva never imagined that the search for her missing sister would leave her abandoned on a wintry back road, barely escaping with her life from a cold-blooded killer for hire. Now, hiding out in the isolated cabin of the secretive wounded warrior who saved her, Summer knows she must do what she fears most. Putting her trust in a stranger is all she has left.

All defenses are down

After a fiery first night together, Seth and Summer are bound by a need as powerful as a Bering Sea superstorm—and vulnerable to enemies just as fierce. For Seth, reawakened by desire, there is no sacrifice too great, no memory too dark, to keep Summer safe. But murder and treason lurk everywhere and Summer may not survive Alaska’s ruthless winter.

***

Four days later, I opened my eyes and there he was, the very man I’d been dreaming about, propped up on the pillows next to me, sharing his bed with me, illuminating dawn with the gold in his eyes. He was already dressed in dark slacks and a striped shirt, a marked departure from his usual informal attire.

“Going somewhere?” I said.

“Hey, there. Morning, beautiful.” Seth set his tablet aside, turned on his side and, propping his head on his hand, smiled. “Got to go into the office today.”

My smile faltered. He wasn’t going to be around. I hid my disappointment and asked him the question I’d asked him first thing every day since I’d been staying with him.

“Did I?”

“Nope.” The tips of his fingers trailed over my cheeks. “No dream chasing to report. Been waiting all night. Can I?”

I nodded. I loved that he always asked me before he leaned over and kissed me, a touch of lips that lingered just long enough to awaken the rest of my body. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the moment, the feel of his mouth against mine and his hand, immensely strong but also incredibly gentle as he ran his fingers through my hair.

A dream, this had to be a powerful dream. For the last few days, this had become our private routine, a show of trust, for both of us. But it was also a harsh test for my body. It was as if he were daring me with his self-control, tempting me like the devil himself. And me? I was having lots of trouble keeping my she-devil in check.

My body melted against his. My heart drummed against his heart. My fingers ran over his shirt, craving the skin beneath the fabric. I knew what he wanted, what his body needed, but I couldn’t, wouldn’t. I pressed myself against him, teasing my senses, testing him, knowing he wouldn’t budge and neither would I, even if I secretly wished he’d forget about his promise and find a way to defeat all my objections.

“Trial by fire.” He quit my mouth and got up from the bed with a groan. “You’re tough, girl. But I’m tough too. I was just waiting for you to get up before I left. I’ve got meetings in Anchorage all morning. As for you, you should get some exercise, make sure our routine keeps working.”

Our routine. It had a lovely ring to it, didn’t it? Seth was right. It was working. I hadn’t sleepwalked at all since that first night. Talk about a shift.

I sat up on the bed, reached for my laptop and clicked on my email to check for news of Tammy sightings, watching Seth behind lidded eyes, as he moved about the room. I admired his body’s elegant stride and the way in which his slacks hugged his hips and cradled his ass. God and his freaking saints, help me. He’d seduced me, completely and absolutely bowled me over, had me panting after him like a smitten fool. No way around it. But even though I longed to give in, I couldn’t. I’d come to Alaska to find my sister. I wasn’t suited for this place. I had a life, responsibilities, four thousand miles away.

On the other hand, a girl could get used to the view, and I wasn’t talking about the landscape that dazzled my eyes when Seth threw open the curtains.

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