Just released today is Courtney Cole’s Of Blood and Bone, her first book in the Minaldi Legacy series. I have an awesome excerpt from the book to share with you.
“I’m a monster, Eva. There is no saving a monster. But I love that you want to try.”
My heart constricts at the expression on his face. He has no hope for himself, so I have to hope for him.
“You’re not a monster,” I argue softly. “You’re a man, Luca. A man like any other, you’re made of blood and bone.”
As a little boy, Luca Minaldi was told he was a monster.
As an adult, he knows it is true.
He lives in Malta, a fairytale-like place filled with sunshine and sea, beauty and secrets. And Luca’s darkest of secrets is the best kept of them all.
Eva Talbot arrives in Malta for the summer to finish up her doctoral dissertation. When she meets Luca, a mysterious and handsome shipping tycoon, there is an instant attraction, a disturbing and beautiful energy that she has never felt before. But she senses the darkness that lives within him.
Eva is hired to care for his mother, who suffers from dementia, but it is Luca who Eva will eventually risk everything to save. Her life becomes a swirling chaos of darkness and romance, of secrets and mystery. And the question that emerges will become the most important answer of all.
Can she save Luca from the darkness that plagues him without losing herself?
The answer is a matter of life or death.
“Evangeline,” he says softly, his dark eyes glued to mine. “I’m so sorry about the other night. I wish I could remember. I wish I could take it back.”
“I don’t,” I tell him honestly. “I really don’t.”
He gazes out the window for a scant moment more, seemingly deep in thought, before he crosses the room to me. He kneels in front of me and looks into my eyes. In this moment, he is as vulnerable as I’ve ever seen him, as I’ve ever seen anyone. He’s completely open to me, hiding nothing.
I want so desperately to kiss him.
“I can’t,” I tell his dark eyes, praying that I don’t fall into them. “I want to kiss you right now. But I can’t. You’re my patient. There are ethics…”
Luca shakes his head, his hands on my knees and his gaze upon mine. “You aren’t my doctor, Evangeline. You’re my friend. I’m simply talking to a friend who wants to help me tonight. You’re not licensed to practice medicine in Malta, remember? So where does that leave your ethics?”
He smiles wolfishly and waits without moving. He’s offering himself to me. I know that. And it is against his better judgment. He has told me that, as well. Yet here he is, on his knees in front of me.
I suck in a breath and inhale the air that is so charged with everything that Luca is.
Whatever that is.
It is dangerous on many levels. I know that.
I reach out unsure fingers and trace the top of his shoulders, moving over the contours. They are so broad, yet so slender at once. He’s perfectly built. Strong, lithe and powerful. I drop my head. I know that I don’t want to resist him anymore. For the first time in my life, I’m going to do something that my heart wants to do, not what my head tells me to do.
I grip him tighter with my fingers and pull him to me. He folds in between my knees, pressing me to his chest. I can hear his heart thumping rhythmically against mine as my fingers linger on his warm back.
He dips his head and presses his forehead to mine, staring into my eyes. His are a smoldering and stormy black.
“I’m afraid to get close to you,” he tells me. “I’m afraid for you.”
“I’m not,” I whisper. “I’m not afraid of you. Kiss me, Luca.”
Even I can hear the thick desire in my voice and Luca hears it too.
He groans and covers my mouth with his own, muffling the sound with my lips. He is pressed so close that he seems to absorb me. Every plane of his body is against every plane of mine. I don’t know where he stops and where I start, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is him and me and this.
Courtney Cole is a novelist who lives near Lake Michigan with her small domestic zoo (aka family), her pet iPad and her favorite cashmere socks. She’s always working on her next novel. To learn more about her, visit www.courtneycolewrites.com