Charlie Russell lived with a secret for years, but guilt has pushed him to the breaking point. He meets psychologist Dana McClain and feels an instant connection that has nothing to do with his Great Dane, Sugar, spilling coffee down her shirt.
Dana switched to counseling animals because she has a history of becoming too emotionally involved with her clients. She figures she�s safe helping Charlie with Sugar�s issues, until he reveals his secret and asks for help. She tells herself it's all about the dog, not the guy, but history has a way of repeating itself.
His gaze locked with hers and held, except for a one second glance at her lips. He leaned forward, then closer still, until she wanted to grab him and drag him the last few inches that separated her from sure-fire heaven.
Just the dog, not the guy.
She closed her eyes in search of willpower only to have his mouth settle on hers. Her heart thudded so hard, surely he could hear it? If she pressed against him, he�d certainly feel it pounding against her ribs. She started to shift closer.
Cool air rushed over her lips, replacing the warmth of his mouth. She opened her eyes to see he�d drawn away. Acute disappointment drew her eyebrows together. That�s it? She�d expected so much more from such a sexy guy whose energy field radiated intensity and a hint of titillating danger.
Swallowing her dissatisfaction, she let out a small sigh. It was probably better this way. She couldn�t afford to�
Without warning, his free hand tunneled into her hair, and he pulled her flush against him. His lips brushed hers once, twice, then he urged her to open to him, sliding his tongue against hers; tasting, teasing, until Dana could barely catch her breath. Exhilaration left a delicious tingle in its wake.
This kiss was the exact opposite of the first; passionate, intimate, and�oh, man, she was on fire!
He urged her to lie back and followed her down, maintaining the kiss despite the unsteady hammock.
�I tried,� he rasped against her mouth. �Just a friendly kiss to apologize.� He shifted his attention to her ear. Delicious shivers radiated from where his hot breath caressed her skin, making their way through her entire body.
�That first one was an insult,� she accused, her husky voice unconvincing.
Soft male laughter against her throat sparked a throb deep inside. His knuckles brushed the side of her breast. �How am I doing now?�
Dana gasped softly. �You�re getting there.�
He made a sound halfway between a growl and a groan and captured her mouth again. She arched against him, but was unable to establish the full contact she desired with their awkward position. She wanted his strong arms around her, wanted his hard chest pressed against hers, wanted all that and more�
If you enjoy the Welcome to Redemption series, be sure to check out Stacey's USA Today bestselling, award-winning ROMANCING WISCONSIN series: