Illicit pleasures and the most sinful of desires abound in the final part of #1 bestselling author Lora Leigh's previously published novel Wicked Pleasure, now exclusively in e.
Jaci cannot resist the passion and pleasure she finds in Chase and Cam's arms. But can she face the world knowing she's a lover to both men, or will her hesitancy and her fears destroy her chance of happiness forever?
About the Author
#1 New York Times bestseller, LORA LEIGH is the author of the Navy SEALS, the Breeds, the Elite Ops, the Callahans, the Bound Hearts, and the Nauti series.
"Lora Leigh writes compelling, red-hot romance." --Sacramento Book Review
Read an Excerpt
Wicked Pleasure: Part Three
By Lora Leigh
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Lora Leigh
All rights reserved.
"I think it's singularly unfair that you're being given freedom to roam the club, while I have to beg for months just for a drink at the bar," Courtney pouted several days later, as she trailed Jaci through the club.
Jaci snapped another picture with the digital camera she used, before turning to look over her shoulder at her friend.
Courtney's eyes were filled with amusement, though her expression was less than pleased.
"No doubt you cause as much trouble in here as you do anywhere else," Jaci accused her. "Where's the fascination in it?" She let the camera hang by its strap below her breasts, as she made a few notes on the electronic notepad she carried with her.
"Tell me you see the possibilities, Jaci." Courtney's voice was scandalized. "It is an adventure."
"It's a place full of men," Jaci said as she lifted the camera and zoomed in on the molding at the ceiling. "The exercise room is sweaty and smelly. The library is dark and gloomy, and the living area has a bar and a billiards table. Give me a break. It's so male-oriented, you nearly choke on the testosterone."
She could feel Courtney behind her, almost see the outraged expression on her friend's face.
"And they do not want us here." There was a pout in Courtney's voice. "They are determined to close us out of their little conversations and their conniving. It's totally unfair."
"Hmm. Maybe we should invite them to the spa with us," Jaci suggested. "See what they think about estrogen overload."
Unlike Courtney, Jaci had no interest in the club or the men who gathered there. She didn't want to know their identities, and she sure as hell didn't want to be a part of their conversations.
"You're being mean to me today." Courtney sighed, though Jaci heard the amusement in her voice. "Doesn't it make you curious about them? Sometimes, I think if I could be invisible, then I could move about them, perhaps find the answers I seek in what makes these men so different from others. The few I know that are members here are unlike other men. This fascinates me, wondering what has created these men, what makes them as they are."
"Have you asked Ian?" Jaci asked, though the only member that fascinated her was Cam.
"Ian's answers would only infuriate you." She rolled her eyes expressively. "He is a man. I have decided that male language and female language are not always compatible."
God, wasn't that the truth.
"Maybe men are just aliens," Jaci suggested, thinking of Cam.
Over the weekend, being with him had seemed so natural, so easy. She hadn't imagined that living in that huge apartment with him could be anything but taxing. She hadn't lived with anyone since she had moved from her parents' home.
But she had also realized there was so much about him that she didn't know, and that she didn't understand. Chase was easier to read. Cam hid much more of himself. She was learning that there was so much about him that she didn't know.
He was doing just as she had once asked him not to do, though. He was seducing his way not only into her heart, but around it, through it, binding her to him in a way she hadn't imagined she could be bound.
And at the same time, it worried her. The dark sexual core of him was growing. Despite the sexual excess of the weekend, he never seemed to lose that wild, desperate hunger growing inside him. And she was terribly afraid she knew the only thing that would ease it.
After she finished the photos and notes and walking through the club rooms, she returned to the main mansion with Courtney trailing behind her. Jaci couldn't help but wonder at the hunger driving Cam, and if she was making a mistake in pushing for more before giving into that need that tormented him.
There was something that warned her that whatever drove him, whatever tormented him, wouldn't be revealed easily. It was a part of him that worried her, even before she left Oklahoma.
That thought caused her to pause as she entered the office Ian had assigned her. She had known Cam before he joined the military. Admittedly, she had been too young then to understand much about the unsmiling Falladay twin. He was five years older than her. They hadn't even gone to the same school, but sometimes her father hired the boys to help on his small ranch.
And she had always thought it a game, a challenge, whenever she saw him, to draw a smile to his lips, to his odd light green eyes.
She moved to the desk, downloaded the pictures on auto pilot, and frowned at those memories.
Cam had joined the army when she was still a young girl, but each time he returned home on leave, he had made it a point to check up on her; he managed to be wherever she was, and she had always dropped whatever she was doing to make Cam smile.
Whatever happened had happened there in Oklahoma.
She licked her lips nervously. Her father's best friend, Sheriff Bridges, had made a point after she turned sixteen to warn her about Cam. It was a warning she had informed him she didn't need.
Sheriff Bridges was retired now, but he was still a close friend — of hers, as well as her father's. But would he tell her what she needed to know?
She pulled her cell phone from the clip at her side and laid it on the desk beside her, staring at it. Did she want to know?
"You look like a woman with a lot on her mind."
She lifted her head and stared back at Chase. He didn't know what had happened to his brother, either. The argument she had glimpsed the week before proved that he was as much in the dark as she was when it came to Cam.
"Quite a bit," she finally admitted, watching as he stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.
He leaned against the heavy wood panel, a scowl working at his face as he watched her. His gaze dropped to the cell phone, then moved back to her face.
"I've run more than a dozen investigations into our past," he said quietly. "I've personally questioned everyone I could think of in that fucking town, had every pedophile and every filthy molesting son of a bitch I can think of questioned, and I don't know any more now than I did when we were kids, when he disappeared from the house."
She stared at the phone again. Did either of them have the right to steal the secrets he was fighting so hard to hide?
"Do you like sleeping on the couch, Jaci?" he asked her then, his voice hard, filled with anger. "Do you like having nothing but your feet held between his, rather than his arms around you?"
"Stop, Chase!" She jumped from the chair and pushed her fingers through her hair, fighting her own fears and the need to have Cam hold her through the night.
"Do you know why he shares his women?"
She stared back at him, her chest aching as her heart clenched at the pain in his face. She shook her head slowly. She didn't have the right to give Chase answers that Cam wouldn't. But, God, she wanted to. She wanted to know why her lover hurt so desperately that he couldn't even bear to share a bed with her.
"He shares them because he can't hold them. Because he can't bring himself to give them more than the pleasure of his body. It's my job to hold them through the night, while he finds a couch to sleep on," he snapped out. "Is that what you want? Do you want me holding you while he sleeps on that fucking couch?"
"If that was what I wanted, then I would have come to your bed, rather than the damned couch he shares with me," she retorted. "For God's sake, Chase, what do you want from me? He hasn't told me anything, and if he had, do you think I could tell you? Do you think I'd betray him like that?"
She pushed her fingers through her hair again, and this time she clenched the strands furiously as she turned away from him.
He looked so much like Cam. There were no scars, the haunted shadows weren't the same, but in his expression, in his eyes, she could see his pain and his worry.
"When we were fifteen years old, he began disappearing at night," Chase bit out. "Until that summer, I could always feel him, knew when he was hurting, when he had nightmares. We always shared our nightmares, Jaci. After that, it was as though my brother, my twin who I had shared space with since conception, was dead. He walked and he talked, but I couldn't feel him. I couldn't talk to him. By God, I couldn't reach him. Now I'm asking for your help."
Her help? Jaci stared back at him in disbelief, wondering how the hell she was supposed to help him when she couldn't even help herself where Cam was concerned.
"You're asking me to betray him." She dropped her hands from her hair and stared back at him miserably. "Even if I knew anything, Chase, how could you ask me to do that?"
"Because he's my brother and I need to know who to fucking kill for what happened to him."
Her lips parted as she fought to drag in air. He wasn't joking. Just as Cam hadn't been joking seven years before when he threatened to kill for her.
"You and Cam just seem to have this thing about killing people," she exclaimed. "Tell me, Chase, where do you hide all the bodies?"
The grimace of disgust that twisted his face would have been amusing, if the conversation were a different one. He breathed in roughly, obviously gritting his teeth as she crossed her arms over her breasts and stared back at him, sorrow building inside her.
She could see the fear in his brother's eyes, and she hated knowing that fear was for the man she loved.
"Cam's still alive," she finally whispered. "Whatever happened to him, he survived."
"Do you call that surviving?" He straightened from the door and shot her a furious glare, then paced across the room before turning back to her. "Is that what you call it?"
"He walks, he talks, he smiles, and he laughs," she whispered. "He's fighting his demons the only way he knows how. And he's trying to love me. Do I have the right to ask for anything more?"
She had left him. She realized that she walked away from any right she had to call his demons her own, but that didn't stop her from doing it, and it didn't stop her from aching at the loss she sensed inside Cam. And Chase.
"Is that enough for you?" He propped his hands on his hips and stared back at her knowingly.
No, it wasn't enough for her, but it was that or leave. And she wasn't going anywhere. Not yet. Not as long as Cam could tolerate her laying at his feet.
"For now," she finally answered him.
"You're not even going to fight for him, are you?" Chase shook his head as though in disbelief.
"Chase, what do you think I'm doing now?" She held her hands out demandingly, before they dropped to her side. "Do you think I liked having him walk away from me five minutes after he thought I was asleep? Do you think I enjoy seeing the hunger that's building inside him, knowing what he wants and what he needs, and being unable to give it to him? Do you think I enjoy seeing his pain?"
"Then do something, Jaci."
"Like what?" She almost yelled the words back at him. "What the hell do you want me to do? Hurt him worse? Blackmail him? 'Sorry, Cam, but you spill your secrets or do without me'? Damn you, Chase, what the hell do you want from me?"
"I want you to fight for him this time." He was suddenly in front of her, his hands gripping her shoulders as he gave them a little shake, shocking her with the depth of his anger. "Damn you, stop fucking letting him take the easy way out, like you did the last time. If you're going to let him get away with this macho, closed-mouth bullshit, then you may as well just fucking leave the same way you got here."
He pushed her away, stomped across the room, then turned back, his eyes blazing in accusation as the office door slammed open.
Jaci flinched as the panel slammed into the wall and Cam strode in, fury lining every strong, sharp contour in his face as his gaze found and pinned Chase.
"Cam." She moved for him.
"Stay put!" His finger stabbed in her direction, drawing her to an abrupt halt, shock rocking her on her feet as the two brothers faced off.
Both were furious. She watched their bodies tense, watched as they glared back at each other.
"Did you forget about the cameras in the office, Chase?" Cam asked him, his voice silky, dangerous, as he glanced up at the darkened glass of the security monitors.
Chase smiled, all teeth, all fury. "I didn't forget, little brother. Just as I didn't forget that you were supposed to be in a meeting with Ian, not spying on your girlfriend."
"Jaci, are you ready to leave?" Cam didn't turn his gaze from his brother, didn't so much as slide his gaze away as he asked the question.
"The two of you here alone?" She wasn't that stupid. "I don't think so, Cam."
"Get whatever you need and we'll leave together then. Now." His voice grew darker, softer.
Jaci almost shivered at the fury she could feel in the very stillness of the tone.
She wasn't the only one that watched him warily. She watched Chase's expression. He was studying his brother like a scientist would examine a curious specimen. Something unknown. Something potentially fatal. There was almost a calculation in his gaze, as though he had meant to push Cam to this point, and now he was wondering how to push him further.
She was terrified to see if he could actually do it.
She moved quickly back to her desk, shoved her phone into her purse, and grabbed it up. She wasn't permitted to take the design pad or the pictures with her.
"I'm never going to get this job finished, at this rate," she muttered. "I have to work sometime, you two, not just when your testosterone allows it."
She slung her purse over her shoulder and moved from the desk. She strode to Cam, laid her hand on his arm, and stared into his face.
"Are you going to fight, or what? Not that a lot of testosterone and blood would do anything to turn me on right now. It really wouldn't. But all this posturing has to be for something, right?"
His gaze finally slid from Chase's and Jaci found her knees weakening. She wanted to go to the floor and wail, to cry for the bleak sorrow, the agony and rage she saw in his eyes.
She felt her breath catch in her throat, and had to forcibly still her lips from trembling. How did he bear whatever raged inside him? How did he contain the pain, the desperation she could see tearing him apart?
He turned back to Chase. "If I see ever you handle her again like I saw on that monitor, I'll take you apart," he told his brother. "And I'll make certain you never so much as breathe the same air she does."
Chase's lips curled in sarcastic anger. "Will you now? And tell me, brother, who will you share her with?" He glanced at Jaci again. "I don't think she's going to allow just any man to take that beautiful ass of hers, just because it's what you need."
Jaci nearly blanched at the dare in his voice. Fury raced over her.
"Enough!" Her voice cracked into the sudden tense stillness of the room. Her nails dug into Cam's arm as he tensed to pull away from her. "The first one of you to raise your fists to the other will deal with me."
They turned the combined power of their furious gazes on her.
"I mean it, Cameron Falladay." She stared into his eyes, the twisting pain, the rage, the obvious disbelief that she would threaten either one of them. "And you" — she turned to Chase — "if you want to antagonize your brother, I'll be damned if you'll use me to do it."
"And he's not using you?" he growled furiously. "Come on, Jaci, get a grip here. What is it, if he's not using you to forget something he doesn't want to remember? Too bad it's not working, is it, Cam?"
At that, Jaci loosened her hold on Cam. She looked from one brother to the other and realized she was only adding fuel to the fire Chase was attempting to feed.
"When you two are finished acting like children, could you let me know? I'll be upstairs with Courtney and a bottle of wine." She stepped away from Cam.
He caught her arm, halting her before she could move an inch. "No, you'll be with me. Chase can play his games with someone else."
He turned and pulled her from the room.
"Running away, Cam?" Chase snapped. "Why doesn't that surprise me?"
Cam stopped in the doorway as Jaci glanced up in time to see the regret, the loss that flashed across his face.
"It shouldn't surprise you in the least," he finally said, his voice bleak. "After all, I think I've gotten damned good at it in the past years. Almost as good as you have."
Excerpted from Wicked Pleasure: Part Three by Lora Leigh. Copyright © 2016 Lora Leigh. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the conclusion to book 9 in the Bound Hearts series. What a twisted and fabulous ending. Shocking surprises, secrets revealed and a few questions arise regarding other characters. Do not miss this one! Fantastically well developed characters and a story line that keeps you guessing until the end. I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
Everything that Jaci has been dealing with for the past several years is about to come to a head. The only question is, will Chase and Cam get there in time to save her? This was my favorite part to the book. There were a couple of twists to the plot as it was coming to a head that I didn’t foresee. My only complaint would be on Jaci’s part. I felt that while she was in love with Cam, it was a Cam from years before and in the entire book, Jaci included, it’s obvious he’s not the same person anymore. This made it hard for me to really see a whole lot of emotion besides when he’d make her mad. Still a great book. I highly recommend **I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review
Finally all of the secrets are known
Lots of shocking secrets are revealed in this final installment. I was hooked from beginning to end and made me love Cam all the more. This is a fast paced and steamy read with lots of drama and the sex is off the charts hot. I really felt for the characters and what they had been through. I loved it!
HOLY SMOKES!!!!!! Hot. I never would have guessed the ending. Be prepared to be shocked! Plus the very sexy Falladay twins. Jaci is ready to take down the Robertses and find out what Cam is hiding. But she wants to do it by herself. So she goes to meet them alone. She plans on recording the conversation but it gets turned around on her. Cam and Chase run to her before something bad happens because they discovered some disturbing information. When they arrive, all of Cam's secrets are being told by the Roberts. Can Cam live with Jaci and Chase knowing what happened when he was younger or will it tear them all apart? I loved this whole book. I have read the rest that comes after this one and I believe this is my favorite. Would love to read about Courtney and Ian's story. *RECEIVED A COPY From NETGALLEY*
This series was so unexpected! I guess I haven't had much luck with ménage stories. I find that they are more about the sex and less about the story. That is not the case with the Wicked Pleasure series. There was so much to this. This story had depth. I devoured each and every book and want more! In fact the author left this off in a way that could continue with one of the characters. Sorry, don't want to spoil anything and it may just be wishful thinking so I'll leave it at that. For those of you who want closure, don't worry, it had closure and there was no cliffhangers. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.