Title: Last Kiss
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: First and Last, #2
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 14, 2016
Synopsis:A GAME OF CAT AND MOUSE FILLED WITH DARK DESIRES AND DANGEROUS SECRETS…
Emily Wayborn has made a decision.
She might not fully trust handsome and deadly Reeve Sallis, but he is the one person that gives her what she needs. With Reeve she can finally be herself. Submitting to him is the only thing keeping her grounded as the rest of her life falls apart. But the hotelier is a master at keeping secrets and as she continues her quest for answers someone is making sure she doesn’t find them.
Time is running out and she is questioning everything she thought she knew about friendship and love. She must now make an impossible choice that will determine if she will survive with her heart…or at all.
“Oh, hi! I didn’t see you there.” I sounded flustered and on edge. “Sorry to have surprised you.” The man’s head tipped toward
me. “Emily, right?” he asked, as he exhaled a puff of smoke.
I squinted at him, trying to place him, but I couldn’t. In fact, I was certain I hadn’t seen him before. He had to be one of the ranch guests, which didn’t explain how he knew me. “That’s right,” I said tentatively. “I don’t think we’ve met.”
He tilted his head as he took another slow draw from his cigarette. “Nope. We haven’t.” Even in the dark, I didn’t miss the hungry way his eyes groped my frame.
He took a step toward me, and I readied myself to run. Just then, the front door slammed open. I looked up to the porch to see a couple of Reeve’s men leaving the house. When I turned back, the man wasn’t there anymore. I glanced around and caught sight of him circling around behind the building.
A man didn’t run off that easily if he hadn’t had ill intent.
I shivered. I wondered if all of the guests were that creepy. No wonder Reeve was wary of them. Suddenly, I wanted to run and tell him about the encounter.
Then, at the top of the stairs, I noticed his door was shut, which meant he was in there. But what if he wasn’t alone? What if the con- versation with Amber at dinner had led them to his bedroom?
Before I let myself get worked up, I looked to Amber’s door. It was shut too. It was the first time I’d seen it closed since her arrival, and my mind jumped to a hundred different possible conclusions. Maybe she was exercising her new babysitter-free status. Maybe she was puking again in the bathroom and wanted privacy. Or she was making out with one of the ranchers. Or crying over whatever Reeve had said to her after I’d left them.
Or she wasn’t in there at all.
I could easily knock on her door to find out, but I wasn’t sure I could face her if she answered, and I was absolutely sure I couldn’t take it if she didn’t.
Hoping I would be better equipped to handle the situation after a good night’s sleep, I retreated to my own room with a sigh of resignation.
Though it was late enough to go to bed, my emotions were too frazzled for sleep. And I was cold. My evening walk had set a chill in my bones that lingered even in the warm house. While I wished it was Reeve warming me up, a hot shower would be just as effective at raising my body temperature and would also calm my nerves.
I stripped, tossing my clothes onto the chair in the corner of my room, then went to start the shower. I turned the water on without getting in, sticking my hand under the stream until it was hot enough. Then I crossed to the linen closet at the other end of the bathroom and picked out a couple of towels. When I shut the door, I turned back toward the shower and nearly jumped out of my skin. “Reeve!” I patted my breastbone, trying to calm the thudding
in my chest. “Goddammit, you scared the hell out of me.” Between his sneaky arrival and the lurking cowboy outside, I wouldn’t have been surprised if I was on my way to a heart attack.
His lip curled up with amusement.
I scowled. “I’m glad you think sending me to an early grave is funny.” But I wasn’t really irritated by his arrival in the least. I was glad, and I was certain the accelerated tempo of my heart rate had as much to do with his appearance at all as it did with the element of surprise.
He leaned his hip against the vanity and folded his arms across his chest, a position that highlighted both his broad shoulders and toned biceps. “You like it when I keep you guessing,” he said dismissively, not an entirely inaccurate statement, though it was a bit discomforting that he knew it so well.
“And I like you on your toes,” he added, his eyes dark as they slid the length of my body. I felt them like silk as they caressed over the slopes of my breasts, down the plane of my stomach, zeroing in on the landing strip above my pussy. Suddenly I’d warmed up quite sufficiently, the pool of moisture between my thighs as hot as the steam gathering in the room.
I met his scrutiny with ogling of my own, biting my lip as my eyes landed on the large bulge at the front of his pants. He was bare- foot, and I tried not to wonder if that meant he’d been undressed once already in the evening. Tried not to wonder if it was his first or second erection of the night.
Bringing the towels in front of me as a much needed barrier, I
mirrored his crossed arms. “What are you doing here, anyway?” He shrugged. “You wouldn’t come to my bed so I had to come to yours.”
It was surprising how easily happiness bubbled in my chest. Teasingly, I threw his words from the night before back at him. “This isn’t my bed.”
He was already walking toward me. “It’s close enough.” The towels fell to the floor as he seized my hips and turned my back to the counter. His mouth captured mine, greedily stealing my breath and sense of reason with his lips and tongue.
God, I was hungry for him. I roved my hands over his chest, wanting to touch all of his body at once, delighting at the hard muscles that met the underside of my palms. He was solid everywhere. A wall of strength and potency that could so easily overpower me. I was weak in his presence, incapable of anything except to yield.
A warning bell sounded in the back of my head, though, urging me to get my wits together and address . . . something. It was difficult to remember what exactly when his hands were on my breasts, squeezing and pinching. The bite of pain sent jolts of electricity through my nervous system, signals that my brain read as pleasure. Pleasure I couldn’t resist.
About the Author:
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender.
Don’t miss a release. Sign up for Laurelin’s Newsletter
Oh, I wanted to scream and cry at the ending Ms. Paige left us with in First Touch! It had me extremely nervous to read the Last Kiss and even though I wanted to find out what happened, I put off reading it for quite awhile. And I wish I could tell you that after I started it I was silly for worrying and that it was all for nothing, but I was right to worry. Last Kiss was definitely the hardest, angstiest book I've read in a long time - I feel like I just finished a marathon, but I don't regret anything and I'm glad I got through it!
In First Touch, I struggled to like Emily, I just didn't agree with some of the things she did, even if it was in the name of saving Amber and I really didn't like how loyal she still was to Amber. I didn't hate her though and I can truly say that I do like Emily now. Granted, there were still times when I wanted to shake her, but the positive feelings far-outweighed the negative. Emily becomes stronger and she brings out her inner fighter when she needs to. I loved seeing that side of her, but I think I loved seeing her vulnerable side even more. Emily just has this sweet lightness in her that made me love her. She's far from perfect, but I think she'll make you proud in the end!
While there was several things that made nervous to read Last Kiss, Reeve Sallis wasn't one of them. I never once doubted how he felt about Emily or that he would ever truly, deeply, purposefully hurt her. Reeve might not be the warmest, most playful guy you'll meet, but it's obvious that he loves Emily and won't give up on her. He's possessive, protective, and dominant, but he can be sweet and thoughtful and understanding. Reeve is wonderful and I completely loved him!
Last Kiss is the one of, if not THE most nerve-wracking book I've read this year. I would be nervous when it came time to read it and then I would get so sucked into the story that my anxiousness would disappear, but then some would happen and it would come rushing back. This book really gave me all the feels: it made my heart ache and race and pound, it made my mind spin, kept me on me toes, made me hold me breath, and I felt like I was on pins and needles. It was a constant game of anticipation, torture, frustration, and desperation. I felt like I was the prize in a tug-a-war match, always being pulled to one side and then jerked to the other. Last Kiss refused to let me go though, it had my attention from the very first page all the way to the very last - and trust me, I couldn't flip them fast enough to see how it would all end.
Last Kiss was an extraordinary read. It was beautiful, heart wrenching, a little terrifying, and consuming. It will make you angry, make you yell, it will make you feel like your heart and chest burning, and it will make you want to cry, but there are good moments that will make your heart ache, melt, and swell. It's a tough journey but it's unbelievably worth it in the end.
Last Kiss must be read after First Touch, it's told only in Emily's POV, and she does get her happily-ever-after.
~ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stars