Hello, everyone.
It's taken me a while to get here. I confess to being technically challenged when it comes to posting on Boards.
Anyway, my new book Deadly Memories is out this month. So I wanted to post an excerpt from the book. Well, yeah, to tempt you to read the whole thing.* Romantic Times made the book its Top Pick of this month's Silhouette Intimate Moments. CoffeeTimeromance has given the book a wonderful review. My cheeks are pink just thinking of the glowing praise. Thanks, Cherokee, for calling the book "top notch."

Deadly Memories is the story of two people on the run. Jack is an embittered federal agent with a vendetta and Sophie is the target of his enemy. He must keep her safe--and keep his attraction toher under control--until her memory returns and they nail the killer.

Here's an excerpt of the first kiss:
* *“Jack?”
* *Her Siren’s voice tugged him toward the bathroom. He could no more have let her fend for herself than he could’ve flown to Mars in a Venetian vaporetto.
* *But what would he find? Sophie wrapped in a wet towel? Or in nothing? Hell!
* *When he opened the door, he entered a cloud of fragrant steam. In the middle stood a dark-haired Venus on the half shell.
* *He blinked at the mirage, but realized she was mostly covered. Desire and dismay dueled in his struggling system.
* *Sophie had wound the bath towel around her upper torso. Her hair hung in glistening ropes over her shoulders. She wore yellow cotton pajama boxers that bared her long, tanned legs. And the shell was merely a white bath-mat.
* *His hungry gaze climbed her legs’ slender length until it reached the massive yellowing bruise on her left thigh.
* *Reality slapped him back to earth. He could do this. His brain knew his duty even if his body didn’t. He had a duty to right a wrong. She was only a means to that.
* *Add to that, she was still a suspect and under official protection. All kinds of tangles to trip him if he didn’t keep tight control.
* *She needed care, not sex.* “Your agent reporting for duty, ma’am.”
* *“How do you like these pj’s? The color matches my bruises.” Grinning, Sophie managed a model-like pose with her good arm in an elegant gesture.
* *Even more like Venus. Jack clenched his teeth. At this rate, he’d need a dentist soon.
* *“Practical. Ready for the shirt?” Then she’d be covered. No more Venus mirages. His constant arousal would ease.
* *She held up a tube of cream. “The hospital gave me this liniment to promote healing. I can’t reach very well. Could you rub it on for me?”
* *Rub it on her? On her bare skin? Jack’s body thrummed with tension. She was asking him to stroke her bare flesh, all warm and rosy from her shower. Everything male in him saluted.
* *He repeated the task over and over in his head. She needs liniment. Only liniment.
He helped her arrange a second towel in a turban to confine her wet hair. She turned her back, and he opened the tube. The cream had a slight medicinal odor, not enough to mask her unique scent or block his reaction to it.
* *He squeezed cream onto his palm and took the plunge. He stroked the white liniment along the elegant line of her back and into the scabs and bruises on the soft flesh.
* *Sophie kept her hands on the sink. She stood quietly, with occasional murmurs and sighs. The sounds of desire? No. More likely his ministrations were hurting her.
* *“Tell me if I press too hard.”
* *“I’m okay.”
* *“No punishment is too harsh for the low animal that did this to you. With this crime, he has compounded his debt. When I get my hands on the scum-sucker--” He clamped his mouth shut, afraid he’d said too much.
* *As his massage reached her sore shoulder, Sophie turned.
* *Her shallow breathing and the lure of her half-parted lips shifted his pulse to high gear. With his palm he circled the shoulder and massaged down her upper arm. When his hand brushed the outer curve of her breast, she inhaled sharply.
* *His blood rushed south. Need fisted into him.
* *Enough.
* *He’d touched her all his system could tolerate. He should step away from the temptation of her creamy skin, her trusting eyes and her vulnerability. She revived protective and possessive instincts he’d buried long ago.
* *He couldn’t step away. His feet were nailed to the floor. Capping the tube, he held it out.
* *Sophie could barely breathe. Sparks tap-danced over her skin where he’d massaged. Flames of arousal ignited in her groin. She ached to know how he tasted, how that grim mouth would feel against hers, how his hard body felt against her.
* *How could she want this man? He was all wrong for her. The time was wrong. She was wrong.
* *She reached for the cream. “Thanks.”
* *He didn’t release the tube, but covered her fingers with his long ones. He didn’t speak, only stared at her with an intensity that strangled her breath.
* *Pupils so dilated that barely any blue showed, his smoldering gaze made her skin tingle and her thighs tremble. If he kissed her--
No, not going to happen. Mustn’t happen.
* *Pulse raging in her ears, she dragged her gaze to their joined hands. The scars, his growling fury at Vadim, a debt... “Jack, are these scars the reason you hate Vadim so? Is he responsible?”
* *“Sophie, don’t,” he said on a shaky breath.
* *Before she could speak, he rocked his mouth over hers, and she went liquid with want. His lips seared hers, first with gentle nips and then with thoroughness. He took his time, molding his mouth to hers. His tongue slipped inside, plundered and stole away her feeble resistance.
* *She was dizzy with contrasting sensations. The surprise of his firm yet soft lips, the scrape of his whiskers. The heat of his mouth, redolent with garlic and wine, the rasp of his callused fingers on hers. The intense male energy yet equally intense control that limited their contact to mouth and hand. She clung to his mouth as the kiss went on, urgent and needy and thrilling.
* *When he ended the kiss, it was as though someone had thrown a switch. His mouth left her, and he released her hand.
* *The tube of cream fell to the floor.
* *Jack bent to retrieve it. He placed it on the sink. “I shouldn’t have done that. I apologize.”
* *Heart drumming loud enough to wake the town, Sophie ducked her head. “Don’t be sorry. I’m not. But it shouldn’t happen again. This...we...” She fluttered a hand in mute explanation as she picked up her pajama top.
* *“Yes. If I’m to keep you safe and help you remember, I don’t--neither of us needs the distraction.”

Hope you all enjoyed Jack and Sophie.
Susan Vaughan