Sinful Longing

By: Lauren Blakely

ABOUT


He’s the inked brother. The one you’re wondering about. The bad boy of the family.

Colin Sloan has a past. He’s done things he’s not proud of, but he’s living differently now. Making changes in his life. Working hard, working out harder, and trying to win over one woman. He’s utterly crazy about Elle Mariano, and though the sex is epic, their friends-with-benefits arrangement just isn’t cutting it anymore. He wants all of her, and is determined to prove he’s what she needs in her life.

Elle is fiery, loyal, and in major lust with Colin Sloan. He’s everything she craves in a man—smart, sexy, kind—and a rock star between the sheets. But his past hits too close to home for her, and the people she has to protect. There isn’t room in her life for a relationship with Colin. Especially when she’s forced to keep a secret that could tear his family apart…





DEDICATION


This book is dedicated to Jen, for going

the distance on this series, and, as always,

to my dear friend Cynthia.





CHAPTER ONE


The Night of the Community Center Beethoven Benefit…

The sparrows were a treasure map, weaving a path from her right shoulder blade, along her sexy, elegant neck, then curving into her hair. Rich, chestnut hair he longed to have his hands in.

Preferably tonight.

Because… Well, why the hell not?

Especially since he’d learned to read her moods, and she was in that kind of a mood. As for him? Every time Colin was near Elle he was in that kind of mood.

This very second more so than usual, because her arms were wrapped around him in a triumphant hug, and she was exhaling big sighs of relief, and laughing, too, a buoyant sound, like bells. “I can’t believe this happened,” she said, breathless. “It feels like a dream.”

“I didn’t doubt it for a second. We’re all behind you,” he said, stealing a quick inhalation of the utterly enticing vanilla-honey scent of her shampoo.

She broke the embrace, but not the contact. She parked her hands on his shoulders, her fingers curling on his suit jacket. Her hazel eyes shone with happiness and a hint of joyful tears. “I know, and I’m so grateful,” she said, her voice threatening to break. “But you just don’t know ’til it happens if you’re going to raise enough money, and I’ve been working on this for two years. Two solid years to finally get the funds to expand the center. It needs it so badly. I felt like I was holding my breath for the last month, hoping we’d make it. I have so many plans.”

“And now you can take a breath because you made it happen,” he said, beaming. She’d been driven in her mission to rebuild the broken-down community center, and he was damn pleased to be one of the donors supporting it. His venture capital firm had contributed significantly to the haul.

She wiped her fingertip under an eye, erasing the evidence of that tear. She shook her head in disbelief. Her eyes seemed to light up with the spark of an idea. “Colin,” she whispered, as if they had a secret. And admittedly, they did. “We have to celebrate tonight.”

He could think of a few ways.

Unknotting that hair.

Roping his fingers through it.

Kissing her neck ’til she fell apart in his arms.

“Do you want to? After the event?” she added in that conspiratorial tone. “I don’t have much time, but we can manage something.”

He scoffed. “What kind of question is that? Do you take me for a man who doesn’t want to celebrate with you?” He was ready to rattle off a litany of suggestions. Anything to prolong the evening with her, especially since she’d changed her tune from earlier, when she’d called him incorrigible and told him to stop all this flirting. Now, her hands were on him again.

Elle was a seesaw when it came to him, and he’d learned to both deal with it and try to catch her on the upswings in his friend and now-and-again lover. Colin Sloan was a man who knew how to sniff out opportunity. He wasn’t letting the opportunity in this giddy exuberance of hers slip away from him tonight.

“Not at all. You look like a man who wants to play poker with me tonight,” she said, with a sexy arch of her eyebrow.

“The chips are on me,” he said, glad that she wanted to cozy up to the tables, since they were like oysters for Elle—a bit of an aphrodisiac. By no means was Elle a high roller; the baby tables, as she called them, were her idea of a good time. Besides, the last time he’d had his hands on her was after she won a round of poker. She was a Vegas girl at heart, and winning amped up her adrenaline.

“I believe you just convinced me,” she said in a flirty voice. God, he loved that tone. He fucking ate it up.

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