#1 bestselling author Maya Banks continues her suspenseful and steamy Slow Burn trilogy with this second book-a twisting tale featuring a strong yet vulnerable heroine in danger and the sexy alpha hero who must save her.
Abandoned as a baby to a young wealthy couple and raised in a world of privilege, Arial has no hint of her past or who she belonged to. Her only link lies in the one thing that sets her apart from everyone else—telekinetic powers. Protected by her adoptive parents and hidden from the public to keep her gift secret, Ari is raised in the lap of luxury, and isolation. That is, until someone begins threatening her life.
Beau Devereaux is no stranger to the strange. As the head of Deveraux Security, he’s more than familiar with the realities of physic powers. So when a family friend approaches him about protecting his daughter, he’s more than ready to jump on board. What Beau isn’t prepared for is the extent of his attraction to his beautiful and powerful client. What began as a simple assignment, just another job, quickly turns personal as Beau discovers he’ll do anything at all to protect Ari. Even if it costs him his life.
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She’d gotten pregnant right away, to both their delight. Only for her to miscarry a few short weeks later. And so had begun their nightmare of endless hope and then dismay. The final straw had come when she’d become pregnant again earlier this year, after four miscarriages. She’d made it beyond the stage where her previous pregnancies had ended. They’d begun to become excited and hope bloomed that they’d finally, finally managed to make it happen.
At five months pregnant, after having learned that she was having what he wanted most—a little girl—and they’d bonded with the child, felt her first movements and had even begun to decorate the nursery, something they’d never allowed them- selves to do before, tragedy had struck and she’d miscarried. The worst part was that she’d had to deliver the baby, a tiny, perfectly formed baby girl.
Ginger had been devastated. For months she’d been list- less and adrift, and he’d never felt more helpless in his life. He loved her so much and he would have taken any amount of pain he could from her, but it had been hell for her, and after she’d healed physically, she’d never mentioned trying to have another child again.
Even now when he offered his gentle encouragement that they’d try again, she refused. He couldn’t blame her, but he hated the idea of him not being able to fix this for her. In his world, nothing was impossible. Money, while not a cure-all, certainly made lots of things happen, but all the money in the world, all the power in the world didn’t help his beautiful wife achieve her heart’s desire.
As if sensing the dark direction of his thoughts, she reached up to cup the hard line of his jaw, her smile achingly sweet and eyes full of understanding.
“You’re all I need. All I want,” she said simply. “Swear you’ll never leave me for someone who can give you children. Swear that to me and I’ll never ask you for more.”
He was genuinely shocked to his bones. He stared at her in absolute befuddlement, growing angrier by the second. Not at her. But at himself. Because if he’d made her feel as secure as she needed then she’d never question such a thing. That thought— fear—would never have entered her mind.
He framed her beautiful face in his hands and simply held her there, staring into the hypnotic brown of her soulful eyes.
“I only care that we can’t have children because I know how much it hurts you,” he said hoarsely. “I’d do anything at all to spare you this, Ginger. I’m so damn sorry I’ve failed you.”
She put a finger to his lips. “Shhh. Gavin, you haven’t failed me. You’ve given me child after child. It’s me who’s failed you, because I can’t carry them. My body rejects them.”
Her eyes closed as she said the last, and tears leaked silently down her cheeks.
“I couldn’t bear it if you ever grew to resent me for that,” she continued in a broken voice. “I never want you to look at me and see what I can’t give you. Something another woman could.”
He pulled her tightly into his arms, wrapping himself around her until she relaxed and melted against his body.
“There will never be another woman for me,” he said gruffly.
“I’ll never want for more than you can give me. I swear it on my very life, Ginger. My heart and soul belong to you. You own them—and me. And I hope to hell I own yours as well.”
“I love you,” she whispered. “Now do me a favor and put the angel up for me, and our tree will be complete.”
But it wouldn’t be and they both knew it. A simple ornament lay nestled in a box where the other ornaments were stored. Baby’s First Christmas and the year engraved on the commemorative sterling silver baby spoon.
If all had gone as it should, she’d be delivering in a matter of days. A Christmas baby, she’d exclaimed in delight, when the doctor had given them the due date. Even now she would be swollen and heavy with his child, and he’d be rubbing her feet for her and holding her in his arms feeling their daughter kick and roll between them.
Ginger pulled away and carefully unwound the bubble wrap from the delicate porcelain angel tree topper. Using the step stool, Gavin reached up and carefully put the last decoration in place.
“It’s perfect,” she whispered, eyes bright with tears.
She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a Calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group.
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- 3 copies of Keep Me Safe + In His Keeping
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