ATH: Naima Simone - Melissa Schroeder

ATH: Naima Simone

Next up today is Naima Simone! I have been in love with this cover since the moment I saw it!
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Ex-DEA agent Erin Montgomery is reluctantly back on the job, posing as the sex-kitten groupie girlfriend of rock star Sean Ledger. She’ll be joining his band’s tour to try to catch an obsessed, dangerous fan. Tormented by nightmares of her failed last assignment, Erin’s not exactly eager to be drawn back into the fray. But once she meets Sean, all rocker, all man and dripping with raw sex appeal, she knows she’s right where she belongs.
Sean is reluctant to have someone investigating his crew, but when he meets Erin, his objections fly out the window. The beautiful, hard-bitten agent turns him on like no other woman ever has. Sean’s caught glimpses of the fiery passion lurking under Erin’s cool front and he’s determined to break through her hard exterior and make her his.
But Sean’s stalker is still at large and she’s made it clear she’s willing to stop at nothing—even murder—to get him.
Disclaimer: This excerpt includes all the bad, fun words so don’t let your kids read this over your shoulder!
 The music drew her into the room like a helpless child following the pied piper. The pure melody of the guitar was at once aggressive and sensual. And so beautiful. Simply…beautiful.
Erin took in a deep breath, her eyes closing. Not until several moments after she’d released it did she identify the elusive feeling that had settled over her. Peace. It had been so long since she’d felt anything other than the terror-laced grief that gripped her every time she closed her eyes. But now, that ever-present beast retracted its claws and released its tenacious grip on her psyche, leaving heavenly quiet in its wake. Only her music—the soothing, pure sounds of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven—had ever calmed her savage beast. Never something like U2’s With or Without You. Musical snob, yes, but even she knew the classic rock song he played with stunning skill.  She refocused on the guitarist and her gaze skimmed up the black-sleeved arm to the shoulder hunched over the body of the instrument. Her inspection touched on the column of a lightly tanned throat. Glanced over the strong, shadowed jaw that followed. Dark strands of hair swayed against a lean cheek as the guitarist nodded in time to the music.
Sean Ledger.
Her hands curled into tight fists at her thigh. Even though she’d seen images of him over the years, her mind persisted in picturing him as she’d last seen him. An angry, handcuffed youth being hauled out the front door of their foster home. Now the man who the media branded the “brooding, sexy member” of Odyssey warred with that image. She hadn’t been prepared to see him again. Hadn’t been prepared for the impact of the man.
The pictures hadn’t done justice to the sexy mouth with its full bottom lip or the high cheekbones hinting at an Asian ancestor. They hadn’t captured the rich thickness of the dark hair drawn away from his face by a rubber band or the thick, black fan of lashes resting on those sharp warrior’s bones.
Erin couldn’t control the shiver that shuddered down her spine. When she’d been a child, Sean had been her protector, and she’d loved him as a big brother—the only security and safety in a world hurtled into chaos. But now, staring at the long, slim fingers strumming the guitar strings, coaxing the lovely sound from the instrument, it wasn’t affection that hummed through her veins or vibrated over her skin. Lust. Want. She swallowed. Would those same, elegant fingers play across skin as they did the strings of the guitar, eliciting devastating pleasure? Would they be as clever…as knowing?
His head lifted, drawing her attention. Black, ridiculously long lashes parted, revealing a stormy gray gaze, blurred and unfocused. As she stared, the haze dissipated and his eyes sharpened on her face. The melody never changed. The rhythm never faltered. Neither did his intense scrutiny. She imagined she could feel the bold touch of his eyes across her brow, down the slope of her nose, over her mouth. Before she could stop herself, Erin moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue and watched his eyes fasten on the nervous gesture. His gaze flicked back to her eyes and he watched her with narrow-eyed speculation. For a panicked moment she feared he recognized her. The urge to stroke her cheek almost overpowered her. Gritting her teeth, she fisted that same hand to keep it down at her side. The scar is gone, she reminded herself, so calm the fuck down.
She shoved the flash of anxiety down. Besides, why would he recognize her? Sean was familiar with Elise Grayson, a disfigured, weak, vulnerable child. Before him stood Erin Montgomery, a smooth-cheeked ex-DEA agent.
She longed to look away. Her mind screamed, Evade! Evade, dammit! But her body refused to obey. In that moment, the hunter became the hunted. Something dark and sexual entered his stare. A primal part of her she hadn’t known existed responded with a sudden pulsing between her thighs. Blood rushed to the folds of her sex and she fought the urge to squeeze her thighs together to alleviate the ache. Her nipples tightened against the lace of her bra. She willed her hands to remain at her side. Sent a mental order not to palm the sensitive mounds and won the battle…barely.
Erin inhaled a deep breath, the exhalation slow and deliberate. Though it cost her, she schooled her features into maintaining a mask of indifference.
If anybody understood the importance of control Sean Ledger would. After her conversation with Braedon and her acceptance of the assignment, she’d researched the guitarist past the magazines and fan sites. She’d read the blogs that revealed what the polite celebrity rags didn’t. Sean had a reputation.
Rumors abounded of a hedonist who knew a woman’s desires better than the woman herself did. Women gossiped about an intense sexuality that pushed his partners to explore and press beyond their boundaries. Erin suppressed a flinch. The thought of someone possessing such complete power over her body horrified her.
As if able to peer into her mind and read her thoughts, Sean’s gaze darkened, the promises—or threats—of just how he could make her lose absolute control shadowing his eyes.
A heartbeat of silence passed between them.
“Hello.” The chocolate timbre of his voice glided over her skin and transported her to shadowed rooms, candles and writhing bodies. Oh. Shit. And she was waist deep in it.

Naima is giving away a PDF copy of Love and Protect! So, answer this question:

What was the name Sean Ledger knew Erin Montgomery as when she was a child?


Categories: Harmless

21 Comments on “ATH: Naima Simone

  1. Great excerpt!! He knew her as Elise Grayson.

    Can’t wait to read this one!

    Susan R
    susanmik AT gmail DOT com

  2. Elise Grayson is the answer to the question. Great excerpt! Good luck with the new release!

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  3. Sounds really good. He knew her by Elise Grayson. Now I want to read to find out why she isn’t recognizable.

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  4. I’m really intrigued to see where the story goes after such a great sounding excerpt. And in answer to your question…he knew her as Elise Grayson.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  5. He knew her as Elise Grayson. If I don’t win, I’ve gotta buy. 😉 Wasn’t Grayson Batman’s or Robin’s real last name? Lol Thanks Ladies!!

    mamaboo7907 @ gmail . com

  6. Wow! This sounds like a terrific story! Erin used to be known as Elise Grayson… but no more 😉

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  7. You’re right – that is an awesome cover! And the excerpt is fantastic – I’ll be reading this whether or not I win a copy!

    He knew her as Elise Grayson.

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