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Blamed

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      His hand fisted the excess material of her coat at the small of her back, out of sight of the clerk. "Three minutes," he whispered in return, and the simmer reached a boil. "That's all the time you have left before I take you, no matter where we are."

      Then he released her to sign the receipt the young man behind the desk had slid in front of him. The card and license were returned to her purse as the clerk handed over a pair of room keys in a sleek envelope, reminding them of the services to which they might avail themselves during their stay, and directed them to the elevator bank.

      Her breathing was audible within the confines of the elevator, her face hot as she stared straight ahead at the reflective doors. "So, P.S., not sure how I feel being married to a Texan," she said suddenly, filling the fraught silence with her shaky, high-pitched voice. "Is this an opposites-attract, red-state-blue-state union? Because we should probably talk about how we're planning to vote in the next election. I'm more of a social issues gal, myself."

      "Forty-five seconds, baby."

      Beth cursed.

      They'd barely made it inside the room when Vick shoved her back against the door and took her mouth with a ravishing hunger. Lips slanted, tongue delving, he bracketed her wrists in unyielding fingers and lifted her arms above her head. She hissed in a breath at the stretch and burn of the wound on her upper arm, but pain faded under the onslaught of his kiss. Passion and need coalesced as he brought the full weight of his body against hers and she felt the steely evidence of his arousal pressing into her abdomen.

      Writhing against him, she tugged at his hold. Escape was impossible. "Undress me," she gasped, catching his upper lip between her teeth when he made no move to heed her.

      He growled and ground his hips against hers. "Don't rush me." His mouth left hers to trail open-mouthed kisses down her throat, but the collar of her coat impeded his progress. Strong hands fisted the warm wool and, with a series of jerks, freed the buttons to draw the coat down her arms. The coat pooled at their feet, his joining soon after, before he delved both hands into her hair and devoured her.

      She whimpered under his assault, her touch lighting from his hips to his shoulders to his jaw. He didn't give her a moment to breathe, or think, her senses awash in the raw seduction of his kiss.

      It would be safer to hold a piece of herself apart. He was a spy, a liar and a stranger, and she'd be one smart cookie to take those factors into consideration. But the truth of the matter was what it had always been: Vick was her spy, her liar, and sure as hell wasn't a stranger to her. She refused to hide anything, and in doing so offered him everything.

      Surrendering with a happy moan, she deepened the kiss, learning him with each enticing lick and heated breath. His hold shifted to wrap around her torso, tightening almost to the point of pain, but she recognized the change, sensing its mirror in her.

      Maybe if she held on tight enough, clung hard enough, this moment would last forever. Maybe they would last forever, and their time together would cease to feel less like the stolen moments typifying their past and more like a new beginning.

      He'd offered her that exact chance with the fake IDs. Say yes, and she became Grace Morgan, her charming husband Paul never far from her side. They could have grand adventures, traveling the world together, exploring each other's bodies and discovering how they fit together when they weren't running for their lives, or taking the lives of others.

      Say no...well. Say no, and she would wake up tomorrow as she'd woken today. Beth Faraday, with a target on her back.

Excerpted from BLAMED: A BLOOD MONEY NOVEL by Edie Harris. Available now from Carina Press.

BLAMED BY EDIE HARRIS SWEEPSTAKES OFFICIAL RULES

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ELGIBILITY: The Sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of the U.S. who have reached eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry. Void where prohibited. The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the Sweepstakes: employees and immediate family members of the Sponsors and their respective parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries, and all agencies, entities and persons engaged in the marketing and/or administration of this Sweepstakes. For the purpose of these Official Rules, “immediate family” means husband, wife, spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, son and/or daughter, whether or not they reside in the same household. Entries shall be deemed to be submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the entry (i.e., the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet service provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address). Potential winners may be required to provide the Sponsor with proof that the potential winner is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the winning entry. No communication or correspondence will be exchanged with entrants except with the entrants selected for a Prize (as defined below).

PRIZE: Three (3) prizes will be awarded consisting of: (i) one (1) digital copy of Blamed by Edie Harris; (ii) one (1) “I Only Kiss Spies” t-shirt; (iii) one (1) bottle of “Lincoln Park After Dark” OPI nail polish; and (iv) one (1) bag of Van Houtte “Belgian Chocolate” ground coffee (collectively, a “Prize”). The approximate retail value of each Prize is Fourty dollars ($40.00 USD). Sweepstakes winners will be responsible for all applicable taxes associated with the winner’s acceptance of the Prize and any other expense not explicitly included in the description of the Prize. The Prize (and any and all portions thereof) must be accepted as awarded and cannot be transferred, assigned, substituted or redeemed for cash, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsors. In the event that a specific prize item is discontinued or otherwise unavailable, a prize item or cash of equal or greater value may be awarded to the Sweepstakes winners in the Sponsors’ sole discretion. Odds of winning are dependent on the total number of eligible entries received.

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