To be with the man of her dreams, she’ll have to face her worst nightmares…
Ari is looking to live a normal life. But after she hits her head, normal is no longer an option. A mysterious, rugged man appears, whom only she can see… each night he fulfills her fantasies and leaves her begging for more. She’s sure he’s a figment of her imagination—until she finds out the hard way that he’s all too real. Now, to truly be with him, Ari will have to embrace the parts of herself she’s been desperately keeping at bay.
Dalir’s been burned by love before, yet he can’t resist Ari’s beauty and charm. And all it takes is one kiss to spark nights of passion. But there’s danger on the horizon that only Dalir and his friends in the band Thane’s Redemption can deal with. And the longer he stays with Ari, the greater the peril to them both. Will the two of them be strong enough to fight for their newfound love—and their lives?
Excerpt: Dalir’s Salvation, The Song
Copyright © 2016 by Nina Crespo
Ari slipped her keys into the large, beige purse hanging on her shoulder. She released an exasperated exhale. “I don’t need a babysitter.”
The hell she didn’t. She should have realized her limitations and let someone else climb the ladder for what she needed.
“If it makes you feel any better, you’re doing me a favor.” Brooke laid her backpack on the yellow couch. “I have an important paper to work on for my history class. My roommate doesn’t understand the definition of quiet, and I hate studying late at the campus library on weekends. Besides that, Celine would kill me if I didn’t take care of you.” The twenty-two-year-old, college junior smiled as she flipped her brown hair. “I’m staying.”
“So am I.” Dalir stood in front of Ari.
Her jaw tightened as she gave him a withering stare. “In that case, you’re welcome to stay, Brooke. I’ll make up the guest bedroom.”
“No need. Just tell me where to find a pillow and blanket. I can crash out on the couch. Not that I’ll be getting much sleep. I have a lot to do.” Brooke straightened the hem of her white T-shirt over the waist of her skinny jeans. She shooed Ari toward the hallway. “I’ll work on dinner while you get cleaned up.”
“I didn’t make it to the store this week. Just order pizza. The menu is on the side of the fridge.” Ari stalked away. The mid-thigh length of her dress and her high heels emphasized Ari’s toned legs. Her hips swayed with every step.
Awareness flared. Dalir tamped it down. He needed to know what was going on. She had to stop blowing him off.
He phased down the hall and blocked her path into the bedroom. “It won’t work. I know you can hear and see me, Little One. Talk to me.”
Ari maneuvered past him. The chain shoulder strap on her purse jangled when she dropped it on top of the natural wood dresser. She slammed the door. “One. You do not boss me around. Two. I got stuffed into a space the size of a soda can because I talked to you, so as far as I’m concerned, we’re done communicating. And three,” she advanced on him, “call me Little One again and you’ll regret it.”
Difficult. Mouthy. She was definitely friends with Lauren and Celine. “I’m not leaving, Little One, until I get answers.”
She socked him in the stomach.
Caught off guard, Dalir hissed out a short breath. “You think you can take me?”
She glared up at him. “Say it again and find out.” One good junk punch and you’ll drop to your knees.
Her thought stung like a phantom slap to the cheek. He backed her up against the edge of the dresser.
The mirror shook. Perfume bottles rattled.
He planted his palms on either side of her. “I don’t think so.”
She lifted her chin. Too bad he’s such a jerk. Her thoughts grew louder in his mind. Look at all those muscles. I’m going with figment of my imagination over ghost. I hit my head. That makes better sense. Doesn’t it? Is it weird for me to be attracted to a figment of my imagination? Wait. What am I doing fighting with him in the first place? He’s my fantasy. I should be stripping him naked and getting my hands on all that goodness. What should I call him? Yummy should definitely be his middle name.
He caught a view of her conjured up image of him, shirtless, and her yanking down is zipper.
Lust snaked through him. “Be careful what you wish for.”
She snickered. “You wish you knew what I wanted.”
“I do. I can read what you’re thinking. Loud and clear. My name is Dalir, and for the record, I don’t wear boxers. Or briefs.”
A flush of pink tinged her light-brown face. Just like in the lab, when she’d ordered him to leave her alone, a mental door in her mind started to shut. When the tech had taken her out of the imaging machine, he’d stood beside her, but she couldn’t see him. By sheer will she’d locked him out. That couldn’t happen again. He didn’t have time to wait hours for her to let her guard down again. What if she didn’t?
“What’s wrong, princess?” He bent closer. “Finally realized you don’t have what it takes to handle me?”
Ari leaned in. Heat and energy pulsated in the space between them.
An image of his own reared up. Her naked and writhing under him in bed, handling him just fine as they finished what she started in her vision.
“Harmless fantasy men don’t scare me one tiny bit.” She brushed his lips with a barely there kiss. Soft but assured. A direct challenge.
He’d show her harmless. Dalir closed the gap and took command of her mouth. An answer to the gauntlet she’d thrown, swiftly turned into the need to explore.
She threaded her fingers in his hair and pulled him closer. Her tongue intertwining with his brought a rush of staggering want.
Dalir lifted Ari onto the dresser. She weighed nothing, but the passion in her kiss nearly floored him, as did her curves, firm ass, tiny waist, and lush breasts. Fuck it all. The desire to possess her raged to life.
A knock echoed. Brooke’s voice came through the door. “Ari?”
As he brushed kisses down her throat, he inhaled her light floral scent. “Tell her to go away.”
“I can’t.” Ari bunched up the hem of his shirt.
He plunged his tongue back past her lips. With Ari’s moans of assent spurring him on Dalir deepened the kiss.
“Ari?” The door handle rattled. “What’s that noise? You don’t sound okay. I’m coming in.”
“No!” Ari jerked back. “I bumped my leg getting undressed. I’m fine.” I just want to hump the hell out of a guy who doesn’t exist.
He pinched her thigh.
“Ow!” She wacked him.
“Does that feel like I don’t exist?”
“Ari.” Suspicion laced Brooke’s tone. “Who are you talking to? Are you seeing hallucinations again?”
“Shit.” Ari whispered. She dropped her forehead to his shoulder.
“When she picked me up from the hospital, Dr. Foster told her to look out for that. No, Brooke, I’m on the phone.” She fiddled with the hem of his shirt. “Be out in a bit.”
“Okay. Pizza will be here in thirty minutes.” Brooke left.
Ari released a deep breath. “I’m taking a shower.”
Would she flush that shade of pink everywhere he soaped her skin? His cock pressed against his zipper. As he leaned in, Dalir stroked his palms up Ari’s silky smooth thighs. “Lead the way.”
She flattened her hands to his chest. “I meant alone.”
Copyright © 2016 by Nina Crespo
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.
Lyrical Press books are published by Kensington Publishing Corp. 119 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018