Detective Ryan O’Clery is working a series of homicides when he discovers a journal kept by an uncle five generations earlier, detailing the same type of murders as the Night of the Big Wind swept the Atlantic Ocean across Ireland in 1839.
As Hurricane Irene barrels toward the North Carolina coastline, Ryan discovers even the killer’s description matches exactly. And as he falls in love with television reporter Cathleen Reilly, he begins to wonder if she is the reincarnation of Caitlyn O’Conor, the woman lost to the killer as the storm raged in Ireland—and if he is the reincarnation of Constable Rian Kelly.
Now he’s in a race to rescue Cathleen before the killer finds her—or is history destined to repeat itself?
A provocative story of a love that spans centuries, of soul mates found, lost and reunited… and the lengths to which one man will go to change their destinies.
They were bites away from finishing their meal when the sky opened up. There might have been a warning, had he been by himself and able to observe his surroundings; but by the time he noticed the trees bending deeply and the gray clouds roiling, the rain had descended on them in a torrent. Within seconds, their food was floating.
A tiny shriek escaped Cathleen’s lips as she vainly tried to keep the rain off her head.
Ryan jumped up, grabbed her wrist and in one fluid movement, had her on her feet. They raced for the back door, managing to rush inside just as a wicked clap of thunder sounded, followed almost instantly by a white streak of lightning.
Once inside, he closed the door, plunging them both into relative silence. He turned around, an offer to get her a towel on his lips. But when he laid eyes on her, the words froze. She was completely drenched. Her hair was hanging in folds from which water streamed until it formed a puddle on the hardwood floor. Her thin blouse was plastered to her body and seemed to highlight the black lace bra beneath. It further accentuated a slender waist before giving way to jeans that she now appeared to have been poured into. Her feet were soaked and as he took in the petite toes peeking out, he found himself staring at the pink polish and a Celtic toe ring before his eyes moved back up her body.
By the time they reached her eyes, he felt as if he was on automatic pilot. His mind was completely blank, his emotions swept away. He stepped toward her at the exact moment he reached out and pulled her to him, the wet blouse teasing his chest. He didn’t look in her eyes but closed his as his lips locked onto hers.
They were everything he’d dreamed about; full and moist and soft. But she wasn’t kissing him.
He stopped and took a step backward, separating them. She stood perfectly still and stared at him with eyes that had grown round and huge. Her face had lost its color and as she continued staring at him, he realized she was in shock.
Horrified with his own boorish behavior, he stumbled over his words. “I am so sorry. I’ve never done anything like that in my life—”
She rushed at him and for the briefest of moments, he didn’t know if she planned to slap him or pummel him or push him to the side to rush out the door. He staggered backward to get out of her way but when she descended on him her arms encircled his neck, pulling his head down to hers. When their lips met again, hers were slightly open and she met his mouth with a passion he had only dreamed about but had never fully experienced.
Ryan’s arms wrapped around her; pulling her to him so tightly he had to contain himself to keep from bruising her. She tasted sweet and fresh, the raindrops mingling with perspiration and a fragrance that was both soothing and wild and which seemed to envelop them both in a sensual cocoon.
His large hand found her face, the palm cupping her chin while his fingers stroked her jaw. Her skin was as soft as silk and moist from the rain; and as her lips parted further to allow him in, he thought he could never get enough of her. As one hand wandered to her hair, weaving his fingers through the long tresses, a mingled scent of citrus and florals wafted upward, growing in intensity as he fondled her locks.
He pressed his body against her, tightening his hold on her as his other hand explored her back, kneading her skin through the thin, wet blouse. Her breath was coming in short shallow bursts now and he could feel her heart quickening as he pressed ever closer. When she sighed softly, he opened his eyes and when she moaned, he reluctantly drew back from her, his muscled chest rising and falling and yearning.
Her face was flushed, the heat rising in her cheeks in a way that tantalized him. Her plump lips remained slightly parted and as he gazed at them, he realized he might have bruised them despite his efforts to control his passion. As his eyes found hers, he discovered them staring at him in a way that disarmed him. The gold flecks he had seen earlier appeared to have grown and now they nearly glowed as she looked at him. They were tumultuous, the colors dancing under her long, curved black lashes. But it was the raw emotion in them that gripped his soul; he’d seen desire before and had witnessed passion but there was something more—something deeper. It was trust, he realized with a start. As if she was standing before him, naked to the soul and she was entrusting herself to his care.
In his peripheral vision, he could see her chest rising and falling with her jagged breath and each rise threatened to take him closer to the peak of desire.
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One of four finalists in the 2013 USA Best Book Awards, cross-genre category and a nominee for the 2014 International Book Awards.