Impossible Promise ~ Impossible Promise #1
by Sybil Bartel
Publication date: March 23rd 2015
Three years ago, Layna Blair listened in horror over a telephone line as her parents were murdered. When the killer said she was next, Layna panicked and made a deadly deal—his secret in exchange for her life. She’s paid the price every day since, becoming a prisoner in plain sight.
Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson offers Layna a way out—her freedom, his rules, no questions asked—and she takes it, despite knowing what her keepers do to people who get too close. She doesn’t know Blaze is fighting his own demons or that beneath his warrior façade is a man on the verge of breaking.
Embarking on a wild revenge mission with Blaze and his smooth-talking best friend, Talon, is not what Layna signed on for. But attempting to run when Blaze has made no secret he intends to make her his is a reckless mistake. With the killer closing in, it’s up to Blaze to save them all—and to Layna to realize that she’s risked the one thing she can’t afford to lose.
Book one of two / 93,000 words
Heat level: Steamy; not for under 17, it has open door sex scenes.
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Published by: Carina Press (HQN)
“I’m going to wake him up then I’m going to make it look like I’m taking you by force. I won’t hurt you but just the same, don’t fight me. Pretend to be scared into submission.”
I might’ve rolled my eyes.
Buck stared at me, expressionless. “Better yet, pretend to be unconscious.”
“Is there a plan C?” My acting skills were super latent—like practically nonexistent latent.
Buck misunderstood. He stepped close and took my face in his hand. “I’m not going to hurt you, I promise.”
Oh, he’d hurt me all right. I was sure of that now. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but he’d leave eventually and it was gonna hurt like hell. “That’s not what I’m worried about,” I lied.
“Then what are you worried about?” He stroked my cheek.
Oh man, I couldn’t think when he did that. It was like Valium or a stupid pill but much more instant. Buck touches me, my brain turns off. I had to force myself to step back. “Okay.” I put a couple feet between us and inhaled. “Unconscious, got it. But how, exactly, is that gonna work?” The logistics were escaping my fog-induced brain.
Buck watched me with a penetrating stare that slowly melted into liquid. He dropped his voice to a seductive whisper. “Come here.”
Gulp. Ah, yeah, no. Uh uh. Not happening. I might’ve shaken my head.
His giant hand rose up slowly, palm up. He said nothing.
Shit. I was such a goner. Why prolong the charade? I took his hand.
His monstrous fingers wrapped around mine and he instantly pulled me to his side, whispering in my ear. “That’s it baby, just relax.”
His breath tickled my skin and his heat made me melt. I slunk against his side and inhaled the clean musk I’d grown attached to.
“You think too much,” he said softly, brushing my hair from my face and skimming his lips over my temple.
I wasn’t thinking jack shit. Wait, that’s not true. I was thinking Buck and muscles and sexy voice and hot breath. Total package wrapped up in a dominating, alpha, kick ass, swoon-worthy marine. It’s a good thing I’d sworn off men after my one and only encounter last year because Blaze-cum-Buck just ruined me for anyone else. Ever.
“That’s right.” His lips touched my ear. “You like mountains, baby? Or the beach?”
Holy cow, his voice. “Beach,” I whispered.
“Me too. Beach all the way. Hot sand under your feet, sound of the waves, you and me sharing a towel…sound like fun?”
“Mmm.” Buck, no shirt. “Yeah.”
“Drop your head forward.”
I didn’t hesitate. My hair fell over my face and concealed my view.
“Good girl. Just for that, I’m gonna take you to the beach.” Buck moved toward Shorty.
“Wait.” I tensed.
“Shh, I got you. Let go, don’t think.” Buck’s arm tightened around my waist. “Let your legs go slack and drop your center of gravity, baby. Make it look real. Don’t worry, I got you. Think about you and me and that beach day I promised you.”
I hesitated but I did it. Then I didn’t have a chance to think.
Buck moved into action. “Ready, baby?” It was a rhetorical question.
Buck threw the water on Shorty and kicked him, hard. “Wake up, asshole!”
I grew up in Northern California with my head in a book and my feet in the sand. I dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew me into the world of storytelling. I love the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes me swoon.
I now live in Southern Florida and while I don’t get to read as much as I like, I still bury my toes in the sand. If I’m not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in my backyard, you can find me spending time with my handsomely tattooed husband, my brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
Here are ten things you probably really want to know about me.
I grew up a faculty brat. I can swear like a sailor. I love men in uniform. I hate being told what to do. I can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks me out. My favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—I can’t decide. I have a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on me for driving directions, ever. And I have a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell my husband.