Nightingale by Jennifer Estep
Book 4 in the Big Time series
Anxious brides. Drunken businessmen. Panicked partygoers. As Bigtime, New York’s premiere event planner, Abby Appleby is capable of handling almost any crisis, but even she’s not prepared when she finds herself in the middle of a fight between superhero Talon and his ubervillain nemesis Bandit. Abby manages to save Talon, but the superhero is temporarily blinded, so she takes him back to her loft, where the two wait out a snowstorm. During a blizzard that shuts down the city, Abby and Talon grow close, and he starts calling her Nightingale because of her love of music and singing.
But Abby is afraid of what Talon will think when he can see the real her, so she conceals her identity from the sexy superhero, and they go their separate ways. However, Abby discovers that Talon is looking for Nightingale, looking for her—and so is Bandit. The mercenary ubervillain thinks that Abby has information that belongs to his boss, the mysterious Tycoon. Abby knows that she’s in serious trouble and that not even Talon—or the Fearless Five—may be able to save her …
I turned back to the naked superhero in the tub, my gaze examining his body from head to toe. Yeah, I knew it was wrong, but I leered at him. Only a little. Piper would never forgive me if I didn’t Believe me, Talon had plenty of assets to admire. Washboard abs, strong, corded arms, good pecs. I’d never believed in love at first sight. But lust? Certainly.
In addition to the hard body, Talon had plenty of scars; small, slightly puckered holes I took to be old bullet wounds; thin slashes from knives, swords, or other sharp weapons; even a burn mark that looked like a triangle on his right shoulder. Other nicks and scrapes dotted his torso like weird white freckles.
I traced my fingers over the triangle burn. Then, I laid my palm against his chest, right over his heart. Hot tingles surged up into my arm at the touch, and I sighed with pleasure. With my supersensitive skin, I was almost always cold, no matter how many layers I wore, but Talon radiated heat, even though he sat naked in my chilly porcelain tub. Good. That meant he wasn’t suffering from hypothermia as I’d feared, although I still needed to get him cleaned up.
I moved my hand, examining the superhero’s old wounds. I had some experience with first aid, having patched up numerous folks at my events. Kids mostly, who’d gotten too enthusiastic about their playing and ended up with bloody knees. But the more I looked at the scars, the more I realized Talon wasn’t just a G-man superhero. He was also a regular guy—one who’d gotten hurt more than once keeping others safe. One who was hurt right now. One who needed my help.
So, I quit leering. I turned on the tap, wincing as the faucets squeaked, and let the water get warm before stopping up the tub. I also put some Epsom salts into the mix. They always helped me relax after a long day at the office. Maybe they’d help Talon too—and hopefully drown out the lingering stench of blood clinging to his skin.
Now came the ultimate question—to remove the visor or not?
I stared at the visor covering Talon’s eyes and most of his face. The cobalt lenses reminded me of a pair of wraparound aviator sunglasses more than anything else, although they were tall and wide. The design matched the bird on his suit, with its outstretched wings and claws. Right now, the visor was the only thing preserving Talon’s anonymity. I’d stripped everything else away.
Piper wouldn’t have hesitated. She would have yanked his visor off first thing to see who Talon really was. She would have done it before she even thought about moving him out of the snowy alley. But I wasn’t obsessed with superheroes like Piper was. I didn’t particularly care who was who. I just wanted them to steer clear of my events.
But Talon had reacted violently to the gas spewed from Bandit’s bullet. He’d clawed off the visor and scooped snow on his face as if his eyes were on fire, and he hadn’t been able to see me afterward. I was betting his eyes were red and swollen—maybe worse. They needed to be cleaned and flushed, just like the wound in his shoulder. I’d rather remove Talon’s visor and learn his secret identity than have him be blinded for life because I’d refused to act.
So, I reached for the visor—and was rewarded with a violent shock the second my fingers touched the smooth lenses.
“Ouch!” I yanked my hand back, shaking it. It shocked me! His damn visor had shocked me!
Jennifer would like to give away an ebook copy of Nightingale to one lucky reader. To enter, just leave a comment here on the excerpt.
Open to all, you have until end of day Nov 16 to enter, winner will be announced soon after.
This giveaway is sponsored by: Jennifer Estep
No purchase necessary to win. You must be 18 or over to enter, void where prohibited. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. FVBR is not being compensated for this giveaway. If the winner declines to accept or fails to claim their prize within 72 hours of the announcement, they forfeit their prize(s). Prize distribution is the sole responsibility of the giveaway sponsor. Fiction Vixen Book Reviews will not be held responsible for lost or misdirected prizes or for circumstances beyond our control. More information here.