Shameless by Brynley Bush
Sheltered good girl Victoria Raine has always wanted to be a little bad. Tired of living life safely on the sidelines, she summons the courage to forge a new path for herself and applies to the FBI, looking for adventure and something to fulfill her vague longing for something…more. She gets more than she bargained for with her first undercover assignment—posing as the girlfriend of country music’s bad boy, Drake Maddox, a lone wolf with a reputation for having singularly erotic tastes. Hoping to catch a serial killer that’s targeting women close to Drake, Tori’s job is to convince the public, and the killer, that she and the wickedly handsome superstar are an item.
Although their relationship is a sham, there’s nothing fake about the hidden desires the sexy as sin cowboy awakens in Tori. As the killer draws closer, Tori finds herself falling for the one man she can’t have.
The security gates that shield Drake’s house from the world silently swing open and I slowly drive up his driveway. When I reach the porch, he’s leaning casually against the open doorway, the surprise evident on his face. I must have interrupted him working out, because he’s wearing a pair of gray athletic shorts and nothing else, and I practically drool at the sight of his sculpted chest and abs glistening with sweat. And that tattoo! I can’t tear my eyes away from the dragon scales rippling across his strong, tanned forearm.
I realize I’ve been staring and I feel my cheeks warm as I meet Drake’s questioning gaze.
“Well, this is a surprise,” he drawls.
“I know,” I say. “I came to apologize for yesterday. And to ask you for something.” I’m never going to be able to do this if he keeps looking at me with those penetrating blue eyes that seem to see all the way to my soul. I glance away nervously. “Can I come in?”
“Sure.” He steps aside and gestures for me to enter, following behind me as I walk into the enormous living area. I stop and turn around, blurting out what I’ve come to say before I lose my nerve.
“I want you to show me how to be edgy,” I say. I swallow hard, my cheeks flaming. “Submissive. Like the girls you date.”
His lips quirk up at the corners. “New York, you are full of surprises.”
“Kantnor called me this morning. There were pictures of us together yesterday, and the press isn’t buying our relationship. I…we have to step it up or he’s pulling me from the case. I did some research this morning on the um, relationships you’ve had in the past and I can see why no one believes you and me together. Even though I’d hardly say I’m repressed…” I stop as Drake’s eyebrows shoot up and he looks at me skeptically.
“I’m not!” I insist. I sigh. “But I definitely don’t have whatever it is they have, that abandon to let go and be reckless and sensual, to use my body and let it be used for unspeakable pleasure. I want you to show me how,” I finish, my voice almost a whisper.
“For the case?” he presses, studying me closely.
“For the case,” I say. “And maybe a little bit for me,” I confess hesitantly. “I want to get to know that bold and daring girl who applied to the FBI a little better, that girl who dreams of more. I want to experience the world of possibilities. I want spice and passion and abandon. I want you to show me all the things I shouldn’t know,” I say, my voice raspy with emotion.
He scrubs a hand over his face and for the first time it occurs to me that he might say no. I also realize that I really, really don’t want him to. My career is riding on it. And I have to admit, I want what this gorgeous man can give me. It doesn’t matter that Drake lets women into his bed but not his heart, or that men like Drake Maddox don’t fall for girls like me. I don’t want anything from him but pure unadulterated sex and the chance to stay on this case.
“I don’t know,” he says, considering. “You’ve freaked out on me twice now after I’ve kissed you. I don’t know if my ego can take being rejected a third time.” His eyes are twinkling.
“I don’t think I have to worry about your ego,” I say drily. “But I won’t freak out again. I promise. Please, Drake,” I plead softly. “I need this. If I get pulled off this case, I won’t get another chance. I’ll do whatever you say.”
His eyes darken. “Whatever I say?” he challenges. “No arguments?”
“No arguments,” I agree.
“No more running away?” He takes a predatory step toward me and my heart picks up speed.
“No more running away,” I promise.
He’s standing in front of me now, so close that I can see the droplets of sweat beading across the smooth plane of his chest, and it takes a considerable amount of self-control to stop my tongue from darting out to taste his skin. He lifts my chin with a finger until I’m forced to meet his gaze. There’s hunger in his eyes.
“I don’t know,” he says, his voice husky. “I’m not completely convinced.”
Q: Romance readers have a lot of choices these days. What makes Shameless stand out in the crowd?
A: Shameless is very sexy and steamy, but there is also an intriguing plot line and depth to the characters and story. I write what I call smart, steamy, contemporary romance, because I don’t think readers should have to choose between intelligent story lines with realistic characters and off-the-grid sexy scenes.
Q: We like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from Shameless?
A: My favorite quote from Shameless is:
“Everything I did was supposed to send you running to safety. But then I didn’t want you to run. I wanted you to stay and give me everything. And I wanted to give you everything in return. You wanted a man who wouldn’t crumble under your strength and intelligence, one who deserved your trust, one that you could submit to without a whisper of shame, and I wanted to be that man.”
About Brynley Bush
Brynley Bush writes the kind of books she likes to read: steamy contemporary romance featuring smart, sassy heroines with a sense of humor and the strong, dominant alpha males who love their women a little feisty.
Brynley loves rainy days, books (and more books), hot coffee, traveling to new places, and happily ever afters. She lives in Texas with her husband, three children, and an assortment of pets.When she’s not writing, she loves to read, spend time with her family, and travel.