Under My Skin by J. Kenner - Fiction eBook
He's the only man I've ever loved, and the one man I can't bear to lose.
Jackson Steele is my light in this world. Charismatic, bold, and always in control, he knows what he wants and how to get it—and absolutely nothing stands in his way. His hold on me is magnetic, his claim on me complete, his kiss my ultimate escape.
We both harbor dark secrets that could tear our lives apart. Though we've tried to bury our pasts, there are certain people who won't let us forget. But the closer danger comes, the brighter the fire between us burns—our ecstasy consuming and soothing us both.
There's no telling what lies ahead, but I know that Jackson never gives in without a fight. I'd do anything he wants to keep him safe, give him anything he needs. And now that we're in deep, nothing can make me run.
Under My Skin is intended for mature audiences.
Praise for Under My Skin
"Intense . . . blistering in its sensuality . . . Fans of [J.] Kenner's sizzling and emotional Stark International trilogy will find plenty to savor in this finale, as her troubled and passionate protagonists battle to save each other from the darkness that threatens to tear them apart."—RT Book Reviews
"Red-hot and angsty . . . Kenner keeps readers guessing about who was responsible for Reed's death until the very end, punctuating the story with hot and explicit sex scenes, questions about who's trying to destroy the resort project that could make Sylvia's career, and a red herring or two."—Publishers Weekly
"Kenner does a wonderful job of displaying both Jackson's and Sylvia's secrets, pains, insecurities and the mechanisms they use when the stress is overwhelming. . . . A great series about determination, strong personalities, perseverance and standing strong under adversity. . . . A wonderful read!"—Fresh Fiction
"This trilogy has everything readers look for in a series. . . . It's loaded with intrigue, mystery, conflict, and a powerful cast of supporting characters. At the same time it is a tender, beautiful romance between two people that have struggled with their pasts. . . . This book was intense, heartbreaking, emotional, and a page-turner."—Smut Book Junkie
"Filled with all of the drama and seduction I have come to expect and love from J. Kenner, Under My Skin was a crazy-hot story that left me completely satisfied with our characters' HEA."—Harlequin Junkie
"Amazingly well written with detailed and complicated characters who are full of raw emotion, passion, and intensity . . . When Jackson and Sylvia are intimate, their passion is explosive and filled with wild desire. . . . The Stark International Trilogy is a must-read!"—About That Story
"This story has all the passion, love, heat, and nitty gritty, provocative sex you have come to love from the first two books."—Itsy Bitsy Book Bits
"Kenner mixes a hot alpha man with a murder accusation, sabotage and sex so hot you'll fall to your knees. . . . And throughout it all a thread of heat sizzles just underneath every single scene."—Obsessed with Myshelf
From the Trade Paperback edition.
There is peace in these moments between sleep and wakefulness. In the soft minutes that seem to stretch into hours, warm and comforting like a gift bestowed by a benevolent universe.
This is a world of dreams, and right now it is safe. It is right. And I want to stay here, wrapped tight in the comfort of his arms.
But dreams often turn into nightmares, and as I move through the corridors of sleep, dark fingers of fear reach out to me. My pulse pounds and my breath comes too shallow. I curl toward him, craving his touch, but he is not there, and I sit bolt upright, my skin clammy from a sheen of sweat. My heart pounding so hard I will surely crack a rib.
I'm awake now, alone and disoriented as a wild panic cuts through me. I'm afraid, but I don't remember why.
Too quickly though, it all rushes back, and as the memories return with wakefulness, I long to slide back into oblivion. Because whatever horror my mind would fabricate in dreams couldn't be any worse than the reality that now surrounds me, cold and stark.
A reality in which the world is crumbling down around my ears.
A reality in which the man I love desperately is suspected of murder.
With a sigh, I press a hand to my cheek, my memory sharpening as I shake off the haze of slumber. He'd brushed a kiss over my cheek before slipping out of our warm cocoon and into the chilly morning air. At the time I'd been content to stay behind, snuggled tight in the blankets that still held his scent and radiated the lingering heat from his body.
Now I wish I had roused myself when he did, because I don't want to be alone. Alone is when panic creeps closer.
Alone is when I'm certain that I will lose him.
Alone is what I fear.
And yet even as the thought enters my mind, the solitude is shattered. The bedroom door bursts open, and a dark-haired, blue-eyed bundle of sunshine races toward me, then leaps onto the bed and starts bouncing, her energy so vibrant I laugh despite myself. "Sylvie! Sylvie! I made toast with Uncle Jackson!"
"Toast? Really?" It's work, but I manage to keep my voice perky and upbeat despite the fact that fear still clings to me like cobwebs. I give Ronnie a quick, tight hug, but my attention isn't on her anymore. Instead, I am focused entirely on the man in the doorway.
He stands casually on the threshold, a wooden tray in his hands. His coal black hair is untidy from sleep, and he sports two days of beard stubble. He wears flannel pajama bottoms and a pale gray T-shirt. By every indication, he is a man who has just awakened. A man with nothing on his mind but the morning and breakfast and the bits of news that fill the paper tucked under his arm.
But dear god, he is so much more. He is power and tenderness, strength and control. He is the man who has colored my days and illuminated my nights.
Jackson Steele. The man I love. The man I once foolishly tried to leave. The man who grabbed hold and pulled me back, then slayed my demons, and in doing so claimed my heart.
But it is those very demons that have brought us to this moment.
Because Robert Cabot Reed was one of those demons, and now Reed is dead. Someone entered his Beverly Hills home and bashed his head in with a decorative piece of carved ivory.
And I can't help but fear that the someone was Jackson, and that soon he will have to pay the price.
We arrived in Santa Fe late yesterday afternoon, both of us feeling light and happy and eager. Jackson had intended to spend the weekend with Ronnie and then go to court on Monday in order to set a hearing on his petition to formally claim paternity and...