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RAFE by Jo Raven
His name is Rafaele Vestri, Rafe to his friends.
He’s tall, strong, handsome. Distant. He often comes to the coffee shop where I work, but we don’t talk much. He looks at me, though. Stares at me, his gaze heated, and I can’t help but stare back. I want him, I won’t deny it. I’ve never seen anyone that beautiful, anyone that powerful, in my life.
But he’s growing more withdrawn by the day. Something’s up, and he won’t tell. I know about his past—the murder of his family when he was fifteen. I can imagine how much it must have cost him. So much violence contained in that strong body, waiting to be unleashed. What is he seeking? What is he training so hard for? Why is he looking at me like he’s dying to touch me, but won’t dare?
Even as I try to stop thinking about him, get interested in other boys, I realize I can’t. I’m caught, body and soul, just like that. And I tell myself, Megan, girl… What have you gotten yourself into this time?
Standalone novel. No cliffhanger.
*Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and violence. Mature readers only. Not intended for young readers.*
I’m staring at Rafe’s hand. Big, strong, callused. A scar runs from his thumb to the index finger.
He’s looking at me, waiting.
So I lift my hand, place it in his. It fits on his palm, smaller, darker, thinner. He seems as entranced by the contrast as I am. His fingers curl, closing around mine. His lips part, but no sound comes from his mouth, and his gaze remains fixed on our entwined hands, pale lashes hiding the gold of his eyes.
Now I’m the one caught, transfixed. His mouth looks soft, vulnerable, at odds with his strong, angular features and the broad set of his shoulders. The need to touch his face is overwhelming, and I step closer, so close I can sense his scent. Not a cologne, but the deep scent of his skin, like musk and warm metal. I can see the rise and fall of his chest underneath the black Deathmoth T-shirt he’s wearing under his open jacket, see the outline of his strong pecs.
We’re standing so close our breaths mingle, and our bodies touch in places as we shift, feathery brushes that send fire across my skin, into my belly, making me ache. He places his hands on my waist and I grip his thick, sinewy forearms. My stomach drops as if I’m standing at the edge of a precipice, on the edge of a moment that can change everything.
What’s happening? It’s as if in the hollow darkness, the barrier between us is crumbling, the wall he’s set between himself and the world is falling.
His hands tighten on my hipbones and his lashes lift, his gaze moving to my mouth. His breathing is ragged. He tugs me against him, his fingertips digging painfully into my flesh, his arms flexing with barely controlled strength.
His arousal presses into my stomach, hot and thick, caught sideways in his jeans.
My mind fills up with static. Rafe wants me. There’s the solid proof of his desire. The heated gaze I’ve felt so often on me is translated into a physical reaction, and it makes me feel so hot I might burst into flames. He’s so handsome, I can’t help myself. I want to stroke his square jaw, drag my fingertips over the golden stubble on his cheeks, kiss those damnable dimples.
Jo Raven writes New Adult contemporary romance. She loves sexy bad boys and strong-willed heroines, and divides her time between writing and reading. When not cooking up plots, she putters in her cluttered kitchen and dreams of travelling. Sign up for her newsletter