Author: S. M. West
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 6th 2017
Red. The color of extremes.
Tate Conrad’s existence is annihilated. Destroyed by two men: one, her hero and the other, her worst nightmare. She has nothing to lose.
Determined to survive, vengeance feeds her. There are no limits, no boundaries, not even death, in seeking liberation.
Rylan Wolfe is driven. A stellar FBI agent close to breaking the case of a lifetime. It’s more than career-making, it’s personal. Tate’s the linchpin to it all. They need each other to succeed.
For Tate, is he her salvation or ruin?
The grand ballroom is lavishly decorated in black, white and gold with at least forty tables, each seating ten, placed throughout the dimly lit room. A large dance floor is at one end of the room with a band and singer on stage playing Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon. Sidling up to the bar, I order a scotch.
Surveying the room, it takes two sweeps before I spot them. He’s like a human jail cell. One arm anchors her waist, his hand cuffing her wrist. Fuck, my chest tightens at seeing a woman caged like that, especially when she now looks nothing like the vibrant, fiery woman I met early today. Her face is vast emptiness. Now it makes more sense. With the abuse, I wondered why she didn’t leave him. Divorce him. She can’t leave. She’s trapped. From what I know, if he’s obsessed with his wife, which he blatantly is, her leaving him would very well mean her death.
Nursing my drink, I silently watch them. Throughout the entire hour, Tate’s frozen, a mannequin. He’s not said one word to her, and neither has anyone else, yet he’s beaming from ear-to-ear like he won best pumpkin at the county fair.
Despite her stoicism, she’s stunning in her long red dress, high heels and hair up. The dress is classic and tasteful. The deep, hypnotic red fabric is like a beacon of desire. I can’t tear my eyes away from her. She’s elegance and sin. Many men have cast glances her way.
Even with her beauty, there’s something dejected about her. No one appears to notice or if they do, they don’t give a fuck. Everyone wears masks. Many, like Tate, play a part to survive. Warriors fighting to live another day. While others conceal their depravity. Here in this room, they are monsters lurking in masks, hiding behind money and power.
I want to see beneath her mask. I got a glimpse today. She pushed my buttons and got me red hot under the collar. There’s more to her than meets the eye. I want to see more.
Watching her blank expression, her eyes briefly narrow before glazing over once more. If I hadn’t been looking, I would’ve missed it. Glancing in the direction of what, or more accurately who ruffled her veneer, I see Warren and Taya Conrad.
Swirling the ice in my empty glass, I watch as they exchange greetings. Time to make my move. I’ve patiently waited six months for Bobby to introduce me to Warren and the asshole always has an excuse. Tonight, I’m forcing his hand.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born on the shortest day and longest night of the year, Winter Solstice, she’s a self-professed night owl. From a young age, creating stories and conjuring characters was always one of her favorite pastimes.
She loves a great story with romance and intrigue, a strong heroine and fiercely passionate hero with passion, intensity and edge.
If she’s not writing or reading, she’s planning her next adventure, spending time with her family or drinking a great glass of wine and indulging in chocolate.