Submit (The Underground, Book 4)

Submit-Becca_Jameson-500x800

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Reviews:

Ms. Jameson creates a wonderful world contained on one mountain. A fire in the Smokies is nothing compared to the heat in this beautiful love story. The sex is sizzling. The love is a living and breathing emotion. A light and beautiful read with enough spice to entertain. – See more at: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/fireinthesmokiesbook2bybeccajameson.html#.UmRiVBDZgvl
Ms. Jameson creates a wonderful world contained on one mountain. A fire in the Smokies is nothing compared to the heat in this beautiful love story. The sex is sizzling. The love is a living and breathing emotion. A light and beautiful read with enough spice to entertain. – See more at: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/fireinthesmokiesbook2bybeccajameson.html#.UmRiVBDZgvl
Submit released August 4, 2016, with Hartwood Publishing.

Blurb:

Nikolav Andropov has just joined his friends in Chicago after years of fighting in the underground MMA circuit in Vegas. When he agrees to go babysit a woman with food poisoning in the middle of the night, he isn’t prepared for the punch to the gut the woman delivers. Even in her confused, nauseous state, she sends his libido through the roof.

Belinda Gallo is a reporter for Chicago’s largest multimedia news outlet. All she’s interested in is capturing the biggest story of her career for a one-hour primetime special—the murders of numerous local homeless people. She has no idea one of her good friends was also kidnapped and should have been among the dead. And she certainly isn’t prepared to meet five enormous sexy fighters, one of whom has proclaimed himself to be her protector.

Nikolav has perfected the art of brooding, reminding Belinda of a vampire. He’s nothing like any man she’s dated, but that doesn’t stop her from falling for him. The problem is, no matter how hard she tries to lure him into her bed, he isn’t taking the bait.

What the hell is wrong with him? Or is it her? In any case, while she tries to figure out what game he’s playing, the Russian Mafia is intent on stopping her from capturing her story. And they mean business.

If she wants to keep herself, her family, and her friends alive, she’s going to need to take drastic action. Will her decision destroy the tenuous relationship she’s formed with Nikolav? Or will it make them stronger?

Excerpt:

He didn’t hear her approach, and she found him standing at the window staring out between the blinds.

Damn he was built.

She didn’t move an inch, taking in the way his muscles bulged down his back, tapering to his waist. His biceps were huge. She wouldn’t be able to wrap both hands around them.

She licked her lips.

It felt like she’d known him much longer than two days, which was ludicrous considering she’d spent the first day sick and sleeping and the second day at work and running for her life.

But, Lord, he had her attention every time they were in the same room. Her palms were sweating as she watched the ripples run down his back. If the situation were different… If she wasn’t the sort of person she was… If she could throw caution to the wind and be reckless… Oh yeah. She would sleep with this sexy vampire in a heartbeat. Not a doubt.

As if suddenly sensing her presence, he released the blinds and turned around. “Hey, didn’t hear you,” he whispered.

She stepped inside, shaking lustful thoughts from her head to find her brain. “I don’t want to kick you out of your bed.” It was true. She felt horrible about that. However, she also didn’t see a solution. It was hardly reasonable for her to go sleep with Sergei on the couch. Although, the sectional was huge. If she had one end and he had the other…

“It’s no problem.”

“It’s rude of me. I can seriously make do with anything. A blanket and a corner of that gigantic sofa will be fine.”

Nikolav chuckled. “Not a chance in hell, babe.” He stepped toward her. “If you thought your chastity was unsafe with me, you haven’t met Sergei.”

She flinched. “I’m pretty good at keeping my clothes on without any outside help.” And then she cringed. “Or I was until yesterday.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

She rolled her eyes. “Somehow I found myself dressed in the most ridiculous T-shirt and sweat pants. I know I didn’t put them on.” She felt a flush creep up her face as she verbalized her embarrassment.

Nikolav chuckled again. “Belinda, yes you did. Trust me, I wasn’t sure you were lucid enough to manage changing alone, but you did. Obviously you weren’t lucid enough to remember it, though. Yes, I went through your things to find you something to wear, but I left you in the bathroom to put them on. What you were wearing when I arrived needed to be burned.”

Now she was even more embarrassed. “Oh. Okay. Fine. Good. But still. I think I can handle myself around your friend. You act as if I’m unable to ward off random male advances.” In reality, she sort of was—at least when it came to Nikolav. If he stepped any closer, she might fling herself at him to see how his lips tasted and to feel his firm chest pressed against hers.

Hell, if he reached for her himself, she would be complete putty.

So maybe there was some merit to his concern, but not with regard to Sergei. Sure, the man was just as enormous and built and tall and sexy, but he didn’t do it for her like Nikolav did.

The broody vampire expression she often found on Nikolav’s face made her panties wet. In fact, she reached for her throat with one hand to rub her neck, shivering at the thought of his lips on her. She really needed to stop reading vampire novels or get her head examined.

But it was difficult to avoid thinking of him as some sort of night stalker since his looks epitomized every male bloodsucker in every novel she’d ever read.

“Nevertheless, I don’t leave women I care about alone with Sergei for one minute. The man’s a chick magnet. He can draw a woman into his web in seconds and eat her up and spit her out.” He turned toward his dresser and opened a drawer. When he spun around again, he held out a black T-shirt.

She was still reeling from his description of Sergei. Was Nikolav concerned for her well-being out of sheer politeness, or did he want her for himself?

“You want something to sleep in? Or you gonna stand there all night and argue with me about who gets the bed?” He stepped closer, lifting the T-shirt higher and shaking it out.

She glanced at the bed. It was king-sized. This entire argument was unnecessary. They were grown adults. They could both sleep in his bed without mauling each other. It wasn’t as if there was some reason to maintain some level of propriety. Who cared?

She took the shirt from him and pulled it toward her chest. On her next breath, she realized what a mistake it would be to put it on. It smelled exactly like him. Even though it was clean and folded in the drawer, it held his scent.

“I’ll let you get some sleep.” He started to squeeze past her where she still stood blocking the doorway.

“This is silly. We can both sleep in that bed. It’s large enough that we’ll each have our own zip code. Just give me a few minutes to change.”

He narrowed his gaze. “Not a good idea.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re sexy and feisty and smart, and you smell like a million bucks. All qualities that will make it impossible for me to keep my hands to myself.” He grinned.

“So you’re saying Sergei isn’t the only one who can’t keep it in his pants for more than a few seconds?” What the hell was making her tempt him like this? She needed to shut her mouth and stop pushing.

But it was too easy. And she stood taller after he presented her with all those characteristics, making her feel like she was the best catch on the planet. Did he truly see her that way?

He chuckled. “Woman…”

She set a hand on his rock-hard chest and pushed him out the door. “Give me five minutes.” Before he could speak again, she pushed the door closed, leaving him standing in the hall.

Before she could change her mind, she crossed the room, stripped out of her clothes, and put the T-shirt on. Dressed in nothing but her panties and the shirt that hung halfway down her thighs, she folded her clothes and set them on the desk chair.

And then she went back to open the door.

Nikolav was exiting the bathroom across the hall. His gaze met hers and then roamed down her body. He followed her back into the room and closed the door once more.

“Which side do you want me to take?”

He shook his head and smirked. “Any side you want,” he replied as if there were more than two options. “I won’t be in it with you.”

She set her hands on her hips. “Do you have some crazy notion that sleeping in the same room with me will somehow taint my reputation or give people the wrong idea? Because I’m thirty years old. And so are you. If I wanted to sleep with you—have sex, I mean—I would do so with no regrets. Don’t tell me you’ve never slept with a woman you just met.” No way would she believe that. Every time Nikolav left the house, he undoubtedly had women vying for his attention.

He lifted a brow and crossed his arms, his legs spread and feet planted. “You telling me you frequently sleep with men you’ve just met?”

She hesitated. She should lie. But it wasn’t in her nature. “No. But that’s not the point. I could if I wanted to.”

“Do you?”

Hell yes. “Do you?”

He rubbed his head and turned around to face the wall. “Woman, you’re making my brain hurt.” He pointed behind him toward the bed. “Get in. If I argue with you about this any longer, I’m going to get a headache.”

She scrambled onto the closest side of the bed, next to the door, and pulled the covers over her chest. His comforter was a fluffy chocolate brown, and the sheets matched.

Nikolav blew out a breath, turned around, and headed for the other side of the bed. Her breath caught when he tugged his shirt over his head and dropped it on the floor.

She only had a moment to examine the tattoo reaching across one shoulder and down his arm. But she caught some sort of wings. He turned out the light on the bedside table and then tugged off his jeans, letting them fall on the floor. Enough light showed through the sides of the blinds to illuminate him.

Wearing nothing but boxer briefs, he slid into his side of the bed flat on his back.

Belinda’s adrenaline was still pumping through her veins from the busy day, the chase through the Chicago streets, and hours of perfecting her notes for Chicago Multimedia. There was no way she could possibly sleep anytime soon, but she needed to at least lie still so Nikolav could sleep.

Every breath made her slowly regret her decision to share this bed, this room, or even this apartment. Everything smelled like him. His T-shirt, his sheets, the pillow, the air in the room…

Masculine with the faint scent of whatever soap he used. Visions of crossing into his time zone on the other side of the enormous bed and snuggling into his side made her mouth water.

She would never be able to sleep.

“You’re breathing like you just ran a fast mile,” he muttered.

“I’m pretty sure that’s your fault.” It totally was. He managed to keep her off-kilter constantly, whether intentional or not.

He groaned, turning onto his side to face away from her and punching his pillow into submission.

“Look, I’m sorry, but I feel like I’ve been picked up by a tornado and dumped in another dimension. First food poisoning. Then a long day of work. Then masked gunmen chasing me through Chicago after attempting to blow me to pieces with an explosion. Then I meet with the FBI. The FBI? Whoever meets with the FBI? And then I have to put any normal response to too much stimuli aside and work in the middle of the night.

“On top of all that, a gigantic, brooding, bossy vampire is following me around, and I have no idea what intentions he has concerning me.

“So, yeah. I’m struggling to catch my breath, and I won’t be able to fall asleep for hours. I offered to sleep in another room or even the floor. I have nothing of my own with me but the clothes on my back. I met the man in the bed next to me yesterday while I was leaning over the toilet, and there are three other people in the apartment I met briefly.

“I have no idea what I’m supposed to do tomorrow. I have a job to do that’s suddenly limited by the FBI, and chances are I’m going to have a battle on my hands the first time I mention going to work. I—”