Raise A Little Hell
Harlequin Spice Brief (October 1, 2010)
Hell's Series, Book 3
Gifted with a sixth sense, Nicole James has always felt different and alone in the world. She has no idea what her abilities really mean—until she experiences Lucifer's erotic charm when he tries to claim her.
But Nicole has a protector in Paranormal Task Force Officer Connor McClain. From the moment he sees Nicole, he craves her in a way no mere mortal could understand. And Connor has a plan to break Lucifer's hold over Nicole: by seducing her and putting her under his own sensual spell...
As Nicole James restocked the library shelves on this blustery Chicago morning, a burst of warm dry heat shot from the floor register and helped rent the chill in the air. The damn building felt like a frozen food storage locker on most days, Nicole mused. Sure it was good for the books and computers, but it certainly wasn't good for the early morning staff who had to open up and kicked-start the ancient forced air furnace. Cripes, her breath practically turned to fog when she exhaled, and that was even after the heat had been running for hours.
With her cool body absorbing the rush of warmth, Nicole grabbed a sip of her coffee, tucked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear, leaned over and whispered to her very pregnant best friend in a hushed voice. "I think he's the one."READ MORE
Fingers poised inches from the shelf, Kaylea West cast Nicole a sideways glance, her blue eyes widening. "Come on, Nicole, how can he be the one? You haven't even met him in person yet."
Nicole gave a casual shrug. "I don't need to meet him in person to know."
"Sure you do," Kaylea insisted, as she neatly slipped the brand new book on Medieval German literature into the four inch slot where it would likely gather dust for the next millennium. Kaylea twisted and wagged a warning finger. "Meeting a guy on line and meeting him in person is not the same thing. Haven't we been over this?"
Feeling like a love-struck teenager, Nicole's insides were bursting with an unusual amount excitement. She hugged a hard covered book to her chest and spun around. "But he's so perfect. He's everything I've ever wanted in a man. Tall, beautiful, sensitive, and he's a doctor, Kaylea. A doctor. So perfect." She momentary shut her eyes and let out a long euphoric sigh. "You know I'm not very religious, but it's like he was a gift from God. Like He tapped into my thoughts and created the perfect man for me."
Nicole opened her eyes in time to see a wave of apprehension spill across Kaylea's face. Body language telltale, her friend furrowed her brow in genuine concern. Kaylea pitched her voice low - to show the severity of the situation Nicole supposed - and said, "He sounds too good to be true. And you know what they say about that…"
Nicole grabbed for Kaylea's hand and cut her off. "Come on, after all the losers I've been out with, and all the failed relationships, can't you just be happy for me? And look at Brand. Talk about love at first sight, and he's been an amazing husband hasn't he?" Nicole took that moment to glance at her friend's big belly. "So damn amazing some would think he was too good to be true."
After a long thoughtful moment, Kaylea's blue eyes softened and she squeezed Nicole's fingers in support, but the underlying worry in her voice hadn't gone unnoticed. "I am happy for you. I just want you to be careful. There are too many crazies roaming the streets at night and I don't want you mixed up with any of them."
Nicole appreciated her friends concern, she really did, but after losing her parents at a young age, and being sent half way across the country to live with a grandmother who cared little to nothing for her, she'd practically raised herself in one of Chicago's roughest and toughest neighbourhood. Nicole prided herself on being street savvy, that, and she'd been gifted with a six sense. For as long as she could remember, she had the ability to read people, helping her separate the good from the bad. She wasn't sure if she'd inherited the ability from her parents, as Nicole was so young when they died, too young at the time to understand the significance of her extraordinary gift.
"You of all people know I'm a good judge of character," Nicole reminded. "And Trent is amazing. We have so much in common. "
Kaylea gave a slow side-to-side shake of her head, her light blonde curls bounding with the easy movement. "Jeez, what kind of spell does he have you under anyway?"
"It's not a spell. He's just a really great guy."
"I know you think he's a great guy, but it's just that—"
Kaylea' voice fell off when Nicole raised her arms and placed her palms face out. She cut her hand through the air, shaping the pattern of Kaylea's body. "And like you, Trent Wheeler has such a beautiful aura about him."
Kaylea raised a dubious brow. "You could pick up on that from just his photo?"
"Yeah," she murmured dreamily. "Such a soft and beautiful shade of blue. Just like the color of your eyes, in fact."
Kaylea leaned against the mobile book rack and asked, "Doesn't blue mean he's spiritual?"
Nicole winked. "Like I said, he's a gift from God."
"Okay, so when and where are you meeting this gift of God," Kaylea teased.
"I told him to meet me for lunch at Halo, then we're going to catch a matinee." Nicole grabbed another book from the rack and cocked her head. "See, I'm playing it smart. A Saturday afternoon date, then home by dark, before all the crazies come out of the woodwork."
Nicole blinked, putting on her best innocent face. "Well now that depends," she hedged, noncommittal.
Kaylea arched a warning brow. "Nicole?"
Nicole laughed and planted her hands on her hips. "I'll tell you what. You stop by Halo and meet him. Once I have your approval then—"
Nicole tossed Kaylea a flirtatious wink. "Then I'll tell you all about it Sunday over brunch."COLLAPSE