Pierced By Danger
Pierced Trilogy, book 1
Genre: Erotic Romance
Number of pages: 327
Word Count: 87,167
Cover Artist: Rob Hood, www.graphicsplusmore.com
When stunningly beautiful drilling heiress, Samantha Colby is mugged one night, her misfortune leads to an encounter with the handsome and mysterious Detective Joshua Pierce. The reluctant celebutante is immediately taken by his rugged good looks, his take-charge attitude and his quiet concern for her safety. Unable to stop the disturbing thoughts suddenly running through his mind at the sight of her, Detective Pierce finds himself strangely captivated by her beauty, her innocence and her charm.
Inexplicably drawn to one another and unable to fight it, the pair embark on a passionate physical affair. But despite the safety and love Samantha feels when she's with him, she soon discovers that the good detective is a tormented man, haunted by ghosts and memories that he can't forget. But when it becomes clear that Samantha's mugging was only the beginning of her trouble, can Pierce find a way to quiet the demons that threaten to consume him in order to keep her safe, or will he allow his tortured past to destroy them both?
With heavy doses of romance, eroticism and heart, the Pierced Trilogy is a sweet tale of finding love, overcoming your past, and learning to hope for the future.
“Oh, Josh.” She practically jumps into my arms and she is shaking like a leaf. I try desperately to remember that she's the subject of a case I'm working as my arms readily close around her.
“Samantha,” I repeat quietly, trying to bring my mind into focus. “Come on,” I say leading her over to the white leather couch. “Let's have a seat.” We get situated on the couch and she's still crying softly, unable to speak. “Samantha, take a deep breath, okay.” I reach out with both hands to gently wipe her tears away with my thumbs, and as I do, I notice a light smattering of freckles on her nose and her cheeks. Damn. She really is lovely. I take a deep breath myself and move back slightly on the couch. Maybe a little distance will help. “Tell me what happened, Sam.”
“I was asleep,” she begins with a shudder. “The phone rang and it was so late, I thought maybe something was wrong. I expected it to be my brother or my mom. But when I answered, there was just laughter.”
She nods her head, and I can see her bright green eyes well up with tears again. “Weird … eerie laughter. It sounded almost cruel. Mechanical somehow.” Her tears spill over onto her cheeks and I can't help myself. I scoot forward and reach out to wipe them again.
“Did the caller say anything?” I ask, trying to at least sound professional.
“Yes,” she sobs. “He said, 'we'll be together soon.'”
Fuck. That does not sound good. “We'll be together soon,” I repeat the words slowly. “Those were his exact words?”
“Okay.” At the chilling words, my training suddenly kicks in and I'm in 'cop mode.' I take the small notepad and pen I usually carry out of the inside pocket of my jacket and begin to scribble. “Did he say anything else?”
“No,” she mumbles, wiping her nose with the back of her hand. I fish my handkerchief out of my pants pocket and hand it to her. She gives me a small, sad smile. “I still have the other handkerchief you gave me in the hospital. I'll wash it for you.”
“Keep it. You can start a collection of them,” I say with a quiet smile as she blows her nose. “Can you tell me anything else about the phone call?”
She thinks for a second and then whispers, “Yes. There was music.”
“Yes. Like … creepy, mechanical music,” she says tearfully. “Like from a music box or something.”
I jot that down on my notepad and look up at her. She looks so forlorn. I want to fold her into my arms and hold her close. But I know I can't do that. “What time did this call come in, exactly?” I ask, focusing on my job.
“2:19 am,” she says.
“How do you know that so precisely?” I ask.
“I looked at the time on my cellphone before I answered it,” she says matter-of-factly.
“Okay,” I sigh. “Good.” I scribble this last bit of information on my notepad and look up at her again. “Did you say anything to him?”
“I just kept asking 'who is this?'”
“And no response from him?” I ask.
“No. Just the evil laughter and music.”
“Okay,” I say with another sigh. We're both quiet for a few moments and I can hear the sound of a ticking clock somewhere in the room. I glance around and spot a small, ornate, silver clock on the marble mantle above the gas fireplace. It's reading 3:03 am. I look back at Samantha and she looks so tired I think she might fall over. “Hey,” I say softly placing my hand on her shoulder, “let's get you to bed. You look exhausted.”
“No,” she protests, her eyes suddenly big and round as saucers. “I don't think I can sleep.”
I smirk at her. “Samantha, you look like you could sleep through a hurricane right about now,” I tease her. “Come on. Let me put you to bed.”
“No, please,” she begs. “I won't be able to sleep once you're gone.”
“Then I won't leave,” I hear myself say. Her enchanting green eyes lock onto mine and they're questioning me silently. “I promise. I'll sit with you until you fall asleep. And then I'll sleep here … on your couch.”
“You would do that?” she whispers.
“Yes,” I nod, holding her gaze. And I know that I'm making another big mistake, but I can't stop myself. “I will do that.”
“Thank you, Josh.” Her words are a breathless, tearful whisper.
“You are most welcome, Samantha,” I reply. I stand then and hold out my hand to her. She places her hand in mine and stands up, still a little shaky, and I have to fight the urge to take her into my arms. Letting go of her hand, I take a step back, allowing her to lead the way to her bedroom. As we walk through her apartment towards her room, I notice a staircase at the end of the hallway and wonder where it leads. I had no idea this place had two stories and I wonder idly if our guys checked out the upstairs when they did their walk through after Samantha was assaulted. I'm sure they did. It just bugs me that I wasn't aware of the second level. I'll ask her about it in the morning.
When we reach her room, I glance around with slightly raised eyebrows. It's easily twice the size of my bedroom at home. But it looks the way I expected it to. It looks like her. The walls are a soft blush color. All of them except one. The wall behind the black wrought iron headboard of her bed is a deep dark pink, like almost burgundy. The light in the room is soft and both the bed and the glass doors that lead to the balcony are covered in rich, billowy fabrics in shades of soft pink and rose. There are five framed sketches hanging on one wall like they're in a gallery or something, lighted to perfection. They catch my eye because they're all sketches of nudes – three female and two male – and when I look closer, they're all signed 'Samantha Colby.' They're really good. On the wall behind her bed is the Modigliani painting she told me about. A figure of a woman, lying seductively on what looks like a bed. It's a very sensual image, almost erotic, and it surprises me. Just like Samantha Colby herself. In fact, the whole room is so perfectly her – a sensual mix of sweetness, innocence and eroticism.
And with that thought slithering enticingly though my head, Samantha removes her robe and climbs into her bed. Focus on why you're here, Pierce! I let out the breath I hadn't realized I was holding and move to the large, flower printed, overstuffed chair next to the bed and take a seat.
“Are you going to sit there and watch me?” she asks softly, a smile hinting at the corners of her delicious mouth.
“I thought that was the deal,” I say with a tired grin.
“I won't be able to go to sleep if you watch me!” She smiles at me.
“Close your eyes, Samantha.” It's a quiet command and she keeps smiling, but she does as she's told. She's so tired.
“You don't have to sleep on the couch, you know.” Her words are uttered sleepily and they take me by surprise. “The guest room is down the hall.”
The guest room. Of course. What did you think she meant, Pierce? I smirk to myself and shake my head. It's going to be a long night.
This book grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go. The first scene with the domestic violence situation led me down paths best forgotten, but it staged the story and motivations of Josh, the main male character very well. Sam, the victim and female lead was someone I had a hard time identifying with at first but as the character developed, I grew to care about what happened to her.
The book moved well, but had a few sporadic places where the dialog needed some smoothing out. It didn't detract from the story as I was so mesmerized by the mystery that nothing else seemed to matter until the last page. What a cliff hanger! OMG!
Great mystery read with some fun characters.
About the Author:
Lashell Collins was born and raised in a small Ohio town. And although her midwestern upbringing gave her a very practical outlook on life, it didn’t stop her from daydreaming about romance and love and all the special little things that make life magical.
Lashell has always loved to write and often dreamed about pursuing her passion, but like so many of us, she allowed life and circumstances to lead her down a very different path for a long time. An avid lover of both animals and flowers, Lashell has spent the last twenty years working in Veterinary Clinics and Garden Centers before finally finding the courage to take writing seriously.
She lives in Ohio with her husband and their two four-legged children, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Ben and an American Bobtail cat called Spike. She is a hopeless romantic, a huge music fan, loves to laugh and loves a happy ending.