Competitive tennis player Carter Cook wants a taste of freedom. Her overprotective father monitors every aspect of her life, so when he becomes employed by Vladimir Ivanov –a sexy Russian with an array of tattoos and an accent that weakens her knees—a taste of danger is within Carter’s grasp. Behind her father’s back, she enjoys spending time with Vladimir at his lavish estate. But is he really the upstanding businessman she believes him to be?
Vladimir Ivanov—godfather of a Russian mafia crime ring.
Vladimir spent five years of his life in a Siberian prison camp and has earned every tattoo inked into his skin. He is a powerful man who gets what he wants, and after stalking the gorgeous tennis player for years—he wants Carter. A little charm melts her heart, and behind the scenes, he orders his henchman to track her every move.
He’s a tattooed stick of dynamite ready to blow at the slightest spark.
As their romance reaches deadly levels, Carter senses something’s not right. When she’s lured into a compromising position at the hands of a shady European drug dealer, she calls in Boris, Vladimir’s right hand man, to rescue her—without telling Vladimir. With his authority questioned, he sets out to teach Carter a lesson about loyalty she’ll never forget.
When Carter realizes she’s in too deep, she must fight for her freedom before the attraction turns fatal. But the Russian bratva plays for keeps, and Vladimir’s fierce lust to possess her spirals their romance out of control.
Vladimir lifted me up.
I wrapped my legs around his body.
He sat me down on the kitchen counter.
We made out like we had guns to our heads.
Boris walked in the door, grumbling in Russian.
“Did you miss me, Vladimir?” I asked.
“No.” He flashed his crooked smile.
I shoved him in the chest.
“I couldn’t breathe the whole time we were apart,” he recanted. “Isn’t that right, Boris?”
“Da. His lips were blue.” Boris shook his head wanting nothing to do with our gooey love fest. “Thank heavens you came back to resuscitate him, Carter.”
“Let me make sure he’s okay.” I ran my fingers through his wavy hair and kissed him again, louder and sloppier that time. Vladimir liked it. He flung off my hat and scarf, unzipped my coat, and tossed it on the floor. “I think he’s okay now, Boris. I saved him.”
Boris mumbled in Russian and left the house.
Vladimir noticed what I was wearing and grinned. I had on a red Christmas-themed t-shirt that I borrowed from Kiki with “naughty” scrolled across the front in sparkle letters. It was too short, too tight, and I hadn’t bothered to wear a bra.
He licked his lips and lifted my shirt, but I stopped him from taking it off. From my perch on the counter, I had a perfect view of the white murderer van parked by the basketball court. “Not here.” I closed my hands around his. “Show me your bedroom.”
He scooped me up and swept me away. I had never been in there before—never even snuck a peek inside. I thought it would look like the rest of the house, decorated with a designer’s touch but not too personal. I was wrong. I spied a soccer ball on the floor, a collection of egg-shaped music boxes on the dresser, and photos of his family lined the walls. Vladimir enjoyed seeing my reaction to the side of him I’d yet to know.
Kat Shehata went to school with a bunch of animals–literally. She is a graduate of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Animal Conservation and Care Program. Her first career involved caring for exotic, dangerous, and adorable animals as a zookeeper. She has had her shirt ripped off by a jealous orangutan, hand-fed grapes to fruit bats, played tug-o-war with a three-toed sloth, and escorted an elephant down Pete Rose Way in the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade. As an author, Kat weaves her love of animals into her work. She is the co-author of New York Times bestseller Animals on the Other Side written with Sylvia Browne.
She is a competitive tennis player and spends her free time smashing tennis balls, cheering on her teammates, and playing matches in a recreational league. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, three kids, and an enthusiastic poodle. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Wilmington College, a professional writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati, and a master’s degree in creative writing from Spalding University.