Locke Jackman has a bad case of empty nest syndrome. He fought tooth and nail to hold onto his family after his parents deaths, but now grown, his siblings have all moved on with their lives. Now, there’s no one around to distract him from his sister’s best friend. The woman who—after a single night of blistering passion—refuses to have anything to do with him.
Susie Packard’s terrible past taught her the dangers of powerful men. If only the big, stoic frowner across the street—the one who tempts her with every breath—didn’t have her in his sights. If only she could trust him with the most important secret of both their lives, one that began the night she remembers every time their eyes meet.
In a town where everyone knows everything about your life, the safest thing to do would be to go away, far away. But she can’t leave Locke, can’t leave the man who holds her heart and soul in the palm of his hand. Every day she stays, she fears is one day too many, because Susie has secrets Locke can’t imagine; dangerous secrets. While passion may have its rewards, every secret has its price…
Originally Published as “Trust In Me”
“Dee Tenorio knocks one out of the park in her story about drop-dead gorgeous Locke, the patriarch of the Jackman clan, and fiercely independent but vulnerable Susie Packard…Tenorio delivers a heartwarming story about hope, trust and tough love, and you can’t help but fall in love with Locke.”
—Lea Franczak, USA TODAY, Happily Ever After
“The romance between [Locke and Susie] is sweet and sexy. I loved the way that they fit together; Locke is the perfect man to help Susie learn to trust again. The story of their journey kept me hooked from start to finish and I know it will be another addition to my keeper shelf.”
—Nix, Scorching Book Reviews
Rating: 5 Stars
“What I love more than anything about Trust In Me is Locke’s complete and utter confidence that with love and hope all things are possible… (I)t was flat out fantastic! “
—Slick, Guilty Pleasures
“Trust in Me is the most heartbreakingly beautiful book I’ve read this year…My only complaint is that I finished Trust in Me wanting more Rancho del Cielo books, more Jackman family stories… Locke and Susie’s journey to the happily ever after they so deserve is an engaging, emotional experience. Trust me when I say that Trust in Me is a book you do not want to miss!“
—Shayna, Joyfully Reviewed
“(A)fter spending time with Locke Jackman? I think every other man wouldn’t be able to hold his own next to this sexy and gentle hero.”
—Sandy, The Good, The Bad & The Unread
Rating: 5 Stars
“Dee I’m extremely sorry that it took me this long to fall in love with Locke but now that I’ve finally read it I’m truly kicking myself for taking so long. He’s just amazing and the fact you gave him a partner that won’t let him roll all over her is just amazing…I adored him!!”
—Steph, Bookaholic Anon
Rating: 4.5 Stars — Awesome Read
“TRUST IN ME is a perfect combination of humor and emotional intensity at its best. At one point I was smiling and teary-eyed at the same time. This is one of the things I adore in Dee Tenorio’s books! She hits all my sweet spots with one swing and leaves me wanting more as soon as I read the last word.”
—Pearl, Pearl’s World of Romance
Rating: 4 Stars,
“Have you ever wanted to reach into a book and grab the hero with everything you have and bring him back to your life? This was exactly how I felt about the hero of Dee Tenorio’s “Trust in Me,” Locke Jackman…Looking for a fun, but sexy romantic read this summer? “Trust in Me” will fit the bill. I dare you to try and resist Locke Jackman.”
—Jennifer, Romance Novel News
(Note: Full Review has a few spoilers)
“Dee Tenorio has created a read that rivets you to your seat and keeps you reading until that very last page is turned.”–Kay Quentin, Fresh Fiction
“If you love intense, broody and over the top protective sort of heroes, Trust In Me is definitely recommended.
Final Verdict: Sass, toe-curling sex and love with a dash of big, broody & hot.”
—Maldive, Maldivian Book Reviews
“I’ve always enjoyed Dee’s stories, but with this book she’s firmly on my auto-buy keeper list.”
—Heather, The Book Reading Gals
Copyright © 2013 Dee Tenorio
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
She felt like water, gliding across his skin. Sleek. Welcoming, molding to the planes of his body until all traces of his rough edges melted away. Her lips caressed his jaw, her breath a whisper that resonated to his bones. He couldn’t get enough of her. Her taste filled his mouth, tart and sweet. Some floral scent he didn’t recognize entwined itself into his veins, heating his blood, driving him to bury his face in her hair and breathe her in until he was drunk.
She seemed just as hungry, just as desperate. Her hands coursed over him, stroking, pulling, demanding. Her touch sent fire down his chest, across the muscles he never gave much thought to but seemed to transfix her. She took a near-evil pleasure in making him tremble for her. Even now, maybe especially now, he quaked. The wanting—the need—raked through him, and he couldn’t wait any longer.
Locke raised himself above her, cradling her slim body in his arms. He still couldn’t believe she was here, that she’d come to him. Not for this, he knew, even as his mind disconnected from every logical, fathomable reason he should never bring Susie Packard into his bed. Neither of them could have expected this. But here she was, her slim thighs wrapped tight around his waist, skin slick from the pleasure he’d already wrung out of her, lips swollen from his own and his name on her breath as he sank deep within her. He didn’t dare close his eyes, though the pleasure near blinded him, unwilling to miss a single second of what might just be the most incredible moment of his life.
Her eyes, still glowing with that fire he only saw when she was looking at him, sharpened, and her brow furrowed. Her hands cupped his face, as if she were trying to smooth the lines of his possessiveness away. “Locke, no. Don’t look at me that way.”
He levered himself up, inadvertently thrusting deeper as he captured her hands. He wasn’t a small man in any respect, and he knew he towered over her, glaring down. Slowly, his control straining to a fray, he stirred his hips against her. She arched, the tips of her teeth digging into her bottom lip, her gaze never slipping. Daring him, refusing to admit what he could feel in every touch of her fingertips. Her mouth. Her legs that tightened on him, making it impossible to move away. This meant as much to her as it did to him. Damn, stubborn woman wasn’t going to admit it. She rocked, trying to spur him on, but he kept up the maddeningly slow pace.
She tugged, not to pull her hands away, but to bring him closer.
“Tell me what you need,” he growled, unable to soften his voice, meaning it from the bottom of his soul. “Anything.”
She stared at him for a silent, breathless moment…then shook her head.
He clamped his jaw tight, his body shuddering as he stopped. She whimpered, but that was it. Taking this as far as she could, he decided. That was all right, he could play this game as long as she would. Longer. Because there was no way he could let her walk away from him again.
Fitting himself over her, he knotted their hands together, placing them just above her head on either side of the pillow. A kiss, little more than a slide of his lips over hers, drew another whimper from her. The tight tips of her breasts trailed across his chest, tempting and inflaming him. He gasped in a shocked breath when her sex suddenly tightened around him, flexing as if to draw him deeper. Rippling until his eyes nearly crossed. He swore, but he didn’t thrust as she’d clearly planned. God, he wanted to, but the groan of frustration she gave was worth it. At least he wasn’t killing himself alone.
He lowered his face to the curve of her neck, licking the salt from her skin, breathing her in again, an addict already, wanting her until he felt as if his entire body was on fire for her. Burning from the inside out to give her everything, to be her everything. If only she’d let him.
She shook in his arms, quivering but not surrendering. “I can’t, Locke. I can’t give you what you want.”
He lifted his head to meet her gaze, now nearly wild with painful truth. Or at least, what she seemed to think was the truth. If he kept holding back, he’d break something fragile between them. What, he wasn’t sure, because everything seemed fragile right then. Whatever it was, he couldn’t risk it. Wouldn’t. He closed his eyes, relenting.
Her breath shuddered over him as her body relaxed. Accepting him, if only for now. She kissed his cheek—an apology? Gratefulness?—heading unerringly toward his mouth. Even so, she seemed to think she had to make the line she’d drawn as clear as possible. “Tonight doesn’t change anything. It can’t.”
He stared at her, making sure she met his gaze before he shook his head. “Tonight changes everything.” Before she could argue—because she would—he took her mouth and let his control snap.