- Series: The Request #1
- Genre: Contemporary Romance
- Release Date: 6/25/14
Hosted by: Wordsmith Publicity
Roman Smith ~ Shopkeeper by day. Assassin by night.
The undercover Russian contract killer has never turned down an assignment that rids the world of scum. But this … request is the first time his conscience gets the best of him. Only, he has a good reason—Everly Andrews, the woman who saved him from dying and has no clue who or what he really is. There’s nothing Roman won’t do to keep Everly in the dark, even if it means losing her in the process.
This is a three-part series, releasing every month, perfect for the summer!
The Request was a delicious quick escape that left me looking at my e-reader in puzzlement as to where the story had gone so fast? Almost like on a perfect sunny day when you are on a patio with a Stoli Spicy Peach cocktail and all of a sudden your glass is empty with seemingly no explanation other than it was just so good. The other thing that is readily apparent after reading The Request is that I am frequenting the wrong book stores. Not once, and I have been in a number, have I come across one manned by anyone resembling Roman nor one that has an easy chair for my sole use and as many cinnamon jelly beans (I substituted Everly’s preferred green apple jelly beans, as it’s my fantasy already) as I could eat. Granted if I ever found such a place they would have to bodily remove me.
Everly Andrews has found just such a place, she has her books shipped to a bookstore manned by a sinfully handsome man with a clientèle of one, herself. She just doesn’t know that salient fact. Roman knows he should discourage Everly from coming into the store, a front for his “real” business but he just can’t resist their weekly meetings as brief as they might be. Until his other life intervenes in the form of an assassin sent to exterminate Roman.
I greatly enjoyed The Request, my only complaint was that it was over too soon but I suppose I only have my reading gluttony to blame. Ms Valentine perfectly combined an unlikely heroine and a deliciously attractive assassin wrapped in a bookstore and I was completely sold as a result. Now while I might doubt the veracity of the existence of a bookseller who looks like Roman I will spend my time pondering this while I eagerly wait for the release of The Deception.
The tips of her fingers touch my mouth, and a shudder rocks my body. A sharp inhalation of breath lets me know I’m not the only one affected. Lifting my eyes, I gaze up at her, sucking on the straw and letting the cool liquid ease the burning path that used to be my throat. A connection forms between us, and she leans closer, so close that I can smell the lingering shampoo and perfume she wears. My body goes hard, and my dick joins in. The thin sheet tents. Her eyes widen, and the cup shakes. The straw slips from my mouth.
I demand, and her attention returns to my face. I wrap my hand around her wrist and bring the cup closer, parting my lips and waiting. She doesn’t hesitate. Her fingers touch my mouth, the straw glides in, and I imagine she’s doing this to me. Her mouth is on me, taking me inside…
“You can hold this; I need to go to the restroom to freshen up. I can’t possibly smell good,” she says, hurrying away. A smile kicks up the corner of my mouth. I haven’t felt like this in years. I haven’t felt like a man instead of just a contract killer. Sure, I’ve been with women. Women who were wealthy, beautiful, and as deadly as I am with a gun. Innocents like Everly Andrews have no place in my life. But the part of me she’s awakened doesn’t want to listen to that. That part of me wants her. Wants her smile, her laugh, her touch… her body. It wants to get to know her beyond my bookstore, to know what else she likes to drink besides hot cocoa. What else she likes to eat besides Granny Smith apple-flavoured jelly beans.
“I feel a bit better now, but I really need a shower,” she announces, walking back into my room from the private bathroom. “Will you be okay if I go home to change?”
I won’t be okay, but it has nothing to do with my health or safety. It has everything to do with her.
“The nurses will keep me sorted.”
Everly stares at me for a moment. “I could go to your place and bring back whatever you need.” The only thing I need is standing by my hospital bed.
“That’s not necessary.”
“But I really appreciate the offer,” I add before she mistakes my refusal as a rejection.
“One last question before I go,” she says, her smile turning shy.
“Ask away,” I softly command.
“Do you think you can call me Everly now? I mean, I did rescue you from the jaws of death.” She bites her lip, like she’s trying not to giggle. For the first time in years, I throw my head back and laugh, uncaring of how much it hurts to do so.
“God, yes. I’ll call you whatever you want, love.”
A uniformed officer walks inside, and my laughter fades away. This is the moment I’ve been dreading. “Mr. Smith, I’m Officer Jones, and I’d like to ask you a few questions.”
Everly’s gaze bounces to the officer. “Do you need me for anything?”
Officer Jones gives her an easy smile, one that speaks of familiarity. “You’ve been more than helpful, Ms. Andrews.”
She walks to me, her eyes soft as her fingers brush my hair back. I can’t help but wonder what she told the police. Has she betrayed me, without even knowing it? “I’ll see you later,” she says, and then leaves the room.
Officer Jones steps closer to my bed, pulling out a pad of paper and a pen. “Can you tell me what happened on the 26th?”
Prepared for this moment, I say, “A man walked in, clearly high, wanting money. He picked the wrong shop. I don’t deal with cash. Credit card purchases only.”
“That would explain the lack of a till,” the officer says as he takes notes.
I clear my throat. “When he realized I wasn’t lying, he got all pissed and fired a couple of shots—lucky shots, and then,” I close my eyes, as if the memory is painful to relive, “I passed out. I’m not quite sure how long I laid there before Ms. Andrews came inside, looking for her coat.”
“Detectives have already been down to your bookstore. We couldn’t find a weapon or any other bullet holes.”
My eyes open, inwardly relieved. My secrets are safe. “Son of a bitch.”
“Is there anything else you can tell me about the perp? Maybe describe him?”
“Brownish hair, late twenties to early thirties. Male. Um, eyes, uh… bloodshot. His skin was a sickly grey color.”
Officer Jones snorts. “You just described every junkie down on Hargett.”
Perfect. I make another noise of disgust. “I’m not that observant. Honestly, all I can remember is the barrel of his gun.”
The officer nods. “Thank you for your time. If we have more questions, we’ll be in touch.”
As soon as Officer Jones walks out of the room, I exhale. My cover hasn’t been blown, and I’m still alive. But what will I do about Everly? I owe her my life now. I owe her everything.
Excerpt Chain – Part One
Excerpt Chain – Part Two
Excerpt Chain Part Three
Whirlwindbooks – whirlwindbooksandreviews.com
5 – The Request, Part One (eBooks)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
New York Times Best-selling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the best-selling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.