Title: Protect Me
Series: Spotlight Collection #2
Author: Cary Hart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 21, 2018
Who will you be when no one is watching... when the lights go down?
I don’t know who I am anymore. It’s been so long since I’ve been allowed to think for myself. And now that I can, all I can think about is him. My protector. His massive build which should frighten me but makes me feel safe. And his intense eyes that linger on me when he thinks I’m not looking. But why would he want me? I’m broken.
I vowed never to get close to anyone again. Do the job, get paid and survive. That’s all. Then she’s thrown into my life, needing a place to hide. She thinks she’s damaged, but she just needs someone to show her how strong she really is. Damn if I don’t want to be that man. But I’ve got a past of my own, and no good deed goes unpunished.
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“Starting over, 4 stars”
Penny is on her way out of a horrible abusive relationship thanks to some friends and Shapiro. Thanks to them she finds a friend who ends up like a mother to her. Then she falls back into that abusive relationship and finds herself needing help once again. Shapiro is there for her all the way and along the way she starts to develop feelings for her guardian angel. Does he feel it too?
Shapiro has wanted Penny from the moment he met her, but he knew she needed time to get over/past her past. Then the unthinkable happens, he finds out she went back and needs his help again. Will he be able to set his feelings for her aside and help her? Or will he show her he’s the right one for her?
These two were super sweet and Protect Me is the perfect title because there is no denying the fact that Shapiro is a protector. The story was really good and went by fast. Even with the heavy topic in it Hart still managed to keep it fairly light. I enjoyed these two and you may too.
Shapiro - POV
“Hey, what are you doing here?” Her voice is breathless, and I notice she has icing on one hand and an icing bag in the other.
“I’m hungry for something sweet,” I tell her.
“Well, you’re in luck, because I have a batch almost ready.” She smiles, and it hits me in the gut.
“I’m not hungry for cupcakes.” I stare down at her before bringing her hand to my mouth, licking the icing from her fingers.
“Oh,” she whispers.
“Yeah, oh.” I swirl my tongue up her palm and to her wrist, applying light pressure as she falls into me.
I’ve been patient, but when a tiny moan escapes her lips, my resolve snaps and I lift her into my arms and set her onto the counter with a gentle thud.
“Oh. Cold.” She winces from the stainless on her bare thighs, the icing falling to the ground.
“I can help with that,” I promise her as I bend down to retrieve the bag from the concrete floor.
She watches me as I slowly move to stand between her legs and she opens them wider in invitation.
My palms rest on her knees and slowly trail up and under the hem of her dainty dress. Reaching around under one leg, I drag my finger higher and collect the wayward pink sugar before bringing it to my lips to lick it away.
“I noticed you had a little icing here.”
She arches back, watching me.
“Sometimes, I’m a little messy.” She blushes, and I know this is all new to her. Foreplay. Seduction. The fun that comes from making your lover squirm beneath your hands before you have barely even touched them.
Hands that only touch for pleasure, comfort.
“Messy is good.” I wiggle my fingers, still sticky with pink goo.
She leans forward and takes my fingers in her hand, before bringing them to her own lips.
I see her tongue dart out to taste my skin before I feel it. I grow painfully hard at the sight alone, but when her warm mouth takes my thumb into her mouth, I nearly make a fool of myself.
But I fight to maintain my self-control, to give her this chance to explore. When I’m satisfied she’s ready for more, I pull my hand away and shift upward, taking her lips with my own.
Our mouths meld together—a mix of salty and sweet. Skin and icing. Desire and hope.
Shapiro - POV
She wraps her arms around my neck and lets her body collapse against mine. Her front sliding down. Her legs wrapping around my waist before she hits the floor.
“I didn’t like you locking me in here.”
“I didn’t like locking you in here either. I didn’t know what else to do. If you would have left and something happened to you . . .”
“I wouldn’t have left.”
I know she’s drunk, but this conversation has sobered up fast.
“No.” She nods slowly. A small grin creeps up on her face.
Penny looking at me like this has me losing all resolve. It’s all I can do to keep from slamming her against this wall, but she deserves better.
“Why don’t we lock up and get you to bed.”
I reach to pull her arms off and set her down, but she resists. For being drunk she sure does have a lot of strength.
“Don’t put me down. I’m dizzy.”
“That drunk, huh?”
“Drunk on you.” She reaches up to tap my nose.
Okay so maybe drunk Penny is kind of cute.
“Is that a smile, Frances.”
I can’t help it. This girl, she makes me feel things I have never wanted to feel before. So I smile.
“There it is.” She reaches between us to trace my lips with her finger.
I’m sure in her head she is being soft and sensual, but in real life, she keeps jabbing her finger against my teeth.
“Time to lock the door.”
I walk us over and prop her up against the wall with one knee as I free a hand to lock up.
“Oh!” Her eyes go wide. “That feels so good.”
“What does?” I ask as I stretch up to slide the lock into place then set the alarm.
“This.” She puts all her weight onto my leg and grinds.
“You’re killing me.” I glance down and see Penny’s eyes hooded and filled with lust. “I think it’s time I take you to bed.”
“Hey! Remember that movie? Oh, what was it?” She taps my temple. I guess to help her think. “You know that one where they sing that song about fire balls or balls of fire.”
I bounce her up to shift her weight. Wrong move. With all her grinding I’m hard as a rock.
“Oh yes!” she shouts as she flings her head back.
I lose balance, and she slams it against the wall. “Ouch!”
I snake my arm up the base of her neck and into her hair. Massaging her scalp.
She leans into my touch. Closing her eyes for a brief second before they spring open.
“Take me to bed or lose me forever.”
I know it’s a movie quote, but damn, don’t I want those words to mean something. Standing there with her body wrapped around mine I would give anything to push her up against that wall and take—
Her mouth crushing to mine interrupts my thoughts. My mind is telling me to pull away but my body is screaming for me to stay.
Kissing her back? Nothing good could come from it. My guard would drop, and she would become even more vulnerable. I can’t do that.
“Shapiro.” Penny moans my name against my lips. Begging me to kiss her back the way she is kissing me.
I can’t. I won’t.
I try to keep repeating those words in my head.
“Fuck,” I growl
I don’t know what comes over me, in that brief moment, but the tension that had been building since I met her became unbearable. I had to let go.
Grasping her cheeks, I took control of the kiss. Owning it. Fusing our mouths together while our tongues intertwine I turn her around and pin her against the wall.
Her body stiffens, and I freeze.
“No. It’s totally me.” She breathes out an excuse. “I just . . . I don’t know. I guess I . . .”
“Let’s go to bed.” I swing her legs around and hold her in my arms.
“Ohh!” She giggles.
She’s so drunk.
“I’m a princess.” Her smile crooked, yet bright.
I kissed a drunk girl breathless. Great. Maybe she will be so out of it she doesn’t remember.
“Yes, you are.” I agree as we walk into the bedroom and I lay her down gently. The mattress barely dipping. “Here, lift up.”
“Why? Ohhhhh,” she coos staring at me with her doe eyes.
I know what she wants, but it can’t happen. The kiss was a mistake. Maybe if it happened another time. After this was all over with it could be more, but right now. It just can’t be.
Yanking the covers down, I let her get adjusted before I pull them back up.
“Get some rest.”
“I don’t want rest. I just want you.” She untucks her arms and makes grabby hands like you see in those memes.
Shaking my head. “You are something else. You know it?”
“I know it.” Her smile sleepy.
“Night.” I turn to leave the bedroom to get as much distance between us as possible, but Penny? She has other thoughts.
“You didn’t tuck me in. Tuck me in, Shapiro. Tuck me in real good.” Penny turns over onto her side, throwing the covers off.
“What are you doing to me?” I moan, rubbing my face.
I swear this girl is going to be the death of me.
“Don’t make me beg,” she whines.
Closing the distance, I reach for the blankets and pull them up as I go. Tucking them under her chin. Stepping back, I admire her from a distance.
Distance is safe. It’s needed.
I start from the bottom and tuck the blankets under her like she’s a burrito. “Snug as a big in a rug,” I whisper.
Her lips pucker and I walk out.
Tonight is definitely a moment to remember. I’m just hoping she forgets.
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Cary Hart hails from the Midwest. A sassy, coffee drinking, sometimes sailor swearing, Spotify addict, lover of all things books!
When not pushing women down the stairs in the fictional world, Cary has her hands full. Soccer mom in all sense of the word to two wild and crazy, spoiled kiddos, and wife to the most supportive husband. In addition to writing full time, she enjoys binge watching Netflix, laying around in her hammock and baking up cookies for her family and friends.
Cary writes real, raw romance! In her stories the characters deal with life’s everyday struggles and unwanted drama, they talk about the ugly and they become the broken. Everyone deserves a happy ending, but sometimes before you can appreciate the light, there has to be darkness.
As a child, if someone would have told her she would become a writer, she wouldn’t have believed them. It wasn’t until she got her hands on her first romance novel, that the passion grew. Now, she couldn’t imagine her life any other way – now her dream is her reality.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CarysSweetHarts