Photojournalist Chris Summers needs to get back to work or lose his sanity. A devastating on-the-job misjudgment left him with a disability, but he can’t let that or the painkillers he pops around the clock get to him. When he gets an offer to work on a photobook with a subject matter completely out of his comfort zone, the obvious answer is yes.
Julia Carlevaro has sworn off men and some other addictive substances five years ago. Now she must prove that she deserves her place in the family business. Failure is not an option but she doesn’t quite trust herself yet not to relapse either. Her last chance seems to be in the creation of a photobook to put their luxury safari lodges back on the map after a conservation scandal nearly destroyed their business.
With a deadline looming, Chris joins Julia’s team as the professional photographer. The attraction between them is palpable and Julia is perturbed—not only does Chris see everything she wants to hide most, but he is weakening her no-men resolve. Once on location in East Africa, Chris and Julia work long hours together and the noose of desire tightens.
After a shooting incident that leaves Chris unhinged, he confides in Julia about the true nature of the incident that led to his disability. His cards are on the table, and she would need to show hers, or let go of her one chance for love.
Chris lifted Julia’s chin to bring her closer, their lips magnetizing by their own volition. Hers were soft and opened for him in a sensual invitation as he kissed her. Desire raced through his body, demanding more as he explored her mouth with his tongue, inching tenderly deeper as she settled against him.
A soft moan and her fingers in his hair drew him back to unwanted reality. He broke away from her mouth to rest his forehead against hers.
He’d never intended to kiss her. Not after her revelation.
She drew herself up to him, her softness pressed against him, clearing wanting more. Dropping his head back he took a deep breath, hating himself for losing control like he had in the first place.
She was an addict.
Hell. She was addictive.
He hardened his resolve. He took her by the shoulders and pushed her to arm’s length. Her eyes flew open and he stared at her, shaking his head. “I won’t get involved, Julia. I can’t.”
He couldn’t recall when he’d hated life more than in that moment. “I’ve seen…I’ve lived this life already, Julia. It’s not only the addict that suffers. The loved ones suffer equally if not more. Without taking the drug once.” He took a deep breath. “Let’s not mess with each other like this, okay?”
He didn’t wait for her answer. Instead he let go and turned to limp through the few meters of water. Grabbing his cane, he stalked off, not looking back.