Today, I’m hosting author Eden Butler and her latest release Smoke, book one in the The Carelli Family Saga, a romantic suspense. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Series: The Carelli Family Saga #1
Author: Eden Butler
Publication Date: December 15, 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance Suspense
Smoke Carelli lived by his own rules.
He wasn’t interested in normal.
He didn’t care about things like love and commitment, damn sure not marriage and forever.
But the second Maggie Ramirez parked outside his family’s restaurant, his life became a series of distractions he was learning to love. Maggie and her kid have shaken up his world and dislodged every hard and fast rule he’d ever made.
And when the demons from her past resurface, Smoke and Maggie may have to break more than their own rules to win their freedom.
But will it cost them everything and everyone they love?
The Carelli Family Saga
Book One – Smoke
Book Two – Dario
Book Three – Dante
Book Four – Toni
“That’s not what I want to hear.”
Dario’s voice was strained. That much I could make out from the low moaning grunt I caught on the other end of the phone. “What do you want me to do? I looked. The woman’s a ghost.”
“No one’s a ghost. Not unless they’re in the ground and Benny told you last week the redhead was spotted in L.A.” When my kid brother didn’t respond, when I got nothing more from him but grunts and sighs, I leaned back in my chair, grip tight on the phone, silently reminding myself that I couldn’t scream at him. Screaming wouldn’t do shit to get what I needed from him.
But man was it tempting.
“You wanna yell.”
At least he hadn’t lost his instinct.
“I’m not gonna yell.” Stretching my neck, I held the phone away from my ear, dipping my head down before I spoke into the cell again. “Not yet anyway.”
“Dimitri, I’m trying.”
“Little brother, you’re here. In our hometown. You haven’t left New York. You aren’t trying hard enough.”
“I know you don’t want to hear it.”
“Probably not,” I told him, waiting for the excuse I knew would be heading my way.
“But you gotta give me some time to adjust…”
“Fuck, Dario…you wanted more responsibility. You begged me. Besides, shit…” I stood, pushing back the chair. “It’s been six months.”
“I was in for five years!” There was yelling now, but it still wasn’t me doing it and when I cleared my throat and waited for the man to check his temper, my brother blew out a breath, taking a minute to mutter something low, something that sounded a lot like the cursing our old man did when Ma pissed him off and he knew better than to tell her just how mad she’d made him, before he spoke again. “I’m not on my game yet. It’s gonna take me more than a few months to get my head on right. I just can’t tell you—”
Three sharp knocks sounded on my door, the knob turned and whatever my kid brother couldn’t tell me got silenced when Maggie stepped over the threshold. The second I saw her, my mind went stupid.
Lust and need rattled inside my chest as she shut the door then disappeared up when I noticed how her hands trembled. Maggie’s beautiful brown skin had gone pale and her eyes were glinted with worry.
I interrupted my brother mid-excuse. “I gotta go,” I told him and ended the call, throwing the cell on my desk, clearing it in two strides to get to her. “What is it? Mateo? What happened?”
She buried her face against my chest without a single word. She’d only done that when she was sick and half-high on meds. This was not her, and that had me worried. Other than a tutorial on how to handle her own oil change, Maggie had never come to me for anything other than the physical.
But just then, she curled her arms around my waist, her nails making light indentations against the fabric of my shirt. Her entire body shook, and she held onto me like she needed whatever it was she thought she’d find in my arms.
“Bella…” I tried, touching one hand to the back of her head, unsure how to read her. She wasn’t a vulnerable woman.
“Can you just please…hold me? That’s…all I want right now.”
Foreign to me.
Normally, that wasn’t something I did.
I could console.
I’d done that plenty of times with family and friends. With my ma when she lost friends, with the wives and daughters of men I knew.
But never with women I fucked. Never with women who I thought might want more from me. Though, Maggie wasn’t just some woman I fucked. Not anymore and I was starting to realize the truth of that.
“Your son is so beautiful.”
The woman’s voice moved around in my head as Maggie clung to me. Then, I answered the compliment with the same words that came to me anytime I heard someone talk about what a looker the kid was.
He’s got nothing on his mama.
Hell. She wasn’t my anything. He wasn’t either, but having her here, holding her, giving her what she needed, exactly when she needed it, that shit didn’t scare me the same as being the kid’s father didn’t scare me.
What the hell was happening?
Maggie started to lift her head. My hand still hung at my side and I guessed she thought I was giving her a silent no. She started to push away, moving her palm down my back, and her face off my chest, but I wrapped my free hand around her back and threaded my fingers into her hair with my other hand.
“Be still,” I told her, standing there with her, feeling something shifting inside me. Something I didn’t know how to define.
It felt light and heavy.
Sweet and burning and everything I felt settled inside me like it had always been there.
“Did…someone hurt you…or the kid?” I couldn’t help asking. Some primal part of me only knew how to protect. That’s what my fists were for.
“No,” she said, rubbing her face against my chest, turning her head until only her forehead rested against my shirt. I felt her cheek, thinking she might be relapsing, but Maggie pulled on my wrist, grinning up at me. “It’s not that either. I’m not sick anymore. It…it’s just been a very bad day.” She glanced around the office, her gaze on my desk and the papers scattered across it. “Damn, sweetie, did I interrupt…”
My fingers over her mouth silenced her and Maggie brought those black eyes up right to mine, giving me a look that could reawaken even the deadest, coldest heart.
Fuck me, she was beautiful. And sweet. And I was in so much trouble.
“You’re never an interruption.”
She nodded, the worry moving from her eyes, shifting into something that seemed more familiar when I took her face in both of my hands.
“You are always welcome wherever I am, with whatever you want from me.”
“Smoke.” She looked away, already starting to argue. “I know how busy you are.”
“I’m never too busy for you, bellissima.”
That unrecognizable weight in my chest got heavier when Maggie reached a hand up to grab my wrist, smoothing her small fingers up over my knuckles. Her touch was like silk, her skin the softest I’d ever felt.
Fuck, I wanted her. More than ever, right then, I wanted her. And not for a quick fuck. I wanted her deep. I wanted her in a way that lasted and settled so that I didn’t know whose pleasure was whose and I didn’t want it to stop.
Shit. Where did that come from? What the hell was this woman doing to me?
I couldn’t help it. Christ, I couldn’t.
I wanted more than to get her off. More than her in my bed for one night. I wanted it to last. I wanted her skin all flushed and pink from how hard I loved her and I wanted her panting and sweaty against me all night and in the morning when I woke up, when I took her again and again.
“Maggie,” I said, the name coming out like a growl, something I didn’t mean but was glad she seemed to like.
“Smoke…” She brushed against me, wrapping her arms around my neck. “Kiss me.”
My nose rubbing along hers, I inhaled, squeezing my eyes closed when the sweet scent of her hair hit me. “I thought you only wanted me to hold you.”
“I did, but now, I want you to hold me…everywhere.”
The sound that left my throat was something I hadn’t heard before. A desperate groan so deep, fucking old and ancient and it had an effect on the beautiful woman standing in front of me. So did my mouth dipping over hers and the grip I made against the back of her neck as I pulled her close enough to take her lips.
“I can do that,” I told her, claiming her mouth, tasting every inch. My breath coming in panting bursts when Maggie curled around me, giving back every lunge I made with her hands and mouth over me.
She didn’t seem surprised when I picked her up and twisted her around to carry her to my desk. Laying her back, I tugged off her shirt, pulled down her skirt, and kissed her neck, smoothing my hands over those sweet, perfect breasts.
“Smoke, ah… hurry…”
She went still, resting on her hands when I pushed back, head shaking as I unbuttoned my shirt, loving how she watched me and the soft noises she made with each inch of skin I revealed. When the shirt was on the floor, I grabbed Maggie’s hands, pulling her to me, moving her palms down my chest to my stomach.
“Don’t take your hands off me.” I grabbed her face again, taking those lips because I wanted them. “Tonight, I want you everywhere too.”
Eden Butler is a writer of contemporary, fantasy and romantic suspense novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum.
When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, reads, and spends too much time in her garden perfecting her green thumb while waiting for the next New Orleans Saints Superbowl win.
She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.
Please send help.
2 x $15 Amazon gift cards + 3x ebook copies of Smoke
a Rafflecopter giveaway