First to Die
Self-made entrepreneur Simon Sutcliffe spent the past year in seclusion, grieving for his infant son who died while his wife was having sex with another man. Back home, his immediate sexual attraction to beautiful consultant Tamara Hart doesn’t stop them from butting heads over her startling recommendations to the shareholders to upgrade a family held golf course. Years ago, a hit-and-run accident left Tamara with ugly hidden scars. Today, she cloaks her vulnerability with an in-your-face sexiness that dares men to touch.
Forced to work together when his father dies violently, leaving her half his shares, sparks fly between Tamara and Simon and they succumb to their mutual attraction. But more than love is at stake. Simon’s estranged twin Jack thinks he’s in charge of the multi-million-dollar development, but too much drinking to forget a devastating secret helps a killer plow a deadly path through the shareholders. Following a spate of increasingly vengeful attacks, it appears Tamara is next. Can she stay alive long enough to help the twins make peace, as their father wished?
“From the intensive prologue to the very satisfying epilogue, this novel will absorb you and keep you on a roller coaster of emotions. Cris Anson is a mastermind; she has created a captivating thriller with a powerful love story that agitates your mind on one page and your libido in the next...”
— 4.5 stars, Rocio Rosado, eCataRomance
“Gripping from the prologue through the final page, Ms. Anson takes (us) on a rollercoaster ride of double and triple crosses, misconceptions, sex, love and death. There was no time to take a breath while reading this…”
— RR Grade A, Lynda, Simply Romance Reviews
“FIRST TO DIE captivated me so much, I was thinking about it all the times I was not able to read.”
— 5 Nymphs, Golden Blush Recommended Read, Goddess Minx, Literary Nymphs Reviews Only
“...FIRST TO DIE is suspenseful and dark at times. The killer wanting to get rid of Sutcliffes is never far from the focus of the story and despite trying to figure out who the bad guy was, I was happily surprised at the end when all was revealed. FIRST TO DIE is a romantic suspense unlike any I have ever read. I will read it again and again!”
— 5 bookmarks, reviewer Natalie S., Wild on Books
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An Excerpt From: First to Die
Copyright © CRIS ANSON, 2008
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
His left hand gripped the steering wheel so tightly he felt a fingernail digging into his palm. He wondered if he could melt the leather-covered plastic with his bare hand. Outside, dusk was turning into dark and the porch light, apparently on a timer, came on to limn her profile with its golden light.
His name was a beseeching whisper on her lips. That was all it took. He fumbled the ignition off and reached across the center console. One knee banged against the gearshift. He hardly felt the pain. His right arm curling around her shoulders, he drew her toward him. He cradled her chin in his left hand and grazed her lips with his. She squirmed closer, her mouth seeking a greater melding. He allowed her to take the lead, opening his mouth in invitation. She took it, stroking his tongue with hers, sucking on it. She grabbed a fistful of his hair and pulled him even closer.
The curl in his groin turned into a tidal wave. He was drowning in her, in the incredible heat from her mouth, the softness of her skin, the unique scent of her in the cocoon of the small car. With their mouths firmly, hungrily meshed, his left hand drifted down to stroke the smooth column of her neck. In a quick movement he flicked open the top three buttons of her ivory blouse beneath her jacket. He slipped long fingers under the silky fabric to trace her collarbone, her throat then lower to feel the smooth, plump skin under the lacy bra.
She moved against his hand, encouraging him to glide his fingers across her breast. Her nipple beaded under his touch. He undid several more buttons and pushed the concealing fabric aside. In the porch light, her bra shimmered, the pale skin peeking out from peach-colored lace. Her hard nipple looked like a strawberry ripe for plucking.
“God, you’re beautiful,” he breathed. He bent down and stroked the hard nub with his tongue. She arched into him, raking her hands through his hair. He cupped the fullness of her breast then closed his mouth around it, sucking it, tonguing it. Tamara thrashed against him, her hands stroking his neck, his back, shoulders, arms, anywhere, it seemed, that she could reach.
Her frenzied touch inflamed him. He fumbled for the closure of her riding pants, unhooked and unzipped it. Her skin underneath was as hot as noontime in July. His fingers splayed across the silky skin, dipped briefly into her navel, then stroked lower, finding the heat underneath her bikini pants. He could feel her arch against his hand, could smell her feminine essence, and he knew she wanted him with the same mindless frenzy that gripped him.
He skimmed the curls of her pubic hair, teased the edges of her swollen pussy lips. She pushed her hips up, straining against his hand. His fingers dipped into the soft folds, finding her hot and wet and ready. He touched her clit, stroked it in small, damp circles. In seconds she exploded, writhing against his hand, raining kisses on his face. She grabbed his neck and wrenched him closer, kissing him with an intensity that singed his soul.
Her spasms against his fingers slowed. Her head fell back against the seat. Her eyes were closed, her lips bruised and slick. A slight smile turned the edges of her mouth upward.
His cock throbbed with a fierceness that surprised him. He wanted to bury himself in the hot, moist place where his fingers had just been. He wanted to fuck her until he exorcised this hold she had over him. Instead, he settled for trailing soft kisses on her downy cheek, her jaw, her ear. He marveled at the thick fan of lashes resting against her flawless skin, the fine arch of her brows.
“Simon,” she murmured, turning her mouth to his. Her soft lips languidly met his hot ones. He stabbed his tongue into the sweet recess in a forceful reminder of what he wanted. Her body went taut. Her eyes flicked open.
“Inside,” she breathed.
He needed no more encouragement. In seconds he was outside and around to open the passenger door. He handed her out of the low-slung car, then pulled her to the hard, hot length of him. Her arms went around his neck. She molded herself to him as firmly as her mouth molded to his. He wedged a thigh between her legs, grabbed her ass cheeks and lifted her to ride his cock.
Thus welded together, Simon brought her to the porch. He slid her down the length of him until her feet touched the floor. “The keys,” he growled.
“Oh. I, uh, my purse is still in the car.”
Simon found the bag after feeling around on the floor in the dark. Tamara groped inside the purse and retrieved a keyring. She couldn’t find the keyhole. His hand closed over hers, and together they managed to open the door.
The pungent smell of cigarette smoke assailed them. She flicked a switch. The soft glow of a table lamp lighted the living room.
“It’s about time you came in,” snarled a leathery voice. “I thought you were going to do it right in that little car.”