Dirty Little Secret

By: Kendall Ryan

(Forbidden Desires #1)





About the Book

Gavin Kingsley burst into my life in a sharp and unexpected twist of fate. You know his type—arrogant, dangerously handsome, and impossible to ignore.

Something dark within him calls to the shadows inside me. I long for the kind of heart-wrenching passion I’ve only read about, and his tragic past reads like one of my favorite literary classics. Raw. Visceral. Captivating. Together, we’re a perfect mess.

The deeper I fall into his world, the more I crave him like a drug—he pushes every boundary I have, and challenges everything I thought I wanted. I want to unlock his heart. I want his dirty secrets.

But in the end, will he be the blade that cuts me . . . or the bond that makes my life complete?



Written in the same vein as Kendall Ryan’s New York Times bestselling and much-loved international phenomenon, Filthy Beautiful Lies, Dirty Little Secret begins an erotic new series.





Prologue


Dirty secrets. We all have them. We guard them fiercely, protecting them like a mother does a precious newborn infant, cradled to her chest, away from the world’s prying eyes. Yet those dark, forbidden desires we crave won’t stay hidden for long. They have a way of coming out—usually at the most inopportune time.

I knew all that, and yet . . . I watched them from a distance, knowing they’d be perfect together. They were two halves of the same whole. He was broken beyond repair. She was so familiar, reminding him of something he desperately wanted to fix. I knew she’d be perfect for him.

In the end, the chain of events this would to set off would be fucking massive, yet I was powerless to stop it. Instead, I was there in the middle of it all, stoking the flames and praying they didn’t take me down with them.





Chapter One


Emma


My entire morning revolved around this thirty-second encounter. And if I timed it poorly and missed it? My whole day would be shit.

I needed it like a shot of adrenaline to start the day.

Every morning, careful to make sure my makeup was perfect and my hair was in place, I’d stop at the coffee shop on my way to work. I’d linger, staring at the rows of gourmet pastries and handcrafted mugs.

And every morning, promptly at ten to eight, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Sinful strolled inside and ordered a double shot of espresso to go.

Our routine had gone unchanged for the last ten months, and even though I cherished every second of our time together, we’d never spoken a single word. Hadn’t even made eye contact. For all I knew, he thought I was one of the commuters grabbing a mug of something hot and strong on my way to work. Just like him, I assumed. Or worse, maybe he didn’t even notice I existed.

Until one morning, I’d stepped into line behind him and, for some inexplicable reason, he’d turned and looked deep into my eyes. I couldn’t say how long the eye contact went on, probably only a fraction of a second. But even so, I felt like my lungs would collapse from the weight of his hazel stare boring into mine.

Since then, I’d tried a few times to recreate the moment, to wear some new perfume that might catch his attention, or pull my brown hair into a different style that might catch his eye. But nothing had made a difference. No, I was certain he didn’t even know I existed. Which was for the best, since I was pretty sure this was borderline stalking.

But then, that had been before everything changed. It was the precursor to something that would alter my life forever. Something that would make everything richer and sweeter and deeper . . . only to have it all fall apart, leaving me to piece together the shattered fragments.

Luckily for me, though, every instant was etched perfectly into my memory, even now as I struggled to decide if it felt more like a curse or a gift.

That morning, the scent of roasting coffee beans had filled the air, and steam formed inside the windows from the warmer-than-usual foggy September day.

I was standing in the corner, admiring the new array of teas for the fall, when the door chimed behind me, forcing me to turn around and look for the man I knew would be there.

He was dressed in his charcoal-gray suit—one of my favorites. The fine material stretched across his sculpted biceps and wide shoulders enticingly. His crisp dress shirt was navy, contrasted by his silver tie. Every inch of him was polished. But it was the scowl painted on his chiseled features that made my knees weak.

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