Title: Paradise Found: Cain
Author: L.B. Dunbar
Series: Paradise #2
Release Date: June 6, 2016
“I hate that I love you,” she said. “You left me.”
“I lost you, there’s a difference. Now that I found you, I intend to keep you.”
I’d tasted the sweetest fruit of temptation, and I wanted another bite. I had promised myself before, but once wasn’t enough. The savory flavor of her lingered long after I’d lost her. Contending with the pressure to return to the fight, in order to prove myself to my father and the world, I had to let her go.
It has been a year. Sofie Vincentia and I had played a dangerous game. For one night, we pretended, only to discover our farce was real. I’d lost her, but I hadn’t stopped searching, hoping for her return. I was used to getting what I wanted, so when she didn’t come to me, I had to go after her. This would be the greatest fight of my life.
L.B. Dunbar continues to enchant with this latest Paradise Stories novel! When Cain and Sofie are reunited, emotions run high as the tension between them reaches a breaking point. Paradise Found: Cain has it all, pulling me into the whirlwind of lust, love, mystery, and action with minimal effort. The instant connection between Sofie and Cain that we discovered in the prequel novella, Paradise Tempted: The Beginning, is put to the test in this book by a myriad of complications and manipulative plots, leaving readers to navigate this angst-ridden journey in an attempt to unravel the secrets that threaten their relationship. With each new novel, L.B. Dunbar grows by leaps and bounds as she further develops her craft, enchanting readers with her spellbinding stories. Paradise Found: Cain was certainly no exception. L.B. Dunbar had my heart fluttering with her powerful prose and skilled story building and I found myself absolutely devouring this novel in hopes of reaching Cain and Sofie’s happily ever after.
“A foolish woman tempted in the garden; once bitten, I needed to be twice shy. The Cobra left a lasting sting.”
Sofie exhibits a lot of growth in this novel and I’ll admit, it was intensely satisfying. The shy, innocent, and studious girl we met in Paradise Tempted: The Beginning has become quite a fighter in her own right. Heartache has made her feisty and strong, capable of holding her own with Cain when he comes barreling back into her world. As the story progresses and Cain challenges her emotional steadfastness, L.B. Dunbar further developed this character, creating a balance between the sweet, kindhearted girl and the fierce, guarded woman. Sofie’s newfound stubbornness led to some seriously amusing banter with Cain along with plenty of sizzling tension that made their story a delightfully steamy one. I was definitely surprised by the vulnerability Cain displayed in this book. Never one to leave himself open, his decision to trust Sofie with his heart and his willingness to expose the damaged pieces of himself to her left me swooning. Having already been hooked by the dirty talking, sexy as sin fighter, it was the sweet, emotionally raw man who caught me off guard and won my heart so completely.
“Secrets were hard to keep once lies began to unfold.”
Paradise Found: Cain definitely stood out from the rest of the series. There was a sense of desperation that gave Cain and Sofie’s story an emotional urgency I just couldn’t ignore. As they fought to hold onto their fragile relationship, secrets began to unravel, threatening to destroy them both. My heart raced as Cain and Sofie tried to get ahead of whatever was coming for them and I loved how easily L.B. Dunbar built the suspense of this novel. As always, a handful of secondary characters helped bring this book to life and I am definitely more than a little intrigued by some of the new faces. L.B. Dunbar leaves readers with the enticement of more to come from this fascinating collection of characters and I hope we’ll be hearing their stories soon. Paradise Found: Cain was well paced and expertly executed delivering a heartfelt story that was exciting, charming, and addictive. Cain and Sofie felt fated from the start and L.B. Dunbar only furthered that destined sentiment with this enjoyable novel.
Post – Fight
The sound of her heels, retreating from me, echoed down the hallway in the opposite direction of the gathered crowd. I was still dressed for the fight. I’d rubbed a towel down my body, as I didn’t care to change or shower yet. I needed to get to her before she escaped me again. Following behind the click of her heels, I called her name a second time, commanding her to stop. She didn’t listen. For the slightest second, it sounded like the tapping on the tile increased. I sped up my pace, determined to catch her.
“Sofie,” I called out. The tension built. She was going to run. My hand reached out for her, as I drew closer. My stride lengthened. Her tight skirt curved over her hips, holding her snug ass, and trapping her steps. High heels prevented her from moving any faster, despite her determined hustle. This wasn’t how I remembered her dressing. She wore loose skirts and fitted t-shirts, except on the second night. An image of a black dress being removed from delicate shoulders flitted through my memory. My eyes fell to her ass again, recalling what was under that shapely skirt. I’d seen it, felt it, tasted it, and I wanted it again.
“Sofie,” I demanded. Her name was more than a plea; it was a command to stop. We were headed in a circle. The sound of the gathered crowd was echoing back toward us. She was trapped. If she kept going, she’d lead us directly into the paparazzi pit. Cameras would capture her and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to explain who she was to the public. Not yet. I needed a private reunion first.
Her pace slowed. My outstretched fingers captured her upper arm and tugged her to a halt. Her body was gently slammed against the cement block wall behind her, and my arms caged her in.
“Sofie.” My breath caught as I scanned her face. Bright blue eyes under a pinched brow looked briefly at me, then avoided my gaze. Her face was flushed. I remembered that pink skin. Another vision flashed in my memory of her questioning me over a wooden wine bar. She was interested in my anatomy at that moment. I wanted her to be interested in my anatomy again. A certain part of me definitely had her attention, if she wished for it. I wasn’t only hard; I was towering straight out for her. My dick knew what it wanted. It was drawn to the lyrical whispers of what I assumed would be wet folds beneath black panties.
Another vision flashed through my mind. This included stripping her of black lingerie: simple, satin, and molded to the shape of her. I’d never seen anything so tempting, until she was removed of it. White skin, pink nipples, and a dark mound pointing to a treasure were the most beautiful colors I’d ever seen, next to her eyes, which were glaring at me as I assessed her face.
“Cain,” she said sharply. Her head lifted, holding it high; she was pissed. There was no other way to describe her expression. She hated me. I couldn’t exactly blame her, but it wasn’t the reunion I anticipated. It wasn’t the reunion I expected. It wasn’t the reunion I was going to accept.
“My sweet temptation,” I hissed to her. My tongue licked my lips, eager to taste hers. She swallowed, and my eyes widened at the smooth roll of her skin against her throat. My hand slipped up to her shoulder and my pelvis fell forward, instinct drawing my dick to her. I flinched uncontrollably as it hit her lower abdomen. It craved some place lower on her body.
She didn’t push me away. In fact, her hands were splayed against the cool cement behind her. Her eyes shone bright beyond those tempting red glasses, and bright red lips matched, sucking in air at the invasion of my body against hers. I wanted those lips to suck somewhere else. She’d done it before. I knew how sweet she could be, but her eyes were harder now. Those lips wanted nothing to do with any part of my body.
My hand continued to travel up the tender skin of her throat, and she swallowed hard again, trembling beneath my touch. She wasn’t repulsed by me, but she was frightened. I didn’t want her to be afraid of me, but she needed to be concerned. If my father found her, there would be trouble like she’d never known before. Her sweetness did not understand the depths of evil associated with me.
“Don’t touch me,” she growled.
On second thought, perhaps she did.
My hand slipped into her chestnut locks and tugged gently, but enough to remind her that I was a strong man. I wouldn’t hurt her. In fact, I was certain I hadn’t hurt her in the past. I was the one that suffered.
“One night, you longed for my touch,” I whispered harshly, drawing my mouth closer to hers. “In fact, I remember someone sweetly asking for it.”
My hands slithered in opposite directions. One surveyed the hilly swells of side breast while the other travelled the valley of her abdomen until it rose over curvy hips. I gripped a fist full of material and tugged it upward, jostling her body with the rough hitch of her skirt.
“If I remember correctly, you wanted me,” I purred against her moist skin. Her fear produced a sheen of sweat that covered her face. My nose dragged along her jaw, then dipped down her neck. Holding herself still, her hands remained flat against the wall to her sides. My hips pinned her in place as the skirt rose.
My fingers graced the soft skin of her thigh. She flinched and I pressed firmly forward. There was no doubt of my excitement. Dressed only in my fighting shorts, my bare chest brushed close to her generous breasts, which had been covered with my hands and mouth in the past. I wanted to reenact those memories, but my fingers had other intentions. In a jagged drag of skin against skin, I gripped her thigh, climbing upward, heading for the fruit of my desire.
“Do you still want me?” I whispered into her neck. “Do you remember?” I groaned as a thick digit delved through the warm moisture of folded skin, ripe for what I intended. I wanted inside her. Damp with desire, I slipped aggressively into her. I demanded she remember as I added a second finger. Her breath hitched as she moaned and heavy lids closed.
“Look at me,” I commanded. My forehead almost rested on hers, but I held back enough to stare into her eyes. I wanted her to see me, remember me, remember what I’d done to her. How she felt under me, wrapped within her. I grunted as my dick flinched, my skin too tight. This temptress had to recall what she had done to me, as well. I was going to come undone being this close to her, and yet she was so far away.
Blue eyes pierced mine, but they still contained a softness within them. I didn’t want to believe my sweet temptation could rot. She was spoiled by me, but she wasn’t ruined. She was stronger than that.
“Do you remember?” My fingers increased their exploration. It was a renewed excavation. They rediscovered what they missed. Sliding in and out, she joined my pace. Her hips moved slowly, then increased, matching the beat inside her.
“That’s it, my sweet.” I pulled back to watch her lids droop, then fight to open wide. “Good girl,” I rasped, as I brushed back a stray hair but didn’t falter in my rhythm between her legs. Her hands released from the wall. Palms flattened against my shoulders then wrapped around them as best they could. She had delicate hands. Tender and gentle. They had teased as she had tugged me and stroked me the first time. I jolted and my hips pressed toward her, but my hand was the focus. Her fingers dug into bare skin covered in tattoos of the snake I was. Sharp, blunt nails soon pinched into me as her hips rolled and her luscious center rocked.
“I want you to remember,” I commanded. “Remember where I’ve been. Who I am.” My fingers took on a life of their own, and they worked hard, digging deeper into the tender cavern of warmth, wet and ready for me. My thumb flicked over the sensitive pearl outside of her. Her breath hitched. Nails gripped into hard skin. She didn’t have claws, not my girl, but she was latching onto me. That’s exactly what I wanted.
“Tell me you didn’t forget,” I whispered, my voice dropping as my pace continued. She didn’t answer me and I stopped. The blue rivers turned to ice as she glared at me. I was the devil. And I would break this reunion, if she didn’t play my game.
She shook her head, refusing to speak. I pulled out of her quickly, feeling the release of her juices as they slid down her leg. Her eyes narrowed only slightly. Then she said my name. It was hardly more than a squeak, a meek plea, an unanswered question. Her nails slowly released me. Fingers peeled upward from my skin. I was going to lose her.
Fingers slammed into her and her head gently fell back. She sucked in a harsh breath, as I demanded her recollection without words. I wanted her to relive the memory of what I had done to her. Only me.
I worked fast and her fingers lay back against my warm skin. Nails made tender impressions on my shoulder. She could mark me. I wouldn’t care. She’d already scarred my heart.
“Cain?” she questioned, but I knew the answer. She was ready to burst. Her tender fruit had been plucked and she craved what came next. That first bite. The sound of my name almost undid me, but it would take more than that for me to be satisfied. For her, the flick of my thumb unleashed her. Nails burrowed deep, her eyes shuddered closed, and her head tipped back. She clenched hard, squeezing my hand between her thighs. My dick practically danced, but I had been the king of denial. I would not have her yet. This was only a reminder.
As my attention slowed, and I spread fingers through folds so wet they wept, my forehead came to hers.
“Tell me you remember?” I pleaded. My heart fell to my stomach as I held my breath.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget.”
I pulled back in surprise, my eyes widened. My expression had to betray a strange sense of glee.
“I’ll never forget,” she whispered, averting her eyes as she looked down at her raised skirt and my retreating hand. She pushed the material downward hastily then shoved my wrist away from her.
“I’ll never forget…that you’re an asshole.” Propelled backward as she braced against my chest, I stumbled in surprise at her use of profanity. My girl didn’t swear, but the venom in her voice proved she’d changed. My sweet temptation was tainted by the poison of me. What I’d done to her. I let her escape as her words sliced through me. I was an asshole.
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Don’t miss the rest of the Paradise series:
Paradise Tempted: The Beginning (Paradise #0.5)
Paradise Fought: Abel (Paradise #1)
L.B. Dunbar loves the original legend of King Arthur. Inspired by this classic tale, she pulled over to the side of the road to take notes when it hit her that if King Arthur lived today, he’d be a rock star. A lover of fairy tales, myths, legends, and anything with happily ever after, she loves to read and write contemporary romance. Her Legendary Rock Stars series is complete with the final tale: The Trials of Guinevere DeGrance, but the story began with The Legend of Arturo King. She also wrote The Sensations Collection, which includes five stand alones based on the five senses in a small town setting near Lake Michigan. Raised on one side of that lake, she grew up in Michigan, but now lives on the other side, in Chicago. Mother to four, wife to the one and only, and teacher to hundreds of former students, she looks forward to sharing more stories in the future.