Title: The Shrink
Series: Love Nests #2
Author: Sophia Karlson
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 30, 2020
Apparently she’s a bit crazy.
Apparently he’s the shrink who will cure her.
Apparently they aren’t allowed to fall for each other at all…
Stacey Sinclair’s mother died in a gruesome car accident six years ago, and now everybody thinks she is finally losing it. Surely a few crazy actions on her part don’t justify her seeing a shrink for months on end?
For a psychologist, Dr Ivo Linder is too decent, too caring, and too handsome to get a glimpse of what really goes on in her head. Stacey’s unforeseen feelings towards him make her retaliate — she taunts him, never expecting to fall with him into forbidden lust.
As their attraction intensifies, the old adage stands: it doesn’t matter, as long as nobody finds out. But someone always finds out and when they do, will Stacey and Ivo risk everything to give their love a chance?
Author’s Note: This book contains graphic content and themes that might trigger some readers.
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Once outside the bar, Ivo let go of her wrist. Stacey stepped away from him, eyes sparkling with wrath. She wrapped her arms around her body, closing up. The crowd on the inside had spilled out to the sidewalk, and if he didn't move quickly, she could disappear in the ill-lit surroundings. What a dump. The need to get her away from the seedy bar quadrupled.
He peeled his jacket off and held it out to her. “Come on, you're cold.” What the heck was she thinking, wearing a strapless top and a cock-tease mini-skirt in the heart of the Cape winter?
Stacey shrugged. “I'm good.”
In my opinion, you've never been worse. He stared at her, but she met his gaze head-on. “Where's your car?”
“Not here.” She looked as if she wouldn't answer him, but capitulated. “I took an Uber here.”
And was she going to take a taxi home? Or hitch a ride with her hook-up, spend the night with some dick, only to flounder home at some point tomorrow morning? Hung over, humped by some stranger, and then attempt her exam? No wonder she kept on flunking. He tried to keep a straight face, but in this environment, with her here, barely dressed, every control centre in his brain was having a breakdown. “I'll take you home.”
At this, she laughed. “Dr Linder, I don't think that's a good idea.”
“And why's that?”
She was spelling it out for him, all right. But he could be bloody stubborn and thick-headed too. “My type…you're so not ready for me.” She blinked at him, flirting with her eyelashes.
Every tendon in his body tightened, every muscle pulled towards his centre where his dick rose without invitation. Who mentioned ready?
He dropped his gaze, only to see chills sprouting on her arms and over her exposed chest; her fingers folded over her arms, turning white because of the cold.
He swallowed, unable to respond verbally without melting into her and holding her close, mouth against mouth, lips teasing. With one step, he closed the gap between them and dropped his jacket over her shoulders.
She shuddered at the gentle gesture. “I don't need you, Doctor. And you don't need me blazing your life into the ground.”
He was in her face now, their bodies sinfully close, his hands still on his jacket but resting on her shoulders. “I'm exactly what you need.”
She chuckled. “What about never having sex with me? Anywhere?”
“Stacey,” he sighed, resisting to urge to drop his forehead to hers. “I'm taking you home.”
His control slipped. The day was too long. The past three hours too intense. “Then, over the next few weeks, I'm going to take a bottle of paint stripper and brush you down. Layer by layer, until we find the real you and you stop pretending. So, cut it out.” The words came out in a way he should never talk to a patient. Being human sometimes interferes with the job.
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Sophia Karlson writes sensual, emotional, and evocative contemporary romance, often set in far-flung settings. She used to work in the travel industry before turning to full-time writing. Her first book, Perfect Mistake, was a finalist for the Daphne Award for Romantic Suspense and won the Kathryn Hayes award in 2019. All her novels can be read as standalone, although she tends to write about siblings because family dynamics are so intriguing. Taking readers on a journey of their own with her books is part of the plot. Bon voyage!