Ayla Ruse has written a few stories for Changeling already, her Malathix Souls series in particular is terrific. But this is a brand new book about doppelgangers, which immediately caught my interest. And... oh hell. Why don't I just let you read for yourselves?
Will stepping over that line mean never going back?
Rosa Matthews is a journalist who can sense the good and bad in people. It's helped in her job until recently when her ability backfired, causing another's ruin. Her doubts lead her to test her abilities by pursuing a man who might give her answers.
Dominic Zane is a grudgingly self-declared bachelor. His constant companion, Gunner, tends to drive the good-wife-material women away. What people don't realize, however, is that Gunner is his Doppelganger -- a twin who doesn't always have Dominic's best interests at heart. When Dominic wants Rosa for himself, he and Gunner come to odds.
To build a relationship requires trust and sacrifice. Are Rosa, Dominic and Gunner willing to make themselves vulnerable in order to have a relationship, or will taking that extra step tear them apart?
When they walked outside, Rosa didn’t want the evening to end. She’d never been brazen enough to invite a man back to her place, but she wasn’t ready to let the secure feeling with Dominic pass.
“What are your plans for the evening?” she asked as they left the restaurant.
Dominic turned and gazed down the street. “I, ah, have to get a few contracts finished back at the office.”
“Could you finish them tomorrow?”
He rubbed the back of his neck. He was hedging, and she was afraid it was because of her talk about the Sensing. “Look, Dominic. I’ve had a rough day, but I’ve had a great time with you this evening. I’m not ready for it to end. Come home with me.”
To emphasize her point, Rosa stood on tiptoe, pulled down Dominic’s head and kissed him. He gathered her close and kissed her back.
“I don’t know, Rosa. Since we’re being so honest here, if I go back to your place, I’m going to want to have sex with you.”
His gaze, his hands at her waist and his thumbs rubbing little circles on the edge of her ribs told her exactly what she wanted to know. He wasn’t trying to back out because of her abilities. Good. “That’s what I’m counting on.”
He shook his head.
What? Oh, no, he wouldn’t do this to her.
“What’s your problem, Dominic?” she bit out, slapping his chest as she pulled out of his arms “First you and your brother have your way with me, then you don’t get in touch with me for days --”
“You didn’t act like you wanted me to get in touch,” he pointed out.
She ignored him. “You show up tonight, make me feel better than I’ve felt in ages, then turn down a night in my bed. What’s wrong?”
“You want the truth? Yes, I’d love nothing more than to go home with you. But I wouldn’t be able to go there alone.”
When she stared, puzzled, he spoke again. “If I go to your place, Gunner has to be there, too.”
Rosa stepped back and considered his comment. Hard. She wanted Dominic, but could she accept having Gunner there as well?
She threw up her hands.
“I don’t know why he has to come. I’m not sure I want an explanation, either.” She held up a hand when he opened his mouth to speak. “One thing at a time. Don’t get me wrong, I liked being with Gunner, but if I asked for only you to come and we won’t have sex, would you?”
Dominic smiled and shook his head. “Not happening, Rosa. Too risky.”
She sighed to sound put out, but she was thrilled at the forced conditions and thought it’d be crass to be too excited. “Okay, if Gunner is up to being with me again, two sets of arms to hold me tonight is better than none.”
She registered the shock on his face before he broke into a smile. “Give me your address. We’ll meet you there.”