Nayna Sharma agreed to an arranged marriage in the hope it would heal the fractures in her beloved family… only to realize too late that a traditional marriage is her personal nightmare. Panicked, she throws caution to the winds, puts on the tiniest dress she can find, and ends up in the arms of a tall, rough-edged hunk of a man who has abs of steel—and who she manages to mortally insult between one kiss and the next.
Abandoned as a child, then adopted into a loving family, Raj Sen believes in tradition, in continuity. Some might call him stiff and old-fashioned, but he knows what he wants—and it’s a life defined by rules… yet he can’t stop thinking about the infuriating and sexy woman who kissed him in the moonlight then disappeared. When his parents spring an introduction on him, the last woman he expects is her. Beautiful. Maddening. A rulebreaker in the making.
When she shivered, he licked his tongue across the seam of her lips. She parted them and the kiss turned wet and deep. His stubble created rough friction against her skin and she thought, “He’s marking me.” She didn’t care, it felt so good.
A moan sounded and she didn’t realize it had been her until he rumbled his approval, his chest vibrating against her fingers. Ready for more, for everything, she pressed in closer. Raj nudged her back, and she had a sudden stab of worry that she’d bungled it—she wasn’t exactly an expert on kissing.
But he bit lightly at her lower lip as he continued to walk her back until her butt gently hit a wall. Cornering her again. And oh, it felt good. His body was so hot and hard against her own, and he was so overwhelmingly big and strong. As for his mouth—serious, intense Raj knew exactly how to use his mouth to make her embarrassingly wet. When he ran his hand up her body to close over her breast, she didn’t protest.
But he stopped, his hand in her hair, and said, “You with me, Nayna?”
Endorphins flooded her system at the sound of her name on his lips. Licking her lips, she nodded. “Yes. Please don’t stop.”
Dark eyes flashing, he pressed his mouth to hers once more, the bristles on his jaw scraping at her skin all over again and sending prickles of sensation all through her. More strokes of her body, his hands assured and holding a raw heat. His palms snagged at times on the fabric of her dress, his calluses hard from physical labor. All Nayna could think of each time it happened was what those hardworking and gifted hands would feel like on her naked skin. She ran her own palms down his chest and up over his arms. Smooth skin and firm muscle, there was nothing about Raj’s body she didn’t like. And his scent… Nayna wanted to nuzzle and just breathe in, kiss his throat, lick him into her own bloodstream. Hot breaths, hearts beating faster, bodies pressed closer.
Raj tugged down the wonderfully stretchy fabric of her dress. Her breasts popped out. She would’ve been mortified that he was seeing the pitiful mounds except that Raj had one hand over her left breast while he’d dropped his mouth to her right one. She whimpered at the first touch, biting back a cry of disappointment when he drew back.
“You’re short without the heels,” he muttered and scooped her up like she weighed nothing.
Nayna’s inner core clenched while her hands gripped at his shoulders. Never in her life had she dreamed she’d be with a man this strong. Wrapping her legs around his waist was instinctive, his body heavy and solid between her quivering thighs as he pinned her to the wall in a dark corner of a moon-kissed garden. The position pushed up her dress indecently farther, until she was a mere inch or two away from total exposure.
A burst of shyness threatened to strangle her.
“That’s better,” Raj said roughly before she could surrender to the emotion, and then, one hand spread on her lower back, arched her toward him. He licked her nipple once, paused. Whimpering, Nayna fisted her hands in his hair and tugged. He gave her what she wanted, sucking her nipple and part of her breast into his mouth. He scraped his teeth over her flesh. Nayna’s head fell back, her breathing ragged. She’d imagined what it might be like, but this… “Raj.”
Releasing her breast, he came to her mouth. One hand still on her back, he fisted the other in the straight strands of her hair, gripping it tight. His chest crushed hers as he kissed her deep and demanding, her nipples rubbing against his T-shirt. That he was fully clothed while her dress was crumpled around her waist just amplified the wetness between her thighs.
Nayna kissed him back without finesse, driven by need. He moved the hand on her back past her hip and to her thigh. Cupping her thigh from below, he stroked her skin as he kissed her like she’d always wanted to be kissed.
“You taste so good,” she blurted out when they came up for air, and wanted to wince at her lack of sophistication.
But Raj kissed her again, as if in reward for her confession. His bristly jaw continued to be rough against her skin, his hand even tighter in her hair. The small tugs sent pulses right to her clit, the tiny bundle of nerves aching for his touch. Though if he did go there, Nayna wasn’t sure she’d survive it. The next time Raj broke the kiss, he moved his hand back up to her breast, squeezing and petting it while he held her gaze.
“I like how tight and firm you are,” he murmured. “Like biting into a just-ripe peach.”
Her skin flushed, her throat dry.
“What do you want?” A rough rumble of a question as he ran the pad of his thumb over her engorged nipple.
Her toes curled, her breath catching. “Take off your T-shirt.”
He rubbed the pad of his thumb over her nipple again. It was a jolt through her entire system each and every time. Eyes hooded, he watched himself touch her, distracted from her request by the visual eroticism. So Nayna, bad girl to the core tonight, pulled at his T-shirt. He got the hint, kissing her hard one more time before he reached down to tear off the T-shirt and drop it to the grass—while keeping her exactly where she was using the pressure of his body. Then she was skin-to-skin with him and he was kissing her throat while making rumbling sounds in his chest, and Nayna decided this was it. He was it.
The man to whom she’d give her virginity.
Never, never had she thought she’d find a man who made her forget to be self-conscious and just enjoy herself. Yet here she was, half-naked and with no panties and she was ready to keep going as long as he kept touching her. It felt like she’d been thirsty all this time and he was the rain.
Nibbling his way up her throat, he used his grip on her hair to angle her head to claim another kiss. Nayna wasn’t about to resist. For Raj, she was easy. When he stopped and nipped lightly at her lower lip, she opened her eyes to find his looking into hers.
Her breath caught, her gaze his prisoner.
Rebel Hard is the 2nd book in Nalini Singh’s uber smexy and delightfully charming Hard Play series. It releasees Septemeber 18, 2018.