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Authors: Beth Kery

Glow

BOOK: Glow
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Praise for the novels of
New York Times
bestselling author Beth Kery, recipient of the
All About Romance
Reader Poll for Best Erotica

“An intensely sexual love story.”

—
Kirkus Reviews

“Addictive, delectable reading.”

—
USA Today

“Wicked good storytelling.”

—Jaci Burton,
New York Times
bestselling author

“Holy hell HAWT.”

—Under the Covers Book Blog

“One of the sexiest, most erotic love stories that I have read in a long time.”

—
Affaire de Coeur

“A sleek, sexy thrill ride.”

—Jo Davis

“One of the best erotic romances I've ever read.”

—All About Romance

“Nearly singed my eyebrows.”

—Dear Author

“Fabulous, sizzling hot.”

—Julie James,
New York Times
bestselling author

“Action and sex and plenty of spins and twists.”

—Genre Go Round Reviews

“Intoxicating and exhilarating.”

—Fresh Fiction

“The heat between Kery's main characters is molten.”

—
RT Book Reviews

“Some of the sexiest love scenes I have read this year.”

—Romance Junkies

“Scorching hot! I was held spellbound.”

—Wild on Books

“Nuclear-grade hot.”

—
USA Today

Because You Are Mine Series

BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE (ALSO AVA
ILABLE IN SERIAL FOR
MAT)

WHEN I'M WITH Y
OU (ALSO AVAILABLE I
N SERIAL FORMAT)

BEC
AUSE WE BELONG

SINCE
I SAW YOU

Titles by Beth Kery

WICKED B
URN

DARING TIME

SWEE
T RESTRAINT

PARADISE
RULES

RELEASE

EXPLO
SIVE

THE AFFAIR (ALS
O AVAILABLE IN SERIA
L FORMAT)

GLIMMER

GL
OW

One Night of Passion Series

ADDICTED TO YOU
(WRITING AS BETHANY KANE)

EXPOSED TO YOU

ONLY
FOR YOU

One Night of Passion Specials

BOUND TO YO
U

CAPTURED BY YOU

An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

This book is an original publication of Penguin Random House LLC.

Copyright © 2015 by Beth Kery.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

BERKLEY® and the “B” design are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

For more information, visit
penguin.com
.

eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-18855-6

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Kery, Beth.

Glow / Beth Kery.—Berkley trade paperback edition.

p. cm.

ISBN 978-0-425-27966-3 (paperback)

1. Romantic suspense fiction. 2. Erotic fiction. I. Title.

PS3611.E79G65 2015

813'.6—dc23

2015017874

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Berkley trade paperback edition / December 2015

Cover images: woman by Maksim Toome / Shutterstock; glow/flare by Godruma / Shutterstock; background by Igor Zh. / Shutterstock; pattern by siam sompunya / Shutterstock.

Cover design by George Long.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Version_1

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

As always, I'd like to give thanks and love to my husband, who gives me everything from rich factual information to much-needed support while I'm writing a book. My thanks also go out to my wonderful readers, whose encouragement, feedback, and good wishes offer much-needed daily fuel for a career that is mostly carried out in solitude.

Dear Reader,

I'm so excited that the sequel to
Glimmer
is finally making its way to your bookstores and e-readers! This marked the first time in my writing history that I had a story arc that I felt was just too big to squeeze into one book. After writing
Glimmer
, I knew there was much, much more to tell about Alice and Dylan. In
Glow
, I wanted to give Alice the opportunity to surmount the incredible challenges associated with her past and grow to a self-confident woman who is learning how to trust . . . and love. I hope you are as thrilled with the conclusion of Dylan and Alice's intensely passionate and emotional romance as I am.

Thank you for reading!
Beth

ONE

T
he night after the fierce storm, Alice dreamed while she lay in the circle of Dylan Fall's arms.

She was again sitting in front of the vanity mirror at the Twelve Oaks Inn—that lovely home overlooking the lake where Dylan had first told her she was special to him, where she'd first realized she was more than passingly pretty in an edgy, “I don't take any shit” kind of way. She was beautiful. Desirable. That was a truth she'd read in Dylan's eyes that night.

In the dream, Deanna Shrevecraft, the sophisticated, kind owner of the Twelve Oaks Inn who had been so knowing and compassionate of Alice's awkwardness during the romantic getaway, was once again applying her makeup.

“Your eyes are so pretty,” Deanna murmured as she gently stroked on eye shadow.

“Dylan doesn't like the way I wear my makeup,” Alice confessed impulsively, once again experiencing a sharp pain of embarrassment at the memory of Dylan's words.
“I hate that you darken your eyebrows. And you shouldn't put so much liner and mascara on your eyes.”

“He doesn't like to see you hiding yourself. He knows there's something special underneath,” Deanna said matter-of-factly.

“If you think basket-case geeks are special,” Alice mumbled.

“Some are,” Deanna assured with a glance of amusement. She
reached for a tray of eye pencils. Something glittered on her wrist, capturing Alice's attention. An uneasy feeling coursed through her.

“How did you get that bracelet?” Alice demanded. She noticed Deanna's startled expression. “I mean . . .” What
did
Alice mean, snapping at Deanna that way? “It's so pretty,” she faltered awkwardly. The vision of the unique bracelet on Deanna's wrist felt wrong somehow. Out of place. But Alice's dreaming brain struggled to recall
why
exactly.

“My husband gave it to me,” Deanna said, stepping toward her with an eye pencil in her hand. Alice lunged back when she saw the stains and burns on her gripping fingers, the dirty fingernails. A familiar chemical odor entered her nose, toxic and foul. She looked up, startled, and saw the gray pallor of a ravaged face. Deanna had disappeared. In the magical way of dreams, Sissy had taken her place.

Alice's mother, Sissy Reed, was forty-five years old. She could easily pass for seventy. It was one of the many hazards of being a methamphetamine cook and abuser.

Anger flooded Alice, not because of the vision of her mother, but because Sissy dared to wear the exquisite rare bracelet. She grabbed at her mother's bony wrist, lifting the bracelet with the ridge of her finger.

“This isn't yours. You stole it. Your husband didn't give it to you! You don't even have a husband, Sissy.” She pushed at the other woman's arm disdainfully, guilt mixing with disgust when she realized how hollow and insubstantial Sissy felt . . . when she saw how she stumbled back at her shove.

“You never would call me Mom,” Sissy accused, her passive-aggressive whine an all too familiar splinter under Alice's skin.

“You never did earn the title.”

Her disgust and guilt stung like acid at the back of her throat. So did her longing for something different. Something
more.

Before her eyes, Sissy altered, transforming into a beautiful
pale-faced woman with large blue eyes—eyes that looked very much like Alice's, except they were wide with terror. Alice realized with her own sense of dawning horror that there was bright crimson liquid wetting the side of the woman's cheek and neck. She reached out to Alice, desperate in her intent, and Alice again saw the delicate gold bracelet on her wrist.


Run
, Addie. Hide!”

Alice awoke, gagging in fear.

She looked wildly around the shadow-draped bedroom, searching for a threat. Her heart was beating like it might explode any second now.

Within seconds, Dylan's embrace penetrated her anxiety. Eased it. She was in Dylan's suite at Castle Durand. She was in his arms.

Safe.

She exhaled shakily, willing her racing heart to slow.

With waking rationality and returning memory, Alice recognized that the unique gold bracelet belonged to neither Deanna Shrevecraft nor Sissy Reed. The last woman in the dream, Lynn Durand, had been the true owner of it.

She'd seen that bracelet and the wearer in dreams before tonight. In fact, she'd
thought
she'd seen the woman walking right in front of her while she was wide awake. At the time, she'd wondered if it was a ghost. Later, she'd realized it was her own long-forgotten memory resurfacing within the familiar setting of the Durand mansion.

Lynn was the wife of Alan Durand, the maverick brilliant businessman who had founded Durand Enterprises, the multibillion-dollar international company that manufactured everything from candy to yogurt to sports drinks. Durand chocolates and confections were a mainstay across every candy counter in the world. Just through the surrounding woods was another Durand legacy: Camp Durand, an acclaimed summer camp that served at-risk children from Chicago and Detroit. Camp Durand was Alan and
Lynn's favorite charitable endeavor. Alice was a Camp Durand counselor, one of fifteen MBA graduates who had been handpicked by Durand executive officers to compete for nine highly coveted Durand junior management positions.

Was she really just going on her third week at Camp Durand? Time had become so difficult to gauge. Especially since a few days ago, when Alice's life had been heaved completely upside-down.

Really, the first shaking of Alice's known world came the moment she'd walked into the business department's dean's office months ago for an interview with the impossibly gorgeous, light-years-out-of-her-league CEO of Durand Enterprises, Dylan Fall: the man who currently held her naked body against his own.

The man who currently held her naked heart in his hand.

“I knew I would care about you. I had no idea I'd fall in love with you.”

She pressed her fingers against her breastbone. Her heart squeezed with anguished wonder at the memory of Dylan saying those words just hours ago, following their stormy lovemaking. The memory felt very beautiful to her: fragile and tender, new and raw, the weight of the reality of his words seemingly too big to hold inside her. She was desperate to believe him, but she wasn't sure she
could
.

Especially given the magnitude of all the other information she'd been told in the last few days. The nightmare from which she'd awakened brought it home to her. She was very confused.

Very afraid?

In his sleep, Dylan shifted slightly and pulled her tighter against him. Unnamed emotion swelled in her chest, feeling like an expanding balloon. For a few panicked seconds, she couldn't breathe from the pressure of it.
Jesus.
How was it possible for her to have acquired this level of feeling for him when she'd barely known he existed these last few months, and only been intimate with him for an even shorter period of time?

You've known him longer than a few months, that's why. You've known him for most of your life,
a firm, authoritative voice in her head said. She flinched instinctively at the harsh reminder, air popping out of her lungs. Alice could only withstand the truth in small, rapid doses. It was like her body and her brain weren't entirely her own. Her weakness mortified her. She needed to do better. She needed to be stronger.

Alice Reed didn't run from the truth.

The comforter and sheet had slipped beneath her breasts. The air conditioner felt chilly against her bare skin, but Dylan warmed her backside. Alice craved the sensation of sinking deeper into his embrace, of melting into him. He made her forget everything. His heat and touch were the sweetest addiction.

But just like the first time she'd awakened in his arms, she furtively eased out of his embrace.

Abandoning her defenses and submitting to comfort was something Alice had been nearly hardwired to resist. As a child, she'd forced herself to sleep with the windows open, even in the most frigid nights of a Chicago winter, warding herself against the toxic fumes inherent to Sissy's “business.” Although the trailer resounded with the abrasive, harsh voices of her uncles and Sissy's customers, Alice never used a fan, radio, or television to trick her brain into the safety of solid sleep. She needed to hear a threat coming to her locked bedroom, to prepare herself for a fight or an escape. A potential fire from Sissy's meth lab was yet another nightly reality for which she had to prepare herself. Escaping her history was proving to be a challenge.

She shivered as she stood next to the bed, and then cautiously moved through the dark room. Earlier, she'd seen Dylan hang her clothing in the bathroom. The thunderstorm had caught them in its first furious lash. They'd only arrived at the rear entrance of Castle Durand several seconds after the rain began to pour down in torrents.

Her T-shirt was still a little damp. She hauled it on nevertheless, willfully ignoring the fluffy, cozy, dry robe Dylan had bought her. Her shivers amplified as she unrolled the damp fabric over her breasts and belly. She ignored her jean shorts and sufficed with her mostly dry underwear.

When she silently exited the bathroom, she paused for a moment in the still room, listening. Everything was silent. Dylan slept on. It was for the best. He wouldn't approve of her mission. Or at the very least, he'd insist on being there by her side while she undertook it. She vividly recalled his words during their heated lovemaking last night as the storm raged around them.

“I don't like you being down at that camp, Alice. I can't control what happens to you.”

“You can't control what happens every second of my day,” she whimpered, because he'd pressed her to him, her back to his front, and was reassuring himself of her existence and safety in the most elemental way.

“Maybe not,” he rasped, running his teeth over the skin of her neck and molding her breast to his hand. “But right now I can.”

Mixed feelings of renewed arousal, irritation, and stark compassion at his concern swept through Alice at the volatile memory. She'd struggled to be independent and self-determined for her entire life. Dylan's proprietary attitude over her nettled a little. His possessiveness also thrilled her a lot, a fact that often had warning sirens going off in her head.

But Dylan had a
right
to his worry, didn't he? He'd earned it. He'd been consumed for more than half his life at the idea of finding Alan Durand's kidnapped and assumed-dead daughter, Adelaide “Addie” Durand. Everyone else had long ago accepted that Addie had been murdered and lay in some long-forgotten makeshift grave. It was Dylan's unwavering conviction—a stubborn refusal to concede defeat, a bullheaded determination even against horrible odds that had been born and bred in his youth in the
rough, unforgiving streets of Chicago's West Side—that had eventually led Dylan to Addie.

But Alice had no such personal ties or strong feelings toward Adelaide Durand. To her, that privileged, adorable little girl was a distant tragedy. If anything, that child was relevant primarily because of the singular effect Addie had on Dylan's life.

That's what Alice told herself, anyway, as she stood in that cool dark room, chilled to the bone.

She wavered on her feet, suppressing a powerful longing to get back into bed and cuddle against Dylan's solid length. The vision of Lynn Durand's exquisite bracelet flashed into her mind's eye again.

Bizarre as it seemed, that bracelet was not just a random dream created by Alice's unconscious mind. Her recollection of that bracelet was a genuine memory. Because as much as she was struggling to believe it, Dylan swore it was the absolute truth.

According to Dylan, Alice Reed and Adelaide Durand were one and the same person.

*   *   *

IT
was the second time in a week that Dylan awoke in the dark room to find his arms empty. Instinct told him that it was still too early for him to escort Alice to the camp, a clandestine ritual they went through every morning before dawn. Neither of them wanted the Durand managers or the VP of human resources, Sebastian Kehoe, to know that Alice had taken up with the CEO of the company. What was between Alice and him was complicated and powerful.

And it was their business alone.

At least for now it was.

Dylan wasn't sure how long he could keep Alice and Durand Enterprises in separate spheres. For all intents and purposes, Alice
was
Durand Enterprises. She just didn't want to—or couldn't—accept that reality as of yet.

“She'll let you know when she's ready to hear certain things, Dylan. She won't ask what she doesn't want to know. That's nature's way; the unconscious mind's attempt at shielding her from the truth until she's ready to handle it.”

It was his friend Sidney Gates's voice that he heard in his head. Sidney was a psychiatrist, and an old friend of Alan Durand's. He was very familiar with Addie's—and Alice's—history. Dylan trusted his opinion more than anyone else's when it came to Alice's state of mind at that point.

The problem is, Sidney had also compared Alice to an undetonated cache of explosives. No one knew for sure what would set her off at this point.

Alarmed by the thought, he reached blindly, finding his cell phone on the bedside table. He squinted at the time. No, he'd been right. It was only a few minutes past two in the morning, way too early for Alice to be up and preparing to return to the camp.

He rose from the bed with just as much haste and alarm as that first time, but on this occasion with more certainty that he knew where to find her. The knowledge didn't quiet his worry any. He switched on a bedside lamp and hauled on some jeans.

He found Alice standing square in the middle of the empty large bedroom suite in the west hall, her fists clamped tight at her sides. Her long toned legs were naked. They looked strangely vulnerable in the bright glow of the overhead chandelier.

BOOK: Glow
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