Black Lace Books is re-releasing all of my Bantam and Berkley Heat books in the UK, and I’m so excited for several reasons! I get awesome new covers, UK readers get to discover my books, and it gives me a reason to talk again about my ‘Edge’ series, known in the UK as The Pleasure Dome series. TEMPTATION’S EDGE is Book Three, and it’s out today in the UK!
I love these books. They’re very romantic and very kinky, and I’ll take any opportunity to discuss how ‘romantic’ and ‘kinky’ are not mutually exclusive, despite evil rumors to the contrary. In fact, kink can create intensely strong bonds very quickly, so BDSM is perfect fodder for a love story.
Why else am I in love with this series? Hot, hot heroes-all of them Doms to the core, and the guy in Temptation’s Edge, Connor Galloway, may be my favorite (but don’t tell Alec and Dante I said so!). I love a man who’s a wall of taut, muscled flesh-especially if he has tattoos! Connor is already inked when this story begins, but when he meets Mischa, a gorgeous tattoo artist, he *has* to have her tattoo him. And therein lies possibly my favorite part of this story-the tattoo scenes. They’re hot and sexy and i can almost hear the buzz of the needle…and yes, I do have a li’l tattoo fetish-why do you ask?
Okay, I have a lot of other favorite parts to this story. Mischa and Connor are both a bit damaged by their painful pasts, and that’s something I always like to explore. That and kinky sex-but you probably already knew that about me, didn’t you? But enough of my ramblings-let’s get to the book!
Connor Galloway is about to meet his match.
Mischa Kennon may be willing to let the sexy Irishman into her bed, but many a dominant man has tried to tame her and failed.
Only for all Mischa’s talk she’s relatively inexperienced when it comes to intimate power games. Can Connor tempt her to surrender to her innermost desires?
A dark sensual romantic novel perfect for fans of E.L. James, from the acclaimed author of Pleasure’s Edge and Desire’s Edge.
He opened a door painted bright blue, took her into his apartment. There was light coming from a floor lamp, illuminating the space. In a brief glance she took in the sleek, modern furnishings, the long wall of exposed brick. There were sketches all over the walls, framed in simple black or pewter frames. Robots, space ships. One really excellent nude of a woman reclining in a chair. But she didn’t have time to think about it. He was slipping her coat from her shoulders, leading her to the big, L-shaped sofa done in a heavy dark blue canvas.
“Have a seat.”
It wasn’t a question. Why did that make her entire body vibrate with need? She sat, and he settled next to her. She noticed once more the way his dark shirt pulled against his broad chest, making her want to reach out and stroke the fabric. To feel the bulging muscle she knew lay beneath. She flexed her fingers.
“Are you nervous, Mischa?”
“What? No, of course not.”
“I…I don’t know,” she admitted. “Maybe just that I know something different will happen tonight. Something more than what I’ve experienced before. I’ve done a few things…been to a couple of fetish clubs. But you’re more…serious about it, I think.”
“Does it make you afraid?”
“No.” She shook her head, not wanting to admit it. “No.”
He smiled. “We’ll see if that turns out to be true.”
“You seem to take some pleasure in the idea,” she said.
He grinned, his green and gold eyes glittering. “I am a sadist, Mischa.”
That made her laugh. “Fair enough.”
He took her hand then, brought it to his mouth. Brushed his lips over the back of her fingers, making her shiver. With his gaze still on hers, he unfolded her fingers, one at a time, kissed each one. She’d never had such attention paid to her hands before. Had never imagined what it might do to do her. With each press of his warm lips against her skin, her body was going hot, melting all over.
He paused to ask, “Do I have your consent, Mischa?”
“To have my way with you.” He grinned gorgeously.
She grinned back. “Definitely.”
“What about a little pain with our pleasure? And I’m asking this now in this abbreviated way because to be honest, I can hardly wait.”
She loved to hear him admit that he wanted her, loved the husky tone in his voice. “Yes. Definitely.”
“We still need to have that talk before anything more serious happens. But right now I just need to touch you…” He slipped one hand around the back of her neck, exerted the smallest pressure there, and she was surprised—shocked, really—at her response to it. It made her feel commanded by him. And also taken care of, in some weird indefinable way she couldn’t explain to herself.
“Yes, later,” she murmured in agreement.
“Come on, now,” he said, his tone low. “Lie back for me, my girl.”
He used the hand on her neck to guide her, until she was reclining on the sofa. He got up so that he had one knee on the cushions, leaning over her.
“You really are beautiful,” he murmured, almost as if he was talking to himself.
He let the hand slide from around her neck to her collarbones, then down between her breasts, stroking her cleavage, the tops of her breasts. The heat of his hand scorched her, her nipples going hard.
“I love these stiletto heels. That you wear these thigh-high fishnets beneath your dress. Come now, let me see you.” He kept his gaze on her body as he swept the soft, knit fabric of her dress up her thighs, revealing the black lace panties. “Very nice,” he murmured. “But let’s have off with them, shall we?”
He slipped them off, smiling as her bare flesh came into view. His gaze flicked up to hers for one moment before he looked back at her shaved sex. He touched her, just his fingertips, a light, feathering touch over her aching cleft, and pleasure shimmered over her like heat lightning, making her squirm.
“Ah, I have to taste you,” he said.
She had one brief moment to think Yes, please. Then he was bent over her, his tongue stroking her swollen folds, pushing between them.
CONTEST! To enter all you have to do is tell me which of this book’s three covers you like the most. The first is the original US cover:
This is the US re-release cover:
…and you’ve just seen the new UK cover. (Sorry about the pen name confusion-these were written as Eve, then reprinted as Eden writing as Eve in the US, and are still Eve in the UK. Complicated contract issues-lol!) So tell me, which is your favorite and why? And what can you win, you ask? T o one lucky UK winner I’ll give away e-copies of my BDSM novellas SANCTUARYand BREAKING SKYE, Books One and Two in my San Francisco Dom series!
For a US winnerI’ll give away an e-copy of PLEASURE’S EDGE, Book One in the series, and a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card! Winners to be announced here in the comments section on Monday. Be sure to let me know if you’re in the UK or US in your comment!
We missed seeing so many of you at this year’s RT Booklover’s Convention, so we thought we’d give awaya bunch of stuff from us and some of your favorite authors who were at RT this year! Easy-peasy contest! Enter to win all kinds of awesome swag, like buttons from Sylvia Day‘s Crossfire series, a special Jaci Burton One Sweet Ride key card (these were maybe the hottest item at RT, and the only way to get one was to have a room at the convention hotel!), a Lexxie Couper lip balm, pens from us, the fab Shayla Black and the Nine Naughty Novelists, a pretty book cover pin from Ann Mayburn, a pair of earrings from PolysPleasures Chain Mail, swag packs from Jeannie Lin and Jayne Rylon, tons of Romance Trading Cards, bookmarks and magnets, plus a conference bag , a deck of cover model playing cards and gorgeous cover model calender from Ellora’s Cave and more!
All you have to do to enter is Tweet or post on Facebook about this contest, then post a link to your Tweet or FB post here. That’s it! One lucky winner will be chosen on Monday! And be sure to stay tuned for all of our upcoming events, book releases and awesome guest authors-all with giveaways!
Lindsay Dannon has a dirty little secret. While she hides behind her plain and proper image at work, a wanton woman with a rich fantasy life lurks beneath the surface. The thrill of sex in public places, and the risk of exposure, is a compulsive itch she knows only one man can scratch—her boss, Jack Randolph.
The company’s “no tolerance” policy on interoffice dating is the only thing stopping her. Good thing Jack created the rules, because he’s determined to make all of Lindsay’s sexual fantasies come true…
Lindsay knew she wasn’t his type. He probably had no interest in her. If he had, surely he’d have acted on it before now, right? She recalled Tegan once saying that Jack’s ex-wife had been a former swimsuit model—her polar opposite.
And there was the fact that he was her boss. She looked up into his dark, amber eyes. Why, of all the men in Colorado, did he have to be the one to ignite every sexual fantasy she had? It would have made her life easier if she’d had a sexual compulsion for some harmless pencil pusher.
At least she hadn’t drawn a heart around their names on her desk blotter. Or written Mrs. Jack Randolph a thousand times on a piece of paper. She ignored the fact that she’d written ‘Mrs. Lindsay Dannon-Randolph’ on the notepad of her smart phone mere days ago.
She’d like to rub her nipples across that five o’clock stubble on his cheek, tease his lips open, and feel the wet warmth of his mouth, as he sucked her tight—no! This was wrong, so wrong of her…she had to stop this madness… “Stop imagining him with his clothes off!”
She visualized throwing him down on the conference table in front of everyone and the two of them boinking like crazed rabbits, while he muttered, Ms. Dannon, do you want to be home checking want ads? and the sexual fantasy fizzled.
I must be insane to keep having these thoughts—you’re such an ass, Jack Randolph… “…Yet all I can think about is what it would feel like to have you push me against a wall and shove your cock deep inside me, tight…” Her words trailed off as she noticed the stunned look on his face.
“Please tell me I didn’t say any of that out loud? Oh, hell. You’re going to fire me now, aren’t you?” Wonderful. Mortally embarrassed. No job, no money. And now her boss thought she was a deviant with a dirty mouth, a sexual addict with a fetish for him. She could kiss any letter of recommendation goodbye.
“I’m not going to fire—”
“You will. You have to. I’ve got high stalker potential. I even mapped out the route to your house from my apartment on an app,” she blurted out. Crap. Confession might be good for the soul, but she really wished she’d kept that tidbit of info to herself.
He leaned in, trapping her neatly against the elevator wall. One hand reached out to press the red stop button. “Are you going to attack my body?”
“N-no.” The elevator shuddered to a halt.
“Pity.” He nudged her thighs open with his knee, his breath hot against the nape of her neck.
“Someone might see!” She squirmed to move under his arm. The frosted glass might hide their identities, but certainly not their actions. A frisson of fear mixed with sheer excitement raced through her veins. Lindsay watched him throw his jacket over a tiny camera eye in the corner, effectively blocking security’s view. He pulled her into his arms, slid his hands over the curve of her hips, and sank his fingers into the cheeks of her rear end, cupping her through the navy fabric. His lips pressed against her throat.
She wanted to pinch herself just to make sure she hadn’t slipped past reality and slammed full throttle into psychosis. At least her two halves weren’t conflicted about one thing. Both wanted Jack.
“Stop me. Tell me no now and I’ll quit. Otherwise…”
Lindsay’s knees were already weak, even before he found her erogenous zone and began lapping at the delicate spot with his tongue. She clutched at his tie in answer, unknotted it, and slid it from under his collar.
Lindsay meant to discard it, but before she could throw it on the floor, he grabbed the tie and her wrists. Jack turned her around, binding her hands to the brass railing.
“What are you doing?” This hadn’t been part of her daydreams!
“Fulfilling a fantasy of mine. You know all about fantasies, don’t you Lindsay? You just told me one of yours.”
“OhMyGawd.” She ran the words into three indistinct syllables. Nothing in her tame past prepared her for the sensual onslaught of a Jack attack.
He kicked her feet farther apart, forcing her legs to spread wider and her navy skirt to hike up. He lifted the hem even higher and slid a hand along one of her inner thighs. The other hand caressed her back and shoulders, pressing down ever so slightly, bending her so that her forehead touched her bound wrists.
Unable to see what he was doing behind her, she gasped when he slid a finger under the crotch of her silk panties and teased her clit. Exposed, helpless and so empty, she needed him to fill her up.
“You’re very wet, Lindsay. Eager for me?”
He pulled her panties down around her ankles and had her step out of them. “I’m keeping these as a memento.”
The idea of him wanting her panties as a trophy excited her, but it also served as a warning. This was hot, passionate, blissful sex…and nothing more. If her heart got broken, it would be her own fault.
His hands caressed her ankles, then calves. The fingers were slightly callused. Not all his muscles came from a gym. The stray thought made her quiver. She heard the slow drag of metal teeth on a zipper and tried to turn around, but couldn’t.
“No. I want you to concentrate on the sensation of what I’m doing to you.” He rubbed the wet tip of his shaft at her apex, and rested a hand on her lower back, urging her to bend lower. She moaned and pulled at the tie that bound her hands. He could do anything he pleased to her, and she would be helpless to deny him.
Lindsay trembled, her breath growing ragged, anticipating the heavy thrust of his cock. She closed her eyes and waited. Instead, she sensed him turn and shift, then a warm breath of air stirred the curls between her legs.
“Open your eyes, Lindsay, and look down.”
She glanced through the narrow space between the railing and the elevator wall. His eyes gleamed. Then Jack shot her a wicked smile before he buried his face in her pussy.
“Ohh…” A bright coil tightened within, spiraling from head to toe and back. She couldn’t think, couldn’t say a word. Everything was reduced to the pointed motions of his tongue, the moans and mewling cries of intense pleasure escaping from her throat. He worried her clit, nibbled, licked, and sucked until liquid heat trickled down the soft skin of her inner thighs.
When he replaced his tongue with his fingers she thought she’d been given a reprieve, a chance to mentally gather her wits. Instead, he pushed his fingers deep inside her and fluttered them back and forth. He angled his head to lick and suck at the rosy nub once more.
The room darkened, narrowed to a finite spot of sudden clarity. She belonged to him. And to the sexual urgency building between them.
Lindsay’s knees threatened to buckle and he moved behind her again, his muscled thighs keeping her propped into position. She heard the sound of a foil packet being ripped, and whimpered as his fingers bit into her hips with the first thrust home.
Pressed so tight, he left her little room to maneuver. The slow and steady rhythm made her crazy. She had to move. Now.
She tried to kick off her heels and gain some leverage. And only succeeded in breaking the heel off one of her expensive pumps, sending the other shoe airborne. It slapped the opposite wall and bounced to the floor with a thud, and of course, the broken shoe stayed on her foot with stubborn determination.
“What are you trying to do? Kick me in the balls?” He grunted with the effort to question her and maintain his pace.
“I can’t take it. You’ve got to go faster.” Great, now she was off balance and being screwed within an inch of her life. In her fantasies, she never experienced shoe disasters during sex. Everything always went smooth without mishap.
“Like this?” Jack released her hips and wrapped his hands around the brass railing on either side of her body, increasing the pressure with each quick stroke.
“Ahh, yeah…” In her fantasies, the thick, punishing cock wasn’t real. And real was so much better.
CONTEST question: Truth or Dare!My heroine Lindsay likes the thrill and the risk of being caught having sex in public places. Truth: Have you ever tried a sexy tryst in the open outdoors? If you choose dare: You have to tell me what fantasy you think is hot, (sexy alpha wolf chasing you, hot D/s with a Dragon shapeshifter, kinky fun in an elevator, etc. ) and it could get included in one of my upcoming works in progress!
I’m giving away a copy of my book NAUGHTY LITTLE SECRETS to 2 lucky winners! Contest ends midnight May 17th and I’ll drop by and pick the winners.
Aspiring author Stacie Purcell writes her sexy fantasies in a ‘story binder’, but when she misplaces it, she risks exposure of all her naughty little secrets.
Tyler Murchison finds her messenger bag in his repair shop and discovers a sexy surprise. He offers Stacie a chance to experience all the incredible delights she writes about. But can a single night of wild sex lead to something more?
NAUGHTY LITTLE SECRETS by Cassandra Curtis
(Book one in the Naughty South series)
Pam thought she was working on her college homework, and in a way she was, since her classes were creative writing and English composition. Besides, what could be more creative than sex?
Stacie slid a printed sheet out of the binder pocket long enough to study the line drawings she’d downloaded from her sister’s computer, and tried deciding which one she should write for the first love scene. Not like she could use her own experience. Her love life was non-existent, unless she counted her purple passion vibrator.
The website she’d found had been very helpful, with descriptive diagrams and names for various sexual positions, like ‘backward facing bad dog,’ which didn’t sound very romantic or sexy. Hmm, squishy piston, face salami, oblong bend, and the love jackhammer weren’t much better. Ooh, one had possibilities—the slippery double slappy! At least it would be fun to write and she bet even more fun to try—if she had a boyfriend.
Stacie pulled out her favorite black gel pen and scribbled notes in the margins. An idea popped into her head and she wrote down part of a scene…
His rough hands slid down her hips and over her thighs, removing her panties. She felt naked and exposed, helpless under his watchful gaze. Her nipples hardened into tight points, aching for the touch of his lips, his tongue. She needed to undress him, touch him, but he’d made sure she couldn’t, not until he let her go.
“Please. I need you.” Heat spiraled down her midriff to the center of her pleasure zone, making her damp and hungry for him.
“Ms. Purcell, your car is ready.” Tyler’s voice startled her.
“Oh!” Her sexy muse was standing right next to her! Stacie jumped up, papers flying in every direction. She grabbed and stuffed them in her binder, shoving it into her messenger bag on the floor, conscious of him waiting while she dug through her purse for her wallet.
“I replaced the brake pads and shoes, and checked the brake oil pressure. It was low.” Tyler explained.
“Thank you,” she mumbled and ducked her head, heat crawling up her neck and into her face. Even his voice was sexy, deep and soft in a way that made tingles run down her arms and settle between her thighs in a sweet ache.
Stacie tried sliding her credit card through the card reader, but it wasn’t working.
“No, it goes the other way. Here, let me help you.” Their hands touched for a brief moment and a giddy rush of bubbles zipped through her. If she were smart, she’d leave before she did or said something stupid and made a fool of herself.
“It’s okay, you just had it turned backward.” He smiled down at her, and their eyes met. It hit like a sucker punch, how much she wanted this man.
“You’ve got beautiful green eyes.” His voice lowered to a husky whisper.
“I do?” He thought her eyes were beautiful?
An odd flicker of emotion crossed his face. “Sorry, that was too forward, huh?” Tyler rubbed his brow, smearing grease on his forehead.
“No! I mean, no it was fine. I just don’t get many compliments.” Heat spread across her cheeks. Oh good one, Stace! Let him see exactly how clumsy and unsophisticated you really are! She was sure the big ole ‘L’ for loser was probably flashing on her forehead right about now.
“I find that hard to believe. I’m sure you hear how pretty you are all the time from your husband or boyfriend.”
“I, umm…I don’t have a boyfriend. Or a husband.” Was he serious? This couldn’t be real!
“That’s good to know.” Tyler’s smile curved at the corners of his lips. He handed her the keys to her car.
“Thank you.” Rooted to the spot, and unsure what to do next, Stacie wondered if Tyler was actually flirting with her. Don’t get too excited, or overeager. He’ll smell your desperation.
When he stepped back and told her he hoped he’d see her around, she practically floated out of the garage and across the parking lot.
Her hands trembled turning the ignition. Even a simple thing like their fingers touching made her weak in the knees. Tyler thought her eyes were beautiful.
Author of the bestselling Shifting Tides series and finalist in 2007’s EPIC awards, Ms. Curtis is a former journalist and fine artist, who always loved reading tales of adventure, romance, mystery, and magic. Then one day decided to try her hand at fiction writing. A voracious reader, literal tree hugger, part-time virtual mermaid, investigative paranormal researcher, and maker of decadent desserts, Ms. Curtis writes contemporary and paranormal erotic romance under the name Cassandra Curtis, and mainstream romantic comedy as Cass Curtis. Humor is a common thread in all her books.
Hello my darling Smutkedettes and new followers alike! Today I’m thrilled to reveal the brand spankin’ new (okay-so there may not be any spanking in this book…oh, wait…maybe there is…) cover for my contemporary erotic romance A 21ST CENTURY COURTESAN! Here it is:
This book first came out in 2009, and I’m thrilled it’s seeing a whole new life! Writing about a high class call girl was an interesting experience, and I loved writing this book so much! This one is a bit different from many of my books in that it’s written in first person-which I felt I needed to do to get the reader right inside her head (a call girl is not the most relatable character, necessarily). The hero, Joshua, is based on a real person-a man I fell madly in love with years ago. Things didn’t work out for us, but one of the awesome things about being a romance author is that we can write the happy endings we never got to have. Of course, we have to torture our characters a little first. *G*
Okay-enough rambling…Let’s take a look at the blurb and an excerpt!
She lives in a world of silk sheets, imported champagne,
and endless erotic delight…
She fulfills the deepest fantasies of the most powerful men in the world. Sensual, seductive, and discreet, Valentine Day is a high class call girl, pampered and adored by her exclusive clientele. But Valentine has a secret. Always in control, she’s never experienced true pleasure outside of her work. But all that is about to change…Now, the woman who’s spent a decade pleasuring others is about to embark on an erotic journey of her own…
It happens one night at the opera. Seated next to her in the dark is a stranger. As the music swells, so does the sexual tension. Gorgeous, sophisticated Joshua Spencer invites her for a drink, and soon she’s fantasizing about taking him home. When they finally come together in a night of the wildest lovemaking Valentine has ever known, she’s hooked. But suddenly Valentine is questioning everything. Joshua has no idea what she does for a living. Can she risk everything—including her hard-earned freedom and one final, shattering secret—for one man? And would he still want her if he knew the truth?
EXCERPT- (WARNING- X-Rated!)
When I pull open the door he’s smiling, a crooked, lustful grin. And my body is on fire even before he pushes through the door and takes me in his arms.
He kisses me, those long, lovely kisses again. And I am aching for him, longing, needing. His hands are everywhere, stroking my bare skin, that hard, demanding touch that makes me swoon. The darkness is like a cocoon around us as he sheds his clothes, pulls me up against his body, naked now, as I am. His erection is like a velvet-sheathed weight against my stomach, pressing, pressing, until I can hardly stand it.
Heat radiates from him, warming me, all but my bare feet on the cool floor. And then he is pushing me down on the long sofa, his body covering mine. The weight of him is erotic to me, just his big body holding me down. I want it just like this, need it: that sense of him being the one in control, of turning myself over to him, to my need for him.
My pulse is racing as he brushes his cheeks over my breasts, nuzzling them. My nipples are hard already. Wanting. My thighs are spreading as if of their own accord, opening up my body to him. And his hand slips down between us, stroking the wet flesh of my aching sex. Stroking, stroking, making me shiver all over with pleasure. God, he knows just how to do it, two fingers sinking savagely inside me while he circles my clitoris with his thumb. And when he pulls one nipple into his mouth, his teeth grazing the tender flesh, then really biting, I arch, my hips straining. His fingers sink deeper, his mouth sucking me in, one hand on my hip holding me down, pressing my body into the cushions. And my sudden climax is like an eruption of pleasure in my belly, in my sex, my breasts.
“Yeah, come for me, baby.”
I am coming and coming; I can’t stop. He’s working my clit still, his fingers pumping as he whispers encouragement against my parted lips.
“Oh yeah, baby. Come for me. So good…”
With my climax still shimmering through my system in small, lingering waves, I wrap my legs around him, beg him, “Please Joshua. I need you inside me.”
He reaches over the side of the sofa, comes back with a condom pulled from his pocket, I imagine. I’m just grateful he’s thought of everything. Then he’s kneeling up over me, slipping the condom on while I run my hands over the taut muscles of his stomach. He is watching me in that way he has as he lowers his body over mine. So slowly, making me need him even more, and his hands holding me down, pressing onto my shoulders, in that way he has which makes me feel completely taken over. That intensity is there, in the way his eyes glitter in the half-dark, in the tension in every muscle of his beautiful body, in the electric current in the air between us.
When his cock probes at the opening to my body, I pull in a deep, gasping breath, my hands going to his hips, trying to pull him in.
“Wait, Valentine. I want to enjoy every moment of this.”
Yes, he’s right. I am in too much of a hurry. I can’t help myself. I know he’ll make me come again.
He presses, and the tip of his cock slides right in, like steel over silk, I am that wet. My entire body throbs with pleasure, with anticipation. Then a little deeper. He stops, his expression one of exquisite pain, except that it is pleasure.
“Jesus, Valentine. You feel so good, I can barely stand it.”
My hand goes to his cheek; he is too beautiful at this moment for me not to touch him. Pleasure is like a thousand stars, burning into my body as he begins to move, just the tiniest surge of his hips against mine. And my chest feels tight, drawn, simply watching his face. My fingers trace along his jaw, over his lips, and he smiles. Then one hard, lovely thrust, and we are both groaning, panting.
His hands bear down on my shoulders, really using his weight, until I am unable to move. I love this sensation of being held, of being helpless beneath him. Of being his.
I am losing my mind.
But when he starts to move, really pumping inside me, I am too lost in sensation to think anymore. It is just his body and mine, the lovely friction, the scent of him, the power of his touch, his dark gaze, and his smooth skin beneath my grasping hands.
And as he thrusts into me, he moves one of his hands to my throat, presses just a little, just enough to constrict my air flow the tiniest bit, to make my body surge with alarm and hot, sharp pleasure. But I know so deeply that he won’t hurt me. And I’m a little dizzy; desire acute, exquisite, incredibly intense. As intense as his gaze hard on mine, glittering. Bottomless.
CONTEST! Now we must have a giveaway to celebrate the re-release of A 21ST CENTURY COURTESAN! How about I give away a print copy of a newer favorite of mine,TEMPTATION’S EDGE to one lucky winner who comments here and tells me which covers they like better for A 21ST CENTURY COURTESAN and TEMPTATION’S EDGE-the old or the new. I have copies available for the giveaway with the original cover:
…and here’s a look at the new, re-release cover (since we’re all about covers today):
I’ll announce my winner on Wednesday night, so be sure to check back! And you have to come back for our upcoming blog guests, Louis Bacio, Dalton Diaz, Lila DuBois, as well as the much anticipated re-relase of our own Robin Rotham’s FRANKENDOM on April 23rd!
Woohoo! It’s time for book 3 in the Taskill Witches series, THE JEZEBEL, and we finally get to find out all about Maisie Taskill. Maisie has had a very different upbringing to her twin, Jessie. She’s been stolen away from her homeland because of her magical abilities, and when we meet her she’s desperately trying to make her way back to Scotland.
To celebrate the publication of this last book in the series I’m treating one reader to a $20/£15 Amazon gift token. Just leave us a comment on this post to enter. I’ve included a snippet from the book below. If you’ve read THE HARLOT or THE LIBERTINE, let me know what you thought.
Once ignited, a witch’s carnal curiosity knows no bounds
On the run from her powerful benefactor whose unscrupulous interest in her magic has forced her to flee, Margaret Taskill has never needed a hero more. In order to gain passage from England to her homeland in Scotland, she plans to win over a rugged Scottish sea captain with the only currency she has: her virginity.
Maisie submits to Captain Roderick Cameron’s raw sexuality in search of protection, but as their initial attraction grows into obsessive desire, devastating powers are unleashed within her. But the journey threatens to take a dangerous turn, forcing Maisie to keep close the secret truth about what she is, and keep the superstitious crew-unhappy at having a woman on board-at bay.
With Maisie’s wealthy sponsor giving chase, Roderick must stay one step ahead of the British Navy before her seductive magic causes a full-scale mutiny. He may believe he has full command of his ship, but he’s about to get much more than he bargained for.
Anticipation pulled deep within her, for Maisie had been thoroughly prepared for the moment her deepest, most powerful magic would be unleashed through carnal congress. This man would be her lover. The Captain would make her both woman fulfilled and witch empowered.
“Oh yes, I will enjoy mounting you, my lady,” he said, a wicked smile on his face. Looking down at her with heavily lidded eyes, he appeared to her the embodiment of male prowess, sheer animal lust spilling from him as he arrogantly stated his intention.
His comment teased at Maisie, teased as if he was touching her all over, making every part of her tingle with awareness, and deep between her thighs she grew hot and slick. Nevertheless, she was overwhelmed by his basic, arrogant ways, and even while her body responded to his advances, she trembled.
His eyes glinted, and she knew that he’d felt her tremble in his arms.
Maisie swallowed. She did not want to annoy him in any way. It seemed to have the opposite affect. A wry smile lit his expression. He put one hand around the back of her head. Grasping a fistful of her hair, he looped it around his hand and used it to draw her head back. With the other on her waist, he held her tightly against him.
Seduction was his aim, and she wanted that. The nervousness she felt leveled somewhat but did not ebb away entirely.
“Do not look so afeared, Maisie from Scotland,” he said with a chuckle, “I will use you well but I will not break you. You have my word on that.” He sealed the promise with a kiss, his hard mouth on hers relentless.
Instinctively, Maisie put her hands to his chest, arms rigid to push him away. Then his mouth moved and the sensual brush of his lips on hers took the strength from her entire body, melting her. Moments later, she found that instead of pushing him away her hands clutched at his strange cloak and her lips parted under his. So sensual, so arousing. Maisie had never experienced anything like it, and when his tongue touched hers and thrust into the heat of her mouth, her groin flooded with sensation over again, arousal swamping her.
Unbidden, a low moan rose inside her, escaping her as the kiss broke. Instantly she was aware of what her deflowering would bring to her magic, for her spirit flared within.
When he freed her mouth, he still held her with the skein of hair looped in his hand. It didn’t hurt, but the tension and grip was tight enough to show that he meant to master her…
Thank you for hosting me today. I’m excited to discuss bed as a battlefield and my recent release, Rose, Exposed, a multicultural historical erotic romance set in the 1930s.
This post is part of the official Rose, Exposed Blog Tour (3/26 – 4/09).
The GRAND PRIZE for the tour is vintage-style rose earrings for pierced ears! (U.S. shipping address only).To be eligible, COMMENT on this post. Comment should include the historical time period and geographical setting (when and where) you’d most like to see in a romance. **The tour winner will be announced at http://www.aftonlocke.com/RoseExposedTour.html on April 11th.
Bed is a Battlefield (When Independent Women Clash With Alpha Men in the Bedroom)
In good sex scenes, the balance of power between participants is the most important element. By the time the scene ends, something important should have changed. Why is this?
Bed is the most primal battleground there is. Sex is a basic instinct, right up there with eating and sleeping. Remember how tongue-tied and befuddled we were with that first junior high crush? (Although I hate to admit I recently found myself in this embarrassing state when trying to converse with a very attractive male cover model.)
So what happens when one character tries to wield more power than the other? For instance, what happens when an independent heroine slips between the sheets with an alpha hero?
In Rose, Exposed, Leroy is an alpha male who will do anything to convince Rose to marry him, but Rose needs to stretch her wings and be independent. He tries everything to make her submit to his wishes — from following her around to make sure she’s safe to picking her up like a sack of feed. But he quickly discovers his biggest weapon is his ability to make her hot. Passion is such a powerful force it can override everything, including a woman’s need to be independent. She’ll be as submissive as a kitten, at least while she’s in bed.
Sex can also be used as a bargaining tool. When one partner knows the other really wants it, all he has to do is name his price. Leroy managed to win a few skirmishes with this tactic.
As the relationship and conflict progress, however, the sex gets more intense because the stakes go up. Escalation brings higher resistance. If the partners reach a stalemate, sex can be a way to vent frustrations via temporary release and express raw emotions that overflow the usual defense mechanisms. After the last orgasmic tremor, however, the masks go back on and the battle ensues.
The most touching power dynamic during sex, however, is the exchange of gifts. When characters grow to care for each other, despite their conflicts, sometimes they temporarily surrender their power to the other. As Rose struggles with the need for independence and love, she visits the bedroom battleground (among other places) to figure it out.
From Ellora’s Cave Publishing ~ Out March 27th, 2013!
When Leroy Johnson gets promoted at the new oyster plant on Pearl Point, all he cares about is working hard. When he meets the flirtatious artist Rose Wainwright, however, nothing matters except getting her to the altar and into bed. Healing from a recent loss, he’s not about to let her go too.
Because Rose’s strict, social-climbing father doesn’t approve of dark-skinned Leroy, they court in secret anyplace they can find. Although Leroy’s raw passion can convince her to do almost anything, why can’t he understand she needs freedom, not marriage?
Her father wants her to be white, but Leroy wants her to be black. Playing both sides of the fence leaves this young biracial beauty exposed in more ways than one.
“You’re so…dark,” she exclaimed. Instead of the disdain he expected, he heard fascination.
Come on, lady. Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a colored man before.
“Yes, I’m dark,” he agreed as he politely removed her hand, “which is why it’s not a good idea for us to sit alone together in this car. Someone might come along and jump to the wrong conclusion.”
A conclusion that could get him beat up or worse with the Klan close by on Oyster Island.
But before he could stop her, she clasped both sides of his face and pressed her sweet mouth to his. Aw, hell. A man only had so much self-control, and she’d just shattered his. Unable to stop himself, he plundered her delicate mouth. Her lips reminded him of rose petals, and he sucked the sweetness out of them as if he were a bee. The more he tasted, the more he wanted.
She opened, giving him access to her even sweeter tongue. His penis strained, hard and now wet, against his undershorts. Hell, even his balls must be twice their normal size. Taking a big breath, he pulled away from her.
“We can’t do this. You’re white.”
She looked down at her upturned palms. “Then I really do look white?”
Leroy frowned. “Aren’t you?”
For the first time, her smile disappeared, making him shiver in his wet clothes. “The truth is, I don’t know what I am. I suppose that’s why I took this foolish drive.”
She must be biracial then, he realized, and not forbidden after all. The thought made him want to dance on the hood of the car. She still looked white, though. If he didn’t have the time to court a girl his own color, he sure didn’t have any for a complicated one like this.
“Kiss me again,” she demanded.
Without waiting for him to answer, she locked her hot, damp mouth on his again and tugged hard on his shoulders. Before he knew it, he was on top of her on the front seat. He wished her dress weren’t so thin when two round breasts pushed against his chest and long, slender legs shifted restlessly under his. Dizzy with the scent of rain and her, he froze.
At that moment, nothing mattered except finding out if her cunt was as sweet and yielding as her mouth. He didn’t care if the entire Klan showed up, knocked on the window and caught him thrusting between her legs on this slippery leather seat. It had been too damn long since he’d had a woman. He needed to stop this while he still could.
“Do you know what you’re asking for?” Lust had turned his voice into a husky croak.
She laughed and touched his face again. “I don’t know. What am I asking for?”
This girl was crazier than he’d first thought. What if someone less honorable than himself had stopped instead? She could’ve been raped.
“A whole lot of trouble.” He sat up. “Look, this is not the time or the place. Now let’s get you home.”
The sooner he could be rid of her—before she derailed him from his job, family, and everything else that mattered—the better.
Books Coming Soon:
Rose, Exposed is the sequel to Plucking the Pearl, an interracial historical erotic romance.
Hi Smutketeers! Thank you so much for “doing me” this week. I have been so busy these past few months and it’s great to get out. Three weeks ago my novella “Lonely is the Night” was released and it is more or less a wrap and a transition novella. It is book 5 of the Shadow Force series and introduces the Section 8 series and I am really excited about both!
Here’s the blurb:
Recently retired Delta Force Operator Reid Cormier utilizes his special skills by working black ops jobs all around the world with his former teammates and their wives. Reid’s career keeps him busy, but he can’t get his last job—or the woman involved—out of his head.
US Marshall Grier Vanderhall faked her own death without telling Reid of the plan first, and he couldn’t forgive her duplicity. But when Reid learns that Grier has been kidnapped by a dangerous ring of criminals, he drops everything and heads to New Orleans to rescue her. And while Reid knows that his skills make him the best option to get Grier back, he’s not sure if this mission will give them another chance—or get them both killed.
If you want a sample of Reid and Grier, I have posted Chapter one on my website!
Next week Book 1 of the Section 8 Series debuts, “Surrender,” and I am really excited for this one to get into readers’ hands. Dare is quite the guy and I think he will be quite the catch.
On the run and living for revenge…
Desperate, fearless, and hunted.
For ex-Navy SEAL Dare O’Rourke, Section 8 was legendary. The son of one its missing members, he grew up in the shadow of its secrets. All he knew was that it was a cabal of operatives discharged from branches of the military and reassigned to extremely dangerous, off-the-books international missions. And their handler, who answered only to the president, was as shrouded in mystery as the missions themselves.
Nothing can stop them. Nothing can break them.
Now, the handler of Section 8 has given extreme orders: kill any remaining members, along with their families. It’s then that Dare makes a startling discovery: the existence of a long-lost half sister named Avery he was never meant to meet. Determined to fight for their lives and find their missing father, Dare and Avery bring together the last members of Section 8 for one last mission: to avenge their families, and to survive.
I have recently posted Chapter One on my website, so go have a peek!
Stephanie Tyler.com Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes
I have plans for a couple of the characters in Shadow Force that you’ve already met. But I do feel as though I’ve brought the Shadow Force series into the Section 8 series at this point, with Lonely. So, no matter what it’s called, yes, you’ll keep seeing those characters.
Surrender, book one in the Section 8 series is all set and ready to greet the world on April 2nd. I just handed in Unbreakable, which is book 2 in the Section 8 series and I’m just about to start the third book in the series! Lots of romantic suspense coming your way!
Promise Harbor Gazette
Yesterday, about two hundred guests in attendance at the Ralston-Brewster nuptials at St Mark’s Methodist Church witnessed a stunning spectacle. As lovely Allison Ralston and Promise Harbor Fire Department Captain Josh Brewster were about to exchange vows in a candlelight ceremony, they were interrupted by an uninvited guest.
Other guests identified the interloper as Gavin Montgomery, former Promise Harbor resident, who readers will remember as the instigator of the infamous skinny dipping incident of 2002. To the shock of all those in attendance, including the groom it must be said, Montgomery picked up Ms Ralston and carried her out of the church. Captain Brewster rushed out after them, one assumes to rescue his bride, but returned to the church to announce the wedding was off.
Sophie Brewster, mother of the groom, insisted guests attend the reception at the Promise Harbor Inn. There, this reporter spoke to several people about what had happened to see if anyone had any insight into why the groom was jilted.
Josh Brewster wore a black look, refusing to speak to this reporter, and was seen leaving the inn early. Rumors swirled that he had once again decided to go after his erstwhile bride. Rumors also swirled that a certain female guest left the reception at the same time, and that Josh was seen a short time later at the ferry dock with a beautiful young woman. There were many guesses as to who that woman could be, including a certain ex-girlfriend of Captain Brewster — could she be the reason Ms Ralston left her groom at the altar?
Another member of the wedding party also bolted from the reception shortly after Josh Brewster —Josh’s sister Greta McBain, the bride’s matron of honor. There was much speculation that she had also gone after the bride, but other guests speculated that Mrs. McBain might have returned to her home in Boston, although many expressed surprise at the absence of Mrs. McBain’s husband at the ceremony and several rumors circulated as to the state of Mrs. McBain’s own marital bliss.
Gavin Montgomery’s questionable reputation caused some worry for many guests. This reporter spoke to Detective Hayley Stone of the Promise Harbor Police Department, also a guest at the wedding, and inquired if the police were involved in this matter—could this have been a kidnapping? Detective Stone was quick to defend the wedding crasher, some might say almost as quick as when the pair went joyriding in a stolen truck not too many years ago.
Most worried of all, of course, were the mother of the groom and the father of the bride. Sadly, Promise Harbor residents will remember the untimely passing of Lily Ralston last year and the happiness this wedding was bringing the two families being joined by marriage. This reporter spoke to Sophie Brewster who provided little information beyond several slightly unsavory suggestions as to what your reporter might do rather than “bothering” Mrs. Brewster’s guests.
This reporter also spoke to Owen Ralston, father of the bride, who had no comment.
A number of guests had travelled from afar for the wedding of the season, including successful investment banker Devon Grant, now of Boston; and pro hockey player Jackson Stone, best man at the wedding. They were surely left wondering about their trip to Promise Harbor for the wedding that didn’t happen. There was also talk about Detective Hayley Stone’s presence in an official law enforcement capacity at a bachelor event the evening before the wedding, where she reportedly busted Jackson Knight for disturbing the peace and assaulting an officer — Detective Stone, we presume? Seems Mr. Knight’s luck hasn’t changed all that much since his career-ending injury that’s become nearly as infamous as his reputation off the ice.
The bride, Allison Ralston, remains missing and incommunicado, not answering her cell phone, and the mystery of her disappearance continues. Will she return to Promise Harbor to finally get hitched ?
Into even the best-planned wedding a little chaos must fall…
Join the residents of Promise Harbor, Massachusetts for the wedding of the season! Or, at least, for the most entertaining wedding of the season.
The groom’s been left at the altar, the Maid of Honor is MIA, the Best Man is in handcuffs and the bride has been swept off her feet–literally.
There’s definitely love in the air, but things are going to get a little crazy before anyone gets to happily ever after.
Jilted, Promise Harbor Wedding book one, Kelly, Jamieson, March 19, 2013
Bolted, Promise Harbor Wedding book two, Meg, Benjamin, April 2, 2013
Busted, Promise Harbor Wedding book three, Sydney Somers, April 16, 2013
Hitched, Promise Harbor Wedding book four, Erin, Nicholas, April 30, 2013
Kelly Jamieson is a best-selling author of over twenty-five romance novels and novellas. Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. Where you can find Kelly: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Nine Naughty Novelists, Pinterest Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance for Samhain Publishing and paranormal romance for Berkley InterMix. Meg lives in Colorado with her hubs and a couple of Maine Coon cats. Her Web site is MegBenjamin.com. You can follow her on Facebook , Pinterest and Twitter .
A born and raised Maritimer, Sydney Somers is thrilled to spend her days slaying demons, running with shape-shifter packs and making the people in her head fall wildly in love. When she’s not writing, Sydney can be found chasing after her herd of kids, talking her way into a gourmet meal, exterminating rogue dust bunnies or joking about the pending zombie apocalypse. She loves hearing from readers and invites them to contact her anytime: sydneysomers.com Erin Nicholas is the author of sexy contemporary romances. Her stories have been described as toe-curling, enchanting, steamy and fun. She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).You can find Erin on the web at ErinNicholas.com, on Twitter and even on Facebook.
DESIRE’S EDGE, Book Two in my ‘Edge’ series from Berkley Heat has just been released in the UK through Black Lace Books! This is my office spanking story, and how many of us have had that particular fantasy? Especially with a gorgeous attorney being the one to whisper in your ear as he’s bending you over his desk, lifting the hem of your skirt, and…mmm…I see a few of you are right there with me now…Let’s take a look at DESIRE’S EDGE and see what this sensually kinky romance is all about.
Giving into desire…
As a lawyer, Kara Crawford knows how to keep a secret, especially after being spurned by an ex for revealing her sexual needs. Kara doesn’t expect to find anyone who can fulfill her, until she experiences one of the most incredible nights of her life with a man she’s always admired from afar.
…can set you free….
Dante De Matteo knew Kara back in high school, and he never imagined her darkest fantasies would align so perfectly with his. The lovers don’t expect their passion to last more than a night, but when Dante’s new job turns out to be at Kara’s law firm, they find themselves confronted daily with the sparks of their blistering chemistry.
…but only if you give yourself completely.
As intense desire draws them closer, deep-rooted fears threaten to pull them apart, unless they can learn to embrace both the pain and pleasure of love…
He was sitting behind his desk, handsome as hell in his black suit, his dark blue shirt striking against the golden-brown of his eyes. A slow smile lit his face, and he nodded at her.
“Take your coat off, Kara.”
No greeting. Just that simple command.
She loved it.
She slid her coat from her shoulders and laid it down on the brown leather sofa against one wall, set her purse next to it.
“Come here,” he said quietly.
He watched her as she crossed the room. She could feel her body heating up beneath his penetrating gaze. She licked her lips, approached his desk.
“You look great in these tight skirts you wear,” he told her, his tone all smoke and heat. “That sexy, business woman look. It suits you.” He stood, moved in closer, making her breath catch. “And it makes your ass look superb. But I want a better look.”
He wrapped his hands around her waist, turned her until her back was to him.
“Good,” he said, his tone low. “Now bend over and brace your hands on the desk.”
She found herself doing it, her mind emptying out at an alarming rate.
Don’t think. Can’t think now…
“Beautiful, Kara. Perfect. The curve of your ass in this skirt is…perfect.”
He moved in close behind her and slid his hand over her hip, then her bottom. She could feel the heat of him through the soft, fine wool of her skirt. She was going wet already, her sex a dark throbbing between her legs.
He leaned over her until his breath was warm on her cheek. He whispered, “Hold still for me now.”
One sharp spank and she gasped.
“Did I surprise you?” he asked her. “You should have known what I was going to do when I bent you over the desk.”
“There are still people in the office,” she said, her voice sounding small, barely a protest at all.
“Yes. But that only makes it more exciting.”
“I didn’t lock your office door behind me.”
“No one will come in. You have to trust me, Kara. Do you trust me?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
She did. She had to. She was helpless already against the onslaught of desire. Drowning in it.
“Good. Very good.”
He smacked her again, the sensation dulled a bit by the fabric between his hand and her ass.
“Shh, Kara,” Dante whispered to her. He moved her hair aside and laid a kiss on the back of her neck, making her shiver. “Jesus, your skin is so hot. I have to touch it. Touch you…”
She felt him move back for a moment as he lifted her skirt, sliding it up around her waist.
“Ah, I should have known you’d be wearing a thong under that tight skirt. I love the way it looks with the boots. Someday I’ll have to have you in nothing but these boots.”
She was shaking even before he touched her. Then he smoothed his palm over her bottom, and she went soaking wet. She had to grip the edge of his desk, forcing herself to hold still.
He kept moving his hand over her bare flesh, the sensation soft and sweet. Yet she yearned for that harder touch.
“Eager, beautiful girl? I like that. But you’ll have to wait until I’m ready. Take a breath, let it out. And wait.”
She moaned quietly. He laughed, a small wicked chuckle. He kept stroking her skin—with his palm, with his fingertips. It was wonderful. It was torture.
“Just sink into my touch,” he told her. “Keep breathing. Yes, that’s it.”
She tried to do as he said. And after a few moments she found herself doing it. Sinking. Drifting. Her eyes closed.
The sharp smack on her bottom made her flinch. Then pleasure flooded her body, her sex. Pleasure and intensity and the dark scent of him surrounding her. She found herself surging back into him.
Another low chuckle from him. “I love that you love this. That you respond this way.”
He smacked her again. This time she was braced for it. But it still hurt. Still felt wonderful. Like something she required.
He paused to graze her burning flesh with his palm, then smacked again. And again and again. Just hard enough to hurt, for the sting to reverberate through her with small ripples of pleasure.
“What is it, Kara?” he asked, one hand going into her hair. He buried his fingers in it, then grasped tightly, right next to her scalp. And even that was purely erotic to her, carrying the sensation deeper into her aching body.
“Please touch me, Dante. Please.”
Go to my website and take a look at my other two US covers for DESIRE’S EDGE, then come back here and let me know which you like best. I have my favorite-what’s yours? Tell me and be entered to win a copy of my BDSM novella SANCTUARY, my vampire novella THE SEEKING KISS, and my contemporary menage novella TEMPT ME TWICE!
Thanks so much to the Smutketeers for having me here today! I love hanging out with you all and talking about books. But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about memory and all the funny things we choose to remember…or not remember. Last week for example, when NOW COMES THE NIGHT was released, I wrote a blog post celebrating that fact. I let a friend read it before I posted it, however, because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too sappy.
I can get sappy at times. I know—who’d a thunk, right?
Anyway, my friend wrote back and said, “I stumbled on the part where you say ‘I loved writing this book’.”
This made me frown very hard at my computer screen. I do that a lot, btw. “What does she mean?” I asked myself or, you know, my dog. He’s very smart and that sounds less crazy, so let’s go with that version. “I loved writing this book,” I told my dog. And then I remembered…
Months of agony. All the whining to friends at multiple conventions. All the whining to my editor at those same conventions. All the many glasses of wine said friends and editor poured for me, no doubt hoping it would shut me up.
“Okay, okay,” I wrote back to my friend. “I didn’t love writing it. I loved the final read through.” And then I remembered…
I’d gotten the final ARC to proofread shortly after my mother-in-law’s stroke, while I was spending most of my time at the hospital. It was a difficult time and I missed two errors I probably would have caught otherwise. “I mean, I loved reading through it last night looking for excerpts?”
To which my friend replied, “No. You loved writing the book. What you hated was splitting it in two.”
And that is absolutely true! I do remember that. But now that it’s done, now that both books are written and I have two gorgeous covers to show for it, I’ve already forgotten most of the pain…I’m sure the wine helped with that. All I remember now is the fun of revisiting the 70s and 80s, of watching baby vampires grow up, of spending time with some of my favorite characters ever…and putting them through all that delicious, angsty torment.
I also remember the cookies, but that’s a subject for another post.
Growing up, vampire-born twins Julie and Marc Fischer were taught one simple fact of life: you can choose your food, but not your family. Six months after moving to San Francisco, though, the new challenges and choices each are facing are a Gordian knot of complicated.
Marc must decide whether to stay with Conrad and Damian, the only family he’s ever known, or embrace his destiny and the unexpected family—the ferals—that comes along with it. Meanwhile, Julie is forced to deal with the unpleasant realization that the man she loves isn’t necessarily the man who’s best for her.
For Conrad and Damian, the holiday season is stirring up bittersweet memories, and neither can keep from revisiting past passion and pain.
Faced with new mysteries to solve, new alliances to forge, new secrets to keep, and old relationships to rebuild, it’s no wonder the Fischer-Quintano vampires long for the good old days—when food was food and family was all that mattered.
If you’ve previously suffered from Disco Fever, this book could precipitate a relapse. Extreme care is recommended for anyone with a pronounced weakness for mistletoe, fang play, pretty young men of either species or extremely dangerous alpha-male vampire single dads. May contain trace amounts of polyester.
“Hey.” A hand landed on Damian’s shoulder, interrupting his thoughts. “I know you.” The emphasis, and the tone with which the words were spoken, made them practically an accusation. “We’ve met before…haven’t we? I’m sure of it.”
Reining in his instincts, which, at the moment, were heavily weighted toward vivisection, Damian sighed. “I very much doubt it.”
Eyes, blue as a sun-lit ocean, met Damian’s gaze when he turned to face his accuser. There was something vaguely familiar about those eyes. They held entirely too much boyish innocence layered with a hint of determination and were slightly blurred due to an excess of alcohol, but nothing sparked any real recognition for him.
Damian’s eyebrows rose as he examined the rest of the stylish, enticing, and very au courant package. A hint of black eyeliner. A single gold earring. An extravagant mane of teased, blond hair. And a build that hinted at exquisitely crafted muscles hidden just beneath his skin-tight clothes. It was the last that convinced him.
He allowed his not-so-subtle gaze to glide over the stranger’s frame for a moment longer, down and then up again, as though he were actually considering the matter, rather than merely taking his time to admire the view. Mmm. Damian was reasonably certain he’d have remembered that if he’d encountered it before in any kind of intimate fashion. “No, I take that back. I’m sure we’ve never met.” It was kind of a shame though, now that he thought about it. Perhaps he should consider rectifying the situation? A quick bite, a hurried rendezvous in the back alley…
“No, really, man. I mean it. That wasn’t just a line.” The other man—little more than a boy, really—readjusted his grip. He was hanging on to Damian’s arm now, as though that were anything that could detain him if he really wished to leave. “Hold up. Gimme a minute. It’ll come to me.”
Damian gave him all of thirty seconds, which was exactly how long it took for him to remember why it was that vampires tended to settle in large, anonymous cities. It was so that they would not find themselves in situations such as this, being waylaid and importuned in bars by tempting and attractive strangers seeking to renew an acquaintance where none had ever existed—nor ever would.
“Time’s up.” Damian favored his would-be suitor with a small, regretful smile. Then he shrugged off the boy’s hold on his arm, turned and disappeared into the crowd.
He didn’t look back as he weaved his way through the maze of writhing bodies that had filled the dance floor, not taking his time, but not hurrying either. Damian Ysidro Esposito-Montoya did not run from danger. Especially not when the danger came packaged in so attractive a guise. Still, he breathed a sigh of relief when he reached the door without being stopped. He wasn’t looking for complications tonight.
Outside, a slight drizzle was falling. Not a downpour by any means, but enough of a rain to have cleared the sidewalks of passersby. Unfortunate. He’d have preferred a little more cover as he made his escape. As it was, he only got about halfway up the block before he heard the door to the bar creak open once again. A frisson of awareness lifted the hair on his neck.
“Damian! Wait up!”
At the sound of his name he halted. What now? He’d given his name, his real name, to very few humans in the last decade. Was this another vampire then? Someone who’d spied him as he made his way through the crowd? Someone who’d recognized him—and would likely recognize Conrad too, if he saw him? Someone who might pose enough of a threat to the twins’ safety that he’d have to be killed to preserve the secret of their existence?
Damian sighed as he contemplated the extreme likelihood that he’d have to do just that. He shouldn’t be so surprised. They’d known all along it was a possibility. Still, Conrad would not be pleased. This was exactly the kind of unpleasantness they’d been hoping to avoid by settling in a series of interchangeable and wholly unremarkable bedroom communities. It was the very reason they’d purposely steered clear of all those very same large, anonymous cities in which their kind were known to congregate.
It was strange, though. He hadn’t sensed any other vampires in the bar tonight, hadn’t picked up a single scent. Then again, he had allowed himself to get distracted toward the end. A mistake, obviously. As he should certainly know by now, there was always going to be a price to pay for those. Damian turned slowly, reluctantly, wondering which of his former acquaintances was likely to lose his life tonight. He was surprised, and more than a little relieved, to find himself facing not a vampire at all, but rather the same, distracting young man from whom he’d just taken his leave. Whoever he was, the boy was certainly persistent, but at least he was human. Definitely the lesser of two evils.
“Yeah, I thought that was you.” The boy’s tone matched his walk. Cocky. Confident. Sure of himself. “I got thrown at first ’cause you look so much younger than I remembered.”
“Do I?” Damian frowned. “How very odd.” Relief mingled with confusion. It wasn’t often that he found himself at such a disadvantage. He studied the young man as he sauntered closer, seemingly unmindful of the rain that had begun to fall a little more earnestly now. Within a handful of seconds they were face to face once more, with barely a foot between them. The boy continued to smile at Damian as though they were old friends and Damian still could not place him. Perhaps he could trick the young man into giving him a hint? “And here I was, thinking that you look very much the same as you did the last time I saw you.”
“What?” The young man’s eyes widened in an expression of surprised dismay. “Oh, God, no. Fuck, don’t say that! I mean, it’s been a few years. I must’ve changed a little, right?”
“Mmm. I suppose it’s possible. Refresh my memory. How long has it been?”
“I dunno. Five or six years, isn’t it? Or, you know, maybe a little more.”
“How much more?”
“I dunno. Eight? Or, you know, something like that.”
“Ah. I see. Well, what I meant was you hadn’t changed since I last saw you in the bar a few minutes ago,” Damian lied, busily trying to calculate where he’d been and who he’d been doing it with five or six—or eight—years ago. “It was a joke.”
“Oh.” For an instant, a confused frown creased the young man’s forehead, then his eyes narrowed. “Wait. No, it wasn’t. You’re just saying that. You really don’t remember me at all. Do you?”
But, all at once, Damian did and he couldn’t help but smile at the irony. “Quite the contrary.” Maybe it was due to the rain having darkened the other man’s hair to a shade closer to its natural color. Maybe it was the slightly crestfallen look he now wore. Replacing his earlier cocky self-assurance, his current expression gave him the appearance of a much younger, much less confident man. Or maybe it was nothing so mysterious. Perhaps it was due to nothing more than the fact that Damian finally had a timeframe in which to place the boy. “As it happens, I remember you very well, Paul.”
Why not erotica? lol! Seriously, sex is fun, reading about sex is fun, writing sex is fun. The fact that I had to take most of the sex out of this book? Not so fun.
How much down time do you generally take between books?
Uh…ten seconds maybe? I usually have the next one (or three) lined up and ready to go long before I’m finished with the first one.
Do you do anything to celebrate or reward yourself for finishing a book?
I used to clean and reorganize my desk. Yeah, that hasn’t happened in awhile.
Do you collect anything?
Coffee mugs. My husband doesn’t understand it. He keeps saying silly things like: “Don’t you have enough already?” It’s like he thinks I want to drink out of the same mug every day for the rest of my life, or something.
What’s your idea of a romantic evening?
Well, it would probably require a fire of some sort, a good-sized body of water (preferably steamy…unless we’re somewhere tropical) wine, a nice meal…and no dog. I thought having kids in the house put a damper on romance at times. They’ve got nothing on the dog!
Do you incorporate people you know into your stories?
Very rarely. Usually only when I want to make them dead. (see latest coffee mug for details: http://www.cafepress.com/+large_mug,775834566)
How do you recharge your batteries?
I like to drive up to Calistoga for a mud-bath. Getting away overnight to a bed and breakfast somewhere on the coast is also awesome. Otherwise…I hit the gym. I’ve gotten weirdly addicted to the stairmaster.
What inspired this story?
Now Comes the Night was inspired largely by readers who wanted to know what it was like for the twins growing up as vampires.
And now for a few quick and revealing Either/Or questions!
Beer or girly drink with an umbrella? usually a beer, but there’s this great Hawaiian restaurant/bar in town that has weekly luaus. Gotta have an umbrella drink if it’s a luau.
Vanilla or chocolate? Both
Hugs or kisses? Kisses…although hugs are very nice too.
Boxers, briefs or commando? commando
Steak or sushi? ooh…that’s tough. I’m gonna go with steak.
Jeans or stilettos? Jeans
Quiet dinner in front of the fire or hot night on the town? quiet dinner in front of the fire.
Carried off into the sunset on the back of a galloping stallion or in the luxury of a racy corvette? Oh, a vette, for sure. I love horses, but let’s be realistic here!
Elegant fop or rough-edged rogue? Rogue!
Tropical beach or mountain cabin? There’s a reason I live in California–both!
Rough and ready cowboy or corporate big-wig in a sharp suit? cowboy
Vampire or werewolf? well, duh. Vampire. ;)
Gorgeous canopy bed with satin sheets or fur rug in front of a blazing fire? fur rug in front of the fire.
Summer or winter? Summer.
Tattoos or piercings? Sure. ;)
Dog person or cat person? I used to be a cat person, now I’m more of a dog person. Go figure.
Cinderella or Snow White? Hmm…do I want to get stuck cleaning up after three women or seven guys? Yeah, never mind. I’ll be Sleeping Beauty.
Las Vegas luxury hotel or quaint Wine Country Inn vacation? Wine Country, baby.