NEW from Award-Winning Erotic Romance Author Felicity Brandon!

Title: Taken
Series: The Dark Necessities Trilogy #1
Author: Felicity Brandon
Genre: Dark Romance/Kidnap Thriller
Release Date: November 28, 2018
Cover Design: Eris Adderly

One obsessed fan. One captive author. 

Lost on the streets of a foreign city, Molly Clary is attacked after a book signing until an unknown hero steps in to protect her. But Molly’s relief soon turns to terror when her savior’s true intentions are revealed. Connor Reilly doesn’t just want to save her, he wants to take her for himself.

Now Molly’s fighting, not just for her life, but for the essence of who she truly is. If she’s going to survive in Connor’s dark new world, she’ll have to learn to play his base games. But if Molly plays, what will it cost her? Can a monster ever really learn to love, or will his need to dominate destroy them both?
 
If you enjoyed the debauched desire of the Twist Me series, then you’ll devour Felicity Brandon’s edgy new trilogy.
 
Buy Taken to begin this hauntingly addictive set.
 
Taken is an edgy, fast-paced, dark romance and is the first book in The Dark Necessities trilogy. Molly and Connor’s story continues in Tamed, and concludes in Entwined.

“Are you going to run, Molly?” His voice was calm, and almost amused as it questioned her.
She shifted her gaze to follow the sound of his voice, her face no doubt portraying her anxiety on the subject. “No,” she lied, her tone breathless.
“No?” he repeated back to her as he stepped forward out of the black shadows of the furthest corner. His right brow arched in the tantalizing way it did when he knew he was onto a winner.
“No,” she confirmed, shaking her head for good measure.
He moved toward her laughing. “You could run, you know,” he went on, his gaze intense as his tall body loomed over her.
Molly blinked up at her captor. Free of her binds at last, she felt bolstered and no longer wanted to call him Master. She could never allow a monster like Connor to master her. “What?”
“You could run,” he affirmed. “If you wanted to? Your stories have always had an element of the cat and mouse about them, haven’t they, pet? I know you’d enjoy that, and if you didn’t already know, I love the thrill of the chase.”
Adrenaline spiked in her body as he spoke. Was he giving her permission to flee from him? Is that why he’d removed the chains? Was this just the latest game he wanted to play?
“Yes,” he answered her, although she was certain she hadn’t spoken the words out loud. “You can run, Molly, but you know if you run, I’m going to chase you, and you know I’m going to catch you.”
Her heart was pounding in her chest as she sat up straight beside him, pinning her wide-eyed gaze onto his. “Why are you saying this?” she mumbled. And how do you know all of this?
His smile widened, and he pulled up a box from nearby, seating himself beside her. “After all this time, pet,” he purred. “Don’t you think I know you by now? I knew you before we’d even met. I know what you’re thinking, Molly. You are quite literally an open book to me.”
She flushed, her head falling forward as though the admission was shameful. She was ashamed, because he was right. He did seem to know her. He knew what she was going to be thinking, what she wanted, and just how to control her. It was freaking infuriating.
“Look at me.” His voice was sterner, having taken on some of the quality which made the knot of anxious energy in her belly tighten. She complied, not wanting to rile the beast in him. Their eyes met, his mesmerizing green orbs utterly compelling. His hand came slowly to her face. Molly flinched out of instinct, but relaxed when he began to caress the side of her face with calm, gentle strokes. “This is your story, pet,” he mused. “Our story. If you want to run, then I am not going to stop you.”
“But you will chase me?” she whispered, her fear furling as simmering arousal at his touch began to flood her system. She knew she shouldn’t crave him, but she found herself leaning into the warmth of his hand. It was like a reflex. Despite the fact this was the same hand that had captured, and tormented her, it was also the hand that had rescued and comforted her – and pleasured her.
Connor’s chuckle resonated deeply inside of Molly’s body. “Of course,” he answered, his fingers tightening in her long dark hair. “I will chase you because you’re mine, pet. You belong to me now, we both know that, don’t we?” He hesitated as though he expected her to speak, but she merely blinked at him. Too terrified to respond. Too afraid of what her answer might be. “Molly?”
The sound of her name made her lips part. It was intimate, fanning the flames of her burgeoning need. “Yes, Master?” she said, her voice barely audible as she confessed the truth.
For a moment they just stared at one another, the admission lingering in the dank air around them.

 

“But that’s not the only reason I’d chase you,” he went on eventually. “I’d chase you because it’s what you want, Molly, isn’t it?”
The Dark Necessities trilogy continues in the twisted pages of Tamed, released in December, 2018, and concludes in the heart-stopping finale, Entwined (due January 2019)
Felicity Brandon is a top 100 Amazon bestselling author. She loves the darker side of romance, and writes sexy, suspenseful stories, with strong themes of bondage and submission. You’ll find her either at her laptop, at the gym, or rocking out to her favourite music. 

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Cover Reveal! UNORTHODOX UNION by Lilah E. Noir!

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Title: Unorthodox Union
Series: The Unorthodox Trilogy, #3
Author: Lilah E. Noir
Genre: BDSM, Erotic Suspense, Romance
Release Date: December 15, 2018

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Blurb

No other woman could understand me like you. We know all we’ve been through, Lina, and I remember every scar on your body and soul.

LINA

We were together in the darkest pits of hell.
He cleansed me through the cruelty of pain and led me to my bliss.
I’m exactly where I belong.
A leader in the boardroom and a purring submissive for Thomas.

When the right chance comes along… do we dare reach for the stars?

THOMAS

I have the woman of my dreams and a chance for a new beginning.

Lina faced all of me, my dark, ugly and violent sides, yet she chose to stay.
She restored my lost balance and help me find peace with who I am.
I’ve never been so happy… and that’s what scares me the most.
After all, we have been through, can we have it all?

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LIMITED OFFER

Get Book 1 of the Unorthodox Trilogy for FREE until November 25th.

She was his boss at work and his submissive at all times.
LINA
I’d never noticed him before.
He was just a lonely, scared boy when I hired him.
I was too busy to notice the lust in his eyes.
Now I’m at his feet begging for every bit of pleasure and pain he’ll unleash on me.
THOMAS
She enthralled me.
Her body. Her mind. Her wicked laughter and unreadable eyes.
She was out of my league yet I knew what she longed for.
I only had two months to kill her nicotine addiction and make her crave me.
I’d use every trick I had to claim her as mine.

Grab your copy or read on #KindleUnlimitedmybook.to/UnorthodoxTherapy

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After some hesitation, I gathered my hair and stared at him with nervous expectation. He smiled warmly and placed the leather against the front of my neck. Powerful shivers went through me as his deft fingers clasped the metal buckle from behind and fastened the collar around my neck. It was wrong on so many levels, such a symbolic act of dehumanization. So why did my pulse race with excitement? At that moment, another, more powerful, awareness stood side by side with the excitement taking control of my mind. Pride and intimacy. As if I truly was a treasured, protected pet who could put her trust and submission in the person holding the leash. Complicated emotions overpowered any resistance in my brain and a lump got stuck in my throat.
Thomas slid his fingers down the inner sides of my wrists. Then he gently pulled them away, letting my hair cascade down my back. He picked up the leather extension of the collar and moved one step back to look at me.
“You look great like this, boss. Consider it part of your uniform while you’re here with me.” When I squirmed with slight discomfort, he tugged on the leather and chuckled. “I know you like it. I saw how your eyes lit up.”
I did. I felt like someone had lifted the burden of the entire week from my shoulders. My mind was overfilled with emotions raging from relief to lust. Shame had no chance to creep in, but how could I put it all into words when my own body still dominated me, demanding release from the fire of my lust?
I hadn’t realized my vision was blurred with tears until Thomas brushed his thumb below my eyelid and wiped them away. He stroked my cheek with a sympathetic expression and whispered,
“There’s no need to say anything, Lina. You’ll figure it out in the process. Just allow yourself to feel now.”

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Lilah E. Noir is an author of dark erotic novels and psychological stories. Her work has elements of taboo, seduction and different aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, with a touch of romance and tenderness. If you love flawed characters, submissive alpha females, unconventional dominant heroes, angst, emotional darkness, lots of kinky sex scenes her books might be your kind of pleasure.

LINKS

Visit my website – http://lilahenoir.com
Like my page on Facebook – http://facebook.com/lilahenoir
Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/lilahenoir
Subscribe to my YouTube channel for book trailers and audio samples –
Go to Amazon and check the rest of my books – https://www.amazon.com/Lilah-E.-Noir/e/B016D4Z1XW
Join my Facebook Advanced Reads Club – https://www.facebook.com/groups/lilahsadvancedreadclub/

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

LOST & BOUND is the second book in the Dream Dominant Collection, a series of stand-alone erotic romance novels featuring hot Alphas, sassy redheads, and light BDSM themes.

Here’s the official blurb:

Blake Walker is no stranger to tragedy. Immediately following a horrific event years earlier, he was lost for a while until he embraced his Dominant nature and found his true calling. But things change and now he’s back where he started, helping to run his family’s secluded lake lodge.

When pampered Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law, she’s sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario to cool her heels for a few weeks. There she meets sexy bush pilot Blake, who is tasked with seeing to her needs as the sole guest at the lodge.

Initially, Blake isn’t impressed with the spoiled actress, but he’s happy that her visit allows for his sister Jackie and her kids to go on a much-needed vacation. Try as he might, he can’t figure out what the hell Shasta Pyke is doing so far out of her element. 

Shasta’s attracted to Blake’s obvious good looks, but there’s more to him than that. He sees through her armor to the vulnerable little girl she hides from the world. The Daddy Dominant in him craves to shelter her, to make her his own.

Is there any way Shasta will agree to submit to Blake’s Dominance?

How about a little teaser from LOST & BOUND?

Blake went outside, needing space, needing to breathe.  She followed along behind him.  “What do we need to do now?”

“Are you hungry?”

She frowned slightly.  “I guess I am.  I hadn’t thought about it until now.”

“How about I catch us some fish for lunch?”

Her expression was doubtful.  “Just like that, you can catch some fish?”

“Just like that.”  He winked at her and headed for the plane to get his rig.

While Blake took his fishing rod a few yards down the shore, Shasta sat tailor-style on the dock and watched him.  He flicked his wrist and she heard a whirring sound as his line flew out over the lake and plopped into the water.  Then he slowly reeled in his line, the lure bobbing along the top of the water as it moved closer to him.

His open tackle box sat beside her on the dock and she began to look through all the items it held.  There were lures of all sizes, shapes, and colors.  In the bottom was a clear plastic box full of lead balls of various sizes.  And one small compartment held a pink rubber worm that sparkled in the sunlight.

Curious, Shasta picked up the pink worm and grinned as she squeezed it.  From the shoreline Blake called to her.

“Hey!  Are you touching my tackle?”

She looked up at him, surprised.  While the aviators hid his eyes, there was no mistaking the smug curve of his lips.  She matched it with a sassy smirk of her own.  “Do you want me to touch your tackle?”  Her giggle echoed across the water, and he grinned broadly.

“Here we go,” he murmured, reeling halfway through his third cast.  He jerked up on the line and reeled faster.

Shasta jumped up.  “Did you get one?”

“Yup.  He’s not a huge one; we’ll need at least one more.”  He reeled the fish closer to the shallow water and scooped it up with a blue net before depositing it into a large bucket filled with water.

Shasta ran over to look.  The fish in the bucket was pond-scum green, mottled with streaks of brown.  “Ooh, he’s kind of ugly.”

“Ugly?  That’s a smallmouth bass right there.  He’s good eating.”  She eyed him skeptically.  “Would you like to try?”

“Really?” she grinned, wide-eyed.

“Really.  Go pick out something from the tackle box and I’ll put it on a line for you.”  While Shasta returned to the tackle box, Blake retrieved another fishing rod from the plane.

“I don’t know what to pick.  What if I pick the wrong thing?”

Guilt gnawed at his gut as he remembered the way he’d criticized her earlier in the day.  “You can’t get it wrong.  Pick anything you like.”

She grinned up at him, and he felt his heart melt.  “I like the sparkly ones.  I think I want the pink worm.  He’s nice and squishy, plus, he sparkles.”

Blake nodded.  “The pink worm it is.”  Quickly he attached it to her line and handed her the rod.  “Now, all you do is…”  He stood behind her, reaching around to help her hold it properly.  “Just bring it back and flick it forward, holding your thumb on this button on the reel.”

Shasta watched as the pink worm sailed out over the water.  “Now just slowly reel it back in.”

She did as he said.  Blake stepped back to watch as she concentrated, absently chewing on her bottom lip as she turned the reel.  When the worm lifted out of the water, she turned to him, frowning.  “I didn’t catch anything.”

“Just keep doing it,” he chuckled.  “It takes time.”  He returned to his place on the bank and cast out his own line again.

On her fifth cast, Shasta felt a tug on her line.  “Ooh, I think I have something.”

Blake dropped his rod and hurried back to her.  “Good.  You’re doing fine, just reel him in.”  She gripped the rod like her life depended on it, reeling as quickly as she could, her rod bending dangerously toward the water.  “You’ve got it, bring him a little closer and I’ll get him in the net.”

As soon as the fish was within reach, Blake used the net to scoop up their second smallmouth bass.  He took it off the hook and placed it in the bucket with the other one.  Shasta peered into the bucket before grinning cheekily at Blake.  “My fish is bigger than yours.”

He laughed out loud.  “Yes, yours is bigger.”

She nodded proudly.  “Yep, me and the sparkly pink worm, we rocked this.”  She circled her fists around in front of her, performing an impromptu “cabbage patch.”

“Do you want to clean yours by yourself?”

Shasta immediately frowned.  “No.”

“Well, don’t go getting too big for your britches, then.”  Blake carried the bucket to a board wedged waist-high between two birch trees.  “How about I build a campfire and clean the fish?  You can go get the skillet and some plates?”  He nodded toward the cabin.

When she returned from the cabin carrying a large cast-iron skillet stacked with a pair of white-dotted blue enamelware plates and a variety of utensils, a fire was roaring in the stone ring and Blake was filleting the first fish.  Shasta placed everything on a stump near where he was working and sank onto a log close to the fire.

Neither of them spoke.  Somewhere further down the lake, a loon called and they heard it echo across the water.  Blake’s attention was on the fish but out of the corner of his eye, he watched her assessing him.

“Have you always been a mountain man?”  Her expression was earnest.

Blake’s head dropped back as he laughed out loud.  “A mountain man?  Is that what I am?”

Shasta smiled sheepishly.  “Aren’t you?”

“Well, I grew up at the lodge.  My grandparents built the place.  My grandmother was Miranda.  The lake is named for her.  But I haven’t always lived here.  I went away to college.  After graduation, I worked for a while as a wilderness counselor.  I was in the woods a lot, but I was based in Toronto.”

“A wilderness counselor,” she repeated thoughtfully.

“Yeah, you know, we worked with troubled city kids, took them out and taught them survival skills and self-reliance, that kind of thing.”

“You worked with bad kids?” she wondered.

He shook his head.  “They weren’t bad, really.  Just…lost.  They needed help to find their way.”

“Why did you stop?”

Blake shrugged.  “My folks ran the lodge for years until my dad’s stroke.  They retired to Florida.  My sister and her husband started running the place full-time.  When that asshole bugged out, I came to help her.”

Shasta watched him appraisingly.  “That was really nice of you.”

“She’s my sister.  I’d do anything for someone I love.”  He placed a grate over the fire and set the skillet on top.  “Besides, I’m happy to be home.  I drive past my old school every time I go into town.  There are a lot of great memories.  I don’t really miss the city.”  He sat opposite Shasta on another log.

She laughed lightly.  “It must be odd to come back to live where you grew up.  I imagine you were the big football hero around here.”

He shook his head.  “Football is for sissies.  We played hockey.”

“Oh, excuse me, hockey,” she laughed.

“That’s right.  Hockey.  A man’s sport.”  He reached into his mouth, and to her surprise, removed his right front tooth and the one beside it.  “Where I come from, if you have all your teeth, you weren’t really trying.”  He laughed at her shocked expression as he refit the teeth into his mouth.

Shasta grinned smugly.  “I’ve got you beat, mountain man.”  She stood and leaned toward him, parting her lips and baring her perfectly straight, whiter-than-white teeth.  She ran her forefinger across them.  “All of these are fake.  I had them all capped.  Can’t have uneven or discolored teeth in Hollywood.  Nope.”

She sighed as she sat back down.  “Nothing about me is real,” she murmured.  He eyed her curiously.  She gave him a sidelong glance, then ran a finger down her nose.  “Nose job.”  She waved a handful of hair.  “Extensions.”  She grabbed her tits.  “Boob job.”  She looked down at the dirt.  “Even my name is fake.”

Blake had been watching her with interest.  “Your name isn’t Shasta?”

She snorted.  “Who would name their kid Shasta?  Eddie gave me that name when I was five.  He told my parents that nobody would hire Amy Malone.  I needed a name with pizzazz.”  She waggled jazz hands.  “I think he has a list of names in a drawer someplace and you just get the next one on the list.”

“So your name is Amy.”

Shasta nodded.  “But nobody’s called me that since my grandpa died.  He thought all the acting stuff was stupid.  He kept telling my parents to let me just be a kid.”  She laughed.  “He refused to call me Shasta.  My grandpa was a pretty stubborn guy.”

His expression was soft.  “Why would you get a nose job?  Or breast implants?”

She shrugged and pulled her sunglasses down over her eyes.  “Eddie said the boobs would help me transition between being a child actor and an adult.”

Blake could feel his protective nature surging.  “Eddie’s that guy who brought you here?  He made you get a boob job?”

“He didn’t make me.  But I knew he’d be disappointed if I didn’t.”  She used her toe to push a patch of pine needles back and forth.

The fish was done, and Blake was glad for the distraction.  He plated the fillets, handing one to her and taking the other for himself.

“Oh, my god, this is amazing,” she moaned through her first bite.

He grinned.  “Nothing like fresh bass, right out of the lake.  Unless it’s fresh trout, right out of the lake.  That’s pretty good, too.”

They enjoyed their lunch without conversation, appreciating the quiet of the wilderness.  The silence was broken only by the crackling of the fire or the occasional call of a loon.  Once again, Shasta felt a sense of peace settle over her.

Blake took her plate when she was finished.  “Now, we’ll see about washing up these few things and then we’ll blow this pop stand.”

One-click LOST & BOUND here.

And while all Dream Dominant novels are stand-alone, WARRIOR MINE, Book 4, is actually a spin-off from LOST & BOUND.

Why not read about Blake’s sister Jackie, and his best friend, Scott Nielsen?

One-click WARRIOR MINE here.

Black Friday/Small Business Saturday SALE!

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope your holiday was fabulous.

Now we’re ready for shopping season.  Black Friday deals are already underway, and Saturday is Small Business Saturday.

Did you realize that an Indie author is a small business?  Buying an Indie book is the literary equivalent of shopping local.

Before the holiday season gets out of hand with all the craziness, I have a great deal for you.  Why not treat yourself to the entire Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy for just 99¢?

The deal is only on Amazon, and it’s only good Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24.  After that, it returns to regular price.

Just click HERE to get your copy!

Weekend Excerpt–LUKE & BELLA

It was the job of a lifetime.

Have you ever stopped to think about your idea of the perfect job?

For Luke McGillicutty and Bella Grant, they know they’ve landed the best gig possible.  They’ve been tasked with touring the world in search of excitement and adventure as they create a new television travel show.

Traveling to exciting destinations, staying in luxurious hotels, is it any wonder they fell in love?

But Luke hasn’t been completely honest with Bella.  It all happened so fast.  If he tells her now, he could lose her forever.

Can he risk everything on the chance they could have it all?

Here’s a snippet from LUKE & BELLA, Dream Dominant Book 1.

Luke arrived at the airport slightly hung over.  Should have known better than to go out drinking with Charlie, he thought.  The two men had barhopped for a while, finally landing at Luke’s favorite Manhattan pub, Paddy Reilly’s on the lower east side.  They’d been in luck and caught the Prodigals’ set at eleven.

Charlie had been in chat mode all evening.  “So tell me about the dame you were with when I called you that day,” he probed.

Luke rolled his eyes.  “Just some chick from a bar.  I don’t know.  What do you want me to say?”

“What you need is to find a nice girl, settle down,” Charlie slurred.  “Bella is a nice girl.”

“Bella?” Luke asked.

“Aw, dammit, I didn’t mean for you to know her name before you met her,” Charlie shook his head.  “Bourbon loosens my lips.”  He blew a raspberry for emphasis.

Luke had felt a flash of irritation at the notion of settling down.  “I’ve been married, and you saw how that turned out.”

“You married a girl named Tiffany.  That’s a stripper’s name.  You shoulda known that would go down in flames,” Charlie reasoned with boozy confidence.

“How about this?  How about you find a nice girl and settle down.  Elizabeth’s been gone for, what, five years?”  Luke regretted the words as soon as they left his lips.  Charlie’s wife Elizabeth had been the nicest person, bar none, Luke had ever met.  He still donated to breast cancer charities in her memory.

“Nope,” Charlie shook his head.  “Elizabeth was the love of my life.  There will never be anyone else for me.  That’s what you need, my boy,” Charlie stabbed a bony finger into Luke’s chest.  “You need to find the love of your life.”

Some night, last night.  As soon as Luke entered the airport lounge, he ordered a Scotch.  Hair of the dog and all that.

Now he was sitting here waiting for some travel show host chick.  To go, he knew not where.  They were supposed to meet in the first-class lounge and await Charlie’s call.

What the fuck?!  Why all the bullshit cloak and dagger business?  Luke checked his watch.  It wasn’t too late to hop a plane back to Tampa.  He could be wasted away and looking for his lost shaker of salt by happy hour.

Women are always late, he fumed.  Why did I agree to this?  Dragging some whiny-ass princess around the world for three months?  He imagined a prissy female voice complaining, “I broke a nail!  Where can I plug in my blow dryer?  I’m not eating that!”

I must have lost my mind…

The door to the lounge opened and in walked a stunning redhead.  The sunlight streaming into the room from the high windows across the way just caught her from behind, lighting up her auburn curls as if they were on fire.  He watched her glance around the room, soft brown eyes searching for someone.  She walked past without looking his way, then stopped, unsure.

“Bella?” he asked, before he could stop himself.  She turned, surprised, then she smiled, reaching to shake his hand.

“Hello!  Bella.  Isabella. Um, just Bella. Grant.  And you are?”

Love your romance with a sexy side of BDSM?
One-click your copy of LUKE & BELLA today!

Weekend Excerpt–RESISTING RISK, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 1

Sometimes you meet someone who changes your life forever.
In ways you could never imagine.

 

Hot-shot Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan has his life arranged just the way he likes it, thank you very much.

A founding partner of the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, and Metheny, his high-profile criminal defense practice runs like a well-oiled machine.  He has competent associates who do all the leg work, leaving Michael to do what he does best–charm juries and leave a sound bite on the evening news.

His personal life is no less organized.  He has a contact list of surgically-enhanced bottle blondes at his beck and call, whether he needs a date for a charity function…or he just wants to get laid.

Hiring red-haired Maggie Flynn to join his elite firm changes his life in ways he could never see coming.  She’s far from his usual type.  She’s way too smart, for one thing.  But there’s something about Mary Margaret Flynn that he can’t quite shake.

Maggie is attracted to Michael from the beginning.  Beneath his cavalier exterior, she’s seen the man he could be.  She knows her crush is all but hopeless.  For the time being she’s content just to work with him.

What would happen if they ever crossed that line?

Read an excerpt from RESISTING RISK:

They sat chatting about the fireworks and the music, leaving out their time on the dance floor.  Maggie wasn’t sure how she felt about it.  Being in Michael’s arms had been glorious.  Wearing his coat, surrounded by his seductive scent, the memory of his voice in her ear…  She furtively glanced at him, desire causing her pulse to pound.   She knew that she wanted him.  She also knew that she was a little tipsy and that she might not be making the best decisions.

“What is your cologne?” she blurted out.  Case in point of reckless decisions, she thought.

He grinned in amusement.  “It’s Bleu de Chanel.”

“It’s heavenly,” she said before she could stop herself.  “It’s just that, well, your jacket smells like you, which is good, really.  I mean it’s very nice.”

“You’re drunk, Mags,” he observed quietly.

She made a valiant attempt to look at him squarely.  “Maybe just a tiny little bit.”

Michael checked his phone.  “The car’s out front.  Are we ready?”  Between the two of them, they managed to get Ben to his feet and across the expanse of lawn to the driveway where a medium sized stretch limousine waited, driver holding open the back door for them.

Wide-eyed, Maggie looked around Ben to Michael.  For his part, Michael looked a little embarrassed.  “Jana likes to ride in a limo,” he shrugged.

Ben had fallen asleep again and together they maneuvered him into the car, laying him gently onto the black leather couch that ran down the driver’s side of the passenger compartment before they settled back into the plush leather seat at the rear of the car.

“Traffic is heavier than usual, Mr. Rannigan,” the driver told him.  “The drive may take a couple of hours.”

“Thank you, Mason.  And thanks for taking care of Ms. Hansen.”

“Of course, Mr. Rannigan.  Happy to help,” the man replied before closing the door.

Michael turned to Maggie as the car began moving away from the house.  “Hope you don’t mind a bit of a drive.  I hadn’t counted on traffic.”

“Please!” Maggie said.  “This beats the hell out of public transportation.  And traffic or no, we’ll still get back before we would have on the train.  Thank you for the ride.”

He smiled.  “My pleasure,” he said.  And meant it, he was mildly surprised to realize.  Impeccable manners had been instilled in him by the aunt with whom he’d lived after his mother had died.  At the time, he’d resented it, but they had served him well.  On the other hand, he often found himself mouthing words he didn’t mean.  Not this time, he thought to himself.

“Can I offer you a drink?” he asked, motioning to the bar that was opposite the couch on which Ben lay snoring.  Loudly.  “There’s bourbon and pink champagne.”  Maggie frowned quizzically.  “Pink champagne is Jana’s favorite,” he elaborated somewhat apologetically.

“I’ll take bourbon if it’s all the same to you,” Maggie responded, trying not to smirk and hoping that she was successful.  Michael turned over two glasses and began to carefully pour bourbon from a crystal decanter.

“Boy, renting a stretch limo, stocking it with pink champagne,” she muttered to herself.  “She must be some kind of lay.”  Michael glanced at her, shock registering on his face.  “Shit, was that out loud?” she asked.

“It was,” he answered, handing her a glass of bourbon as he settled back into the seat.  “And truthfully, she’s not all that.”

It was Maggie’s turn to look shocked.  Michael gave her a wry smile and clinked his glass to hers.  “To nights that turn out differently from the way you expected.”

They sipped their bourbon wordlessly, occupied with their own thoughts for a few miles.

“I know it’s none of my business,” Maggie began.

“Those words are always followed by a ‘but’,” Michael interjected, shaking his head.

“BUT,” Maggie continued, “I don’t know how you do that.”

“Do what?”

“How do you sleep with someone that you don’t even like?  I could tell from the moment we sat at the table that you didn’t like that girl.”

“Okay, I don’t want to have in-depth conversations with Jana, but did you see her?  Like I said before, it was just the wrong event for her.  She’s great at Nets games, music awards, things like that.”

“I just couldn’t sleep with someone that I wasn’t attracted to intellectually, that’s all I’m saying.”

“Is that what’s wrong with Dan?” he probed, happy to be talking about someone besides Jana.

“He’s a nice guy.  He’s smart and articulate, and not bad looking,” Maggie conceded.  “I just don’t feel that…spark, that’s all.  If I went out with him it wouldn’t be genuine.”

“You’re picky,” Michael concluded, shaking his head.

“I deserve to be,” she said quietly.  “You do too.”

They passed another few miles in silence.

“You know,” Maggie said, “I hear Disney’s coming out with a new princess movie soon.  And you could take her out for ice cream after.”  She gave Michael a mischievous look.

Michael gave a reluctant grin and his eyes sparkled in the lights of passing cars.  “You, Mary Margaret Flynn, are a smart ass.  It’s kind of endearing.”

She grinned at him.  “You’re welcome!” she teased.

He poured them both more bourbon.  “In a pain-in-the-ass sort of way.”  They both laughed.

***

“Mags,” she heard out of the shifting fog.  “We’re back in town.  I need you to tell us where to go.”

She opened her eyes and realized that she’d been sleeping with her head on Michael’s shoulder.   “Oh, God, I’m so sorry.”  She sat up abruptly.  “I didn’t realize…  I wish you’d awakened me.”

“No worries.  But we need to know exactly where to take Ben and where your place is.”

Maggie could see the driver watching her in the rear view mirror.  “My place.  Right.”  She gave the address and the driver thanked her, the partition whooshing back into place.  “Ben can sleep it off on my couch.  It won’t be the first time.”

The car came to a stop in front of Maggie’s apartment.  “Nice building, Mags.  Is the whole thing yours?”

She fairly snorted.  “In my dreams!  One day when I’m rich and famous, I’ll have my own brownstone.  For now I’m happy with a tiny part of the second floor.”  She smiled gratefully.  “Thanks again for the ride.  You are a life saver.”  She moved to open the door but the driver was there first.

“Let me help you get him inside,” Michael offered.  They both glanced at Ben, who hadn’t so much as shifted during the entire ride.

She looked back at Michael.  “Probably a good idea.  I won’t be able to get him up the stairs by myself.”  They succeeded in rousing Ben enough for him to put his arms around their shoulders and they moved him to the sidewalk.

Michael spoke quietly to the driver, who nodded before returning to the driver’s seat and slowly driving away.  Maggie looked at him questioningly.  “I told him to find a place to park.  I’ll call him after we get your date settled.”

They managed the stairs and Michael leaned Ben between himself and the wall as Maggie unlocked the door and let them into her apartment.  “Let’s just lay him on the couch,” she said, cocking her head in the direction of a large grey velvet sofa with navy blue accent pillows.

They worked together to get the unconscious and snoring Ben safely onto the couch, Michael studiously ignoring the way his jacket gapped open, inviting views of Maggie’s breasts as she leaned over to place a pillow under Ben’s head.

“Thank you so much, Michael,” she said as she removed his jacket and held it uncertainly.  “Can I offer you a beer or coffee or something?  Or do you need to go?”

“Coffee sounds good,” he answered.

Maggie smiled brightly as she gently placed his jacket over the back of a kitchen chair and set about making coffee.  Michael wandered around the living room area to the bay window and looked out over the street.  He turned back around to take in the view of the room.  It was small, of course, but nice in a quirky sort of way.  She’d left on a dim lamp near the window that gave enough light to the space without being intrusive.  “This is a nice place,” he commented.

She smiled at him from the kitchen counter.  “Thanks.  And again, I really appreciate your giving us a ride.”

“Mags, you’ve thanked me about a thousand times,” he said gently.

She blushed slightly.  “Well, I didn’t want to forget,” she said sheepishly.

He watched her as she worked in the kitchen, measuring out coffee into a French press, putting a kettle of water on the stove, little mundane domestic tasks.  His mind skipped to flashes of her from throughout the night.  Slowly it dawned on him what it was about Maggie that made him uncomfortable.

She’s real.  She has no hidden agenda.  She isn’t playing some game, she doesn’t want anything from me.  He sighed deeply. She’s the kind of girl who could make you forget your own rules.

Michael slowly crossed the room and stood by the kitchen counter.  “Can I help with something?”

“No, it’s all done.  We’re just waiting for the water to boil.”  She leaned back resting her hand on the counter.

He gently placed his hand on hers.  “You…are very dangerous,” he whispered, lifting her hand to his lips and kissing it softly, his deep brown eyes peering into hers.  Her brow furrowed, perplexed.

Gently, he tilted up her chin with his fingers and leaned down, meeting her lips with his own, lightly at first, and then more urgently.  He ran his other hand down the smooth fabric of the back of her dress coming to rest on her firm ass as he probed her mouth with his tongue, seeking hers.

Maggie responded, matching the heat of his kiss, reaching up, tangling her fingers in the hair behind his ear, giving herself over to his embrace.  Michael’s hand left her ass and smoothed its way back up to her side, her ribs, stopping just under her breast.  Reluctantly he pulled himself away.

Maggie breathlessly gazed up at him.  He smiled gently.  “We’re both a little drunk,” he said.  “Which is why I’d better go.”  Tenderly, he kissed her once again and walked out the door.

Michael and Maggie’s story, Rannigan’s Redemption,
is a three-novel erotic romance law drama.
Start with RESISTING RISK: books2read.com/ResistingRisk
Follow up with RUNNING ROGUE and
RANSOMING REDEMPTION.

 

Happy Anniversary, Book+Main Bites!

Here’s a toast to the one-year anniversary of Book+Main Bites, the best place to find your next romance read.

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