Weekend Excerpt–FREE Summer Anthology!

SUMMER SESSIONS is FREE all summer long!

How do you define the perfect summer? Maybe it’s when five of your favorite steamy authors get together to bring you the summer’s hottest boxed set and they give it away for FREE.

SUMMER SESSIONS brings you steamy romance from five writers who also happen to be current or former educators.

School may be out, but the lessons never stop, even on summer vacation. SUMMER SESSIONS is bringing you sizzling HOT summer books from five of your favorite erotic romance writers who also happen to be current or former classroom teachers. Check out the summer school roll-call!
JC Winchester–TEACHER DREAMS
Linzi Basset–ROAD TRIP
Maggie Jane Schuler–RESEARCH REQUIRED
Patient Lee–FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE and I WON A BASKET OF PORN
Pandora Spocks–JUST ONE NIGHT
It’s summer!
Kick back, enjoy a cool refreshing adult beverage,
and escape into the world of SUMMER SESSIONS.
Because face it…you know you’re HOT for teacher.

Here’s a little teaser from my contribution to the project, JUST ONE NIGHT.

The pair parked themselves at a tiny table at the edge of the piano bar, the first place they’d come to in their search for a cocktail. Katie watched him as he approached the bar and ordered for them. She couldn’t get over how handsome he was, how he’d come outside looking for her. This was exactly what she needed to take her mind off of her man problems back home.

She smiled up at him as he returned to their table carrying a margarita for her and a Scotch for himself. “Cheers,” he said, raising his glass to hers.

“Cheers,” she murmured in return, and she sipped gratefully, counting on the liquid courage her glass offered.

“You know, we’ve gone about this all backwards.” He rested his drink on the table and offered his right hand. “My name is-“

“No! No names,” Katie quickly interrupted.

Mac blinked in surprise. “No names. Why no names?”

“Just…because,” she stammered. “No names, no personal information, we’ll just…keep it casual.”

“Keep it casual.” Mac frowned. “Okay.” He gave her a curious look. “Do you want me to leave?”

She shook her head, red curls swinging. “No, I’d like you to stay.”

He gave a relieved smile. “Good, because I’d like to stay. So…no personal information. Do you want to talk about work?”

“Oh, hell no!”

“Um, how about that weather? That’s some pretty great weather out there tonight.”

Katie laughed lightly. “I don’t mean to be a pain.”

Mac smiled back. “You’re not a pain, exactly. I just have to figure out the rules. And you’re here with three other women?”

“You could see that in the dining room. Where you were staring,” Katie observed.

“You know that because you were staring back,” he countered.

“And you’re here with two other men.”

Mac nodded. “My brothers. Oops! Was that personal?”

“Now you’re making fun.”

He smiled ruefully. “Maybe just a little bit. This is kind of a bachelor party. My kid brother is getting married.”

“A bachelor party?” Katie laughed lightly. “Shouldn’t you be getting back to the debauchery?”

Mac laughed. “Not much debauchery with those two. My older brother’s been married for years and Tommy’s head over heels for his fiancée.” He glanced up at Katie. “Oops! More personal information.”

Katie sighed and sipped her drink. “My friends and I get together for a week every summer. We’ve known each other since high school.”

“There now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Katie nodded firmly. “We’re even, that’s all.” She rested her forearm on the table and toyed with her glass. Mac did the same, and as he did, his arm brushed against hers. She made no effort to move away from him. He intentionally rested his arm against hers, noting the electric charge he felt, wondering if she felt it, too.

Glancing up, he saw that she was watching him intently. “So…you don’t want any personal information. You don’t want to talk about work. You don’t want me to leave.”

Katie shook her head.

“Okay, well we’ve got that settled. What do you want?” He watched her expectantly.

She stared at her glass as she swirled the remainder of her margarita. Her buzz from the dinner wine combined with the icy cocktail made her feel bold. She looked back up at Mac.

“Do you really want to know what I want? I want just one night. Just one night of anonymous, no-holds-barred, red-hot, no-strings-attached sex. That’s what I want.” She fixed him with a challenging stare.

“Whoa,” he breathed, eyes wide.

Katie looked down at her glass again. “Too blunt?”

Mac leaned back in his chair, lips forming an O. “That was blunt, all right, but I can respect that. I’ve gotta ask, though.” He sought out her eyes. “Is there some guy at home waiting for you to come back?”

Katie shook her head. “I’m not cheating on anybody. You?”

He shook his head, too, and laughed humorlessly. “What was it you said earlier? Oh, hell no.”

She lightly stroked his arm as it rested on the table, delighting in the goose bumps that appeared there. Her gaze traveled from there to his lap, which seemed to be taking an interest in the proceedings if the growing mound there was any indication. She shifted her focus, sliding her gaze up his torso to those lips she’d noticed earlier. God, I just want to suck on that lower lip.

She met his eyes again, saw the fire there, and knew it matched her own. “So what do you say?”

“I say, have another margarita. I just need to run to the little shop and pick up some… Well, I didn’t actually expect that I’d need…” He smiled apologetically.

Her voice was soft. “I’ll wait right here.”

He took her hand and gently brushed his lips across her knuckles, gave her a wink, and left the bar.

JUST ONE NIGHT by Pandora Spocks

SUMMER SESSIONS
is free all summer long, but it disappears August 31.
Hurry and get your copy now!
books2read.com/SummerSessions

Weekend Excerpt–Summer is Coming!

Because you know you’re hot for teacher…

Here’s your first peek at this summer’s hottest anthology, SUMMER SESSIONS! It comes out June 1, and best of all, it’s going to be available FREE at your favorite online bookseller.
Check out the blurb:

School is out!
But the lessons are just getting started.
This summer, five of your favorite steamy romance writers,
who also happen to be current and former classroom teachers,
are bringing you SUMMER SESSIONS,
an anthology of HOT reads for those endless summer nights.
This anthology includes sexy summer break books by JC Winchester, Linzi Basset, Maggie Jane Schuler, Patient Lee, and Pandora Spocks.
SUMMER SESSIONS, from Bratty Ginger Books, who brought you last summer’s International bestselling anthology, A TASTE OF SUBMISSION,
is available only through the end of August 2020.
So, hurry and grab your copy before it’s gone.

My own contribution to this project is JUST ONE NIGHT, my naughty little summer novella. Here’s a little snippet.

     The pair parked themselves at a tiny table at the edge of the piano bar, the first place they’d come to in their search for a cocktail.  Katie watched him as he approached the bar and ordered for them.  She couldn’t get over how handsome he was, how he’d come outside looking for her.  This was precisely what she needed to take her mind off of her man problems back home. 

   She smiled up at him as he returned to their table, carrying a margarita for her and a Scotch for himself.  “Cheers,” he said, raising his glass to hers.

     “Cheers,” she murmured in return, and she sipped gratefully, counting on the liquid courage her glass offered.

     “You know, we’ve gone about this all backward.”  He rested his drink on the table and offered his right hand.  “My name is—“

     “No!  No names,” Katie quickly interrupted.

     Mac blinked in surprise.  “No names.  Why no names?”

     “Just…because,” she stammered.  “No names, no personal information, we’ll just…keep it casual.”

     “Keep it casual.”  Mac frowned.  “Okay.”  He gave her a curious look.  “Do you want me to leave?”

     She shook her head, red curls swinging.  “No, I’d like you to stay.”

     He gave a relieved smile.  “Good because I’d like to stay.  So…no personal information.  Do you want to talk about work?”

     “Oh, hell, no!”

     “Um, how about that weather?  That’s some pretty great weather out there tonight.”

     Katie laughed lightly.  “I don’t mean to be a pain.”

     Mac smiled back.  “You’re not a pain, exactly.  I just have to figure out the rules.  And you’re here with three other women?”

     “You could see that in the dining room.  Where you were staring,” Katie observed.

     “You know that because you were staring back,” he countered.

     “And you’re here with two other men.”

     Mac nodded.  “My brothers.  Oops!  Was that personal?”

     “Now you’re making fun.”

     He smiled ruefully.  “Maybe just a little bit.  This is kind of a bachelor party.  My kid brother is getting married.”

     “A bachelor party?”  Katie laughed lightly.  “Shouldn’t you be getting back to the debauchery?”

     Mac laughed.  “Not much debauchery with those two.  My older brother’s been married for years, and Tommy’s head over heels for his fiancée.”  He glanced up at Katie.  “Oops!  More personal information.”

     Katie sighed and sipped her drink.  “My friends and I get together for a week every summer.  We’ve known each other since high school.”

     “There now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

     Katie nodded firmly.  “We’re even, that’s all.”  She rested her forearm on the table and toyed with her glass.  Mac did the same, and as he did, his arm brushed against hers.  She made no effort to move away from him.  He intentionally rested his arm against hers, noting the electric charge he felt, wondering if she felt it, too.

     Glancing up, he saw that she was watching him intently.  “So…you don’t want any personal information.  You don’t want to talk about work.  You don’t want me to leave.”

     Katie shook her head.

     “Okay, well, we’ve got that settled.  What do you want?”  He watched her expectantly.

     She stared at her glass as she swirled the remainder of her margarita.  Her buzz from the dinner wine combined with the icy cocktail made her feel bold.  She looked back up at Mac. 

                    “Do you really want to know what I want?  I want just one night.  Just one night of anonymous, no-holds-barred, red-hot, no-strings-attached sex.  That’s what I want.”  She fixed him with a challenging stare.

     “Whoa,” he breathed, eyes wide.

     Katie looked down at her glass again.  “Too blunt?”

     Mac leaned back in his chair, lips forming an O.  “That was blunt, all right, but I can respect that.  I’ve gotta ask, though.”  He sought out her eyes.  “Is there some guy at home waiting for you to come back?”

     Katie shook her head.  “I’m not cheating on anybody.  You?”

     He shook his head, too, and laughed humorlessly.  “What was it you said earlier?  Oh, hell, no.”

     She lightly stroked his arm as it rested on the table, delighting in the goosebumps that appeared there.  Her gaze traveled from there to his lap, which seemed to be taking an interest in the proceedings, if the growing mound there was any indication.  She shifted her focus, taking in his torso to those lips she’d noticed earlier.  God, I just want to suck on that lower lip.

     She met his eyes again, saw the fire there, and knew it matched her own.  “So, what do you say?”

     “I say, have another margarita.  I just need to run to the little shop and pick up some…  Well, I didn’t actually expect that I’d need…”  He smiled apologetically.

     Her voice was soft.  “I’ll wait right here.”

     He took her hand and gently brushed his lips across her knuckles, gave her a wink, and left the bar. 

JUST ONE NIGHT by Pandora Spocks

SUMMER SESSIONS goes live June 1!
Be sure to add it to your TBR list at Goodreads.

Weekend Excerpt–A Different Kind of Christmas

It’s Orphans & Misfits Christmas 2.0,
this time at Michael’s place.
My, how times have changed.

The RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION trilogy is the story of high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and his complicated relationship with Maggie Flynn, the smart redhead he hired to join his elite law firm. The three books span nearly a decade of their lives, and in this snippet from the third book, RANSOMING REDEMPTION, life has taken some big detours.

Michael glanced around his living room and sighed deeply as an unfamiliar wave of contentment washed over him.  He’d missed the Orphans and Misfits since he and Maggie had parted ways and had forgotten how much he’d enjoyed being in the midst of all the joyful chaos.

After their late-afternoon buffet-style dinner, the handful of children in attendance opened their gifts.  Then Ben headed up the annual gift exchange, handing out numbers and presiding over the picks and swaps.  Maggie and some of the others set out dessert on the dining room table and made sure that the bar was stocked with plenty of cups and ice so that everyone felt free to help themselves.

Ensconced in his spot close to the windows at the far end of the huge leather sectional, Michael realized that everywhere he looked, he saw people who were connected in some way to himself or Maggie or both.  Rance, Jason and a few more were out on the terrace taking in the view.  A handful of others watched a football game on television.  Across the room, Nate and Ben chatted with a petite blonde woman. 

That’s Casey, Maggie’s friend from law school, he reminded himself.  Casey’s husband John was on the floor in front of the Christmas tree with their little boy, putting together something with Legos.  Closer to Michael, sitting on the floor leaning against the sectional, Maggie was playing a game of peek-a-boo with a toddler who was sitting on her lap.  

That must be Casey’s daughter, he thought, judging by the little girl’s nearly white blonde hair.  In his mind’s eye, he saw Maggie playing the game with a red haired child, and he smiled contentedly.  It’s all coming together.  

Veronica slid onto the sofa beside him.  “You’re looking awfully pleased with yourself.”

Michael grinned.  “That’s because when you’re good, you’re good.  And I’m good.”  He winked at her.

“And oh, so humble,” she purred, fixing him with a mocking exasperated smirk.

Casey joined Maggie on the floor.  “How’s Princess Nastypants doing?” she asked, taking her daughter from Maggie.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, this is the sweetest child,” Maggie said, laughing.

“Well, she’s momentarily charmed by her Aunt Maggie, but don’t let her fool you.  We’re up to our eyeballs in the ‘terrible twos.’ ”

Afternoon blended into evening as dusk fell, and Maggie noticed that not only had no one left, they all looked as though they were settling in for a long stay, some even helping themselves to plates of leftovers. 

“How are you feeling, Michael?” she asked, squatting beside him.  “Should I start shooing people out of here?”

“Don’t be silly, Mags,” he said, flashing his best Michael Rannigan grin.  “Everybody’s enjoying themselves.  This is the nicest Christmas I’ve had in a long time.”

She looked up at him and smiled, squeezing his hand.  “I’m really glad.” 

As she made her way back to the kitchen, her phone buzzed in her pocket. Finally.  Bobby had called early in the morning and they’d chatted briefly, but they hadn’t had another chance to talk all day.

“Hey there, cher,” he greeted her.  “How’s my best girl?”

Maggie laughed into the phone.  “I’m better now.  I’ve missed you all day, but I know you were busy.  We’ve been busy here, too, come to that.”  She walked down the hallway for more privacy. 

“Would you believe that everyone is still at Michael’s?” she whispered.  “Nobody has left yet.”

 “No?”

“I asked Michael if I should start moving them along, but he seems happy to have them.”

Bobby laughed.  “It sounds like you throw a hell of a party.  Nobody wants to leave.”

“How was your day?  Did Savannah like her present?”  Maggie had sent Bobby with a portable artist’s kit to give the little girl.

“She just loved it.”  Maggie could hear the smile in his voice.  “That child had more stuff by the end of the morning than you would believe.”

Maggie laughed happily.  “Well, good.  I’m so glad.”  She sighed.  “I just wish you were here.”

“Me too, cher, believe me.”

“Do I need to let you go?” she asked.

“Yeah, I should probably get off the phone.”

 “Okay, then,” she breathed.  “I love you.”

 “I love you, too, Maggie.  I’ll see you soon.”

Maggie disconnected and made her way back down the hallway towards the living room which was as full of people as ever.  It seemed less than fair somehow that everyone had someone with them today.  Casey had John, Ben had Nate, Rance had Jason, hell, even Michael had Veronica   Whatever happened to the Orphans and Misfits?  She knew she was being petty and tried to shrug it off.

Across the room, Michael looked tired and he was using his oxygen again.  She wondered briefly whether she should just start moving people along in spite of what he’d said.  A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts.

“Hey Mags, could you get that?” Michael asked.

Sighing to herself, she crossed to the door, wondering who’d locked themselves out.  She didn’t notice that as she swung open the door the room fell silent.

“Merry Christmas, cher.”

Momentarily speechless, she froze for second before launching herself into Bobby’s arms.  He had to take a step back to keep from falling. 

“Well, I’m glad to see you, too,” he laughed.

Through tears, she sputtered, “But…I mean, what…How did you…”

“Calm down,” he laughed as he carried her into the room.  “Merry Christmas, everybody.”  Bobby gently set Maggie down, and she gripped his hand in hers, unwilling to lose contact with him.

Casey brought a plate of food from the kitchen.  “Hi, I’m Casey.  I figured you were probably hungry.”

Bobby bestowed on her his best lop-sided grin.  “Nice to meet you, Casey.  I’m Bobby.  And thanks, I am pretty hungry.”  He took a seat on the end of the sectional, nodding at Michael.  “Merry Christmas, man.”

Michael smiled, his eyes crinkling.  “Merry Christmas, Beau.  Glad you could join us.”

As Bobby ate, Maggie introduced him to those he hadn’t met.  While everyone went back to their own conversations, she peppered him with questions.  “What happened?  Did you really call me from the hall?  Why did you come back tonight?  I thought you were staying in Louisiana for a couple more days.”

“I wanted to surprise you,” he grinned.

“Well…you did.  I’m so glad.”

Taking her hand, he kissed it gently.  “Let’s go get a breath of fresh air.”  He stood and held her hand, helping her up, and they let themselves out onto the terrace.  The cool air was a nice change from the warmth of the crowded apartment.  They walked to the railing and stood side by side looking out over the city with its sparkling lights and flurrying snow.

“It’s such a beautiful night,” Bobby murmured, and Maggie nodded, tucking her arm around his and resting her head on his shoulder.  “Such a beautiful lady.”

She looked up at him, and he kissed her lightly.  “When I think back on that day that your shoe broke,” he looked down and she giggled, “that seems like the luckiest day of my life.  I think of all the things that had to happen for us to meet at that moment.”  He gazed down at her.  “It’s like it was meant to be.”

He took both Maggie’s hands in his and faced her.  “I love you with all my heart.  I don’t ever want to know a day without you in my life.”  His eyes glittered with emotion and he slowly lowered himself to one knee.  Maggie’s jaw dropped, and her eyes widened.

“So I’m asking…Maggie, will you marry me?”

Maggie felt all the breath leave her body.  In a mad rush, memories from the last few years swirled through her mind, her infatuation with Michael, her engagement to Mike, her resolve to remain alone, that day she and Bobby had met. 

She looked down into Bobby’s eyes and saw a twinge of anxiety and realized she hadn’t answered.  Unable to formulate the words, she nodded vigorously as tears filled her eyes.  Two things happened simultaneously.  Relief instantly flooded Bobby’s face, and raucous cheers went up from the crowd who’d pressed up against the living room windows to watch.

“You had me worried for a minute there, cher,” he laughed.  He reached into his pocket and removed a small midnight blue velvet box.  Opening it, he removed something and slid it onto Maggie’s left ring finger.  “You’ve made me the happiest man in the world.”  He stood and gazed down into her eyes before lifting her chin and kissing her passionately.  Again, their audience cheered loudly.

“Bobby, it’s absolutely beautiful,” Maggie said.  “I love it!”

He laughed.  “You can’t even see it.  I hadn’t counted on it being so dark out here.  Come on, let’s go on inside.”

Hand in hand, they went back inside the apartment to the hearty congratulations of their friends.  In the light of a lamp beside Michael, Maggie and Bobby looked at the ring.  The band of delicate platinum filigree held a huge emerald-cut diamond surrounded by dozens of smaller diamonds. 

“Oh, Bobby,” she gasped.  “It’s unbelievably beautiful.  So delicate and vintage-looking.”  She turned and threw her arms around his neck.  “I love it!”

“Oh, for God’s sake, can we finally open the champagne?” Ben called out.  As champagne was poured and glasses were passed around, Maggie looked down at Michael who had a Cheshire grin on his face.

“This is the gift Bobby showed you?” she said, tilting the ring his way.  Realization dawned on her.  “And it wasn’t leftover champagne?  And this is why nobody would leave?”

“Everybody except you knew this was an engagement party, Mags,” he said quietly.

“Well, I guess it’s a good thing I said yes,” she said.

“Oh, like you would have said no,” Casey quipped, and everyone laughed.

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION by Pandora Spocks

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION is:
RESISTING RISK
RUNNING ROGUE
RANSOMING REDEMPTION
The books are available individually or as a boxed set.
books2read.com/RannigansRedemption

Weekend Excerpt–Christmas With the Orphans & Misfits

Michael Rannigan had his life arranged
exactly the way he wanted it.
Meeting Maggie Flynn changed everything
in ways he could never even imagine.

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION is the three-novel story of high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and his complicated relationship with Maggie Flynn, the new lawyer he hires to join his elite firm.

She’s nothing like the women he dates. She’s way too smart, for one thing. And he prefers blondes, too, the more like Barbie, the better.

But there’s something about this spunky redhead he just can’t get out of his mind.

Maggie knows her crush on Michael is all but hopeless. For now, she’s content to work with him as they defend the rich and famous clients who rely on Michael and his team.

Here’s a holiday teaser from the first book in the trilogy, RESISTING RISK:

“Maggie, is the turkey ready?” Casey asked.

Maggie checked the clock and shook her head.  “No way, it has at least another hour, then it has to rest.  We can put in the beans and the stuffing when it comes out.  Nate, how do we reheat the red beans and rice?”

As Nate answered Maggie’s question, Ben wandered over to the window.  The buzzer rang again.  Ben glanced at Maggie in the kitchen.  “Somebody’s buzzing downstairs, Flynn.”

Casey was helping Maggie turn the turkey around in the oven.  “Well can you please buzz them in?  I’m a little busy here.”

Ben pressed the buzzer but made no move to open the apartment door.  About a minute later there was a knock.  The others were engrossed in the football game.  Ben stayed put.  “Somebody’s at the door, Flynn.”

“Oh for God’s sake, I’ll just drop everything and get it myself,” said Maggie, tossing down pot holders in exasperation.

Maggie flung open the door to find Michael standing in the hallway.  He grinned sheepishly.  “Merry Christmas, Mags.”

She blinked, confused.  “Michael, I…I mean, Merry Christmas.  But what…Shouldn’t you be in St. Bart’s?”

“I got snowed in.  My flight was cancelled.  I have a charter later on, but I thought I’d stop by here.  Do you have room for another orphan?”

A slow smile spread across her face.  “Of course, there’s always room.  Come on in.”

Maggie turned to find that everyone in the apartment was watching the two of them.  “Everyone, this is Michael.  Michael, everyone.”

“Hello, Merry Christmas,” he greeted the group.  To Maggie, “I brought wine.  I wasn’t sure…”

“Wine is perfect, thanks,” she told him.  Waving toward the kitchen she said, “Help yourself to something to drink.  We’ve been enjoying the munchies out of your gift basket.  Dinner will probably be another hour or so.”  She smiled at him.  “I’m so glad you’re here.  Shocked, but glad.”

After he dropped his coat and his suitcase in Maggie’s bedroom with the other coats, Michael got a beer for himself and settled in the living room, striking up a conversation with the guys watching football.  Casey sidled up to Maggie in the kitchen.  “You didn’t tell me Mr. Wonderful was coming.”

“I didn’t know Michael was coming.  He’s supposed to be in the Caribbean.  With someone, you understand, nobody goes to the Caribbean alone.”

“Maybe.  But he’s here now.”

Michael relaxed on the couch and looked around appreciatively at all the activity.  Maggie and Casey were       in the kitchen along with a couple he didn’t know.  There was an older woman chatting with Nate from the firm.  Several others were watching football.  Everyone seemed happy and at home. 

“This is nice,” he commented to Ben.  “It feels like a scene from Rent.”

Ben smirked.  “Viva la vie Boheme!” he raised his beer.

Michael chuckled and raised his beer as well.  “La vie Boheme.”

Dinner was served on three tables pushed together in the middle of the living room.  Plates were filled buffet-style in the kitchen.  Ben insisted that Maggie toast before they ate. 

She raised her glass of wine.  “I feel like the luckiest girl.  I’m here celebrating the holiday with my most favorite people in the entire world.  There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.  Merry Christmas!”

After everyone ate as much as they could, the guys agreed to do all the clean-up.  Maggie supervised returning the tables to their proper places then sank onto the sofa, resting her feet on the coffee table.

“What about the dessert, Flynn?” Ben asked when the leftovers were packed up.

“Let’s be informal.  Grab some if you want some.  I want to do presents,” Maggie said.  Michael brought her a fresh glass of wine.  She looked up at him, grinning in appreciation, and patted the space beside her.

“I’ll sit on the floor, I don’t mind,” he said, sliding to a spot beside her feet.

“Now the way this works is, everyone takes a number.  We go in order starting at 1.  Number 1 picks first.  Number 2 can pick a new present or steal from Number 1.  Everybody got it?” Ben asked.  Maggie watched in amusement as some played shyly while others were cut-throat. 

“What’s this?” Michael asked quietly.  She looked down to see him holding an ornament from the tree.  It was a small red glass ball held by a green paper cone.  Her name was spelled out in glitter. 

“I think I was about six when I made that,” she smiled.  “The Christmas ornaments were some of the few things I took from my dad’s house.”

He grinned.  “I like it.”

When the gifts were over, Maggie had a new hand-crocheted toilet-roll cover.  Michael had a $10 gift card to Starbucks.  “Guess somebody didn’t get the memo,” he quipped so that only Maggie heard, and she giggled softly. 

He winked and leaned close.  “Mags, I should be making my way to the airport.”

“Okay,” Maggie sighed.  “I’ll walk you out.”  She got her coat and hat while he said his goodbyes.  “I’ll be right back,” she said to Casey as they headed out of the apartment.  They walked down the stairs without chatting.

Once out on the sidewalk, Michael turned and faced her.  “I had a great time, Mags.  Thanks for inviting me.”  He glanced up.  “We have an audience, by the way.”  He waved at the crowd gathered in Maggie’s front window.

She looked up at them, scowling.  “Come on,” she said, turning right and heading down the sidewalk.  She stopped just around the corner.

Michael smiled.  “Thanks.  I just wanted to say goodbye privately.  I brought you a gift but I didn’t want to give it to you in there.”  He pulled a small flat box from his pocket.  It was light blue, tied with a white ribbon.

Maggie’s eyes widened.  “Sean Michael Rannigan, you did not!”

“How did you know the S stands for Sean?”

She shrugged.  “Everyone knows it’s Sean.  I can’t believe you went to Tiffany…”  She stopped and looked up at him, smiling sadly.  “This wasn’t for me.  This is supposed to be for someone else.”

“No, Mags, this is for you,” he said earnestly.  “I mean, to be honest, I went there yesterday looking for something for Jana.”

“What, Toys R Us and GapKids were closed?” Maggie quipped.

“Ah-hah-hah, you’re very funny.  I found a little trinket to give to Jana, but then I turned and saw this.  All I could think was that you should have it.  It’s for you, Mags.”

Curious, Maggie slowly pulled the white ribbon and lifted the lid.  In the box resting on light blue velvet was a delicate silver bracelet.  It had a vintage look to it with large rectangular milky white cabochons alternating with trios of small round diamonds surrounded by platinum filigree.  She looked back up at Michael, eyes wide.

“Those are moonstones,” he said proudly.  “This was in the vintage case.  It was made in 1915.”  He gazed at the bracelet.  “It’s graceful and classy, just like you.”

“I don’t know what to say, Michael.  I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.  Will you help me put it on?”

He lifted the bracelet from the box and as Maggie held out her left hand he fastened it around her wrist.  She held it out and watched it catch the natural light.  As she did, she noticed a tiny platinum tag hanging from the clasp.  Peering closer she saw that it was engraved.  To Maggie, From Michael. 

“See?  I told you it was for you.”  She looked back up at him, eyes shining, and as she did, a gust of wind caught some stray hair, blowing it across her face.  Michael gently moved the errant strands, tucking them behind her ear.  Without planning it at all, he planted a tender kiss on her lips. 

He moved back slightly as Maggie looked up at him, eyes shining with desire.  He leaned into her again, the kiss this time all heat and passion.  She brought her left hand up to cradle his right cheek, her desire matching his.  When he stopped kissing her, he pulled her close, tucking her under his chin and they stood like that for a moment. 

Finally, he gently set her back from him.  She looked up, the sad glint once again in her eyes.  After all, he was leaving her to go to someone else.  “Merry Christmas, Mags.”

“Merry Christmas, Michael.”

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION by Pandora Spocks

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION
is available at your favorite online bookseller. books2read.com/RannigansRedemption

With Love From Dublin–Don’t Miss Out!

WITH LOVE FROM DUBLIN
Series: Voyages of the Heart, Volume 3
Cover Designer: T.E. Black with T.E. Black Designs
Release Date: September 26, 2019
Genre: Multi-Genre Romance
Still only 99 cents for a limited time!

VOYAGES OF THE HEART
Cities around the world have their own charming allure which pulls you in, allowing you to enjoy their secrets. They offer love, passion, laughter, healing, and even heartache.
The authors have penned these emotions and more into their stories one page at a time. Pack your luggage to join us on our voyage of the heart. Our next destination: Dublin!
WITH LOVE FROM DUBLIN
This voyage of love encompasses romance with an Irish twist that will have you kissing the Blarney Stone for a chance at true love. Being the perfect city to explore, each story is bound to bring you surprises along the journey. Ancient, present, and future combine when hearts mend together, forming their own traditions of song and dance. Known for its culture, power, and intelligence, Dublin will lure you into its magical grasp. Are you ready to risk your heart in Dublin?
Allison LaFleur, Alyssa Drake, Amy Cecil, 
Amy McKinley, Ashlee Shades, Bella Emy, 
Brian Miller, Erin Lee, G. L. Finch, 
Gracie Wilson, Jade Royal, Katherine LE White, 
Maria Vickers, Nia Farrell, Rosie Chapel, 
Roux Cantrell, Samatha Harris
PURCHASE NOW FOR ONLY 99 CENTS!!
With Love From London
AVAILABLE IN KU! 
With Love From New Orleans
AVAILABLE IN KU!
LIP SERVICES PR
@LipServicesPR
 
 
 

Weekend Excerpt–Happy Halloween

They say still waters run deep.
In the little lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

When writer Bree Blaylock rented the lakeside cottage in the small town of Midnight Cove, she didn’t count on staying in a haunted house. But she doesn’t mind sharing quarters with a restless spirit. She learned long ago that the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

She also didn’t count on falling for local lawman Jake Hanson. But life often has other ideas. Can Jake keep her safe when the past comes calling?

Read a little teaser from MIDNIGHT COVE.

Together, Bree and Jake sank into their camping chairs.  “I suppose this crowd can be a little overwhelming,” Jake said quietly, “but they’re really nice.  You’ll see.”

Bree sipped her wine and watched as people shared embraces like long-lost friends, chatting and laughing as they did. 

The whine of outboard motors announced that another couple of boats had pulled up onto the beach.  Bree recognized the cashier from the market among the new arrivals.  Despite the cool fall evening, the young woman wore denim cut-offs so short, her ass cheeks hung out.  In the thin white camisole she wore, her pronounced nipples attuned everyone to the fact that she was cold. 

Immediately, she zeroed in on Jake.  “Hey, there,” she drawled, eyes locked on his.  “I’m glad you made it.”

“Hi, Darlene,” he answered, his tone friendly.  Bree watched him carefully, but he didn’t seem impressed by Darlene’s obvious display.  “You remember Bree from the other day.”

The woman flicked her gaze in Bree’s direction, her lips pressed together in contempt.  “Oh, yeah, hi.”

“Hello.”  Bree tried for friendly, but she felt her irritation rising.  It was the second time she’d met this Darlene, and the second time the woman had both dismissed her and fawned all over Jake.  It was sickening.

“There’s plenty of beer over there,” Jake nodded toward the collection of coolers.  “Help yourself.”

“In the Publix bag, there’s everything you need for s’mores if you like,” Bree offered helpfully, smiling.

Darlene looked at Bree for a second, then returned her attention to Jake.  “I believe I will have a beer.  Talk to you later.”

During the exchange with Darlene, another boat had arrived.  Dragging their own chairs and a cooler, a ragtag assortment of people approached the others.  Bree recognized the young woman from the bookstore.

Her smile was friendly.  “Hey, how are you?  I’m April, from the Peacock.  How’s the book?”

“Yes, I recognized you.  I’m great, thanks, and I’m loving the book.”

Space around the fire was filling in, and April slid her chair into a small gap at about Bree’s three o’clock.  “It’s one of her best if you ask me,” April said.  “How do you know Jake?”

Eyes wide, Bree looked to her left at Jake.

“We’re neighbors,” Jake said quickly.  “Bree’s a writer.  She’s renting old man Meyer’s place for a couple months.”

“Wait!”  April leaned forward in her chair and squinted in Bree’s direction.  “You’re not Bree Blaylock, are you?”

Bree nodded.  “I am, actually.”

“Holy shit!” April squeaked.  “Bree Blaylock!  I should have recognized you the other day.  I mean, your red hair should have given it away.  Holy shit!  I loved your book!”

Blushing, Bree glanced over to see Jake watching her.  “Wow, thanks so much.  I’m really glad you liked it.”

“No, seriously, Nothing Much, are you kidding me?  It was life-changing.  I read it three times.”

Aware that conversation around the fire had paused as April gushed on and on, Bree felt herself blush even deeper.  “That’s really nice of you to say.”

“Oh!”  April popped up out of her chair, waving her hands expressively.  “We should do a book signing!  My bosses are always looking for ways to get more customers in the door.  A signing with Bree Blaylock!  That would be amazing.” 

Sheepishly, the young woman looked to Bree and sank back into her seat.  “If you were interested in doing it, of course.”

Bree smiled warmly.  “I’d be happy to do a book signing if the owners of the store wanted to do it.”

April grinned from ear to ear.  “They’d love it.  I’ll ask them as soon as they come back.”

“So, Bree Blaylock, what’s it like staying in a haunted house?”  The disdainful drawl came from directly across the fire ring.

“Come on, Darlene,” Jake objected softly.

Darlene dismissed him with a wave of the Budweiser in her hand.  “We’ve all heard the stories.  There’s a ghost in that cottage.  How many summer renters have come running out of that place like a bat out of hell, never even bothering to look back?”

Determined not to let the woman get the best of her, Bree leaned back in her chair and smiled.  “I’m very comfortable in Mr. Meyer’s house.  It’s nice and quiet, and I’m able to get a lot of writing done.”

Eyes wide, April leaned forward.  “Have you seen a ghost?”

“Oh, come on,” Jake objected.  “You two can’t be serious.”

“There are stories, Jake,” Rusty commented.  “Years ago, they supposedly found a dead girl out here floating near the island.  They say they never caught her killer.”

“Every summer, a handful of Meyer’s renters leave before their week is up,” someone else added.  “They tell some weird stories.”

“That’s what it is,” Darlene purred, narrowing her eyes at Bree.  “It’s the ghost of the murdered girl, looking for revenge on the one who killed her.”

Picturing Steven, Bree tried to suppress a smile.  “Again, I’m very happy at the house.  And by mid-November, I’ll be finished with my book and out of your hair.”

Determined, she held Darlene’s stare until the other girl finally dropped her gaze.  Keeping her outward expression neutral, inside, Bree rejoiced.  You’re being ridiculous, she chided herself.  You just won a staring contest with a local grocery clerk.

Still, Bree was happy when the conversation moved on to other topics.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is currently available exclusively in fall’s hottest anthology, DARK SECRETS. Available for just .99, and free with Kindle Unlimited, this boxed set includes nine brand new romantic suspense novels that make for perfect Halloween reading.

Treat yourself this Halloween.
Download fall’s hottest anthology for just 99¢!
https://amzn.to/2meuZOd

Release Day! With Love From Dublin

WITH LOVE FROM DUBLIN
Series: Voyages of the Heart, Volume 3
Cover Designer: T.E. Black with T.E. Black Designs
Release Date: September 26, 2019
Genre: Multi-Genre Romance
Only 99 cents for a limited time!

VOYAGES OF THE HEART
Cities around the world have their own charming allure which pulls you in, allowing you to enjoy their secrets. They offer love, passion, laughter, healing, and even heartache. 
The authors have penned these emotions and more into their stories one page at a time. Pack your luggage to join us on our voyage of the heart. Our next destination: Dublin!
WITH LOVE FROM DUBLIN
This voyage of love encompasses romance with an Irish twist that will have you kissing the Blarney Stone for a chance at true love. Being the perfect city to explore, each story is bound to bring you surprises along the journey. Ancient, present, and future combine when hearts mend together, forming their own traditions of song and dance. Known for its culture, power, and intelligence, Dublin will lure you into its magical grasp. Are you ready to risk your heart in Dublin?

Allison LaFleur, Alyssa Drake, Amy Cecil,
Amy McKinley, Ashlee Shades, Bella Emy,
Brian Miller, Erin Lee, G. L. Finch,
Gracie Wilson, Jade Royal, Katherine LE White,
Maria Vickers, Nia Farrell, Rosie Chapel,
Roux Cantrell, Samatha Harris

PURCHASE NOW FOR ONLY 99 CENTS!!
With Love From London
AVAILABLE IN KU! 
With Love From New Orleans
AVAILABLE IN KU!
LIP SERVICES PR
@LipServicesPR

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

A few months ago, I was invited to join an anthology of fall romantic suspense novels. I jumped at the chance to write a story that has been swirling around in my brain for a while. Here’s the official blurb for MIDNIGHT COVE.

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove, still waters harbor dark secrets.
Writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath. 
Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  
From the moment she arrives, she realizes that
she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake. 
But she’s okay with that.
In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.
Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar. 
Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  
But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

MIDNIGHT COVE was a chance to stretch my writing into contemporary romance with a paranormal twist. How about a teaser?

When the battered white pickup disappeared around a bend in the long gravel drive, Bree Blaylock kept her foot steady on the gas pedal of her 1975 Beetle.  Mr. Meyer would wait. 

After her long drive, she wanted to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the ancient live oaks that lined the way from the highway to the house she planned to rent for the next two months. 

Grey-green tendrils of Spanish moss dripped from the broad branches that arched over the gravel driveway.  Though the September air was crisp, brilliant sunlight filtered through the moss-hung trees and dappled the ground in patches of gold.

Beside her on the passenger seat, Murphy whined.  Bree glanced at him and smiled.  “It’s okay, boy.  We’re almost there.”

While for her the 8½ hour drive from Tampa to western South Carolina had seemed long, for her three-year-old yellow lab, it must have seemed interminable.  Although for his first big road trip, Murphy had done remarkably well. 

As the yellow VW curved around the next bend, the house came into view.  It was the 1920s Craftsman-style house she’d discovered online, a charming vintage structure of pale-green clapboard, two stories high with an additional narrow attic perched in the center at the top. 

The covered front porch ran beyond the width of the house to form a carport on the left side.  Wide front steps led up to the porch, its arched supports perched on cream-painted columns that were wider at the bottom than they were at the top. 

Ahead, Mr. Meyer had parked his truck and stood waiting for her.  She pulled up beside him and opened her door.  Before she could get out, Murphy scrambled across her and ran happily snuffling around the front lawn.

“This is the house,” the man said, hooking a thumb over his shoulder.

Bree nodded.  “It looks exactly like it did online.”  She glanced up at the front of the house.  A hint of movement in the attic window caught her eye, and she frowned slightly.

“I took the pictures myself,” Mr. Meyer informed her.  “My rental’s on the up and up.”

“I didn’t mean to imply that it wasn’t, I just meant that it looked familiar.”  Bree flicked a glance back up to the attic, then followed the man up the front steps.

As he unlocked the heavy front door, Bree noted the beveled glass panes in the top third of the wood panels.  She loved everything about the vintage home.  It was exactly what she’d been looking for when she’d decided to leave Florida.

The door swung open, and Mr. Meyer preceded her inside.  While Bree took in the high ceilings and dark wood trim in the living room, he launched into his tour narrative. 

“You can see the parlor,” he commented over his shoulder as he continued toward the back of the house.  “Back here’s the kitchen and the den.  ‘Course, you’ve got lake views from any room on the back of the house.”

Mesmerized by the tranquil sight of the lake, Bree approached the bank of windows that ran along the back wall of the open-concept kitchen and den.  She sighed deeply. 

This.  This was exactly what she needed.

He led her upstairs, showing her four bedrooms in total, two overlooking the front of the house, and two, including the master, overlooking the lake.  A large bathroom featured vintage tile and an antique clawfoot bathtub.  Off the master bedroom, a terrace doubled the deck downstairs off the den.  A door in the hallway led up a narrow flight of stairs to a small attic that ran front to back like a spine across the top of the house.

Mr. Meyer led the way back down to the first floor.  Bree couldn’t resist returning to the windows overlooking the lake. 

“What was it you say you do?” he asked.

She turned and smiled softly.  “I’m a writer.”

Hands shoved in the pockets of his jeans, he nodded.  “It’s unusual, is all, you wanting to rent the cabin this late in the year.”  He nodded toward the lake.  “Folks like to come in the summer to swim and fish and that.  In the fall now, it’s quiet.  Only a handful of people live on the lake year-around.  Most people live in town.”

“Quiet sounds perfect to me.  I have a deadline, and I need to get busy writing.”

The man nodded again, pursing his lips.  “And we agreed on a price?”

Bree rummaged through her leather shoulder bag and produced a white envelope.  She held it up.  “We did.  And you accepted my cash offer.”

He shrugged slightly.  “I don’t usually discount my cabin…”  He let his comment hang.

“Like you said, it’s late in the year.”  Bree straightened her five-foot-four frame and looked him square in the eye.  “And I’m paying you cash, in advance, for two months’ rent.”

After a moment, the old man nodded.  “Cash, in advance.”  He accepted the envelope, briefly peering inside.  Then he handed her the key and headed toward the front door.

Out on the lawn, Murphy was still exploring along the edge of the woods.  Mr. Meyer stopped at the driver’s side door of his pickup.  “You need anything, you can call.  And I’m at the hardware store every day.”

Bree pictured Meyer Hardware on the main street of Midnight Cove.  It was where they’d arranged to meet when she’d called to make her reservation two days earlier.

“I live up over the store,” he continued.  “So if anything breaks, you can let me know right away.  If I can’t fix it, I’ll find someone who can.”

“Thanks, I appreciate it,” she murmured.

Meyer glanced up at the house, then looked at Bree.  “Just so we’re clear, though.”  He held up the envelope.  “No refunds.  You decide you’re not staying, you can’t get your money back.”

Bree drew a ragged breath, thinking about where she’d just left.  “I’ll be staying,” she said firmly.

The old man nodded.  “Alright, then.  I suppose I’ll see you in town.  Not too many redheads living in Midnight Cove.”

With that, he climbed into his truck, backed around, and headed down the driveway.

When he was out of sight, Bree called Murphy.  “Come on, boy.  Let’s go get settled.”
 
**
 
From the attic window, he watched as the old man drove away, leaving the redhead and her dog standing on the driveway.  A dog.  That was a development.  Might be good, could be bad, he considered. 

On the one hand, animals usually seemed to see him, or at least be aware of his presence.  The family dog or a cat staring into a seemingly empty corner was sometimes enough to freak out its owners.  The dog’s attention could, however, make it difficult for him to move about undetected. 

Didn’t matter, he shook his head.  He’d concentrate his energy, knock over a few things, and send the woman and her dog skittering back to wherever they’d come from.

Out on the driveway, the woman retrieved a pair of black bags from the front of the yellow Beetle and carried them inside.  From the corner of the master bedroom, he watched as she unpacked some clothes and hung them in the closet. 

Another trip to the car produced a big blue dog bed and a large tan leather shoulder bag.  When she returned inside, to his surprise, she rearranged the den, placing a small table against one of the back windows then adding a chair.  From her bag, she removed a thin electronic gadget and placed it on the table. 

Although in life, he’d never known anything like it, he’d seen other summer folk with the same kind of thing.  It was like a typewriter, but you didn’t put paper in it.  He couldn’t figure out the purpose of the gizmo, but it really didn’t matter. 

She put the dog bed in the corner beside the newly created workspace, and the dog happily launched himself onto it, burrowing into the soft cushion and lolling gleefully.  The woman smiled at the dog.  “Who’s my good boy?” she asked softly.

She squatted to briefly rub the dog’s belly, then crossed to the French doors that opened onto the back deck.  As she stood gazing out over the lake, he glanced around the room, assessing what might give him the biggest bang for his buck. 

An empty rocking chair moving on its own accord was always a good bet.  If he could slam shut her typing gadget, that might be a nice touch as well.  As he made his way across the room to the rocking chair, the dog let out a low growl. 

Good, he thought.  Now she’ll be paying attention.

Concentrating intensely, he reached for the back of the rocking chair.  With effort, he managed to push it forward once.  It rocked forward and back a handful of times before slowing to a stop. 

The dog woofed once, then whined.  The woman watched as the chair settled.  Then she covered her face with her hands.

Unsure, he wavered for a moment before he made his way to the desk.  He was just reaching out to slam shut the device when she spoke.

“You should know that I’m not going anywhere.  I just gave the owner all the money I have in the world.  I don’t have anywhere else to go.  You’re stuck with me until the middle of November.”

Shocked, he froze.  No one had ever addressed him before.  But his surprise was quickly replaced by determination.  This was his house.  Where she went was her problem.  Forget closing the lid of her electronic device.  He’d shove the damn thing right off the table.

He was just gathering his strength when he heard a sound.  Turning, he saw that she’d sunk into the rocking chair, the very object that should have sent her running.  Holding her face in her hands, she sobbed like her heart was breaking. 

Immediately, he felt his resolve melting away.  He didn’t mind scaring people.  It was just good, clean fun, really.  But causing her to cry made him feel like a shit. 

He sighed to himself and watched her for a moment.  It looked like he might be stuck with the redhead and her dog for a bit longer than he’d thought.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

Although eventually I plan to publish it under my own Bratty Ginger Books imprint, MIDNIGHT COVE is currently part of DARK SECRETS, an anthology of 9 steamy, suspense romance novels you’re going to love.

DARK SECRETS comes out October 11,
just in time for your Halloween reading pleasure.
It’s only 99¢, and it’s FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
Reserve your copy today!
https://amzn.to/2kppsTN

In the Mood for Something Spooky…

🎃 Just in time for Halloween… 👻

DARK SECRETS

A collection of suspenseful, steamy romance novels from 9 of your favorite authors,
including me!

It’s only 99¢, and it’s even FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

It’s your first chance to get your hands on my spooky new novel, MIDNIGHT COVE.

Coming October 11–Reserve your copy now!

https://amzn.to/2kppsTN

Weekend Excerpt–A TASTE OF SUBMISSION

It’s gonna be a long, HOT summer!

A TASTE OF SUBMISSION comes out Tuesday, June 11!
And it’s FREE!

12 of the hottest romance authors around are giving you the first book in their BDSM series. It’s a ‘thank you’ to all our loyal readers, and an introduction to readers we haven’t met yet.

I’m joined by C.P, Mandara, Felicity Brandon, Golden Angel, Kallypso Masters, Lilah E. Noir, Linzi Basset, Nia Farrell, Normandie Alleman, Ree L. Diehl, Renee Rose, and Skye Callahan.

My contribution to this collaboration is LUKE & BELLA, Book 1 of my Dream Dominant Collection. When television journalist Bella Grant lands the job of a lifetime, she’s paired with veteran news photographer Luke McGillicutty to create a new television travel show. Traveling to romantic cities, finding adventure at every turn, it’s no wonder they fall in love. But Luke hasn’t been completely honest with Bella. 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 little sample…

They explored their way through the Amsterdam evening, shooting video here and there, stopping now and then to check footage or to look into a shop window. As Bella stood peering at the display in the window of an antique shop, Luke watched her, amazed once again at her simple beauty. He slipped an arm around her waist, pulling her to him. She looked up at him, smiling and stood on her tiptoes to plant a light kiss on his lips.

“Amsterdam is lovely, m’lady,” he said. “But I’m looking at you and thinking about being back at the hotel.”

She blushed slightly. “What are you thinking about the hotel, Cowboy?” she asked.

“I’m not sure whether or not you noticed,” he said kissing the corner of her mouth, “but there’s a big old tub in the bathroom.”

“Is there?” she asked innocently. “Are you feeling dirty?”

He grinned wickedly. “I’m feeling all kinds of dirty, m’lady.” She giggled softly. “God, I love that!” he growled.

“What?” she asked, genuinely confused.

“I love when you laugh,” he replied.

Bella rolled her eyes, laughing self-consciously.

They made their way back to The Toren, holding hands and talking quietly about nothing in particular. Once back in the suite, Luke smiled and said, “Someone thoughtfully sent a bottle of Scotch.”

Bella bowed theatrically. “That was thoughtful, wasn’t it?” she laughed.

“Would m’lady care for some wine?” he asked, grinning.

“I’d love some wine,” she answered. “How about you call for some and I’ll get the bath started?”

“I knew we made a great team,” he laughed. “Division of labor.”

Bella retreated to the bedroom as he picked up the phone. She started the bath water, tossing in some of the lavender bath beads, then returned to the bedroom to retrieve candles from her trunk and she placed them around the bathroom, lighting them. Finally, she stripped down and donned her pink satin robe.

When she returned to the sitting room, the steward who brought the wine was just leaving. Luke turned and saw her, letting out a long low breath. “Wow,” he said. He poured a glass of wine for her and one of Scotch for himself. “To a beautiful lady,” he toasted.

She crossed the room and put her arms around his neck. He put down the glasses and pulled her to him, kissing her lips, cupping her breast through the silky fabric.

“Hey, Cowboy,” she breathed into his kiss.

He reached down and untied the sash of her robe, allowing it to hang open, just revealing the inside curve of her breasts, her smooth belly, the V shape of her sex with its light swath of red hair. “Damn, girl, you take my breath away,” he whispered.

She shrugged her shoulders and the robe fell to the floor. “Come on, Cowboy,” she whispered back, turning to walk back to the bedroom.

He carried their drinks as he followed her into the bedroom, appreciating the view of her from behind. She turned and, pulling him to her by the front of his shirt, and kissed him deeply. Then she unbuttoned his shirt and helped him off with it. She stepped back to watch him undo his pants and step out of them. Taking his hand again she led him into the bathroom.

He held on to her as she stepped into the bath and then followed, sitting behind her, leaning against the back of the tub. She sat between his legs and eased back against him, sipping her wine, letting out a long sigh. This was exactly where she wanted to be. She rested her head back on his shoulder.

Luke drank in the feeling of her wrapped in himself, the sensuality of the moment; the warm water, the candlelight, the scent of the bath blending with her fading perfume, her soft skin, the contented smile on her face, the glow of her hair, her breasts, her nipples begging to be kissed.

He kissed her neck, just below the ear and slowly moved his hands down her body, stopping to fondle her breasts, to tug gently on her nipples causing them to harden and stretch. He gently parted her legs, finding her soft sex and softly he caressed her there.

She responded with a low, deep moan, pressing herself against his hand, begging for more pressure. He continued stroking her before sliding in first one finger then two, beginning a slow deliberate circle inside her. Feeling her release building, Bella gasped and moaned again. “Let go, babe. Lose yourself,” he hissed. “Come in my hand.” Orgasm thundered through her body starting in that small secret place and radiating from there as she cried out in release.

She took a moment to catch her breath, and then turned in the tub to face him. She moved onto his lap facing him, wrapping her legs around his waist, and reached down to stroke his erection, kissing him roughly as she did. She felt his gasp in her kiss and she moved closer, raising herself higher before sliding down to sheath him.

He began to move his hips and she matched the rhythm of his movements, clenching him with herself as she moved up and down. A low growl escaped from deep in his chest and he gripped her, holding her firmly in place, burying himself deep inside her. She began to moan as once again she neared climax, crying out as her body shattered with pleasure. He finished with a loud cry, “Unh, God, baby…” Afterward, he held her tightly, gently stroking her back, kissing her forehead.

Later, after they’d toweled off and slipped into bed, Luke watched as she fell asleep in his arms. He thought about the first time he saw her, red curls all sunlit, and he smiled as he remembered her nervous introduction. “I’m Bella. Isabella. Just Bella,” she’d stammered.

“I love you, Bella, Isabella,” he whispered. In her sleep, Bella smiled. He watched her until dreams overtook him.

LUKE & BELLA by Pandora Spocks

A TASTE OF SUBMISSION will be available FREE at your favorite online bookseller. I’ll post here as soon as I have the links.