Weekend Excerpt–FOR SPARROW

When I started writing the Dream Dominant series, my collection of stand-alone novels featuring light BDSM themes, I wanted to do something different. There are tons of billionaire Dominant stories out there, and I love reading them, don’t get me wrong.

But I was more interested in writing about ordinary people who quietly live out a power exchange dynamic in their real, every day lives. There are plenty of couples out there who have discovered their true Dominant or submissive selves and are blessed enough to have found partners who understand them. I know. I’m one of them.

One of the most rewarding moments of my writing career thus far was winning the Golden Flogger Award for Dream Dominant Book 3, FOR SPARROW. It’s meaningful to me that not only did they like the story, they approved of the way I portrayed the lifestyle.

In FOR SPARROW, Jessi Crenshaw is devastated when her husband Graham dies unexpectedly. But he seems to have had an inkling that his health was in decline, because he made provision for Jessi in case something happened to him. Turns out he’s asked his protege in the lifestyle, firefighter paramedic Judd Farris to look after Jessi until she’s on her feet again.

As the pair struggle to navigate their unorthodox platonic Dom/sub relationship in the face of their growing mutual attraction, they each wonder if maybe Graham had something more permanent in mind.

Here’s an excerpt from FOR SPARROW.


Downstairs, Judd was battling his own imagination.  Ducking under the outdoor shower, cold water ran over him, washing away the traces of salt and sand from their surfing adventure, but his thoughts were on Jessi, currently naked and in his shower.  He’d spent the afternoon drinking in the sight of her perfect ass as he held the surfboard for her.  Not like he hadn’t had his hands on it before, but always with the barrier of clothing.   

His misadventure in dating had done nothing to slake his libido which was currently doing a floor show in his swim trunks.  All he wanted was to unleash his inner beast on a woman who could not only take it, but would enjoy it. 

Was it wrong to think of Jessi like that?  Could that possibly be what Graham had had in mind all along?  His thoughts drifted to the last conversation he’d had with his friend.   

“I swear, Judd, I want Jessi with every fiber of my being.  Once I gave her a safe space in the context of a Dom/sub relationship, she bloomed sexually.  She’s so sexy and uninhibited.”  Graham shook his head sadly.  “Truth is, I can’t keep up with her.  Things don’t…work the way they used to.  I’m too old for her.  Always was.  Hell, she was eighteen when we met.  I’m a selfish fool.” 

Turning off the water, Judd sighed deeply, dried quickly with a towel, and headed into the house to prep the fish for the grill. 

He was humming softly as Jessi came downstairs.  He still had on the black board shorts, and he’d pulled on a white t-shirt.  She was wearing the same pink and green Lilly Pulitzer sundress she’d worn to the baby shower, but she’d scrubbed her face clean of makeup, belatedly realizing that she’d forgotten to toss her makeup into her bag, and she’d towel dried her hair as much as possible, leaving her red waves to dry the rest of the way on their own. 

“Hi!  What can I do?” 

Judd turned, started to reply, and stopped, mouth open.  Without makeup, Jessi looked ten years younger.  And he’d never seen her hair when it hadn’t been straightened.  It was drying in sexy waves around her face.   

“You look—“ 

She rolled her eyes.  “I know.  I forgot to pack my makeup.” 

“I was going to say, you look very pretty.  Is your hair naturally wavy?” 

“Yeah,” she blushed, “I usually blow it out straight, but…” 

Judd shook his head.  “I don’t know why you do that.  It’s beautiful the way it is.” 

Jessi blushed a deeper shade of pink and clasped her hands together in front of her.  “Anyway…  What can I do?” 

“Well,” he said, picking up a plate of fish fillets, “I just seasoned the mahi.  Rice pilaf is going on the stove.  If you wanted to throw together a salad?”  He raised his eyebrows. 

She nodded firmly.  “Salad.  I’m on it.” 

They enjoyed dinner on the patio, the sky shifting from the orange and pink Jessi had noticed upstairs to a deep indigo twilight, the stars blinking on over the gentle swells of the ocean.  The teak table was lit with a pair of citronella candles against the odd mosquito, and Judd had built a fire in the pit just off the patio.   

Conversation over their grilled mahi dinner and sauvignon blanc centered on their adventures over the past couple of weeks.  The mood was light and happy, and Judd, for one, was glad for Jessi’s company.  Her face lit up as she recounted her surfing attempts and the pair laughed easily.   

Buddy devoured his bowl of kibble and promptly passed out again.  Judd and Jessi carried their dishes into the house, quickly restoring order to the kitchen.  Jessi glanced at her watch and decided that she should be leaving soon. 

“Do you have to go?” Judd asked, noticing her checking her watch. 

“Oh, you know, I should probably head home.” 

“We haven’t had dessert yet.” 

Jessi chuckled.  “I’m so stuffed from that delicious dinner.  I don’t think I could take another bite.” 

“Come on, Jessi, there’s always room for dessert,” he coaxed.  “Wait til you see.”  Judd opened a cabinet, removed a few items, and placed them on the counter. 

Watching curiously, Jessi had to laugh.  “Chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows.  S’mores?” 

Judd nodded proudly.  “S’mores.  You can’t resist s’mores.  Nobody can.  It’s a known fact.” 

Laughing again, Jessi followed Judd back outside.  “I haven’t had s’mores since…  Well, probably not since that time I took the kids camping.” 

“Then you’re long overdue.  This stuff is left from when my sister and niece were here.”  He took two steel barbecue skewers, placed two marshmallows on the end of one, and handed it to Jessi.   

“One, please.  I just want one marshmallow.” 

He grinned, sliding a single marshmallow onto the other skewer, and they traded.  “Lightweight,” he teased.  “Now, let me show you how it’s done.”  He held the marshmallows a distance away from the flames, allowing them to slowly begin to warm. 

“Careful there, you might accidentally roast those guys,” Jessi jibed.  She poured more wine for him and for herself. 

“Kid if you must,” Judd replied, “but these bad boys are going to be perfection.” 

Jessi sipped her wine, watching as the marshmallows began to slowly expand while remaining pristinely white.  “I have a different method,” she commented. 

“Oh, you do, do you?” 

“Yup.”  She prepared a graham cracker, breaking it into two pieces and placing a square of chocolate on one of them.  “Watch and learn, fire boy.” 

Taking her skewer, she fixed him with an arched eyebrow before plunging her marshmallow directly into the flames.  When she pulled it out again, the round white confection was engulfed in blue flame.  Gently, she blew out the fire to reveal a charred marshmallow. 

“You burned it,” Judd observed. 

“It’s crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside.  Pure perfection.”  She lay the marshmallow on top of the chocolate and used the other graham cracker to slide it off the skewer.   

She waved her hand over the top of her dessert with a triumphant flourish.  “Tah-dah!” 

By this time, Judd’s marshmallows had tripled in size and were just beginning to turn a toasty golden brown.  “See, this is how you make a s’more.” 

Carefully, he carried his marshmallows to the table where Jessi had prepared his graham crackers and chocolate.  He slid the marshmallows off the skewer and pressed the top cracker on, gooey marshmallow running over the sides. 
Judd motioned for Jessi to sit, and he perched on the stool at an angle to her, their knees just brushing under the table.  He lifted his s’more and held it out to her.  “To adventure!” 

Jessi picked up her own dessert and touched it to Judd’s, laughing lightly.  “Adventure.” 

He continued to watch her thoughtfully as she nibbled her s’more.  “Thank you, Jessi, for such a great day.”   

In the candlelight, his eyes flickered and Jessi felt the tingle in her belly.  And lower. 

“It was fun.  It really was,” she murmured, hoping the dim light hid her blush. 

Judd bit into his s’more with gusto, leaving a trail of marshmallow down his chin that dripped onto his shirt.   

Jessi giggled happily.  “I knew that was too much for one s’more.” 

“It was just the right amount,” Judd returned, sweeping the errant goo off his shirt and licking it off his finger.  “The graham cracker just couldn’t hold all the awesomeness.” 

Jessi laughed again, pointing to his chin. 

“What?” 

“You missed a spot.” 

He cocked his head, trying to see his chin.  He aimed his tongue at the corner of his mouth.  “Now?” 

She shook her head and slid off her stool.  “I’ll get it.”  Stepping closer, she swiped her finger up his chin, removing most of the white confection.  Without thinking, she popped her finger into her mouth, but she didn’t miss the heat in his eyes. 

Impulsively, she leaned forward and lapped at the corner of his mouth.  He tasted of chocolate, marshmallow, salt water, and sin.  A low groan emanated from Judd’s chest.  Jessi leaned back to look him in the face. 

“Little one,” he whispered. 

Stepping deliberately closer, she straddled his right knee and leaned in again, planting light kisses where the marshmallow had been. 

Judd placed his hands on her hips and moved her back a bit.  “Are we crossing this line?”  His voice was soft, hopeful. 

Jessi blinked and nodded.  “Yes.  Please.” 

He didn’t wait for further permission.  He wasted no time in claiming her lips, devouring them as he pulled her closer, raising his knee to meet the warm needy place between her thighs.   

Jessi gave herself over completely to his kiss.  She’d craved it for longer than she was willing to admit to herself.  She’d loved Graham.  But Graham was gone.  And he’d given her permission to move on.  It was time she gave herself permission. 

Judd broke off the kiss and stood her back from him, steadying her when she wobbled a bit.  He fixed her with his best Dominant glare.  “You will be kneeling at the foot of my bed in two minutes.  You will be dressed.  I will undress you.” 

Jessi immediately bowed her head.  “Yes, Sir.” 

Watching her scurry into the house, Judd leaned back, interlacing his fingers and placing his hands on the back of his head, and exhaled slowly.  The thing he hadn’t dared hope for was happening.   

He’d known the minute he’d seen Jessi, way back at Graham’s funeral, that he was attracted to her.  The time they’d spent together had only solidified that fact.  But convention and their own agreement had kept him from considering a relationship a possibility.   

Now it seemed they were both on the same page.  He sighed again, thinking of the responsibility of formally being Jessi’s Dominant, and he realized that it was precisely what he wanted. 

He nodded to himself.  “This is right.”  Dousing the candles, he pushed away from the table, checked the dying embers of the fire, and followed Jessi inside. 

FOR SPARROW by Pandora Spocks

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Weekend Excerpt–JENNY’S VOICE

It’s out! JENNY’S VOICE, the first book in my new Redheads & Ranchers Series, came out Tuesday.

Jenny Stone has been silent for the last two years, rendered mute by unimaginable trauma since the day her parents were brutally murdered and she was taken by ruthless crime boss Victor Sorkin. She’s been his ‘pet’ since that horrific day, his own personal good luck charm.

When she sees her chance to escape, she takes it, stowing away in the horse trailer of unsuspecting cowboy Cole Caldwell. When he finds her there, he’s torn between finding help for the terrified young woman and reassuring her that she’s safe with him.

Privately, Jenny and Cole feel the inexorable pull of attraction. But Cole knows Jenny’s been brutalized and he’ll be damned if he’ll take advantage of her in any way. And Jenny’s positive that the handsome rancher wouldn’t want anything to do with someone as damaged and used as she is.

But love is a funny thing, often finding a way in the most impossible of situations.

To celebrate the first weekend of its release, here’s a steamy little teaser from JENNY’S VOICE.


Late that evening, Cole sat in the leather chair in the corner of his bedroom, an open book resting on his lap.  But he realized that he hadn’t read a line in the last fifteen minutes. His thoughts were on the day, on the possibility of new clients, on the delicious pot roast dinner…and on Jenny.

He was falling in love with her, he knew it.  And he felt the same from her. Theirs was such an odd situation, though.  She was, for all intents and purposes, on the run. And no one except Cole knew who and where she was.

At some point, she’d have to agree to go to the authorities.  Undoubtedly, there was an open investigation into her whereabouts.  Not to mention the fact that she had insight into a serious criminal enterprise.

Cole sighed deeply as he scrubbed a restless palm across his mouth.  He didn’t know what to do. So far, he’d done nothing. And inaction was action, wasn’t it?

A creak of a floorboard drew his attention to the hallway.  Jenny stood uncertainly in his doorway. Her fingers were interlaced in front of her and she appeared to be wearing one of his long-sleeve dress shirts, the sleeves rolled about halfway up her arms.

He smiled softly.  “Hi, Jenny. Everything okay?”

She nodded, staying where she was.  “Yes. I didn’t mean to bother you.”

“You’re not bothering me.  I’m not getting much reading done anyway.  What do you need?”

Wordlessly, she padded on bare feet to where he sat.  To say that he was surprised would be an understatement when she took his book and placed it on the bedside table, then slid onto his lap.  He was almost positive that beneath his shirt, she wore nothing at all.

Consciously keeping his hands on the arms of the chair, he drew a shaky breath and met her eyes.  “What’s going on, Jenny?” he asked softly.

She reached up with her left hand to cup his jaw and leaned forward, pressing her lips to his.  He welcomed her kiss, matching her passion while struggling to hold back the desire that flared at her touch, her proximity.

“It’s okay,” she breathed as she broke the kiss.  “You can touch me.”

Heart pounding in rhythm with the pulse in his burgeoning erection, Cole leaned back and gazed at her with hooded eyes.  “Are you sure?”

She nodded, green eyes alight with desire.

He let out a long breath.  “If we’re gonna do this, darlin’, you’re gonna set the pace.  The last thing I want to do is to hurt or take advantage of you.”

She gave him a tender smile.  “You’d never hurt me. I know that.”  Leaning slightly forward, she took his hands from the chair arms and placed them on her bare ass.

Caressing her smooth flesh beneath his fingers, he pulled her closer, positioning her heated sex against the bulge in his jeans.  She tucked her hair behind her ears and stared down at him, her green eyes sparkling.

Her fingers fluttered to the buttons of the dress shirt she’d appropriated and slowly, she unfastened them, revealing the hollow between the inner curves of perfectly shaped breasts, a smooth stomach, and a thatch of tight red curls where she rested against his hardness.

He shook his head slightly and swallowed hard.  “Jesus, Jenny,” he breathed.

True to his word, he waited, allowing her to initiate another deep, languid kiss as she ground against him.  She allowed the shirt to slip from her shoulders, and she moved his hands around to cup her firm, round breasts.  

He lightly brushed his thumbs across her tight pink points and she gasped.

“Is that alright?” he murmured quickly.

She nodded.  “Yes. Please, oh yes.”

He peered into her eyes, gauging her response.

“Cole?”

“Yes?”

“Will you please take me to bed?”

He hesitated.  “Are you sure?”

She nodded, and he felt reassured.  He held her tightly against him and stood, walking them the two steps to the bed where he gently lay her down.  Jenny watched with heated interest as he shucked his grey t-shirt and jeans, leaving them where they fell.

Naked, he climbed into bed beside her, resting on his side and gazing at her tenderly.  “You’re in charge, darlin’. What you say goes.”

A lone tear rolled down her cheek and he caught it with his finger.  “I want you to make love to me,” she whispered.

He smiled softly.  “Yeah?”

She nodded.  “Yeah.”

Cole leaned in and captured her lips with his, pouring his passion through his kiss.  She placed his hand on her hip and he took things from there, sliding his hand up to cup her breast once again, this time taking her nipple between his thumb and forefinger and tugging gently, encouraging it to stand taut.  Jenny moaned lightly.

Leaving her lips, he trailed kisses down the side of her neck.  He slid his hand back down to her hip, and Jenny pivoted slightly, moving his hand to the needy space between her thighs.

Cautiously, he met her eyes.  “Is this okay?”

“Yes, please,” she hissed.

Smiling, he cupped her sex, feeling the heat there.  He increased the pressure, and Jenny moaned again as she pressed against his hand.  Finding purchase with his fingertips, he began a slow circular path around her sensitive bud.

 She arched against him, tightly fisting the sheets on either side of her body.

“Oh, God,” she moaned.

Pleased, Cole increased the pace of his circles, watching as Jenny’s face contorted with pleasure, delighting in the moment when she shattered against his hand.

Her body was still shuddering as he propped up on one elbow and drew his fingers lightly up her belly and between her breasts.

Breathless, she opened her eyes.  He grinned down at her lovingly. “How was that?”

She nodded, panting.  “It was…great, but…”

He frowned slightly, waiting to hear what she would say.

“I need you, Cole.  Please.”

His heart hitched.  “You’re sure?”

He saw the desire in her eyes.  “Please,” she whispered.

Nodding, he reached into the drawer of the bedside table and removed a foil packet.  Hesitating a moment, he checked the date printed on the back, sighing with relief. It was still good for another three months.

A glance back at Jenny showed him she was watching him carefully.  “I’ve had these a while,” he laughed. “Just checking to make sure they’re still good.”

She reached for him.  “Hurry.”

He slid between her legs and held himself over her.  “With pleasure.” With that, he plunged his lips to hers, devouring her this time, delighting in the fact that she matched his fervor.  Pausing, he used his teeth to rip open the foil packet then roll the condom over his ready cock.

Watching her face, he parked himself at her entrance.  “Ready?”

She nodded, sliding her hands up his sides to rest them on his back, and he gently pressed forward, just breaching her entrance.  He felt her contract around him, and he ventured further.

“Oh, yes,” she hissed in his ear.

He continued forward until he was buried to the root.  There, he stayed still, feeling her acclimate to his length and girth.  His skin prickled in goosebumps as she lightly nipped up the side of his neck to his earlobe, which she sucked sensuously.

Unable to resist, he rocked his hips back and plunged in again, this time earning a gasp from Jenny.  Emboldened, he pumped in earnest, feeling her walls tighten even as her breathing came in sharp bursts.

“I’m almost there, Jenny,” he murmured into her ear.  “This is what you do to me. Come on, darlin’, come with me.”

Just as he felt his release nearing the point of no return, she cried out, shuddering in pleasure.  It was all he needed to tip him over the edge of his own climax as with one more thrust, he held himself deep within her, pouring out his essence.

Still trembling, he lowered himself beside Jenny, carefully disengaging from her.  He padded to the bathroom to take care of the condom, then returned to the bed, gently gathering her to himself.  Her eyes were closed, and she was still breathing hard. He pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead.

JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks

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Out TODAY From Maggie Carpenter!


Does an ancient hourglass hold the key to their happiness,
or is their fate in the hands of random coincidence?

TIMELESS OBSESSION, a contemporary fantasy romance from USA Today Bestselling Author Maggie Carpenter, is out today!

What’s it all about? See for yourself.

MASON
She’s all I can think about. 
Am I obsessed? 
That’s not the kind of man I am, but every time I see her with some hot new guy it makes me crazy. 
I want to own her.
Possess her.
Take her down a path I know she’d love…if she dared to travel it. 
If she dared to trust me.

CHLOE
Why can’t I shake him?
Why do I ache for his kiss and his arms wrapped around me? 
Why does my stomach churn when I see a woman draped over his tall, muscular frame?Why must I endure this suffering?
WHY? WHY? WHY?
I barely know him, but he’s all I want.
He’s all I’ve ever wanted.
Am I obsessed?
I must be. 
I hate him.
And I love him. Desperately. 

* * *(NOTE: This novel was previously released under the title The Hourglass. The book has been rewritten and re-edited. It contains scenes of consensual power exchange.)

One-click TIMELESS OBSESSION 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.

On the free Book+Main app (for your phone or computer), readers can check out snippets (bites) from tons of romance writers.  And you can save the ones you like.  Some of the bites are from upcoming books, some are from books that are already published.

Like what you read?  There’s a purchase link at the bottom of the post.  It’s the very definition of ‘try before you buy’.  And it’s a great way to find your new favorite author.  Or an old one–you might even find me on Book+Main.  😉

Intrigued?  It’s FREE for readers.  What are you waiting for?
Click HERE to go to Book+Main.

 

Weekend Excerpt–I’ve Been Busy

Have you ever had one thing in mind and suddenly it morphs into something completely other?

I’ve been hard at work on my new book, which I’d been tentatively calling Voices, knowing that ultimately that title would change.  Well, that has turned into what is now Book 1 of a three-book series, Redheads & Ranchers.

With that first book, which I’m now calling Rescued by the Rancher, well underway at over 42k words so far, I’ve jumped headlong into the second book, Romancing the Rancher.

In Romancing the Rancher, corporate lawyer P.K. (Poppy) Chastain heads to Idaho to try to convince 5th generation rancher Hunter McFall to sell a small parcel of his land to the developers intent on building a mountain resort nearby.

This is from the (unedited) first chapter of Romancing the Rancher.

Hunter McFall squinted his hazel eyes at the dust trail on the horizon and shook his head in annoyance.  He didn’t have time for this.  He had 1,500 head of cattle that needed moving to new pasture.

Not that it made this day any different from any other day.  Cattle need to be rotated to fresh grazing land.  The herd had spent yesterday down on the flood plain beside the bend of Deer Creek.  Today he wanted them moved into the foothills.

But he had Rolly Stevens to head up moving the beeves.  Rolly had been with the McFalls since before Hunter ever sat on a horse.  And the younger hands listened to the old man, respected him.

And if Hunter was honest with himself, he didn’t mind a day off the trail too badly.  Except he wasn’t looking forward to this appointment.

The dust trail was closer now.  Hunter sighed deeply and nudged the bay beneath him, gently pulling the reins to the right.

“Let’s go, Cheyenne,” he muttered.  The horse tossed her head and turned to the right, heading back toward the house.

P.K. Chastain.  Just the name irritated him.  The notion of a grown man going by his initials struck him as pretentious as fuck.  The fact that P.K. Chastain was a lawyer representing Slade & Howell didn’t engender him to Hunter anymore than his name did.

He’d received the letters and emails from this Chastain fellow, the ones making all kinds of shiny promises on behalf of Slade & Howell.  But Hunter didn’t care.  He wasn’t interested in selling any McFall land to some developer who wanted to build a mountain resort.  Keep that shit over by Sun Valley if that’s what you had in mind.

Here in Deer Creek Valley and the Boxroot Mountains, McFalls had raised cattle for five generations, and by God, he intended to continue the family legacy until his last breath.

A vehicle came around the bend just as Hunter loosely wrapped Cheyenne’s reins around a rail in the shade of a large cottonwood.  From beneath his wide-brimmed hat, he glowered at the silver Range Rover as it pulled to a stop along the side of the gravel drive.  City people always fancied themselves rugged outdoorsmen when they came out to this neck of Idaho.  Yet another reason he wasn’t interested in having a luxury resort anywhere near McFall.

He set his mouth in a firm line and walked toward the SUV.  The driver’s door opened, and a shiny black high-heeled pump emerged, followed by a shapely calf.  Surprised, Hunter stopped, watching as a petite redhead stepped out of the car.  Her hair was done up in one of those fancy, efficient updos with a few loose wisps around her face, which was obscured by large designer sunglasses.  Hunter’s eyes zeroed in on sensuously shaped ruby-red lips.

The woman leaned back into the SUV, affording Hunter a view of a nicely rounded ass, neatly packaged in a black pencil skirt.  She emerged a moment later holding a tan leather satchel.  Closing the car door, she marched toward him.

“Mr. McFall?”  She stuck out a well-manicured hand, her nails painted the same red as her lips.  “I’m P.K. Chastain.  We’ve emailed back and forth?”

Slowly, Hunter reached out and took her tiny hand in his own, suddenly aware of how rough and calloused ranch work made them.

You’re P.K. Chastain?”

The redhead tilted her head and removed the sunglasses, revealing deep chestnut eyes in a shade he wasn’t sure he’d ever seen before.  “You were expecting a man, I suppose.”  Her tone was defensive.

“I guess when I heard that a lawyer was coming out here, I just assumed.”

P.K. Chastain narrowed her eyes at him.  “Maybe the news didn’t make it this far out in the boondocks,” she said, one hand holding the satchel, the other a fist on her hip.  “But it’s the 21st century now.  Women get to vote and everything.”

Hunter suppressed a grin, his mustache shifting with the effort.  “Seems I heard tell about something like that,” he drawled for effect.  “Maybe it was the fact that you go by your initials.  What does P.K. stand for, anyway?”

He watched her cheeks color slightly as the woman squared her shoulders.  “That’s neither here nor there.  Is there someplace we can sit and discuss the generous offer being made to you by Slade & Howell?”

He pursed his lips and watched her for moment.  Then he nodded.  “We can meet in my office.”  He gestured toward the huge log home that had been in his family for generations.  When he’d been a boy, his grandfather had added an extension to the north end of the house, creating an office from which to run ranch business.

“If we’re going to have a business, my boy, we’d better treat it like one,” the elder Hunter McFall had told his young namesake.

That Hunter McFall had been the first of his family to attend college, and his son and grandson had followed in his footsteps.  They’d taken what had been a rough and tumble ranch and turned it into a successful cattle business, acquiring extra acreage along the way as some of their neighbors failed to keep up with the times.

P.K. Chastain, leather satchel in hand, clipped purposefully across the gravel drive and up the steps to the covered porch that ran the length of the front of the house and around its southern side.  Hunter followed along behind, amused by the turn of events.

At the door, she stopped, allowing him to open it and usher her inside.  Just inside the door, he paused to hang his black felt hat on a rack beside the door.  His mother had always been firm: “No hats in the house.”  He supposed that extended to the office as well.

Hunter imagined he could see the office from his guest’s point of view as he inhaled the familiar scent of leather and wood.  Behind the huge reclaimed wood desk, antique branding irons hung in a row from an old board on the wall above a barnwood credenza.  Opposite the desk were a pair of leather wingback chairs.  The chairs matched twin oxblood leather chesterfield couches that flanked an antique trunk turned coffee table in the center of the room.

On the opposite end from his desk sat a long wood conference table surrounded by leather club chairs.  Western art from his grandfather’s collection accented the walls and the entire space was crowned by an enormous iron chandelier hung from the peaked roof.

The lawyer glanced around appreciatively.  “It’s lovely,” she murmured.

Hunter nodded.  “Thank you.  The original cabin is over a hundred years old, but it’s been added to over the years.  My grandfather added this office extension when he took over the business over forty years ago.”

“Lovely,” she repeated.  She gestured with her satchel.  “Where would you like me to set up?”

Set up?

He shrugged slightly.  “Anywhere you’re most comfortable is fine.”

He watched as the woman’s gaze flitted all around the room before it settled on the conference table.

“That looks good,” she said, and moved in that direction, her high heels clipping against the wide plank floor.

She placed the satchel on the table and opened it, rooting around until she found what she was looking for.  She handed Hunter a glossy-covered booklet, a gorgeous shot of the Boxroot Mountains gracing the front with Boxroot Mountain Resort declared in bold, rustic letters.

“Please, have a seat,” she gestured to the chair at the head of the table.

Hunter suppressed a smirk at the city woman telling him where to sit in his own office.  Curious to see where this was all leading, he sank into the chair and watched as she dug into the bag once again.

“If you’d like to flip through the prospectus while I get my presentation ready,” she said.  “I won’t be long.”  She looked up at him.  “You do have wi-fi?”

He nodded.  “Yes, ma’am,” he drawled.  “All the way out here in the boondocks, we have wi-fi and the interwebs.  Why, hell, we even have the dot com.”

She paused her movements to purse her lips at him.  Then she went back to her digging, tucking a few stray red hairs behind her left ear.  From her bag, she extracted a small black cube about the size of a baseball.  This she set up on a small tripod on the table, then she went back to rooting around in the satchel.

Hunter tried unsuccessfully to look away from the way her wispy white blouse gapped in the front every time she leaned over the bag.  Ms. Chastain had stellar cleavage.  That paired with the nicely rounded ass he’d appreciated outside made her an intriguing distraction from the ordinary.

He didn’t look over the prospectus.  He didn’t need to.  He wasn’t interested in selling.  But he’d hear her out.  It beat the hell out of rounding up reluctant Herefords.

I’m hoping to release Rescued by the Rancher, Redheads & Ranchers Book 1, before Christmas.  Romancing the Rancher should be ready in early 2019.  And the third book will be well on its way by then.

In the meantime, 2018 Golden Flogger Award Winner FOR SPARROW is currently on sale for 99¢ through October 8, exclusively at Amazon.  Use this LINK to one-click your copy now.

 

Weekend Excerpt–Where It All Began

LUKE & BELLA, Dream Dominant Book 1, is the first book I ever published.  It’s where it all began.

The idea for the story started with this question:  What  would be your dream job?

For Luke McGillicutty and Bella Grant, it’s jetting all over the world to create a brand new television travel show.  Thrown together as co-producers, visiting exotic cities, staying in luxurious hotels, is it any wonder they fall in love?

But it all happened so fast, Luke hasn’t had the time to be 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 steamy little teaser from LUKE & BELLA.

Landing smoothly on Mykonos, they were treated to a radiantly sunny afternoon capped by a sparkling blue cloudless sky.  They moved effortlessly through the customs checkpoint and collected Bella’s bags at the luggage carousel.

“Ever think of simplifying, m’lady,” Luke joked, gesturing with his duffle bags.

“In your dreams, Cowboy!” she retorted.

“Oh, baby girl, my dreams are made of different stuff,” he growled suggestively.

She laughed lightly, rolling her eyes in mock exasperation.

He hailed a cab and Bella told the driver the name of their hotel.  They enjoyed a scenic late afternoon view of the island as they made their way to the Cavo Tagoo.  The pair checked in and were escorted to the Honeymoon Suite by an older bellman who pulled their bags on a brass cart.

“Congratulations!” he said to them as he opened their door with a flourish.

Bella breezed past him impatiently and Luke thanked the man, amused at his misunderstanding and at Bella’s reaction.  “Well, m’lady, once again, you have booked us into heaven.”

She was already opening the doors to the pool deck.  The view of the infinity pool hanging over the crystal waters of the Aegean was utterly breathtaking.  And Bella in her blue dress seemed to be part of the scene.  Turning to him, she said breathlessly, “Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?”

“No, I never have,” he replied, not meaning the pool or the sea.

“I’m going swimming,” she announced, and she disappeared into the bedroom, emerging ten minutes later in a sheer purple sarong.  Before Luke could say anything, she walked to the edge of the pool and, facing him, untied the sarong to reveal black bikini bottoms…and nothing else.

She dropped the sheer fabric onto a chaise lounge and executed a shallow dive, emerging at the infinity edge.  She held on to the edge with one hand and smoothed back her wet curls with the other.  She looked at him, eyes dark and intense.  “Well, Cowboy, are you joining me, or what?”

“I’ll be right back.”  He retreated into the room and returned with his personal Rebel DSLR.  Bella’s face registered alarm.  “These will be just for us.  I promise.  Do you trust me?” he asked quietly, holding the camera down.

She swallowed and nodded slowly.  “I do trust you, Cowboy.”

He took some amazing shots of Bella. She was a natural beauty and the pool only accentuated the fact.  She gave him casual poses, seemingly unable to be other than herself.

He could feel his erection growing as he focused on her half naked body.  Her nipples were sharp pebbles, just begging for his attention.  Little droplets of pool water glistened on her beautiful skin.  Her hair was slicked back framing her beautiful face.

When his arousal became consuming, he pulled off his shirt, his pants, and his boxer briefs and slowly entered the pool.  He swam to her and pinned her against the infinity edge.  Kissing her deeply, he first touched those nipples that had called to him from across the pool, taking them between his finger and thumb, causing them to stretch into hard erect nubs.  She tilted her head back and moaned softly.  Then his hand moved down to her bikini bottoms.

“You’re a little overdressed, m’lady.”  Hooking his thumbs into her bikini bottoms, he easily slid them off.  He lifted her legs, wrapping them around him, before urgently pushing his erection deep into her core.

She gasped and tightly gripped his shoulders.  “Oh, Cowboy,” she breathed against his neck.  “It’s our first time making love outside.”

“Something tells me it won’t be our last,” he said, and she kissed him passionately.  He kissed her back, matching her intensity.  Thrusting into her hard, then harder, he pulled out and forcefully spun her around so she was facing the wide expanse and he took her from behind.  Watching himself enter her, he groaned with pleasure.  He ran his hand through her hair then gripped it, pulling her head back to him and growled into her ear, “Baby girl, I’m so gonna come inside you.”

LUKE & BELLA
is available in both eBook and paperback formats
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/LukeAndBella1