Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

I’m thrilled to announce that LOST & BOUND, Book 2 of the Dream Dominant Collection, has been named a 2018 Finalist (Erotic category) in the Colorado Romance Writers’ Beverley Contest.   Winners will be announced July 15, so fingers crossed!

Making this even more exciting is the fact that I’m getting ever closer to finishing WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4, and a spin-off from LOST & BOUND.

Here’s a teaser from LOST & BOUND.

Blake carried the bucket to a board wedged waist-high between two birch trees.  “How about I build a campfire and clean the fish?  You can go get the skillet and some plates?”  He nodded toward the cabin.

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

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

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

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

Shasta smiled sheepishly.  “Aren’t you?”

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

“A wilderness counselor,” she repeated thoughtfully.

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

“You worked with bad kids?” she wondered.

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

“Why did you stop?”

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh, excuse me, hockey,” she laughed.

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

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

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

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

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

“So your name is Amy.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOST & BOUND is available at your favorite online bookseller,
in both digital and paperback formats.
books2read.com/LostandBound

Watch the official LOST & BOUND book trailer!

Weekend Excerpt–Warrior Mine

WARRIOR MINE, my current WIP, is the fourth book in the Dream Dominant Collection.  It’s also a spin-off from DD Book 2, LOST & BOUND, although it’s still entirely stand-alone.

WARRIOR MINE actually came into being because I had readers who’d loved LOST & BOUND and wanted to know more about Jackie and Scott.  Initially, I thought it might make a good novella.  Now, however, over 100k words in and still not finished, the story has taken on a life of its own.

The story also breaks the mold of the Dream Dominant Collection.  Jackie Walker is the first leading lady who does NOT have red hair.  That’s because when I originally created Jackie as Blake Walker’s sister, I gave her the same dark hair he has.

And Jackie is a different kind of submissive than I’ve written before.  While Shasta/Amy from LOST & BOUND is a baby girl, Jackie is another type altogether.  After turning her over and over in my mind, I realized she’s a warrior princess.  So this has been a very exciting story to write.

I’m still hard at work on this book, and I’m hoping for a late summer release.  Keep watching for the cover reveal!

Here’s a little snippet from WARRIOR MINE.

“It’s a gorgeous day,” Scott commented.

“It really is.  I haven’t been out in the woods like this in a long time.”

Scott watched her appraisingly.  “Are you much of a camper?”

“I can hold my own.”  She lifted her chin, and he saw a glint of challenge in her eye.

“I imagine you can,” he smiled to himself.

He watched her dig the toe of her boot into the soft black earth and push it into a small heap.  “So let’s talk, Jackie.”

She exhaled loudly, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw her grip her hands so tightly together, her knuckles were white.

“This makes you nervous,” he observed.

“Well, yeah!  You’re over here wanting me to agree to be some kind of…I don’t know what…slave, I guess.  That’s so not me.”

“You’re right, it’s not.  I see in you a submissive soul, but a slave is not remotely what I have in mind.  Jackie,” he straddled the log to face her, “you’re a strong, smart, sexy lady.  I admire the hell out of you.”

“So why do you want me to give all that up?”

“I don’t want you to give anything up.  I love all those things about you.”  He laughed softly.  “I love that you challenge me.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Jackie’s expression was dubious.  “I don’t understand what you want from me.  Am I supposed to run and jump into your arms like Amy does Blake?”  She rolled her eyes.

Scott had to laugh.  “You’re not a slave, and you’re definitely not a baby girl like Amy, either.”  He gave her a side-long glance.  “Amy’s a sweet girl, but she’d drive me nuts.  A Daddy Dom I am not.”

“Good, because there’s no way I’m calling you Daddy.”

“Our dynamic would be more King and Princess.  You’d call me Sire.”

He was pleased when he saw her reluctant smile.  “All I want is for you to let go and allow me to lead you, to help you be free to be your true self.  You can depend on me, Jackie.”

Restlessly, Jackie got up and paced back and forth.  “It’s not like it’s just me, Scott.  I’m a mother.  I have two kids to care for, and they have to be my priority.  I can’t decide I’m going to just go off and do whatever I want.  Plus, there’s the business…”

She stopped pacing and faced him.  “I’m a whole ‘package deal’.  You don’t need all that.  You should be out meeting women who aren’t so tied down.”

Scott couldn’t stop the smirk as the image of a nude Jackie tied to the posts of a bed flashed through his mind.  She must have realized it, because she blushed bright red.  “I’ve met my share of women, Jackie.  Women who don’t mind being tied down.”

He chuckled.  “I’ve done the club scene, and I’m tired of casual sex.  When Blake told me he’d found someone, I have to admit, I felt envious.  I took a hard look at my life and I realized it was time to make a change.  I had no idea I’d meet someone so quickly.”

He considered going to her, but changed his mind, allowing her space.  “I’m attracted to you, Jackie, in a way I haven’t been to anyone else.  You have no idea how hard it was for me to resist you that night you came to my room.  Hell, to resist you last night.  You’re beautiful, Jackie, in case no one’s told you in a while.  That one perfect exposed breast?  I’ve had dreams about that.”

Jackie blushed, wrapping her arms around herself.

“Together we have an explosive chemistry.  I know you feel it, too.  I’m dying to take you to the next level.”

Arms still crossed, she shrugged.  “Yeah, we have physical chemistry.  Maybe it’s because it’s been a long time for me, I don’t know.  And I appreciate the things you’ve done, like taking care of things when Emma was sick, and Jesus, you saved Grant’s life.”

She started pacing again.  “And you washed my hair.  I couldn’t believe you did that.    So when you say, Now be my submissive,” she deepened her voice to imitate Scott, “it’s like I owe you.”

“You don’t owe me, Jackie.  I washed your hair because it was what you needed.  That’s what a Dom does.”  He gazed out through the woods and exhaled sharply.  “I think you’ve read too many so-called BDSM books about sadist Dominants.  That’s not what we’re talking about.  We’re talking about safe, sane, and consensual.  Always.”  He looked back to her.  “You can depend on me, Jackie.  I’ve got you.”

She walked to the edge of the clearing, her back to him.  Her voice was small.  “What if I depend on you, and you leave?  I don’t think I could survive that.  Better to be on my own and know what I’m getting.”

“Jackie, I’m not him.  I’m not that guy.”  Scott approached her, tentatively reaching out to touch her shoulder.  “I’m this guy, right here, asking you to let me share your burden, to lighten your load, and set you free.”

She reached up to put her hand on his.  Her voice was small.  “I don’t know if I can do that.”

Leaning down, he kissed her hand.  “Fair enough.”  Ignoring the ache in his heart, he cleared his throat.  “Are you about ready to go?”

Jackie nodded.  Scott returned to the log to retrieve his backpack and together, they headed along where the trail continued beyond the clearing.

Almost immediately, the path led downward, although not as steeply as the way up had done.  Before long, the forest ended at a rocky bluff about thirty feet above the lake.

“Is this where the trail ends?” Jackie asked.

Scott nodded.  “I saw it on the map.  It seemed like a good possibility for some of my more advanced clients, so I wanted to check it out.  I figured we’d rappel down to the lake.”

Jackie’s eyes widened.  “What?”

“Have you done any rappelling?”  Scott already knew the answer, having asked Blake about it earlier.

“No, I haven’t done any rappelling.”  Jackie eased forward and peered over the edge.  “Would you seriously send your students here?”

“Only those with the right kind of experience.”  He set down the backpack and removed a coil of black nylon rope.  Watching Jackie out of the corner of his eye, he uncoiled the rope and loosely wrapped the center of it around the base of a sturdy young spruce not far from the edge of the bluff.  He released the ends over the drop-off.  Peering over the edge, he realized the rope was several feet too short.

“Okay, Princess, it’s not optimal, but we’re going to make this work.  Watch how I do it.”

Scott stepped between the two sides of the rope and wrapped them behind his waist, bringing them forward and stepping through them to create a temporary harness.  He had Jackie practice it, too, until she was able to do it herself.

“I’ll go down first, then it will be your turn.”

scott climbing

Scott rigged himself again and back stepped to the edge.  “Now when you go, just lean back and start walking.”  He leaned back and began letting himself down the bluff.  About twenty feet down, he came to the end of the rope.

He looked up to Jackie who lay on her stomach peering down over the edge.  “The rope’s a little short.  For the last few feet you’re going to have to fall.”  Before Jackie could respond, he released the rope and dropped the final eight feet, landing on his feet.

“Okay, Jackie, it’s your turn.”

“This is crazy.”

“Like I said, it’s not optimal, but it’s not so bad.  Go ahead and get the rope situated.  I’ve got you.”

Jackie worked the rope liked she’d practiced and backed to the cliff’s edge.  “This is crazy,” she repeated.

“You’ve got this, Jackie,” Scott encouraged.

Slowly, Jackie leaned back like she’d seen Scott do, and she took a faltering step backwards.  Her foot slipped, and she banged against the granite.

“It’s okay, just get your footing and keep coming.”

From below, he heard her huff, but she set her feet and leaned back again, taking a step at a time until she was about eight feet above his head.

“Now Jackie, this is where you’ll let go and drop the rest of the way.”

She froze on the cliff face.  “I can’t do it.  I’m going to fall.”

“I’ve got you, don’t worry.”

He watched as she debated with herself.  She finally shook her head.  “I can’t.  I’m terrified.”

“You know, Jackie, sometimes you just have to let go and fall.  But I promise I’ll catch you.”  Watching her carefully, he stood on the shoreline below, arms outstretched.

He heard her huff again.  “You’ll catch me?”

“I promise.  I’m not going anywhere.”

“Okay.  Here goes.”  With that, Jackie released her grip on the ropes and plunged into Scott’s waiting arms.  Automatically, he hugged her tightly as they sank onto a boulder on the shoreline.  He felt her heart pounding.

“Admit it,” he murmured, nuzzling her neck, “it was kind of a rush.”

“Oh, my God, I thought I was going to die.  That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

“Would you do it again?”

Jackie peered up at him and smiled reluctantly.  “Maybe.”

The cover reveal for WARRIOR MINE will be happening soon, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you haven’t read LOST & BOUND, now would be a great time to catch up.

Lost & Bound new cover 2

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

Lost & Bound promo new1

My Dream Dominant Collection is a series of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring hot Alpha males, strong red-haired women, and light BDSM themes.  LOST & BOUND is the second book in the collection.

In LOST & BOUND, following a brush with the law, actress Shasta Pyke is sent to cool her heels for a few weeks in the wilderness of northern Ontario.  It’s there that she meets ruggedly handsome Blake Walker, an experienced bush pilot who helps run his family’s remote guest lodge on Lake Miranda.

Initially, Blake’s not too impressed with the lodge’s sole VIP guest.  But as he spends time with her, he begins to see the frightened little girl she hides from the world.  Could it be that Shasta Pyke is the baby girl this Daddy Dom has been looking for?

Here’s an excerpt from LOST & BOUND.

Blake had heard the car pull up.  He dawdled, swiping at imaginary smudges on the passenger door of the de Havilland Beaver that rested at the end of the dock.  He had no desire to get caught up in whatever celebrity fanfare accompanied their new guest’s arrival.

The voices faded after everyone went inside and still Blake waited a few minutes longer before making his way back up the dock toward the front of the lodge.  He was surprised to see a young woman standing alone in the clearing in the center of the cabins.  Her back was to him and he took a moment to watch her.

His first impression was that she was sexy as hell.  Her shoulder-length hair was bright red, and expensive-looking sunglasses sat perched on top of her head.  She was wearing a white halter blouse with a very short black skirt.  Her high-heeled shoes were bright pink suede and they wobbled precariously as she marched around holding her mobile phone in front of her like a divining rod.

When he told her about the lack of signal, she whipped around, giving him a glare that would freeze lava.  Fine, lady, have it your way, he thought.

Thankfully, Jackie came out with a smarmy-looking older guy in an expensive Italian suit.  Blake busied himself retrieving a mountain of bags from the trunk of the black Lincoln.  He noticed that the guest of honor grabbed the suit’s arm and pulled him off to the side for a little chat.  He wondered if her tone was any friendlier with him, and he figured that it wasn’t.

He’d just finished loading all the bags into the front of the red aluminum skiff when Pink Shoes came tapping down the dock.  His gaze started at the shoes and slid up shapely legs to the tight skirt and curved hips.  The deep V in the halter top hinted at stellar tits and her lips were a deep red.  She wore too much makeup in his estimation, but there was no denying that Shasta Pyke was hot.

“Are you ready to head over to the island?”

He watched her grip her huge black leather shoulder bag, hiking it higher up on her bare shoulder.  “Um, yes, please.”

Blake wasn’t sure, but she seemed embarrassed by her earlier behavior.  He offered her his hand and she took it, gingerly stepping into the boat.  She sat on the center bench, facing forward, away from him, and clutching her bag like it was a life preserver.

***

               They didn’t speak during the ten-minute ride across the water to the small island in the middle of Lake Miranda.  It would have been difficult over the roar of the small outboard motor, even had she been facing him.

Blake expertly angled the small boat to rest beside the tiny dock and killed the motor, tying off his end before jumping out and tying the front end as well.  Then he again offered his hand, helping Shasta climb out of the boat and onto the dock.

She stood taking in the view as he unloaded her things.  The lodge was visible across the water, seemingly closer than it actually was, judging by the ten-minute ride.  If she hadn’t been in such a foul mood, she would have found the place beautiful.  The only sound she could hear was the wind in the tops of the countless pine trees covering the island.  It would be a short climb up to the crest of the island where a log cabin sat.  She could see a stone-surrounded fire pit flanked by a quartet of dark green wooden Adirondack chairs and further away, stretched between two large pines, was a white canvas hammock.

When all her things were on the dock, Blake turned to her.  “Let me take you to the cabin.  There are a few things I need to show you.”

He took off up the hill and Shasta teetered along behind him, carefully avoiding large rocks that were in the way.  “Are you making it?” he called over his shoulder.

“I’ve got this, don’t worry about me,” she muttered.

Blake turned away and grinned to himself.  He was waiting for her when she finally made it up the hill.  “I hope you brought other shoes.”

Out of breath, Shasta put her hands on her hips and nodded.

He unlocked the door and held it open for her to enter the cabin.  She stepped into an open room featuring a seating area in front of a fireplace immediately to her right.  Further into the room, a kitchen was arranged in the back left quarter of the space with a cast iron stove on the back wall and a kitchen table pushed against the right wall down from the fireplace.  Between the fireplace and the kitchen table was a small desk that held some sort of radio equipment.  Shasta peered into an alcove to her left and saw that it was a tiny bedroom.

“Now,” Blake was saying, “the lights run on propane.  You turn this little lever and you can light them with a lighter.  The fridge and the cooktop also run on propane.  Same thing, you turn the knob and then light it with the lighter.  I already lit the pilot on the fridge and it should be fine.”  He indicated a small metal box beneath the kitchen counter.

Wordlessly, Shasta followed him around the room, trying to take in all his instructions.  “Now if you want to bake, or if you’re just cold, you can build a fire in the stove.”  He showed her where to put the wood.  “And there’s always the fireplace.  Wood is stacked outside against the back of the cabin.  I can always bring you more, too.”

He waved at the few kitchen cabinets.  “We’ve stocked the cabinets and the refrigerator but if you need anything, just let me know.”  He headed for the door.  “Water comes from a spring near the front of the island.”

“Wait.  What?”

“Water.  You know, to drink?”

Desperately, Shasta searched the room, making a beeline to the sink.  Instead of a faucet, there was a green-painted old-fashioned hand pump.  She worked the handle a few times and a spurt of water came out.  She looked back to him, bewildered.

“Well, you can’t drink that.  Not without boiling it for about ten minutes.  It comes straight out of the lake.  Use it for dishes and things.  You can drink the spring water right out of the ground.”

“Wait a second.  Where’s the bathroom?”

“I was just going to show you.  Follow me.”

Blake headed out the door and Shasta followed along behind him.  He turned down the right side of the cabin, following a narrow trail through the trees.  Shortly, the path opened onto a small clearing and to the right of the clearing was a tiny log structure.  “Here’s your bathroom,” he pointed.

She began to shake her head.  “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” she murmured.  “There must be some mistake.  I don’t do outhouses.  Does Eddie know about this?” she demanded.

“Who’s Eddie?” Blake returned, picturing the smarmy suit guy.

“No.  Absolutely not.  This is completely unacceptable.  Besides,” she breathed deeply, trying to regain her composure, “where is the shower?”

“Well, some guests bathe in the lake.”  He took in her incredulous expression and continued.  “On the other hand, we do have a solar shower.  I’ll show you.”

Shasta followed him down the other side of the cabin, to the place where the tiny bedroom jutting out from the main cabin made a little sheltered corner.  A post was situated in the corner with a pulley rigged to the top.

“This is a solar shower.”  Blake held up a large flat rectangular vinyl pouch that was clear on one side and black on the other.  The clear side had a large round valve and there was a handle on one end.  The other end had clear tubing attached and at the end of the tubing was a tiny shower head.

“You fill this up with water, seal the valve, and lay it out in the sun.  The dock is a good place.”  He watched as Shasta held her forehead with the palm of one hand, gaping at him in disbelief.  “Anyway, when you’re ready for a shower, you hang it up here,” he indicated the pulley, “and just shower away.  The spruce trees right here make for privacy, although you shouldn’t have any folks out on the lake, seeing as how you’ve rented out the whole place.”

Wordlessly, Shasta turned and hobbled back to the front of the cabin, sinking into one of the Adirondack chairs.  Blake followed, hands in his pockets, uncertain whether or not to continue the tour.  She glanced up at him, deciding to change tacks.

“Listen,” she smoothed, “we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot.”  She pasted on her dazzling Shasta Pyke smile.  “Obviously, there’s been some kind of mistake.”  Standing, she approached him, pushing her glasses back up onto her head and fixing him with soft brown eyes.

“Here’s the thing.”  She reached out to stroke his arm, biting her lower lip provocatively.  “I can’t stay here.  And you don’t want me here, not really.  The place is already paid for.  Just,” she stepped closer, brushing her breasts against his arm, “maybe you could drive me someplace where I can get a cab or an Uber or something, and I’ll be out of your hair.”  She wrinkled her nose and winked.  “What do you say?”

A slow smile spread across Blake’s face.  “What do I say?”  He laughed lightly, shaking head.  “I say, you’re a piece of work, lady.”  With that, he turned.  “I’ll leave you to it, then.”

“Wait!” she shouted after him.  “You can’t just leave me here!”

He waved over his head and didn’t turn around.

“Come back here!  You come back here right now!”

Wordlessly, he cast off from the dock and pushed the boat away from the shallow water.

“What about my bags?  They need to be taken to the cabin!”

“And it will be dark soon.  So you might want to get on that,” Blake chuckled.

Shasta was on the dock by now and she stomped her foot, fists balled at her sides.  “Do you know who I am?” she screamed.

“You look to me like a little brat who needs her ass tanned,” he fired back.

She shrieked unintelligibly and threw a rock at the boat.  She missed by a mile and the rock plonked harmlessly into the water.

Blake laughed again, started the engine, and headed back to the lodge.

LOST & BOUND is available at your favorite online bookseller:
books2read.com/LostandBound

I’m currently hard at work on WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4.  Although it’s a stand-alone novel, it’s a spin-off from LOST & BOUND.

I’m planning on a summer release.  Keep watching for the reveal of the gorgeous cover, designed by the ever-sexy and talented Linzi Basset.

Weekend Excerpt–Lost & Bound

Lost & Bound new cover 2

Hollywood bad girl Shasta Pyke is used to getting her own way.  But she’s met her match in Dominant mountain man Blake Walker.  Initially, he’s not too impressed with the new VIP guest at his family’s remote guest lodge.  But maybe she’s the baby girl this Daddy Dom’s been looking for.

This book, the second in the Dream Dominant Collection, is on my mind a lot these days.  I’m currently writing Dream Dominant Book 4, WARRIOR MINE, which is a spin-off of LOST & BOUND.

Still a stand-alone novel, WARRIOR MINE picks up the story of Blake’s sister Jackie, and her new love interest, Blake’s friend Scott.

But today, I want to give you a snippet from LOST & BOUND.

Curiosity got the better of Shasta as the black Lincoln pulled up to the red-painted clapboard lodge.  The trip down the unpaved drive from the highway had taken a good fifteen minutes.  A friend of a friend of someone Eddie knew had told him about the place.

Shasta had checked it out on her phone.  The website wasn’t kidding when they said ‘remote.’  The tree-shrouded driveway opened up onto a clearing to reveal the large main lodge and a sprinkling of small cabins, all painted the same warm red.  A sparkling lake was visible beyond the buildings and Shasta could see a small plane at the end of a long dock.

She climbed out of the back of the car and took a few steps to stretch her legs.  Still wearing the outfit she’d worn to court, she realized that stilettos were probably not the way to go on the soft ground.

Eddie looked at her across the top of the car.  “Well, kiddo, are you ready?”

She flipped her red hair in annoyance and followed him up the front steps and into the two-story building.

They were greeted by a petite brunette woman with a friendly face.  “Welcome!  We’re so glad to have you.  I’m Jackie Walker.  This place has been in my family for three generations.”

Shasta shrugged noncommittally.  Eddie filled in the gap.  “Thank you.  Shasta is understandably tired from the trip.  I can take care of checking her in.”

“Of course,” Jackie replied, watching Shasta curiously.  “Let’s get that squared away now.”

Shasta wandered over to a window and peeked out.  “If you think I’m staying in one of these little shacks, you’re crazy.”

“Oh, no, Ms. Pyke, we have you in the island cabin.  It’s very private,” Jackie assured her.

“Hmm, island cabin.  That sounds more like it.”  Digging into her huge black leather bag, she extracted her phone and stalked outside.  It wasn’t that she was anxious to talk to anyone.  She simply felt humiliated.  Her life had spun so far out of her control and she felt like an errant child.  She stabbed at the phone anyway, and she was irritated to find that there was no signal.

“Why can’t I get some fucking bars?” she muttered to herself, waving the device around as if she’d catch a signal if she hit just the right angle.

“You won’t find a signal.  There are no towers for about a hundred miles.”

Shasta turned and glared at the source of that information.  He was a good foot taller than she, with broad shoulders wrapped in some sort of flannel.  He had dark brown hair with caramel highlights that glinted in the sunlight filtering through the tall pine trees, and he’d pulled it back, presumably to keep it out of his eyes, which were the most sparkling blue.

Seeing her glare, he raised both hands in mock surrender and walked away, heading for the front door of the lodge.  The door opened just as he reached it.

“Oh, good, you’ve met Blake.  Blake will be taking you across to your cabin.”

“Oh, good,” Shasta muttered as Eddie shot her a dirty look.

Jackie chose to ignore her sarcasm.  “He’ll load your things into the boat and you can get settled.”

“Okay, kiddo, this is where I leave you.”  Eddie crossed to Shasta.

“Can I speak to you for a moment?” she asked him.  She took his arm and led him a few feet away.  “Please,” she begged, clutching his hand, “please don’t leave me here.  Don’t make me do this.”

“You’ll be fine.  Look at me,” he soothed.  He gently took her chin and raised her eyes.  “You’ve got this.  It’s just a vacation.  I’ll be back to get you in no time.”

Waves of desolation washed over Shasta and she felt hot tears threatening.  She pulled her sunglasses into place and cleared her throat.  “Okay, fine, whatever.”

Eddie flashed his winning smile.  “That’s my girl.  I’ll see you in a few weeks.”

Shasta fought panic, willing her breathing to return to normal as she watched the car carrying Eddie disappear down the drive.  She turned to see the woman watching her curiously.

“Blake probably has your things in the boat by now.  But you’re welcome to stay for supper before you go out to the island.  It’s not fancy, but it’s good.”  The woman smiled reassuringly.

Uncomfortable, Shasta crossed her arms in front of herself.  “No, thanks, I’ll just go to my place now.”

The woman nodded.  “If you just take that path, you’ll end up at the dock.”  She waved to her right.  “The kids and I leave for Orlando in the morning.  Blake will be here to help you with anything you might need.”

Wordlessly, Shasta nodded and headed off in the direction the woman had indicated.

***

Blake had heard the car pull up.  He dawdled, swiping at imaginary smudges on the passenger door of the de Havilland Beaver that rested at the end of the dock.  He had no desire to get caught up in whatever celebrity fanfare accompanied their new guest’s arrival.

The voices faded after everyone went inside and still Blake waited a few minutes longer before making his way back up the dock toward the front of the lodge.  He was surprised to see a young woman standing alone in the clearing in the center of the cabins.  Her back was to him and he took a moment to watch her.

His first impression was that she was sexy as hell.  Her shoulder-length hair was bright red, and expensive-looking sunglasses sat perched on top of her head.  She was wearing a white halter blouse with a very short black skirt.  Her high-heeled shoes were bright pink suede and they wobbled precariously as she marched around holding her mobile phone in front of her like a divining rod.

When he told her about the lack of signal, she whipped around, giving him a glare that would freeze lava.  Fine, lady, have it your way, he thought.

Thankfully, Jackie came out with a smarmy-looking older guy in an expensive Italian suit.  Blake busied himself retrieving a mountain of bags from the trunk of the black Lincoln.  He noticed that the guest of honor grabbed the suit’s arm and pulled him off to the side for a little chat.  He wondered if her tone was any friendlier with him, and he figured that it wasn’t.

He’d just finished loading all the bags into the front of the red aluminum skiff when Pink Shoes came tapping down the dock.  His gaze started at the shoes and slid up shapely legs to the tight skirt and curved hips.  The deep V in the halter top hinted at stellar tits and her lips were a deep red.  She wore too much makeup in his estimation, but there was no denying that Shasta Pyke was hot.

“Are you ready to head over to the island?”

He watched her grip her huge black leather shoulder bag, hiking it higher up on her bare shoulder.  “Um, yes, please.”

Blake wasn’t sure, but she seemed embarrassed by her earlier behavior.  He offered her his hand and she took it, gingerly stepping into the boat.  She sat on the center bench, facing forward, away from him, and clutching her bag like it was a life preserver.

Lost & Bound NEW COVER

Stay tuned for news about the release of WARRIOR MINE.

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Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

NEW Lost & Bound

In LOST & BOUND, Dream Dominant Book 2, spoiled Hollywood bad girl Shasta Pyke is sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario to cool her heels for a few weeks after she gets into trouble with the law.  She’s accustomed to getting her own way, but she’s met her match with Blake Walker.

Blake gave up his career to return home and help run his family’s remote guest lodge.  He’s none too impressed with the current sole client, but her bratty ways have him thinking that she might just be the baby girl his Daddy Dom soul has been looking for.

But seriously?  Shasta Pyke, the Hollywood star?  Is there any way she’d agree to gift him her submission?

               When they entered the Blue Moon Café, every head turned.  Rather than taking his usual seat at the counter, Blake led Shasta to a window table in the corner.  He seated her opposite himself as he sat with his back to the wall.

A waitress in a blue uniform greeted them with menus and glasses of water, and left them to decide on their lunch order.  “What looks good to you?” Blake asked.  “You should know, they make killer milkshakes.”  He grinned at her.

“Milkshakes?” she laughed.  “I haven’t had a milkshake in…forever.  I’m always in training for one role or another.”

He arched an eyebrow.  “You aren’t in training now.  You want a milkshake, don’t you?  Aw, come on.”  His face was mischievous.

“I don’t know…”

“Mm-hmm, let’s see.  Vanilla?”  He laughed.  “No way, my kitten’s not vanilla.  How about mint chocolate chip?”

Shasta chewed her lower lip as she tried to suppress a smile.

“Ha, mint chocolate chip it is!”  Blake smiled happily.  “I’ll order for you, kitten.  I like to do that.  I’ll get to know your tastes and make the choices, but for now, help me out a little.”

She giggled.  “Well, I guess a milkshake really doesn’t go with a salad.”

“Nope, I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of provincial law against milkshakes and salads being paired up.  I’m thinking a nice burger with fries.  Or maybe onion rings?”

Shasta laughed again.  “You are so bad!”

His chuckle was dark.  “You have no idea.”

“I think I have some idea.”

He grinned at that, taking her hand and kissing it.  “You do have some idea.  But I’ll keep you guessing.”

A different waitress approached their table.  “Hi, Blake.  Why are you way over here today?”  It was Donna, the flirt who worked the counter.

“We’re having a nice quiet lunch today.  Donna, this is Amy.  Amy, meet Donna.”  Blake watched the waitress’s eyes narrow.

“It’s nice to meet you, Donna,” Shasta murmured.

Donna just stared at her.

“Okay, we know what we’d like,” Blake plunged ahead.  “The lady will take a burger, well done, with provolone cheese, a side of onion rings, and a mint chocolate chip milkshake.  Make my cheese cheddar, a side of fries, and a chocolate fudge shake.”

Donna’s eyes flitted from Shasta to Blake and back again.  Shasta narrowed her eyes and leaned forward on the table, frowning.  The waitress hesitated for a moment longer, then turned and rushed away from the table.

“Don’t try to stare me down, bitch, because I will win every time,” Shasta muttered.

“Hey!”  Blake’s voice was low but stern.

“You saw her.  I don’t put up with that.”  She sat back and crossed her arms in front of her.

“She’s just jealous.  Donna flirts with me when I come in here.  I’ve never brought a woman in here before.”  Blake leaned across the table.  “She couldn’t be my kitten.  She’s not nearly strong enough.”

Reluctantly, Shasta smiled.  “No?  She’s not strong enough?”  She chewed her bottom lip again.  “And you think I am?”

“I know you are.”

Shasta giggled happily.  When their food arrived a short time later, it was brought by a different waitress.  Shasta groaned when she took her first sip of milkshake.  “Oh, my god, this is amazing!”

“Who’s your Daddy?” Blake laughed.

Shasta laughed, too.  They enjoyed their food without conversation for a few minutes.

“I appreciate you being willing to do the blood tests.  It’s just not safe to forego those.”

“I understand.”

He looked down.  “I’ve been with my fair share of women.  I’m a member of a club in Toronto.  Getting tested on a regular basis is required.  You really never know who will be there.  It’s rare to play with the same submissive more than once.”

“Submissive?  It’s a BDSM club?”  Her eyes were wide.

Blake nodded.  “You can imagine how difficult it is to find play partners out here in the boondocks.  The club makes it easy—everybody is there for the same reason.”

“So you…slept with…a lot of different girls?”

“We played, kitten.  Kind of like what you and I did last night.”

Shasta absorbed this information.  “Before you, I was with three other guys ever.”  He was watching her intently so she continued.  “I was sixteen when I lost my virginity to Jamie Duncan.”

“The pop singer?”  He leaned forward on his elbows.

Shasta nodded miserably.  “That was such a stupid idea.  I thought I knew everything.  Then, I dated Chip Felder, the guy from that crime show?  We were together for a little over a year.”  She sighed.  “And then, of course, there was Jeremy.”

“Do you ever go out with regular guys?”  His eyes sparkled with curiosity.

“I don’t meet regular guys.”

“Lucky me.”

“You’re not regular.”  She looked at him meaningfully.

Blake looked down at the table and laughed.  “No, I suppose not.”

Lost & Bound new cover 2

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