Out TODAY from Ree L. Diehl–THE PRICE OF ADMISSION (Unbillable Hours #3)

Rumor has it, if she bangs the bouncer, he’ll let her in….

Dax Masters is the star of Save a Horse, Crop a Cowgirl, where country meets kink.  The buff Texan Daddy Dom is in town to promote his new fitness DVD.  Tonight, he’ll be the guest DJ at the hottest nightclub in the city.

The line to Club Oasis is around the block when Dax’s fan Tiffany Santee steps into line.  She knows if she bangs the bouncer, Jace will let her in.  The couple’s tryst behind the building reveals sides of themselves that they’ve kept hidden in their previous encounters.  They’re both into BDSM.  Jace is a Dominant. Tiffany is submissive.  Add Dax Masters to the equation, and this threesome will set the night on fire in Jace’s private dungeon.

Dax is out of the kink closet, and if Jace isn’t, his secrets are nothing to the ones that Tiffany is keeping.  Yes, they’ve signed a nondisclosure agreement, but can she trust him with the truth of who she really is?

Welcome to the Unbillable Hours Series, where the best things happen off the clock.

Romantic Comedy Erotica MFM ménage written for ages 18+.

How about a steamy little excerpt?

Jace took her hand and towed her after him, not stopping until they were behind the building, away from prying eyes.

“Much better,” he said.  Raising her wrists, he pinned them to the wall on either side of her head.

“You like to be the center of attention,” he murmured, keeping his voice low and intimate.

“I do, huh?”

“I’ve got eyes,” he rumbled.  “I see you better than you think I do.  You dressed down tonight, little girl.  The jacket’s fine.  The top is nice, but those denim shorts and hooker heels scream slut.  That’s not the kind of look that normally gets you into Club Oasis.  That’s what a woman wears when she’s looking to get laid.”

He pressed his body against hers and let her feel just how ready he was to oblige.

Tiffany resisted the urge to hump the lump shaping the front of his jeans.  “Seems to me, you’re the one looking to get laid.  I planned to have a drink, dance with my girl, and go home to my lonely bed.”

“Jace,” he growled.  “And I wasn’t looking for a hookup until you came.”

She slid her gaze to the gold band on his left middle finger.  “You moved your ring quick enough once you saw me.”

He crooked an unapologetic grin.  “A wedding ring keeps most of the she-wolves at bay.  There’s nothing to be jealous of, sugar.”

Wasn’t there?  Dozens of women lined up for him every night at Club Oasis.  How many others had he dragged behind the building?  How many of them had he screwed before her?

Dammit, Jace.

It wouldn’t hurt him to be a little jealous, too.

“My shorts don’t say slut,” she informed him.  “I wore them for your guest D.J.  You do know who he is, right?  Dax Masters from Save a Horse, Crop a Cowgirl, where country meets kink?  Most of his submissives wear them.  Outside his dungeon, that is.”

He pulled his head back and stared at her, frowning slightly as he tried to figure her out.  “So…,” he said slowly, “you’re telling me that you like Dax’s show?  You like watching kink…?”

Did he know so little about her?

“I don’t just watch kink,” she said meaningfully.  Telling him was risky.  She could have scared him off.  When he didn’t run, she dared even more.  “Ask me nice, and I’ll share my favorite scenes from the show.  Who knows?  You might learn something.  It never hurts to expand your repertoire, Jace.  You don’t want things to get stale in a relationship.  It’s not good to be too predictable.  Women like being surprised.”

“News flash.”  Quick as an adder, he fisted her hair and pulled down, forcing her neck to arch.  Bending his dark head, he opened his mouth, bit the curve of her shoulder, and dragged his teeth up the side of her neck to whisper in her ear.  “Men do, too.”

Here are the links for THE PRICE OF ADMISSION:
Amazon e-book Universal link http://mybook.to/UH3
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FJMJR1W
Teasers and excerpt: http://bit.ly/UHrs3WP
Goodreads http://bit.ly/UH3GR
Video teaser http://bit.ly/UH3Video

 

About the Author:

Ree L. Diehl was born on a misty morning in the mind of a multi-genre author who wanted to pen erotica but put her own stamp on it.  The result was the Unbillable Hours Series, serving up erotica with a dash of romantic comedy.  The She-Wolf on the Twentieth Floor is the first in a series of standalone erotic stories where the best things happen off the clock.

 

AUTHOR LINKS

Amazon author page: http://author.to/ReeLDiehl
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/ReeLDiehl
Goodreads author page: http://bit.ly/RLDiehl
Wicked Pens author page: http://bit.ly/RLDiehlWP
Ree L. Diehl, Nia Farrell, and Erinn Ellender Quinn’s webpage: http://bit.ly/NiaErinnReeWP
Ree L. Diehl, Nia Farrell, and Erinn Ellender Quinn’s Facebook group
http://bit.ly/TheFold3
Ree L. Diehl, Nia Farrell, and Erinn Ellender Quinn’s newsletter signup
http://bit.ly/NiaErinnReeNews
Ree L. Diehl, Nia Farrell, and Erinn Ellender Quinn on Twitter
https://twitter.com/My3Pens

CONTACT INFORMATION

Ree L. Diehl email authorreeldiehl@gmail.com
Personal Assistant Natasha Hooks email tashapa2authors@gmail.com

 

TITLES

The She-Wolf on the Twentieth Floor (Unbillable Hours #1).  Release Date January 15, 2018.
Amazon e-book http://mybook.to/UH1
Teasers & Excerpt http://mybook.to/SheWolfWP

A Package for Paige (Unbillable Hours #2).  Release Date April 15, 2018.

The Price of Admission (Unbillable Hours #3).  Release Date August 15, 2018.

 

Love FREE Books?

Of course you do, who doesn’t?

Emmanuelle de Maupassant, one of my all-time favorites (if you haven’t read her erotic novel, The Gentlemen’s Club, drop what you’re doing and read it now) has a brand new book out, and from August 13-17, it’s FREE!
After that, it moves to 99p/99c through until the end of the month, and then $2.99/£2.99 in September.
What’s it all about?  I’m glad you asked.
Against the ancient blood-rituals of Ostara night, dark forces stir within the forest. Can Elswyth resist Jarl Gunnolf’s wicked seductions and the devious schemes of her enemies? Filled with action, mystery, and searing passion, ‘Viking Wolf’ is a full-length dark romance. Prepare for scorching scenes and hard-muscled warriors!
Here’s the official blurb…

Enter a world of burning desire and brutal passion;
a world threatened by ambition, jealousy and revenge.

He is bound by duty…
Eirik has shed his blood on the battlefield; now, he’s commanded to marry a woman he’s never met. Will his sense of honour part him from Elswyth forever?

She is as brave as any man…
Elswyth is at the mercy of Jarl Gunnolf’s darkest seductions. Against the ancient blood-rituals of Ostara night, someone will stop at nothing to claim what’s most desired. Dark forces stir within the forest and Elswyth’s life is in peril. Will she fall prey to the devious schemes of her enemies?

Surrender to suspense, mystery and forbidden passion – in ‘Viking Wolf’.

Heat level: volcanic

Viking Wolf is the second in the Viking Warriors series : a full-length historical romance, with some steamy scenes.

Intrigued?  I just downloaded mine.

Here’s the link so you can get your FREE copy:
http://viewbook.at/VikingWolf

Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

Presenting the official book trailer for my new novel,
WARRIOR MINE!

Like all the books in the Dream Dominant Collection, it’s a stand-alone novel.  But it’s a spin-off from Dream Dominant Book 2, LOST & BOUND.  Characters and timelines intersect, but I made sure you can read this new book, even if you haven’t read the other one.

For WARRIOR MINE, I returned to the Canadian setting of LOST & BOUND.  It’s a place near and dear to my heart, a place where I spent many a happy summer vacation during my childhood.

From the mid-1940s, my family owned an island in the northern Ontario wilderness.  We had a tiny log cabin on a little island on a remote lake not far from the town of Elliot Lake.  When I took my kids, they were the 5th generation of my family to spend time there.

In LOST & BOUND, Hollywood bad girl Shasta Pyke stays in the cabin for a while.

Later, in WARRIOR MINE, Scott Nielsen remodels it into a bunkhouse for his outdoors school.

These are actual photos from the Spocks family album.

Because it’s so remote, we flew by bush plane over crystal-clear lakes to reach our island.

In LOST & BOUND, I had Blake Walker use a bush plane to ferry guests to remote cabins owned by Lake Miranda Lodge.

In WARRIOR MINE, Blake’s good friend Scott Nielsen also flies a De Havilland Beaver, and offers to help with flight duties.

Again, these are Spocks family photos.

Ironically as I was writing LOST & BOUND, my parents sold the property.

Here’s a little teaser from WARRIOR MINE.

“What would you do with the lodge, if you could do anything you wanted?”  Amy looked at Jackie curiously.

Jackie gazed dreamily across the water.  “Well, I’d upgrade the whole place.”  She looked at Amy.  “Not modernize it, I wouldn’t want to lose the rustic charm, but…”  She sighed, thinking of the capital it would take to make the place everything she envisioned.  Amy watched her, waiting for her to speak.

“I would put in new beds, update the kitchenettes but use vintage-looking appliances, restore the rooms in the main house to use as guest rooms like they used to be, build a little house for the kids and me to live in…”  She smiled sheepishly.  “Not that I’ve put a lot of thought into it,” Jackie laughed.

Amy smiled.  “I think you have some great ideas.  This is such a special place.  I’d love to see you do really well.”

While she was speaking, Jackie became aware of the buzz of an airplane in the distance.  Normally, she’d assume it was Blake.  Her eyes darted beyond Grant and Emma, to where Blake’s De Havilland Beaver floated, moored to the end of the dock.  But Blake’s plane is here.

Now that they were quiet, the buzz seemed louder.  Both women looked in the direction of the noise.  The plane, a small pontoon plane quite like Blake’s, was coming closer and seemed to be descending toward the far south end of the lake.

“What the…” Jackie murmured.

Using their hands to shield their eyes from the glare of the afternoon sun, they rose from their chairs.  White spray fantailed behind the twin pontoons as the plane landed at the far end of Lake Miranda.  Even Grant and Emma lost interest in their fishing as the plane motored its way toward them.

“Maybe you’d better get in the house,” Jackie said to Amy.

“I’m not leaving you to deal with whatever this is.”

They made their way down the deck steps and across to the dock.  “Go inside, kids,” Jackie said.

“But Mom,” Grant protested.

“Don’t ‘but Mom’ me, do as I say.”

“Aw, man!”

“Aw, man,” Emma echoed.

“In the house.  Now.” Jackie marched purposefully down the dock, and Amy followed along behind her.  Torn, Jackie still debated sending Amy into the house with the children.  Unconsciously, she stepped between Amy and the intruder.

The plane was mere yards away from the dock by this time.  Squinting against the glare, Jackie could see the pilot, his face obscured by green aviator sunglasses and huge headphones.  He appeared to have a light blond beard and mustache.

As he got closer, he cut the engine, and the lake was quiet again.  The door popped open and the pilot swung himself down and grabbed a paddle from the inner side of one of the pontoons, using it to maneuver the aircraft toward the dock.

Headphones removed, Jackie saw that the man had long, thick honey-blond hair that hung in a braid down his back.  He gave a little salute as he got closer.  To Jackie’s relief, he didn’t seem to have a camera.  But her hackles were up anyway.

“No.”  Jackie shook her head firmly.  “You can’t be here.  Just go on back to wherever you came from, this is a private dock.”

“But,” the stranger began.

“Nope, no buts.  You’ll have to go now.”  Jackie planted her feet shoulder-width apart and crossed her arms.

“I talked to Blake a couple of weeks ago, told him I’d be stopping by.”  The stranger smiled reassuringly.  Up close, he was tall, well over six feet, and his forest green polo shirt clung to muscular shoulders and upper arms.  Short sleeves showed tats up both arms.  Khaki shorts revealed strong legs flecked with light hair, and on his feet, he wore battered brown leather boots.

He’d gotten the plane to within a few feet of the dock.  To tie up, a couple of the skiffs would need to be moved.

“Wait,” Amy surprised Jackie, “are you Scott?”

The man’s face lit up in a smile, and he nodded.  “I’m Scott Nielsen, I used to work with Blake.  You must be Amy?”

Hands back on her hips, Jackie moved in front of Amy again.  “Um, yes,” Amy frowned.  “Blake told you about me?”

Scott laughed.  “We’re pretty tight, Blake and me.  He’s like the little brother I never knew I wanted.”

He laughed again.  “And I guess that makes you Jackie.”  Holding the line to the plane, he stepped onto the dock, moved the sunglasses to the top of his head, and offered his hand.  “Scott Nielsen.  Sorry I just barged in on you like this.  I sort of thought Blake would be here.”

Slowly, Jackie reached for Scott’s hand.  “He’s in town, but he’ll be back soon.  I didn’t mean to be rude, it’s just that we’ve had a little bit of trouble recently…”  Her voice trailed off as she stared into his bright blue eyes.

Scott frowned.  “Trouble?”

Jackie shook her head sharply as though to clear the cobwebs.  “Oh, never mind.  Let’s get you tied off.  Can I offer you some iced tea?”

WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4, comes out August 14.
Reserve your copy for the pre-order special of 99¢.
books2read.com/WarriorMine

5

 

HOT Read For A Great Cause

Ten stories to melt your Kindle!

Last weekend at the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention, I met paranormal romance author Josette Reuel, who told me about an anthology you should know about.  If you’re into shifters and hot romance, this is the collection for you, but what really impressed me is that 25% of eBook sales goes to the Wounded Warrior Project, and that’s something I can really get behind.

Here’s the lowdown on the anthology:

A collection of ten never before published paranormal romance tales about strong females who struggle to hold on to their scaredy “cat” males. This anthology is full of steamy hijinks that might just melt your eReader.

Follow these lynx, panthers, jaguars, lions, tigers, witches, cu-sith, and familiars as they find love when they’re least expecting it.

Included in this collection:

Caught by Love by Josette Reuel
Distracted by a bad mane day and haywire magic, Laith forgot to hide from love.

A Roar of Her Own by S.E. Isaac
No place to hide, when she’s on the prowl to find love.

Changing His Spots by Catherine Bowman
She captures his unwilling heart with her spirit and her camera.

Hunter’s Moon by Romarin Demetri
Autumn should never have let him go.

Kenya and Her King by Crystal St. Clair
A king only bows down to his queen.

Snowbound by A.M. Cosgrove
He likes the quiet of the woods. She’s looking for some peace of her own. Will they be able to survive the storm that is threatening their solitude?

An Unwanted Rescue by Adalaine Rose
An unwanted rescue breeds an unwanted love.

Herding Cats by Edward Blackwood
Some cats just leave mice on the doorstep, he brought her a whole clowder of trouble.

Tamed by Laura Stapleton
Only the queen of hearts can tame this king of the beasts.

Pride & Flamboyance by S. E. Isaac & Josette Reuel
Ruffled feathers and a wild mane can’t stop love.

One-click
A Guide to Claiming a Scaredy Cat
at Amazon today!

HOT Countdown Deal From Scarlett Flame!

Don’t miss this great deal from Scarlett Flame!  It runs from July 6-10!

 #99p/99cents Kindle Countdown for Award Winning dark Romance  “From Willing Sub To Enslaved Captive”

 
From 6th July – 10th July in UK & US
 

The Blurb:

After discovering her submissive nature, Suzie Foster finds a Dom who she believes can give her everything she needs. 
But after a time, his attitude and treatment begin to change. 
Even with her limited experience in the Lifestyle, Suzie knows she has to end their Dom/sub relationship. 
Then, just when things seem to be going right for Suzie, she is taken from her life and held captive. 
Will Suzie ever get to experience the true Dom/sub relationship she seeks? 
Or is the life of an enslaved captive; at the hands of a cruel Dom, the last thing she will ever know?

**BE WARNED: Some descriptions are vivid and can be a trigger for sensitive readers.

**Graphic
**Sexual Content
**Language
**Suitable for ages 18 and over
 
Add
Captive to Goodreads TBR
 
 

Customer Review
5.0 out of 5 starsOutrageously thrilling.

ByAnthony Mcmanuson March 1, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

A terrific and outrageous romp. Outrageous? For sure. Scarlett Flame sets the page on fire. How can she write this stuff? But I’m glad she has as it’s so exciting.

Though not the main ingredient of my reading diet, I’ve been reading erotica since I was sixteen. In those days it was illegal, under the counter in plain brown covers stuff. My first encounter was with a novel called, ‘The Libertine’ translated from French and printed in France. I read it at night under the bedclothes and hid it among innocent boy’s books, terrified that my mother would find it. Nowadays anything goes.

I still read erotica, but it has to be good. And I know very quickly if it isn’t. And so much of it isn’t. This one is. For a start it has a credible and original story, fleshed out believable characters and a delightful protagonist in Suzie. I fell in love with Suzie, and her adventure held me spellbound. I should add that it’s a very well written novel.

I enjoyed the book immensely and recommend it highly. I look forward to more of Scarlett Flame.

As a writer of thrillers, I have to say that writing erotica is not an easy genre. Many writers think it is. They see it as easy way to make a quick income on the side. That’s why there is so much junk out there. I would never attempt it. I recognize my limitations. Writing erotica is like playing the violin. You do it very well or not at all.

 
 
 
 
on October 11, 2017
Deliciously dark romance that fairly sizzles off the page! I found Suzie’s tale utterly enthralling
and there’s a lovely realism about this book that is generally lacking in others. It’s clear
the author knows her subject well!

Anyway, if you love it dark with generous lashings of kink and BDSM – you are going to adore
this!
 
 
★*´¨)¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
 
(¸.• ** #FREE to read with #KindleUnlimited
 
Available in paperback
 
 
#DarkRomance #Suspense #Thriller
 
#Spanking #HotRomance #Menage
 
#BDSM Dom/sub
 
 
 
International Amazon Top 100 Paid
 
Winner in The Best Indie Published Book 2017
 
 
 
Nominee for a Golden Flogger Award
 
 
Go on … treat yourself…
 
You won’t regret it
 
Love n stuff
 
Scarlett
 
xXx
 
 
 

Weekend Excerpt–RANSOMING REDEMPTION

RANSOMING REDEMPTION is the third and final book of Rannigan’s Redemption, my ‘spicy vanilla’ erotic romance law drama.

Rannigan’s Redemption is the story of hotshot Manhattan criminal defense attorney Michael Rannigan, and his complicated relationship with Maggie Flynn, the smart redhead he hires straight out of law school to join his elite practice.

By the last book, Michael and Maggie have been friends for years.  Although she’s not anything like the vapid, surgically-enhanced blondes he favors, he’s never been able to shake the attraction he feels for her.

Now, though, this inveterate player feels the need to make amends for the ways he’s used people, to find redemption for all the ways he’s failed those around him, Maggie in particular.

So he hatches a plan to make sure that no matter what might happen in the future, Maggie will be happy.  And he’ll do it, too, even if he has to give her a little push.

Here’s a snippet from RANSOMING REDEMPTION.

Standing in the empty parlor three steps down from the entry, Maggie’s gaze traveled from the intricately designed hardwood floors to the crisp white crown molding, halting in amazement on the ornate stone federalist fireplace.  Winnie was giving a running narrative though Maggie only half heard her.  “Now you’ll notice lots of original details throughout this property.”

“When was this house built?” Michael asked.

“Got to be late 1800s,” Maggie murmured thoughtfully.

“1890 to be precise,” said Winnie sounding pleased.  “You know your architecture.  It’s believed that it was originally built to be the home of a gentleman’s mistress.  He set her up in grand style.”

Maggie giggled.  “Ooh, how scandalous!  What an interesting history.”  She walked the perimeter of the room.  “Michael, do you see the wood inlay in the floor all around the edge?” she asked, stooping to lightly caress the design.  “This is just exquisite.”

She turned to Michael suddenly.  “You’re not seriously considering moving?”

He shook his head.  “Nah, this would be an investment.  I wanted your opinion on the place, though.”  Crossing to a bay window that overlooked the sidewalk and street, he sank onto the seat and put his oxygen back in.  “How about you look it over for me and see what you think.”

Winnie nodded.  “If you go on back, you’ll see they’ve upgraded the kitchen while keeping the original style of the place intact.”

Maggie continued down the hallway past a formal dining room and into the kitchen.  As Winnie had said, it was spacious and open, boasting high end stainless steel appliances and stone counter tops, but nothing overpowered the original stone floor and fireplace.  At the end of the room was a space for a breakfast table and beyond that, tall vintage French doors.

“Oh, Michael, there’s a yard back here,” she called, letting herself out into a small gravel courtyard dominated by a huge old oak tree and edged by landscaping beds.  There are probably tulip and daffodil bulbs that pop up in the spring, Maggie mused.  The brick walls of the garden were covered with ivy.

She returned to the parlor.  “Michael, this is absolutely amazing.”

“You like it, then?” he asked, seeming pleased.

“It’s beautiful.  Maybe you should think about moving,” she said.

“You haven’t seen the upstairs yet,” Winnie reminded her.  “This house has four bedrooms and four and a half baths.  The master suite takes up the entire second floor.  Two bedrooms are on the third floor, and there’s a smaller attic bedroom at the top.  Oh, and the basement is finished.  It’s perfect for a home office or a gym.”

Maggie had just started up the stairs when Michael called from the window seat.  “Hey, Mags?  Do you have a couple of dollars?”

“A couple of dollars?”

“Yeah.  I want to buy a newspaper.”

“Michael, I’ll buy you a paper on the way home.”

“There’s a little store on the corner,” he hooked his thumb toward the window, “I just forgot my wallet.  Can you loan me some money?”

Maggie returned to the living room.  “Oh, for fu-,” she glanced at Winnie, “I mean, for Pete’s sake,” she muttered as she dug though her purse.  “Here’s five bucks.  Honestly, I would be happy to get your paper when we’re finished here.”

Michael flashed his best grin.  “Thanks, Mags.  By the way, can you sign as a witness?  I’ve decided to buy the house.”

Maggie frowned at the document in his hand.  “We haven’t even looked at the rest of it yet.”

“I’ve seen the pictures.  And judging by the way you like this floor, I’m thinking this is a good deal.”

She took the document from him, her brow furrowed in thought.

“Maggie, wait until you see the claw foot tubs in the bathrooms,” Winnie said.  “And they’ve maintained the vintage tile on the floors and walls.”  Maggie looked up from the contract.

“Just sign below me, Mags,” Michael said, pointing to the line.  Distractedly, she took the pen from him and quickly signed her name as Winnie continued talking.

“And the master suite has its own original fireplace similar to the one down here.  Let me show you.”

Taking one last look at Michael, Maggie dutifully followed the realtor up the stairs.  Michael smiled smugly to himself.

RANSOMING REDEMPTION, Book 3 of Rannigan’s Redemption,
is available at your favorite online bookseller,
in both digital and paperback formats.
books2read.com/RansomingRedemption

 

But be sure to start at Book 1,
RESISTING RISK:
books2read.com/ResistingRisk

 

And pssst, just between you and me…
I’ve posted RESISTING RISK chapter by chapter on Book+Main.
Or you can read it in its entirety for FREE at Bellesa.co.

 

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.