Weekend Excerpt–New Teaser from FOR SPARROW

SPIN Pandora (1)

FOR SPARROW has been nominated for both the 2017 New Apple Book Award and the 2017 RITA Award in Erotic Romance.  It’s a contemporary light BDSM romance set in sunny Palm Beach County, Florida.

When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s devastated.  But it seems that Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend, Dominant firefighter paramedic Judd Farris to look out for Jessi until she gets back on her feet.

It’s a damn odd arrangment, though.  A surrogate Dom, in a platonic D/s relationship?  Judd’s determined to keep his promise to his friend.  But as time goes on, that line becomes harder to honor.  How long until Jessi and Judd give in to mutual attraction?  Could it be that Graham had something more permanent in mind all along?

Naked Body With Leather Handcuffs

Judd and Jessi watched for a few minutes, then Judd tugged gently on the lead and they moved along to another room.  A larger crowd had gathered in this doorway, but Judd made his way to an attendant supervising the black velvet rope separating the room from the hallway.

“Right this way, Master Judd,” the man said.

They squeezed past the other onlookers toward a collection of leather club chairs at the end of the room.  Judd was shown to a chair.  Jessi looked up at him questioningly.  “I made reservations for this one, Angel.  It’s something I want you to see.  You may kneel beside me.”  He sank into the chair and nodded to his left, indicating her place.

Jessi sank to her knees facing a raised dais in the center of the room.  A huge steel tripod stood on the dais.  It was tall enough for a man to easily stand beneath it with room to spare, and a large metal ring hung suspended from its apex.  She shivered in anticipation.

Soon most of the remaining chairs were filled by other Dominants, all with at least one sub kneeling at their feet.  One Domme had a male and a female submissive kneeling beside her.  The other guests had to content themselves with jockeying for position in the wide doorway.

Jessi couldn’t imagine what was about to happen.  A nude young female submissive approached Judd, eyes cast down.  “Excuse me, Master, would you care for a beverage?”

“I’ll have a glass of sauvignon blanc, sub, thank you.”  Before she could censor herself, Jessi’s head jerked up and she looked at Judd.  He winked at her and tugged on her lead.  She returned her eyes to the floor.  Her mouth suddenly felt like it was full of cotton.

What I wouldn’t give for a glass of wine right now.

The submissive quickly returned with a single glass of wine balanced on a tray.  She handed it to Judd without comment and bowed before backing away.  Jessi heard Judd take a sip of wine, and she coveted it so badly she could taste it.

“Would you like some wine, Angel?” Judd asked quietly.

Jessi looked up at him.  “Yes, please, Master Judd.”

Judd took another sip, then leaned down and pressed his lips to hers.  As she opened to him, the cool sweet liquid filled her mouth.  He kissed her sensuously and sat back up again, a smug smile on his face.  Jessi looked back down and smiled, too.

That was hot.

She heard the sound of feet approaching and cautioned a glance to her left where the last vacant chair had been.  She saw expensive black leather dress shoes and black slacks.  A familiar spiced musk scent wafted past her as a hand reached behind her toward Judd.

“Good evening, Master Judd.”  The voice was a rich baritone, the accent softly Spanish.

“Master Mateo.  It’s good to see you.  It’s a wonderful party, as always.”

“I am glad you are enjoying, my friend.  It’s so good to see you again.  And this is your lovely sub?”

Judd’s hand rested protectively on Jessi’s right shoulder.  “This is my Angel.  Angel, say hello to Master Mateo.”

Shyly, Jessi raised her eyes.  The man in the chair next to her was elegantly dressed in a black tuxedo.  Sharp brown eyes peered at her from behind the black and silver mask covering the top half of his face.  A neat dark beard and mustache framed the rest of his face, and his long dark hair was swept up in a stylish topknot.  His lips were pursed in an expression she couldn’t read.

She bowed her head again.  “Hello, Master Mateo.”

“So nice to meet you, queridita.”

A hush fell over the room and the lights dimmed as a fit bald man led a beautiful brunette out onto the dais in the center of the room.  Shirtless, he wore loose pants of black silk.  The woman was wrapped in a black silk kimono, her eyes covered in a blindfold of black lace.  She knelt in the center of the raised platform while the man returned to the door through which they’d entered.  Moments later, he was back with a basket full of red rope.  Wordlessly, he stepped up to the woman and pulled her head to his thigh.  Jessi sighed along with the woman, knowing what it was to kneel before the man she trusted.

After a moment, the man helped the woman to stand, and, cupping the back of her head, he kissed her passionately before removing her robe to the waist, where it was tied with a wide silk belt.  Using the red rope, the Dom wrapped her chest, both above and below her breasts, in an intricate pattern.  Placing a bamboo cane across her shoulder blades, he lashed her arms out to her sides, continuing to add to the pattern.  Occasionally, he paused to caress her cheek, or to place soft kisses against her neck.

Jessi watched with rapt attention, mesmerized by both the sensual scene, and the deep intimacy shared by the pair, Dom and sub.  Her feet began to tingle from lack of blood and she shifted slightly.  Judd gently squeezed her shoulder and when she looked up at him, he nodded, indicating his permission to sit on her right hip with her legs curled to her left side.  Jessi leaned against Judd’s left knee and continued to watch the performance.

Soon, the Dom ran ropes beneath the skirt of the woman’s robe, back and forth until he’d woven something resembling a thong, at which point, he removed the robe completely.  Before Jessi knew it, he’d run some rope through the ring overhead and the woman was now suspended, her legs tied in arcs extending out like a floating ballerina.

Unconsciously, Jessi rested her cheek against Judd’s thigh and wrapped her right arm around his calf.  Unable to look away, she absently caressed his ankle with her fingertips as the performance continued.  Finally, the man gently untied the woman’s legs and lowered her to the floor.  He restored the robe around her waist and continued removing ropes until there were none.  At his nonverbal command, she again knelt at his feet and he caressed her hair tenderly.

The audience, who’d been holding their collective breath, burst into applause.  Jessi smiled up at Judd and he leaned down to kiss her tenderly.  “What did you think, Angel?”

“That was beautiful,” she replied, eyes shining.

Judd stood and helped Jessi rise on unsteady feet.

“It was indeed beautiful.  Master Jeremy is an expert in Kinbaku.  We are privileged to have him here tonight.”

Jessi heard the deep voice behind her, but more than that, she felt the presence of Master Mateo, though he was not standing close enough to touch her.  Instinctively she bowed her head.

“Thank you for making sure we had a seat for this performance,” Judd said.  “I wanted my Angel to see it up close and personal.”

“It was my pleasure.  I’m very happy you both enjoyed it.”

“I think we’ll go outside for some fresh air.  See you later.”  Judd gave a slight tug on the lead and led Jessi toward the door.

“I am sure of it,” came the reply.

For Sparrow promo 1

FOR SPARROW  is the third book in the Dream Dominant Collection.
Get you copy here: books2read.com/ForSparrow

Weekend Excerpt–Happy Thanksgiving!


Here in the States, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving this week.  It’s a great time for family, friends, and good food.  It’s a time to stop and consider all the things for which we’re grateful.

This weekend excerpt features a Thanksgiving scene from RANSOMING REDEMPTION, the third and final book of Rannigan’s Redemption.

They arrived at the Beaulieu’s home after eight o’clock that night having driven from the airport in the silver pickup truck Bobby had reserved at the rental agency.  “A truck?” Maggie had questioned.  Bobby had just winked at her.

Jerilyn chased Savannah who bounded out of the house as they pulled up into the circular driveway.  “Daddy!” cried the child as she threw herself into Bobby’s arms.

“Well hey there, June bug,” he said, hugging his daughter tightly.  “Look who I brought with me.  You remember Maggie, don’t you?”

“Welcome, cher,” Jerilyn said as she wrapped Maggie in a huge hug.  “Come on in.  Are y’all hungry?”

“I’m always hungry,” laughed Bobby.  He put Savannah on the ground.  “Come on, you can help us get our bags.”

“This is such a beautiful home,” Maggie told Bobby’s mother.

“Why thank you, hon,” she smiled.  “Of course, you know Bobby had it built for us when he signed his first contract with the majors.”

Maggie’s eyes widened and she looked to Bobby who seemed uncomfortable.  “No.  I didn’t know that.”

Ro-bert, y’all are up in your room,” Jerilyn tossed over her shoulder as she headed back into the house.  “Get freshened up and come on down to the kitchen.”

With Bobby leading the way, Savannah carried Maggie’s cosmetic case and Maggie followed with her suitcase as they went upstairs.  They traveled down a long hallway to a bedroom on the back of the house with a huge bay window overlooking the marsh beyond the expansive lawn.

“Okay, sweetie,” Bobby said to Savannah, “how about you go help Nana in the kitchen and we’ll be right there.”

“Okay, Daddy,” the little girl said.  “Are you coming downstairs, Maggie?”

Maggie smiled.  “I sure am.  I’ll see you in just a minute.”

“You can sit by me,” Savannah said as she left the room, closing the door behind her.

Bobby pulled Maggie to him and held her for a moment, kissing her neck.  “Thank you so much for coming home with me, cher,” he murmured against her neck.

“I’m happy to be here,” she said.  “I’m surprised your mom has us sharing a room, though.”  He looked at her quizzically.  “I just figured we’d be in separate rooms, that’s all,” she shrugged.

“You realize, cher,” he arched an eyebrow, “they know we have sex.”  He whispered the last three words, and Maggie blushed furiously while he chuckled.  “You’re so pretty when your face is pink.”

Thursday was a blur of activity at the Beaulieu home.  Bobby’s sisters and their families arrived throughout the morning beginning around seven o’clock.  One by one, Maggie was introduced to them, and she made a concerted effort to remember everyone’s names and at least which kids belonged to which adults, if not the names of the kids.  She happily pitched in with the preparations in the kitchen while Bobby worked outside to set up the large outdoor fryer in which the turkey would be cooked.

“Have you ever had deep-fried turkey, Maggie?” asked Bobby’s sister Jenny.

Maggie shook her head.  “I never have, but I’ve always wanted to try it.”

“You should go outside and watch,” youngest sister Nancy told her.

Taking a beer from the giant ice-filled galvanized tub on the back deck, Maggie walked down the steps to the area on the end of the driveway where Bobby and his father had set up the fryer on its sturdy platform.  The other men were keeping an eye on the kids playing behind the house.

“If it’s not the prettiest girl I know,” Bobby said, smiling.  “And she brought me a beer.”  He took it from her and kissed her cheek.  “How are you doing, cher?”

“I’m great!  I came to see the turkey fry.”

“Once you have it fried, you’ll never go back to roasted,” Justin told her with a wink.

The holiday dinner around the family table was a raucous affair.  Following the grace, the passing of heaping platters and bowls was accompanied by loud conversation punctuated by frequent laughter.  Feeling a bit overwhelmed, Maggie sat back and took it all in.  Bobby rested his free hand on her thigh and grinned at her reassuringly from time to time.

“Well what do you think, Maggie?”  Bobby’s oldest sister Michelle smiled kindly.  “Are you coming back for Christmas or have we scared you off?”

“Oh, well,” Maggie began, “actually I have a gathering at my place every Christmas.  It’s sort of affectionately known as the Orphans and Misfits Christmas.”

“Being without family, Maggie invites her friends who don’t have anybody either.  She makes sure that nobody’s alone on Christmas,” Bobby elaborated proudly.

“Well, she has family now,” Bobby’s sister Renée said, and Maggie blushed as threatened tears stung her eyes.

RR3 review

RANSOMING REDEMPTION is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/RansomingRedemption

Rannigan’s Redempton–RUNNING ROGUE: My How Things Have Changed

Rannigan’s Redemption is a three-novel contemporary erotic romance/law drama.  It tells the story of high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan, and his complicated relationship with Maggie Flynn, the smart, redheaded lawyer he hires straight out of law school to join his elite firm.

In previous posts, you’ve been introduced to Michael and Maggie.

If the first book, Resisting Risk is the set-up for the story, the second book, RUNNING ROGUE, is about change.  [WARNING: Spoilers ahead!]

For years, Michael and Maggie resisted the risk of love.  But one night of passion tore them apart, and now they’re just running rogue, making questionable choices in both their professional and personal lives.

When Michael receives devastating news, he’s shaken to his core.  And having burned all his bridges, there’s no one willing to stand beside him.  In desperation, one cold, rainy night, he finds himself outside Maggie’s apartment.  Is there any way she’ll forgive him?

Here’s an excerpt from RUNNING ROGUE.  Be forewarned, it includes spoilers.

Michael?” Maggie asked into the intercom.

“Hey, Mags.”  His voice sounded tinny over the ancient device.  “I know it’s late.  I’m sorry.  But when I saw your light on, I mean…  Can I come up?”

Maggie hesitated, her finger hovering over the button.  “What do you want, Michael?”

“Mags, I just…I just want to talk.”

She shook her head, checking the time again.  What the hell?  And he’s probably drunk.  Standing out there in the rain like he’s got absolutely no sense. 

            She pressed the door buzzer.  “Don’t wake my neighbors,” she admonished him.

Maggie pulled the wooly cream colored robe tighter around herself, tying the belt securely and she stalked to the door, opening it to wait for Michael.  She watched him coming up the stairs, his soaked hair matted to his head.  His wet shoes squeaked softly with each footfall.  She started to say something snippy but noticed the haunted look in his eyes, so she simply stepped back and let him into the apartment.  She closed the door behind him and walked to the kitchen counter where she leaned back, crossing her arms, head cocked at him expectantly.

Michael stood just inside the doorway, rainwater pooling all around his feet.  He looked ill at ease and uncertain.

“Well?” she finally said.

He ran his fingers through his wet hair and sighed deeply.

“Oh for God’s sake, Michael!”  She left him standing there and returned with a large blue towel.  “You’re soaked.”

She took his jacket from him and hung it over the back of a kitchen chair.  As he used the towel to dry his face and hair, she couldn’t help herself.  “Are you drunk?”

He frowned and shook his head.  “I’m not drunk.  I had some bourbon.  I might be drunk.  A little.”

Maggie rolled her eyes.  “Sit down.  I’m making you some coffee so we can send you home.  Have you eaten lately?”

“I don’t know.”  Michael sank onto a chair at the kitchen table.  He glanced around as Maggie busied herself putting a kettle of water on the stove and taking a French press from a cupboard.

“I hope I’m not causing a problem with your fiancé.  Husband?  Whatever.”

Maggie paused to look at him, her lips forming a grim line.  “Yeah, well, that didn’t work out so…no worries.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.”

She worked in silence breaking eggs into a bowl and putting strips of bacon into a skillet as Michael sat at the table and occasionally used the towel to swipe at his face.   On the stove, the bacon began to sizzle as the kettle whistled.  Maggie poured the boiling water into the press and let it stand for a moment as she chopped a small onion and part of a green pepper.

“Did you know Stan Hodges died?” Michael finally asked.

Maggie arched an eyebrow.  “I was at the funeral.  Where were you?”

“I don’t know,” he answered vaguely.  He watched her grate cheddar into the eggs.  Then she pressed the plunger on the coffee and poured some into a cornflower blue mug with a white script ‘M’ on the side.

M for Maggie. Or Michael.  He shook his head to dismiss the inane thought.  Looking around the small apartment, he asked, “Why are you still here?”

Maggie glanced over her shoulder.  “What, I should move uptown into one of your glass and steel monstrosities?”

“I was just thinking that you could afford a bigger place, that’s all.”

“This may be a tiny apartment but this building has soul.  Once upon a time, a family called this place home.  Maybe I can’t afford to own a whole townhouse but at least I can rent a small part of it.”

Michael watched her for a moment.  “You could have bought your own townhouse if you’d stayed with the firm.”

Maggie turned around and leaned against the counter, crossing her arms.  “If I’d stayed, I’d have been out of a job along with everyone else.  You really tanked everyone, you know that, right?”

He looked down at his hands.  “I wouldn’t have pursued the television thing if you’d still been there.”

She snorted, returning to her cutting board.  “Bullshit.  Being on the news every night is exactly your thing.  You can’t put that off on me.”

She set the coffee in front of him.  “What are you doing here, Michael?”

He stalled, sipping the steaming hazelnut blend.  “This isn’t where I meant to be.  I went out and ended up down here in the Village.  I was at the Blue Note until they kicked everybody out.  I got a little lost and then realized I was across the street from your apartment.”

Maggie turned back to her omelet, stirring in the vegetables.  The bacon had quieted down and she turned over the strips, causing them to erupt into loud sizzling once again.  “Why are you here?” she asked again.

“I’m sick,” he said quietly.

“I don’t doubt it.  It’s forty degrees outside and you’re soaked.  It’s a wonder you don’t have pneumonia.”

“It’s cancer.”

Maggie froze mid-stir.  “What?”  Slowly, she turned around.

“Cancer.”

“Shit.”  She crossed to the table and sank onto the chair across from him, gaping at him wide-eyed.

“There was this spot.  And then they found out it was melanoma.”  Michael’s face twisted.  “Mags, you wouldn’t believe the chunk they cut out of my shoulder.”

“Well, they got it then,” she said.  “Good.  That’s good, right?”

“Bacon’s burning,” Michael said quietly.

“Fuck!”  She jumped up and took the pan off the burner.

“I like it that way,” he offered as she set the strips of bacon on a paper towel to drain and poured the omelet into the pan.

“So after they took the hunk out of my arm they did a biopsy.  It was melanoma, just like the doctor said.  Then they had me get a PET scan.  Said they needed to see if it had spread.”

Maggie worked mechanically at the egg mixture in the pan, listening intently as he spoke.  “And?” she asked as she slid the omelet onto a blue ceramic plate.  She placed it in front of him and sat down again.

“And they called this afternoon to say they have the results.  The doctor wouldn’t discuss it over the phone.  He wants me to come in tomorrow.”  He looked down at the plate.  “He said I should have someone with me.”

“Oh my God.  Michael.”

He nodded.  “I started making phone calls.  That’s how I found out about Stan.  Which was after I called Murph and then Jimbo.  They pretty much told me to go fuck myself.”

Maggie watched him grimly.  I imagine they did. 

“I called some of the women I go out with.  I guess everybody has a lot going on.”  He sighed.  “I thought about calling you.  But, I don’t know.  I’ve been an asshole.  Plus I figured you were busy with getting married and stuff.”  He met her eyes.  “I didn’t mean to come here, honest to God.”

She watched him pick at the omelet.  “My agent’s pissed at me because I bailed on some appearances.  Asking her to come with me is out of the question.  She’s probably not in town anyway.”

Michael shook his head.  “I don’t know why they’re insisting that someone comes with me to that appointment tomorrow.  I should just go and find out what the scan shows, figure out where to go from there.  It’s just…”  His voice broke.  “Mags, I’m scared shitless.”  He put down the fork and held his head in his hands.

Maggie could never have imagined a scenario in which S. Michael Rannigan would break down sobbing at her kitchen table.  She felt as though her heart would break.

“Michael,” she said softly, standing beside him, placing her hand on his shoulder.  His body shook as he let loose the emotions that had been building since the day the nightmare had started.  “It’s okay,” she murmured.  “It’s okay, everything’s going to be alright.”  She waited for him to quiet down.  “What time is your appointment?”

Michael sat up, sniffing and using the towel to wipe his face.  “Shit.”  He coughed and took a sip of coffee.  “I have to be there at 1:30.”

Maggie looked over to where her files still sat scattered in the living room.  She knew they probably represented ten hours of work for the following day and she sighed heavily.  “Where is the doctor’s office?”

“It’s on E. 80th between 2nd and 3rd.”

She nodded.  “Okay.  I’ll tell Rance that I have to leave at lunch.  I’ll meet you there.”

“I can’t ask you to do that,” Michael said quickly, but he looked at her with such gratitude she felt the sting of tears in her eyes and a huge lump formed in her throat.

She coughed lightly.  “You didn’t ask, although you seem to have asked everyone else in your Contacts, and I’m going to try not to take that personally,” she said.  “I’m offering.  Take it or leave it.”

Michael smiled thinly.  “I’ve missed your smartass.  I’d be so glad to have you with me.”

Maggie nodded.  “Done.  But if for some reason I’m running late, you go on in.  I’ll be there.  I promise.”  She took his plate and warmed it in the microwave before placing it in front of him again.  “Now finish this up.  I’m calling you a cab and sending you on your way.”

RR2 review

RUNNING ROGUE is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/RunningRogue

Box1

You can also find the entire trilogy in one complete boxed set.
books2read.com/RannigansRedemption

Don’t You Just Love Sexy Alphas?

The Dream Dominant Collection new covers 1

I love stories about strong, sexy Alpha males.  There are lots of books out there, with billionaire Doms who require of their submissives strict adherence to their rules and demands.  Those are great stories.

But when I started writing the Dream Dominant books, I wanted to do something a little different.  I wanted to write about real people living out their Dom/sub lives in the real world, characters I hope readers can relate to.  Like I stated in the Preface to FOR SPARROW,

The reality is that many regular couples, all around us, quietly live a Dom/sub dynamic every day.  While sexual kink is an essential part of BDSM, there’s so much more to it than that.  Beyond kinky sex, it’s a deeply intimate dance between two people who have embraced their true natures.  At the very foundation, a Dominant craves to lead, and a submissive craves to follow.

Every D/s couple lives out this journey in their own way, but there are some commonalities.  The sub is a strong person who willingly relinquishes control to someone stronger, his or her Dom.  Together they work out to what extent this power exchange goes, whether it’s only in the bedroom, or it’s a 24/7 arrangement, or somewhere in between.

Often, there are rituals established by the Dominant, chores or assignments for which the submissive is responsible, all of which are intended to benefit the submissive.  Knee time would be one example, a regular time when the sub kneels at the feet of her Dom and releases all the concerns of the day.  It’s comparable to meditation, but in this instance, it’s a time of intimacy and bonding for the couple that has nothing to do with sex.  Unless it ends in a blow job.  But I digress.

The intimacy found at the heart of a D/s relationship is the stuff of pure romance.  And that is where I think the truly great stories are.

So far, there are three novels in the collection.  The stories are stand-alone, meaning they’re unrelated and can be read in any order.

Meet the Dream Dominants.

LUKE & BELLA KINDLE

 

 

In LUKE & BELLA, photojournalist Luke McGillicutty fell in love so quickly with Bella Grant, his partner on the road, that he didn’t have time to mention the fact that he’s Dominant. If he tells her now, he could lose her forever.

NEW Lost & Bound

 

 

Rugged mountain man Blake Walker, from LOST & BOUND, isn’t impressed with the bratty Hollywood actress staying at his family’s remote wilderness lodge. But could Shasta Pyke be the baby girl this Daddy Dom’s been looking for?

SPARROW - OPTIMUS

 

 

In FOR SPARROW, sexy firefighter paramedic Judd Farris promised to look out for new widow Jessi Crenshaw. Being a surrogate Dominant until she finds one of her own is an odd arrangement. It’s strictly platonic. But how long can they deny the attraction they both feel?

 

 

While the series currently includes three books, more are on the way, including a spin-off from LOST & BOUND featuring the characters Scott and Jackie.  And I’m planning a spin-off from FOR SPARROW featuring sexy Dom, Master Mateo.  But I still intend for the stories to be stand-alone.  You won’t have to have read the others to enjoy them.  But if you have, it will be fun to get to know these characters better.

You can find the Dream Dominant Collection novels,
all of which are available in paperback as well as ebooks,
at your favorite online bookseller.

Amazon
iBooks
Nook

The Dream Dominant Collection new covers 2

Weekend Excerpt–A New Cover for LOST & BOUND

LOST & BOUND is the second book in the Dream Dominant Collection.  When the talented and sexy Linzi Basset created the cover of FOR SPARROW, Dream Dominant 3, I knew I needed to ask her to revamp all the Dream Dominant covers.  And I’m so happy I did.

In LOST & BOUND, Hollywood bad girl Shasta Pyke is sent to cool her heels for a few weeks in the wilderness of northern Ontario after she has a run-in with the law.  That’s where she meets Dominant mountain man Blake Walker, who is none too impressed by the bratty actress, who is the sole guest at his family’s remote lodge.  But as he spends more time with her, he begins to wonder if she might be the baby girl his Daddy Dom soul has been looking for.

Lost & Bound new cover 2

Here’s a little teaser…

When the power went out, Blake wasn’t surprised in the least.  If anything, he was surprised it had lasted as long as it had.  This was undoubtedly the worst storm so far in what had been a very dry summer.  Angry lightning streaked across the dark sky, with thunder booming almost instantaneously.  For microseconds, the flashes illuminated the entire lake like mid-day.

He slid open the sheer drapes that shrouded the glass doors overlooking the lake and settled in, book in one hand, a second bottle of Lebatt Blue in the other.  Leaning back, he rested his feet on the battered leather ottoman, content for the moment to watch the storm’s fury.

His eyes moved to the dark shape in the middle of the lake.  He knew from experience that a wild storm like this one was a dicey proposition in the tiny island cabin.  For one thing, because it was situated on the crest of the island, the wind howled mercilessly around the structure.  And being on the highest point, with thirty-foot pines towering over it, the cabin was a natural lightning rod.  The thunder would be deafening.

He wondered how Shasta was faring.  As he watched, another jagged bolt etched a path across the sky.  He chuckled lightly, picturing her, eyes wide, with the covers pulled up over her head.

               I should check on her first thing in the morning.

Eventually, he lit the oil lamp beside him and began to read.  Bear paced anxiously back and forth in front of the huge window.  He’d never been a fan of storms, not since he’d been a pup.  Suddenly the dog stopped pacing and whimpered softly.

“What’s wrong, boy?  You’re okay, it’s just a summer storm.”

Bear whimpered again and woofed softly.  Frowning, Blake set down the book and stood beside the dog, looking out into the stormy night.  “What is it?  Is something out there?”

Then he saw it.  A tiny point of light between him and the island.  It bounced and tossed as it…

Blake shook his head.  “No way.  No way is she in a boat in the middle of this storm.”

In the next instant, lightning flashed and he saw her clearly, Shasta, huddled against the wind and rain, steering the tiny skiff toward the lodge’s dock.  She was battling against the ferocious gusts of wind and white-capped waves on the lake that threatened to capsize the boat.

“Son of a bitch!” Blake growled.  “No more sense than a…”  He threw on his boots and shrugged into his rain slicker, pausing to don his headlamp before pulling up the hood.  “Son of a bitch!”

He kept his eyes on Shasta as he stalked out to the dock, crossing to the end to wait for her.  When she was close enough, he held out an old wooden oar and she grasped the end of it, allowing him to pull her the rest of the way to the side of the dock.  Blake reached down to cut the motor and grasped her by the upper arms, pulling her out of the boat.

She stood in front of him, eyes wide with terror, and she was soaked to the skin, not having bothered with a rain coat.  He shouted above the storm.  “God-dammit, Shasta, what the hell were you thinking?”

She just blinked up at him, shaking either from fear or cold, or both.  “Come on, let’s get you inside.”  He easily scooped her up in his arms and she buried herself against his chest.

Blake was shaking too, but it was from anger.  She’d recklessly endangered herself.  If he hadn’t seen her, if the boat had swamped…  It was beyond his comprehension.  He carried her straight into his cabin, kicking the door closed behind them.  He set her down in the kitchen and stepped back.

“Explain yourself.”  He crossed his arms and watched her expectantly.

Shasta stood shaking, her red hair plastered to her head, her soaked white camisole completely sheer, her pink pajamas clinging to her legs.  She crossed her arms, too, but the gesture was self-protective rather than angry.  It only served to push up her breasts, punctuated by hard-tipped nipples, made harder by being cold and wet.  He worked to ignore them, trying to understand what she’d been thinking.

“Well?”

“I…” she stammered, “I was so scared.”  She was shivering constantly now, and a trickle of blood ran down the side of her face.

Blake lifted her chin gently.  “What happened?  Why are you bleeding?”

Her head shook slightly.  “I don’t…” her teeth chattered, “I don’t know.”

Peering closely, he saw a cut at the hairline above her right temple.  Swiping the hair back, he spied a sliver of glass and carefully removed it.  “Come with me,” he commanded.

She followed him through the living room as he picked up the oil lamp and carried it into the bathroom, where he lifted her up and sat her on the counter.  The cut on her head had begun bleeding in earnest when the glass had been removed.  Blake used a gauze pad to apply direct pressure on the cut.  Shasta sniffled softly as tears ran down her face.

“What’s wrong?” he growled.

“You called me Shasta,” she sobbed.

He snorted.  “What you did was a very ‘Shasta’ thing to do.  That’s the least of your worries right now.  Hold this.”  He moved her hand to hold the gauze in place and he reached around to turn on the faucet in the bathtub.

She sat shivering, watching the tub fill with hot water.  Clouds of steam filled the room.  He left for a moment, returning with a flannel shirt of dark red plaid, which he hung on a hook on the back of the door.  Next he turned off the water.

“Let me see how it’s doing,” he murmured, carefully peering under the gauze.  The bleeding had slowed.  He took a bandage from the medicine cabinet and applied it over the cut.  Shasta was still shaking like a leaf.

“You’re almost hypothermic.  I want you in the tub.  Strip.”

Shasta blinked up at him.

“Don’t make me tell you twice.”  His voice was quietly intense as he lifted her off the counter and stood her in the middle of the floor.

Shakily, she pulled the camisole over her head, dropping it to the floor.  Blake watched unblinkingly, a hard expression on his face.  She hooked her thumbs into the top of her pants and slid them, panties and all, down her legs.  She nearly tripped stepping out of them, and Blake reached to steady her.

Naked, she stood trembling as he devoured her with his eyes, starting with her perfect round tits and their tight pink points, her narrow waist and the flair of her hips, the bare cleft at the junction where her legs met.  After all, she’d been on display on the dock, surely she wasn’t shy now.  He knew he was being an ass and he didn’t care.  Anger still thrummed through his veins.

“Get in the tub.  I’ll set a timer for fifteen minutes.  After that, the water will cool off too much to help.”  He disappeared, returning moments later with a kitchen timer which he set on the bathroom counter.

“Why aren’t you in the tub?  Was I unclear in some way?” he snapped.

Shasta touched the wall for stability as she dipped one foot into the tub.  “It’s hot.”

“It’s supposed to be hot.  We have to warm you up.”  He watched her step in with the other foot and ease herself down.  She looked like a drowned rat, peering up at him all wide-eyed.

“When the timer goes off, get out and dry yourself.  You can put this on,” he indicated the flannel shirt he’d hung on the door.  “You will go into the bedroom and sit on the edge of my bed.  You will wait until I come back.  Is that clear?”

Shasta nodded silently.

“I said sit.  You will not lie down, you will not get into the bed.  You will sit.  If you’re cold, there’s a blanket you can use to wrap around yourself.  Do you understand?”

Again, she nodded.  A look of annoyance crossed his face, and then passed.  He nodded sharply.  “I’ll be back.”  He closed the bathroom door behind him and she heard him speak to Bear.  “Stay here, boy, keep an eye on her.  I need to think.”

LOST & BOUND FULL CS fixed

LOST & BOUND is on sale at your favorite online bookseller,
and it’s also available in paperback.
books2read.com/LostandBound

 

Watch This Space–ISLA’S IRISH COWBOY by Bella Settarra

When he opened his mind, she opened his heart.

islasirishcowboy_9781786862334_800

New out from Bella Settarra, it’s ISLA’S IRISH COWBOY.   It’s Book 4 of the Cowboys of Cavern County.  I just ‘met’ Bella recently, and she’s already one of my favorite people for lots of reasons, not the least of which being the fact that my first ginger heroine is called Bella.

With this book, I have to tell you she had me at ‘Irish cowboy.’  So I was dying to know what it was all about.  Here’s the blurb…

Isla Gillingham is a beautiful, successful model – so she’s bound to be a spoiled, selfish diva, right? At least that’s what Kean Maguire presumes until he meets her. His impression of her changes in a heartbeat when he sees her dressed casually, eating fries, smiling and giggling.

Not one for socializing, Kean is secretly happy to volunteer to take Isla and the photographer into the mountains for a photo shoot – until Isla’s manager, Tabitha Merchant, warns him that there is a powerful legal team ready to pounce the minute he slips up, and a court battle will not only lose him his job, but also result in the closure of the Fielding Ranch.

Isla is immediately taken with the Irish cowboy, and thrilled when he leads their trek into the mountains. His demeanour is anything but friendly, however, and even worse when an accident occurs on a narrow ledge.

Reluctantly, she allows Kean to offer her shelter at his cottage when the weather deteriorates. Given the chance to learn more about each other can she persuade him that she is not the calculating bitch he assumed? And is his heart really as cold as the ice outside, or will it melt with the driven snow?

As Isla admits that her life isn’t quite as happy as it seems, Kean must disclose his unsavoury past, despite knowing it could completely turn her against him. But their lives change entirely when they discover they are not the only ones keeping secrets…

shamrock bella settarra

And knowing you guys, I went ahead with the adult excerpt.  You’re welcome!

Kean tangled his fingers in her soft, blonde curls. He stroked the smooth skin of her neck, causing her to buck deliciously up toward him with a soft moan.

He had never felt anything like it. It was like running his fingers through velvet. Her shoulders were like silk, and he couldn’t resist trailing one hand down her body. She was so sensitive, and jerked violently as he caressed her skin. He grinned. He’d remember that. The way she had reacted to his teasing with her feet had surprised and delighted him, and it was good to know her whole body was a mass of nerves, just waiting to be teased mercilessly – and he was just the man for the job.

Isla arched her back, pushing her gorgeous breasts hard into his chest. He watched her face, her eyes fluttering open and closed all the time as she writhed beneath him. God she was hot!

His rock solid erection jabbed into her softness as it strained against the denim of his jeans, desperate for its release. Desperate for her.

Kean kissed her again and she groaned into his mouth. Her fingers dug into the back of his neck and she clung to him for dear life. Their tongues fought wildly against each other as their rampant breathing filled his ears.

Isla grappled at his waistband, her need surpassing her manners, and he loved it. Her slim fingers slid between his skin and the button which she quickly unfastened, and he sighed inwardly as she tugged at the metal zipper which was wedged against his ardor.

With a deep chuckle he slipped his own hand down between their groins, chancing a brief stroke over her pussy while he was there. Her breath hitched. Good.

He felt her nimble fingers caress his as he yanked hard on the zipper, and her hand covered his as he slid it down, freeing his desperate cock. Staring into her face for a reaction he was relieved at the way she licked her lips, panting hard. Her eyes were on fire, pleading with him, and he didn’t need asking twice.

Kneeling backward he pulled the denim down his thighs, then quickly stood as he hauled the jeans off his legs. The cooler air wafted across his glistening skin and he welcomed it like a long-lost friend. His whole body felt like it was a furnace and he longed to divest himself of the last scrap of fabric which clung to his groin like a wet rag.

Isla was watching him, biting her lip, her chest heaving up and down as she panted. Her hands were at her waistband and he watched her unfasten her belt and then her button. As her fingers reached for her zipper he took a step toward her.

“My job, I think.”

She stared up at him, her eyes full of hope.

Kean grinned, running a finger over the denim which covered her pussy.

“Please,” she whispered.

He nodded and slowly pulled at the zipper. Her whole body felt tense to his touch as he took the waistband and gently hauled the fabric from her and threw it next to his own jeans.

Her legs were smooth and freshly-waxed. Her pink satin panties were plastered to her pussy in a dark, sticky mass of passion. He watched her chest heaving and her eyes stared at him, full of desire. She raised one knee, sliding her foot slowly up the bed, and put her arms above her head, offering herself to him while at the same time teasing him.

His cock twitched at the sight and she licked those full lips of hers again. The ache in his groin told him he couldn’t wait much longer and he hoped that the look in her eye was telling him she felt the same.

Although desperate to jump on top of her, to feel her skin once more, he couldn’t resist gazing at her beauty for one more minute. She posed beautifully and he wondered if she had ever had photos taken in just her underwear, or less. If she had he would love to see the results, although he would be jealous of the photographer who shot them. He wondered if it would be Stefan. His earlier concerns about them being an item had dissipated when they had been up on the mountain taking pictures. The camera loved her but Stefan didn’t. He flirted with her but there was no real emotion between them. And he would know – he had scrutinized her every move, every expression.

“Kean?” Her voice was smooth, like melted chocolate and he suddenly realized he was staring at her.

His cock reacted to her before the rest of him. He smiled and she visibly relaxed. Slowly he kneeled on the bed. Isla’s hand reached out to him and he took it in his. Her skin was like the satin of her underwear.

Gazing at her gorgeous face, he gently kissed the tips of her fingers before trailing them down his torso and planting them on the waistband of his briefs. She gasped with surprise, but took hold of the elastic, still staring back into his eyes. Carefully she peeled the fabric from his body, allowing his cock to spring free of its confines.

Relief washed through him and he balked at the sensation. Isla continued to pull the sodden fabric down his legs, still watching only his face. He put a hand down and helped her remove his briefs and then took her fingers and placed them around his throbbing member. Only then did she look down.

Use this LINK for your copy of ISLA’S IRISH COWBOY.

 

Now meet Bella Settarra…

Bella

In Bella’s world all the heroes are gorgeous hunks and the heroines are always beautiful. Having said that, she firmly believes that ‘handsome is as handsome does’ and that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. (She is also a big fan of clichés as well as alliteration! J)

She has been hanging out with her ‘imaginary friends’ for a  few years now and finds the profession exhilarating and intriguing.  Her stories are all Erotic Romances, although they vary considerably in subject-matter.

One of the things she absolutely loves to write is light BDSM and her Collar and Cuffs series (Etopia Press) received an ARe Bestseller Award for Waiting on Summer, which has also been nominated for a BDSM Con Golden Flogger Award. This series was set in a BDSM club in Miami, and was a joy to write.

She also loves writing Cowboy Romances and was thrilled when the first book in her The Men of Moone Mountain series, (Etopia Press), entitled Ménage on Moone Mountain, received a nomination for the Ménage Romances Fan’s Award 2015 and became an ARe Bestseller, and the third book in this series, Ménage on Ryder Ranch was also nominated for the Erotic Ménages Romances Award 2016. The fourth book in this series, Ménage at the Mode Boutique is now also available in digital format. She is currently writing another Cowboy series, Midnight in Montana (Siren Publishing), the first of which, Dallas at Midnight, is already available in digital and print formats, while the second book, Meet Me at Midnight, is available in digital format at present. Her latest release is Isla’s Irish Cowboy, which is the fourth of her new series, The Cowboys of Cavern County (Totally Bound Publishing).

Her writing career began, however, in the fantasy/myth genre, with her first series Sirens and Sailors (Siren Publishing). Although this was a series of six novels, it actually started out as a short story! This was a delight to write and was proof positive that her High School Classical Studies lessons weren’t entirely wasted.

She has also had a couple of short stories published in Men for Hire and Men for Hire 2 (Luminosity Publishing) and a paranormal story in the anthology Shared for the First Time (Romance Rebels Publishing). She even had some rather raunchy poems included in Coming Together in Verse.

Not everyone is perfect – but it’s the character flaws which make them interesting, she believes. As in life, things don’t always run smoothly, but  the twists and turns provide the drive to keep going, even when it just feels like an uphill struggle. Bella is currently fighting her own battle against breast cancer – a battle which she is determined to win – and believes that all women have the right to feel sexy even when they are battle-scarred.

She hopes you enjoy your foray into her world and would love to connect with you at:  Blog: http://bellasettarrabooks.blogspot.co.uk/
Website: https://www.Bellasettarra.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bella-Settarra-698746553486932/
Twitter: http://twitter.com-BellaSettarra
Website: https://www.bellasettarra.com/
Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bella-Settarra/e/B00I7927E8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Weekend Excerpt–LUKE & BELLA

LUKE & BELLA KINDLE

LUKE & BELLA is the story of two professional television journalists who are thrown together to produce a new travel program.

Bella, an experienced reporter and news anchor, is thrilled at the prospect of the job of a lifetime–traveling the world and creating great television.

Luke’s more jaded.  World-weary, he’s coaxed out of premature retirement by the promise of complete creative control over the project.  Well, shared control with the host of the show, a redhead with “nice gams,” according to his old friend and executive producer, Charlie.

Traveling to exciting cities, staying in luxurious hotels, it’s no wonder they fall in love.  But it all happened so fast.  Luke realizes he hasn’t been completely honest with Bella.  He’s Dominant.  And he thinks she’d be the perfect submissive.  If he tells her now, he could lose her forever.  Or, he could risk everything on the chance that they could have it all.

LUKE & BELLA, the first book in the Dream Dominant Collection, holds a special place in my heart–it was the first book I ever published.  When I had a cover done for my latest book, FOR SPARROW, Dream Dominant Book 3, I decided LUKE & BELLA needed a brand new cover, too.  Both were designed by the fabulous and talented Linzi Basset, a brilliant erotic romance writer.

So I’m celebrating the new cover with this excerpt from LUKE & BELLA.

Luke ordered a light dinner of tapas delivered to the suite along with a bottle of local wine.  Bella wore a fluffy white bathrobe.  He’d put on faded jeans and a grey t-shirt.  She smiled lazily at him across the table, a woman sated.  He poured them both some wine and they nibbled on the baked feta and tomatoes, olives, and fresh fruits and breads.

Bella sighed and said, “I was thinking…”

“Uh-oh,” Luke laughed.

She gave him a wry smile.  “Seriously!  I was thinking about that really nice evening you planned for us in Edinburgh.”

“Yeah, you liked that, did you?” he asked, grinning.

“Um, yeah!  Wine, music, flowers, an amazing dinner, mind-blowing sex…what’s not to like?” she said.  “But, I was thinking that I should plan an evening.  You know, it’s my turn.”

“No, I don’t think that’s necessary,” he replied slowly.

“Not necessary?” she laughed.  “I’m not saying I feel obligated, just that I’d like to return the favor, so to speak.”

Luke waited a moment, considering his response.  The timing’s a little sooner than you planned, Cowboy, he thought.  Play it safe or risk losing her?  Decision made, he took the risk.  “The thing is, I’m not a fan of surprises.  I’m something of a…dominant…kind of guy.  I like making the plans,” he said evenly.

Bella looked at him, brow furrowed.  “You’re a ‘dominant kind of guy’?  As in, Dominant/submissive ‘dominant’?” she laughed lightly.

“Well, yes,” he said, looking at her directly.

Bella blinked.  “You’re kidding, right?” she asked incredulously.

Luke shook his head.  “No, not kidding.”

Her eyes went wide and her mouth hung open slightly.  “I don’t understand.  What does that mean that you do?”

He shrugged.  “Whatever makes me and my partner happy.  Blindfolds, restraints, spanking, safe words.  When we play a scene, she is mine, completely surrendered to me.  And I protect and care for her.”

When she didn’t reply, he continued, “It’s not a big deal.  I like to be in charge when it comes to romance, to sex.  I like to be the protector, to take care of my woman.  And,” he added softly, “if it doesn’t blow your mind too much, I think you are the perfect submissive.”

She shook her head slowly, eyes wide with disbelief.  “You are SO barking up the wrong tree.  I am anything but submissive.  I need to be in control.”

“I’ve noticed,” he said quietly.  “But you’re not good at it.  I said before that you try to control things by putting them into neat little categories, boxes.  When that doesn’t work, you shut down.  Imagine not having to control.  Not having to think or worry.  Just letting go and allowing someone else to be in control for a while.”

“I don’t even know what you’re talking about,” Bella whispered.  “You have lost your mind!”

“I understand your reservations.  Between your father and your ex, you’ve never had a man in your life that you could completely trust,” he said gently.

Bella felt as though she’d been gut-punched.  His words rang in her ears and she knew they were true.

“I am that man, Bella.  Do you trust me?  You can completely let go.  It will be the most freeing experience of your life,” he stated with quiet confidence, looking at her steadily, hoping to reassure her.

She shook her head again.  “I’m falling in…” it came out as a sob, “and now I realize I don’t even know you!”

She abruptly left the table and went into the bedroom, emerging a few minutes later completely dressed in jeans and a white tank top.  On her face was the hard, closed expression he’d seen that night in Amsterdam.  “I’m going out for a while,” she told him firmly.

“Bella, I wish you wouldn’t go alone.  It could be dangerous,” he worried.

She waved him off and walked out the door, closing it behind her.

“Shit!” Luke exhaled deeply, and he ran his fingers through his hair, wondering if he’d made a mistake, if he’d lost her.

Luke & Bella new cover 1

Not only does LUKE & BELLA have a beautiful new cover, I redid the interior as well, using one of the new themes on Draft2Digital, so it has a fresh new look inside, too.  Be sure and check it out.  New paperbacks will be available soon…

You can get your copy at books2read.com/LukeAndBella.