Watch This Space–Brother’s Keeper by Jolie Mason

BROTHER’S KEEPER by Jolie Mason is out TODAY!  It’s the follow-up to BROTHER MINE, the beginning of the Brothers Assassins Series.

Jolie brothers keeper

About the series

The world of the Brotherhood is falling apart. As a secret organization of guns for hire, they were an open secret among the rich and the political powers that be. Across worlds, the wealthy and the powerful knew who to call to get a job done.

But, among the brotherhood there is a debate about how to do what they do, and there is a rising rebellion among the men and women who kill because they had no choice. They are beginning to realize they may have more power than they realized, and power allows one choices.

BROTHER’S KEEPER is the second book in the series.  Here’s the description.

He’s what happens when bad guys switch sides

As an assassin, he lives on a razor’s edge of losing it all every day, but since Cari Renata came into his life there is so much more to lose.

Cari Renata’s sister is dead, or so she believes. And, Bry is the one who told her that horrific lie. Her sister is hidden among the Brax in Freedom Colony, and Cari can’t know. He promised his brother he would protect both the women they love with the lie. Bryson will do that at any cost.

Cari owns the universe, or at least a small part of it. She runs a major broadcasting conglomerate that spans several systems, but she’s an investigator at heart. Cari won’t keep pushing at the terror attack that supposedly took her sister’s life, and she’s poked the wrong beast in going after Todari House.

Bryson may have to break a promise to keep a promise, and come clean about Mal Renata’s real situation. When he does, it may cost him more than he ever expected.

Confession…  I have already read an ARC of BROTHER’S KEEPER and it’s fantastic!  Mason brings the sci-fi suspense and intrigue as usual, and this time she ups the heat.  How about a little teaser?

He watched her all the time. Told himself he had a legitimate reason. That’s what he told himself. He didn’t know if it was truth or a lie, but it was a good cover.

She was in danger.

Bryson stared at the monitor of his holo screen, as he pulled on a plain white, formal dress shirt that would be part of his cover tonight. The target was special this time.

Cari stood with her back to the camera drone, piling her long, golden hair onto her head in an elegant sweep and letting the tail of it drop again as she sat watching her reflection change to that sad, lost look she wore so often, when she thought no one would see. Only then did she let it show.

Cari was coming in for the night, not going out. Bryson was going to work. Their schedules were opposite most of the time, however, he monitored Cari with every resource he had. The men kept shifts in teams of four. No expense was spared.

Bryson looked at the chrono. It was getting late.

He did his best work late, and tonight he had an important job. This wasn’t a job for a client. It was personal. The Brotherhood was removing an obstacle.

Looking back at the holo, Bryson stopped with both hands on the fasteners of his shirt, his eyes glued to the screen, she pulled a tiny clip from her bangs, and continued preparing for bed, letting the fair waves cascade around her back in a shiny, silken skein.

True blondes were rare as doby eggs anymore, and it wasn’t in fashion. Most changed their hair color away from the blond. Not Cari, though.

She didn’t change to fit silly conventions. She changed conventions. He smiled to himself.

She’d have a long road changing this one. Her blond hair accompanied a collection of recessive traits that were associated with some pretty ugly genetic anomalies that were nearly unheard of in this day and age of cloning and genetic manipulation, and people tended to think about the practical concerns in modern day, rather than how the light caught the colors making it look like sunshine.

However, as he stared at Cari Renata’s holo image, all he could see was the poetry of her: hair long and shining, the color of Desian honey, smaller, rounded breasts, long, long legs. Blue eyes that could, and did, go green with high emotion, especially when she was angry.

Had he ever seen them stay blue when she looked his way? He doubted it.

Still staring, though he shouldn’t, he saw more of that glorious body as she dropped the sheath dress she’d been wearing to some formal evening somewhere, and bent to pick it up from the floor. He could only see her back, and yet, even the barest glance made his mouth go dry.

He should look away. He knew it. He should give her the privacy she deserved. Yet, he didn’t.

She’d only worn panties beneath the sheath, a small triangle the color of her little black dress. Bryson’s hand clenched and unclenched at his side. He drank her in, even knowing it was wrong, that she would be angry. One day, when he confessed this, she would be so very angry.

If they survived.

If Todari didn’t kill them both.

If. It was that if that kept his eyes on her. These stolen moments could be all he ever had.

Jolie brother mine

Sounds great, right?  Didn’t read the first book, BROTHER MINE?  No worries.  Here’s what it’s all about.

In a future world where aliens are hated, loving one is the most dangerous thing a girl can do. Mal Renata was born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth, but it never stopped her from becoming the voice of the Braxian people. As an activist fighting off mankind’s inevitable slide into cruelty and prejudice, she wants to stop the Scourge bill from becoming law, but how can she do that, if the bill’s supporters keep dying? Public outcry wants someone to pay, so she intends to give them someone.

Until she tracks down, Adame Sacha, a Braxian freedman and one of the notorious Brother Assassins, she thinks the brotherhood is her problem. Instead, she finds they may be the best allies she could hope for. Together, she and Adame search for those who are eager to profit from the suffering of the Brax, and they track their prey in a world where lives are held cheaply, but death is expensive.

They may be able to elude the dangers of his world for awhile, but they can’t run from the attraction to each other. No matter what their differences.

An alien assassin romance.

You can get BROTHER’S KEEPER at this LINK.

Want to connect with sci-fi romance author Jolie Mason?

Jolie’s Website is  https://future-fairytales.com/
Her facebook is  https://www.facebook.com/scifichickjmason
Jolie’s Street Team can be found here-  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1656977217945341/
Subscribe to the newsletter here- http://bookhip.com/GXHBAN

Coming July 1 from Nia Farrell!

“Wicked Lady” by Nia Farrell Length 5,147 words. Release Date July 1, 2017 Amazon e-book http://mybook.to/WLady (ASIN B072KFNBGD) Goodreads http://bit.ly/WLadyGR Blurb: In Restoration England, Catherine Fanshawe is a young widow without the means to run the estate that she has inherited. Driven to desperation and inspired by her namesake (believed to have been a notorious female […]

via Wicked Lady — Author Nia Farrell

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?

I’m hoping to go to a quiet romantic dinner with my Love at one of our favorite local places.  He knows I hate red roses, so I imagine he’ll come up with a nice bouquet of flowers in my favorite colors, maybe peach roses or periwinkle hydrangea or pink peonies.  I still haven’t seen Fifty Shades Darker yet, and my Love has promised to take me.

I don’t know about you, but Valentine’s Day always puts me in the mood for a steamy romance.  LOST & BOUND, my latest novel, is out now.  Just the thing for such a romantic day.

Here’s a naughty little tease…

Back in the island cabin, Shasta made another pot of macaroni and cheese, vowing to be more diligent in finding a healthier dinner the next night.  After she’d cleaned up her mess, she wandered outside.  The sun was just sinking behind the hills to the west, casting an orange glow on the lake.  Across the water, she could see lights on in the cabin farthest from the lodge.  That had to be his.  Blake’s.

She sighed deeply, remembering the way he’d kissed her.  The heat had melted her to her core.  Then she’d said something stupid about being up for more.  She winced and shook her head.  I don’t know why I have to be such a dumbass.

Still, he had kissed her.  That had to mean that he was attracted to her.  Right?  She remembered the electricity she’d felt when he’d reached over her to help with her seat belt.  And when he’d helped her fishing.  Being close to Blake was intoxicating.

Shasta closed her eyes, remembering the feel of his chest beneath her palms as she’d leaned up into his kiss.  She could feel the heat again, that tingle of need at her core.  Casting one last glance at Blake’s cabin, she returned inside and headed straight for the bedroom.

There, she dug into the bottom of her suitcase and removed a pale pink satin pouch.  Self-consciously, she returned to the sitting area and doused the overhead lights.  In the bedroom, the only light was from a battery-operated lantern beside the bed.  Quickly, she stripped off her clothes and slipped into bed.  From the satin pouch, she withdrew a large rabbit-style vibrator made of clear pink vinyl.  She set aside the dildo, for the moment stroking her body lightly with her fingertips.

In her mind, she saw Blake, imagining that it was his hands on her.  As her arousal grew, she concentrated on her breasts, cupping them, pinching her nipples, pulling them erect.  She felt the dampness between her thighs as, in her imagination, Blake moved there, stroking and circling her clit.

Shasta clicked the on-switch and the dildo began to vibrate, slowly at first, but more rapidly with just another couple of clicks.  She positioned the object at her entrance, gasping as the buzzing elevated her arousal.  Moving the dildo into her core, she instead pictured Blake holding himself over her, sliding his rock hard cock into her.

With another click, rows of steel beads began to circle inside the vinyl cock, stimulating her walls, and she felt her moment growing.  “Oh, Blake,” she murmured, eyes closed tightly as she imagined him pushing her toward her pleasure.  She began to pant and gasp as her orgasm overtook her, pussy clenching down on the pink dildo, and her erotic pleasure caused her entire body to shudder in release.

She clicked off the vibrator as her shudders began to subside, and she gently slid the device from her body, placing it on a towel on the nightstand.  I’ll clean it tomorrow, she thought as sleep claimed her.

Watch the LOST & BOUND book trailer…

LOST & BOUND is available at this link: books2read.com/LostandBound

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Behind the Book–Post 3: Romance As A Place

lost-boundMy new book, LOST & BOUND, Book 2 of the Dream Dominant Collection, will be released January 31.  In the meantime, I’ve been posting a series called Behind the Book to give you a little insight into the story, and the real-life setting behind it.

In this third installment of LOST & BOUND: Behind the Book, I wanted to take you to a location that is nearly as integral to the story as the guest lodge itself.  From her solitary island cabin, Shasta is curious about the rocky promontory across the lake, on the mainland shore to the north.

Blake tells her that it’s called Winchester Point, and that it’s a nice place to go exploring.  Turns out, there’s more to it than that:  it’s also the home of his own private sanctuary in the trees, and it’s where his play cabin is located.

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Winchester Point is the real name of the real place.  It’s rocky point on the mainland across Rawhide Lake to the north of my family’s remote island cabin in northern Ontario.  A short skiff-ride away from the island, it’s a great place to hike around a bit and go exploring.

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There is a stone fire ring that someone built once, and while we never made a fire there, it’s clear that it’s been well-used.

I love to follow the narrow trail away from the water and up the ridge to the top, where you can get a birds-eye view of the lake to the west.

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It’s much higher than you can tell from photographs.  In places, the path is so steep, it’s more of a scramble than a stroll.

There is also an abundance of blueberries in the right season, and we’ve picked many to be used in muffins and pancakes.

In the story, Shasta comes upon the ruins of an old trapper’s cabin.  I can remember seeing the place when I was a kid, but it’s been completely gone for years.

Obviously, I invented Blake’s play cabin, further up the trail.  But it seemed like the perfect place for a rugged Dominant mountain man to take his submissive when he wanted to play extensive scenes.

I hope you enjoy this little peek behind the scenes.  It’s been my pleasure to share this place that is so special to me.

LOST & BOUND is out January 31.  It’s available now for pre-order.

books2read.com/LostandBound

 

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

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LOST & BOUND, Dream Dominant Collection Book 2, comes out January 31.

It’s the story of spoiled Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke, who, after getting into trouble with the law, is sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario until the whole mess blows over.

It’s there that she meets sexy Dominant mountain man Blake Walker.  He lives a simple life, helping to run his family’s remote guest lodge.  He sees past Shasta’s petulant bravado to the scared little girl she hides from the world.

Would she ever agree to give him her submission?

Here’s a sexy little excerpt to hold you over until release day.

The sun was sinking low in the sky, casting a pink-orange glow onto the lake as they made their way to the boat.  Blake placed his bags into the bow of the boat then helped Shasta step in.  She moved cautiously, easing herself down onto the center seat.

“Is everything okay?” he questioned.

She nodded.  “It feels weird to walk around with this thing in my ass.”

“Are you complaining?”

“No.  I’m just…pointing shit out.”

Blake laughed heartily and started the electric motor, heading for the far side of the lake.  He tied up the boat on the same saplings he’d used earlier that day, climbed out with his bags, and reached down to Shasta, who gingerly stepped out onto the rocks.

She glanced around anxiously.  “Where are we going, anyway?  It’s getting dark.”

Blake smiled enigmatically.  “You’ll see soon enough.  Come on.”  He lightly took her hand and together they walked up the trail leading away from the lake.  When they passed the trapper’s cabin, Shasta looked to Blake wonderingly, and he just winked.  Soon enough they came to a fork in the path.  Blake moved to the left without hesitating.  A few yards down the path, they stopped.  Shasta looked around and saw nothing but trees and rocks.

“This looks like a good place.”  Blake reached into his duffel and pulled out the throw, placing it on the ground.  “Okay, kitten, the dress comes off.”

She gaped at him.  “We’re just gonna…fuck in the woods?”

His eyes sparkled with amusement.  “Nobody said anything about fucking.  Just get naked.  Now.”

Shasta pulled the dress over her head, and Blake took it, folding it and placing it into the bag.  “Now, we haven’t had knee time today.  You may kneel on the blanket.”

Shasta stepped into the center of the throw and knelt in the way he’d shown her, sitting back on her heels with her hands, palms up, resting on her thighs.  Closing her eyes was automatic.  Blake stepped in front of her, placing his right foot between her thighs.  Tenderly, he stroked her hair, and she let out a contented sigh.  “Knee time is good, isn’t it, kitten?”

“Yes, Daddy,” she murmured.

“Okay, now I have a job for you.”  Shasta expectantly raised her eyes to meet his.  “I’m going a little further up the trail.  You will wait for me right here.  I’ll come back for you when I’m ready.”

Immediately her eyes went to the trees.  “I’m staying here?  Naked?  That’s a little scary.”

“Trust me, kitten?”  He watched her intently.

Her deep mocha eyes were wide and clear.  “I trust you.”

“You’re such a good girl,” he murmured, leaning down to kiss her.  “Now, we’ll just slide this into place…”  He produced the black satin blindfold and settled it over her eyes.  Shasta shivered.  “I won’t be gone long.”

She listened as his footsteps moved away from her.  Soon, all she heard were forest noises.  Unable to see, her other senses were heightened and she heard the snap of twigs and the call of a loon from far down the lake.  The early evening breeze chilled her, and she shivered again, her bare flesh covered with goose bumps and her nipples stretched into sharp, painful peaks.

Heavy footsteps were approaching, the crunch of leaves and pine straw growing louder.  It’s Blake.  It’s just Blake.  Unless it’s not.  She fought panic.

“There’s my good girl, just where I left her.”  Blake took Shasta’s hand and helped her stand.  “Okay, kitten, playtime starts now.  You will follow my every direction without question or hesitation.  And you will be silent.  You will not speak unless I give you permission.  Is that clear?”

Shasta blinked behind her blindfold and nodded wordlessly.

“Good girl.  Now, I’m going to kiss you.  You will not kiss me back.”  With his hands on her hips, Blake pulled her closer to himself and placed his lips on hers.  Shasta steadied herself by placing her palms on his chest.  Somewhere along the way, Blake had removed his shirt, and she felt his warm, solid flesh beneath her hands.  Blake deepened his kiss, invading her with his tongue, and although she felt her toes curling, she remembered his instructions and concentrated on not kissing him back.

Finally, his lips released hers and he pressed a kiss to her forehead.  “Good girl,” he murmured.  “Let’s go.”  In one swoop, he scooped her up into his arms and carried her.  Branches and leaves brushed against her skin as he carried her down the trail, then she felt as if they went up some steps.  His footfalls sounded different, too, as though he walked on a solid surface.  Then the air around her felt different, as though they had gone indoors.  Finally, she heard a door close and he set her down.  Shasta stood uncertainly and she felt Blake remove the blindfold.

She blinked as she looked around.  They were in a cabin.  A huge bed covered in a midnight blue duvet took up a large portion of the space.  All around, tiny candles twinkled.  A warm fire popped and crackled in the fireplace opposite the bed.  She looked up at Blake, who was watching her intently.  She opened her mouth to ask a question and clamped her lips shut again.

He smiled.  “Do you have a question, kitten?”

She nodded.

“You may ask one question.”

“What is this place?”

Blake crossed to the stove to peer into the tub of water.  “This is my play cabin.  Some Doms have a dungeon, I have a cabin.”

LOST & BOUND will be out January 31.  You can pre-order your copy now.

books2read.com/LostandBound

Weekend Excerpt–Lost & Bound

Lost & Bound, my new contemporary erotic romance novel, is launching in January.  The manuscript is currently with the proofreader and the cover design is being finalized as we speak.  You’ll be able to see the cover reveal right here very soon.

But to tide you over, here’s a sexy little teaser to whet your appetite.

Young Couple In Love On Black Background

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 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 is part of my Dream Dominant Collection.  It features a light BDSM theme with a DD/lg relationship, and it’s intended for mature audiences.  Keep watching here for the latest on the cover reveal and release day.

In the meantime, check out my other books on my Amazon Author page.

Weekend Excerpt–Resisting Risk

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When I sit down to write, I have a definite story in mind, from beginning to end.  As a reader, I like books that feature characters I can get invested in, plots that are smart and unpredictable.  As a writer, I find that I feel the same way.  Which is why, although I’ve written a novella, I prefer to write longer stories that give me the opportunity to fully explore my characters and their lives.

Rannigan’s Redemption is an epic, three-novel erotic romance that spans nearly a decade in the lives of the main characters, Michael Rannigan and Maggie Flynn. Their relationship is complicated, and ultimately goes in a surprising direction.  But along the way, we get to know who they are as people.  We feel their emotions as we share their journey.

This snippet is from Resisting Risk, the first book of the trilogy.

“Let’s go,” Gwen said, when the band finished playing.  Michael mentally rolled his eyes.  She was being a pain tonight.  Next time she was in town, he would probably have other plans.  He’d thought to stop by Maggie’s table again to say goodbye but by then she was busy opening gifts so he’d just followed Gwen out the door.  It occurred to him that it was odd that he’d even thought about speaking to her again.  Probably too much bourbon, he thought, shaking his head.

They caught a cab back to the Upper East Side where he lived.  “I want to go to Bemelmans,” Gwen said as the cab neared his neighborhood.  Of course you do, he thought.  All he wanted to do was go home and get laid.

“Drop us at the Carlyle, please,” he said to the driver.  By the time he’d paid for the cab, Gwen was already inside the bar.  When he caught up with her he realized why they’d had to stop here.  A group of her friends was ensconced in a corner banquette.  She’d wanted to show him off.

There is definitely no next time with Gwen, he thought to himself, but he plastered on his PR smile.  “Hello, ladies,” he charmed, “apparently we’re late.”  Gwen beamed as her friends gave her envious looks.  He ordered a round for the table and chatted amiably with everyone for a while.  During a lull in the conversation while the pianist played a song the table had requested, he leaned into Gwen.  “Are you ready to go now?”

“Yes, we can go,” she said, running her hand up the inside of his leg and giving him a coy look.

They quickly said their goodbyes and left, walking the three blocks to his apartment building on 79th.  As they rode the elevator to the 21st floor, Gwen kept her eyes on the numbers over the door, but she reached over to stroke the front of his pants where his erection was growing harder.

Michael unlocked the door to his apartment and let her in, stopping to drop his keys in the bowl on the foyer table.  He took off his jacket and untied his tie.  “Can I get you a drink?” he asked on his way to get his own.  He paused to put the television on a sports channel.

“I’ll have champagne,” she said, with a trace of pout in her voice.

He rolled his eyes.  “No champagne, can I get you some chardonnay instead?”

“I suppose,” she simpered.  He grabbed a Heineken for himself.

When he returned to the living room she had kicked off her shoes and was relaxing on the tan oversized leather sectional that faced the television and the floor-to-ceiling wall of windows beyond, opening to his solarium on the terrace.  The city lights twinkled like a sparkling carpet below them.  This was why he, a happily single man, had bought a four-bedroom apartment.  It had the best view in the entire building.  He handed Gwen her wine and sank down beside her to sip his beer and watch tv, picking up the remote to turn up the volume.

“Oh, baby, are you sure you want to watch silly old sports?” she asked him.  “I had something else in mind.”  She moved to kneel in front of him and undid his belt and then his fly.

He smiled down at her.  “Are they mutually exclusive?” he asked, grinning and arching his eyebrow.  She winked up at him and pulled back the waistband of his boxer briefs, freeing his impressive erection.  He groaned and rested his head against the back of the sofa with his eyes closed as she took him in her mouth.  In spite of being a demanding princess, Gwen was great at giving head.  She worked him with her tongue and slid her lips up and down his shaft, sucking like a Dyson.

He was considering trying to hold off coming, make it last longer, when he heard his phone blip, indicating an email.  Glancing down beside him on the sofa, he saw that the message was from Maggie.  Michael picked up the phone and keyed in his pass code.  Gwen immediately stopped what she was doing.

“Oh, hell no, you are not answering a message in the middle of a blowjob!” she exclaimed.

“I’m just holding off, baby, we don’t want this over so fast,” he said.  “I want to fuck you.  Go to the bedroom and get ready.   I’ll be right there.”  He gave her a quick kiss, and she headed to the bedroom, slightly mollified.

Checking the time he saw that it was 2:16.  Maggie sent him a message after two in the morning?  He was definitely intrigued.

Dear Mr. Rannigan, I wanted to say thank you for the champagne you sent to my friends and me last night.  It was completely unnecessary and extremely thoughtful.  I’m excited about your job offer.  I will definitely call your office tomorrow to set up an appointment.  Again, thank you so much.  I look forward to working with you.  Sincerely, Maggie Flynn

A smile curled his lips as he reread the message.  So formal and professional.  Nothing at all to indicate what her eyes completely gave away.  She probably assumed he’d read it in the morning.  He wanted to respond now.

Dear Ms. Flynn, you are most welcome for the champagne.  I felt badly that I crashed your birthday celebration with all your friends.  Champagne seemed the least I could do.  I am excited at the prospect of having a brilliant young legal mind working on our team.  So please do call and schedule that appointment.  And, if we’re to be working together, I’ll have to insist that we drop the formalities.  We’ll be just Michael and Maggie.  It will be simpler that way, don’t you think?  And now that it’s actually tomorrow, I’ll wish you a very Happy Birthday.  Go to sleep, Maggie.  I’ll see you next week.  Sincerely, just Michael

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