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.

Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE

The past week was literally stellar for Rannigan’s Redemption.  The books in the series received FOUR 5-STAR REVIEWS over the last seven days.  I’m thrilled that the story is still resonating with readers.

Rannigan’s Redemption is a 3-novel erotic romance/law drama about high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and his complicated relationship with smart red-haired Maggie Flynn, the recent law school grad he hires to join his elite firm.  One night of passion tears them apart.  Desperation will bring them back together.  Can Michael find redemption for all the ways he’s failed her?

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This week’s excerpt is from the second book in the trilogy, RUNNING ROGUE.

Maggie strode purposefully across the lobby of Michael’s building.  It had been a shit week and knowing that she had to work all weekend to make up for what she’d missed, all she wanted to do was to check in on Michael, deliver his soup, and head home to a nice hot bath and a large glass of wine.  Ahead of her a man was just stepping into the elevator and she increased her pace, hoping to make it before the doors closed.  He turned and their eyes met just as the doors slid shut.

“Well, shit!” she muttered, juggling her purse, her brief case, and the bag from the deli.  Just then the doors slid back open.

“Sorry about that,” the man said, “I didn’t realize you were right behind me.”  He held open the door as she stepped in and turned around.  “What floor?”

Maggie glanced up at him.  He was tall with broad shoulders, muscular without being muscle-bound, with wavy brown hair and sparkling blue eyes framed by the longest lashes she’d ever seen on a man.  She’d noticed a bit of a drawl when he spoke.  Dressed in a t-shirt and sweatpants, he’d apparently been working out in the gym.  He stood beaming at her with a boyish grin on his face and he seemed to be waiting for her.  She realized she was staring.

Oh, shit!  What floor?  “Oh, sorry, um, twenty-one, please.”

He grinned again.  “Twenty-one.  That’s my floor, too.”  He held out a hand.  “I’ve only been here a couple of months.  We haven’t met yet.  I’m Bobby.”

Maggie shifted the deli bag and grasped his hand.  “Um, I’m Maggie.  I don’t actually live here.  I’m visiting a friend.”  She paused.  “Do you know Michael in 2101?”

Bobby’s eyes widened and he took a step back.  “Oh.  You’re one of Michael’s girls.”

Maggie frowned.  “No.  I am absolutely not one of Michael’s girls.  Nope.  Not me.  No way.”  She shook her head emphatically.

Bobby grinned wryly.  “So you’re not one of Michael’s girls.”

She felt her face flush.  “I’ve known Michael for a long time.  We used to work together.  He’s a little…under the weather, and I told him I’d stop by, bring him some soup.”  She held up the deli bag for emphasis.

He flashed the boyish grin, blue eyes sparkling with amusement.  Maggie felt her pulse race and a warm flush crept up her neck.  What the hell?

“So you’re a lawyer.”

She nodded.  “Yep.  Sorry.”

“Why sorry?”

“Everybody hates lawyers,” she replied as the elevator doors opened on the twenty-first floor.  She stepped out into the hallway and immediately went down hard on her left knee.

“Motherfucker!” she cried out.

Bobby was beside her instantly.  “Are you alright?  What happened?”

Maggie looked around.  “My shoe.”  The heel of her right shoe was caught in the space between the elevator and the hallway.  It had snapped off as she stepped forward.  Bobby grabbed it before the doors closed, then gently took her arm and helped her up.

“Did you hurt yourself?” he asked, concerned.

“I’m alright, really,” she replied shakily.  Blood was dripping from her knee and running in rivulets all the way down her shin.

“You banged up your knee.”

“But I saved the soup, so there’s that,” she quipped.

He placed a hand on the small of her back and walked her down the hall, stopping at a door.  “This is me,” he said.  “Come in and let me at least bandage you up.”  Maggie regarded him warily.

“I’m not an axe murderer, I promise,” he laughed.

She frowned.  “Isn’t that exactly what an axe murderer would say?” she said as he unlocked the door.

“Tell you what–we’ll leave the door open.  You can sit right here.”  He pointed to a bench in the foyer.  “If I make any sudden moves you can run for it,” he chuckled.

Sheepishly, Maggie sank onto the bench.  Truthfully, her knee hurt.  She set down her things and glanced up at him.  “Thanks,” she said quietly.

Bobby smiled and gestured to his right.  “I’ll just…go get my axe.”

She could hear him in another room rummaging around through something.  She removed her broken shoe and held up the dismembered heel.  It had come clean off the sole.  An image flashed through her mind of the shoe repair shop just around the corner from her apartment.

“I can fix that for you.”  Startled, she looked up.  Bobby had returned with first aid supplies.

“Oh, you don’t have to do that,” she said quickly.  “There’s a shop near my place.”

He poured alcohol on some gauze and knelt beside her.  “It won’t take me two seconds,” he murmured, dabbing at her knee.

Maggie breathed in sharply.  “Ouch!  Ow ow ow!” she protested softly.

Bobby looked up at her.  “Sorry, cher,” he said, “we’ve got to get it cleaned out.”  Gently he grasped the back of her calf and raised her leg, wiping away the streaks of blood.

Maggie stared at him, scarcely breathing.  There was something electric about his touch, so strong yet so tender.

He finished cleaning her shin and returned to her knee, carefully placing a large bandage over the scrape.  “There you are, good as new.  Well, almost,” he smiled.

He took the shoe and heel from her.  “I really can fix this for you.  I’d just have to find my tools,” he nodded his head toward the other room.  “I should really unpack anyway,” he smiled ruefully.

Maggie rose from the bench and stood lopsided on one heel.  “I don’t want to be more trouble than I’ve already been.”

            Something tells me that you’re all kinds of trouble, cher.  “It’s no trouble.  Besides, I’d be worried about you limping along like Quasimodo on your way home,” he laughed.

She laughed, too.  “Well, alright then.  Thank you.  And thanks for…”  She glanced down at her knee.

“It’s my pleasure, cher,” he said quietly.

Maggie felt as though suddenly all the air had gone out of the room.  She stared up into his amazing blue eyes.  She opened her mouth but no words came out.

He spoke.  “Just stop by when you’re finished at Michael’s.  If I have to leave before that, I’ll bring you your shoe.”

RR2 review

RUNNING ROGUE is available at this link:
books2read.com/RunningRogue

Review: Quick and Dirty: Volume Two: Milestones by Patient Lee

I just finished a great book by one of my heroes, erotic realism author Patient Lee.  I always love her books, and was excited to read her second Quick and Dirty anthology. The book includes six great stories that range from sweet and nostalgic to downright dark.  I took my time reading the book, savoring each story in its own right.

Here’s my 5-STAR Amazon review.

Quick and Dirty: Volume Two: Milestones is an anthology of six shorts by erotic realism author Patient Lee. I’m a HUGE Patient Lee fan, and couldn’t wait to read this book. I had no idea what to expect from these stories, other than the usual spot-on human drama and steamy love scenes that are Patient Lee’s signatures. I was not disappointed.

I cheered for the Birthday Girl and for the would-be fiancee in The Side Effect. I felt a sense of the familiar in Wallpaper, and watched it all go wrong in Purple Glitter. Suffocating is dark and twisted, and I appreciated Lee’s preface to the story–it made sense after that. But I lost my heart to Sharing Her Heart–it’s a teaser to Mrs. Maitland’s SAD Valentine, the next Patient Lee book I absolutely have to read.

Love sexy little stories with a different vibe? You will love this book! 5 HUGE STARS!!

Hurry and use this link to get your copy!  You’re going to love it.

Weekend Excerpt–Finding Callie

Happy Weekend!  Is it me, or is the summer seeming to fly by?  How can it be August already?  I’m still hard at work on FOR SPARROW, which will be the third book in the Dream Dominant Collection.  Sexy and talented author (and fellow Wicked Pen) Linzi Basset is hard at work on the cover, and she may or may not have another couple of surprises up her sleeve.  Stay tuned here for more new about that.

callie

For this weekend’s excerpt, I’m sharing another snippet from the Teasers tab on my website.  Tentatively titled FINDING CALLIE, this story idea comes from experiences I had some years ago when I had the chance to travel to France and Spain for a couple of weeks.

Here’s the first chapter…

Standing in line at the post office has to be the fourth circle of hell

Callie shifted her weight to her left foot and leaned her hip against the railing around which the line of fellow postal customers snaked.  Look, only three more back-and-forths then it’s my turn, she thought sardonically. 

She frowned to herself.  Whose inner monologue is sardonic?

     “Next,” called the clerk at the second station.  Everyone in line took a step forward clutching their parcels all wrapped in brown paper and packing-taped into infinity, or their very important looking overnight-air envelopes. 
Callie glanced down at the peach square of paper in her hands.  We REdeliver for you! the paper promised.  She shook her head.  She wasn’t waiting for redelivery.
     Another clerk called out and the line shifted again.  A sextet of antique ceiling fans whirled ineffectively over their heads as a bead of sweat trickled down her spine.  She wondered if the air conditioning was out or if the USPS was simply economizing.  Either way, you could tell it was summer in south Florida.
     She made it to the turn-around and felt a bit encouraged.  Not much longer now.  She gazed at the receipt once again, her forefinger lightly tracing the address of the sender.  Sevilla.  She inhaled sharply.  She knew one person in Seville.  She couldn’t imagine what he’d sent in a parcel.
Raised voices interrupted Callie’s thoughts.  She looked up to see a well-dressed middle-aged woman shouting at the clerk at the third station.   
    
     “What do you mean, I have to get in a different line?  I’ve been standing here all day!”
     “Ma’am, I don’t have the form that you need.  Would you like to get in the other line?” the clerk asked patiently.  The man was an older black gentleman with sloping shoulders and an air of resignation.  Callie idly wondered if he’d delivered mail on foot back in the day.
     “Well if you won’t give me the form I guess I’ll have to!” the woman snapped as she vacated the station and toddled off to the the correct line. 
     Callie shook her head.  Why do people have to be such assholes?  She ran into her fair share of them as a teacher but she recalled her college days when she’d worked as a server in a busy restaurant.  People have no idea…
     She found herself suddenly only two people behind the head of the line, and she felt her heart begin to pound.  Finn.  She looked back at the peach scrap of paper.  After all this time.
     In truth she was shocked that he’d sent anything at all.  She’d known him for all of what, fifteen days?  The flush began in the center of her being and flowed up her neck to her cheeks.  Those fifteen days had changed her irrevocably.  She could never go back to the pre-Finn Callie.
     Vaguely she heard a clerk call for the next customer.  “Excuse me, ma’am?” said the guy behind her.  Callie looked up, startled.  “You’re next.”

     She murmured an apology and walked to the vacant station.  The same clerk who’d had the misfortune to deal with the nasty customer surveyed her with gentle eyes.  Callie was determined to be kind, to make up for the woman who’d been so unpleasant.  She smiled broadly.  “Yes, I’m picking up a parcel.”  She presented him with the peach scrap and her driver’s license.

     The man smiled kindly as he took the slip of paper and disappeared into the back.  He reemerged moments later carrying a package about the size and shape of a hardcover book.  Callie’s pulse pounded in her ears.
     “Here you are, ma’am,” he said as he handed her the box.  It was lighter than she’d expected.  Her eyes zeroed in on the return address.  Finn Cooper, 54 Calle Montevideo, Sevilla, Espana. 
     She smiled again and thanked the man, wished him a pleasant day, and walked out into the heat of the summer day.
I hope you liked this little teaser.  FINDING CALLIE joins a long list of stories I’ll eventually get to.   In the meantime, browse my Amazon Author Page for your next steamy read.

You’ve Got (Kink) Mail!

There are subscription boxes for everything these days.  Every month, you can get the perfect outfit.  You can get treats for your dog.  But what about kink?

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KinkCrate.com has you covered.  Can you just imagine?  Erotic fantasy boxes shipped directly to you every month?  Always with a theme?  Here’s the description from their website:

KinkCrate is the #1 Kinky Subscription Box!

Each month it’s packed with the sexiest, naughtiest toys we could find.  Dildos, vibrators, nipple clamps…oh my!

Every month, your KinkCrate will be packed with 5 to 9 items, a kinky new theme, as well as the KinkCrate Handbook. The KinkCrate Handbook will guide you through what’s inside, and give you some ideas as to what you can do with them, too.

You’re not going to find another subscription box like this on the web – we have searched the world over for the most provocative and highest quality sex toys and goods around. This means you’re going to see medical-grade silicone vibrators and medical-grade silica glass dildos, delicious lubes, erotic reads, and so much more.

What’s the difference between our singles and couples crate, you ask?

Our singles crate is geared more towards vibrators and items where you do not need a parner.  With some creativity all these items can be used with a partner too.  The goal though is to allow you to use this box to help you please yourself better than you ever have before!

The couples box will include more BDSM related items and will always be more enjoyable with at least one partner.  Each item we choose is to help you take your orgasms to the next level.  Let go of your inhibitions and enjoy sex to the fullest!

I snagged this video from their YouTube channel.

They have plenty of options, too.  Check it out.

COUPLES SUBSCRIPTION BOX

Couples, it’s time to break out the kinkiness. Forget about going to a sex store or shopping online. All you need will be delivered to your door monthly, allowing you to escape into a new theme each and every month. You will always find 5 to 9 items, ranging from blindfolds, paddles, cock rings, and vibrators to cuffs, lubes, candles, and more.

This is your chance to try something different in the bedroom (or the kitchen, the living room, or anywhere else you like to go to get down)! We’ll include a complete guide to introduce all the items and give you an idea as to what you can do with them. It’s a great way to turn up the heat with your partner and show each other what you like!

Total crate value will be between $55 & $75 per month

Take a deep breath, the boxes always arrive unmarked, so no one will know that there is kinkiness inside until you do the big reveal behind closed doors.

Boost your date nights.  Head over to their website to get KinkCrate delivered right to your door.

I’m Hooked!

I’m write steamy love stories.  I read steamy love stories.  So obviously, I love romance.  But I never thought I’d get hooked on a new reality show.

Have you seen the new NBC show, First Dates?  I never intended to become a fan, I promise.  But it happened to be on one night, and after a few minutes, I couldn’t look away.  The premise is that couples meet at a trendy Chicago restaurant for a blind date.  The hopeful romantics are diverse in age, race, and sexuality, and watching them struggle through awkward introductions is both funny and heart-warming.  I can’t look away, and even my love is hooked, much to his chagrin.

Airing Friday nights on NBC, it’s the Americanized version of the British program of the same name.  Ellen DeGeneres is the executive producer, and the episodes are narrated by Drew Barrymore.

Here’s the official description from the First Dates website.

Everyone can relate to the experience of a first date: the promise of potential love when it goes well and the hilariously awkward moments if it crashes and burns. From Executive Producer Ellen DeGeneres, narrated by Drew Barrymore and based on the hit U.K. format, this new series offers a voyeuristic look at a variety of real first dates happening throughout one night at the same restaurant in Chicago. The daters are of all ages, backgrounds and from across the U.S. The audience comes along for the ride in a refreshingly authentic viewing experience that plays like a real-life romantic comedy. At the end of each episode, we find out if the participants want to see each other again for a second date or if they head back to love’s drawing board.

Here’s a little clip.

And good news–you can watch entire episodes at www.nbc.com/first-dates.

Seriously, how can you resist?  I love LOVE.  Sigh.

Because I Couldn’t Resist…

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame had its annual induction ceremony earlier this month and some great bands and artists were honored that night.  Included in this year’s roundup were Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Journey, ELO, Yes, Joan Baez, and Nile Rodgers.

Tonight, HBO is airing the special event and I can’t wait.  I wrote a little snippet about the show on my other (more vanilla) blog, and I added a track from ELO.  But here, I thought a sexier little song was in order.  Enjoy Journey, with Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.