Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

All through the month of June, I’m celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the publication of LUKE & BELLA, Dream Dominant Book 1.  All month, both Dream Dominant novels, LUKE & BELLA and LOST & BOUND are on sale for just .99 each!

For this week’s excerpt, I’m giving you a teaser from LOST & BOUND.  But first, let me tell you a little about the story.

Blake Walker is no stranger to tragedy. Immediately following a horrific event years earlier, he was lost for a while until he embraced his Dominant nature and found his true calling. But things change and now he’s back where he started, helping to run his family’s secluded lake lodge.

When pampered Hollywood starlet Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law, she’s sent to the wilderness of northern Ontario to cool her heels for a few weeks. There she meets sexy bush pilot Blake, who is tasked with seeing to her needs as the sole guest at the lodge.

Initially, Blake isn’t impressed with the spoiled actress, but he’s happy that her visit allows for his sister Jackie and her kids to go on a much-needed vacation. Try as he might, he can’t figure out what the hell Shasta Pyke is doing so far out of her element.
Shasta’s attracted to Blake’s obvious good looks, but there’s more to him than that. He sees through her armor to the vulnerable little girl she hides from the world. The Daddy Dominant in him craves to shelter her, to make her his own.

Is there any way Shasta will agree to submit to Blake’s Dominance?

Lost & Bound is Book 2 of the Dream Dominant Collection, a series of stand-alone novels featuring sexy, Dominant men and the strong, red-haired submissives who find them irresistible. It is a contemporary erotic romance novel with a light BDSM theme, and features a DD/lg relationship. It is intended for mature audiences.

Sound interesting?  Read a snippet from LOST & BOUND.

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

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

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

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

“I don’t know…”

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

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

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

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

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

Shasta laughed again.  “You are so bad!”

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

“I think I have some idea.”

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

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

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

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

Donna just stared at her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I know you are.”

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

“Who’s your Daddy?” Blake laughed.

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

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

“I understand.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t meet regular guys.”

“Lucky me.”

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

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

They finished their lunch and paid the tab, heading out into the bright sunlight.  Blake regarded her curiously.  “I want to take you one more place before we head home.”

Rather than heading to the car, he led her in the opposite direction to the door of Kink Ink.  “Are we getting a tattoo?” she wondered.

“Not today, but I’m not ruling it out for later.  I want you to meet someone.”  He held open the door for her.

The shop was empty when they walked in, bell over the door tinkling to announce their presence.  Shasta wandered over to study the tattoo samples on the wall, poring over the vast array of colors and shapes.  Blake settled, leaning against the glass case.  They heard a female voice from behind the black curtain separating the front space from the back.  “Coming!”

The curtain flipped open, and a disparate couple emerged, petite goth princess and mountainous First Nation god, both with jet black hair and covered with tattoos of all shapes, sizes, and colors.  “Blake!  You’re back so soon!” the woman cried.  “What’s…”  She stopped at the sight of Shasta.

Blake grinned.  “Eve, Sam,” he gestured toward Shasta, “I’d like you to meet Amy.  Amy, this is Eve and Sam.”

Shyly, Shasta made her way to Blake and grasped his hand.  “Hi, nice to meet you,” she smiled.

Both Eve and Sam blinked, unspeaking.  Finally, Sam found his voice.  “It’s nice to meet you, Amy,” he nodded.  “Welcome to the shop.”

She smiled demurely.  “Thank you.  It’s very nice.”

Eve was still blinking and shifting her gaze between Shasta and Blake.  Blake chuckled.  “We’d like to browse in back.”

“Uh, sure,” Eve finally said, “come on back.”

Blake winked at Shasta and, still holding her hand, followed Eve through the curtain toward the back of the shop.  Eve swung open the door and gestured like a gameshow model.  “Here you go, knock yourselves out.  Let me know if I can help you find something.”

“Thank you,” Shasta murmured.  Stepping into the room, she gazed around at the displays, eyes widening as understanding began to dawn on her.  “What is this place?”

Blake pulled her to himself, lightly kissing her temple.  “Eve and Sam run the tattoo shop but they also do kick-ass business online selling kink gear.  They keep a little of it back here for local customers.”

“You mean they know about you being a Dom and all?”

“Of course.  It’s no big deal to them.  Eve’s a Domme, too.  Sam is her sub.”

Shasta’s mouth dropped open.  “No!”

He had to laugh.  “Yes.  Although they have more of a ‘Master/slave’ kind of thing.”

“But he’s huge!  And she’s so tiny.  How does that work?”

“It’s not about size, kitten.  It’s about who you really are, in your soul.  As big as he is, Sam is a submissive soul.  Although, he’s a switch.  He can Dom when they play with a third.”

“A third,” she echoed softly.  She fixed him with a desperate look.  “Would we ever have a third?”

He shook his head.  “No, kitten, I’m pretty sure you’re all I can handle.”

“Well, good.  I wouldn’t want to share,” she said definitely, crossing her arms.

He pulled her to himself and kissed her tenderly.  “I would never share you, kitten.  Rest assured.”

He released her and watched as Shasta reached to touch a silver chain collar hanging on a hook.  She pivoted her face toward him.  “Is this where you got the pink cuffs?”

He nodded.  “Mm-hmm, and the mask and the paddle.  I thought maybe we could pick out another couple of things to take home with us today.”

A slow smile spread across Shasta’s face.  “Really?” she giggled.

“Really.  How about you look around and see what strikes your fancy?  I’m going to go talk to Eve and Sam for a few minutes.  When I come back, I want you to have something picked out.”

Shasta glanced around the room.  “Anything?”

“I want you to pick something you think will please me.”  He watched her thoughtfully.

“Something that will please you…”

“I’ll be back,” he said over his shoulder as he left to find his friends.

Sam and Eve were huddled over the glass counter in the front of the shop when Blake emerged through the black curtain.  “So what gives?” Eve demanded.  “That’s Shasta-fucking-Pyke!”

“Yeah, man, I’d know her anywhere.  Two Days Until Sunrise?  I saw that movie three times,” Sam added.

Blake shrugged uncomfortably.  “Her real name is Amy Malone.  And she’s staying at the lodge for a few weeks.”

“Which is why you’re closed, isn’t it?” Eve added.

He nodded.  “Which is why we’re closed.  It’s very hush-hush.  I know I can count on you to keep it quiet.”

“But why is she here?” Sam wondered.

“It has to do with some trouble back in California.  She’s just getting a little R&R.”

Eve laughed.  “And a little BDSM while she’s at it.”

Blake blushed slightly.  “That just…”  He trailed off, shaking his head.  “One minute she’s throwing rocks at me, the next thing I know, I’m kissing her.  She’s amazing, really, and a born baby girl submissive, there’s no doubt in my mind.”  He gazed out the window of the shop.  “It doesn’t feel casual to me.  I think I’m really falling for her.”

“Good for you, man.”  Sam clapped a giant hand on Blake’s shoulder.  “It’s about time you found the right one.”

“How about I go check in on your kitten?” Eve offered.

Here’s the book trailer for LOST & BOUND.

Hurry and get your copies of LOST & BOUND and LUKE & BELLA while they’re .99 each!

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WIP It Up Wednesday–Invisible

Ever have a wild-hare idea and you just knew you had to follow it?  That happens to me sometimes, usually when I’m busy trying to concentrate on something else.  But sometimes, a story just comes to you, or at the very least, a nugget of an idea.  If I can, I try to write it down before I forget.  Eventually, I plan to write the whole story.

This snippet comes from a project I’m tentatively calling Invisible.  My love is dying for me to finish this story.  One day…

invisible

Henry sat across the table watching her devour his hamburger and fries.  When he’d asked, she’d said she wasn’t hungry, but when his food arrived, she hadn’t been able to take her eyes off of it.
     The impromptu meal started when he’d asked if he could buy her a coffee.  It seemed a small thing, seeing how she’d rescued him from an embarrassing predicament.  He never should have tried to go after Joanne.  He’d been a fool.  She hadn’t just now decided to break up with him, it had been brewing for a while.
     He’d found himself trapped in the door of her building, the sleeve of his overcoat caught when it slammed shut.  He’d pulled and tugged, kicking at the door, but to no avail.  He couldn’t even manage to take the damn thing off and the driving rain was soaking him anyway.
     That’s when she’d appeared.  “Are you stuck?” she’d called to him up the steps.
     “No, I enjoy standing in the rain!” he’d fired back.
     She’d shaken her head and bounded up the steps, pulling her soaked black fleece hoodie tighter around herself.  “No reason to be an asshole,” she muttered. 
     She began pressing all of the buttons beside the door.  “Let me in!  It’s rainin’ out here!”  The door buzzed and he was free.  She gave an exaggerated bow and hurried down the steps, stopping under the awning of the building next door.
     Sheepishly, Henry followed, standing beside her under the awning.  She glanced down at him then resumed looking out at the rain.  “I’m sorry,” he said.  “I didn’t mean to be an asshole.”  She continued staring toward the street.  “Can I buy you a coffee?  My way of saying thanks.”
     She looked back at him again seeming to think for a moment.  Finally she sighed.  “I guess I’m not goin’ anywhere until it stops rainin’ anyways,” she said.  That was when he noticed her drawl.  She certainly wasn’t from around here.
     She must be homeless, he guessed.  He figured her to be in her early twenties, twenty-three tops.  She was pretty, too, as far as he could tell.  Her long wet hair was plastered to her head, but it seemed to be red.  She had huge blue eyes that were watchful, flitting all around the room as she ate.  He’d never seen a woman eat like that.  And she was skinny, too. 
     “I’m Henry, by the way,” he told her.
     She paused, french fry halfway to her mouth.  “I’m Shelby.”  She chewed thoughtfully and swallowed.  “What were you doing stuck in that door, Henry?”
     He looked down at his hands.  “Acting like a fool, I suppose.”
     She smiled knowingly.  “It was a girl,” she said definitely.  Henry declined to answer.  “So what do you do, Henry?”
     “I’m a professor of English Literature at Columbia,” he answered.
     Shelby’s already large eyes grew bigger.  “No shit?” she said softly, and she laughed to herself.
     Henry felt his temper rising.  Having been born with dwarfism, he’d faced ridicule all his life.  “What, is it so unbelievable that someone like me could be a university professor?” he demanded.
     Shelby stopped laughing.  “That’s a hell of a chip on your shoulder, there.  A chip that big ought to have its own name.”  She shook her head.   
     “What I meant was, who would have thought that someone like me would ever meet a professor, let alone sit and have dinner with him?”
     “What do you mean, someone like you?” he asked, realizing that he owed her another apology.
     She shrugged.  “I’m not very smart,” she said simply.  “I never finished the eighth grade.  I don’t even know anybody who went to college, let alone anybody who teaches there.”
     Henry let that thought sink in.  I’m not very smart.  “Where are you from, Shelby?”
     She shook her head, grinning.  “You never heard of it.”
  
     “Try me.”
     “I’m from Pine Grove, West Virginia,” she said, watching him carefully.
     Henry smiled slowly.  “You’re right, I never heard of it.”
     She laughed.  “Count yourself lucky, then.  It’s smack in the middle of nowhere.  Everybody there works in the Hastings plant, processing natural gas.  They actually have red lights to stop the cars about a mile away from the plant, just in case the shit hits the fan.”
     Henry nodded.  “Is that why you left?  You didn’t want to work in the plant?”
     Shelby looked him dead in the eye.  “I left in the middle of eighth grade because I was tired of getting fucked by my mama’s boyfriends.”  She paused.  “I figured if I was going to be doing it anyway, I might as well be getting paid for it.”
     Henry’s eyes widened.  “You’re a…” he stopped.
     She narrowed her eyes.  “Now who’s judgin’?” she asked.
     Henry backpedaled.  “No, I mean, I just…”

     “I don’t do that anymore.  I quit three years ago.  I have a new gig,” she said.  “I take pictures.”  Henry noticed that she pronounced it pitchers.  “I have a friend who sells postcards and shit to the tourists.  He sells my postcards and splits the profits with me.”

     “Really?” Henry said thoughtfully.
     “I have a nice camera,” she said, for the first time opening up her jacket to reveal a small camera bag.  She placed it on the table, opening it carefully.  “It’s mine, I bought it at a pawn shop,” she said, slightly defensively.
     Henry looked over the camera appreciatively before handing it back to her.  “It’s very nice,” he said.
     “That’s why I came uptown.  Somebody told me that I’d like to take pictures at Columbia.  Said there’s cool buildings there.  I was pissed off and not thinkin’ straight.  It was dark by the time I got here.  Plus I didn’t know it was going to rain.  I wasted a whole damn trip for nothing.”
     “Where do you live?” Henry wondered.
     Shelby rolled her eyes.  “Long story,” she said, “but when I’m in between places, I usually stay at Grand Central.”  He thought of the train station.  “It’s pretty clean, and you can leave your stuff in a locker for two weeks before you have to move it.  There’s a guy who lets me clear tables for a few dollars.  Plus, you can eat what people leave on the trays.  You wouldn’t believe how much food people just waste.”
     Henry listened, astounded.  He’d never known a moment when he didn’t know where his next meal was coming from.  “So you came uptown to take pictures at the university?”

     “Yeah,” she said around another mouthful.  “Kind of stupid, I guess.  It was too late to begin with and then when I came out of the subway, the bottom just fell out of the sky.”

     “So are you going to go back to Grand Central?” he probed.
     Shelby shrugged.  “I guess so.  I’d better hurry, though.  The good places get taken early.”
     Henry sat back in his seat, picturing Shelby stalking through the train station dripping wet, trying to find a good place to settle down for the night.  His own words surprised him.  “You could stay with me for the night.  I’ll take you to the university in the morning, give you a tour.”
     Shelby’s eyes narrowed.  “I don’t fuck for a place to sleep.”
     Henry blushed furiously.  “God, no!  That’s not what I meant at all,” he stammered.  “I just thought, you’re all the way here, you’re soaked, it’ll take you, what, another hour to get back to Grand Central.  What if you can’t find a place?”  He cleared his throat.  “I’m just saying you could stay on my couch, go with me to work tomorrow.  You can get your pictures and get back at a reasonable time.”
     Shelby popped the last bite of hamburger into her mouth, gazing steadily at
Henry.  “Okay,” she finally said.

Finishing this story isn’t on my radar at the moment,

but check out my Amazon Author Page for other great reads.

Weekend Excerpt–RANSOMING REDEMPTION

ipadmini_707x1018 (2)RANSOMING REDEMPTION is the third and final book of Rannigan’s Redemption, a three-novel epic contemporary erotic romance/law drama.

A warning before you read any further: Spoilers abound…

In the first book, RESISTING RISK, high profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan hires Maggie Flynn straight out of law school to join his prestigious criminal defense practice.  While they’re both attracted to each other, they resist the risk, knowing that nothing good could come of an office romance.

In RUNNING ROGUE, the second book, one night of passion has torn Michael and Maggie apart.  She’s left the firm to pursue a career with the District Attorney’s office.  With Maggie gone, Michael is simply running rogue, making one bad decision after another.  And without Michael, Maggie is making her share of mistakes as well.  One cold, rainy night, desperation brings them back together.

In the finale, RANSOMING REDEMPTION, there’s a new man in Maggie’s life.  It’s all thanks to Michael, who sees the writing on the wall and feels the need to find redemption for all the ways he’s failed Maggie.  But putting her together with Bobby wasn’t easy.  She’s reluctant to take another chance on love.

Here’s a steamy excerpt from RANSOMING REDEMPTION.  Phone sex, anyone?

While the tub filled with hot water and lavender-scented suds, Maggie padded to the kitchen to pour herself a glass of wine.  Returning, she turned off the water, lit a few candles, and switched off the overhead light.  As an afterthought, she set her phone beside the wine glass on a stool she carried in from the living room.  Maybe Bobby would call.  She didn’t want to miss him because she was in the tub.

Satisfied, Maggie slowly sank into the steaming bath, leaning against the back of the tub and sighing contentedly.


In the privacy of his room, Bobby dialed Maggie’s number.  It was after 11:00, he realized, but they always seemed to talk at that hour anyway.

She picked up on the third ring.  “Hi!”  He could hear the smile in her voice.

“Hi, yourself, cher.  How are you?”

“I’m so much better now.  It’s good to hear your voice.  How is Savannah?”

Bobby smiled.  “She’s fine.  Tonight she was running around all over the place.  How was your day?”

Maggie sighed.  “Work was work.  I was glad to be in the office all day, though.  Oh, by the way, my boss asked about you today.”

He frowned slightly.  “What do you mean?”

“Someone told him that we left together for lunch.  He seemed…amused.”

Relief replaced the frown.  “That’s good.  I wouldn’t want to get you in trouble.  How’s Michael doing?”

Maggie gasped.  “Holy shit, you’ll never believe it.  Michael shaved his head today.  He’s completely bald.”

“Bald?” he laughed.  “I can’t even imagine.  Why did he do that?”

“He said the hair was falling out anyway and he wanted to be in control of it,” she replied.  “I’ll tell you, it was a shocker.”

“I’ll bet,” he chuckled.  “You sound funny.  Where are you anyway?”

“I’m in the bath,” she giggled, “I put my phone next to the tub.  I had a hunch you might call and I didn’t want to miss you.”

Bobby felt his cock stirring and gave a low chuckle.  “So what are you wearing right now, cher?”

Maggie glanced down at herself and grinned.  “Well, I’m wearing bubbles but they’re starting to disappear.”

She heard him laugh again.  “Really?” he asked.

“Really.  So what are you wearing?” she asked.

“Hang on,” Bobby said into the phone.  Maggie could hear noise in the background and he spoke again.  “I locked the door and took off my shirt and jeans.  I’m down to grey boxer briefs.

“Mmmm,” Maggie cooed appreciatively.  “I love grey boxer briefs.”

“I’m more interested in bubbles that disappear.  What do you see now?”

“Well,” she grinned, “in this candlelight it’s a little hard to see but I’m pretty sure those are my nipples sticking up out of the water.”

Bobby stretched back on the bed and pressed the phone to his ear.  He could picture those nipples, feel them on his lips.  “Touch them for me, cher,” he purred.  The line went quiet for a moment before he heard her moan lightly.  His cock stood at attention, and he stroked himself there, closing his eyes.  “How is that?”

“It’s nice.  Not as nice as when you do it,” she said softly.

He smiled to himself.  “I wish I could be there right now.  Move your hand lower.  Touch yourself for me.”

Her hand wandered lower coming to rest between her thighs.  “Oh, that’s good,” she breathed into the phone.

Bobby slid off his boxer briefs, kicking them to the floor.  “Make yourself come, cher.  I’ll do the same.”

“I’m putting you on speaker,” Maggie told him.  Moments later he could hear heavy breaths occasionally interrupted by soft moans.

Bobby gripped his cock and slid his hand up and down, remembering how it was to be inside her.  “Come on, cher, we’ll do this together,” he urged softly.  “Are you touching your pussy?”

“Yes,” she breathed.  Maggie worked her clit feverishly with one hand and pulled her nipples with the other, feeling herself nearing the edge.  “Oh, shit, Bobby, I’m so close…”

“Do it, cher, come for me, baby,” he breathed as he neared his own climax.  When he heard her call out loudly, he couldn’t hold off any longer, his release exploding across his stomach and chest.  “Oh, baby,” he murmured into the phone.

Maggie dried her hands on a towel and picked up her phone, taking it off speaker.  “Bobby, that was…” she panted.

“It was indeed,” Bobby agreed.  “You should see me, cher, I’m a mess,” he chuckled.

She giggled.  “I don’t mind a mess. In fact,” she continued, feeling emboldened by the combination of wine and their long-distance connection, “if you ever wanted to pull out and come on me, I kind of like that sometimes.”

His eyes rolled back in his head as he cock sprang to life again.  “Is that a fact, cher?”

“Mm-hmm,” she replied.  “You know, cum across my belly, dripping off my tits, off my chin…  I’m naughty like that.”

“Are you, now?  I need to get myself back to the city,” he growled, and she laughed lightly.

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Weekend Excerpt–Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!  I hope you’re having a great weekend.  This week’s excerpt features an Easter scene from RESISTING RISK, the Finale of the Rannigan’s Redemption series.

In the last book of Rannigan’s Redemption, Michael watches as Maggie’s relationship with Bobby blossoms.  He’s pleased with himself, knowing that putting the pair of them together is merely one part of his plan to find redemption.

Bobby relished the time he spent with Savannah.  It occurred to him that maybe Deanna had made a bigger deal than necessary of the little girl’s illness.  His mood was thoughtful as he sipped his beer and watched Savannah running and playing with her cousins after a delicious meal on Friday evening.  The entire family had gathered at his sister Michelle’s house for a Good Friday dinner.  Now the adults relaxed on the patio as the children played on the lawn.

Everyone would be at Jerilyn and Justin’s on Sunday for the big holiday meal and traditional Easter egg hunt.  If Bobby knew his mother, she’d have been scrambling since he’d called to say the New York trip was off, putting together eggs at the last minute.  It would probably be up to him, his brothers-in-law, and his father to hide about half a million plastic eggs all around the outside of the house bright and early on Sunday morning.  He smiled contentedly.

“Bobby, can I get you anything?” his sister Michelle’s husband Russ asked.

Bobby shook his head.  “I think I’m just about fine.”

“Just about…” Russ repeated, grinning.  “Sounds like something is missing.  Rumor has it you have a new girlfriend.”

Bobby glanced around realizing that all other conversations had stopped.  The only voices were those of the children who ran squealing across the lawn.

Ro-bert has found himself a city girl,” his mother said.  There was friendly laughter all around.

“Maggie’s not a city girl.  She’s originally from North Carolina.  She lives in New York now, just like I do.”  He dug his phone from his pocket, queuing up the photo of the two of them he’d taken at the Red Lantern Inn, and he passed it around.

“What does she do?” asked his sister Renée, who was pregnant with her second child.

“She’s a lawyer.  Works for the prosecutor’s office.”

“We were supposed to meet her this weekend but we couldn’t go, what with Savannah being sick,” Jerilyn elaborated.  “Ro-bert, tell them how you met her.”

Interested eyes were on Bobby.  He sighed.  “We met in the elevator in my building.  She was visiting someone who lives on my floor.  Her shoe broke when she stepped out of the elevator and she fell into the hallway.  I helped fix up her knee.”  He grinned at the memory.

Russ hooted.  “Oh, yeah, he’s got it bad!”  Everyone else laughed, and Bobby joined in good naturedly.

Later back at his parents’ house, Bobby tucked Savannah into bed and wandered back to the kitchen.  Jerilyn was putting together potato salad for Sunday’s dinner.  Bobby sank onto a stool at the counter and watched.

“How are you feeling, bébé?” his mother asked.  “You looked so tired this morning.”

“I’m good, maman.”  His phone blipped indicating a text message.  Checking it quickly, he saw that it was Maggie.

Jerilyn smiled knowingly.  “Is that your little girl?”

“It’s Maggie,” he said, smiling.

“What’s going on there, cher?” she asked softly.

Bobby sighed.  “She makes me happy.”  He looked up at his mother.  “She’s pretty, obviously.  And she’s smart and kind and funny and genuine…”  He trailed off.

Jerilyn crossed her arms.  “Is she another one of those little girls looking for a rich, famous man?”

He looked his mother squarely in the eye.  “No, maman.  Maggie had no idea that I’d played ball.  She couldn’t care less about sports or money.”  He laughed.  “She gave me eight pounds of shit, I mean crap,” he edited in response to her raised eyebrow, “when I bought her an antique dresser last week.”

Bobby gazed through the kitchen windows at the moonlight reflected on the marsh.  “She sees me.  Not some has-been retired pitcher.  I know that we haven’t been going out very long but…”  He looked down at his hands before meeting her gaze.  “I think I’m in love with her.”

A slow smile crept across his mother’s face.  “You’d better go give your little girl a call, then, bébé.”

RANSOMING REDEMPTION is available at this link: books2read.com/RansomingRedemption

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Bashing Romance Novels–Don’t Do It

In this terrific article from Bustle, author Sarah Maclean asserts that bashing romance novels is just another form of slut-shaming.  This image is from the article and I’ve included the link below…

https://www.bustle.com/articles/186881-sarah-maclean-bashing-romance-novels-is-just-another-form-of-slut-shaming

Romance, erotic romance, and erotica may not be your cup of tea.  But that doesn’t mean that those who enjoy it are somehow morally inferior.  It doesn’t mean that romance authors produce inferior work.  If you don’t like it, don’t read it.  Like a good friend of mine always says, ‘To each his own.’

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Weekend Excerpt–RESISTING RISK, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 1

Happy Weekend!  I hope your week was great.  Mine was looooong, so I’m thrilled for a couple of days to chill.

Rannigan’s Redemption is a three-novel contemporary erotic romance set in Manhattan.  Michael Rannigan is a founding partner and the handsome face of the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, and Metheny.  When he meets spunky redhead Maggie Flynn at a job fair, he hires her to join his elite high-profile criminal defense team.

Maggie changes her mind about the job she’s already been offered at the District Attorney’s office, taking the opportunity to work with Michael, the object of her all-but-impossible crush.

Michael isn’t unaware of Maggie’s feelings for him.  He sees that look in her eye.  And it feeds his insatiable ego.  But she’s so unlike his usual choice of vapid bottle-blondes, the ones he calls when he wants a little company for a few hours.  He’d never consider her dating material.  She’s too smart, for one thing.  On the other hand, there’s something about Mary Margaret Flynn that he can’t quite ignore.

This weekend’s excerpt is from RESISTING RISK, the first book of the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy.

“Mags,” she heard out of the shifting fog.  “We’re back in town.  I need you to tell us where to go.”

She opened her eyes and realized that she’d been sleeping with her head on Michael’s shoulder.   “Oh, God, I’m so sorry.”  She sat up abruptly.  “I didn’t realize…  I wish you’d awakened me.”

“No worries.  But we need to know exactly where to take Ben and where your place is.”

Maggie could see the driver watching her in the rear view mirror.  “My place.  Right.”  She gave the address and the driver thanked her, the partition whooshing back into place.  “Ben can sleep it off on my couch.  It won’t be the first time.”

The car came to a stop in front of Maggie’s apartment.  “Nice building, Mags.  Is the whole thing yours?”

She fairly snorted.  “In my dreams!  One day when I’m rich and famous, I’ll have my own brownstone.  For now I’m happy with a tiny part of the second floor.”  She smiled gratefully.  “Thanks again for the ride.  You are a life saver.”  She moved to open the door but the driver was there first.

“Let me help you get him inside,” Michael offered.  They both glanced at Ben, who hadn’t so much as shifted during the entire ride.

She looked back at Michael.  “Probably a good idea.  I won’t be able to get him up the stairs by myself.”  They succeeded in rousing Ben enough for him to put his arms around their shoulders and they moved him to the sidewalk.

Michael spoke quietly to the driver, who nodded before returning to the driver’s seat and slowly driving away.  Maggie looked at him questioningly.  “I told him to find a place to park.  I’ll call him after we get your date settled.”

They managed the stairs and Michael leaned Ben between himself and the wall as Maggie unlocked the door and let them into her apartment.  “Let’s just lay him on the couch,” she said, cocking her head in the direction of a large grey velvet sofa with navy blue accent pillows.

They worked together to get the unconscious and snoring Ben safely onto the couch, Michael studiously ignoring the way his jacket gapped open, inviting views of Maggie’s breasts as she leaned over to place a pillow under Ben’s head.

“Thank you so much, Michael,” she said as she removed his jacket and held it uncertainly.  “Can I offer you a beer or coffee or something?  Or do you need to go?”

“Coffee sounds good,” he answered.

Maggie smiled brightly as she gently placed his jacket over the back of a kitchen chair and set about making coffee.  Michael wandered around the living room area to the bay window and looked out over the street.  He turned back around to take in the view of the room.  It was small, of course, but nice in a quirky sort of way.  She’d left on a dim lamp near the window that gave enough light to the space without being intrusive.  “This is a nice place,” he commented.

She smiled at him from the kitchen counter.  “Thanks.  And again, I really appreciate your giving us a ride.”

“Mags, you’ve thanked me about a thousand times,” he said gently.

She blushed slightly.  “Well, I didn’t want to forget,” she said sheepishly.

He watched her as she worked in the kitchen, measuring out coffee into a French press, putting a kettle of water on the stove, little mundane domestic tasks.  His mind skipped to flashes of her from throughout the night.  Slowly it dawned on him what it was about Maggie that made him uncomfortable.

She’s real.  She has no hidden agenda.  She isn’t playing some game, she doesn’t want anything from me.  He sighed deeply. She’s the kind of girl who could make you forget your own rules.

Michael slowly crossed the room and stood by the kitchen counter.  “Can I help with something?”

“No, it’s all done.  We’re just waiting for the water to boil.”  She leaned back resting her hand on the counter.

He gently placed his hand on hers.  “You…are very dangerous,” he whispered, lifting her hand to his lips and kissing it softly, his deep brown eyes peering into hers.  Her brow furrowed, perplexed.

Gently, he tilted up her chin with his fingers and leaned down, meeting her lips with his own, lightly at first, and then more urgently.  He ran his other hand down the smooth fabric of the back of her dress coming to rest on her firm ass as he probed her mouth with his tongue, seeking hers.

Maggie responded, matching the heat of his kiss, reaching up, tangling her fingers in the hair behind his ear, giving herself over to his embrace.  Michael’s hand left her ass and smoothed its way back up to her side, her ribs, stopping just under her breast.  Reluctantly he pulled himself away.

Maggie breathlessly gazed up at him.  He smiled gently.  “We’re both a little drunk,” he said.  “Which is why I’d better go.”  Tenderly, he kissed her once again and walked out the door.

RESISTING RISK is where it all begins.
It’s available for just .99 at this link:  books2read.com/ResistingRisk

But you can get RESISTING RISK for FREE when you sign up for my Newsletter:
https://www.instafreebie.com/free/EvsRs

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Weekend WIP Excerpt–For Sparrow

It feels like it’s been forever since I posted an excerpt!  Today, I’m giving you a sneak peek at FOR SPARROW, my current work in progress, and Book 3 of The Dream Dominant Collection.  Since it’s a Dream Dominant book, you know there are some things you can count on: a stand-alone story featuring a smart redheaded leading lady, a drop dead sexy Dominant man, light BDSM themes, and romance with plenty of heart.

In FOR SPARROW, Jessi Crenshaw, at forty-five, is a shell-shocked young widow.  Although her husband of twenty-five years had survived a health scare in the past, she couldn’t have imagined that he’d be gone so suddenly.  Having lived the last several years as Graham’s submissive, she’s lost not only her husband, partner, lover, and friend, she’s lost her Master.

But it turns out that Graham had had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he made provisions for Jessi, in the form of hunky fire rescue paramedic Judd Farris, whom the older man had mentored in the BDSM lifestyle.  Graham made Judd promise that in the event of his death, Judd would look out for Jessi, at least until she got back on her feet.

Could it be that Graham’s intentions went beyond a temporary solution?

Here’s a brand new excerpt from For Sparrow.

Jessi held herself together while the kids were home.  No sense having them worry about her.  They needed to get back to their lives.  She certainly didn’t want them feeling as though they needed to babysit her.

Adam left for Orlando on Friday morning.  By the time Jessi dropped off Cara at Palm Beach International on Friday afternoon, she was exhausted.  She hadn’t been able to keep food down since she’d gotten the news about Graham.  She also hadn’t been able to sleep.  Now, with the house to herself, she finally let herself fall apart.

In the hamper in the master bath she found an undershirt of Graham’s.  It smelled of his cologne and dirty clothes.  She undressed, shrugged into the ‘wife-beater’ tank top, and crawled into bed.  There, she cried for hours, screamed for a while until her voice was gone, and ranted at the universe for letting her down.  When the tears dried up, she curled into a ball and found herself in a sort of twilight not unlike subspace, but rather than feeling safe she simply felt empty.

Eventually, disoriented and having no idea of the time, Jessi headed downstairs to the kitchen.  The clock on the microwave blinked 2:34.

Must be a.m.  It’s dark outside, she thought vaguely.

Checking the fridge, she saw that it was still half full of casseroles she couldn’t bear to uncover, let alone try to eat, so she closed the door and headed to the liquor cabinet in the dining room, choosing the first bottle her hand touched.  It happened to be a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniels.  Uncapping the whiskey, she took a long pull and coughed as the warm liquid hit her raw throat.

Unable to bear the emptiness of her bedroom, she took the whiskey with her and let herself out the back door, choosing a lounge chair by the pool where she proceeded to drain the rest of bottle before passing out.

Slowly, Jessi became aware of the noise of some sort of lawn equipment.

                Damn neighbors.  She tentatively cracked open one eye and wondered at the gecko staring back at her.

               Holy shit, I slept outside.  She carefully peeled her cheek from the seat cushion and pushed herself to a sitting position on the lounge chair, immediately regretting the sudden movement.

“Oh, my God,” she groaned, reaching to hold her head.  Still, the relentless sound of trimmers echoed in her ears.  From her position at the edge of the pool deck she could see past the end of the house, and to her surprise, a stranger was in her yard.

Portrait of a calm handsome young man leaning to the wall outdoo

Ignoring the pounding in her head, she stood and walked toward the source of the sound.  A tall muscular man with dark brown hair was trimming her hedges.  He was dressed in a white t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts, and worn brown leather work boots.

“Excuse me!” Jessi shouted, the effort sending pain shooting through her head.  The man didn’t respond.

Moving closer she tried again, holding her head with both hands to prevent it from blowing apart.  “I said, excuse me!”

Startled, he jumped and turned off the offending machine, his brown eyes made larger by surprise.  “I’m sorry, did I wake you?” he asked.

“What are you doing here?” Jessi asked.

“I’m trimming these hedges.”

Jessi frowned.  “Yeah, I can see that.  I mean, why are you on my property, trimming my hedges?”

The man frowned as well.  “Um, I mentioned to you that I’d be here today to help out with your lawn.”

“Who are you?  When did we decide that you’d come here to do my hedges?”

He smiled in a friendly way.  “I’m Judd.  Farris.  We spoke at the funeral?  I said that I’d be over today to help out.”

Jessi blinked at him, trying desperately to recall ever having had a conversation with this…Judd person.

“Out by your pool?  I know, there were a lot of people here.  It probably all runs together.”

You have no idea, she thought.  “Oh, you were friends with Graham?”

He grinned broadly.  “Exactly.  Graham and I used to go for coffee every once in a while.”

Jessi aimed for a kind smile.  “Well, look Judd, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  But you really don’t need to come over here and trim the hedges.  It’s very nice of you, but I’ll be okay.”

Judd shook his head.  “I promised Graham I’d check in on you, take care of things like this.”

“That’s great of you, but there’s no need.  I release you from your promise,” Jessi said, her patience wearing thin.

“It was a promise I made to Graham.  You have nothing to do with it,” he said reasonably and he prepared to continue with his work.

“I have everything to do with it.  Graham isn’t here.  You’re dealing with me, now.”

Judd let the trimmer hang down at his side and looked at her intently.  “You look like shit, if you don’t mind me saying so.  When is the last time you combed your hair?  You have little leaves in it.”

Jessi’s eyes went wide and she started to reply, but he cut her off.  “You do realize you’re standing in your yard wearing only a stained men’s undershirt, right?  I was trying to ignore it, but damn.  A guy can only keep his eyes averted for so long.”

Jessi glanced down to see Graham’s undershirt, which barely covered her panties and clung to her breasts like Saranwrap in the humidity of the morning.  “Shit!” she swore.

“No worries, Jessi.  I’ll be out of your hair as soon as I’m done with these hedges,” Judd said as he started the trimmers again and returned to his work.

Jessi hurried back to the pool deck and into the house.

I’m still hard at work on FOR SPARROW.  Stay tuned for news on a cover reveal and a release date.  In the meantime, check out the first two Dream Dominant books, LUKE & BELLA and LOST & BOUND.